Interview: British Cultural Surprises from France

Interview: British Cultural Surprises from France

London park springContinuing our series, we hear from Pascale from Paris, France about her surprises when she moved to the UK. If you’re living in the UK, or have lived here previously, what was your image of the UK before you came? Did you experience any surprises about the reality of British life, people or culture? Read more about Pascale’s thoughts here:

“London is a green city. There are a lot of parks, big or little. Some little ones are only open to people who are living nearby, and they need a key to get in. And you can walk on the grass and sit down because usually it is clean.

In the streets, many houses have flowers, magnolias….and you can let them grow even on the streets. For the buses you can find warnings telling them to be careful of low-hanging trees!

In the winter you can be cold in your house or flat because there is very little double glazing. It is very strange, very few people change their windows.

It is quite difficult to find a flat to rent when you have a pet. Owners of the property or the landlord don’t want you to have a pet. Strange for a country where you can find a lot of dogs in the park and when you take the Shuttle.

I have never seen a country where you can buy a flat or a house but not the land where it has been built. In London, not in all cases, you have to pay to an estate a price for being on their land for the number of years written on the contract, called a leasehold. At the end of this number of years you have to repay in order to stay in your flat or home.

It is quite difficult to have a relationship with British people. They are polite and friendly but just the minimal amount. They don’t like you to come in their home, into their privacy.

When you arrive in London people are kind and less arrogant than people living in Paris. They smile more and driving is safer. You can cross the streets at the crossing and cars stop.

There are very few motorbikes so the noise is less than in Paris and you don’t have motorcyclists telling you to let them pass with lots of aggressive words.

I didn’t know that British people love festivals so much. There is always something in London. And Christmas and Easter are very important,  everything is closed, even the shops.”


Thank you Pascale for sharing your thoughts!

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