Very British Quirks I'm Learning to Love



The other night, Dan and I were reading through one of our favourite* social media accounts: Very British Problems. Seriously you guys, I think I've been secretly British this whole time: 

While giggling profusely and taking turns pointing at each other when a particular line struck a chord, I thought it'd be fun to list a couple other things I've started to see as 'totally normal'!

(side note: we realized yesterday was our 6-month-iversary in London! I'd say this commemorates that little milestone nicely.)

Not ONLY having Starbucks everywhere - 

There are surprisingly some super good coffee chains around here (GASP, I know). Being the die hard Starbucks fan I am, this has been a  bit of a shock for me, but I've LOVED trying the multitude of other coffee shops, chains or local stores around the area. In fact, a couple of those times, I've gone with an Italian friend who has a VERY particular palette for his espresso and is not afraid to give his opinion on the flavor (or lack thereof!). Really, this has just convinced me that I need to go to Italy for coffee (and gelato, and pizza, and pasta, and wine and and and…) ASAP.


Tea - 

Speaking of beverages, there's just really no other way to drink black tea for me anymore other than with milk. When asked if you want black or white tea, don't respond with a 'huh?' like me, respond with 'white' - it means with milk, not referring to the type of tea.


Being aggressive(ish) on public transport - 

Ok, so the tube is an entirely different beast during commute hours. And I don't particularly recommend it for anyone coming to visit to even venture down one of those holes from 7:00-9:30 or 16:00-18:30 M-F. But outside of those hours, public transport overall is quite convenient. Thankfully, I don't take the tube to work (yippee!), but even my commute sometimes requires a firm 'can you please move further into the train' or a 'can someone please open a window.' The latter, I've mastered a bit more in the recent months (read: the three day heat wave that almost killed me). I've also had some luck with politely excusing my way into a crowded train and finding a place to balance myself or a random pole to hold on to, but I'm slowly working my way up to the loud requests. Thankfully, on the particularly crowded days, I've been near one of those mercifully brave/loud/forceful Brits. What it has mostly come to is adjusting my commute time - really does wonders. And my extra little secret (just between us) is that I venture toward the rear coach. It seems that everyone wants to be one of the first to get off the train when it arrives at its destination, but I have no problems in walking a bit further in order to find myself a seat for those rides. Sort of like those coveted front Walmart parking spaces back in the US - nothing wrong with walking a bit more in exchange for an open space. Or for that matter, not to spend 20 minutes circling the lot like a shark.


Queuing for EVERYTHING - 

Really, it's everywhere. They form formal and informal lines. Queues to get into train stations, queues to buy fruit at the local farmers market, queues to get on and off of the transport, queues to pick up a basket at the market...and on and on.

You know how you can find a line by connecting any two points? Well same is true of a queue. Find any 2 people standing in any direction and there's bound to be a queue that forms from their relative locations. Ok, a bit exaggerated, but still, come visit and you'll see!


The fact that I just said Queue! -

It's not so strange anymore. In fact, I feel like the weirdo when I accidentally say 'line' now! And then look around and pretend to wonder who said that. Other words that aren't as foreign: bin (formerly: trash can); lift (formerly: elevator); Post (just Post, used interchangeably rather than verb: 'to mail it' or noun: 'post office'). Lastly, I've also succumbed to the spelling of anything with an ou (formerly o; i.e. colour/color, favourite*/favorite, etc.) That used to bug me, but I think what bugs me more is the little squiggly red line yelling at me every time I try to spell colour as color. Therefore, I'm a convert, but a somewhat reluctant convert.


The one I'm still working on successfully interjecting into normal interactions is 'cheers' - one of my favs, but it eludes me. I either feel like I choose the wrong time to say it or stay markedly silent when it feels expected. Or worse - when I accidentally let a 'thanks!' slip out. I'm a work in progress, people.


Your turn! Ever come across some quirks you adopted as your own? Or does your inner grammar police forbid you from switching spelling sides?