Greetings from your guest blogger! Now, I have a confession to make. I am a through and through Brit; I grew up here, was born in Oxfordshire, spent my youth as a young and fairly outdoorsy child playing outside most of the time despite the British weather—my parents being of the opinion that a little rain wouldn’t hurt and if we were cold to “put on a jumper…” Now I know that a lot of you are probably still trying to figure out the British weather (four seasons in one day), but I beg you, throw caution to the wind/sun/snow/hail and just get outside and enjoy some quintessential English moments!
If you are moving to London, you might want to take a crash course in the English language. If you thought that English was spoken on both sides of the Atlantic, you might be in for a bit of a shock when you land at Heathrow and discover that what you thought was English is very different from the language that is being spoken. There is a lot of slang used by English people, and it might be helpful if you know about some of the most popular words and phrases that are used every day by people living in London. The best thing you can do when confronted with a word or a phrase that you don’t understand is to ask. No one will mind if you ask questions and most people will be impressed that you are trying to understand the local culture. It is better to ask than to assume something and end up getting it completely wrong.
In my previous post, I addressed the difference between the cultures from a language perspective. When you have made your move to London and are settled into your new London apartment, you will have to start getting out and meeting new people. It might be tempting to stay ensconced within your own circle of expat friends, but you will be missing out on the rich experience of meeting new people and immersing yourself in a different culture. If you are determined to get out and enjoy your time in England, then you might want to be aware of some of the subtle difference in culture and style so that you are not shocked or feel out of place if someone asks you if you would like some more “spotted dick”. It’s a pudding not an STD!