England: People are almost invariably polite - excruciatingly so. But I believe this to be skin deep. With the English, the moment you express a need or a trouble that "doesn't fit the conventional mold," or have an unusual request, or wish to do anything that does not conform to some obscure rule, they immediately turn on you with cold refusal.

I was going to make the obvious joke that you were estimating the depth to be much deeper than it actually is, but after thinking about it, you are spot on in this observation. Of course all things like this are generalisations and presumably you've not asked for unusual requests from too many Brits; but thinking of what I would do if approached by somebody, you are correct! Actually, I like to think I am quite canny in such things and would anticipate an approach before it was made, and so already be primed to run in the opposite direction; therefore I would not need to turn surly.

Hmmm, looking at your statemtent more closely, it could be interpreted in a different way... Just who were you talking to and what unusual services were you wanting to be performed?image

The whole idea of such things is fun of course: you can imagine you are a Vancean hero in a strange world full of strange people, e.g. Gersen in one of the strange communities he visits with their bewildering populaces. I remember when Matt Hughes first mentioned he was relocating to Yorkshire, thinking to myself that he might imagine something of the sort, if only to survive amongst the strange Yorkshire people and thereby retain his sanity...