Saturday 27 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter X

Letter X of My Favourite Books by title
A series of guides

The Xenophobe's guides cover a huge selection of countries and are a sort of tongue-in-cheek, blantant look at each country's culture and quirks. They are described as: "Highlights the unique character and behavior of the nation. Frank, irreverent, funny--almost guaranteed to cure Xenophobia."

I own these three guide:

I started with the Aussie one, which my Aussie boyfriend at the time thought was dreadful and bias, and thus bought me the English one, which I found just as funny - and accurate. Here's a snippet from the Aussie one:

'Aussies do say "G'day." At all levels of friendship, all levels of formality and all levels of family familiarity. The first word between two lovers in the morning is "G'day." The other main greeting would have to be "G'day mate." The reason why this brief greeting has such universal acceptance is simple: it's the flies. The longer your mouth is open the more flies that can crawl in.'  

The English one states at the beginning that the British believe their nation is superior to every other nation on the planet, and even though other nations tell them that they are not, they still secretly believe that other nations secretly know that they are superior. This had me in stitches (as a Brit myself) because it is so accurate - personally Brexit highlights this more than anything! 
And now I live in Holland, the Dutch guide became relevant too as an overview of what to anticipate, living here.  Here's a snippet about the Dutch and how they feel about Germans: 

“There is no one more likely to rouse the Dutch from their customary cheerfully benign state than a German. The Dutch see the Germans as arrogant, noisy, rigid and intolerant – everything in fact that the Dutch are not. They are wary of a nation that shows such a passion for living in forests. But usually they don’t even bother to try and explain. They simply do not like Germans. Telling a Dutch person that their language seems very similar to German is unlikely to benefit your relationship. Remarking that the two nations seem rather alike in many ways will probably get you thrown out of the house.”

And also how they talk to each other:

“Verbally, the Dutch express their disgust by damning things on behalf of God, and they insult each other with liberal reference to genitalia and bodily functions. This abuse is sometimes hard to distinguish from affection. Scheetje (little fart) or drolletje (little turd) are both terms of tender endearment.”

And yes, having lived here 17 years now and being an official citizen, these are accurate. 😉

For a good laugh and an insider view on a culture these guides are not to be missed.

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