I studied abroad in Wales in college. Coming from the US, I just kind of assumed things wouldn’t be that different in the UK. We both spoke the same language, right? Sure, some people spoke Welsh, but everyone there also spoke English, albeit with a funny accent. (They probably thought my accent was funny, too). For the most part, I imagined the UK like a more quaint, tea-obsessed America but with more tweed and different lyrics to My Country ‘Tis of Thee. (Ok, we definitely ripped that one off, but it still feels so weird to hear the lyrics to God Save the Queen over our most famous patriotic elementary school song).
While a lot of things were the same, I was shocked by all the little differences that took some getting used to.
First of all their change is way heavier than ours. After living in Wales for 6 months, a handful of American coins felt like play money.
And their refrigerators are tiny! All five of my roommates and I were expected to share a fridge half the size of the one I had at home.
And the carpet in bars? You’d never see that in the US, but almost every pub in Wales had wall to wall carpeting that looked like it had been there since before America was even founded.
And here’s the one that really threw me: they don’t refrigerate their eggs! Apparently, it’s actually weird that the US does refrigerate eggs, most countries don’t. But it never failed to weird me out to open the cabinet and find a dozen eggs next to the cereal.
The UK definitely surprised me, and I’m not alone. Here are some of the funniest things people from other countries discovered when they traveled to the UK for the first time.