…in no particular order.
1. It’s really windy, especially on the coast. OK, gale-force winds. Forget Paul Mitchell Freeze & Shine Super Spray girls, it’s no help.
2. You hear the word “sorry” a lot, especially if someone shuffle-steps coming towards you and you both can’t decide what direction to walk in.
3. If you’re looking for the public toilet, call it a toilet not a bathroom. British logic is–there is no bath. And it’s true.
4. Parking spaces are much tighter. One space at Costco could almost fit two (mid-size) cars in the UK.
5. A lot of popular drinks taste slightly different in the UK, like Coke and Dr. Pepper for instance. Despite even that, what’s more interesting is, there’s more carbonation in the fizzy drinks too. Don’t drop a litre bottle of Coke and then open it slowly, it’ll still spray all over you. Right, Bryan?
6. Heinz has a huge market share in Britain. Look for (low sodium – woohoo) soups a-go-go (as many as Campbell’s. We have Campbell’s too), Heinz beanz, spaghetti, macaroni cheese, ravioli and many others. My question is: where are they here? It’s an American company. I don’t get it.
7. It’s much greener than you’d think. All-year round too. The grass is never dormant.
8. You can’t exit the motorway and get right back on. You have to drive to the next junction (exit) and try and navigate back. Just assume you know where you’re going; or, better yet, take a map.
9. Traffic police don’t monitor your speed on the motorways, traffic cameras do. Watch out for the signposts. If you speed passed, they’ll catch you. However, if you have an American license, chances are they’ll drop it. Apparently, we can’t have a trip to Scotland without the big flashy lights going off, it just wouldn’t be the same.
10. Roundabouts are easier to navigate if you use your indicator lights. Failing to do this passing traffic wishing to enter ahead of you could result in a smashy-crashy. (If you’re taking the third exit from the roundabout, keep your right-hand signal on till you get to the one you want, then change it to the left as you exit.)
11. Rather than waving someone on, use your “flashy-flashies”. A quick flash flash is sufficient enough to say, “on ye go, pal.” You can also use them on the motorway to let the lorries (trucks) know they have enough room to move in front of you. Or, if someone is moving slower than you would like in the fast lane, flashy-flashy will politely tell them to move over or be crushed to smithereens.
Point to remember: Never try and get away with passing on the passenger side, they hate that.
12. There’s a minimum amount you have to spend to use your debit card. Don’t worry, it’s only about £3.00 in some places.
13. It’d better to ask a local if you can’t find a toilet in a store where the nearest one is, a lot of smaller stores don’t have them for public use.
Point to consider: It helps if you have a desperate 3-year-old with you at the time.
14. Bonus point: The ground (or street level, or the extra-fancy sounding, Lobby) floor isn’t Floor 1, it’s G (for ground – not just a clever name). A good point to remember if you ever find yourself in a lift.