Cultural Differences

Things are just different enough in the UK to drive one (mainly me) mad. Everything seems to be just slightly different. Pick a "thing" and I could tell you the difference. The toilet flushes from the top and has barely any water in it. The water here doesn't "mix" hot and cold as well as ours in the states does...makes showers an experience! A key I used for something today was upside down. The "key" part had to be on the bottom rather than on top. Soda is really expensive 5 pounds for a six-pack...when you exchange that, it's like $10.50! Needless to say, not much soda in my life! Not that there really was much before. When you go to a restaurant, you have to ask for the bill...they won't just bring it to you. And, you have to specially ask for tap water...I am cheap, so I always do. Also, tipping is way different here. You tip like maybe 10%. But, you definitely don't get the kind of service here that you would in America. Guess I am not in America anymore, right?

Then you get to vocabulary. I can understand most people, but there are different words for things here. Here are some examples for you...that way when I becomes fully acclimated, you can understand me!

Trash can - bin
Elevator - lift
Soy - soya
Garbage - litter
Cell phone - mobIle (notice the emphasis on the "i")
Bathroom - toilet
To go - takeaway

It's the little things that can drive one mad! But, then there are funny things too. On every pack of cigarettes, there is a huge warning that takes up half the pack (no exaggeration) that says "smoking kills". Yet, every other person you see is smoking. They smoke like crazy around here. Then you get to the drinking...all these people drink. It is kind of insane. Also, there are Pizza Huts all over the place. And, they are ALWAYS packed. I walked past one at 3pm today and it was packed. Who knew? Pizza Hut isn't even that good. While I was in London, there was a huge add for "Cali-Style" shoes. Our very own Ashlee Simpson was the face for the add. The whole "Cali-Style" thing almost had me peeing my pants, I was laughing so hard. First, who says "Cali" and second who knew we had a style?!? Oh well.

I have learned to spot tourists from a mile away though. They are usually taking up the whole sidewalk, walking dreadfully slow...without a care in the world. Then they insist to some poor Starbucks worker that the one "back home" makes so and so drink when this one does' you think the poor worker behind the counter really cares? NO! When they pay somewhere, they usually get their money out of a ziplock bag. Also (and this is totally me) they wear flip-flops...not too many flip-flop wearers around here. I haven't yet figured out if it is because of the trippage factor or the cold factor.

Oh well, my faithful Bar Aspen is closing...gotta run!


  1. I love your post!!!!! I know exactly what you are talking about. Especially the tourist and Starbucks stuff. You learn what the tourist look like... and i just love the money in the bags....or especially the money pouches around the neck or in the is just great!!!!! Love it!!!!! Especially when they cannot figure out the money. Like is this a 20 or a 5 pound bill!!!!

  2. I'm going back to Cali, to Cali...I'm going back to Cali :) that's the only time I have ever heard "Cali" but that was forever ago - were you born yet? Guess you haven't picked up the accent yet...

  3. It's time to take up smoking! You know it's a cultural thing. Never mind- It's bad and gross for you.

    Thanks for the education today. Fun tips to know. Oh and by the way, you are so Cali-style.


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