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Thursday, 22 December 2011

How important is it to behave yourself when in foreign lands?

I will give you two examples.

I am well disposed to people from the Philippines and the reason is that, in 1959 when I joined the Army, there was a Filipino in our hut of 30 soldiers. Whenever, after training, we went to the NAAFI for a drink, he wouldn't join us until he had written home to his wife in the Philippines and posted the letter. Every day for months.

Now whenever I meet someone from the Philippines, I automatically feel warmth towards them.

The second example was a Jamaican where I used to work in the sixties. He was always in trouble, he swore at everyone, and felt everyone owed him a living. A really objectional man and after he was fired (for threatening to hit the Company Chairman) we were all very much happier and relieved.

Now whenever I meet someone from Jamaica, I automatically wonder if they will also be rude and objectionable.

Now I am the first to admit that these are unreasonable reactions, but I can't help it. Some might call the latter racism, but if you do, what do you call the former?

It is not racism, it is human nature. We should all think of ourselves as ambassadores of our country when we go abroad. Perhaps the Continentals in the EU Parliament have good reason for disliking us when they have so much trouble when our football fans have invaded their country, fighting, screaming and swearing at every opposing fans they meet.

However, if - because of these experiences - the Continentals decide to throw us out of the EU, I will be one of the first to forgive and applaud our football hooligans!


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