Monday, April 13, 2015

Multiculturalism. It's a beautiful thing. But are we using it to its full potential?
I am very pleased to report that lately I have had the pleasure of helping many of my fellow citizens in my host nation by sharing with them the knowledge and wisdom of my other culture. Yesterday I bumped into one such helpee and he thanked me profusely for what I had done for him five weeks prior.
You see my neighbour wanted to take his family away in Easter but he wanted to leave a few days before the holidays started because tickets were so much cheaper then. He had filled in a form at his son’s school and asked for two days off for him.
I saw him getting out of his car one morning, waving papers in the air and foaming at the mouth. “They refused,” he was yelling, “Can you believe it?”
I said, “Children aren’t allowed to take days off any more. You know that right?”
“Yes but I was honest with them,” he spat, “I told them that if we didn’t leave early we couldn’t afford to go on holiday. They still rejected my request.”
He was absolutely furious. He said he was going to take his son out of that school because he was so angry with them.
I said to him, “Listen. I can fix your problem but you must do exactly as I tell you, no more, no less. First you go home and bin those papers. Scratch that, recycle them. Then book those cheap tickets for you holiday. On the day of your departure, take your family to the airport and just before getting on the plane, call the school and tell them that your child is sick.”
Now five weeks later he was back here thanking me for my help. They’d had a lovely holiday and he had not taken his child out of that school or had a fistfight with the head-teacher.
Unfortunately Mr Farage does not see these positive impacts that we foreigners can have on the society. All he sees is foreign pickpockets coming here and stealing jobs from British pickpockets. How many children have now been able to go skiing in term time or sun themselves in Canary Islands because of my sound advice to their parents? At least six.
British people find it very difficult to lie. They are forever owning up to things and telling the "truth".
"I broke that. I'm very sorry. I take full responsibility."
"I'm very sorry but I might have scratched your car."
"We seem to have invaded your country for no reason whatsoever but don't worry we're leaving now. You're OK clearing up right? Excellent! Bah-bye now. Bah-bye.”
An Iranian can and will take her child out of school for a week to go skiing and then sends her back with a sick note from a doctor friend that the child will give to her teacher with a tanned face and goggle marks around her eyes.
An Iranian does not feel guilty about lying to the authorities. We have a lot of rules that don't make sense so we have to decide for ourselves which ones we accept and which ones we ignore.
For example the number one rule of drinking in Iran is that you never admit to it. Deny. Deny.Deny. Always. Even if you’re too wasted to stand up straight and you’re having to hold onto something to try and steady yourself and that something turns out to be the beard of the police officer who is trying to arrest you, you still do not admit to drinking.
“No shir, I have never had a drink in my whole entire life. Hic”
There are special situations however in which a British person will as a rule, always lie. In Britain no one's bum ever looks big in anything. "You look great," they keep telling each other, "you look great!"
When I first came to England, a young lady of eighteen, with a head full of dreams and a face full of facial hair, I did not know about these nuances of culture. You see I am not a big fan of looking at myself in the mirror so usually when an aunt or a friend said to me, “Seriously, do something about your face or I’m not going anywhere with you” that was my cue to mow down my moustache. But here in England everyone had been all, ‘What hair? Where? I can’t see anything. You look great!"
I was under the impression that since moving to England my moustache had become invisible. Six months had passed like this until one day I met up with an Iranian friend who set me straight. She told me that I had become a victim of a reverse case of Emperor's New Moustache and that this in fact was the reason shopkeepers were calling me sir. Thanks a bunch British people! I looked like Clark Gable. Thank you for your “honesty” and “sincerity”!
Iranians never lie about the important things in life. An Iranian will tell you if your bum looks big in something, sometimes when you haven’t even asked.
You see Mr Farage, there is so much we must learn from you and there is so much you can learn from us. We know this. Why else would we leave behind our families and friends, our dry countries, and most importantly, the safety and security of our metric system to come here? I’ve been here for twenty years now and I still have absolutely no idea how much my friends weigh or how tall they are or how much grape I’ve bought. And although the separate scorching hot and freezing cold taps have been absolutely brilliant on those rare occasions when I’ve wanted to pasteurise my hands, I still don’t fully understand them. It’s a daily struggle but we soldier on because we have a dream; a dream to make a new breed of superhuman beings with impeccable queuing ethics and the ability to take their children out of school in term time without breaking out in a rash. Who knows maybe one day they will even use the metric system. But let’s not set our goals too high now. One step at a time.

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