All the Charm of Hyenas

In his Takimag column, our English doctor has the distinct displeasure of encountering some of his less flattering countrymen on vacation in the French countryside.

It was obvious, as I watched and listened to the English in this dead town in France, that the question of how they might appear to others did not cross their minds for an instant, or even a fraction of an instant. Such people have self-esteem but no self-respect. They have social rights but no social duties. They frequently stand on their dignity but have no dignity to stand on. They have all the charm of hyenas.

One thought on “All the Charm of Hyenas

  1. Andrew_S

    As an English person myself, I can confirm that everything TD writes in this article is correct. For instance, nearly every time I use public transport in England, I hear adults using obscene language in front of young children. They obviously don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing so. In fact they must think it’s actually a positive thing to do so. I find it shocking, but I know it would be a complete waste of time to say anything to them about it. If I did, I would find myself on the receiving end of more obscene language for daring to have told them how to behave. I also often see things happening such as very young children occupying a seat on a train or bus when there’s an older person standing up and who should be offered the seat being occupied by the young child. This isn’t the fault of the young child, of course, but the fault of their parents sitting next to them. But they don’t think their children should have to make way for anyone else. And what TD writes about the shamelessness of English people abroad is true for quite a large percentage of such tourists, although not usually for older middle-class English tourists, who are horrified by the behaviour of the English tourists who do behave in this way.


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