Stop laughing at the back.
I have devised a test for the confused traveller. This is my gift to humanity today. It was going to be Top Trumps cards for the EU College of Commissioners but I couldn't be bothered with the cutting and sticking, so think yourself lucky. Answer the following questions and all possible confusion will be eliminated! Just in case you've ended up in Acomb, a sinister suburb of York with a history of cat skinning, I've included that possibility too.
1. You are eating a sandwich on the street. How do passers-by react?
(a) With furious scorn and witheringly sarcastic "bon appétit"s making you feel like a repulsive lower being with no impulse control.
(b) They ignore you, because they're too busy wrestling with their own snacks. Theirs are probably larger than yours.
(c) There are no passers by. The wind is whipping across the Green, felling pensioners and the occasional stray dog. It's cold, so cold. You can't feel your legs anymore. Should you light the last match?
2. You sit down on a bar terrace and look around expectantly for service. What happens?
(a) A scornful but efficient waiter comes and stares at you with barely concealed disdain, sneers at your order and serves you within nanoseconds. He is never wrong.
(b) Nothing. You can wave your arm around but it won't help. You could try going inside where a couple of whey-faced students drooping behind the bar will still ignore you.
(c) Are you fooking joking? It's 3°C. The only people who are outside are a gang of hatchet faced Asbos in the bus stop trying ineptly to skin a cat. There used to be a table outside the Burglar's Arms, but someone set fire to it.
8. Uh oh, you need to pee. How does that go?
(a) Make your way past an exhibitionist peeing man proudly displaying his genitals in an ill-lit basement. He might leer at you if you get lucky.
(b) Make your way into an ill-lit basement to be greeted by an elderly lady in a housecoat demanding money. She will chase you if you don't give her what she asks for. In some places, your access to loo roll will be conditional on this payment. Meet her demands in full, I beg of you.
(c) Expose your genitals? You'll die of exposure. Your look out though.
3. You eat a croissant. How is it?
(a) Deliciously buttery and flaky.
(b) Like a semi-circle of wet cement. Make it stop.
(c) That's not a croissant, it's a Ginsters cheese and onion pasty.
4. What's the metro like?
(a) Smells of piss, miles of corridors, infested with accordeonists.
(b) Smells of piss. Tiny. Seems to only have 2 lines, though they are masquerading as 6, improbably. And what the FUCK is that music? Johnny Hates Jazz? Followed by Scriabin? It's like falling down a wormhole.
(c) There's a bus to Wetherby three times a week. That's your lot.
6. You have to pull over suddenly in the street because you're lost. The car behind you pulls over too. What happens next?
(a) You don't really understand what they're saying, you're distracted by the vigorous hand gestures, but "connard" seems to form a large part of it.
(b) Someone looms in your window, their face filled with concern, and asks if they can help you.
(c) They steal your tyres.
7. What's the supermarket like?
(a) Oh, that lady behind the till is MEAN! I didn't know there was a "proper" way to arrange my items on the conveyor belt! I don't really want to buy them now, but I don't dare put them back.
(b) Holy crap, you haven't seen a queue like that since Stalin. And you need a degree in advanced electronic engineering to buy cigarettes. And where the fuck is the aluminium foil? Also: a whole aisle for beer?
(c) It's a Londis. Four onions, a couple of dog-eared Daily Mirrors and as many Rothmans King Size as you can carry.
8. What are the old people around you up to?
(a) Attacking you, verbally, or possibly physically. Man, they're angry.
(b) Sitting in cafes drinking half and half beatifically and feeding their dogs speculoos crumbs. Or collecting small coins in public lavatories.
(c) Skirting warily around the skinned cats.
9. How about the tourists? How do they look?
(a) Equal parts awe and terror.
(b) Equal parts bemusement and, er, bemusement.
10. Who's in charge around here?
(a) A psychotic, delusional lunatic who is spiralling out of control.
(b) No-one. It's been nearly a year. You can't really tell.
(c) Anyone who's travelled further than Harrogate.
How did you do?
You're in Paris! Repeat after me: "Ce n'est pas la peine de me regarder comme si j'avais égorgé votre grand-mère, j'ai seulement demandé un café*".
You're in Brussels! Repeat after me: "Les speculoos sauvages sont magnifiques mais excessivement farouches. Tachez de ne pas les effrayer**".
You're in Acomb! Repeat after me: "Do not be afraid. I come from a far away land. I come in peace. Put the cat down and let us share the Curd Tart of friendship".
* There's no need to look at me as if I just strangled your grandmother, I only asked for a cup of coffee.
** The wild speculoos are magnificent, but timid. Try not to frighten them.