Things they don’t tell you before coming to the UK

1. Queuing for the bus

You might have heard that everybody is very polite in the UK. Always saying “please” and “thank you” or even adding “I’m not quite sure, but I reckon..” before they say something they’re absolutely certain of just to ensure they don’t come across looking too arrogant. 
But who could have imagined that this level of courtesy extends to the bus stop, where people queue in the order they arrived to get on the bus.


2. The coins don’t make sense

For some reason, the coins in the UK are not sized by worth. The 2p coin is incredibly large and 5p is tiny. To make it even more confusing, they’ve made some of them round and others pentagon shaped. The only possible explanation for this is so that you could spot tourists straight away, surely.

Furthermore, anyone from the UK will defend this bizarre system by saying “if you put them in a certain order, they make up a Shield!” as if that makes it any easier?

3. Faucets

The rest of the world seem to have figured out that it’s quite pleasant to have water that isn’t either boiling hot or freezing cold. Not the UK though. They still have two separate taps for hot and cold water and you have to manoeuvre between them while washing your hands.


“One ray of sunshine and suddenly everybody is in shorts and having a picnic in the park”


4. The Weather

First of all, everybody talks about the weather all the time. It is one of the safest conversation starters to go for in almost any situation. And secondly, it rains a lot. Now if that doesn’t surprise you, the level of celebration each sunny day gets, certainly will. One ray of sunshine and suddenly everybody is in shorts and having a picnic in the park.

5. Regional Accents

Every foreigner has attempted an ‘English accent’ at one point or another, and when doing so it is exclusively an imitation of either the Queen’s English or something similar to how they speak on BBC News called “Received Pronunciation”.

In reality, very few people actually speak like that and there are more regional accents than you can imagine. Starting with Yorkshire and Scottish to Scouse, Essex and Cockney.


6. Expressions

Not only are the accents difficult to understand, but also the expressions used are confusing. The word ‘bird’ is used to refer to one’s girlfriend, ‘tea’ often actually means dinner, not a hot beverage. And nobody really knows what “Cheeky Nando’s” means, but everybody says it!

7. Household Appliances

Over here they keep the washing machine in the kitchen. This seems like very strange behaviour, because that means you have to bring your dirty clothes to the kitchen and sort through them on the dinner table? Or a chair? Maybe on the countertops next to a drying rack?


8. Sockets

The plugs have a strange shape and whichever way you try to plug them in, it will always be the other way around. Additionally, the sockets themselves have an on and off switch, which means that you could put your phone to charge overnight, wake up, and only then realise you didn’t turn the socket on.

One thought on “Things they don’t tell you before coming to the UK
  • Haha! The taps get me every time! So glad I moved into a new house with a mixer tap - no more burnt and then freezing and then burnt hands!

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