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Topic: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had known  (Read 155151 times)

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2002, 03:18:38 PM »
It rains here....a lot, which most people know.  What I didn't know is that it is also darned windy most of the time.

I wish I'd known what an art it is walking on crowded London sidewalks with an umbrella (brolly) without either being poked in the head or poking someone else in the head.  

And don't expect a brolly to actually keep you dry, either.  The aforementioned wind blows rain in every possible direction all at the same time.  

That's just the way it is, but I don't have to like it.

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2002, 09:10:02 PM »
although i'm not over there yet...these are somethings i've noticed from my relationship with my boyfriend after 3+ years....(living together for almost 2):

pissed can mean angry or drunk....he never uses angry to describe a mood...it's always pissed....which i feel is too harsh.
"going to bed" is not done....you only "go to sleep"
also noticed strang obsession with food over here....not as concious with sell/use by date....but will not eat food (mainly leftovers) left in fridge after 1-2 days.
often "can't be bothered" with something....which i use now...;)
get a dirty look when i don't use the parking brake....only whe driving his car though.
does any of your british relations do this?....when "washing up" (dishes put into tub of hot soapy water...not dishwasher)...do they not rinse with clean water before being put on the drying rack?  i questioned my bf about this (saying not rinsing them will make us sick)...he said that's the way his mom did them...and there is nothing on the label saying you have to rinse.  just wondering.  i used to try and do them myself for peace of mind...but at least i haven't died yet.
he hoovers with a red devil.
now my future parent-in-laws have 2 refridgerators...one small english type in kitchen...and one large american type their storage room.
i know making my american recepies will be difficult once i get there....as i tried to make a custard fruit pie (i call a fruit flan) and found pretty much everything....but could not locate cornsyrup at sainsbury's ....ended up using some sort of golden treacle stuff....worked...but wasn't the same.
how scary a drive to london is....esp when the driver is your boyfriend's dad (who drives a taxi).

just some of my encounters...

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2002, 02:42:34 PM »
M, it's certainly in my experience too that dishes are frequently left with soap ON them sone they've been washed, and Oh I hate it. Won't let David do the dishes (much to his dismay ;) ) - I blame it on the sinks. The weird little double sinks where one side is only 2 inches deep? Anyone else have one of those? I completely ignore the shallow side and do my dishes my old-fashioned American way - with the soap getting rinsed off and all! :D
I'm done moving. Unrepatriated back to the UK, here for good!

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #33 on: August 06, 2002, 10:42:41 AM »
No electrical outlets in the bathroom :P...have to use a 400' extention cord....................
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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2002, 12:48:42 PM »
Riiight, not slagging anyone off, but these are definitely things I would have liked to have known before coming over.

*That I would be judged by movies...ie, you must act/feel/think/believe this way...I saw it in a movie...it must be true. (after pointing this out to my MiL we were watching the Bill and there was some police brutality....and she said that they had gotten that from the American jails....I asked where she got that idea and she said...Well they show it in the movies...why would they show it so much if it wasn't true?  Mind you, we're watching a *British* police drama where the beating is occuring...I ask her if this show is indicative of actual policing in the Uk...and she says no of course not....I waited for a few minutes while her mind processed the illogic she'd just spouted at me...the look of horror and apology was quite gratifying (and mind you I love my MiL I think she's brilliant...)

*That everything I say can be discounted because I'm American.

*That people feel its perfectly alright to be extremelly rude to you...and then call it a joke if you're upset...oh and that if you get upset by rudeness it's because you have no sense of humour...like all Americans.

*That racism/bigotry is alive and well....and people will make racist comments and NOT realise it!  They don't realise they're being racist!  (eek!)

*That even tho our country made it just as far as theirs in the World Cup...WE never had a chance.  Oh, and the fact that we've never won?  Don't worry about it....they invented the damn game and only one ONCE!

I think I should shut up now lol.
Ask and ye shall be babbled at.

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2002, 01:11:33 PM »
okay my two cents (about all it's worth but what the hell)

First -Englishman should never be allowed to do the dishes.. you're totally right Marlespo the whole 'rinse' thing is a lost cause with these buys ..tip - do em yourself and buy a dishwashing machine.

Malissa/Tim - 'The no outlets in the bathroom' drove me right up the wall  [smiley=smash.gif]- I have way to much hair for that nonsense. Tim it may keep electrocutions down in this country but Americans don't try to blowdry their hair while sitting in the bloody tub !!!!! oh excuse me ... bloody tub, dear !!!!!!!! [smiley=heart.gif]
And wench my darling girl, you can just keep going on with that list - it's all quite on the money. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
A few more things -
Craft shows and DIY as primetime programming ??? Who the bleep bleep bleep thought up this silly nonsense ? [smiley=toilet.gif]
I have never seen so many boring people with hammers and paint getting airtime. Dear God at 8pm, I want a show, a game, not some goofy trio showing me how to make an ancient aquaduct with pebbles and elmers glue in my backyard !!!
It's like fish and chips should come with a Surgeon Generals warning label saying 'Too much consumption of the following can lead to uncontrolable desires to build silly sh*t or watch other people on tv building silly sh*t.
Last but not least ...what have they done to pizza in this country ? Why is a large only capable of feeding 2-4 people ?
Is it too much to ask for an ex. large that feeds 8 ?
Um thats all for now .... ;D
You're a daisy if you do........

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #36 on: August 12, 2002, 06:07:02 PM »
Dish rinsing: I'm American, and my family never rinsed dishes...which, granted, is odd, but perhaps it's not a cultural thing so much as just an...odd...thing?

Food sell by dates: I still think much of this is ridiculous, but learned after going on vacation that some of it is justified. Was away for a week and a recently purchased loaf of bread turned into a pile of slimy mold. I think it's the wet climate.

Fa**ot: what kind of food does this refer to? Seems like something I should know just in case...

Peanut butter in Britain is just not the same and I haven't been able to find taco seasoning...stock up!

Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2002, 01:59:54 PM »
When someone asks to 'wash their hands' they really mean use the bathroom.  Similarly 'spend a penny' means to pee.

If you are at a zebra crossing, the car is supposed to  stop for you to let you cross.  But you are not supposed to begin crossing when at a crossing light if the light has started flashing-that's the warning that the lights are about to change.  Cars can and do begin to go when their light starts flashing yellow.  

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2002, 06:24:15 PM »
Listening to you all makes me wonder what I am getting ready to move myself into...  LOL

yes, the no outlet in bathrooms is a real pain as I have noted on visits...  I too have very long and curly hair...  so I guess a dressing table will have to be found for our 4x5 bedroom...  

Oh, not sure about London, but up north there are doors to every room and of course they must always be shut at all times...  there are no such things as open spaces within your home, except for the halls. Showers up north are a luxury and freezers are an option, not a necessity required by a landlord. Bags of Ice is also a luxury rarely found...  with a picnic just a plain cooler will do, no ice.

Decorating means painting or papering the walls... or even worse, paper the walls then paint the paper.  Spent a 2 week vacation there last year doing just that to the kitchen that was a stark bright yellow... which btw if you do not have a loud (colour) in each room then you are not in style...  (I will be bland I guess...  prefer off white walls and color in my pillows and throws and other such novelties)

Most of all, Fish and chips is a weekly requirement to keep your man happy with a set day weekly to eat them.

 And I have not even lived there yet...  what fun I shall have...  everytime I read something here my care package list gets bigger.
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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #39 on: August 16, 2002, 02:59:32 PM »
Wow, the lists are really good.  As far as Scotland is concerned...

Before leaving the US, take one last look at the sun. Burn into your memory. It will give you something to tell your grandkids.

Umbrellas are brollys.

Money machines are doot doots.

Steady =  that's enough

Communists aren't the bad guys and the US is too hard on Fidel. (Long story that one.)

Red,White, Blue, and Orange are loyal to the Crown. All others do not pass Go.

Popular songs are associated with particular football teams. Hum them at your own peril.

Don't take the stairs in high flats. They're used as a loo.

And I cannae resist this one...
It's Glesca, Glasgow Girl.  ;D  

"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." Oscar Wilde

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2002, 12:53:14 AM »
I'm not in the UK yet but I wanted to put down the things I'm glad I know before I go:

The whole fanny thing, I had no idea!

Light switches and toilet flushers!!

Doggie bags are not the norm and are considered low class.

That no matter how much I know, I'll make a fool out of myself sooner or later.
There are two things in life for which we are never truly prepared:  twins.

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #41 on: August 28, 2002, 11:19:46 PM »
If you like ice in your drink you'll have some trouble getting it.

One must specify, emphatically, how much ice is wanted.  "Lots of ice please" = 3 cubes.  "A glass full of ice please" = 4 cubes  "No, really, please, full to the brim, overflowing with ice, please" = about half a cup full of ice in my coke or about the right amount in my G&T.  I have actually handed cups of coke back to the server in places like McD's or Burger King and said, "More ice please."  On one particularly grumpy day, when the young man seemed confused and replied, "But it's full (of drink)," I told him, rather sharply, "Well then, POUR some of it out and PUT MORE ICE IN THE CUP!!"  

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2002, 10:59:42 AM »
Cooking is a whole 'nother ball game.
is the website for "American Cooking in England" --  
A guide for buying American Ingredients in British supermarkets... I wish I'd had it 4 years ago!  There's also an addition about the whole rinsing vs not rinsing dishes and how it can cause intense marital strife  ;)...

The cuts of meat are different...
the foodstuffs/ingredients you can't find (this changes, however... Old El Paso is much more prevalent than it was just two years ago)
Costco has saved a lot of peanut butter addicts...
you can also find ziplock bags (Yes!!), large pecan pies (Yes Yes!!), huge American-style dessert muffins (you know, chocolate chocolate chip  ;D ) and other American goodies.

All that being said... my frustration over cooking the first 6 months I was here... well, there's no describing it, really.  I highly reccomend this book!!!  It was self-published by an American living in England, Delora Jones.

"Excuse Me" along with implying someone else is in the way, also refers to when you've passed gas... it is not a polite way of saying you did not understand someone -- as in,
"I'm gooin doon th' toon ta pick up ma messages...." and you would look quizzically at the person and say "excuse me?"  -- no.. I've found that "say again" has worked the best up here in Scotland...

That postmen don't pick your mail up at your door.

Or-EGG-en-o  (Oregano) over here is Or-eh-GAH-no...

Ask your british beloved to say "boogie woogie" -- as in the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company D... I fall over in giggles every time....

juice = soda/pop  (maybe this is a Scotland thing?)
fresh orange = orange juice
lemonade = sprite or seven up style drink (this is pretty well known, I guess)

American Style fridge with water dispenser in the door... but you have to change the water bottle inside the door of the fridge...???  ::) Though someone told me recently they had a 'true' american style where the water is hooked up to a water pipe...

(btw - I've seen bags of ice at my local Tescos...)

do the doors to your rooms all open inside the room, rather than against the wall??? This drives me nuts.

Electric Showers - you have to be sure and turn them 'on'...
on the plus side you don't run out of hot water... on the minus side I finally cut my hair because rinsing was just tooooooo tedious!!!  If you can get a power shower, that might be more to what you're used to, M.

A clothes washer and dryer in the same unit.
yet we can't have a plug in the bathroom...
huh??!?!?!?!  I understand that because of the voltage being much much higher the risk of electrocution is higher... I don't like it, but understand... but if a clothes washer uses water to wash clothes, and electricity to heat the water.... not to mention the electric shower .... I give up  :D...

"mixer taps" - the left hand side of the stream of water is blistering hot, the right hand side of the water is freezing cold... its a bit better with more modern ones...  but at my hubby's flat it was just weird.

I'm 5 foot 7 and I find the sinks short... my back starts hurting if I'm standing doing dishes for more than 10 minutes at a time because of the angle... no probs if you're a bit shorter...  :)

I wish I'd truly understood what it means.  This is hard to explain ~ but before moving over I'd lived as a student in London for 11 weeks one summer, had come over for another 6 weeks as a student a couple years later... had made a number of visits and thought I understood what I'd be doing.
I love my husband a whole bunch - coming here to be with him is the best thing I could have done...

I thought I understood.
Knowing with your head and understanding with your heart can be the journey of a lifetime.


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Re: LIST: Things about England you wish you had kn
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2002, 06:57:17 AM »
There is a dampness here that gets in your bones and makes you colder than the actual temperature.   :(

.... which can mean coughs and sniffles for months at a time even if you are like me, at least until recently, a life long resident of the UK.  It is worse if you live in a big city and have to rely on public transport where hords of commuters are crammed into a hot damp bus or train carriage and all are coughing and sniffling.  Ugh! [smiley=sick.gif]

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Re: LIST: Things about The UK you wish you had kno
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2002, 11:50:51 AM »
Back to things I wish I had known...

Not really important - but the toilet flushes coming in half flush and full flush.  Kind of takes one off guard to begin with.

I personally believe that a warning sign should be put up in all bathrooms in the UK with this feature.

I have this insane image in my head of someone getting their bum suctioned to the seat if they "full flush" before arising. ;D ;D ;D
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again." Oscar Wilde

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