For this part..perhaps I would talk less about my abstract problems but more of my personal observations of this "Old World" if you would call it (because New World usually connotes the US)...nevertheless, new to me...I love the fact that a lot of things I do NOT understand going on around here...But and the same time...there are also a lot of commonalities which I share with the people and environment I engaged here.
I love the fact that the British community prides itself on politeness...and there are references made of "British politeness". On how you want to perceive this politeness (whether sincere or pretentious) as how people perceive "Japanese politeness", I cannot comment much, because I really dont care, and I do think its best if I dont...because it is really not our job to tell people they are doing something out of pure intention or just mere gesture or hand waving.
Anyways, I liked the fact they like to make their greetings at least in two sentences...for example, "Hi-ya. You alright?"...most commonly heard by me. For me I do appreciate this art of greeting because a single short greeting seemed too abrupt and awkward (please do tell me you share the same concern as I do). Like the problem with an utterly short mutter only manages to attract the attention of the person but not necessarily make the person feel he or she was being greeted or welcomed to interact.
Since I take the tube always everyday to commute to school (yes, its a school, I get it), people helping a person with a buggy or stroller going up or down the stairs, giving up seats for the elderly or the prioritized, or offering help to anyone who appeared troubled or ill, is simply a sight that is all too familiar.
Indirect way of communicating thoughts
This part of British culture for me is quite interesting and really suits my personality too. So far I have only heard about how they understate things and dont really use effusive language. Basically, this means they dont express themselves too much.
But again, this only an idea which I got from other people's inputs, not from my own personal experience. Because I can never really know if what they really mean what they say or what they actually really wish to mean...unless I ask them directly which I cant really do...at least for now.
Its the least for me beautiful,subtle and nuanced in a way when they put their way of commmuincating in such order...but sometimes it does put you in trouble too. I guess there are pros and cons.
Way of life and principles
There are many good examples of British behaviour...which us Malaysians would already have actually, but not emphasized or extended to other areas of life...In all condour, I do feel Malaysians do share a lot of common behaviour and values (being conservative and reserved at times), which I think is a good point to ponder. There is not an ocean gap when it comes to improving ourselves as Malaysians to reach the level of the Brits.
Indeed I have a lot more to learn from them...unfortunately progress have been very slow. But Im sure this land would offer me many virtual gems to be embedded in my mind.
To be continued..