Thursday, July 14, 2016

London Life

When I was getting ready to move to London, I knew there would be some things that were different about England. People driving on the left side of the road means I have to look in a different direction first before crossing the road (or look both directions multiple times). Plug converter was a must. And there were some things I hadn't heard about but read about in anticipation. And yet, there were still more things that caught me by surprise. All part of the adventure!

  • Outlet Switches- Different plugs? Yes. But outlets have switches on them so if you forget to turn on the outlet, your phone will not charge. My guess is it's to save electricity and/or prevent fire.
  • Fire Safety- Speaking of fire prevention, they take it very seriously here. Weekly fire alarm tests in public buildings, fire doors at every turn, I think the Great Fire really set the standard here.
  • Measurements- You've read my laments (hopefully you've read them!!) about converting cups to grams but there's also Fahrenheit to Celcius. People get really shocked if you say it's 70 degrees in Boston...

  • Dryers- I had read that most flats don't have dryers. But they have washers so it's a step up from most apartments in the States. But you know that lint screen in your dryer? What happens to all that lint if there's no dryer to fluff it out of your towels? It ends up on you and your floor. More vacuuming (sorry, "hoovering") required.
  • Alright?- Even though I have since learned this slang term to mean "how are you doing?", whenever my flatmates ask me "alright?", I immediately grow concerned that I've done something or walked in a certain way to make them think I'm not alright. Nope, they're just being friendly. Chill out, American. 
  • Rings- So this is more of a European thing but apparently, one doesn't always wear wedding rings on the left hand but sometimes on the right hand instead. This is a bit difficult because London is very international so I have noticed a fair number of people wearing rings on their right hand but my rings pretty much only fit on ring fingers. So now I play the game of do I let you try and figure out if I'm married or do I stuff a ring on my middle finger instead...
  • Gum- There aren't sticks of gum here or individually wrapped pieces. It seems that it's all the chicklet pieces. My guess is it has to do with reducing litter 
  • Iced Coffee- Oh my goodness. Iced coffee is not iced coffee here at all. So far, I've received a shot of espresso over ice, topped off with milk and a blended ice, milk and coffee beverage when I've asked for iced coffee. What I wouldn't give for a Dunkin' iced coffee to make this really feel like summer. But Starbucks does have cold brew here so there's a step in the right direction.
I have yet to solve what's a lorry versus a bus versus a truck (are they the same thing?) and I still bust out the calculator when determining baking measurements but, I'm getting there!

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