Voxpops: What do you think of the English?

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The Independent Online

Oxford Street, central London, January. It didn't take too long to find out what it's really like to live among us...

Babiker Mukhayer, 63 Sudan, works for a drug prevention charity

'Unforgetting and unforgiving'

Sharon Ohayon, 29, Israel, receptionist

'The English make a lot of effort to be polite. But to have a good time they need a drink first'

Helen Kamaya, 25, Uganda, bank administrator

'Oh how they love Christmas'

Raul Moules, 29 Spain, waiter

'Why are they so obsessed with celebrities? You open a paper, and there is Lily Allen. Where is all the proper news?'

Ko Tejima, 48, Japan, journalist

'I always considered English men to be real gentlemen. But nowadays all you see is men fighting with women for a seat on the Tube'

Xamaadi Moha, 33 taxi driver and Solomon Alayle, 22 warehouse worker, both Somalis

Xamaadi: 'English men like to chat about football. The women talk about going out. But I can always tell the ones who aren't going to pay their fare; they are the most chatty'

Asako Mitarai, 27, Japan, travel agent

'I think the Japanese and the English are quite similar. We both like to join a queue'

Bernadette Bekesi, 29, Hungary, office manager

'I do love the dry sense of humour'

Mojca Henigman, 26, Slovenia and Niels Vollrath, 33 Germany, both working in customer services

Mojca: 'You're all pretty stylish.'

Niels: 'I love the fact you have such extremes, from the aristocrat to the football hooligan'

Fran Lopez, 23, Spain, sales assistant

'I find the English very cold; I've been here for four months and have made one English friend. I just don't get their humour at all'

Jose Luis Bernabe, 36, Spain, TV producer

'English people always seem to stay calm. I have never seen an English person hysterical'

Noha Asaad, 65, Egypt, housewife

'English doctors really are the best. They are so friendly and honest – this is important to Arabs'

Dagmawi Asfaw, 21, Ethiopia and Daniela Vidal, 19 Columbia, both studying English

Daniela: 'You drink a lot, and the women wear very little. It's five degrees and they have so much flesh on show. Don't they feel the cold?'

Lupe Sanchez, 31, United States, runs a promotions agency

'My family are Mexican and really huggy. My English husband's family is very closed. Some English people can be a little unwilling'

Marco Gambino, 45, Italy, actor

'I've been here 25 years. For a job I give the English classes in how to flirt. They are terrible at it'