Ten good things about the UK:
- English-speaking country in Europe. The UK's best feature and biggest economic strength.
- Mostly an open and fair society. Possible to make a life by oneself, not via your family.
- Subcultures, counter-cultures, and generally headstrong wonderful individuals.
- Work. At least well-paid work at a hi-tech firm in a nice city.
- London. Amazing, dirty, vibrant, space-port-alpha type place.
- Things coming from Orkney, Skye, possibly other similar places.
- Chinese and Indian food.
- Victorian museums.
- Taxis (black cabs).
Ten bad things:
- Authoritarian police/surveilance state. Pathetic militarist pet dog of the US.
- The media. Appalling, on the whole. A couple of good newspapers and weeklies.
- Never had a proper revolution or land reform. Power still in ancient elites.
- Housing. Insanely overpriced and low quality, due to treating it as a stock market.
- Prices in general. Being ripped off at the pound/euro (or pound/dollar) rate.
- Quality. It's not available, even at above-average prices. Only as a luxury.
- Shops. Same chains everywhere, narrow selection, treating customers like morons.
- Services. Come, dumb consumer, give me your money! Poof! Now go away feeling puzzled.
- Beer! For a nation with such a strong drinking tradition, it rather sucks. See separate rant.
- Undemanding (or badly informed) British consumers, making all of this possible.
- Pride at putting up with crap because we're not the evil upper class.
- Cities between London and Glasgow, possibly with the exception of York.
- People pissing and vomiting on the streets. What exactly makes it OK?
- Rugby fans. Violent male untouchables. Local football team too small to comment.
- Roads. Safe, but feel you're always being watched by the police, which you are.
- Lack of public spaces, squares, arcades, tables outside, etc. Currently improving a lot.
- Attitudes towards children. Keep home, keep quiet, accept violence but shield from sex.
- Victorian anti-sex laws. Used to be awful, but easing considerably (Thanks!).
- British food. Still sucks, but there's lots of good alternatives.
- The weather. It's not so good, but what would you expect this far north?
Now, it's not so surprising to have more gripes than good impressions about the place you actually live in. I also need to write a survey about things I actaully like in life, rather than things that piss me off...