7 Misconceptions About the UK.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

* From an American's perspective.

1. The food is terrible.

Ummmmmm. No. There's a good reason all of my clothing fits a bit tighter than it did last year. Cakes, pastries, scones, burgers (seriously, amazing gourmet burger restaurants everywhere, some people are flat out tired of them), fry-ups for breakfast, chips, curry, food markets galore, etc. The foodie culture is strong here.

2. The weather is also terrible.

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Even though my first month in the UK was unseasonably warm and dry, many people picture it as a nonstop monsoon throughout the year and a winter wonderland for half the year. Sure, it rains. Yes, there are grey days. No - we don't have snowmageddon or snowpocapltic episodes. There are also plenty of sunny, gorgeous days. Which we then we get to talk about - because the stereotype about chatting about the weather constantly is 100% true.

3. Everyone sounds like the Queen.

The UK is incredibly diverse when it comes to accents. You can travel an hour away and be surrounded by a brand new dialect. And no, no one says "cheerio"...at least no one from this century. For a quick run-through of all the accents the UK has to offer, check out this video.  You'll recognize more than you think!

4. Everyone drinks Earl Grey Tea.

I'm not sure if this is just an American idea of what British people supposedly drink, but pretty much anyone who attempts to be "British" back home always whips out the Earl Grey. Since I've moved here I have never...ever...seen anyone order this tea. Most locals I talk to actually make a sour face when I mention it and say how terrible it is.

5. British people are prim, proper, cookie cutouts of a royal family. Everyone is good-natured, smiley and well-mannered.

[Sorry to anyone that offended, if you don't understand why it's offensive...just know that it is.]

This one is mainly directed towards my mom every time she asks me why I haven't found a boyfriend plucked out of a Jane Austen novel yet. While there are many wonderfully charming, suave, proper people out there...somewhere...out there...(I kid, you are all lovely), the Brits have some of the driest, crudest humor there is. And I love it. It's hilarious. Not to mention I'm now equipped with an arsenal of exotic sounding swear words.

6. Great Britain/The United Kingdom/England are basically all the same thing, right?

That is a slippery slope, my friend. You wouldn't call a someone from the USA a Canadian, so don't call people from Wales "English". And don't you dare say that Ireland is in the UK. This video is by far the quickest and most comprehensive break down of the wild tangled web that is this corner of the globe.

7. Everyone lives in London.

London population = 8 million...13 including the metro on the outer edges.
UK population = 64 million.
So, family and friends, I know you mean well - but please stop asking me how London is. I live an hour and half away.

What misconceptions or funny stereotypes do you dismiss about where you live? Do any UK peeps have any you think I missed?

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