1. People don't smile here. Unless you want to get ignored, confuse people, or get mocked with a huge cheesy grin and thumbs up sign... don't smile at people. Especially on the tube.
2. Europeans are generally a smellier people.
3. I have spotted more nannies here than I ever have in my life: complete toeheads being pushed in a stroller by Asians, Indians carrying redheads, and African women tending to fair skinned brunettes. This is probably because I live directly across from what I thought was "Millionaire's Row" but came to find out is actually "Billionaire's Row." Thank you BYU for placing us in one of the poshest neighborhoods in the world... if only the address was permanent!
4. An umbrella is a necessity. It will rain, no matter how much I wish it away. If you don't have one you just get left with a soaking coat and curly/frizzy hair. It took me an entire month to buy one... I learned this lesson many, many times! (see the hair below)
5. Europeans love their PDA (public display of affection). And they love it everywhere: at the park, on the tube, in the tube, around the tube, in the airport, on a bench, at a show...
6. Although we speak the same language, at times I feel like I need to take British Vocab 101. Juicy bits means pulp, que means line, lead means leash (as in dog leash), and cheers and rightio are actual words that are used hundreds of times a day. Loo means bathroom, but whenever you ask where the restroom is you are supposed to ask where the toilets are. I find that much too graphic. I'll take my American euphemisms please.
7. Brits don't know how to spell. Somehow Leicester is actually pronounced Lester and Gloucester is actually pronounced gloster. They love to use -re instead of -er (centre, theatre) and -our instead of -or (favourite, colour). Check is spelled cheque.
8. Speed limits are merely suggestions that are not posted anywhere.
9. Pedestrians do not have the right of way. Pedestrians will not be stopped for, will not be slowed down for, and are just viewed as speed bumps if hit. But seriously, 20% of all UK road deaths are pedestrians. Best advice: look both ways 5 times and just run across the street.
I love living here. I'm starting to feel fairly accustomed to it all... if only I could get the accent down! Don't worry, I'm working on it.
More to come!