Thursday, July 5, 2007

Recent Realizations in the UK

As you know or can imagine, I've noticed and embraced the differences between the UK and the US. Here are just a few that I've run into since my arrival.

1. An elevator in the UK is called a "lift."

2. They call staircases "buildings" on this side of the pond.

3. I learned this one in an interesting way. To save a little cash I brought my own school supplies. We kept getting handouts in class and I'm obsessive about making my schoolwork feel organized. I hadn't hole punched the paper but couldn't figure out why the handouts kept sticking out of the top my binder. Well, prior to lecture I examined a handout closely only to discover that the paper is in fact a different dimension over here. Good times. I should have known.

4. The London underground subway stops are deemed "tubes." I love that one, it sounds high tech.

5. Signs indicating a step don't say "Watch your step." Instead they read, "Please Mind the Step."

6. Even if you see Bitter Shandy in a brown soda can of Sainsbury brand (a grocery chain here) next to the Coke, Pepsi and Seven Up (totally away from the alcohol section), it's NOT another name for root beer. Thank goodness I was saved on that one. (Again, a time where I felt like a complete idiot.) But on the flip side of that, I can't find root beer to save my life. So if you fancy a root beer over here then bring your own Barq's and Mug.

7. A travel tip. Buy one change of wattage plug adapter in the United States (because it allows for objects with large attachment on the end of the prongs) but buy the rest overseas. They're about a quarter of the price and a lot less bulky.

8. Smarties aren't chalky candies wrapped in plastic. They're more like M & Ms with a slightly fruity tasting colored coding. The chalky candies we call Smarties in the United States are actually deemed "Rockets."

9. When you arrive in the UK the first thing you should purchase is a "Chocolate Flavoured Caramel Slice" from the nearest grocery store bakery. I'm dead serious. They're less than a pound for 3 and they just might be the most amazing tasty treats ever invented the way they make them in the UK.

That's all I have time for now, as I have to shower before heading to dinner. The dining hall is pretty formal here, and I wouldn't dream show up in my workout clothes. More to come later, including an update on the Harry Potter style high table dinners we have every Tuesday.

Currently dancing and singing along to Ted Rosedale's ukulele original - "I'll Make Love To You."