i dont mind paying for drinks but would rather avoid having to get up and go to the bar - especially if it is full of a group of people who insist on buying their drinks seperately... inconsiderate tossers
Ay, you may be right. However mentioning the buying rounds ritual in a thread dedicated to hospitality doesn't say much about British generosity, now does it me ol china? Where I live hospitality is understood as an act of unconditioned kindness. You give and don’t expect anything in return. So at least when I buy a round I do it sincerely.
Now, as for the original question, does it really make a sense to compare those two mentioned cultures? The first time I visited an English friend of mine I felt totally offended. In Poland, when you visit someone it is considered extremely rude not to let your guest into the house and let him rot in the cold at your door. "Tylko nie przez próg!". However I fond out that in England it is considered rude to pop up without any prior notice. It seems that an English man's/woman's house is his/hers castle and sanctuary. Come to think of it, it's not that dumb after all. Maybe it would be better to try to understand the other culture instead of judging it? Both nations seem to have some good arguments on their side... Oh well...
Its a bit of a myth to say that all Polish families crack open a bottle of vodka as soon as you arrive. Sometimes people just dont want to drink vodka. Maybe they've realised their are far more tasty spirits to be had such as whiskey, which they'll drop hints about so that you'll bring them a bottle next time you're over.
Alcohol is like music; there are those tunes that you love from the very first time you hear them, alas very often the interest in them wears off just as fast as it appeared in the first place, and there are those tunes that you have to listen several times to appreciate and usually this is the music that stays with you for good. If whiskey was a song it would definitely be the latter. It's not an easy taste, but once it clicks in, you are just coming back for more.
Still, I don't see how whiskey could replace vodka in the future as vodka is an a lot more universal drink. You can drink it in shots if you want “a fast effect”. You can drink it in a form of a drink if you want to sip it and enjoy. Then there is a multiple variety of flavored vodkas. Cytrynówka as a aperitif, orzechówka as a great way to end a meal, krupnik staropolski on a cold winter evening or pomarańczówka with ice on a hot summer day… yumm.