I recently spent three long weeks in England training for a new job. I hung out with all sorts of different folks in the UK, traveling from Stafford to London to Manchester.
Sure the accents changed a bit, but the overall warm, friendly personalities pervaded throughout. There were a number of key things, however, that took me by surprise. Things that are completely normal for Brits, but would have us Americans scratching our heads.
I’m not just talking about driving on the wrong side of the road or constantly needing an umbrella. Uh uh, these are much more important and shocking issues.
What exactly am I talking about? Take a look!
Baked Beans for Breakfast – I don’t get it. Baked beans are a breakfast staple for most of Britain. Not one to be rude, I tried it one morning. I still don’t get it.
Britain Hates Traffic Lights – In my three weeks abroad, I must’ve seen a total of maybe six traffic lights. Okay, that’s probably a slight exaggeration, but England is really not a fan of traffic lights. Instead, they use roundabouts (i.e. traffic circles) just about everywhere. And you thought it’d be easy merely driving on the wrong side of the road…
Teaspoons Are Only for Tea – We all know Brits love their tea. It’s true! And they have the cutest li’l teaspoons for them. But when it comes to regular spoons for a meal, well the only kind I ever found were large tablespoons. Made for an interesting time eating yogurt in a small cup.
Gas is Expensive – I mean REALLY expensive. Right now in New Jersey, I recently paid about $2.25 per gallon. Here in Stafford, England, I passed a Shell station that was charging 111.9. But wait, that’s in British Pounds, not dollars. So let’s use 1.6% as the rate, bringing the price to roughly $1.79 per gallon. Oh wait, sorry, that’s not per gallon, it’s per liter. With 4 liters to a gallon, that equates to $7.16 per gallon. Ouch.
They Eat Walking Dead Potato Chips – Okay, so maybe Lay’s UK brand is called Walkers, but that still didn’t stop me from freaking out every time I grabbed a bag of chips… I mean “crisps.”
What’s the craziest cultural difference you’ve seen on your travels?