So as you may have seen from my previous posts, I’m pretty cosy with this cool American fella. Well, as cosy as we can be considering there are five and a half thousand miles between us. But good news! After two years of putting up with his weird American traits, he is moving to good old England. He’s moving here exactly two years after we met – how weird and wonderful.
We’ve both visited each other in the last couple of years and we love to joke about the differences between England and America. Recently we Skyped and had a good joke about all these differences, and they’re too good not to share:
- Food Portions
America is well known for its large food portions – order a plate of nachos as a starter and you’ll be good for the rest of the day, let alone the next hour you spend in the restaurant. When I last returned from a glorious and greedy couple of weeks in the States, I was asked three times in one day if I was pregnant (I wasn’t). Trevor thinks we serve ‘small child portions’ and ‘that’s why the English guys aren’t well built.’ He could have a point, but I’m glad we don’t get served ridiculous portions because I prefer myself when I don’t appear to be pregnant.
One of the first things I noticed when I landed in New York two years ago? The uncomfortably large gaps in the loos and the rude automatic flushes. I don’t want to make eye contact with someone by the sinks when I’m doing my business. I also don’t want the toilet to flush when I’m still sat on it. Americans refer to the toilets as ‘rest rooms’ which is pretty ironic as you sit as still as you can trying to avoid that interruptive flush whilst praying no one can see you. Hardly a rest room when it gives you level ten anxiety. Whilst I think American bogs are weird, Trev thinks our toilets are ‘too deep’ and asked whether we ‘do poos that are two feet long’. I have honestly never noticed the depth of the loos here, but I’d take large loos over someone watching me pee!
Us Brits tut and moan when a train is two minutes delayed (well, us Brits love a good moan about everything) but we have it all too easy. Our transport system is actually incredible. Where I live, there are four trains an hour which could get me to London in 30 minutes or less, as well as an annoying amount of busses everywhere I go. In America, public transport isn’t really a big thing. Trains are rare and it’s probably quicker to walk than to get a bus. When Trevor comes here we get the train a lot because I don’t drive. He always comments on how cool they are, and that ‘it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster.’ Aw, how cute. I’m sure his words would soon change if he was getting one twice a day all week.
Trev thinks that people in England have bad teeth (apart from me, obvs.) If Jeremy Kyle is anything to go by, he could be right.
Houses and buildings in America are modern and spacious. I love driving around Orange County and looking at the pretty houses with their yellow window shutters and perfect gardens. Trev says English buildings ‘look depressed and like they want to kill themselves.’ Maybe the fact it’s raining 90% of the time has something to do with that. I think we have some beautiful old buildings but I do think our houses are a lot less glamorous than the ones in America.
- The weather
This one is obvious. The weather is miserable a lot of the time here in England which is why we’re always moaning. It’s sunny in California which is why they’re so chirpy. But Trev has the opposite opinion and he loves the cold weather and the rain, and thinks we have fresher air. I’d happily swap the gloomy weather for sunshine 365 days of the year.
Those big, brown and insanely quick house spiders are my least favourite surprise. When I see one, I grab a glass and a piece of paper and (get someone else to) take it outside. Never kill. I send pictures of them to Trev and he’s always so gobsmacked. I’ve warned him that it’s spider season and he’s re-considering his decision to move.
Trev – ‘Your roads are for tiny cars which are for tiny people because your country is tiny and full of tiny people.’ He’s probably right.
- Poor language
Ironically, he thinks our language skills suck. Words like ‘knackered’ baffle him. But it’s our language so he can’t really argue with that. I do love that we use different words for things though; it’s fun to tease each other when we say things differently.
Me – ‘We don’t have guns’
Trev – ‘Well you got two big ones headed your way, OOOSH!’ *Flexes his arms*
Me – *Biggest eye roll of the century*.
In all seriousness though, I really will never understand American gun laws.
Another thing I don’t understand about America is its money. Why have quarters? And why have a $1 dollar bill if you have a $1 dollar coin? Trev’s take on this is ‘quarters are neat, quarters are organised.’ Fair enough.
I have to agree with him on this one. The service in America is so much better. In America restaurants, you’re served water, given the bill as soon as you’re finished, and your leftovers are boxed up, all without asking. In England, you have to awkwardly ask for the bill or your sat there chilling for another hour or so. I also get really shy asking for my leftovers to be boxed up, as if I’m being stingy or something. Although in America it’s probably obligatory to box up leftovers because it’s impossible that anyone will finish their gigantic sized meal in one sitting.
All in all I think there are advantages and disadvantages to the differences. If everything was the same it would be boring! I’d love to hear what differences you find bizarre or funny, leave a comment below!