How I am Coping With Living in The UK

Pardon my long silence. Let’s face it, moving to the UK hasn’t been easy. My first week here was particularly rough. But now that I am falling into the swing of things (*knock on wood*), I am also falling in love with my new surroundings.

So far I like to think that I am adapting to British culture fairly well. I already wake up in the morning looking forward to a breakfast of weetabix and a cup of tea. Still, I have a lot of important things to work on. For instance, no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember what they call bell peppers.

Here are a few things I LOVE:

Flapjacks. 

No, I do not mean pancakes. These are oaty snack bars (sometimes dipped in chocolate). Reference photo:

 flapjack

Tea every morning. 

There is nothing like waking up to a good cuppa (that is what Brits call a cup of black tea, usually with a bit of milk and no sugar). My coffee addiction is officially squelched.

GIF

That is what tea says to me when tea speaks to me each morning.

Hanging laundry in the yard to dry.

Yes! It is just as fun and romantic as it looked in the Little House on the Prairie books. Although I must admit, as an American, hanging my clothes to dry in public does feel like a bit of a privacy violation, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

giphy-5

Building a fire. 

This isn’t necessarily a British thing. However, the family I live with owns a farm in the country about 30 minutes outside the city. We go and visit at least every weekend. Growing up I always dreamed of living on a farm, so I’ve enjoyed building my repertoire of practical skills (including but not limited to fire building, duck house cleaning, and tent rope tightening).

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Things I’m not as sure about yet: 

Ridiculous Banks.

I need to open a bank account to do some things. For example, buy food and pay rent. You know, just slightly important things. I finished my bank account application online, so now all I have to do is show up in a physical bank and show them my passport to prove that I am in fact a real human being. Guess what? The closest appointment available was over two weeks away at a bank that is a 40 minute walk from my house. WHAAAAAT? Why can’t I just pop into the bank around the corner from me and throw my passport at them?

giphy-2

Drunk People.

Night time around here is quite a bit more animated than the Bible Belt town I grew up in. I’m learning to fall asleep to the cheery singing of drunk people walking by my window. When I am super tired It can get a bit annoying, but usually it is entertaining. Like for example a few days ago when I fell asleep to the sound of 20 or so drunk guys stomping by while singing:

“Everywhere we go

people ought to know 

who we are 

so we tell them 

we are The Titans” 

Word Choice

I don’t know if it is because my ears are not adapted to the fact that people speak like 20 decibels quieter here or if it is because I cannot fill the gaps in conversation because British English word choice is so different, but when I am in large crowds there is a whole lot of smiling-and-nodding-without-any-idea-what-you-are-actually-saying going on. Hopefully I’m not the only one.

Also, I wonder how many awkward moments its will take before I start to remember that “pants” here are called “trousers”. Apparently pants = underwear. Whoops.

College = Uni (short for University. College here generally refers to the last two years of high school)

Dodgy = Sketchy 

Posh = Fancy 

Pullover Sweater = Jumper 

Car Trunk = Boot 

Math = Maths 

Gum = Glue 

Rain Boots = Wellies

Parking Lot = Car Park 

Sidewalk = Pavement 

Freeway = Motorway 

Vacation = Holiday 

Do you want me to go on and on? Cause I could be doing this all day you know. When I am with my British friends I try to use their words to avoid misunderstanding. But when I call my family and tell them stories, I try my best to go back to my American accent in its purest form so as not to sound like a obnoxious little sponge. Between the accent and the word choice differences, when I tell them stories I often feel like I am translating between languages.

Have a wonderful day lovely ones!

Cheers!

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

12 thoughts on “How I am Coping With Living in The UK”

  1. Loved hearing from you again! Your dictionary of terms is so funny – I knew a lot of them already, but the pants/trousers one always makes me laugh! I would forever be making that mistake, too. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting Olivia. Do you know how many awkward moments I’ve been in because of that last one? It is starting to not be funny. Alas, I still can’t get it ingrained into me. PANTS ARE CALLED TROUSERS.

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  2. It’s great to hear from you again! I’m super glad you’re enjoying your new life in the UK.

    Hahaha, you have drawn so many comparisons to my life… The clotheslines thing, the word choice, the translating. It’s all so different from Canada! (Capsicums, peppers are called capsicums! And cilantro is coriander, at least in Oz.) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Capsicums! That is it. I’ve had it told to me multiple times now, but I just can’t remember that word for some reason. Coriander and Aubergines are easier for me : )

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  3. This made me laugh! I am English and live in Glasgow, but most of my online friends are American and Canadian so I feel like I spend quite a lot of time explaining “being British” (which apparently is an endlessly fascinating topic). I would use posh more than I’d use fancy, probably, or at least equally, and I’d also use dodgy and sketchy equally (probably dodgy more). But then again, there’s massive variation throughout Britain, so I don’t know very much at all about Welsh idioms (you do live in Wales, right?).

    I love your bio! (I too struggle with the whole walking without falling over thing.) I’m a new follower 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WAIT NO WAIT. So I followed this blog and then I was like “I’m sure I follow another blog called Miss Adventure, or is it Misadventures”, and I looked aaaand there was a blog in my feed, inactive for ten months, run by a Susanna, Misadventures of a Globetrotting Teenager, last post saying “I’m moving to Wales” …

      This isn’t a coincidence is it?!?! Your picture is not huge so I’m struggling with positive photo identification but I’m pretty sure … ???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all a coincidence. I moved blogs around the time I moved to Wales. I am so sorry I somehow didn’t make that clear enough to my old blog’s followers. So glad you are back Emily!!!

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    2. Hey Emily! It is so nice to meet you. I hope we can be blogging buddies : ) Yes, I do live in Wales. One of my favourite things about being in the United Kingdom is that accents and language vary so much from region to region, even from town to town. It is definitely an endlessly fascinating place.

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