I have lived in the UK for more than two years now and have to say that I love the British and have made some amazing friends. However, over time, I noticed a few things I just find weird and will probably never get used to. For any British people reading this, please don’t take it too seriously! There will always be parts of a culture that others struggle to understand, which doesn’t mean they are bad in any way. So here are six things about British culture I will probably never fully understand:
1.In England, the first really nice sunny and a bit warmer days in the year are usually in March or April. On those days, British people suddenly put on their shortest, sexiest summer clothes, flip flops and sunglasses – while I feel brave not wearing a scarf. I feel like, because sunny days are more rare than in other places, people here embrace them so much more and spend as much time as they can outside. This is great, but I still don’t get how they aren’t freezing wearing summer clothes in March! This point goes hand-in-hand with the next thing I will never understand, which is that British girls go out in super short dresses and heels even in winter – brr!
You literally have the options to burn your hands or use freezing water. I still always wonder where this came from and what the idea behind it was. And some people might say that this only exists in old flats, but no, I’ve seen this in apartments that have been built in the last 20 years or so. Someone please explain to me, what’s the point in this?
3.It’s acceptable to go to the pub every single night. Every single day at around 5, you see loads of British people go to the pub for a pint with their mates after work – I’ve never seen anything quite like this anywhere else. In Germany we obviously go to bars too, but it definitely would not be socially acceptable to drink every day.
4. This. is. not. bread.
This is toast, but British people call it bread. And for me, coming from a country where we have amazing bread, this is just a no-go. This is meant to be eaten toasted, so I will forever call it toast.
5. It’s, of course, well known that British people are overly polite and I still haven’t fully gotten used to this after two years of living here. As a German, I’m so much more direct and still sometimes say things like “This dress doesn’t look great on you” or “What you just did doesn’t make sense at all”. The British would say these things a lot more subtly like “That dress looks great on you, but maybe try another colour?”. On the same note, in Britain, people generally start conversations with small talk about the weather or how quickly the weekend was over, before getting to what they actually wanted to say. I feel like people oftentimes think I’m a bit straightforward, maybe even rude for not doing this and getting straight to the point. The British politeness is, of course, a beautiful thing, but I don’t think I will ever fully adjust.
6. Last but not least: Not having electricity plugs in the bathroom, because you could electrocute yourself? I just want to use my hairdryer and charge my electric toothbrush in the bathroom, and not in the bedroom.