Lessons Learned About England

IMG_72301. British people are very helpful– Although Brits are a bit more reserves, don’t hesitate to ask questions. They are eager to help in any way they can. So many kind people have given me directions, discounts, and suggestions. They want to make sure you have a good time in their country!
2. Always carry an umbrella– It could be seventy five and sunny one moment and start a torrential downpour the next. Stick a rain coat or travel umbrella in your bag at all times. I learned that the hard way!
3. Look Right– When you go to cross the street, make sure to look right instead of left for on coming traffic since they drive on the other side of the road. It took a while to retrain myself and I still don’t quite understand pedestrian rules! Luckily in London they painted look right on all the cross walks to help out the tourists- how considerate!
4. Pronunciation– Sometimes I forget we are speaking the same language! Americans pronounce things much more phonetically than Brits. For instance, the H in Buckingham Palace is silent, the T in Tube makes a CH sound, and Gloucester Square is pronounced Gloster. Remember these rules and you’ll sound like a local in no time!
5. Museums are free– Most museums in London are free, which is great, especially for a student budget. Also, most things that require tickets offer a student discount with valid ‘student card’ as they call it.
6. Humor– I love British humor! It is more subtle and dry, but hilarious if you’re listening closely. Think ‘Mr. Bean’ funny. American humor is more blatant and pronounced, so you don’t have to pay that close attention to know when a joke is being made. Everyone here is so funny in an understated way! I’ve always had a quieter sense of humor, so I think I’d fit right in here.
7. European– Brits don’t really consider themselves European. They are in the EU, but have their own currency and identity. I think being separated on an island makes them a bit more distinct.
8. Fabulous Foods– England doesn’t deserve its reputation for boring food, in my opinion! I have had some wonderful meals. The UK is incredibly diverse, resulting in diverse and exciting foods. A few of my favorite meals so far have been Indian, Mediterranean, French, Lebanese, and German! Oh, and don’t forget to try the traditional Fish N’ Chips.
9. Tea Time– Brits really do love their tea. High tea is a specific type of cream tea served with scones, jam, and clotted cream. Yummy! I would have it every day if I could afford it. Tea and coffee are offered with every meal 🙂 I think I’ve had more tea than water on this trip! I’m officially converted.
10. England vs. Britain vs. UK– I was always confused about which title to use. England is only the country of England. (Great) Britain is England and Wales, and the UK is England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Most English people I met call themselves Brits, although it definitely varies and I still probably get it wrong half the time 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Lessons Learned About England

  1. Yes, Brits are very different from Americans… BTW, most people in Europe do not call themselves “European” as we all have our own, distinct national identities… There are 28 member states in the EU, that is 28 different countries, and almost as many languages… We only call ourselves “European” to distinguish ourselves from “Americans” or “Asians”.

  2. The Brits definitely have a very ‘insular’ mentality – which is what you refer to I think! Tiina mentioned how all the countries are different and their people as well – obviously – but I’m sure what you meant was the way Britain seems to care so little EU issues – even though they are a part of it! I mean just the fact that they stayed with their £!
    I also absolutely adore the fact that museums are free! I mean museums have so much knowledge within them and having free for everyone to access is great! I wish North America did that too!
    I’m also addicted to afternoon tea – tea, scone, cakes, it’s all so amazing 🙂

    1. Yes, I didn’t mean that all the countries in Europe are similar, I just meant that England in particular seems distinct from the EU and mainland Europe. I love that the museums are so accessible to everyone- they have such incredible artifacts! Clotted cream is my new favorite food haha 🙂

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