Favourite Book(s) #14 – Watching the English by Kate Fox

A former colleague recommended this book to me following us having a lively debate at a meeting. After which I was advised, do you realise you are thinking with your Italian brain!

I recall looking at them thinking what on earth are you talking about? I ordered the book and devoured it in one lengthy work trip. Kate Fox writes a very engaging and amusing account of how the English are. The patience and queuing and the ability of saying sorry, if when it is not essential and suggests fault when there is no fault at all.

This book really made me think about what I do in certain situations. How my English & Italian brains kick in at particular intervals. In fact it was something I was not even aware I was doing, but clearly those around me could see it. Since reading this book I have really developed a love of watching people. Airports and coffee shops are my favourite places!

I can recall a day, long before I moved to Devon when I was waiting with my late Mum to cross a busy road. We had stood at the side of the road for quite a few minutes, when Mum told me afterwards, that I had simply walked into the middle of the road, waved my umbrella in the air and stopped the traffic. Mum said her heart was in her mouth as I had acted quite without thinking. Now, I realise that makes me sound like some crazy woman, but there was a slight lull in the traffic and I took advantage of it! – that was most certainly an Italian brain moment!

At the risk of having a Harry Potter moment, for those fans who might recall a scene in the first film when Finnegan says, he is “half & half, his dad is a Muggle and his mum is a Witch, bit of a nasty shock when he found out….” So, if you are half and half, do you see differences between your different nationalities? (and Harry Potter features later on in this series!)

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