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How did the Americans even know about Mr. Bean? It's only telecasted in Britain.
Mr Bean is on DVD !!
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Cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K. really depend on specific regions, personal lifestyle, and other factors. In the U.S., how friendly or how rude the population seems to be on a general basis varies from state to state, or distinctive region. For instance: One might say people in the Southern U.S. have a more neighborly demeanor than people in metropolitan areas. It's difficult to try to outline every one of these trends, and I doubt that even a few of them could be applied to the population at large. In fact, that would just seem offensive and misinformed. I doubt anyone appreciates being culturally pigeon-holed.
The big mistake that both Americans and the British make is believing that they have more in common than they actually do because they speak a common language.
If only that were true! Maybe it was once, but it now seems acceptable to make any amount of noise on a train or bus. Some parents of small children seem to pass the time by seeing how loudly they can get their little ones to scream. It's time for those of us who still believe that silence is golden to shout it from the rooftops. Ah... that's the problem, isn't it?
P. Pianissimo
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I am British, and people can't stand being near me because i talk so loud without realising!Emotion: zip it! but that's the Welsh for you! Emotion: wink
there obsesed with 9/11 because their loved ones were well, killed...
I lived my first 28 years in the UK and spent the next 18 years in the US. Your observation is so wrong I don't even know where to begin but I'm so incensed by your ignorance I'm going to try...

"on British public transport you will always find yourself staring at the back of someone's head. This is because the British favour silence over conversation"


You clearly have never been on British public transport. Not only do seats face each other but they are far more intimate based (relative to US based subways) on the age of the system. The London Tube incorporates the oldest section of underground railway in the world making it far smaller.

Need some photographic evidence?

I see seats facing each other. What do you see?

"an American would begin talking to me once I made eye contact"

So American's are more friendly than the British? The sweeping statements just keep on coming....

To also bundle an entire nations character traits as you have is beyond ignorant. I need only travel on public transport in New Jersey and then New York to see enormous differences. And don't be tempted to make more stereotypical assumptions that New Yorker's are the rude ones. When my wife was pregnant with our first child 'Manhattanites' routinely gave up their seat on the subway, something that was very rare on the predominantly New Jersey based Path system.

"the British favour silence over conversation, and consider it rude to have open (or "loud") conversation in public space."

No they don't.

That you "found it unlikely that [you] would strike up a conversation with a British stranger" is more indicative of your inability to communicate. Perhaps that's a rhetorical observation on my part given that the statement is clearly based on your short sighted stereotypical observations above.

Some people criticize American's for their lack of global culture experience and their insular perspective. This may be based on the scary stat that (dependent on your source) as few as 7% own a passport, one of the lowest rates in the world.

At the risk of being called a hypocrite I won't fall into that trap but given the ignorance of your comments it would be easy to do so.
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I couldn't have said it better myself!
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