Things to Know in England: Part 2

Thoughts from Alanna…

Here again are more things I’ve learned about English life! Make sure to check out Part One here.

Washing machines are always in the kitchen. Good luck finding a dryer since you probably won’t! Because of the climate, especially in the south, dryers aren’t really necessary so many go without.

Roundabouts are a thing of beauty and everyone seems to handle them so effortlessly. There’s also instances where there’s two roundabouts back to back, making a big scary figure eight. I’ve also never seen a stop sign and I’m beginning to believe they don’t exist.

“Ta” and “cheers” are acceptable replacements for “thank you” or “goodbye,” However, I would feel like a total imposter saying it.

Mailboxes are slots on everyone’s front door so when they shove mail through it, it sounds like someone’s trying to break into your house.

England uses pound sterling as their currency, which is worth more than twice as much as Canadian. Conveniently, the bills are different sizes depending on their denomination (5 pound bills being much smaller than 20s). Coins (pence) come in funny denominations: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p. You might also hear someone say “20 quid” instead of “20 pounds.” It’s basically their version of saying bucks instead of dollars.

Pound Sterling

Schools require students to wear uniforms and they don’t have yellow school buses that most are used to. Instead, students take the city bus to and from school if they aren’t driven or it’s too far to walk

Tipping is basically not a thing in England. In Canada, I would tip at a bar, restaurant, taxi, hair salon, you name it. Here, you only tip if you really want to. It’s totally voluntary.

Traffic lights are red, green and yellow (everyone says amber), like normal. However, when it’s red and going to turn green, the lights will go both red and yellow first. It basically gives cars a chance to shift gear (everyone drives standard) and get moving!

People will add “x”s to the end of their text messages, emails, etc., as sign of affection. To me, adding an “x” seems incredibly personal, but a lot of people do it with relationships, friends, family and anyone they’re close to or want to be polite.

EscalatorThe Tube in London, or the Underground, is a beast of its own. Escalators etiquette there (and everywhere else for that matter) requires that you stand on the right hand side so people can run past you on the left.