Posted by: kathandroger | January 11, 2012

Smelly cheese and smog

National stereotypes are a funny thing. We all think that the French eat lots of pongy cheese, smell of garlic, wear stripey tops and emerge from the pharmacy with bags of suppositories… Hmm – maybe not too far from the truth then? It would seem, though that the French have some very strange ideas about us, or at least some aspects of life in Britain. For a start, they are convinced that it is always foggy. Many of them learned English a little while ago and the pictures in their books obviously showed London in the smog…and that’s still how they perceive it. No wonder they never go to the UK on holiday! The other thing that keeps cropping up in conversations is the notion that people in Britain aren’t allowed to own houses – because ultimately the queen owns them all. There are various takes on it, but after a certain time we have to turn our homes over to her majesty! And according to the theory that is why we all turn to the french property market so we can own somewhere we can call home. I’d love to know who dreamed that one up…any ideas?


  1. Part of the reason for the ‘pongy’ cheese thought is probably because many ‘indelicatesans’ and certainly almost all cheese counters in supermarkets [inc. Waitrose and Sainsbury’s] leave ‘fresh’ camenbert and brie to the point where it reaches home before you… here you can have brie with a slice of pear and taste the pear. In Blighty, you need the pear to be able to breath… after eating the cheese.
    And don’t forget, the Queen does get the houses… well, those that go over the cliffs and onto the beach anyway.

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