If you’ve ever visited another country, chances are you’ve noticed a few extremely different (and sometimes frustrating) aspects of life that you just don’t understand.
Being a Canadian living in England, I can attest to this.
Now, Britain is great. You invented the English language, once had one of the largest empires in the world, and gave the world the steam engine, Charles Darwin, and the telephone.
And most people would argue that, as a nation that likes cups of tea, sausage butties, Ant and Dec, pints, and talking about the weather, there’s absolutely nothing weird about Britain.
But that’s not everyone’s opinion.
According to one American woman who moved to London 10 months ago, there’s a list of bizarre things about British people and the British culture – and she’s written it all down for Vogue Magazine.
You can read the full list here, but as a non-UK citizen living in England, I’ve thrown together the ones I personally found most accurate:
1. British people do not use umbrellas, even though it rains every day.
2. There are no plugs in the bathrooms — unclear how British women blow-dry their hair.
3. Dryers somehow exist inside washing machines.
4. Military time is very popular. If someone says to meet at 18:30, you will have to get out your calculator to deduce that they’d like to meet at 6:30 p.m.
5. Eggs are inexplicably not refrigerated and are often hidden in a regular food aisle.
6. British people love talking about the weather. This is not a stereotype; it’s a fact.
7. A shopping bag is not automatically included in your purchase at a store; if you miss the question ‘would you like a bag?’ you will have to awkwardly carry your items out in your hands and act like you planned that.
8. Robbie Williams is very famous here. Just act impressed whenever his name comes up and do not say, ‘what song does he sing again?’ (It’s basically the Queen, David Beckham, Robbie Williams, in terms of famousness.)
9. If you are meeting someone on the ‘first floor,’ you will need to go up a level because first floor means second floor in this country.
10. The coins are not sized by worth; the twopence is inexplicably huge while 20 pence is very small. Best to hold out your change in your hand when paying and pretend you don’t speak English.
11. If you order a ‘lemonade,’ you’ll get a Sprite and there’s literally nothing you can do about it. I still don’t know how to get an actual ‘lemonade’ in this country.
Obviously, not all of this is accurate for every expat living in the UK. But they’re generally weird things that North Americans don’t have across the pond.
On the other hand, they’re also what makes Britain great. And the UK has some pretty badass things the rest of the world doesn’t have – like great beer.
And just like this list, I’m sure any other non-North American citizen would find dill pickle chips, a ‘world series’ consisting almost entirely of Americans, and the fact that pretty much everything is supersized, weird.