1 Why do you ask people "how are you?" if you don't care about the answer?
Britain is a nation built upon appearances. We pretend to be richer, happier and probably nicer than we actually are, and glean some small grain of superiority in doing so. Asking "how are you?" is the quotidian incarnation of this trait. We don't actually care how you are, we are merely giving some semblance of caring, so that at all times we can retain the moral high ground. For further examples of this, perhaps study Keeping Up Appearances, the early 90s BBC sitcom starring Patricia Routledge, or the letters page of the Times. It is also worth pointing out that to be asked "how are you?" in a disgruntled British fashion is perhaps not so affronting as to be bid "have a nice day!" by some sunny-side up American.
4 Why do women here wear open-toed sandals in deepest winter?The guide goes on to cover such perplexing phenomena as the prices of rail tickets, the full English breakfast, and the peculiar habit of eating chips with vinegar (something I never understood either).
In Britain, women are highly prized for their hardiness. We have a popular saying: "Is she rugged as a goat? Then she is for me!" Hence a woman spotted out on a February evening in the most northerly quarters of the isle wearing nothing but a short, skimpy frock is valued far above any woman in a sensible coat. A less extreme interpretation is for a woman to sport open-toed sandals, regardless of the inclement weather; to us, it is as erotic as a burst of cleavage, or a glimpse of a lady's ankle.
Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.
Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.