Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Culture Shock Diary #5 - I've been to the UK... Dublin...

OK, this one is a little mean given that I have made a number of embarassing mistakes about people's home countries and/or had to keep my mouth shut and look it up on Wikipedia later (my roommate comes from St Thomas, which is a US overseas territory in the Carribean, but I didn't know that at the time). Having said that, Ireland's been a separate country for some time now, I don't see either it or the UK as particularly obscure on the scale of country obscureness* and (and this is the clincher) - surely if you've been there you should know what country you're in!**

* I guess 1, least obscure would be say the US or China, while 10, most obscure would be something like Niue or Lichtenstein. I would have put the UK at about a 2 or 3 (maybe a 3 people everyone thinks it's called England), but now I'm beginning to wonder. Maybe our fall from power has been greater than I realised!

** In the interests of fairness it's worth noting that at least no-one has thought Ireland was in England (though I'm sure once I venture from the confines of an IR school someone will), and, on the two occasions when someone has made this mistake, it has subsequently transpired that they were confusing 'the UK' for 'the British Isles' and were in fact aware that Ireland was a country. One of the people also thought Scotland and Wales were independent countries and the UK was a geographical term, the other had it pretty much right except for confusing British Isles, Great Britain and UK, which, to be fair, is confusing.

No comments:

Post a Comment