Manchester Who?

Last week, I had a fascinating cross-cultural encounter. I was in Bangkok for a few days of meetings (I know, it sounds pretentious). There were two notable things about the hotel where we were staying; firstly there were a huge number of families from the Middle East staying there and secondly, the main restaurant and bar area had a Manchester United theme. The Walls were covered in team photos and replica shirts and there was a tv showing endless ManU matches.

One morning at breakfast, I watched as a young Arab boy walked around the room pointing out pictures to his dad. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, of course, but every now and then he would say “Rooney”, “Giggs” or the name of another team player.

If you want a demonstration of globalisation, you can’t do much better than a young boy in Thailand talking knowledgeably about an English football team in Arabic.

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