This entry is kind of long, because I’ve noticed a recent rash of globally related observations. I’m going to insult a country. Not my own.
A year ago, I was living in England, and not having the greatest time. My job had been transferred from Brussels to London. As a family, we couldn’t bear the thought of actually living in London, so we rented a place about an hour southeast of the city. Here’s where I say something good about England. Our house was a dream. We definitely couldn’t afford it, but my wife and I saw it and figured: Look, we’re never going to have the chance to live in a place like this again in our lives. Might as well go into debt.
We were about a half kilometer from the road, in the country. The area was beautiful, like something out of a Merchant-Ivory production. We were on an estate, had access to more than 70 acres, including a private pond. Sheep and cows grazed in the field. Horses played in another section of the property. And we could see it all from our windows.
That covers the good. The bad was everything involving London and public services. Nothing was done right. The trains would stop running because there was snow on the ground. The utilities were always screwing something up. I would tell my wife whenever we were expecting any kind of service to be aware that it would be done wrong. And it was.
So I started insulting everything about the country. I once sent a friend of mine this lament over the looks of the populace:
In terms of beautiful people, I actually thought Belgium had the consistently best looking people in any of the countries I’ve been in. When I was commuting in NY, I used to say to myself, “If I see 5 beautiful women by the time I get to the office, I’ll have a good day. Didn’t always work out.
But when I got to Brussels, I would see 5 beautiful women within 15 minutes of getting on the tram, then I realized it didn’t matter how many I saw, because the day was still going to suck.
I’ve tried it in the UK, though. It takes weeks before I see 5 beautiful women here. One advantage of moving the from Brussels to London was that it exponentially improved the looks of this country.
OK, that was harsh. But it was one of those moments when the words just flowed. Anyway, a couple of days after sending that unjustified rant, I got this link from Germany:
Sweden: Club Sthlm VIP Stockholm
Swedish versus British Nightclubs Can you tell the difference?
UK: New Pig & Whistle (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne)
So can you tell the difference? Click on the photos if they aren’t big enough for you. Then click the above link. It gets worse. So let’s just say, I wasn’t feeling as guilty about my tirade against the U.K. on seeing this. Ever since then, a recurring theme has set in. Others who know me have been relaying their encounters with people ranting about the looks in the U.K. Like this message I received last week from a good friend in Belgium:
I thought of you today. I was at my priest’s for a counseling session. I brought up the issue of how to deal with attraction to women who aren’t your wife. “Well,” he said. “You could always just move to England. No nice-looking women there.”
A priest? This is like God agreeing with me. And I don’t consider myself religious. But the clincher, and what drove me to write this post, was this story today in Britain’s Daily Mail:
Global boss of Burger King brands British food ‘terrible’
…and he says the women are ‘unattractive’ too
The global boss of Burger King has had to apologise after branding British women unattractive and describing our country’s food as ‘terrible’.
The comments were made as Brazilian-born Bernardo Hees, 40, spoke to a group of U.S. students about the time he spent at the University of Warwick, where he was studying for an MBA.
Explaining he was able to focus on his studies because of a lack of distractions, he told the audience in Chicago: ‘The food is terrible and the women are not very attractive.
When I ramble on, I have to realize no one is going to take me seriously. But this is a global phenomenon. The countries represented in this post are the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Brazil and the U.K. It like the United Nations, and we all agree on one thing.
Now upon reflection, there are always exceptions. Prince William is getting married to Kate Middleton. He’s going to be the king of England. Of course, he’s going to find the only beautiful woman in the country. It’s good to be the king.
Kate Middleton arrives at The Concert for Diana at Wembley Stadium in London.