Author Topic: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had known  (Read 121086 times)

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Offline Marlespo

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LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had known
« on: June 17, 2002, 05:41:56 PM »
**This list is part of a series of lists that are intended to be a reference point for Americans looking to or preparing to move to the UK. Please add your comments and items to this list, however small you think they might be, because these will hopefully prove to be a very valuable reference point for newbies and others in our situation. Thanks. **

So submit: Things you wish you had known about England before you went over.

**Please note that this topic will be occasionally modified, and off-topic entries will be deleted. In order to keep it more of a LIST, discussions will be removed (if not now, then later when I have time) - or put into a new topic. New topics that I've plucked out of the LIST topics will have a note in their new title indicating that they were a split from another topic.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2005, 02:28:50 AM by Marlespo »
I'm done moving. Unrepatriated back to the UK, here for good!

Angels are made out of Coffee Beans, Noodles, and Carbon.

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Offline Marlespo

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2002, 05:44:45 PM »
I'll start this off. I'm obviously not in England yet, but here are a few things I've read on other forums and in here that I'm SO glad people told me:

1. Don't expect any kind of closet space, there isn't any
2. You can't declaw your cats in England, it's illegal
3. You can't get large quantities of OTC meds, so stock up if you want them.
I'm done moving. Unrepatriated back to the UK, here for good!

Angels are made out of Coffee Beans, Noodles, and Carbon.

http://flyingnunns.blogspot.com
http://coffeebeancards.etsy.com

Offline Leah

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2002, 07:27:15 PM »
Quote
3. You can't get large quantities of OTC meds, so stock up if you want them.


FYI- You do have to ask if you want to buy more than 12-24 of any tablets, paracetemol/acetaminophin, or ibuprofen, and I recently noticed Boots started stocking bottles of 50 ibuprofen tablets behind the counter, made my day.

I once read that you couldn't get Robitussin or Sudafed here, now you can, as well as Contact and various other brands we're used to. Guess that's a bit of the opposite sort of list, just that we were talking meds.

12yearsandcounting

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2002, 02:00:22 AM »
There is a dampness here that gets in your bones and makes you colder than the actual temperature.   :(

Elaine

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2002, 06:34:56 AM »
T.V. Licence !!!   >:(

Offline glasgow-girl

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2002, 10:08:11 AM »
They don't refergerate the eggs at the store!  Blech! :-X
'Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.' - Emerson

12yearsandcounting

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2002, 10:51:31 AM »
For many over the counter meds you have to go up to the counter and ask-you can't just skulk around the aisles looking.   :(

12yearsandcounting

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2002, 10:52:58 AM »
There is an obsession with food sell by/use by dates bordering on neurotic.  

Offline LisaE

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2002, 03:07:59 PM »
Another thing about the eggs: they're brown.
You don't have to tip nearly as much, or as often.
Brussel sprouts are mandatory Christmas table garnish.
Wedding cakes are frosted fruit cakes.
Dry cooking ingredients are measured by WEIGHT not volume.
Toilet handles are on the opposite side.
Light switches operate the opposite way.
Salt shakers have one big hole; pepper shakers have several holes.
Pants are trousers and nice trousers are pants.
Do not confuse loose pile carpeting with shagging.
You eat faggots, not the other way around.
"b*tch", "tit" and "*bleep*" are acceptable animal terms.
People talk about using rubbers quite openly, and with straight faces.
A "fanny pack" is something you do not discuss in polite company.
Nudity and swearing is common on regular TV.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)

12yearsandcounting

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2002, 04:35:52 PM »
Time:  don't say 10 of five, or quarter of four-you have to say TO  10 to five-or NO ONE will have any idea what you mean.   and half five or half three means five thirty or three thirty.  
and Friday week means a week from Friday.  
You shouldn't have gotten me started.  I'm on a roll now.  

The school year is divided into three terms. Autumn(and they don't EVER call it Fall here, by the way)-September-December.  Spring term-January-Easter and Summer term-Easter-till the flippin' END of July!  
Every term has a week long break called half-term.   There are two weeks off for Christmas and Easter.  And the Summer holiday is about six weeks long.  Of course if you're using private schools, the vacations are longer.  

electric sockets have on/off switches !?!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2002, 04:37:50 PM by 12yearsandcounting »

Offline islandgirl

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2002, 05:25:28 PM »
tiny fridges and even tinier freezers.   i gather most brits don't eat leftovers?  what, no 'leftover day' meals? :) btw, i'm with you guys on the 'sell by' date.  if it looks good, smells fresh, i'm ok.  like the bread that supposedly lasts for 2 days.  i'm not going to the store every 2 days for bread!  but then again, no room in the freezer.

tiny garages.  when we put the car in the garage you can only open the doors on one side of the car.  if we hold our breath we can maybe wiggle out on both sides.

birthday cakes are also fruitcakes.  i had a tough time eating a birthday cake since i don't like fruitcake.  i have betty crocker hoarded for birthdays.

brit chocolate/candy addiction.  a box of sees candies last 30 min over here.  at home, it lasts at least a week.

the beef doesn't taste the same.

you really do have to carry an umbrella everywhere.

vindaloo curry can be harmful to your system (and no kaopectate here, either!)

most family meals are served on one plate.  i put out bowls for people to help themselves and people think i've created a buffet.  but of course, no one eats leftovers (except me, and the dog.  oh, joy.)

how hard it is to find an nhs doctor and dentist to put you on their register.  i see my own doctor for check-ups when i go home for a visit.  

i'm sure there's more!   :D
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
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Offline glasgow-girl

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2002, 08:59:20 PM »
not to get on topic here but....   ;)

that french fries are called chips and chips are called crisps

that my wallet is my purse, and my purse is my bag
'Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.' - Emerson

Offline Leah

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2002, 02:48:33 AM »
Quote
I'm not looking forward to is dealing on a daily basis with the lack of water pressure in the shower.


Two words, electric shower.  :)

Fortnight= two weeks. I didn't know, didn't have a clue, a health visitor said something about a fortnight and I had to ask how long that was. The embarassment.  :-[ But, my parents didn't know either. And the term is used quite often here.

12yearsandcounting

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2002, 05:15:44 PM »
Sick means vomit-as in if you feel sick then you feel like you're about to vomit.  If you've been sick then you've just vomited.  you need to change it to 'I feel unwell' or 'I haven't been well'  It made for alot of confusion when I had just moved here with a baby.
'Has she been sick?'
'no, she just spit up'
'Oh, then she has been sick?'
' No, She's fine'

Offline glasgow-girl

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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2002, 05:40:38 PM »
Oh, yea and I wish I had known that you get approx. 1.2 seconds once you are handed back your card and receipt to get out of the line at shops. >:(
'Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.' - Emerson