Goodbye EU; hello Europe

And the Brexit storm continues to rage...

There has been so much speculation about the potential effects and non-effects of the UK's departure from the EU, it is starting to wear a little thin for some, or perhaps many. Here at Celsium, we were already bored to tears of hearing about it on the Friday the decision was announced, which is why we haven't written anything about it before now. Has nothing else been worthy of column inches other than the Britons' rejection of democracy?

Now, just because the UK voted out of the EU (by only a small majority) it doesn’t mean we don’t like Europe. Quite the opposite prevails, in fact. What the British population has rejected is inappropriate control from an unelected entity. Europe, however, remains a region that is very close to the heart of a lot of Brits; a region that is rich with diverse culture and history; a region that is on our doorstep and welcomes tens of millions of British visitors each year.

According to the ONS, in 2015 the top ten countries visited by UK residents for at least one night included not one, not two, but nine European destinations - the anomaly was the USA, as one might reasonably expect.  

Top 10 countries visited for at least 1 night, 2015

So if Europe is so dreadful, why do so many Brits go there? And that's the whole point; Europe isn't dreadful. It’s not a bad place at all. Apart from la France and Deutschland, of course.

The French spoil it all by littering their streets with canine fecal matter, a deeply unpleasant habit that will likely catch out the first-time visitor. They even have motorcyclists in Paris that go around sucking it up. They call them "motocrottes".

 
 

And the Germans spoil it all by having Angela Merkel. Now that really isn't funny, but it perfectly sums up the notion of comedy in Germany. Here is a picture of Frau Merkel after hearing Boris Johnson tell a joke about punctuality.

 
 

I've started so I'll finish. This is turning out to be much more fun than I imagined...

  • The Italians spoil it all by queue jumping and talking far too much.
  • The Spanish spoil it all by being late. Possibly due to a hangover.
  • The Dutch spoil it all by being just a little bit too honest.
  • The Belgians spoil it all by putting mayonnaise on chips. And fruit in beer.
  • The Greek spoil it all by talking louder than Americans. Imagine that.
  • The Swiss spoil it all by speaking French, Italian and German. That's an identity crisis waiting to happen, if it hasn't already.
  • And the Brits spoil it all by behaving terribly whilst on holiday, being pompous and arrogant, and generally ignorant of other cultures.

OK, settle down, this is just a little bit of fun, poking the finger at national stereotypes in an attempt to divert everyone's attention from the doom and gloom of a UK apocalypse. Let's call it an apocalypso - a little music and dance before the UK finally implodes; which we know will happen 'cos they said so on the telly.

Until then, I'm going to continue what I am able to do thanks to Europe: drive my Peugeot, buy Bratwurst from Lidl, eat Parma ham, drink Rioja, watch DVDs on my Philips DVD player, drink Leffe (and perhaps some more Rioja), listen to Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki), eat KitKats, and then throw it all up on Blackpool pier.

 

In the unlikely event that you find any content of this post even slightly offensive please let us know and we will arrange to supply you with a case of your favourite alcohol, a 6-month course of massage treatments, a copy of "A Practical Guide to Easing Tension and Conquering Stress" and a 6-week holiday at the COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali. *

In the meantime, happy trading within Europe and don't forget - Britain loves you.

* That's not true, either.

 

Cultural awareness training is one of the most important factors to consider when working overseas - even if the destination location speaks the same language as the origin. For more information about our invaluable cultural training programmes, please contact us.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK