Being more British

A few days ago I had this situation with a Chinese looking lady on a bus that made me think whether I should try to be more British.

I was sat in an aisle seat when that lady, age around 60, came up and asked for the window seat. There were a few aisle seats free before me. Anyway, I moved to make space for her to pass and when she sat down she started mumbling something about her bag. I had headphones and a hood on but wasn’t playing any music, still the headphones were enough to prevent me from hearing properly but I thought because of the hood she doesn’t know I have the headphones on. I assumed she was talking to me and that she was apologising – that’s what a British person of her age would do, they seem to apologise all the time.

I then said ‘oh, don’t worry about it’. ‘I’m not worried – the lady stated clearly. – I’m just glad I sat down.’

That sounded a little bit too assertive to me and I still think that lady should have tried to be more British. At the same time I feel unable to apply this thinking to myself – even if I wanted to try, I wouldn’t know how to. How come I can so easily see behaviours that don’t fit the norm in other people but I can never see them in myself.

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