I’m back with another “things to know” post on somewhere I have lived in my travels and this time, it’s England! In the past, I’ve written posts on things you should know before moving to France and things to know before moving to Germany. Earlier this week, I wrote a guest post which is appearing today on the lovely Amanda’s blog, Rhyme and Ribbons, and if you are visiting from there then you will find this posts fits in nicely with what you’ve already read. If not? Read this post and then check out 20 things you should know about the British.
First of all, here’s a little back story for those of you who don’t know me. I am British.
Actually, that pretty much sums it up, so here’s 20 things to know before moving to England.
1. I’m saying this mostly for the sake of saying it. It rains a lot.
2. A lot of British comedy shows and comedians have no filter, meaning there is a rarely a topic they won’t touch upon for a quick laugh, no matter how offensive it may be.
3. The train, bus & underground are often late and your employer will not see this as a suitable excuse for why you are late to work.
4. Technically, it’s illegal to drink in public but everyone does it. We are partial to drinking in a nice, green park or on a long train journey.
5. Contrary to most people’s opinions of “side of the road food”, this is THE place to get a banging breakfast roll.
6. A tea break at work is usually when one person from the office gets up and leaves their desk for at least 15 minutes to make all of their colleagues tea. This is also the time to meet people from other offices and gossip/slack off. There is no time limit on how long a tea break may take, as long as you appear to be making tea.
7. If you are upset in any way, you will be offered a cup of tea to assist you with further sadness/discussions of your situation. It really does help.
8. To truly fit in, all you really need to know is that a Freddo is a small chocolate bar that used to cost 10p and due to price inflations now retails at around 25p. This is outrageous and people are seriously losing their rag about it.
9. Speaking of losing their rag, this is something people say when they are seriously pissed off about something. Take note and step way quietly!
10. Come rain or shine, the weather is something that can and will be complained about if all other topics of conversation are exhausted.
11. Boobs in the newspaper happens 5 days per week.
12. In the North of England, it’s pretty common for people to leave their back doors unlocked at all times and for visitors to just let themselves in.
13. Sunday drinking doesn’t really have an “appropriate start time”, it’s more about when the local pub opens and if you bought pre-pub beers from the shop or not.
14. Marks & Spencers (also known as Marks & Sparks) is ideal for a nice lunch, dinner or food for large family get togethers but you do not want to do a “proper food shop” in this place… unless you are up for re-mortgaging your house.
15. Tipping is not as big of a thing in England as it is in countries like the USA. We only tip if we feel we got really good service and we don’t generally tip as generously because waiting staff in England do receive (at least) minimum wage.
16. You don’t have to drink alcohol at the pub and it’s generally not somewhere for loud, drunken behaviour except if it’s a Friday night or the football is on.
17. Going out to nightclubs is a big thing. We’re talking hair extensions, false eyelashes and maybe even some body glitter.
18. Not all of the buses are red double deckers and not all of the taxis are black. Sorry.
19. England is rarely prepared for snow, even though it’s prone to happening in at least one part of the country each year. This means that when really bad snow hits, people usually manage to score the day off work for “transport difficulties”.
20. The amount of different words for “vagina” in England is uncanny and they are all used and insults as well as to refer to the actual body part. Including “vagina” i.e. “Stop being a vagina, Tom.”
I really could go on with this one, but I’m keen to get some conversation going in the comments. For those of you who are from England, got anything to add? For those of you who are curious/know some things too, share the wealth!