15 Things I Learned When Living in the UK

I bet you didn’t know about #5!

Tea time in England with a tiered platter full of scones.
Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

1. The British do not rinse their dishes

The British family who hosted me used to hand-wash the dishes that couldn’t fit in the dishwasher. Normal, right?

2. Sink taps

Speaking of water, let’s talk about sink taps. As you probably already know, the UK is sadly famous for having sinks with two separate taps — one faucet is for hot water that burns your hands after a few seconds and the other is for cold water.

3. Learning about tea, pudding, and the loo

If the British are not very careful about cleaning dishes, they certainly are in the use of words.

4. Smashed peas

Fish and chips are a typical British dish, so I learned at school. But all my teachers seemed to have forgotten to mention they come with smashed peas. If you think “smashed peas” sound healthy, think again: they’re “smashed” with ingredients like butter and heavy cream.

5. What the … haggis?!

The haggis is not a mythological creature that lives in the Highlands as I’d foolishly believed in the past. Rather, haggis is one of the most famous typical Scottish dishes and is also readily available in the supermarket.

6. Robert Burns

Robert Burns — also known as Rabbie Burns — was a famous Scottish poet and composer from the 18th century. Every January 25, on his birthday, the Burns Supper is held, a dinner in his honor.

7. Scotch eggs and sticky toffee pudding

My journey through English delicacies did not end with haggis. Another typical dish is a Scotch egg — a boiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and fried.

A Scotch egg, a boiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and fried.
A Scotch egg, a boiled egg wrapped in sausage, covered in breadcrumbs, and fried.
Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash

8. Trains

Have you ever tried to get on an Italian train carrying a heavy suitcase and wondered why on Earth someone decided to add three extra steps to climb up the wagon? Well, the UK trains don’t have those steps.

9. No umbrella?!

In April 2018, it was a cold, windy, and rainy day in Inverness. I was wearing my amazing padded waterproof coat, hat, hood, and umbrella. Too much? Definitely “yes” compared to the gentleman who was walking along the river wearing just a jacket and tie, regardless of the rain. To him, it was like a sunny day …

10. Free museums

The UK is famous for its gray and rainy days, which is not great for being outdoors, but perfect for visiting free museums, from The National Gallery in London to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

11. Deer and trees

During a guided tour in Scotland, I discovered that most trees throughout the UK are not native: The deforestation has taken place gradually to give more ground to farmers and shepherds.

12. The thistle and the unicorn

The thistle and the unicorn are, respectively, the plant and the animal symbols of Scotland.

13. Braveheart

Did you know that Mel Gibson’s super popular movie, Braveheart, is full of historical errors? I’ll just mention a few:

14. Shit-faced

On my last day in Edinburgh, I went on a free walking tour, the kind where you tip the guide at the end.

15. Keep calm and carry on

Did you know that the British invented the slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On”?

🇮🇹 bookkeeper & content creator, blogger & PoD seller. Curious, food addict, animal lover & solo traveler. I write about money, food, travel & human behaviors

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