After ten weeks living in England, I will share with you some things I found rather different from Switzerland. Some of them are clichés which have proved to be true, others are things that I found funny, random or simply hard to understand. Please notice the slight sarcasm applied and if you are a Brit, don’t feel too offended. As I learnt during my exchange year: It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it is just different ; ) All AFSler give me a yeah!
1. British Food
It is well known that the British aren’t exactly the best chefs in the world. That being said, I am lucky to experience some new combinations of different dishes each week. For example: the other day I had mashed potatoes (including some mashed carrots), a tiny little bowl of spaghetti rounded up with a nice chicken pie. I like all the dishes separately, however, why we ate them all together will be a riddle for the rest of my life. Thank God that the English have delicious Fish’n’Chips and Cornish Pasties.
As much the Americans use the word ‘dude’, the British tend to over-use the word ‘cheers’. I never get out of the bus without a friendly ‘cheers’ from the bus driver. After paying in a store, the cashier says cheers. You help an old lady to get across the street she says – you guess it – cheers. You pass a friend on the street, he will say ‘cheers’. My final conclusion to this word is: It simple means: thanks, hello, good-bye, cheers, have a nice day, I don’t want to talk to you anymore, See you soon, enjoy your meal. If you use it, nobody will ever guess that you aren’t local.
3. Police Hat
Whereas I really understand the tradition behind it and I love the fact that Britain is very traditional, I still think there is now practical or even fashionable use of that gigantic helmet the police men wear over here. I am not sure how it should protect you more than a normal hat. Maybe they have an in built air conditioner – I don’t know.
4. Imperial System
Well it is basically the same story as in the US. Why still using this elaborated system?Okay for some people it might be easier to divide 12 inches through 4 or 3 than to divide 10 cm through the same numbers. But here is a little quiz for you: How many millimeters are 398.334 kilometers. Think think think – 398,334,000 voilà! Now how many inches are 849.33 miles. Think, think, think, think, think, think *brain explosion*. I personally like the metric system better ; ). Good for you if you are used to the other one!
Well, I already talked about this in a pervious post – But I still think it is really random to have rain in the morning sunshine at noon and then hail in the afternoon. Fortunately the last week it has been rather nice and I think I will start another no-rain-run!!! ; )
That’s my first five! Stay tuned for part II!
and as always: Let me know if you found some of those mistakes in the comments