Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Top Ten In Ten Years

If you can believe it, it was my 10 year anniversary of living in this country last Friday, May 25. I've learned a lot over the past 10 years, so thought I'd do a top 10 list to commemorate it. 

Here it is. 

10. Military time. In the U.K., train timetables and digital clocks (usually) read the 24-hour scale. Now I know that 20.00 is 8 pm without even thinking. This still amazes me sometimes.

9. If you are ordering a burger in the U.K. and you don't like mayonnaise, ask if it comes with mayonnaise. It's not worth the risk -- chances are -- it does.

8. If you thought you knew how to drink, think again. Drinking is a competitive sport in this country.

7. When an English person says "oh, incidentally" or "by the way", that means they are about to get to the primary purpose of their discussion with you. If you are not careful you might miss very important pieces of communication with the English. It takes a little detective work, but eventually the subtlety won't be lost on you.

6. In the U.K., I am not considered 'pasty' or 'pale'. In fact, in this country I even sometimes look 'tan' after a holiday. Did I mention how much I love the U.K.?

5. If it rains at the beach, just get a cup of hot tea to warm up and ignore it. It's better that way.

4. No matter what country you live in, people are fundamentally the same. No one country has a larger percentage of people who are perceived to be 'unclassy', 'stupid' or 'uncultured' or those who think they are better than this group. Pretty much, everywhere you go, people like to judge others (It's sad!).

3. When you get invited to someone's house in England, you've made it. This could take years in some cases, so don't despair. It will eventually happen and it will be lovely.

2. If it's sunny outside, no matter what the temperature, and you're at a party/pub/someone's house/wedding, you are required to be outside. Invest in a good summer coat and scarf, as it's better to be warm so your teeth won't chatter and you can actually enjoy the sun. Because if it's sunny now, it might not be later.

1. You can have more than one home. Home is a fluid concept – it's where your life is – and that's not always a constant.