All the Small Things

The Brits are bit of an odd bunch. Walking around London you’ll see the queen’s people saying biscuits to talk about cookies, putting on a pair of trousers instead of pants, and the phrase “grabbing a fag” has entirely different connotations here than it does across the pond.  But despite using a variety of terms that sound like they’re straight out of a Dr. Suess book and they’re unrivaled love for their royal family, queuing, and discussing the weather the Brits might seem very similar to Americans.  But from what I’ve seen this first week and based off my first impressions of British society it’s the small things that really separate them from us.

When coming over from the states I assumed everything would be pretty uniform with life in the states due to our joint history with Britain and the bond of a common language, minus a few cultural differences. After struggling to understand the cockney accent of my cab driver from the airport I realized that I was in for a bit of a shock. Was he really speaking the same English as me? Life in its general sense is the same. People work nine-to-fives, there are fast food restaurants and coffee shops on most every corner, and people love watching sports and television programs. But over here the work days seem a little softer around the edges with an added sense of humor while keeping the professionalism. The fast food restaurants may bear the same name or style but many lack the heavily processed cheap food that we Americans love and instead focus on fresh and local at an increased cost. The testosterone fueled high action sports of America are replaced with what I would consider to be highfalutin copies. Baseball becomes cricket, football becomes rugby, and basketball becomes football(Soccer). Oddly enough low brow television programs were one of the few constants that I noticed. In this case the only difference between “My Big Redneck Wedding” and England’s “Big Fat Gypsy Weddings” was the English version being centered around England’s gypsy population.  They even have their own version of cops, although in my opinion it was not nearly as interesting (not enough police brutality)

Individually these small differences might not seem like much but in my mind they quickly add up to create two societies who seem very similar but after close inspection are actually very alien to one another.

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