Tuesday, 22 May 2012

10 More English Lessons

Back when we first moved here I wrote a post about things I'd learned about living in England. After seven months in the country, I think it's just about time for another round of observations.
  1. Tea is more than a culture here, it's an obsession. People get up countless times a day for a "hot drink" and always come back with cups for everyone around them (made just the way they like it, of course).
  2. Members clubs are very big here (meaning private clubs that you pay to go at night or sometimes in the day). If you manage to get in they're super fun, but if not you can be left feeling a bit like a loser! It seems that people really like feeling exclusive...probably goes along with the whole class system here that's much more obvious than in the States. 
  3. Before we came to England, Jim attended a cultural training session about country differences where they described Americans as peaches and Brits as coconuts. Why, you may ask? Americans are typically friendly and tend to share their lives with many friends, but maybe only a few that know them at their very core. On the other hand, Brits have a harder shell and tend to be more closed off, but once you get in, they're quite sweet. So far I've found this to be very true.
  4. One cannot mistake politeness for niceness over here. Case in point: if you meet someone and they invite you over for dinner, they may well never intend to follow through even though you may be planning what dish you'll bring. You just have to take these things with a grain of salt because in the end it's quite comical.
  5. I've acquired a new few favourite funny words: niggles (annoying everyday occurences), faffing (messing around) and sorted (get it sorted out). Every week I seem to learn a new, ridiculous word that just doesn't translate in America...and I love it.
  6. I always seem to hear people talking about having a "lie in" in the weekend (meaning sleeping in, perhaps with a bellini and a croissant). I think it goes along with the fact that weekends (and all time away from work) is very valued here. No complaints here! 
  7. Londoners love getting out of the city on the weekend...and love talking about it! If you live in a city it's always nice to get away, but there's something different about the way people talk about the countryside here like it's a magical place (it is actually really beautiful).
  8. Certain fruit and veg (vegetables are almost always called veg) have different names: aubergines are eggplants and courgette is zucchini. Who knew!
  9. Sentences are often shortened as in "could do" or "should do" for I/we could or should do that. You hear this ALL the time, and I now use it too.
  10. Fair Dinkum is not only a Disney character here, it also means fair or true in Australia, but I've heard it said here. I'm not kidding.
So there you have it...ten more things you may not have known about English culture. Until the next installment...cheerio!

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