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Bluebird
22-01-2005, 15:04
This is an abridged version of article posted on the expat.telegraph. The full report can be found on: http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?xml=/global/2005/01/03/ncoun03.xml

The great American wit H L Mencken contemplated every state of the Union before the Second World War and decided that, judged by any criterion one cared to name, Mississippi was incomparably the worst. It was by far the poorest, ugliest, least well educated and most comprehensively racist.

A YouGov survey for The Telegraph cast its net more widely and invited respondents to rate almost two dozen countries, including Britain, on the basis of 12 separate criteria.

It turns out the British have a high regard for their own country but only within limits.

Nearly half of Britons regard their country as being one of the most democratic countries in the world and one of the most deserving of international respect - a reputation likely to be enhanced by Britain's response to the tsunami disaster.

Nearly half also say that Britain is one of the three countries where they would most like to live.

However, most of these figures can easily be looked at the other way. If roughly half of Britons think Britain is a splendid country in which to live, that means the other half would prefer to live somewhere else.

Opinion is also divided on whether Britain is likely, during the present century, to prove dynamic. Roughly one in five thinks it will, but one in eight is far more pessimistic and thinks Britain will be among the least dynamic nations in the world.
Decades after the loss of the Empire, YouGov's findings also show that Britons still see the old white Commonwealth countries – and, to a lesser extent, the United States – as part of their "patch".

A glance down the column headed "The top five" shows the dominance of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada and also the relevant insignificance of countries on the European continent. Canada, Australia and New Zealand are rated unusually safe and Australians unusually friendly. The USA has a more mixed reputation: dynamic and democratic, yes, but also dangerously unsafe.

Russia and China also perform badly in the survey. A glance down the column of the chart headed "The bottom five" shows Russia featuring in a formidable 11 of the 12 categories.

Britons think Russia is undemocratic, unsafe, unfriendly and unattractive in almost every respect. It is credited only with having beautiful art and architecture.

The fact that India, Russia and China are, in their different ways, given poor ratings probably comes as no surprise.

More surprising is how little regard Britons are found to have for Israel.

Intersesting to read the comments about Russia - again that "image" problem, to those who've never been and/or lived here, for a while; at least

Errr, anyone reading this posting know about Mississipi, by the way...???

Does that comment, by American wit H L Mencken, still ring true, in anyone's opinion? Just askin' as I've never been there :cool:

pengwn9
22-01-2005, 19:17
Mississippi is still very much the same Mississippi it has always been. Except that maybe more people have air conditioning now. Steamy, poor, racist, trailer trash, bug-ridden backwater hardy fit for human habitation.

Alabama is pretty depressing too. Gee, it's kind of a tossup for me, which is worse. You've never been there? Yeah, don't bother. Take H.L. Mencken's word for it. Some things you just don't need to experience for yourself.

koba65
22-01-2005, 19:26
Originally posted by pengwn9
Mississippi is still very much the same Mississippi it has always been. Except that maybe more people have air conditioning now. Steamy, poor, racist, trailer trash, bug-ridden backwater hardy fit for human habitation.

Alabama is pretty depressing too. Gee, it's kind of a tossup for me, which is worse. You've never been there? Yeah, don't bother. Take H.L. Mencken's word for it. Some things you just don't need to experience for yourself.

Hey, you've got Mississippi all wrong, I didn't find it steamy in the least.

pengwn9
22-01-2005, 19:30
No way Jose. If the humidity there is ever below 80%, it's a rare day indeed. You must have been driving through with the car windows rolled up and the AC on high.

Actually that is probably the best way to see Mississippi. 70 MPH on the interstate and you're outta there in a couple of hours.

Sparafucile
22-01-2005, 21:24
Thank goodness that Brits still remain in happy rectal-cranium ignorance of the existence of bijou locales like Turkmenistan, Belarus and "Myanmar". We wouldn't like to shake the heartfelt certainties of John Bull that Russians divide their time between queueing for bread and being chained-up in gulags.

And that the French dine on gratin de grenouille three times daily, Germans eat leberwurst wearing leather shorts and drinking beer, the Swiss play long alpenhorns and yodel all day, the Italians eat pizza and have sex with their sisters-in-law, Africans boil missionaries alive in big cauldrons, whilst the Japanese spend all day bowing to each other.

DPG
22-01-2005, 21:28
Where's Africa then??;)

Sparafucile
22-01-2005, 21:42
>> Where's Africa then?? <<

Take a right out of Southampton, bear left around the Spain gyratory (but keep in the outside lane to avoid being caught in the Portugal one-way system), and then keep straight, you can't miss it.

It's near the edge of the earth, on the main flat bit before the abyss and all-consuming demons.

DPG
22-01-2005, 22:24
HEHEHEHE!!!:D

Spain Gyratory - LOL!

koba65
22-01-2005, 22:31
Originally posted by pengwn9
No way Jose. If the humidity there is ever below 80%, it's a rare day indeed. You must have been driving through with the car windows rolled up and the AC on high.

Actually that is probably the best way to see Mississippi. 70 MPH on the interstate and you're outta there in a couple of hours.

When Trent Lott reads this you'll be in big trouble!!!

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 00:29
Originally posted by pengwn9
Mississippi is still very much the same Mississippi it has always been. Except that maybe more people have air conditioning now. Steamy, poor, racist, trailer trash, bug-ridden backwater hardy fit for human habitation.

Alabama is pretty depressing too. Gee, it's kind of a tossup for me, which is worse. You've never been there? Yeah, don't bother. Take H.L. Mencken's word for it. Some things you just don't need to experience for yourself. As good as that, eh?

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 00:40
Originally posted by Sparafucile
Thank goodness that Brits still remain in happy rectal-cranium ignorance of the existence of bijou locales like Turkmenistan, Belarus and "Myanmar". We wouldn't like to shake the heartfelt certainties of John Bull that Russians divide their time between queueing for bread and being chained-up in gulags.

And that the French dine on gratin de grenouille three times daily, Germans eat leberwurst wearing leather shorts and drinking beer, the Swiss play long alpenhorns and yodel all day, the Italians eat pizza and have sex with their sisters-in-law, Africans boil missionaries alive in big cauldrons, whilst the Japanese spend all day bowing to each other. Not only do the Japanese spend all day bowing to each other, they sniff their way through biz meetings and presentations, cos blowing their noses (in public), is considered the height of rudness, and a somewhat vulgar body motion, in their culture.

Therefore, they have the annoying habit of annoying everyone by sniffing their way through meetings, rather than just blow their noses. I once stopped a meeting, by asking if they could kindly go outside and blow their noses.

I explained, that in our culture, it's rude to have to suffer constant sniffling, when others are talking; and as they were in the UK, could they please respect our culture; as we respect theirs...I got a lot of bowing and "Ooohhs and aahhhs, and eternal apologies...We got the contract too...

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 00:48
Originally posted by Sparafucile
Thank goodness that Brits still remain in happy rectal-cranium ignorance of the existence of bijou locales like Turkmenistan, Belarus and "Myanmar". We wouldn't like to shake the heartfelt certainties of John Bull that Russians divide their time between queueing for bread and being chained-up in gulags.

And that the French dine on gratin de grenouille three times daily, Germans eat leberwurst wearing leather shorts and drinking beer, the Swiss play long alpenhorns and yodel all day, the Italians eat pizza and have sex with their sisters-in-law, Africans boil missionaries alive in big cauldrons, whilst the Japanese spend all day bowing to each other.

Do I take it then, that you come from an elite, master, race, that doesn't remain in happy rectal-cranium ignorance existence of bijou locales like Turkmenistan, Belarus and "Myanmar?" Guess you must know Lukaschenko quite well then? :D

Sparafucile
23-01-2005, 01:28
>> you come from an elite, master, race <<

Well, to prove that the Brits haven't completely cornered the market in ludicrous cliches, I come from a country widely known in Russia for being permanently smothered in impenetrable pea-soupy fog, where people continuously leave without saying goodbye, where the national dish is "pudding", whose inhabitants are emotionally stunted automatons who frequent gentlemens' clubs wearing tweedy jackets with leather patches on the elbows (where they sink into leather deep-button sofas, drink tea at 5 o'clock and presumably eat some more pudding), and whose contribution to world culture is, apparently, the entire literary output of John Galsworthy and an author named "O Henry".

And being a True Brit, I am now obliged to sign off without saying

Sparafucile
23-01-2005, 01:33
By the way, Doctor - you may not have noticed, but The Master has somewhat outdone you in this episode, and has a perky and under-age assistant in a short skirt of his own, named Margarita.

She can fly around all by herself, without needing a Tardis of any kind.

Eat yer heart out, "Ace" :)

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 02:47
Originally posted by Sparafucile
By the way, Doctor - you may not have noticed, but The Master has somewhat outdone you in this episode, and has a perky and under-age assistant in a short skirt of his own, named Margarita.

She can fly around all by herself, without needing a Tardis of any kind.

Eat yer heart out, "Ace" :)

Sounds good to me...I'm all for that. I wonder if the Tardis has been upgraded?

If it's using a Windows-based control panel system; there's bound to be a problem, with it's time warp parameter settings sooner or later though...:cool:

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 03:12
Originally posted by Sparafucile
>> you come from an elite, master, race <<

Well, to prove that the Brits haven't completely cornered the market in ludicrous cliches, I come from a country widely known in Russia for being permanently smothered in impenetrable pea-soupy fog, where people continuously leave without saying goodbye, where the national dish is "pudding", whose inhabitants are emotionally stunted automatons who frequent gentlemens' clubs wearing tweedy jackets with leather patches on the elbows (where they sink into leather deep-button sofas, drink tea at 5 o'clock and presumably eat some more pudding), and whose contribution to world culture is, apparently, the entire literary output of John Galsworthy and an author named "O Henry".

And being a True Brit, I am now obliged to sign off without saying

Well, I don't know from what part of the UK you're from...But, I certainly don't aspire to that clique, kitch, and cliche, part of society, which you've described so well; or the Hooray Henry's and the Sloan Ranger's brigade.

I'm an East-ender - a Cockney, by birth. And, where I came from, the peeps always bade each other good bye, called a spade a spade (to his face), and never stabbed anyone in the back; as soon as he walked out the room. Oh, and we always had great hospitality towards strangers/newcomers/friends of our children too - even when the dosh was tight...

But, I'm just wondering what Ol' Blighty's ever done to you to make you seem so bitter towards her?

You seem to have a chip on yer shoulder. But, it could be I'm just interpreting your posting wrongly? If that's the case - I sincerely apologise...

And as we, in the East-end and SE, generally, always say good bye, cos we've got manners, where I come from...Good bye, for now and ave' a happy Sunday. :) :cool: :inquis:

Claude Bottom
23-01-2005, 12:52
Oh yes, we also invented Dr Who, too, for which I must eternally apologise... seventeen miles of cardboard tunnels and aliens made out of wheelie bins. Bluebird, there's nothing special about the UK - some very nice people here, some good, some bad, horrifically expensive, louche and stagnant (not the people, the system..... ahem). You're living abroad and I did it twice, found a lot to like about "the great outside of England" and hope to do it again. Asking expats what they think about their home countries is probably not a good idea, as they tend to regard the world as a "global village"..... they remember the good bits and forget the bad bits sometimes.

Point about the UK is that even though half the population make noises about prefering to live abroad, very few of them actually make the move. They're all at home, watching Dr Who......

Sparafucile
23-01-2005, 12:55
>> But, I'm just wondering what Ol' Blighty's ever done to you to make you seem so bitter towards her? <<

My list isn't necessarily what I believe myself - it's a list of things which are popularly believed about Brits by Russians.

I personally have an entirely different set of reasons for disliking Britain ;)

Anyhow, I don't come from Britain itself, but an autonomous People's Republic in London NW1 :)

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 15:07
Originally posted by Claude Bottom
Oh yes, we also invented Dr Who, too, for which I must eternally apologise... seventeen miles of cardboard tunnels and aliens made out of wheelie bins. Bluebird, there's nothing special about the UK - some very nice people here, some good, some bad, horrifically expensive, louche and stagnant (not the people, the system..... ahem). You're living abroad and I did it twice, found a lot to like about "the great outside of England" and hope to do it again. Asking expats what they think about their home countries is probably not a good idea, as they tend to regard the world as a "global village"..... they remember the good bits and forget the bad bits sometimes.

Point about the UK is that even though half the population make noises about prefering to live abroad, very few of them actually make the move. They're all at home, watching Dr Who...... Well, I thought I'd try a different logo, and just wait and see what (if any) reaction there might be to it.

I have to say that it's become somewhat of a focal (or a chance for someone to have a dig at me) point, in itself and has actually succeeded in virtually hijacking the theme of the thread I'd started. Interesting that people are now talking about DR. Who...Maybe we should have a DR. Who discussion thread..??? From that angle, maybe DR. Who, could lay claim some success - exterminating my thread...

Why is it that, that series; for which only 20 (to the best of my knowledge), were ever planned, now has a cult following, and has been in production for well over 20 years now. And, moreover, is known around the world - with a couple of films to its credit too?

And, although these Daleks were, in effect, wheelie bins, with sink plungers attached - for an arm...I bet most of us, who are old enough to remember Dr. Whos first encounter with the Daleks, in the early 60's (on black and white TV), were just a little bit scared. Guess I'll have to do a Google on the history of DR. Who now...Just out of curiosity...

Coming back to the statement that you mentioned, about asking why expats, ARE expats, not being a good idea...You're right, and we've all got our own reasons for packing our bags. Some getting away from bad or boring, routine, situations, others looking for new horizons and adventures to tap into, and others cos a company pays them damn good money to be somewhere else, anyway - if they've got the right personality and skills needed, that is. But, whatever the reason - it's entirely personal, and private, and should remain so.

About half the Brits making noises about going abroad, but never actually doing it...I think that a few years ago that might have been very true. However, an increasing amount (especially amongst the younger generation) are becomeing far more mobile, and actually arriving in different countries and working there.

Infact, if yer not prepared to be mobile now (and even have one or two languages under yer belt), you can forget about having a good job, with a good salary, anyway.

And although English is the world's no 1 business language, it's no longer good enough just to be British - "shout" louder if people don't understand you; and not to have a "basic" understanding, of the language and culture of the country in which you might be expected to work for a long time.

I've noticed that many British, American, and ex-pats, from other English speaking countries - working for good companies, here in Russia, are now taking Russian lessons, even at 8 in the morning...How times have changed...:)

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 15:17
Originally posted by Sparafucile
>> But, I'm just wondering what Ol' Blighty's ever done to you to make you seem so bitter towards her? <<

My list isn't necessarily what I believe myself - it's a list of things which are popularly believed about Brits by Russians.

I personally have an entirely different set of reasons for disliking Britain ;)

Anyhow, I don't come from Britain itself, but an autonomous People's Republic in London NW1 :) Fair play to that answer....Enough said...If yer ever in Moscow, give me shout and let's have a beer...:)

Polia Ivanova
23-01-2005, 15:28
I like watching Dr Who on weekend mornings. It is amazing what you can do with a lot of imagination and a bit of plastic, cardboard and glue. The only thing that always puzzled me is why Dr Who’s girl has to wear these insensible high-heeled shoes in such circumstances. Apart from this I am ready to believe it.

There are so many stereotypes from both sides. Russians think one thing about Brits (as described above) Brits have very strong reservations about vodka drinking Russians. I noticed one more thing about Russian’s opinion of the UK. They visited London and they think this is the UK. When I go to Russia my friends ask me “How is life in London?” and I say – I don’t live in London, hate the place. Certain Russian limitation is to assume that life exists only in the capital.

The chap next desk, John, has recently returned from his second emigration attempt to Spain and now he says he came back for good. He mentioned only few reasons – children out of school and nobody gives a fuss about it, corrupted police which demonstratively refused to investigate an assault if it happened after a drinking night (here the police at least will make an effort to show they care), nurses in a hospital that started injecting something into him without obligatory asking (here in the UK) whether he has any allergies or known problems with the medicine.

Grass is always greener somewhere.

Bluebird
23-01-2005, 15:38
Originally posted by Polia Ivanova
I like watching Dr Who on weekend mornings. It is amazing what you can do with a lot of imagination and a bit of plastic, cardboard and glue. The only thing that always puzzled me is why Dr Who’s girl has to wear these insensible high-heeled shoes in such circumstances. Apart from this I am ready to believe it.

There are so many stereotypes from both sides. Russians think one thing about Brits (as described above) Brits have very strong reservations about vodka drinking Russians. I noticed one more thing about Russian’s opinion of the UK. They visited London and they think this is the UK. When I go to Russia my friends ask me “How is life in London?” and I say – I don’t live in London, hate the place. Certain Russian limitation is to assume that life exists only in the capital.

The chap next desk, John, has recently returned from his second emigration attempt to Spain and now he says he came back for good. He mentioned only few reasons – children out of school and nobody gives a fuss about it, corrupted police which demonstratively refused to investigate an assault if it happened after a drinking night (here the police at least will make an effort to show they care), nurses in a hospital that started injecting something into him without obligatory asking (here in the UK) whether he has any allergies or known problems with the medicine.

Grass is always greener somewhere. Actually, I believe that you've hit the nail on the head there. Whos success was and is its ablilty to capture and extend the limits of ones imagination - just like Star Trek...Infact anything connected with time and space travel, was and is usually a recipe for success...As was true, with the original series of, "Lost in Space." Who remembers ever scheming Dr. Zakhary Smith, and that robot...???

The point you make about "stereotypes" is quite correct. As London is not England, so Moscow is not Russia. As for me, although I was born and raised in London - I too cannot stand the place, and (until I moved to Moscow), had always lived on the SE. Kent coast....Wonderful fresh, sea, air and breezez and storms; which I dearly miss here - and it if I miss one thing about the UK (apart form my family, dearly) it's that one thing i miss, above all else...

Yup, the other man's grass is always greener...:)

Claude Bottom
23-01-2005, 20:49
Bluebird, that's a cracking post. You tell us you're an East Ender at first, how friendly cockneys are, then - all of a sudden, you're from Sheppey and don't like London. Then you tell us that we shouldn't be nasty about Blighty, and it turns out all you've missed is the coast and your family..... whatever you're on, I'll have a pint of it. :D

Sounds like Sheppey to me, mate ! ;)

Doctor Who is still amateurish peurile tat, by the way. :D

Mookla
23-01-2005, 22:18
Have to agree with Peng on the whole Mississippi thing. I have distant family in that state and its not the most pleasant place to be. While most people are friendly enough, there is still alot of racism, and it is very impoverished. The Gulf towns with the Casinos have made some gains in bettering the financial situation for their residents, but its still not what Id call Shangri La.

Alabama I think is coming out of its depression better then Mississippi, although it was the last state in the US where interracial marriage was still illegal by state law until just a couple of years ago. Not to say it didnt happen as the federal law supercedes it, but it was still on the books until recently.

I suppose this persons survey really could be interpereted in many ways, However even though I will agree these conditions exist in Mississippi I must also point out that I for one like the balmy weather, the more tropical the better, and the seafood is cheap as can be caught fresh daily, people say hello to you and smile most places you go and if your broken down on the side of the road they will stop and help. You can still buy huge amounts of property and large estates, former plantations, etc for not a whole lot of money.

There is something to be said about living in places where people actually make eye contact and smile and say hello for no other reason than to just be friendly and say hello.

trebor
24-01-2005, 05:17
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