Observing English culture is one of my favorite hobbies. I keep a list on my phone of the new things I notice. Here are some of my latest findings:
- Most of the time, a sign for the restroom says “toilets” but this weekend I discovered water closets. Yup. Instead of toilets, all the signs said “WC.”
- Speaking of toilets, most public restrooms cost 50 cents or so to use. This weekend, we spent a ton of euros just to use the bathroom.
- I may have mentioned this before, but I love looking into the countryside and seeing how the land is divided up. In America, if you see a country landscape, you usually see areas of land sectioned off by barbed wire fences or woods. Here, land is divided by stone walls (in England, many date back to the Roman times) or by a small tree line. It makes for a much better view.
- The United Kingdom and their colonies are the only people who drive on the opposite side than the rest of the world. I thought that many countries in Europe would have the same driving rules as England, but nope. It was back to what we’re used to this past weekend! I actually found it hard, though, to readjust my thinking. Can’t imagine what it will be like when I get home!
- When we tell someone we’re from Tennessee, the first thing they say is, “Jack Daniels!” or “Oh yea…music.” It’s pretty funny to us. Everywhere sells Jack Daniels t-shirt.
- When we first got here and attempted to follow street directions, I could never find the street signs. In the States, street signs are always on posts at the corner of streets or hanging from a stoplight at an intersection. Here, they’re always on the sides of buildings because there are barely any intersections (Britain is big on roundabouts). If there is a stoplight, the street signs sit on a post and not hung on a line.
- You don’t even want to know about the Celsius versus Fahrenheit situation. It’s a constant struggle in every conversation with a Brit. And if you’re wondering how great it is not to have Tennessee humidity…it’s pretty great.
From here on out, my schedule is getting pretty crazy. This weekend: Barcelona! Next weekend, it’s off to Dublin, where I finally get to see my closest friends who are studying in Vienna. After Ireland, we leave to go to France for a week, and then to Italy! Life is good.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9