6 Things You Should Know Before Coming To England

It’s now 4 moths that I live in England, plus, in the past I have been here several times for shorter stays.

During these moths I’m having the opportunity to know the English culture and people a bit better and, as I love travelling,Β I love noticing the different habits in the country I am.

So, for now these are the facts I pointed out in this wonderful country:

[To all my English followers please notice that everything is said with absolute no intention to offend or criticize, I love living here! πŸ™‚ ]

1 | “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?” IS NOT A REAL QUESITION

Okay, I really wish I could have known this before because it would have avoid many embarrassing moments. So I suggest you to keep this in mind! When you meet a person (colleague, supermarket cashier, random man passing by with his dog…whoever!) it’s usual that they say ” Hi!/Good morning! Are you alright?” . Well, do not waste words dear followers, and just answer Hi or Good morning cause by the time you’ve answered even just a “Yes fine thanks and you?” they are already gone. I figured out that it’s just another informal way of saying hello and being polite (?), no answer expected.Β 

 

2 | THERE’S ALWAYS AN EXCUSE TO “DRINK SOMETHING”

No matter where you are and what time it is, someone will always be ready to ask you “Do you want to drink something?”. In a working environment or during the day it’s often coffee, tea (can’t blame them for this, the tea here is really good!) or this flavoury fruity water which English people seem to be addicted to. While in the afternoon and evening it’s more beer, of course, or in general alcoholic drinks.

 

3 | THE WEATHER, OH MAN THE WEATHER!

I wrote a specific post about How To Handle English Weather so I hope this will help you. Plus, after being in Ireland I now strongly believe that Irish weather is even worse so use it as consolation!
But, I have to admit that this last period we have been lucky enough to experience English spring weather, so don’t worry… the sun shines sometimes, maybe after 4 days of stormy and cold weather, but you can see it!

 

4 | MIND THE QUEUE

Maybe because I do not come from a country where queues are really respected (Italian and queue don’t really match) but, another thing that I noticed here is that, there’s a queue for everything! To get in the bus, to get out of the bus, to get drinks in a bar (even when it’s super busy)… where you couldn’t even think that a queue is possible, well pay attention you could have it behind you! πŸ™‚

 

5 | GREETINGS TO THE BUS DRIVER

It is considered very very impolite to not thank the bus driver when you get off the bus (except if you’re in London – they don’t really mind there). So pay attention to say ” Thank you”(or “Cheers” as they say here), whenever you get off a bus πŸ˜‰

 

6 | IF YOU DON’T ADD MILK TO YOUR TEA, YOU’RE WEIRD

I had already been warned by my English friends about this fact but I didn’t think it was such an issue. The first time I was preparing tea during a break at work, more than one colleague of mine looked at me as I was an alien and saidΒ “you don’t add milk??”, I felt quite observed and judged – in a joking way of courseΒ – and bashfully answeredΒ “well, we don’t really do it in Italy and actually I’m lactose intolerant”. TheyΒ “excused” me just because of the intoleranceΒ πŸ˜‚ So be prepared dear friends, to avoid any uneasiness moment, if you’re drinking tea with English people, add milk to your tea!

 

What about you? Have you ever been to England? Which where your cultural impressions?

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This post was written by Lisa, an Italian girl globetrotting around Europe, blues&soul music lover and singer, addicted to crafting & healthy food. Oh yes, and in the meanwhile she’s a Marketing student.

Mmmm what else? She’s definitely a morning person, really lazy when it comes to make up and could spend more time in a stationary store than in a clothes one –

She loves sharing thoughts, feelings and reactions so do not hesitate to comment or contact her!

73 Comment

  1. A bit like Ireland ! Howya or well means hello here !

    1. Ahh interesting, I didn’t know!! Thank you for commenting πŸ™‚

  2. These are all lovely little English nuances I’ll agree. And I can imagine that these things pose a mystery to a visitor. Sounds like you are settling in.

    1. Thank you Suzy!
      Yes I am πŸ™‚ I love living here!

  3. I love your take on our ‘weirdness’ – these things are just second nature to me, I’d probably feel the same if I moved abroad. Great observations, made me chuckle πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Nicky! πŸ™‚

  4. I love this! They are all so true πŸ˜‚ Especially thanking the bus driver: i do this in other countries as I’m English and everyone is always confused as to why I say that. Great post πŸ™‚

    Alex xx
    http://www.alexgettinglost.com

    1. Hahaha happy you can relate!! Yes I have to say that that’s quite confusingπŸ˜‚ thanks for reading!

  5. I really enjoyed this post. I live in London and all the things you noted are true☺ x

    1. Thank you!! Glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  6. Love this, especially the ‘Are you alright?’ questions, which gets me every time!

    1. Yes right?? Glad you could relate! πŸ™‚

  7. I love posts like this – I have lived in England all my life and love our little quirks! πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Michaela! πŸ™‚

  8. This post made me chuckle, especially because my boyfriend’s from Italy and he always complains about the same things! He’s just about got the hang of the ‘alright?’ thing and queueing, but he moans about the weather all the time, and still takes his tea black πŸ˜‚ I hope you enjoy being here, despite all our weird English way! Great post xxx

    1. Hahaha I totally feel him!! But yes, despite this(and I mean, not that these are negative things!!) I’m really enjoying my stay! Thank you for read and for the nice comment Alice πŸ™‚

      1. No problem, glad you’re enjoying your visit πŸ™‚ x

  9. sileas says: Reply

    Haha that’s a cute list! Reminds me of Australia except for the bad weather part πŸ˜‰

    1. Ohhhh yes the weather is definitely not the same! πŸ™‚ thanks for reading πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  10. I laughed so hard when you said that Italians and queues don’t really match. So so so so true!

    1. Hahaha yes right?? πŸ˜‰

  11. Giulia says: Reply

    How much queues are respected in England is striking. I remember visiting the Albert & Victoria Museum and going to the restroom and I was pretty shellshocked how polite everyone was to each other! It’s definitely not like that in France either ahah πŸ™‚

    Enjoyed this post! x

    1. Yes right?? Glad you could relate and thank you for the comment! πŸ™‚

      1. Giulia says: Reply

        No problem πŸ™‚ x

  12. I’m not from England and I think it’s so weird people have never tried or even added milk into their tea πŸ˜‚

    1. Hahahaha πŸ™‚

  13. Angie says: Reply

    Numbers 1, 4, and 5 are like Americans in the US. I’ve visited England twice before and love it. I got rained on the first time, but the second time the weather was gorgeous in the fall. I will be heading to live there at the end of July for 6 months, so I’m sure I will experience the real England weather. I will be visiting Ireland in August, and I hope for some decent weather, but I heard to prepared for everything there. Overall, I like the British. I think they’re funny and enjoy their quirks.

    1. Ahhh yes it really depends on the period! These days for example the weather is super nice!! πŸ™‚ unfortunately I had a really bad weather experience in Ireland when I went there 2 weeks ago but hopefully during summer it’s better! (it’s still a great country though! :)) good luck with your trip it will definitely be a memorable experience!!!

      1. Angie says: Reply

        Thanks! I’m looking forward to it. Btw, just curious … what part of England are you living in?

        1. I’m living in Nottingham right now! But from September I’ll be staying in London πŸ™‚

          1. Angie says:

            Nice!

  14. Suvi says: Reply

    What an interesting post! I find that in the US people also ask you how you are doing but they aren’t actually interested. I was also baffled at first but then I understood that the best way to answer is just say hi, how are you back πŸ˜‰ We Finns think that if you say something you really mean it, so this really could result in embarrassing moments when the Finn goes on and on about their day and health!!! LOL.

    I really cannot take milk in my tea. In Kenya they really thought I was weird, as they see that only the poor would drink tea without milk.

    1. Yes I am totally like you: when I say a thing, especially if I ask how are you, I really mean it! πŸ˜€
      And yeah totally feel you also for the milk! Didn’t know that also in Kenya they used it in their tea! That’s interesting! Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ˜‰

  15. I live in England and all of these are normal to me. Hope it didn’t make you uncomfortable in some situations. Hope your finding England a nice place to stay in xx

    1. Nooo not at all! Just some funny weird-moments but now I know hoe it works and I really enjoy staying here!!! It’s a great country! πŸ™‚

  16. I loved this! I lived in London for a year but I don’t remember being asked “are you alright?” much haha. But I wouldn’t know it is rhetorical, so that’s good to know.

    1. Glad you liked it! Yeah in London it’s a bit different, I think because it’s a very multicultural city! πŸ™‚

  17. hahahah this totally cheered up my bad mood- I agree with everything on here, especially the weather one!

    1. Ahhh I’m happy to read this! Thanks for reading and commenting πŸ™‚

  18. Wendy says: Reply

    As an English born and bred resident this made me laugh as it’s just so true. Try and push infront of me in a queue and you definitely know about it! haha lol. x

    1. Hahahaha πŸ™‚ happy you liked it! Thanks for reading Wendy πŸ™‚

  19. Love this post. Makes me chuckle. Didn’t realise how annoying we are hehe.

    1. Nooo at all!! Just funny for me that I’m not used to some of the things listed but now I know and I’m totally fine!! I love England πŸ™‚ thank you for reading πŸ™‚

      1. Hehe it’s okay

  20. Funny. If I ever get there, these are good to know. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Jessica! Hop it’ll be useful! πŸ˜‰

  21. Ha ha πŸ˜€ this is a great post πŸ˜€ I am sure if someone asked me “Are you alright”, I might start blabbering away too πŸ˜›

    1. Thank you! Hahaha yes right?? :p

  22. These are good things to know! I’ve always wanted to visit England… πŸ™‚

    1. Happy to help πŸ˜€ hopefully you’ll go there soon! It’s a beautiful country!

  23. Lol, really enjoyed this post!

    1. Thank youuu πŸ™‚

  24. Love this post!! I traveled to England for the first time last fall. It was beautiful and amazing. You are spot on with what you said 😊 I thought the very same things, especially the first one! Nice to connect with you, I look forward to your posts! Jenny

    1. I’m glad you could relate Jenny! Thank you for the nice comment πŸ™‚

  25. It took a long time for me to respond correctly to ‘you alright?’ πŸ™‚ and now I always thank the bus driver!

    1. hahah yes I totally feel you!! But well now we can say we act like real English people πŸ™‚

  26. Haha loved reading through this!! Have never been to England but really want to!! πŸ™‚

    https://alifyalifestyle.com/

    1. Thank you! Hope you’ll get there soon, it’s a wonderful country πŸ™‚

  27. Nicky says: Reply

    Hey lovely, trying to leave you a comment to let you know I’ve mentioned you in a post But computer not playing ball today – so either, I’ve left you no comment or you have loads of the same comment as I repeatedly hit send!!!!!!!
    Trying one last time as I want you to see it https://theshimmerwithinher.com/2016/06/09/another-awesome-award/ πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Nicky! Thank you very much! πŸ™‚ I will check it immediately, sorry for the late response but I had problems with my laptop and couldn’t see the comments!

  28. Jey says: Reply

    Hi Lisa,

    What a great blog you have!! Just like me I’m a versatile person who is passionate about more than 1 thing so that’s what my blog is about , inlcuding traveling.
    I wasn’t able to comment on your about pages, because there was no comment section there.
    I wish you all the best in your blogging journey and I will be following you also! xo – Jey.

    1. Thank you very much Jey for stopping by and for leaving this nice comment! I’m glad we connected! πŸ™‚

  29. I have never been in England yet, so thanks for the tips πŸ™‚
    I love you blog style by the way!
    Cheers!

    1. Thank you very much Roberta for stopping by! And thank you for the nice comment πŸ™‚

  30. Loved it! Although I have never traveled to Europe I believe this is always good to know and handy, as well as interesting. Have been through your blog, and I think it’s beautiful, the categories, the content, the pictures! πŸ’œ

  31. Chey says: Reply

    I am planning on studying abroad in England in a year or so, so this post was very helpful! Do you have any other tips for traveling in England, or just tips on traveling in general? Needless to say I am a tad nervous about living in a completely new country so any tips would be helpful! πŸ™‚

    Chey | http://www.thebolyngirl.wordpress.com

    1. Hi Chey! Oh wow, it will definitely be an awesome experience!
      Where are you going to study and what? I’m doing my bachelor in London and despite the fact that it’s soo expensive. it’s really cool! Despite this I do think that London do not represent a normal English city, I also lived 5 months in Nottingham which is still a quite big city but way less busier and easier to move around…I really enjoyed! Plus,uni cities in the UK such as Coventry or Sheffield are really well organised for students!
      And don’t worry, I totally feel you! It’s normal to be scared and nervous! I have a section called “expat thoughts” which might be interesting for you πŸ™‚ Please let me know if you need help, I’m more than welcome to help you!

  32. Emma says: Reply

    I was born in England and I’ve never lived anywhere else, but the “all right?” greeting still confounds me! It’s the first thing my carers say when they walk in, and I catch myself answering seriously (or jokingly “no, I’m half left” because I have the maturity of a child XD) before I realise it’s not actually a real question.

    I love “cheers”, though. It’s probably one of our weirder quirks but it’s kind of cute and is somehow more meaningful but also less sincere than a simple “thanks”.

    1. Hahaha okay that’s kind of a relief hearing that also English people have problem with that! πŸ˜€
      And I totally agree with your thought on “cheers” πŸ™‚

  33. I love these! They’re all so true! I remember the first time I went to London and wanted to get on one of the double deckers – there wasn’t a visual queue, but apparently everyone else knew exactly who’d arrived at the bus stop first, second, third, etc. and formed an orderly queue when the bus arrived. I got the worst few looks when I almost “cut” in line…! Never again! πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha yes I can totally relay! But at least now we know πŸ˜‰

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