Having lived in the Great Land of Britain for almost 4 years now, I have undoubtedly taken some of their habits on board.
What is the stereotype of British people? Before I came here I knew that they all drink lots of tea and they talk about the weather all the time.
That’s obviously a stereotype, as I have loads of friends who hate tea, but to some extent these things hold true.
Before moving to Britain, I hated tea. I would only drink it if I was ill because I thought it would make me better. It took a good 3 years, but by the end of my undergraduate degree I loved tea. With this goes the saying “there’s nothing a cup of tea can’t fix”. I could not understand that before but now totally agree with. (Although I would still opt for wine in most cases but tea will do the job if wine’s not available).
When it comes to the weather.. then yes. Every British person I have met so far, loves to talk about the weather. Well, they might not love to talk about it, but they do anyway. Maybe this is especially the case as I worked in a local pub and that is just what every customer mentions when they come in or maybe it’s just the hot topic of discussion because there’s always something weird happening with the weather (Weird= Rainy or Sunny). Regardless, I find myself talking about the weather at every possible occasion. When I first moved here I found it quite hilarious when people would walk into the pub on a rainy day and go on and on about how they just “can’t believe the rain.” Like seriously, you live in Swansea, the wettest town in the whole of UK, surely by the time you are 50 you should “believe” the rain.
Although saying that.. I still can’t believe the rain.
Another thing that I believe is quite British is using vinegar for chips and in crisp flavourings.. When I first tried salt & vinegar crisps in Australia I had to spit it out as the flavour of vinegar was literally revolting.. 4 years in Wales and what is one of my favourite flavour crisps? Yep, you guessed it, salt & vinegar.
On the topic of crisps, the thing I did not understand when coming here was that people have a bag of crisps as their lunch as if it’s totally normal. Growing up in Finland, crisps were the treat you were allowed to have on the weekend if your friends came over to watch a film, not a daily substitute for food. We didn’t even have those small grab packs of crisps in Finland (don’t know if we do now) so seeing people eating crisps every day in Uni really shocked me at first. Anyhow, as you can guess, after criticising this whole notion of eating crisps as a meal I have become a hypocrite and started to eat them myself. I buy a bag when I am hungry and use it as a substitute for snack or addition to my lunch. It’s so bad but I cannot help it. Let’s just blame it on the culture 🙂
Few more phrases I’ve started using that I think have purely come from the Welsh:
-Saying “now in a minute”. It does not make sense when you think about it but it just comes out automatically.
-Using the word “mind” at the end of a sentence when you don’t really need it.. “I could use it again mind.”
-Describing things as “lush”. I don’t like the word, but sometimes it just seems to be the most suitable.
Didn’t wanna make this post sound like it’s only negative things that I’ve learnt here so to end on a high:
-One majorly positive thing is that I’ve become more polite, because the British really are, extremely polite. And the Welsh are the friendliest 🙂
Anyone have any interesting habits to share from living abroad?
Have a nice long weekend!