Foreigners in the UK: What do you just not "get"?

(390 Posts)
NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:12:21

I've been in the UK for 10 years now, I think. I do not understand:

- the Archers
- tea (why? why? why?)
- cryptic crosswords

Anyone else?

DumbledoresGirl Sat 07-Oct-06 21:13:27

I am English born and bred (and well educated!) and I don't get cryptic crosswords NQC!

Or do you mean, why people would do them?

expatinscotland Sat 07-Oct-06 21:15:46

-chips w/brown sauce - yuk

-no mixer taps except in the kitchen - WHY? WHY? WHY? Washing your face w/warm water is bliss.

-one bathroom homes

-those fucking under-worktop fridges - those are for beer, people!

-no plugs in the bathroom

-manual cars. yes, i drive them and sat my practical on one. but gimme an automatic ANY day.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:18:13

Oh, I think I see the point of doing cryptic crosswords, I just can't even vaguely solve them. My brain just curls up and hides. Or something.

Yeah, I don't think "brown" (or any other colour) is a good descriptor of food. Surely I should care about what flavour it is, not what colour? Why don't they sell "gloopy sauce"?

The absence of mixer taps I think is down to WWII. Or something?

No plugs in the bathroom I sorta get - 110V doesn't really hurt, I've taken it loads of times, but I gather 220V actually does something to you.

DumbledoresGirl Sat 07-Oct-06 21:19:01

Expat - no plugs in the bathroom? I wouldn't say that was the norm. It might explain why you miss mixer taps though. As far as I am concerned, I put the plug in and run a basin full of water (half hot, half cold, therefore warm) to wash my face in.

Sorry, feel like I am the uninvited guest at the party here. I will butt out now.

DumbledoresGirl Sat 07-Oct-06 21:19:49

Oh PLUGS as in sockets? Not as in rubber bungs?

Definitely going now

NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:20:48

Hey, Brits are welcome here. Maybe some of you will see the error of your ways!

expatinscotland Sat 07-Oct-06 21:23:18

-fruitcake for wedding cake. NO, NO, NO! fruitcake is only good at Xmas, and only if it's been made with large quantities of rum or brandy.

-the queen and the royals

-short assured tenancies - a recipe for homelessness

-buy to let - same thing.

the rest of my things are mostly scottish, b/c i've never lived in england, wales or northern ireland.

Gobbledispook Sat 07-Oct-06 21:31:56

One bathroom homes are usually older ones - having several bathrooms is a relatively modern thing. THere are no ensuites in our house even though it's much bigger than a lot of modern houses, just because they weren't something people had when our house was built!

However, the owners did have servants and we still have the bell indicator thing over our morning room door that tells you if the ringing is from bedroom 1, bedroom 2 etc!!!

See, it's just how times have changed

Totally with you expat on manual cars - why? I'm never going back to manual - crappola

southeastastralplain Sat 07-Oct-06 21:35:26

fruitcake because the cake will keep for the christening, tea because it's yum

GarfieldsGirl Sat 07-Oct-06 21:43:43

Automatic cars yuk yuk yuk! Thats where you're so very, very wrong! Manuals are there so you can drive the car properly. I have an automatic because DP can't drive a manual anymore, but give me a manual any day of the week. So much better to drive.

Or maybe I'm just strange.

I'll butt out now.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:45:31

I'd like to learn to drive a manual, but I don't really drive, so it's kinda irrelevant. My bike is manual, though ;-).

I like fruitcake as wedding cake and am always faintly shocked to be offered anything else as wedding cake. What else could wedding cake be? Sponge? It always seems like styrofoam in food form. (Ok, not really, those extruded corn snacks are edible styrofoam, but still!)

foundintranslation Sat 07-Oct-06 21:48:16

The Germans don't get the no mixer taps thing either, and tbh, after living in Germany for years, neither do I.

Renting is the norm over here (I think 60-70% of the population rent) and I feel quite horrified when I read on here how little protection tenants have in the UK. Nobody can chuck us out of our flat without a very, very good reason, and even then have to give 3 months' notice.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Sat 07-Oct-06 21:49:53

Hey expat I lived in a no bathroom house until I was 7. Joy!

220v isn't nice either - thank the lord for the circuit breaker.

Cryptic crosswords and the Archers we do agree on.

franca70 Sat 07-Oct-06 21:50:52

-agree with expat, why no plugs in the bathroom?
-carpet in the bathroom
-the romantic views on living in the country
-it's cold, it's windy, why not wrapping up warm?

blueshoes Sat 07-Oct-06 21:51:10

underheated homes
holidays that involve scorching yourself under the sun
going for a drink after work does not involve dinner even when it drags on
binge drinking
when tube/trains break down, people just shrug and shuffle off
a packet of crisps as part of a lunch

NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:52:36

Oh good god, carpet in the bathroom! In a damp and cold climate! Why would you want carpet in the bathroom! Aaaaack!

(Actually, carpet anywhere but bedrooms annoys me, and even then I can't stand it really.)

foundintranslation Sat 07-Oct-06 21:55:28

NQC, carpet is the other thing I have gone off completely since living in Germany. We currently have fab parquet floors and love them. last year dh and I stayed in a holiday cottage in the UK and he spent the whole week exclaiming over the carpeted bathroom.

pupuce Sat 07-Oct-06 21:57:45

Yes carpet in bathroom - can you get MORE unhygenic!!!! YUK YUK YUK!!!

southeastastralplain Sat 07-Oct-06 21:57:56

we like carpet because it's snuggly and keeps sound to a minimum, it's cold here and tea keeps us warm and toasty

NotQuiteCockney Sat 07-Oct-06 21:58:51

I remember the first time I came to the UK, I was 11, it was May. We were in North Devon I think, in a little tiny old cottage. Which had carpet everywhere which was, for the entire week, always wet. Ewwwww.

madchad Sat 07-Oct-06 22:03:00

I'm here 18 years.
I still don't understand why:
you have to call before you visit
carpets in bathrooms
people ask how much you earn
weddings finish so early

foundintranslation Sat 07-Oct-06 22:04:14

I won't hear a word said against Marmite! It is yummy and healthy and fab.

Where are you from madchad?

Gillian76 Sat 07-Oct-06 22:05:23

Weddings go on for ages in Scotland. You should move up here!

franca70 Sat 07-Oct-06 22:10:39

actually if wiring weren't so dodgy, probably you could have olugs in the bathroom

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