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This is a question Brits Abroad

Union jack shorts, bulldog t-shirts, bars named after soap operas, hen parties in Malaga. Tell us about your encounters with the worst (or best) of our fair country's travelers around the world. Alternatively, tell us about your own doomed quest to find a decent cup of tea in Moscow.

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:01)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

"The English Pub"
Is it's actual name, in Reykjavik. I made the mistake of agreeing to have ice in my cider and was rewarded with a half and half; half a pint of ice and half a pint of cider. This was draught as well.

On the up side it was ok cider (Kopparberg, I think) and not some Special Brew equivalent.

tl;dr never let an Icelander put ice in your drink if it's on draught. This probably applies more generally as well.

As for encounters with Brits, they mostly consisted of English tourists on Spanish beaches struggling to ask me things in stuttering, phrasebook Spanish before I interrupted them with the 'Actually, I'm not Spanish...' spiel.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:58, 6 replies)
Turns out we're not that bad.
If you think the Brits abroad are bad - you obviously haven't been to a resort thick with Russians. Like alcoholic Americans with terrible fashion sense. And fuck me, the Chinese are just as bad but with added smoking and an overwhelming desire to photograph EVERY.FUCKING.THING.

I have to say, find a resort frequented by Germans. Despite their well known penchant for towel based sunbed reservations, they are generally very good company and won't stand for anything less than perfect. Brits might grumble, Germans will demand a 100% refund and a taxi back to the airport - schnell!
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:46, Reply)
Some years ago, I was in Bangkok with a mate for a couple of days before we went island-hopping*. As luck would have it, our hotel had designated drivers who would show you round, all day, wherever you wanted to go, day or night for the equivalent of about 15 quid. We struck up with a really nice guy - Mr Yao a really good speaker of English who, once we'd let him know we were not interested in dodgy watches/suits/gold deals/hookers showed us some really great places in his home town. He even took us to the taxi driver's bar where we were probably among the very few white faces they'd seen in there.
On our second night, he took us round the bars of Patpong, explaining to the Mama San in each one that we were just there for a drink and a laugh so we weren't bothered by the hookers. Went into one sleazy joint with a horseshoe runway with poles along it, got our seats and watched the show.
There was a group of Manc lads** - about 6 or 7 - making drunken Mancunian arses of themselves (quel surprise) - almost slavering over the ladies cavorting round the poles.
Each girl was wearing a standard bikini with a large number badge on it, the Manc lads were calling over the girls by number, paying the Mama San and buying their girls drinks, getting lairier by the minute. Once they'd all picked a girl, had their drinks and started their tonsil hockey, they all left.
Mr Yao was crying with laughter, the Mama San was pleased as lots of her girls had made their evening's money so she came to sit with us. Between his laughter, Mr Yao translated the Mama San's explanation of his hilarity.

It was a ladyboy bar.
All of the 'Girls'*** were, in fact, men. The Mancs had paid for the evening's company of a bunch of trannies.

Cheered me up no end when I saw one of the aforementioned Mancs, looking sheepish at the airport the next day ready to board the flight to Koh Samui.

*It had been an ambition to go to a full-moon party on Haad Rin Beach. Done that now (I was probably the oldest person there)
**We could tell by the pastel polo shirts
***They may have been men but they were excrutiatingly pretty.

Tl:dr - manc idiots paid for tranny hookers
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:43, 7 replies)
On the way back to our holiday flats after a heavily-ouzoed evening at one of the local Brit-friendly bars (although every bar and restaurant on the entire island appeared to fit that criterion), a couple of the lads in our group started arguing about whether Greek men were inherently chauvinistic and whether the honour of a female member of our party needed defending, after she'd been hit on in a spectacularly clumsy fashion by a local guy at the bar whose sole charm lay in his bulging muscles.

By the time we'd got to the small car park behind the villas that housed the apartment complex's dumpsters, voices were beginning to be raised and, in best "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" tradition, the lads started pushing and shoving each other around. The resultant shouting and grappling and clanging and swearing triggered the appearance of a wild-haired Greek in a string vest on his balcony opposite us, shouting whatever the Greek is for "STAY ABOUT FROM MY BINS!"
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:42, 1 reply)
Many years ago at a little university in a little Canadian city
where the winters are long and fucking cold..., A history lecturer from some Midlands university showed up for a year's exchange accompanied by his Spanish wife Josephina.
Josephina's (Hozafina to the locals) sole topic of conversation was how cold it was. The ladies persuaded her that she needed a real coat, made for a real winter.
The next soiree, she showed up in a full length mink coat. She was very pleased.
Her husband insisted that his own coat, a tweed from his London bespoke tailor, could not possibly be surpassed.
The students called him popsicle.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:40, Reply)
*Suggests talking loudly and slowly to make forrins understand because that joke has probably never been said before*

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:25, 6 replies)
Already getting tired of hearing 'wordly wise' snobs putting down people for taking a stash of their favourite teabags.
I've news for you - when you get there, you're still just another gringo. You're still ordering off the tourist menu, just like everyone else. As I see it, it's my holiday, and I'll take what I want.

The British-Indian couple next to me in Corfu a few years ago brought an entire spice rack and hardly ate out at all. And one evening they came round to raid my 'kitchenette' for kit and proceeded to lay on a slap-up feast for a load of us which was the first curry our Greek hosts had ever tried. Can't knock that. And in case you're wondering, Mythos goes great with a curry.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:56, 11 replies)
Whilst on holiday in Amsterdam, the wife and I unwittingly found ourselves in an English pub.
Much like everywhere else we went that week, it had a pleasant atmosphere, and the staff were very friendly. Unlike everywhere else, the staff and customers spoke unaccented English, and I didn't feel the need to try out my appalling Dutch.
We had a couple of drinks, then went out and bought some chips to eat on the way back to the hotel. A very pleasant evening.
Brits abroad, eh?
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:39, 5 replies)
All you need to travel the world is a black umbrella.
If Johnny's too lazy to understand his own bloody lingo, simply prod him in the chest and say loudly "NOW LISTEN HERE!"
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:34, Reply)
I went to Japoon once.

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:31, 9 replies)
Some idiotic friend of mine thought three of us would have fun if we spent a week in Malia. Naturally we didn’t – a good omen of what to come was the first pub we saw being called the Rover’s fucking Return.
After a single day in the area, spent being barged variously by ‘OY OY’ bellowing pricks and dismayed pensioners, I’d had enough, and was getting ready to go off and find a place for myself in the hills so I could eat olives and whatnot and generally pretend I’m better than everyone else. But first a drink.

It was a deserted pub. I took a seat at the bar and waited for staff to appear. No-one was forthcoming. I coughed, scraped my chair ostentatiously, even whistled. Then just as I was about to leave someone walked up through the hatch in the floor.
It’s pointless saying this here, but she genuinely was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. And utterly charming. Her name meant ‘Happy’ in English. Her family owned the bar, and she was just working there until she could move to England. I stayed in that bar, alone, for the next six hours, being as brilliant as I possibly could until she agreed to meet me after her shift. But it was VERY important we be discreet, as behind all the Brit-baiting guff this was a very orthodox, religious community, and consorting with some package holiday oik would land her in a world of trouble. I nodded eagerly – anything for her. “Ok,” she said. “Meet me outside the church, two miles up the road, at midnight.”
I ran back to my apartment where my friends were shaving and all that cock, getting ready for a night of shots puke and AIDS. “I’m not coming out with you, you fucking cretins!” I bellowed joyously as I frantically brushed my teeth. “I’ve met someone, a real SOMEONE, not some scab-minged trollop from Burnley, a real GODDESS! And we’re going to BE TOGETHER!” And I shot past the losers and back out into the night.
By my reckoning I had an hour to find this church, so I set off on foot. I was very quickly away from the resorts and bars and hotels (our apartment was cheap for a reason), and after a mile found myself on a deserted road surrounded by fields. I was beginning to lose hope, when through the gloom I saw it – a beautiful, white house of god, sat nestled among a handful of villas with a stunning public square in front of it. No-one was about. I took a seat on a low wall, and waited.

Then the worries kicked in.
I didn’t know this woman. She’s already said she’s close to her family and very conservative. Why on earth is she interested in me? She’s way out of my league. And I’m a tourist. A lone tourist at that. A lone, drunk, tourist in an isolated place at dark … Hold on a minute. This is a fucking setup. That bitch and her Greek fuck brothers are going to mug me. SHIT. I must find a weapon!
I scrabbled around until I found an absolute belter of a rock. Like an enormous pumice stone, suitable for both stabbing and bludgeoning. I leapt over and crouched up against the wall, hiding, waiting, brandishing my lethal igneous club. “Those crooks have underestimated me!” I thought as I silently swiped and parried at imagined foes. “NOW who’s the mug?”
I heard a moped coming.
I peeped over the wall, ready to pounce and attack the marauding Mods. But it was just her. I watched her pull up in the square and glance around, puzzled. I waited for her backup to turn up. They didn’t. There was nothing for it – I had to take a chance. I rammed the terrible stone deep into my pocket, silently vaulted back over the wall, and swaggered up to her. “Just you then?” I said. I didn’t waggle my eyebrow knowingly, but I felt I should have.
Of course it was just her. And she seemed genuinely happy I’d turned up. Before I knew it, like some shit film we were locked in an embrace, kissing chastely in front of a church in a deserted Mediterranean street at midnight, and muttering a load of bollocks in two different languages. It remains to this day the most implausibly romantic scene I’ve ever been involved in, and for a moment, under the stars, I saw a wonderful future ahead of us.

And then it all went to shit.

She’d said she was conservative. She’d explained she was religious. We met at a church, for fuck’s sake. She was clearly nervous about all this, and I had to understand this was a slow burning thing. And I did. I had told her I did. I wasn’t going to rush anything.
So why the FUCK, she suddenly wondered, was I rubbing a hideously large, grotesquely girthed, implausibly firm erection against her minge?
She stepped away in fear and stared at me. Stared at my crotch. There was no hiding it – I was a monster. A whale-dicked abnormality. A threat to the virginal sanctity of the whole island. What could I say? “OH NO, IT’S NOT MY VIOLENTLY STIFF PENIS, IT’S JUST THE ROCK I WAS GOING TO BEAT YOU TO DEATH WITH”?
She was crying as she leapt back onto her moped and rode into the night. Dejected, I walked back to my apartment, went out with my friends, and caught chlamydia. Again.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:17, 16 replies)
Americans don't do rounds it seems
More than once when I lived in San Francisco, I was accused of "drinking like an Englishman", to which I could only plead guilty. Then I went and bought my own drinks while the Shermans made one "pint" last all evening.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:11, 6 replies)
there's been a few
one being the family who wrote down their order every time they went to the bar. not to make sure they got their order right, but to add up the prices and ensure they'd drunk the equivalent of what they'd paid for the holiday. i never once saw the dad outside the bar, not even at mealtimes.

worse, though, was the group of 5 women(i won't say girls, they were a bit old for that)who'd decided to bring hardly any cash with them. they reasoned that, if they hit on pissed-up blokes in a different bar each night, they'd get all their booze bought for them. it seemed to work, but i dread to think of what they might have caught.

on the whole, i've had some great times and met some lovely people, who seem to understand that they're not in england any more.
but then, it only takes one arsehole to ruin it for everyone. i might tell you about him later.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 15:02, 5 replies)
I have discovered that there is no greater truism than whenever you travel abroad the first
replica football shirt you will see is a Burnley top. No one knows why.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 14:56, 17 replies)
Sri Lanka wanker
Touring in Sri Lanka, 1995, Lahndener couldn't understand that when asking someone, for whom English is a second or third language, for an orange-flavoured sparkling beverage, pronouncing the "T" rather than relying on a glottal stop might have got him his bottle of "Faaan-a" a lot sooner.

See also, continual complaining about the forrin food, and then when we were given a roast beef dinner, he complained about the fact the beef wasn't cooked to his liking.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 14:54, 1 reply)
The grass is not greener
Went to Sharm el Sheik expecting to be packed into a hotel with hordes of other angry sunburnt alcoholics but it turned out there were almost no Brits in our hotel at all, just Russians and Italians.

Turns out they're piss annoying as well.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 14:47, Reply)
Wherever you are in the world
A box of PG Tips and a jar of Marmite will see you all right. Pretty much anything else can be bought locally (for a price) but if you don't have the basic essentials then you're going to be very unhappy.

Oddly enough, I don't even eat that much Marmite when I'm in Blighty, but I do develop a strange craving for it when abroad.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 14:11, 55 replies)
As an Englishman, when on holiday I enjoy beach towels emblazoned with the German flag.
I get out to the poolside as early as I can, and get those towels right down on the deckchairs. Nothing amuses me quite as much as knowing that there'll be some terrible fellow Brits getting dangerously racist about the whole thing.

On the few occasions where they just have to pass comment, I reply (in flawless English with a badly affected accent) with an insult it takes them half a minute to distinguish from a compliment (the people who get angry about this sort of thing are usually very thick indeed).

I implore you... if you ever see some German flag towels, get them for your own holidays, as this never grows old.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 14:07, 1 reply)

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:45, 1 reply)
one of my dad's old colleagues went to tenerife with his wife every year
for the same 2 weeks, to the same resort.

every year, they took a separate suitcase, packed with english teabags, walkers crisps and other such british delicacies. because god forbid they should accidentally eat any spanish food. they even took oxo cubes with them.

i wish this were a "one year the wife forgot the oxo cubes and the husband had to go to the shop and say, 'ast any bisto'" pun. but no. the truth is sadder than any pun. even an amorous badger star wars pun.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:44, 9 replies)
The Rhythm of the White
Carnival, Rio de Janiero, 2000

Being somewhat drunk on cheap beer & caipirinhas, I attempted to samba in the street. I didn't care that I gathered a crowd of laughing locals, giggling at the pathetic attempts at their national dance by a crazy (and ludicrously pale) foreigner. They even applauded when I finished, though I doubt it was in appreciation of my rhythmic skills.

I was less sanguine to be told by my relatives that it was broadcast on national television later that day. I probably still turn up on "Brazil's Funniest Videos" programs...
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:40, 2 replies)
This question has ruined my birthday.
I hope you're happy.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:38, 5 replies)
I have enjoyed holidays outside of the UK.

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:37, 2 replies)

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:32, Reply)
1998, I was in a nightclub in Rio,
a work colleague introduced me to a friend, who was extremely attractive, but pissed out of her face.

After a few minutes of pointless banter, she looks at me and says "You know, you English, you come over here and think you own the place. You're actually quite unwelcome here".

Slightly bemused, I reported the incident to my colleague who says "Oh, don't worry, she gets like that after a few drinks".

Anyway, to cut a long story short, me and the pissed girl have been married for 12 years now.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:12, 3 replies)
Can we ban all the Australians please?

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:10, 4 replies)
3rd is there a bronze medal?

(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:06, Reply)
The main reason so many chavvy Brits shame the rest of us abroad is because it's often cheaper to take a nasty package break overseas than it is to have a holiday in the UK.
Anyone with a ghastly regional accent, Lizzy Duke jewellery and sets of Sports Direct leisure wear should not be allowed a passport.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:06, 8 replies)
Bloody Germans, putting their towels down on the deck chairs
V Yes, you, down there V
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:05, 1 reply)
I can stop looking at these shit questions now.
(, Thu 24 Apr 2014, 13:04, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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