culturalrollercoaster

Cross-cultural insights and questions from home and abroad


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Some things Americans wouldn’t expect from London!

People who are nor British nor American tend to group these two cultures together, but in reality we aren’t as much alike as one might think. Here are some reasons why…

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#1 There are NO toilet seat covers in England.

On this note, The Brits tend to be more like the rest of Europe and aren’t over the top obsessed with hygiene.  I would have never noticed this small detail if it weren’t for my much more American friend who happened to point it out. After living in Europe for so long, one becomes desensitized to this type of thing.

#2  Don’t expect free toilets.

Sorry but many a times you will have to pay to go pee pee. Even in places that seem like they’ed have free public toilets.

#3 You can sit where ever you like in the pubs!

Forget the Gringo style, you don’t need to wait for a host or hostess, you can just have a seat! You can also take your time to pay.

#4 Slow down speedy! Take your time while dining out!

Although London is a huge international city, it is again, not Gringolandia! Servers are not trying to rush you out. They don’t depend on tips to make a living. So don’t feel guilty if you take your sweet-ass time.

#5 Public Parks are a hot spot to hang out!

Hyde Park in London is a must see. Everyone and their mother go to to these beautiful public parks. And a public park doesn’t just mean grass and some trash cans. You can find a beautiful assortment of gardens, ponds, and cafes. If the sun comes out at all and it’s more than 10 degrees Celcius (which is about 50 degrees Farenheit) Brits go outside and enjoy the weather.  In California, we complain when it’s less than 60 Farenheit!

Here are some other SUPRISING FACTS about the British/English and or London in general:

#6 Brits are obsessed with Halloumi cheese and Greek food.

Mediterranean dining and cuisine is the new fad in England. In general English people have a very diverse palate, but at the moment it seems that Greek cuisine and Mediterranean style foods are more in fashion than other ethnic foods. You can find a Mediterranean inspired plate in most British chain restaurants such as All One Bar.

#7 You CAN get a SUNBURN in ENGLAND!

The sun comes out once in a while, and one it does, it can burn. Beware! Bring sunscreen on your summer trips to England… JUST IN CASE!

#8 Many British museums are free!

Check this out! If you plan right, you might not have to spend as much money in London as you think! : http://www.timeout.com/london/museums/free-museums-in-london

#9 English people still use stones as a weight measurement!

1 stone is equal to 14 pounds. So if you weigh 120 pounds (54.43 kilos) that is approximately 8.57 stones.

#10 EAT IN CAMDEN TOWN FOR 3 £ !

I kid you not, you can get full for less than the equivalent of 5 Euros. London is not a cheap city in general, but if you know where to go you can eat cheap. So if you are planing on visiting Camden Town during your stay in London, go on an empty stomach, you WILL leave satisfied. I recommend eating some Indian or Pakistani food there.