TRIVIA: Practices that are peculiar to the UK

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AY1975, 8 Oct 2019.

  1. 341o2

    341o2 Established Member

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    Yes, we now have Beryl Bikes in Bournemouth, the theory is that you collect your bike from a designated parking bay and return it to another at the end of the rental period. The bikes are "secured" by a lock on the back wheel. It was not long before the local lads managed to learn how to break the lock and bikes started being dumped all over the place including being thrown into the local river.
    Beryl offered an amnesty to try and recover some of the bikes, but it seems doomed to go the way of other similar schemes where theft and vandalism have made them unviable
     
  2. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Including the fact that, apparently, smoke in Germany goes down rather than up.
     
  3. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    With ordering at the bar vs. table service, I like both in different ways. I do enjoy table service when I go abroad as it means I don't have to go anywhere, but it also means you have to wait ages for the bill if its really busy. Ordering at the bar means you can just leave as soon as you've finished your drink, which is good if you have a bus or train to catch. Conversely, I find ordering at the bar can be a hassle if there is a massive queue, the bar staff can't hear you amongst the crowd, and you have to try not to spill the drinks on the way back.

    I don't understand why 'spoons is so popular in the UK (well, I do - its cheap!). Bar staff who are just robotic, and it clearly feels like a bland chain, no matter how many local beers or local pictures they have. The increase of 'micro-pubs' and the like is most welcome though, and its like a different world to a grotty spoons.

    I'm glad I like beer a lot more than I used to now, as cider seems very much a British thing and hard to find on my travels. Its incredibly rare to find decent cider in continental Europe. Its very popular in Frankfurt, Germany (and apparently Stuttgart), but for some reason not elsewhere it seems. Tallinn in Estonia also have locally made cider in a few places too. A lot of the supermarket cider in Europe is often the 'Somersby' type stuff which just tastes like fruit juice with alcohol in it. I am surprised its so uncommon compared to the UK.
     
  4. Struner

    Struner Member

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    Why do you think finding it is incredibly rare? It’s very much an English thing, is it not?
     
  5. SHD

    SHD Member

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    Cider is very popular in France, especially in Normandy and Brittany. Although French cider is generally sweeter than UK types, good ciders of the “brut” variety have a distinguishing flavor that is very far away from “fruit juice with alcohol”. It goes very well obviously with crêpes (sweet wheat pancakes) and galettes (savoure buckwheat pancakes) but it is also highly recommended with seafood, as a sauce base for poultry, etc.
     
  6. Struner

    Struner Member

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    A lot of cultures have a way to “preserve” apples. Perhaps cider lovers should go & look for the local variety...
     
  7. AndrewE

    AndrewE On Moderation

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    People should try the North coast of Spain if they enjoy cider and want to see a most unusual serving and drinking technique.
    I think anywhere too high and cold or wet for grapes has a cider tradition, it's just not heavily advertised but you can usually find it.
     
  8. Struner

    Struner Member

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    & it will be a different cider every time...
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Probably so thick with cigarette smoke that they wouldn't notice which way it went :D

    There's another one - other European countries, particularly Germanic ones, see far more tobacco smoking.
     
  10. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Perhaps exaggerating when I say incredibly rare, but cider is still more difficult to find than in Britain, and less popular. In our supermarkets for example, there is usually a wide range of ciders available (and not just the mainstream stuff either, M&S often has ciders from smaller companies) and also in our pubs and restaurants.

    Yes northern France is also a good example, and I have found some craft Polish cider too in Warsaw.
     
  11. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    I've certainly noticed that, there seems to be a noticeable difference with the UK. It's also available to buy from dispensing machines in the street - I've seen examples in Belgium, Germany and Italy. Which surely must make it easy for underage people to buy!
     
  12. Struner

    Struner Member

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    Less popular! So that’s why.
    Why should you have cider when you can get a proper pilsner?
    Haven’t come across British lager anywhere else.
     
  13. TheSeeker

    TheSeeker Member

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    Vending machines in Belgium almost always have beer and until recently anyone could buy it. Beer can be bought at 16 here and most young peoples first experience of it is in the Scouts, youth club or their football club.

    They tightened up the law a couple of years ago and now you have to put your ID card in a slot to prove your age before it will vend a beer.

    Once saw a group of American students in Gare du Midi and one shouted "You can buy beer in a vending machine!" :)

    My Dad always said that an old 5p was the same size coin as a Deutsche Mark and always took a bag with him on his trips to Germany to buy cigarettes from vending machines.
     
  14. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Cider is a very popular drink in Ireland...
     
  15. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    In Southern Europe , its often cheap somersby cider.
     
  16. Cloud Strife

    Cloud Strife Member

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    Family-friendly pubs is definitely a beautiful UK/Irish thing that doesn't exist so much elsewhere. It's not a big deal in the south where the cafe culture is so strong, but quite frustrating in northern Europe.

    Living in Poland, the concept of a "local pub" is completely non-existent in the culture, and it's much to my enduring frustration. However, almost every village has a village hall, and this is the centre of the village social scene.

    A friend of mine lives close to the Czech border, and his local pub is in the Czech Republic. He's always remarking how it's ridiculous that he has to cross an international border just to have a pint.
     
  17. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Well lots of people who like cider arn't so keen on beer, and vice versa.
     
  18. Struner

    Struner Member

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    Wasn’t talking about beer...:E
     
  19. Tom B

    Tom B Established Member

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    The benefit I would see as being the same as any chain - if you are in an unfamiliar city/town, you know you can go to a spoons and you know what you'll get there.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Cider's good if you're gluten-free. In Germany you're limited to wine, really.
     
  21. GusB

    GusB Established Member

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    Fortunately that's an issue that many breweries are now addressing. When my late father was diagnosed as coeliac he was rather disappointed to have to give up beer, but we were fortunate to find a gluten free ale brewed locally, and handily stocked by Sainsbury's.
     
  22. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    I agree, and I've sometimes ended up in them for that reason. They do have a good selection in them too, to be fair.

    But i'd much prefer to not go to a spoons, and if you have a smartphone, Google Maps and Tripadvisor are quite easy to use to find a better alternative.
     
  23. TheSeeker

    TheSeeker Member

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    An American friend who had been living in Belgium for many years always ate pizza in Pizza Hut. We said "Mike, it's horrible, defrosted and put in the oven. There are so many proper pizza restaurants here where they make it in front of you". He replied "I like what I like and don't go for that European style pizza".

    I was trying to explain the attraction of Greggs to a colleague. Sometimes factory made crap is exactly what you need.
     
  24. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    I would guess that gluten-free beer might not be deemed to comply with the centuries-old German beer purity law (the "Reinheitsgebot"), though.
     
  25. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    Yes, and holding a referendum about something that has already happened to ask whether it should have happened rather than before it happens (as with the 1975 EEC membership referendum), and only requiring a simple majority of votes cast for a major constitutional change (as with the 2016 Brexit referendum, although to be fair the 1975 ref also only required a simple majority. Both the 1975 and 2016 referendums were technically only advisory but the governments of the day said they would abide by the result).

    AFAIK referendums in Ireland are also generally done on a simple majority basis, but at least they have a more sophisticated system in place to ensure that the voters are properly informed about the issues involved. Most other countries would require some form of minimum threshold to trigger a constitutional change, such as 40% or 50% of eligible voters, or even a supermajority of say 60, 65 or 66% either of votes cast or of all eligible voters. In Australia, constitutional changes require a majority of votes both countrywide and in a majority of States. Similarly, I believe that in Switzerland a majority of votes both countrywide and in a majority of Cantons is required for such a change.

    Another thing that is peculiar to the UK (and a small handful of other countries) is not having a proper codified constitution. This means that the Government and parliament are (in theory) free to amend our uncodified constitution at will, and that there is no clearly defined procedure for making amendments to our constitution.
     
  26. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    That does have the advantage of allowing our constitution to evolve gradually without judges trying to decide what the authors meant 200 years ago.
    The US constitution seems to cause all sorts of issues (though you could argue that a politically appointed Supreme Court exacerbates that significantly.
     
  27. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    The US Constitution doesn't cause many problems other than enshrining the outmoded electoral college system.
    A written constitution doesn't prevent evolution. Using the USA as an example, the most recent amendment was ratified less than 30 years ago rather than 200 (though, there is an interesting story about that particular amendment).
     
  28. datdad

    datdad Member

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    Hi there, I had thought that the new state religion was set up by a king who wanted to marry another woman, which implies that something lower than his fingers motivated the man. Just a thought .
     
  29. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    An interesting choice of words considering that a significant proportion of Americans don't believe in evolution.
     
  30. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    It's not that high a percentage. They're vocal, but not that numerous.
     

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