By dint of comparing ourselves to others, we always end up coming across details that we lack. Including our English neighbours, of whom we could, if we looked closely, envy two, three, even a dozen odds and ends made in England.
1. Their sense of humor
The English are proof that ridicule does not kill. Generations have indeed survived the comic horrors of Monty Python, Oscar Wilde, Mister Bean, Benny Hill, or more recently Sacha “Borat” Cohen. Enough to develop a keen sense of self-mockery within British society, which is felt even in the improbable mop of hair of their current Prime Minister! Well, otherwise, we have the best redneck jokes. It’s not bad Bigard too.
2. Their TV series
Utopia, Truth Seekers, Peaky Blinders, Years and Years, Black Mirror, Luther, Broadchurch, Fleabag… the English series reflect British culture, a mixture of eccentricity, scathing irony and a phlegm inherited from their ancestors. Enough to compete with our Captain Marleau!
3. Their pubs (well their pubs what!)
When did we screw up, we French, so that our local bistros turned into harbors of PMU players, antechambers of meetings of alcoholics and depressives anonymous? No one is offering to spend their evening in a bistro with dignity, whereas on their side, the English regularly end their day in the pub, without risking being taken for big beef!
4. Their passion for sports
Before, we called it “supporterism” before extremist thugs transformed the term into a fascistic addiction by its radicalism and its hatred of the other. Still, the English have a real sporting culture. In football in particular, which brings families together in stadiums every weekend, including in the lower divisions. Here, we support our club from father to son and from mother to daughter, whatever the sport: rugby, cricket… the fervor is the same.
5. Their chips
Without the English, we would still be nibbling on salty chips. Fortunately, crisps with vinegar, bacon, onion and other English wonders have managed to cross the Channel to brighten up our aperitifs! God saves the crisps!
6. Their sense of celebration
Already, people who have succeeded in imposing that we could start toasting at 6 p.m., deserve our eternal respect. To the great despair of early goers who no longer have any excuse to prefer an evening in front of the TV to a party with friends. This sense of celebration goes hand in hand with an innate talent for letting go, sweeping away the rumors and other flashbacks!
7. Their sartorial eccentricity
What do the crested punk look and the fashion for ugly Christmas jumpers have in common? England of course! All you have to do is stroll through Top Man or the virtual shelves of ASOS to taste this totally assumed sartorial extravagance, which today participates in forging the British art of living.
8. Their mother tongue
The advantage of being born or growing up in England is that foreign languages immediately become incidental. 375 million people around the world speak English as their first language. They are an additional 750 million to learn it as their first language! Plus, no one at school is going to screw them over with Latin lessons, or worse, ancient Greek. And that’s still not bad!
9. Their breakfast
Of course, you have to love the taste of sausage accompanied by beans and toast with onion jam right out of bed! But the advantage of the English breakfast is that it sticks to the body and allows you to reinvigorate yourself after the excessive liquids of the evening before.
10. Their Weather
For a long time, we didn’t give a damn about their rotten weather. But at the time of global warming, many would like to observe with envy the few clouds and drops of rain that regularly fall on the treacherous Albion. And it doesn’t matter that there too it is 32 degrees in the sun in the middle of summer, it will always be more livable than our 50 degrees in the shade!