Thursday, August 16, 2012

Immediate differences

After living in the UK for almost 2 years now, whenever we travel back to the US, I find the differences in culture glaring. Here's a few differences that I noticed this last trip.

1. I was shocked when I paid for something in US dollars and received 10 bills back and hardly any coins. In the UK, most of the time you get coins back when you pay in cash because the smallest bill they have is a 5. Coins in the UK are worth quite a bit, and although they are big, I can use them often. In the US, I had bills filling up my wallet!

2. One of the first things we noticed were how large the people were in the US. There are fewer overweight people in the UK (probably because of lifestyle differences and smaller portion sizes), although I would say most everyone in the UK is "normal". Most people wear little or no makeup and wear normal (yet European) clothing. There are of course the party/youth crowd which is a little different.

3. Wow did we travel.  I know that we don't have a car in the UK, but still I don't think we walked anywhere while we were in the US! We brought Georgia's stroller, but we didn't use it at all the entire time we were in the US. It was really nice to have it for the airports though. Seriously we drove everywhere and everyday several times. Everything is so spread out - church is 10 miles away, the grocery store is 1 mile, the mall is 10 miles, the park is 2 miles. The lifestyle in the US is just completely opposite to the one we have in the UK. In the UK, I rarely go outside of my 1-mile circle. There are 5 grocery stores within a 1-mile radius (although two of them are the size of a 7-11). Our church is literally across the street from our house.

4. Sizes! Sizes of everything are different. We were shocked more than once on the size of drinks, the size of food portions at restaurants, the size of cars, the size of the roads, the size of houses, and on and on. Honestly when we came back to the UK, I felt like a giant living in a small house. I know I've talked about how small our home is here in comparison, but I should do a post on houses sometime ;)



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