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Customer Review

on 10 June 2013
I am a foreigner (German) living in the UK. I have many foreign friends who have settled here (German, American, Canadian, Polish, Lithuanian). I have bought 10 copies of the book over the years and given them as a present to my foreign friends. It is the single most helpful book for people from other European/Western cultures who as part of their daily lives in the UK find they are getting slightly irritated or unnerved on occasion by little aspects of British social interaction without being quite able to put their finger on what it is that they perceive as "English" behaviour or why it annoys them. The unnecessary chat about the weather or the roads when you actually want to have a meeting about business, the time it takes people to say "good bye", the not mentioning of people's names and the coyness about money even from people you owe money to. What is all that about? The value of the book is not so much that Kate Fox can (or wants to) explain the reason for these behavioural rules, but that she identifies them as rules and ritual and tells us, what it is you need to do to play by the rules. When someone starts a conversation about the weather with me I now feel a little switch come on in my brain that sais "this is bonding talk, it is not about the weather" and I agree with whatever is being said about the weather, however unrelated to reality or my perception of the temperature. Kate Fox has helped me play by the rules! This book should be handed out free at airports. It is a life-saver and a beacon of enlightenment for the Western immigrant to the UK. I read it after having lived here for 10 years - I wish I had the book when I first arrived!!!!
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