I'm British so I had no idea British life was weird. But I guess that's how most people in Britain feel, content in our Britishness, unknowing in our strangeness - our lives passing back and forth in a blissful British ignorance.
But, readers, you need not live in your blissful British ignorance any longer. A Vogue writer has described her experience of what's weird about living here after moving over from America.
You can read the article in full here, but I've hand selected some of the points that, as a British person, I thought were weird to think were weird...
- British people do not use umbrellas, even though it rains every day.
- Everyone says sorry for everything; it's often best to start any request with "sorry . . ."
- If you look confused and/or scared when crossing the street, drivers will often speed up instead of the opposite.
- There are no plugs in the bathrooms-unclear how British women blow-dry their hair (this is a possible explanation for why some have bad hair).
- Crisps means potato chips and they have bizarre flavours like Bolognese and roast chicken (yes, roast chicken is an actual potato chip flavour here).
- British people do not say "cheers" and tap glasses when drinking with friends. It's apparently embarrassing and "American" to do so. They do, however, say "cheers" many times a day, but it means "thank you and goodbye."
- If you have a "cider black" (aka a snakebite) at a pub you might think you got roofied, but you didn't.
- Don't try to order any fancy drinks at a pub, just play it cool, order "a pint" and drink whatever is in there.
- Eggs are inexplicably not refrigerated and are often hidden in a regular food aisle.
- British people love talking about the weather. This is not a stereotype; it's a fact.
- A shopping bag is not automatically included in your purchase at a store; if you miss the question "would you like a bag?" you will have to awkwardly carry your items out in your hands and act like you planned that.
- James Corden and Jeremy Corbyn are two different people.
- The coins are not sized by worth; the 2p is inexplicably huge while 2p is very small [in value]. Best to hold out your change in your hand when paying and pretend you don't speak English.
- If you live near Fulham Road it does not necessarily mean you live near Fulham.
- Bank Holidays happen several times a year, but no one actually knows what the holiday is in celebration of. Incidentally, if you say "Happy Bank Holiday" to an English person, they will not know how to respond; it is not the equivalent of "Happy Fourth of July!"
- If it's sunny in London and someone is visiting from literally anywhere else, it's actually illegal if you don't say, "Thanks for bringing us the sunshine!"
To be honest, a lot of this feels like bullshit, and there's always the chance that she decided to ham up the weirdness of it all for the sake of being able to write an article about her experiences of it. But if we take it at face value I guess that shows how little we stop to think about how odd our run-of-the-mill behaviour might seem to an outsider.
That's deep or what, man?
Featured image credit: PA Images