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Beautiful country but over-governed.
Published on August 5, 2008 By adnauseam In Blogging

I've blogged about this before but I was very negative at the time so I thought I would look at pros and cons this time around. By the way, how do other countries compare?

My wife and I spent a "gap" year in Britain in 2004/5. It was a wonderful experience . We wanted to be near our daughter who left South Africa in 1998 to marry an Englishman. As South Africans we found the Winter demanding but heated housing helped. The Summer was a surprise with the beauty of England exposed in all its glory. The fields of wheat, scurrying rabbits and pheasants, the magnificent hedgerows and the narrow country lanes entranced us. Summer in England with country markets, hotels with blooming baskets outside, and blossoming nature as we do not always see in South Africa, is exquisite (It's there but it's different); and the smell of fields being  harvested as you drive along those narrow country roads is special. Tractors and trailers held us up but we were in no hurry. Pheasants standing in a field pecking at insects and seeds slowed us too as we admired their beautiful plumage.

In Norfolk, our base, shooting is a premier sport so poor Mr pheasant does not get much of a chance! Oh, well, we shoot in South Africa too.

Apart from the weather which is intolerably unpredictable, there were also things we abhorred about the English way of life. The English seem to be obsessed with protecting you from the consequences of poor decisions. You cannot enter a chemist and ask for paracetamol without being subject to a lecture on its use and misuse. For goodness sake, it took me twenty minutes to persuade a doctor that I needed an anti-biotic for a sore throat! Speech: "Look I'm South African, I've just paid you twenty-five pounds. You WILL give me penicillin! I won.

Everyone is obsessed with rubbish bins (some even have spy chips built into them--to monitor your usage and recycling). Rubbish bins command more space in the British news than the Iraq war. And there is "fly-tipping"--sneaking a bag of rubbish out of your house and dumping it in a field or wherever. I became quite expert at fly -tipping.

I'm not going to go on too much because the "Nanny " state that Britain has become can make life unpleasant. One more story: The British love their dogs so they walk them often. Unfortunately Fido's owner must carry the right equipment for this walk. He will probably wear rubber gloves and have a special packet to pick up any detritus left by Fido. Said owner then has to keep his plastic bags overnight or find the nearest designated "dog pooh" bin.

My daughter has dogs so I was fortunate (?) on one occasion to visit one of these bins--they are disgusting and I would not let any man I know have to empty them. South Africans are not perfect but, and excuse the language, our dogs dump on the pavement. They dry out quickly and the wind  blows the remains to oblivion. Vulgar, yes but we're not any sicker than the British, our disease is  AIDS, not fly-borne disease.

I think I'll make the second part a little more humorous.

 

 

 


Comments
on Aug 13, 2008
You cannot enter a chemist and ask for paracetamol without being subject to a lecture on its use and misuse

Just go to a supermarket, you can buy packs of it there and no-one raises an eyebrow, let alone questions you. I've never been questioned at a chemist either, so it sounds like you just picked a very over-protective chemist to shop at!

South Africans are not perfect but, and excuse the language, our dogs dump on the pavement. They dry out quickly and the wind blows the remains to oblivion

After inflicting the punishment of countless people walking in it first. By not cleaning up after your dog you're making everyone else suffer for your own convenience, and so that is one of the policies I actually agree with. You shouldn't have to put it in a special bin though, any (public) rubbish bin will do! Rubbish bins on the other hand...well lets just say some councils policies on it are a complete mess!
on Aug 13, 2008
South Africans are not perfect but, and excuse the language, our dogs dump on the pavement. They dry out quickly and the wind blows the remains to oblivion


That's what us colonials have yards for.
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