I woke up in London and had half a breakfast. The British people are polite. They told me the truth. They would never give you half a breakfast and tell you that it was a whole breakfast.
They gave me a whole pot of tea. That was very nice of them.
The British people wait patiently for their turn, in a line which they call a “queue”. Queue is a funny word. All you really need is the letter “q”. I guess the other four letters – ueue – are patiently waiting in line.
I saw some smiling faces. These are not British people. British people are polite, but prefer to be serious. If you see a British person smiling, he or she is having a very good time indeed.
These are people from France. French people like to smile, even if they do not have a good reason. One of them is getting married soon. Can you guess which one? Neither can I.
Although this photo has nothing to do with being polite, and the people in the photo are not even British, I still used it as the cover of the book. It’s the nicest photo in the book.
If a cyclist runs into someone walking in the park, the cyclist apologizes at once. The person who was hit smiles politely, cleans the blood from the sidewalk, waits patiently for the ambulance, and tells the cyclist “No, I’m the one who should apologize. I must have been walking very quickly”. This is where one such accident took place. If I hadn’t told you, you would never have known!
I went to visit the British Museum. It is a very old museum, and the things inside it are much older. The man driving the car waited politely for me to finish taking the photo. He didn’t even honk once. The policeman would have given him a honking ticket (report, citation?). Politely.
The British Museum is very large and has many stairs. There is a sign politely asking people not to sit on the stairs. People sit on the stairs anyway, but they are not British. They must be visitors from other countries. The British are too polite to sit anywhere except on chairs. And they always ask permission first.
In the entrance to the museum, there is a sign asking prople to donate money to the Museum, and a big box full of money. The British visitors are very polite and put money in. The tourists stand and watch and wonder why the British people are so polite, even when no one is watching.
The British Museum has many works of art from many countries. This is a statue of an important person from ancient Egypt.
The British always asked permission before removing ancient statues and moving them to the Museum. Sometimes they had to conquer the countries first to get the permission. But I am sure that even as conquerors, they were very polite and used words such as “please” and “thank you”.
The British Museum politely removed statues from the Parthenon in Greece and brought them back to the Museum. They took good care of them for many years.
The Greeks want the Museum to return the statues. The British say “no way”, but in a very polite manner.
Not all the things in the Museum are real. Someone once donated a “merman”. A merman is half man, half fish. People once believed that mermen and mermaids are real. The person who donated the merman was very rich and believed that he was donating a real merman. When the Museum discovered that the merman was a hoax, the people there were very disappointed. But they still display the merman in the Museum. They are too polite to throw it in the garbage.
A lot of people come to the British Museum to see the mummies. The mummies are ancient Egyptians who have been dead for thousands of years, but have been well preserved. They don’t even smell bad. Some of them are daddies. All of them are dead. When the British asked whether they could invite people from around the world to come and see them, not a single mummy said no. After all, how can anyone say no when the British people are so polite?
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If you like it, you might also want to read:
“The British People are Quite Normal”
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