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24 September 2014
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Fed up with being asked stupid questions?
Are you fed up with stupid questions?

Our Little Island

By Ryan Morrison
Have you ever been asked a really stupid question about Jersey while you’ve been away from the island? Tell us about it…

If you’re in a room full of people that have lived in Jersey for more than a few months, very quickly the conversation will turn to the stupid questions people ask you about the island while you’re away.

Cars
"Most people ride around on each others backs"

This room could be a pub, an office, a living room or even a chat room online. Wherever you are the same long list of stupid questions come out.

We get sent your silly questions by e-mail, on comment boards or even just told in passing. What we’ve decided to do is pull all the questions together in one place and give you the chance to 1) share yours and 2) provide a suitable answer for people that might get asked the same question in future.

We’ve been toying with the idea of doing this for a while but a recent post about the hospital on our message board finally made up our minds.

A user posted a fairly sensible comment asking about the cleanliness of Jersey General Hospital.

“Can anyone tell me if the hospital is clean? My uncle has recently been admitted and I would like to be reassured that he is being treated well? Many thanks.”

Part of the 10 thousand plus Sure Party crowd
"I'm on first name terms with everybody in Jersey"

With the scare stories in England about MRSA, super bugs and cleanliness this was a pretty valid question to ask if you don’t know the area.

However, a reply came in the form of a very sarcastic comment from a user who was probably fed up with being asked stupid questions about the island and took the first post to be another one.

“Sorry but Jersey is a small island with no electricity and we use water from ponds to drink. The hospital is actually a barn in a field and operations are carried out using sticks by passing motorists.”

What are some of the most stupid or obvious questions you've been asked about Jersey while out off the island? What reply did you give them?

We did a quick poll around the office to get things started:

"Do you have electricity?"
No we walk around with candles on our heads

"Do you just eat potatoes?"
Yeah we have a VERY high fibre diet

"Are you all related?"
Only in some parts 

"Do you know everyone in Jersey?"
Yes I'm on first name terms with all 90 thousand of them.

"Do you have cars?"
One or two but most people ride around on each others back.

We also had fairly tame questions like ‘Do you get English TV?’ and ‘What language do they speak?’ to much more surreal ones like ‘Do you have money or do you trade with food?’

Then, if you take the fact that Jersey is a major finance centre into account, questions like ‘Do you have cars?’ or ‘Are there banks in Jersey?’ sound very strange indeed.

What about you?

last updated: 08/09/08
 
Have Your Say
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Mr A Cardus
are the electric plugs in jersey same as britain

bob sagget
you all sound like a bunch of sarcastic goits to me.

Brands
To your education: there was indeed an error in my last posting. Where it says "Granitic Massif", it should actually have read "granitic matrix." This is a reference to the feldspathic matrix in the Cotentin Peninsula which our Island is geologically related to. Feldspar being of course one of the 3 constituent elements of the granite that makes up our island.As for dumb questions about the island, I was asked one a few years ago: "So you're from Jersey?Have you met Tony Soprano yet?"I did not answer because I hadn't heard of the TV series at the time...

Paul
Ok, get the point. All very interesting- like the ones about the cars and potatoes best! - my family and I are moving to jersey soon and we would like to know where's the best place to live, where should we be looking to send our children to school, and why on earth do you close the airport at 9pm!

Tracey
Do you speak French is always a good one!The best one was when I first went over to live in England I was asked are you all related?????? oh yes and do you know Bergerac was a good one. The worst one though was when I went out with other students and they would say oh she won't know she is from Jersey or have they got those in Jersey? It did annoy me and I agree with others on your site that it makes you just end up inventing stupid things to make the English people believe you - its great fun!

terry
how much mrsa is there is the jersey hospital

Cracow Crapaud (John Dodsley)
I've been here for 9 months now and it seems that half of the people in Kraków know or have heard of a fellow Pole that has been to, or still is, in Jersey. The rest think it is a place in either England or America :-/

Jadzy
THe best ive ever had is my best friend from the mainland asking if we had an airport here. Scarily, she didnt believe me until she boarded her plane in birmingham!!!

Sheba from my space
why are the cows a browny orange colour here compared to thouse in england do they eat a lot of carrots from the fields to get that color

craupaudnotathome
I have been asked a number of times, Do you have cars on your Island?There are many bankers about.

IKS
We are about to come and visit and my other half asked me do they use the same plugs as us in Jersey, and what currency do they use?

What's in a name..?
If you are in the U.S. and anyone asks where you are from... you reply "Jersey" and they will probably assume you mean New Jersey, which is generally regarded as a shabby place where persons of dubious characters reside... a chip off the old block eh..?

cheesemeister
I went to Guernsey once,do you remember me?

cheesemeister
Asked this by a fellow Crapaud a few days ago."Oh you work at the airport do you? Who owns that nice scooter i've seen up there?"

cheesemeister
Jersey.....what's Jersey?

Scott
Heather its also really annoying when people from Jersey think I'm from England. Of course I'm from England, thats why I have an American accent!

Barbara De G
WHEN MY FATHER KNEW I WAS COMING HERE TO LIVE BACK IN 1962.HE HAD NEVER HEARD OF JERSEY, AND WANTED TO KNOW IF THERE WAS A POST OFFICE.ALSO IF THERE WERE PROPER TOILETS.

Richard Houghton
"Is it true that native Jersey people have six toes and webbed feet and are all about 5 feet tall"I was asked - not since the German occupation I answered.

heatherflower
i love it, you can make up random stories about the island and people beleive you. like, yes, we are 4 hours ahead of the UK, and yes, it is a tropical island... people will beleive anything! and Chris L, i agree, its well annoying when americans do that, its like, of course i'm from new jersey, thats why i speak with an english accent...

Scott
Jerseyman: Where do you come from Scott? Me: New England Jerseyman: So your a mainlander... Me: Wrong Place, did you not observe the new in front of England?...

Le Crapaud de la Pouquelaye
Does everyone knit?

mick
a holiday maker came in the St Peters bars , and asked ,what time was the next train back to the City ?

Thankful for an education
Last one I hope from me on this as it's away from the main thread, but although I respect Brands for being one of the few to take an interest in the island as per my initial comment, my facts are straight unlike some of his/her rather confused and confusing comments.

To underline; although not physically part of the archipelego of Great Britain and Ireland, and not part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom, Jersey is defined as a Crown Dependency and a part of the British Isles, which despite Brands confusion IS a geographical not political term that covers the islands outlined by 'Your brand can't sell much as your wrong'. You have to stop arguing against this, it's fact. That said, it certainly is a contentious term, notably in respect of Ireland, and indeed I take some issue with it's application to Jersey and the other Channel Islands. However, that's for another time.... It should also be clear to anybody that, geologically, Jersey is not a southward extension of Great Britain, but is rather a northward extension of historic Little Britain - Brittany.

However, you phrase the 'Granitic Massif' as though it is place or region of the Cotentin Peninsula. If you mean it this way it is simply wrong. Granitic is an adjective, not a proper noun as suggested by your use of capital letters mid sentence, simply describing an area of granite. Massif is simply a compact portion of mountain range. Jersey's geology is certainly quite complex and too long to go into here. A trip to the Museum offers an excellent explanation. Anyway, enough is enough, I just don't like to see people spreading inaccuracies about our fairly unique status in the world, it seems lazy and shows no pride in our history, which we have to understand to be able to operate in the present and future, especially if we want to maintain or even develop our autonomy.

RM
Are there any Trees on Jersey?Do You have electricity/Cars?And we managed to convince a group of people that the island had to be carefully balanced and if too much of the population went to one end of the island it may tip over, whoever said Britain was dumbing down ?

Dear 'Thankful for an education'
What education is that exactly when you write 'your wrong' instead of 'you're wrong' ?Tsk tsk...

Bean!
Just yesterday I was asked...do you get Eastenders over there?

Brands
I was walking along the Stour river in Canterbury, I was approached by a chap saying that he needed money to take some cameras to London...(don't worry, the traditional excuse here is that they need money for a phone call...)

He then added that the two German tourists that he just passed gave him £2.

I explained to him that I could not help him and walked off.

As I was at a safe distance, he looked back and yelled : "ah, two Germans give me a couple of quid..a fellow Englishman cannot help me!"

I did not retort, but went home and had a merry good chuckle...

Chris L
American: Where do you come from Chris? Me: Jersey American: Ahhh... The armpit of America. Me: ...Wrong Place, Old Jersey...

Roderick
"How can you call yourself an Englishman when you're born off the coast of France?!" Oh dear! I quickly retorted that I was quite happy being British rather than English...

Flash
Are there a lot of inbreds on the Island?

katherine
i was on holiday when i was asked "why make a jersey, when there is a new jersey?" i replied "because we couldn't think of any other name"

formerjerseycow
Is it big enough for a ten pin bowling alley? I was asked this while at school in New York for a year. This was before Jersey Bowl was built.

Brands
To your Brand. Yes, you did reiterate my point: geography, not politics!The Channel Islands are British, but they don't belong to the same geo-morphological unit as the British Isles. Geologically speaking,the Channel Islands are related to the Granitic Massif of the Cotentin Peninsula.

Marc - New Jersey
I'm tired of being asked "What exit are you from?" - New Jersey

Your brand can't sell much as your wrong
Brands: Actually the definition of the British Isles is as follows: 'The expression "British Isles" is geographical and not political. They are a group of islands off the northwest coast of Europe consisting of Great Britain, the whole of Ireland, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Wight, the Scilly Islands, Lundy Island, the Channel Islands and many other smaller islands.' So in other words your wrong. HA!

Brands
To "Thankful for an education" : this may come as a shock, but the Channel Islands are not actually part of the British Isles (unlike the Isle of Man.) When we say the British Isles, we're talking geography, not politics. Nevertheless, this does not make us less British than Manx Islanders.

Thankful for an education
Tim - well done on educating your friends about Jersey, clever stuff -shame you fail to understand a fundamental historical/constitutional aspect of where you come from: 'On the time zone question, I convinced some friends from the UK that as Jersey is so close to France, yet part of the UK (not Great Britain, but thats a different can of worms!).

Tim, I think you'll find that Jersey is a Crown Dependency, a part of the British Isles but absolutely not part of the UK nor part of Great Britain.

Why are so few us aware of our history and place in the world, yet feel compelled to mock others who may never have been here, and who are at least interested enough in finding out about our home to ask questions and learn in the first place? Perhaps you could take a leaf out of their book.

Georgia
Does everyone speak French?

Angel
On a short study course at a UK University I was walking to the first lecture when my sandal fastening snapped, I had to take them off & I put them in my bag. At the coffee break a chap said to me when he found out that I was from Jersey "Do you all walk barefoot there" .. and he was serious!

Englander
I was asked by a tourist lady from upperstate new york in America Do they have cows and sheep in Lancashire in England

Carly
Do you have to be a millionaire? Are you technically french? Is English your first language? Deary me...

Dan
The millionaire question comes up alot - however you could apply the same question to central London nowadays with all the foreign billionaires moving in. So if anyone from the UK makes this point just mention to them how the British government has a virtual 0% tax rate these days for billionaires looking to move there. Hypocritical or what?!

Sandra
When I was away on holiday once I was asked by a woman where I came from and when I said Jersey, she said How lovely what are you doing here than when you live in Jersey you do not need to go on holiday! Stupid Woman!

Tim
On the time zone question, I convinced some friends from the UK that as Jersey is so close to France, yet part of the UK (not Great Britain, but thats a different can of worms!) we couldn't decide on the time zone to adopt, so you adjust your watch by 30 minutes forward when you get here. They believed it, but in fact it seems logical and plausible as an idea! Of course the truth is that you need to set your watch BACK 30 years when you arrive in order to fit in over here.

Martin
Philip - you DON'T have to be a millionaire or in fact have any money to move to Jersey. When I moved here I had about £100 in my bank account and about £20 in my wallet with no other money. I've been here seven years now and am very happy. You either need to be prepared to work in crappy jobs for five years or find a company with licences that will give you a job.

Philip Nice
What's so funny about the "Do you have to be a millionaire to move there?" question? There ARE wealth requirements, even for Brits, to move to the Channel Islands (for which reason I believe Channel Islanders should have no automatic right to come to Britain).

Rebecca
I have spent time in customs in the Middle East trying to explain that I am not from New Jersey and therefore not American,(it's not good to be American there) they told I could not be British because Jersey was not in any known county, technically I did not exist, it took 2 days to sort out.

Tara
Post office worker in High Wycombe (when weighing a parcel going to family in Jersey) ... "Umm, is that one of the Caribbean islands?" Yeah sure, why not? Beats the usual "Is that in Scotland?" response!

tim
Managed to convince a few people (australians) that we had wind up televisions as there wasn't enough power to run normal ones

Chloe
Do you talk french? -gosh people only because we live near France it doesnt mean we are french....... does spain talk french?........NO ......... so why would we?

Vicky
Two comments spring to mind. The first, in the US, was "Jersey? But you don't have an American accent" and the second, in the UK, was "Jersey - is that the place where you don't wear shoes?"

Louise
Ive been asked if we had a zoo

james hibbs
everyone who thinks jersey is simple is just stupid, its well cool and theres so much to do

Hannah
Do you have to be a millionaire to move there?

Rick
Is Jersey bi lingual and do the population prefer to speak Jersey patois or Englsh?

Emma
Do you need to fill out immigration papers to move there?

James
Are you in a different time zone?

Peter Horlock
No as I knew Jersey was a very developed island, but I did expect people to realise that Dubai was a very westernised middle-eastern city with a large finance and tourism industry.

Russ
My friend was in America and was asked "Is there a bridge connecting you to England?"

Brands
As a student working on the old Tory Party £3 in the mid to late 90's, I told a fellow slave that I was originally from the Channel Islands. He turned to me and asked me where that was... In case you're wondering this happened in 1997 on a farm in Bridge on the outskirts of Canterbury, East Kent!

Brands
To Peter Horlock : When you arrived did you expect everyone to be on their bikes?

Peter Horlock
When I first came to Jersey people always asked me stupid questions when I said that I had relatives living and working in Dubai like: how come you're not Arabic then? Do you pray all the time? have you ever been a terrorist target? Ignorance all around I believe!

Steve
Is it true you can walk to france on a low tide?

Barc22
Do you see Bergerac around much?

Claudia
Your english is really good, since your french and all Jersey, as in New Jersey?! No, the original one actually!

Mark Lawrence
When anyone asks you an ignorant question about Jersey, I suggest that you should mention the 55 banks and 33,000 companies on the island.

Gal
Jersey? Oh so how is New Jersey this time of year?

Jon I
that or, "I know someone who lives there. he's called dave. he's got blonde hair". GREAT. THANKS.

Jon I
People I know in England normally confuse Jersey with the Isle of Skye, the Outer Hebredies, the Isle of W, or the Isle of M. It got quite annoying when they didn't even realise the CHANNEL islands was in the CHANNEL!!!

John, Southampton
What is wrong asking if the hospital is clean? Your just as likely to get the same question in big cities or small towns in the UK. It was not at all in the same class as asking if there is any electricity. I know, how about this for a question. Do you always overeact in Jersey when someone asks a question you feels belittles you?

moe
is there only like one school ?

Dean Flaschner
Greetings from USA...Jersey sounds like a an amazing location. I sometimes listen to your online broadcast. I choose you because I am from New Jersey, US, population 10 million. I would like to say that God lives in all of of us. You would not believe the 10 hour car trip from Chicago to our family farm in the South Dakota. It is wide open farm country from the city to our barns. Your talents would be appreciated.

Danni
Do you know Charlie Hungerford?

GreyHound
I met someone from Jersey once. She's called Laura, can't remember her surname but she was average height with brown hair - do you know her?

Rutz
"ahhh, Jersey. Do you know a guy called Steve?"

Belinda
"Do you have shops? I mean like clothes shops and stuff?"

Badger
Ahhh....Jersey...you're a tax dodger then.

Jen
I convinced someone that I had never seen a racing bike before because you could only ride mountain bikes as that is all that would travel across our "roads", which were actually just bumpy mud trackes.

nit
its really,really cheap there isnt it... no tax or anything?

Clare
Do you have roads?

Nicola
Is there a cinema?

alex dolan
Is everyone a billionaire over there?

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