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  1. #61
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    Im Welsh, what do you want to know?

    UK has a great food, and great variety in race, views and opinions. Each county is completely different and have great rivalries between them. We have great and terrible history and crazy pride in where we come from.

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  2. #62
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    Well, for starters, is the landscape all that different? Are there different restaurant chains or shops? How about special holidays or local events? Or crazy sports like hurling logs or rolling downhill? And what's your general opinion of the rest of the UK?

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    Well, Wales has a lot of hills/mountains in the North particularly, Snowdonia is pretty high and has slate as a big industry. So many of the UKs roofs come from that area. South Wales used to be the coal-mining capital of the UK. Miyazaki was inspired to make parts of Laputa after spending time there in the eighties. Mining is all but destroyed there now after Thatcher's government decimated it. All the countries of the UK have a diverse landscape, the high bit of England being the Lake District where Beatrix Potter lived. It has hills and mountains aplenty. As for chains, they are the same the country over. All town centres which used to be individual and different are being taken over by chain stores. One town centre has little difference to another, whether in Wales, England or whatever. Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway... sorry but America has given its shit to us and alongside the Tescos and Sainsburys, the charity shops and pound stores have wrecked UK town centres. There are a few which fight it off, but it's an uphill struggle against out of town shopping and what we're now supposed to call 'malls'. The day people buy their meat or veg from local shops is the time it starts to reverse. Some do... This IS a generalisation to some extent, but I recently went to Kettering in Northamptonshire where I once lived, to hear Alan Moore talk, so was able to see how a town centre had changed in 15 plus years. It IS ALL pound shops (thrift stores) and takeaways.... really sad.

    Weird customs: I used to work in Derby and drove through Ashbourne every day, a small market town in Derbyshire, and very cute in some ways. They used to have a 'football' match there every year, twice I think. But it's different: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Shrovetide_Football All the shops close and everyone in the town, almost, gets rat arsed and things get broken.

    It's difficult to talk generally about something like this TA, specific questions are good. But you'll probably get different opinions from everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    I always thought "stone" as a unit of weight wasn't pluralized?
    It's not.
    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Well, for starters, is the landscape all that different?
    Landscape varies a lot eg Scotland is way hillier than England.
    Growing up in Scotland I lived either up a hill or down in a valley my whole life.
    When I'm in England it seems oddly flat, I always have this vague sensation that the horizon is in the wrong place..

    Last edited by Flake; October 12th, 2012 at 03:35 PM.
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  5. #65
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    Wales is a properly beautiful place and is made up of valleys and mountains a lot more so than england, you can notice the differences traveling from england to wales.
    A lot of rural Wales is very 'local' haha, you would not want to walk into some of my local pubs with an england rugby shirt on for instance haha. There is a lot pride in Wales as there is in the whole of the UK.
    Communities are close knit and and have a different feel to other places i have lived, because of this you get great community fares or competitions between villages/towns. Because of this community feel you have people producing and buying local produce and trying to give back to the community.

    Wales is however very boring for younger people, its a shame that most teenagers and younger people move to the cities such as cardiff/newport/swansea which are all down the south of wales, there isnt much in the way of opputunities in rural areas which leaves much younger children and older generations making up most of the small towns. Because of this its great for retirement and holidays etc. luckily there is quite a bit of local attractions and folk lore sites, wales has quite a bit of mythological history and legend which also carries into the great history of the UK with how many times we have been invaded and how much influence we have from other cultures.

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    A lot of the landscape photography I have seen of Wales has really dramatic skies. Hopefully that is somewhat common, need to see it in person some day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aly Fell View Post
    That's interesting.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post
    To be perfectly honest, for some reason I have little to no interest in ever checking out the UK just because I expect to hate the food. I don't even know where I got that idea from.
    My last flat, I could walk half a mile (or 0.8km if you prefer) and pick from the following ethnic munchies..

    -Italian
    -Chinese
    -Thai
    -Turkish
    -Indian
    -British
    -Moroccan
    -French
    -Mexican
    If you can't find something nice to eat in the UK, you might have accidentally wandered into MacDonalds.
    For food, we kinda took a cue from the Empire days- we found foreigners with lovely food and then we pinched it.

    Last edited by Flake; October 12th, 2012 at 08:39 PM.
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    But what about their own? Is there anything that you can define as "UK" food?

    Besides haggis? I could try haggis.

    I'm not so sure about black pudding, though.

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    Having been all over the UK, the most universal "UK food" (besides Fish,n,chips obviously) would probably be the roast dinner, that's literally everywhere.
    Slow roast an unfortunate creature (cow/pig/lamb/chicken), slice it up, lob it on a plate with as many vegetables as you can find then drown the whole thing in gravy.
    It looks a lot like what I've seen on tv as "Thanksgiving Dinners" over your side of the pond, except we get them every Sunday if we fancy it.

    Most "UK Food" in ye olde days tended to be stews, pies, soups, bit of dead animal and some veggies.
    These days I believe the biggest seller is Indian and Chinese. (edit: waaaay out of proportion to the numbers of Indians and Chinese that are actually over here, we just really took a liking to those..)
    I don't actually know where "The Greatest Curry on Earth" is made, but if you told me it was Birmingham or Glasgow I would not be surprised at all.
    UK is a pretty diverse place.

    If you're eating near the sea, expect a bias towards seafood, if you're in giant hairy cow country, expect beef.

    Haggis is actually pretty good, but much like Black Pudding, eat it first, Google the ingredients later.
    I kinda like Haggis but most Scots would take an Arbroath Smokie or a big smoked salmon fillet every time.

    Last edited by Flake; October 12th, 2012 at 09:39 PM.
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    Ok, I wasn't 100% sure if it was from the UK, had to look it up, but I can say REAL (as in made by a human being that actually gives a damn) Shepherd's/Cottage Pie is pretty good.

    Before trying the real thing, the only thing I had to go by was the garbage they occasionally made in public middle school that looked like diarrhea mixed with mashed potatoes.

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    Yeah, if there is one thing UK food always lacked, it was that sense of aesthetics, tastes nice, looks crap.

    It's better now, I mean it's impossible to be 20 miles from France for thousands of years without at least a bit of stylishness rubbing off..

    And here is a music video of "The Kills" eating fish'n'chips.


    Last edited by Flake; October 13th, 2012 at 08:40 AM.
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    To add on the food front, its not always the case, but generally most of the traditional UK food is pretty healthy stuff are actually proper meals (or great puddings haha). Man i love British food to be honest! My only issue is what foregners think british food is, and example of this being if you go to france or spain to a holiday resort (which is basically filled with British people) they just serve stuff like fish and chips etc which puts a bad light on it.

    But yes, food and drink traditions range highly from county to county and country to country which is why i love British food so much.

    All my life i have loved Yorkshire puddings, but then i visited my girlfriends mum in Yorkshire and my god, Yorkshire puddings up there are a league above what i had been having haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    It's better now, I mean it's impossible to be 20 miles from France for thousands of years without at least a bit of stylishness rubbing off..


    http://www.distance-calculator.co.uk...-to-calais.htm

    Oh wow, I never would have thought it was that short a distance. Having never actually checked, I always assumed that the smallest distance had to be at least 150 miles of ocean between the two countries. I never thought it'd be that short of a distance from Dover to Calais.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    It's better now, I mean it's impossible to be 20 miles from France for thousands of years without at least a bit of stylishness rubbing off..
    Indeed, and that 20 miles has been the bane of every invader going back to the Normans. Who are still running the country today...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotime View Post

    Oh wow, I never would have thought it was that short a distance. Having never actually checked, I always assumed that the smallest distance had to be at least 150 miles of ocean between the two countries. I never thought it'd be that short of a distance from Dover to Calais.
    Well there are people swimming from one side to the other pretty much every day in the summer. If you are a swimmer is a kind of dubbing to cross the channel ...it takes aprox 11 hours for a trained swimmer to pass it (due to wind and quite strong water-flow)

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    The Top Gear guys crossed the channel in car boats lol.


    To me the British spelling of several common words always looked a bit frenchy. "Centre", "Colour". Kind of makes sense.

    Roast and Yorkshire pudding sounds classic. We eat something similar over here in the states for our traditional Sunday lunch, not that those are as common as they once were. For Christmas I usually slow cook a rib roast (prime rib) on the smoker, so much better than Turkey imo.

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    I know it wasn't intended, but even the thread title would make most British people think twice, like

    'what, why do we have to justify our existence!? WE ARE GREAT BRITAIN!'

    I love the pure arrogance and sense of pride that us British people have, don't change the title, just a funny lil coincidence

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    Alright, so heres another question. Best alcohol in the UK - two categories, beer, and the hard stuff. Might sound strange, but these things matter in Slovakia, and besides, Im interested. Actually, how about best brands of foodstuff in general - John Olliver always says such funny names on the Daily Show.

    As an American, for example, I could tell any tourist to go for the molasses cookies and Pep Farm Mint Milanos, but never touch a Chips Ahoy. Unless youre playing hockey and cant find a puck.

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    I'm originally from Kent which has Britains oldest brewery 'Shepherd Neame'. Their flagship beer is called Spitfire, which has had some very funny advert slogans that have been used over the years! My favourites include: "Downed all over Kent just like the Luftwaffe" & "No nazi aftertaste"! They tried to use "No Foker comes close" but it got banned

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    Quote Originally Posted by AvP View Post
    I'm originally from Kent which has Britains oldest brewery 'Shepherd Neame'. Their flagship beer is called Spitfire, which has had some very funny advert slogans that have been used over the years! My favourites include: "Downed all over Kent just like the Luftwaffe" & "No nazi aftertaste"! They tried to use "No Foker comes close" but it got banned
    thats actually one interesting note that really is kind of British these days ....the UK is the only country left in Europe that is that "obsessed" (to some degree) with the 2. World War. Every other country is kind of over it, especially the Germans -not in account is rightful memory and remembrance to avoid such events from ever happening again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Partisan View Post
    thats actually one interesting note that really is kind of British these days ....the UK is the only country left in Europe that is that "obsessed" (to some degree) with the 2. World War. Every other country is kind of over it, especially the Germans -not in account is rightful memory and remembrance to avoid such events from ever happening again.
    That is because those countries did not win. I don't mean that in a snarky way, it is just how it is.

    Doug Stanhope summed it up like this


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    That's an interesting point. Maybe it's because the social commentators are the generation that did not take part? Both my grandfathers served during World War 2 it was kind of taboo to ask for stories, but every now and then you would get snippets from them of what really happened. And not the Hollywood interpretations that we grew up with.

    The ale that I mentioned was brewed to mark the anniversary of 'The Battle of Britain' Spitfire being an iconic part of that, I guess was the ideal name. Advertising wise I guess you are limited to using brazen call outs about the war and using the age old art of mockery. I believe they are slightly tongue in cheek, much in the way that we like to have a laugh at the French's expense, and constantly bring up Agincourt, and Waterloo.

    To show the other side to this I once watched a world cup match in a bar in Scotland. It was England Vs Germany. and the Scots were all cheering for Germany! Even though I was the only English person in the Pub and I was the centre of their mirth, I never felt any sense of abject hostility, just gentle ribbing and banter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolbenito View Post
    That is because those countries did not win. I don't mean that in a snarky way, it is just how it is.
    That would imply that these countries what ? Fret about the defeat? Man you are SO wrong that I even got a little angry .... And why would "these countries" not count it as a situation where they "won" ...France ...liberated....Italy dragged their killed Dictator through the streets....Greece, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Norway, Denmark, the Benelux, Sweden, Poland(which got screwed on so many levels), Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia(of the 45 million people that died in europe 26,6 came from russia ....thats more then 50% ....why wouldnt they feel like winning after the defeat of Germany) and every European nation I missed ...LIBERATED! (minus Spain...which stayed a national-facist dictatorship) And believe me 99% of the Germans see it as exactly that - Liberation .... we even have it ( not officially tough) that this day is called "day of the liberation from nationalsocialism and the end of the second world war" we do feel as the winners here, believe me on that.

    I might admit that I missed Russia ... Russia is also still quite focused on the 2. World War when it comes to rally the folks in some national pride (and not just for the far right) but most other nations on the list simply dont see it as something that has to be cultivated in a manner that only has the goal to cement prejudice and/or stereotypes.

    Not to get to far out here, as I dont want to do any injustice to the people in the UK ...but at least when it comes to their media I somewhat have that feeling ...well you know when in films there is a gang of youths ....and there is this leading boy, a prime example of a bully ...and he beats up kids that are smaller then him and the members of his little gang cheer and laugh and he is the center of attention and he feels great about it ....then the scene switches and its some 15 years later ...all his former gang-friends moved on, grew up .... only he ...he stayed the same and never moved further and still thinks when poking fun at somebody he gets the laughs , but he doesnt ...that moment when everybody just stares at him , shaking their heads ....and akward silence fills the room only his own laughter in the air.... whilst he realises that he wont get any positive reaction out of this stuff anymore ....this is how this situation presents herself to me .... dont know if I managed to get my point through.

    Last edited by Partisan; October 13th, 2012 at 11:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Partisan View Post
    . . . Every other country is kind of over it. . .
    Israel's still a bit cheesed off.

    The Mossad's still hunting elderly Nazis in Michigan or Argentina, or wherever!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AvP View Post
    I once watched a world cup match in a bar in Scotland. It was England Vs Germany. and the Scots were all cheering for Germany! Even though I was the only English person in the Pub and I was the centre of their mirth, I never felt any sense of abject hostility, just gentle ribbing and banter.
    When it comes to Football, Scots tend to support ABE, which is Anyone But England.

    If you draw say, France in the next World Cup , all the Scottish bars will do cheap Kronenbourg, everyone will get a free pint if France beat England, Sales of French shirts will peak, French loaves will be waved in the air in celebration.

    We still can't watch a game of international footie without constant references to 1966, you'd be positively unbearable if you did it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    Israel's still a bit cheesed off.

    The Mossad's still hunting elderly Nazis in Michigan or Argentina, or wherever!
    Solely talked about European countries here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Partisan View Post
    ....the UK is the only country left in Europe that is that "obsessed" (to some degree) with the 2. World War. Every other country is kind of over it, especially the Germans -not in account is rightful memory and remembrance to avoid such events from ever happening again.
    Partisan, I think that blanket statements like this are absolutely ridiculous.However, it does give me an excuse to post this:



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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Alright, so heres another question. Best alcohol in the UK - two categories, beer, and the hard stuff.
    Beer- Not really a big fan of beer, but the occasional pint of Guinness is lovely and I seem to remember really liking Newcastle Brown Ale in a previous life.

    Lager- UK lager is meh. It's drinkable and cheap but If you like the stuff you probably want something imported from Germany, Czech Republic etc. I like Budvar and Becks.

    Hard stuff- That would be Whisky. If it's not from Scotland or Ireland it's not whisky.
    My personal favourite is 10 year old Talisker, but it's an acquired taste and expensive.
    Highland Park is a good all rounder, as is Glenmorangie.
    At the cheap end of the market Whyte and MacKay is actually quite nice.

    Whisky is an odd, subjective sort of thing though. I've found 10 quid blended whisky that I've preferred to 30 quid single malts..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    Partisan, I think that blanket statements like this are absolutely ridiculous.
    Well call it ridiculous if you want, fact is you wont find another nation in Europe that is reffering to the second World War as much as the media and some corporations in the UK is/are. ( besides the usual Hitler/nazi references as soon as any given Bundeskanzler/in makes some hard choices with other nations involved, that is a common thing amongst most nations in Europe + that ALSO doesnt mean that you have a 2. WW reference in the news every hour of every day ...its simply a statement of quantity "more" or "as much" does not always mean "hilariously high numbers")

    Not everything is always a shade of gray, sometimes there are blanket statements that are true, like it is true that in the UK you have a very high number of media related references to the 2. World War. Which btw is nothing I would blame them for its simply stating it. And as most other countries in Europe dont have that particular mannerism one could clearly say that they are "over it". Not meaning that they in general have no interest in the second World War anymore , no, as I said we all share the remembrance and we all carry it forth for our generation and those to follow, to prevent such things from ever happening again BUT they simply dont treat it as it ended just last year or some 10 years ago ...they treat it with a certain kind of aloofness that focuses on not threating it like one big event to misuse to poke fun at another nation.

    and btw you sneaky bastard you ....you sneak in this video every now and then ! but glad to help you getting your fix ^^ and on this occassion ...this whole "dont mention the war" thing I dont get it either we Germans really do not have any sort of issues with the 2. World War ^^ but indead this video quite frankly illustrates the exact difference in mindset I more or less tried to explain here. This kind of comedy simply HAD to be from the UK.

    Last edited by Partisan; October 13th, 2012 at 11:41 PM.
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