Minicos: Geography.

2 Sep

As many of you will know, I am an English gentleman living it up in the Scotland. As “minorities” go, we’re one of the biggest – from memory, something like one in nine people living in Scotland are English. Now, I don’t quite know how this figure came about, nor do I know what it really means; does it mean that one person in nine, in Scotland, identifies them-self as English, or does it mean that statistically, one person in nine who live in Scotland was born there?

Either way, it’s not that important. One thing that mystifies me is that when an English person meets another English person in Scotland, it’s treated as some kind of novelty. “Oooh, where are *you* from?” they’ll ask. “I’m from Nuneaton!”, they’ll enthusiastically reply. “Oooh! Nuneaton!” will be the reply, before an awkward pause. “…I’m from Scarborough.”

On the inanity scale, it’s up there with “What’s your favourite member of Westlife?”, or “Who’s your favourite Bond?”.

I got asked where I was from today. The other person was English.

Now, out of politeness, I replied “South London”. I dunno, this person may be a new arrival to Scotland, so I didn’t want to be a dick or anything and spend five minutes on why it didn’t really matter.

I was, however, slightly startled with the response I got. “Oooh, you mean Hastings?”

HASTINGS.

HASTINGS ON THE SOUTH COAST.

HASTINGS WHERE WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR LANDED AND SHOT HARALD IN THE FACE WITH A CROSSBOW.

“No,” I said. “I’m not from Hastings. That’s by the sea.”

“Oh”, she said. (They always say “Oh.”).

“Well, it’s near enough the same thing”.

Now, fans of the popular discipline “Geography” will be well aware that Hastings is, indeed, near London, insofar that it’s nearer to London than, say, Moscow. It’s 60 odd miles away. Greater London is a fair old behemoth, but it ain’t that big. Other towns that fall inside a 60 mile catchment area of London are Canterbury, Oxford, and Cambridge. Crucially, nowhere near London. But this is unimportant.

I replied “Well, I’m from a small suburb called Sydenham, it’s near Lewisham.”

“Oh.”

“Where are you from, may I ask?”

“Cornwall.”

The temptation to ask if that was a suburb of Bristol was almost too much, but I managed to avoid it.

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2 Responses to “Minicos: Geography.”

  1. Dave Barnes September 3, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    That was hysterical!! That was like the time a guy asked where I was from, and I said Surrey, and he said “There’s no need to apologise”, to which he guffawed a bit at his own joke, until he stopped, realising that I wasn’t laughing!! I fixed him with a stony faced look and said “Weybridge” to be precise, and walked away. When out of sight, I then had a little chuckle at the lame joke!!

    Like

  2. MrTheKidd September 23, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    I had that in Australia, can’t remember the city, but it was near Sydney. Backpackers are always asking after hometown, so when asked by one of the great unwashed, I duly replied with “London'”, “Oh,”he said “I’m from London too!” “Whereabouts?” said I, being rather excited after meeting someone who lived about 5 minutes away (typical) “Essex”, “Well, that’s not London, is it?” “Yeah it is!” “No, it an’t, I live in Zone 3 and grew up there. Essex ain’t London” “Oh” deflated, he left. *shakes head* what are we to do?

    Like

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