by Simon Henry @simlington
The German newspaper Bild caused a kerfuffle this summer with its less than complimentary description of the English abroad.
We’re apparently obnoxious and drunk.
Here’s a riposte, written by a pink Englishman on a very hot Majorcan beach, surrounded by Germans.
It describes why Germans are an absolute pleasure to be with on holidays. May this start to smooth the strained relations between our two countries.
Can you imagine how unbearable the English abroad would be this summer if we’d just won the World Cup?
Completely unbearable is the answer.
Spain would currently be awash with English-themed flags, shirts, towels, hats and newly inked tats on English skin – not to mention rowdily patriotic singing and aggressively xenophobic body language.
Apart from the odd replica football shirt, you wouldn’t know most Germans here are actually German.
Even the most delightful, attractive and physically fit German women somehow manage to look like poorly made-up transvestites when they dress up for dinner.
This means the English heterosexual male is unlikely to get into trouble with the missus for gawping at nice German women in the resort’s bars and restaurants.
Many of the German men are under the misapprehension that the rat tail, mullet and poodle perm haircuts that made a short shameful appearance in the 1980s are still an acceptable option in 2014.
This means any half reasonable haircut looks really stylish – so Englishmen’s self esteem gets a much-needed boost, having been badly shaken by comparing their slightly flabby, white/pink bodies to the Spanish tanned, athletic ones.
Being a typical Brit, I know about five German words – three of them being ‘Auf wiedersehen, pet’, so I can’t understand a word the Germans are saying (I haven’t heard any of them discussing the cult TV show).
Not hearing stock phrases like: ‘Christ it’s hot’, ‘Another scorcher today’ and ‘Go get us an ice cream will you, love?’ is such a relief while you’re trying to relax.
Many English people abroad think other English people abroad will want to speak to them – on the grounds that they’re English and abroad.
You’re boring at home and you’re boring here, ‘mate’.
The German way is perfectly unobtrusive in comparison.
Not unfriendly – but certainly not liable to start an inane conversation about how many pints they drank at the Dog & Duck last night or how the Carling doesn’t quite taste the same as it does in Coventry.
I never thought I’d say this after the bad PR they get, but I’ll miss the Germans almost as much as I’ll miss the sun.
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Copyright Simon Henry @simlington 2014