Foreign Flubs #1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When you're visiting or settling into a new country, running into small challenges in form of cultural differences is inevitable. I know I'll get used to them over time and they'll become second nature. Lots of them are things that I knew before heading over here or I experienced in the past, but I thought it'd be fun to list them all out and hopefully be able to look back on them in the future and laugh at how awkward I was trying to merge with the Brits. This post is definitely inspired thanks to Sara over at Bristol in My Pocket (AKA my lifesaver and reason I made it over here without multiple meltdowns), who has a series of posts titled "Thoughts from Abroad", which you should definitely check out as well!

1. British money is real heavy. Pound coins are weighty and the 2 pence coin is massive (am I ever going to use it?). The super friendly/talkative guy who helped set up my UK phone said that it was because the government wanted us to jingle as we walked by homeless people, which seconds later made his face turn red and immediately say that it was a bad joke.

2. Something is fuzzy with the phrase "How are you". In the states it's an expected and normal greeting. Here, everyone says "You alright?" to which I respond with "Yes great thank you how are you?" and without fail, the corners of people's mouths twist up in amusement and they stare blankly for a few seconds.

3. I would like to call a city-wide meeting and discuss which side of the sidewalk to walk on. It's a complete free-for-all and when you're trying to adapt to a new culture, fearful of offending someone at any moment, you really don't want to bump into someone.

4. In London, they have tourist-proofed the roads at crosswalks with "LOOK RIGHT" painted in all caps. Here, they do not. They also color-code the street lines differently, so I can't tell what is a one-way street or a two-way street, meaning I definitely don't know where to look. One flattened Texan, coming right up.

5. British children in their school uniforms are the definition of adorable and I look like a complete creep every time I see one.

6. It hasn't rained yet (jinx).

Once again, apologies for the lack of photos, but I'm a girl on a mission right now. Today flew by as I spent my morning and afternoon popping around the shops around Cabot Circus as well as Park Street getting different bits and bobs (the lingo, y'all) as well as all the groceries I could carry. My room now has some bedding, a few pictures + postcards on the wall my handbag has a snazzy UK phone, and I finally had all the necessary ingredients for a SHOWER!

My second flatmate from China arrived and she surprised me at my door with homemade Chinese-style potatoes, chopsticks and all. Even though I had a small pizza for dinner (#AMERICA), I knew it would be good for me to eat more due to the fact I had once again hardly eaten today. My appetite is slowly but surely adjusting to the timezone. It was so sweet and thoughtful! She only arrived here today and was able to make a meal from scratch, certainly puts my arrival day to shame. She also showed me how she holds chopsticks, as my skills are pretty lackluster and I end up using the sticks as a spear most of the time.

I really love all the shops here and after I give my bank account time to settle down from buying loads of necessities, I can't wait to dive in to some fun shopping.


  1. I have enjoyed keeping myself updated with your move to the UK, I am sorry it started in such a terrible way and I hope you are a lot more settled now! keep up the good work.

    1. It was definitely one of those days where exhaustion really amplified the whole situation and made it overwhelming! But I got to explore some more today and met up with Sara in real life for tea which was so nice because she completely understood where I was coming from after doing the exact same move a year ago. And she's pretty much a pro by now.

      And thanks for stopping by! Those donuts on your latest posts are killing me haha, they look so delicious!

    2. Ah, I bet it feels good to know someone here who has been through the same things as you are going through. I hope you managed to get some bedding now! Haha, and you will soon get used to our weird British ways :)

      All the best,

  2. So this is kind of random but I found your blog because you posted about how your profile picture was blurry (!topic/blogger/8ibdnKY_tVQ) and I've had the same problem for weeks and still can't figure it out! What did you do to solve the problem?

    Also I just read through your whole blog and its so good! I'm actually studying abroad in London next semester and hope to live there one day too!

    Xx eliza

  3. Hi Eliza! Some very helpful person named Prayag Verma provided a code to copy and paste into a new HTML widget that somehow fixes it! No idea what started it all in the first place, but this worked for me.

    If you look on the forum thread, scroll to September 2nd and find his name! He provided a few lines of code and instructions on where to place it.!msg/blogger/8ibdnKY_tVQ/9-jYJlakdzYJ

    And thank you! You will absolutely love London - best of luck and have a great time!


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