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? Momoko from Japan, one of my clients, shares here her thoughts on British cultural surprises she found on moving here:
“In London, there are a lot of things which are different from Japan, but I’ve gotten used to living here, and I’m feeling those kinds of surprises become fewer as time goes on.
I’m trying to list some events which I was surprised about in the beginning of my London life.
- London is an extremely multinational and multilingual city, I don’t so often hear the so-called “British English”. Before living in London, I’d imagined that people speak British English like Hugh Grant speaks. Therefore/ so this is the biggest culture shock for me.
- People more often say “Sorry?” than “Pardon?” when they want you to repeat one more time.
- The frequency of rubbish collection is much less than Tokyo’s one.
- My house doesn’t have air conditioning. It was a hard time when the temperature had hit more than 30℃. We had to cope with just an electric fan.
- People more often say “Nice to see you.” than “Nice to meet you.”
- The sound of “R” is so different from American.
- There are many dangerous incidents compared to Japan.
- Prices are very high, and it’s a strain on household budgets.
- People love children. They naturally tend to say to children “Gorgeous.” “You’re beautiful.” and so on. I’m happy feeling their kindness.
- I sometimes see parents with a very little baby (1 or 2-week-old baby) in a park, at a restaurant, and a community centre. In my home country Japan, doctors recommend mothers and babies to stay at home for one month after giving a birth. This is why I was surprised.
- I often see mums breast-feeding their babies without a breast- feeding cape.
- There are no big earthquakes here. This is amazing. These are very good for living/ a normal life!”
Thank you Momoko for sharing your thoughts!