I should be doing homework right now, but instead I've been pondering all the strange differences between British life and food compared with the US. Here are a few things I've noticed:
- Cheese: Every single dish that I've eaten here that includes cheese has had a shredded white cheddar cheese. On sandwiches, pizza, anything. No other cheeses. Strange.
- Quantities: Everything here is smaller. Cans of soda, bags of chips, serving sizes, etc. At restaurants, they give you tiny glasses for water, like the size of a shooter. Deceptive.
- Desserts: Brits call dessert "pudding." It has confused me on multiple occasions because I'm actually expecting pudding, when in fact I might end up with a brownie, cake, or strange gelatin creation. Confusing.
- Streets: Pedestrians roam about freely in the middle of many of the streets here. I've come close to getting run over because a street might look like the type where pedestrians can roam, when in fact it is a busy street of cars. Dangerous.
- Alcohol: The Brits like to drink. A lot. Every day. To drunkenness. Liver-afflicting.
- Money: Most of the British currency is in coins, some of which look deceptively similar to American currency. The pound, for example, is a coin. There is even a coin worth two pounds. My wallet wasn't built to hold this many coins. Inconvenient.
- Cream: They put it on everything. And we're not talking about sweet, whipped cream. No - it's thick, clotted cream. Tastes like butter. They put it on all desserts (pardon, pudding). Gross.
- Style: Men's capri pants are running rampant. As are female capri pants that are baggy at the top (think MC Hammer). Funny.
- Prawns. They look like tiny shrimp, but I'm not actually sure what they are. But they are everywhere, on everything. There are prawn-flavored potato chips in the vending machines. (And also roast beef flavored chips.) Ick.
- Signs: The buildings, landmarks, and streets here are not labeled clearly. Perhaps they figure that Oxford scholars should be able to figure it out on their own. Street signs aren't posted on the streets; they are posted on buildings which may or may not be visible from the street. The colleges at Oxford have no labeling whatsoever. Secretive.
- Words: Lift = elevator. Brilliant = great; wonderful. Carriage = cart. Wanker = jerk. Bugger = damn. Let = rent. Give way = yield. Advice slip = receipt. And so on.
- Humor: The Brits are funnier than us. Accept defeat.
British pounds. Coins are arranged in order from most
worth at the top, to least worth at the bottom.
Deceptively small and strangely flavored potato chips
There are many more, I am sure, but these are the ones that have stuck out most to me. The differences are simultaneously charming and perplexing.