I’ve now been living in the
- The charming regional accents. Sure, sometimes I barely understand what some people are saying (particularly if they are from ‘up North’ or Scottish) but doesn’t it sound lovely? I still can’t tell them apart either – someone could sound Irish to me but they’re actually from
Liverpoolor whatever – but I do still like listening to all those accents.
- Indian food. Oh yes, I have grown to love this cuisine, which to me is probably more British than a Sunday roast. It is available pretty much everywhere, in lots of varieties and it generally tastes unbelievably nice. A curry and a beer… mmmmm!
. I live just under an hour away from London (by train) and this is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world. It has it all: amazing architecture, tons of history, fantastic restaurants, the London West End, people from all over the world, red double-decker buses, enormous parks, and so on. On a rainy day Londoncan even be fun with all those free (and totally amazing) museums but on a sunny day can’t be beat. I really love it and am also very glad I don’t live there. London
- TV. Whenever I go back home I always miss the great quality TV that we have here in the
. I don’t only mean the BBC but also the other terrestrial channels and of course the digital ones. In general I find that there is always something interesting and/or funny to watch (and YES sometimes that means that it is actually American TV shows but it still counts) and this isn’t always the case in other countries I’ve visited. The BBC of course makes the best documentaries and factual shows but there is great stuff on Channel 4 too, for example. I don’t like paying my TV license, though – I have problems with paying what is essentially a tax on TV but that is a discussion for another time. UK
- Working hours and working conditions. I know that Brits do like to moan about working long hours (and some do) and that the working conditions are poor. Well, where I come from you’re lucky to get 2 weeks paid holiday a year, lucky if you can survive being fired simply for being pregnant and lucky sometimes to have a job at all. So I enjoy the luxury of 6 weeks paid holiday, 35 hour working weeks and a range other benefits that go some way towards helping me achieve the ideal work-life balance.
- Fashion. Whenever I go back to the
I am always excited about the very low cost of clothes and the variety available. However, with few exceptions, I always find that clothes are far more fashionable here in the USA and the high street shops are fantastic places to shop. I really like the way girls dress here and I have found my fashion taste changing the longer I live here. I don’t, however, like the fact that shops seem to think that February is the beginning of summer (ignoring the freezing outside temperatures) and that August if the start of winter (the sun finally comes out and all they sell is winter coats) but I do like the collections and have found that I am buying more clothes than ever before. UK
- Availability of technology. I know some people will moan about broadband penetration figures and lack of Internet access but let’s face it – technology is pretty much available all the time, everywhere. More and more people are going online, have mobile phones, satellite TV and MP3 players. It just isn’t the same in other countries, even including the
. I don’t think I could live my life these days without online banking and e-commerce. USA
- Bookstores. Talking about shopping, these days if I’m not out there shopping for some amazing outfit, I’m probably heading to a bookstore to get a book. There are SO many amazing books out there! I’ve always preferred to read in English so of course bookstores around here are paradise but even on my last trip to the States I didn’t find as many interesting books as I do on a regular basis at my local Borders. I don’t know why – maybe it’s a cultural thing – but bookstores here in the
are fantastic. Some even have Starbucks in them! UK
- Post (Mail in the
). Where I come from, I probably received letters about once a month. I only developed a relationship with my mailman once I started high school and discovered that our report cards would be mailed to us… and he was a key element in helping me intercept these cards! But in the main, hardly anything is posted because it will simply never get there – credit card bills, utility bills, anything like that is couriered rather than mailed. Here in the USA though we get post every day. And we get lots of it, although some of it is junk (I like looking through it though, after all I am in marketing!). I love getting post and love the fact that you can send something to someone and it will actually get there, more often than not. Isn’t that great? UK
- Eurovision. I know that most Brits (and perhaps even most Europeans) think that this whole show is a joke and will not watch it but I absolutely love it! Imagine this – acts from each of the EU countries perform together on one stage and at the end, people from all over
Europevote to see which is the best one. It goes on for hours, has all sorts of weird and wacky performers, nonsense English lyrics on some songs and ridiculous outfits. It’s huge fun! Sure there are politics and block voting but it is silly, harmless fun and I have watched it religiously every year since I moved here.
So there you have it – a list of 10 things that I think are fantastic about the