A few final reflections ….
25. England has yet to manufacture a cart that goes straight. Shopping cart, luggage cart at the airport, all carts. Every day, hundreds of thousands of UK residents can be seen wrestling their cart down a parking lot – sideways.
24. It does not rain a lot around London. It rains more in Toronto. It is just cloudy. Much better than snow.
23. British humour is exactly like the stereotype. I love it.
22. I was naive about cultural differences. It is always bigger than you expect. Whether a new country, new business, new company …. And the UK and Canada are very different, despite a shared history.
21. Bureaucracy was invented in England. Americans learn that first hand when they try to get their drivers license (which costs them 400GBP, involves driving tests and many failures). But it also works in wonderful ways sometimes …. If you are part of the commonwealth, all you have to do is hand in your old license and they give you a new one. Voila!
20. If you move to England you need to think of a Great Britain Pound as a dollar (great advice from a friend). That means when you see an entrée in a restaurant that is $7 in Canada and £7 for the exact same thing in England (which is $12CDN), you have to stop converting. If you don’t, you will go insane. It is also the reason why I laugh at customs when I come into Canada from Britain and they ask if I have anything to declare from Britain .. I always answer ‘Have you seen the prices of things in England?’
19. I have new respect for English. I have sat through entire conversations unable to understand a word that was being said. The best example being when I sat in a sauna in Scotland and 6 blokes came in and started jabbering on – I understood (maybe) every tenth word. Amazing. Good thing Canadian is the new standard for English – accentless and understandable by everyone.
18. I still can’t call someone ‘mate’. Coming from me it sounds like I am trying too hard to fit in and mentally, it remains a verb – not a noun. I do however say ‘diary’ (calendar), ‘loo’ (bathroom) and a few choice words not meant for print.
17. There are more types of beer in England than there are football teams. But I have converted. I now drink G&T, which always draws a ‘Well, how British of you’. If you can, try Hendricks, and shockingly Scottish!
16. I still don’t get going to the pub after work. I would rather go home to my family. I also don’t understand why Christmas parties are without spouses. Thankfully, that is changing.