Things to Know in England: Part 4





Thoughts from Alanna…

Welcome back to another instalment of Things to Know in England! Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 (all about fooood!!)


I have yet to see a vehicle with three rows of seats like any common van or SUV. It appears they either don’t exist or are very rare.

Medicine packaging has braille on it! BrailleHow cool! Also it tastes worse than I could ever imagine!! A lot of the time you have to actually speak to a pharmacist to get
medicine (like my drowsy cold and flu medicine, or 400mg of ibuprofen). For reference: ibuprofen is Advil and acetaminophen is Tylenol since you won’t get those brand names here.

You have to pay for a TV Licence. Yes, it’s a thing. You have to pay if you watch or record programs if they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service. The official website says that It doesn’t matter if you use a TV, computer, tablet, cellphone, games console, digital box, DVD/VHS recorder or any other device. It’ll cost you £145.50 for a colour TV Licence and £49.00 for a black and white licence.

Phone numbers look like 05743 230 423 or 020 7946 0018 or even 01232 230238. Emergency services is 999 and cellphones are called mobiles.

England formats their dates backwards from what you’ll be used to in Canada. Here, they write day, month, year, so Jan 6, 2016 would be 06/01/16. Back home, it’s common for someone to say “Our meeting is on January 6th.” In England, most people would say “Our meeting is the 6th of January,” putting the day before the month like their written format.

I’ve definitely heard “I’m going out for a fag” more than I can count on my fingers. A lot of people seem to roll their own cigarettes as well as it tends to be cheaper.

People seem to use kilograms or stones to measure weight, with one stone being 14 pounds. You might hear, “I’ve eaten too many sweets, I’ve gained 1 stone!” People will still use pounds, so don’t worry.

Using your middle finger to swear at someone doesn’t happen. Instead, you’d show a “peace” sign backwards. It’s not polite!

The punctuation to signify the end of a sentence is a full stop. It’s not called a “period.” Dear God, don’t say period.