In the spirit of pre-New Year’s reflection, here’s what I’ve learned about the British so far:
From television I have learned that head lice is still an issue here
Also from TV, it is totally fine to have a drunken one night fling at the company holiday party – just make sure a condom is used
You can buy alcohol pretty much anywhere
Speaking of that, “supermarkets” here devote 1/3 to 1/2 their floor space to alcohol
All alcohol sold has a little symbol on it that says how many “units” it is… men should max out at 3-4 per day, women 2-3
The A-Team and especially Mr. T still have a decent amount of advertising pull
It is pretty common for drunk english men to piss wherever they want… like shockingly common
Every alley, passageway, mews, court, footpath, or trail no matter how narrow or short gets a name and street sign
most of the jobs here are filled by using recruiters
West London is prettier and has more parks than East London
The windows here do not have screen on them
It does not rain as often as people think it does
There are 7 large Victorian era public cemeteries here – so of course they are called the Magnificent 7
British television is not that good.. and there is a surprising number of american TV shows available
Trying to find a job is time consuming
Most anything you need you can get at a corner shop
There are pelicans in St. James’s Park and they never leave, even though theoretically they could. They must understand that they have a good thing going.
If adding an “s” to a word that ends in “s” you can’t just put an apostrophe after the “s”… you have to add an apostrophe “s”, even though it is terribly redundant. As in St. James’s Park instead of just St. James’ Park. Also, you pronounce the extra “s”, so it is Saint Jameses Park, so it sounds funny as well as looking funny
There are a slew of pronunciation rules here that unless you grew up here you will never learn. Most of them relate to silent letters, the best example being “Worchestershire” pronounced “Wooster” yes, you people on the east coast know what I’m talking about.
I’m sure you all know that a car’s trunk is a boot here, but did you know that the hood is a bonnet? and the roof is the hood?
The US is good at making cars that go fast in a straight line, but can not make a car that turns
If you want to stand out from the automotive crowd you need a bentley, an aston martin, a ferrari, or maybe something like a TVR. Porsches? yawn. Alternately you could drive something that is just goofy – like the V6 clio, the “fast” smart car, or an old fiat or triumph.
Ferraris in the city sound like motorcycles due to the reverb from the buildings
It is faster to change from the district line to the piccadilly line at earl’s court than at south kensington.
If you are going to covent garden it is far better to get off at Leicester (pronounced Lester – see above comment) and walk for 5 minutes instead of getting off at covent garden and having to be crammed into a elevator (or lift as they like to say here)
On the old tube lines, the stops all have a different color and pattern to the wall tiles so illiterate people know which stop they are at
London is in a CONSTANT state of repair – there is scaffolding everywhere. I defy anyone to find 100 consecutive meters where there is not scaffolding set up or some other construction going in
The water here is exceptionally hard and has a lot of calcium in it. This may have something to do with the city’s water mains being installed in Victorian times and thus being over 100 years old.
If you are overwhelmed by people and crowds in the center of the city, you can make about 4 random turns and be all by yourself – this is especially true in the square mile.
There is not a lot to see if you walk from chelsea to Westminster
London dogs, for the most part, are amazingly well behaved
In the city center and / or square mile, you’re never really more than about 5 minutes from a tube station
Heathrow terminal 5 is not nearly the giant pile of crap it has been made out to be in the press
Europe loves Obama
So there you go. I’m sure there’s more but those will have to do for now.