Page 88 - Cormorant 2019
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Coming to the UK Major Rasmus Andersen, Danish Army
MOVING TO THE UNITED Kingdom has been an interesting experience for most of us international students. Every major
administrative task can sometimes feel like a mental obstacle course. Having run the most of mine I would like to give a short overview
of how moving to the UK is like for one of us. This article is based on the random mess of an easily distracted Dane, and not the coherent and efficient works of a competent foreign serviceman/woman/dog/something-in-between.
The first thing I did upon being appointed to the ACSC, was to find my ancestor’s diary and travel tips from his UK travels. To quote a few lines (rough runic translation):
“When travelling to the United Kingdom use large size Longboats and remember to travel light to allow for more loot to be brought back...avoid travelling to the northern part, it’s all hills, mountains and dress wearing men who love to fight, go to the south; the loot is better... when doing the semi-annual raiding- bath around Stamford, remember to set a competent guard.”
Reading a few rune-sticks I quickly found the advice to be somewhat dated, and rather useless. As a family we decided to just play it by ear, and off we went through the modern version of the longboat, tourist class cheapest flight to Heathrow. The helmet and battleaxe were sent ahead in a van, and the beard shaved, to fit in with modern society.
The Curious Incidents with Circular Logic
Coming to the UK and settling in the family has been an interesting journey and during that journey I have come a few examples of what I would call Circular Logic, something that can be found in a lot of military procedures as well. A single example was setting up internet.
“ we can set up internet for you, that is no problem.” (Salesperson over the phone)
“Great, so you got the address and everything?” (Me)
“Yes, now all you need is to go on the internet and go to this website...”
“I’m sorry, say again; In order to GET internet I just have to GO TO the internet and fill out a form?”
“Yes of course, here is the address...”
(Slightly paraphrased conversation with unnamed internet provider)
There have been multiple examples of Circular
Logic in anything from car insurance (of course we can provide car insurance for you as a foreigner staying here short term, just put in your English Bank account, English Phone number and address we can contact you on - an English address of course), setting up a telephone line (please add your English bank account) to getting a bank account (please fill
   The helmet
and battleaxe were sent ahead
in a van, and the beard shaved, to fit in with modern society. ◆◆◆
 Quick UK travel tips:
1. Whenever you arrive somewhere, always look for queues. They will show you where something of value is taking place.
(If there is no queue, and you are bored, try standing still and getting your spouse and kids to stay in line with you. It does not need to be in front of anything. It is amazing how easy it is to start a queue, even when there is NOTHING at the end of the queue. Having a t-shirt which reads “the queue starts here” on the back can be quite amusing as well.)
2. Whenever possible use “please”, “sorry”, “excuse me” or “after you”. If you can fit all of them into one sentence, please go ahead, it will give you major points with the locals.
3. Don’t tell people you hate tea, royalty or dogs.
It is ok to hate babies, but don’t disrespect dogs!
4. If you see a guy wearing a skirt, just ignore it.
If you see the wind catching the skirt or him climbing something, ignore it even more. If he drops something, turn around for your own sake.
5. (driving) Put a sticker on your dashboard with “LEFT” written on it, if you come from a right side driving country. Train your spouse/kids/dog to say “LEFT” every 2-3 minutes when in the car.
6. (driving) If in doubt about what to do, just assume you are in the middle of a roundabout.
If it goes on for a long time; you have found the Magic Roundabout in Swindon. Don’t panic! The locals are as confused about it as you are.

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