It’s the little things

So here’s some thoughts about the little things in England that are different:

  • They have, perhaps, the worst road signage I’ve ever experienced. Granted, my experience is limited to North America and Australia, driving-wise. A sign will list a destination, and then the next 4 will no longer list it, but it will show up again on the 5th.
  • Round-abouts are a fantastic idea to keep traffic moving. However, they’re incredibly stressful when it’s busy, there’s 3 lanes of traffic and you need to get ALL THE WAY across in about 3 seconds.
  • Everything, with the notable exception of clothing, costs essentially the same in pounds as it does in dollars, which makes visiting there vastly expensive. This means a litre of gas costs roughly $2.00
  • Everyone smokes, and is allowed to smoke virtually anywhere.
  • Somewhere along the line, the Brits decided to cut the connection between how things are spelled and how things are pronounced. Thus, ‘Gloucestershire’ is actually pronounced ‘Glostersherr’.
  • The British are very aware of the hardness of their water — washing machines, dishwashers, etc, all list what to different in terms of load-size and soapiness based on hard or soft water. I’ve never seen such a thing here.
  • The inter-club rivalry of the football teams is a marvel to behold. It exceeds any type of rivalry I’ve ever experienced with North American sports teams. It makes those infamous Philadelphia Flyer fans seem rather polite.
  • No one walks around with a drink (coffee, tea, pop) in hand. People will in fact look at you if you do. Some people carry around bottles of pop, but they always seem to stop and sit somewhere to actually drink it.
  • There’s probably some more, but that’s all I got for now.

4 Replies to “It’s the little things”

  1. ,i>A sign will list a destination, and then the next 4 will no longer list it, but it will show up again on the 5th

    My brother recently took my mum to England and he was driving her around the countryside. He noticed a similar thing to this: it seemed that signs listing distances to the next town were so far from reality that my mother thought the signs were actually, deliberately lying to them (I am unclear, given my mother’s aged and slightly confused state, whether this was an anthropromorphic observation or not).

  2. ,i>A sign will list a destination, and then the next 4 will no longer list it, but it will show up again on the 5th

    My brother recently took my mum to England and he was driving her around the countryside. He noticed a similar thing to this: it seemed that signs listing distances to the next town were so far from reality that my mother thought the signs were actually, deliberately lying to them (I am unclear, given my mother’s aged and slightly confused state, whether this was an anthropromorphic observation or not).

  3. You should try Taiwanese road signs. Romanization loses Chinese tones, so you end up with several Min-chuen Rds, that in Chinese sounds different because they have different tones, but romanized they all translate to the same thing.

    There are also dozens of romanization systems for transcribing Chinese in English, and Taiwan keeps changing it’s mind about which system to use. So a single road will have various signposts with various spellings of street name, depending on which romanization was popular with whatever administration was in power at the time that road sign was placed.

  4. You should try Taiwanese road signs. Romanization loses Chinese tones, so you end up with several Min-chuen Rds, that in Chinese sounds different because they have different tones, but romanized they all translate to the same thing.

    There are also dozens of romanization systems for transcribing Chinese in English, and Taiwan keeps changing it’s mind about which system to use. So a single road will have various signposts with various spellings of street name, depending on which romanization was popular with whatever administration was in power at the time that road sign was placed.

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