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Assignment 4

Ungur Mihai Adrian


Political Communication Master, Year I

My Intercultural Experience
My story begins 10 years ago, with my first trip in the United Kingdom. I was going as a
personal translator and interpreter for my mom to meet the board of a Scottish charity up in
Glasgow and further North. As every Romanian, back then, who wanted to visit the United
Kingdom had to go through the excruciating experience of getting the visa so did I. Queuing at 3
a.m. in front of the Embassy, late October, turned out to be quite a thrill. Fortunately, for us
Romanians, queuing for various goods had become national practice during the Golden Age and
after the fall of communism as well so I was ready. Having the opportunity to visit the UK has
worth the trouble. I was quite nave back then and understood the British culture form various
school books. The first blow came from the officer at the embassy. After inquiring about our plan
of visit, which was Scotland, he said What are you going to see there, sheep. After looking at
the charitys bank statement, which was quite a guarantee he sourly said Ive got more money in
my pocket. Hes attitude must have been rooted in his admiration for both the Scottish and us,
Romanians, savage East Europeans.
The trip started on the wrong foot but turned out to be one to remember. We flew into
Heathrow at the beginning of November, ready and equipped for the British rain. While waiting
in the lounge, I heard two English gentlemen, quite concerned about the O-zone layer getting
thinner. I thought to myself Hm, when will I hear two Romanians debate on that. It seemed farfetched compared to our issues: no money in our pockets, no food on the table. At out arrival in
Glasgow we were greeted by the chairman of the charity and escorted to a Bed&Breakfast. The
following days may perception about the British, especially the Scottish changed. I found out
that the Scottish are not tight, they are quite generous, much more than the English. They are
kind and sympathetic with our nation, due to their past experience of being oppressed. Tea is
consumed not at five oclock but any time, because of the wind and rain that induces the cold
right down to your bones. One of the many differences has to do with the two tap sink. The hot

will always burn your hands and the cold will trigger pain while washing your teeth. Their
answer, Hey, people living on an island can be quite peculiar.
I have to admit Glasgows centre is beautiful, full of history and legacy but Edinburgh is
the crown of Scotland. With its castle, the Royal Mile, The Parliament and all the little Scottish
shops is absolutely breathtaking. Their accent is more English than Scottish which makes life so
much easier for average tourist.
All in all, my experience in the United Kingdom was one to remember. Ive made friends
with whom I still keep in contact. I have met amazing people whose example Id like to follow
someday. I received kindness and appreciation from genuine people which made return and live
there for a while.

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