If you are thinking of coming to visit England, it can help to know exactly what you are actually getting into. All cultures have their own unique idiosyncrasies, and England is no different, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you have brushed up on your English knowledge before you go. That will help you to enjoy your travels all the more, and will mean that you can avoid any of the more embarrassing faux pas you might have been otherwise guilty of. So I am going to share some of the surprises which you should prepare yourself for, if you are going to be visiting England some time soon.
Although you might have heard about it, it’s quite another to experience pub culture in all its glory for real. The first thing to bear in mind is that you don’t need to worry – despite what you might have heard about English drunkenness, generally the pubs are quite safe places to go to, and in many of them you can easily take your whole family up to a certain point in the evening. But what’s truly amazing is the way in which the pub reflects a situation in which all of the usual British social rules are relaxed somewhat. You’ll find the famous queueing habit falls away in the pub, as does the stiff upper lip. In short, you can go to the pub if you want to be able to relax and truly enjoy yourself with some English folk.
Brits love their slang, and this is something which can often take visitors by surprise. At first, you might even think that some of what you are hearing is a little bit rude – but generally, it will be rare for an English person to be openly rude towards you. Actually, more often than not, these strange instances of British slang refer to entirely normal everyday things, even if they sound a little strange. It’s not a bad idea to acquaint yourself with a number of them before you come to England, so that you can be prepared to really speak the language as the natives do in England today.
When you think of English food, it’s likely that one of the first things you think of is fish and chips. This is certainly a traditional staple of the English diet, but actually recent studies reveal it is no longer the favourite. If you do visit England, you are apparently much more likely to be fed chicken tikka masala or another kind of Indian curry dish than the traditional fish and chips. Pizza also comes in at a close second. Be prepared to be eating all kinds of things on your visit to England, many of them from many other countries and cultures around the globe. You might even find that the food is more like home than you would ever have expected.
Living in London I feel that I am used to most things about the English way of life. However I would love to hear from you what most surprised you about visiting or living England.