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I moved to the UK from the US, AMA

166 replies

Avalla33 · 27/07/2018 15:19

It's still early days, as I moved here about a year ago. I don't know if I have anything particularly interesting to say, but I'll try to answer any questions the best that I can.

OP posts:
Avalla33 · 28/07/2018 07:29

@UnGoogleable I don’t really notice, because we tend to watch Netflix or things without commercials anyway. I watched very little live tv in the US. I know what you mean about the cuts for commercial breaks though.

I think the environmentally conscious thing is relative and differs around both countries. But I’ve noticed more people here mentioning things related to the environment, people seem more aware of it, recycling is more a part of the culture.

@SenecaFalls I haven’t had one yet! It took me a long time to like American bacon so I’m not sure I’d like the bacon here right away. My husband loves bacon buttys though!

@Rebecca36 I’m in the Midlands, if that helps?

@ScreamingValenta I think American peanut butter (at least the major brands) has more sugar in it. I know people think that everything there has more sugar, and I’m sure many things do. But I’ve actually found some things unusually sweet over here. Like the cough drops!

@Johnnyfinland not in London, sorry. I think I’d miss fewer things if I were, since it’s such an international city.

In regards to LA, I think that MissConduft answered pretty well. I’m always surprised that it’s such a big destination because I can think of much nicer places in California. But I think it’s about what you’d expect, the people that live there are attracted by the types of industry there, often ones where superficial qualities are especially valued.

OP posts:
Avalla33 · 28/07/2018 07:31

I will try to answer anything else that comes up but I’m going to be pretty busy this weekend. So I’d like to invite my fellow Americans to step in and answer things wherever they’d like!

OP posts:
SenecaFalls · 28/07/2018 12:29

First, LA is the official postal abbreviation for the state of Louisiana.

Also for many residents of neighboring Florida and Georgia, the unofficial designation for Lower Alabama. Wink

claraschu · 28/07/2018 12:42

I am another American living in the UK, and want to weigh in on the peanut butter question!

In the US, all of the places I have lived have had fantastic health food shops, where you can grind your own fresh organic peanut butter (in a container you very environmentally-consciously pay for or reuse). These wonderful stores also have fresh bulk tahini, and other nut butters, as well as lots of other bulk items you can buy as much as you like of. This is one of the things I really miss about the US.

(What people sometimes forget about the US is that, while we seem to have the most bigoted, racist, environmentally destructive administration in the developed world, we also have some of the most progressive and open minded citizens and businesses.)

Johnnyfinland · 28/07/2018 20:46

MissConduct the Los Angeles Wankers did make me laugh 😂😂😂 very interesting, thanks!

BakedBeans47 · 28/07/2018 21:51

What do you think of Brexit?

And even more pressing, is it true most Americans don’t have electric kettles?

SenecaFalls · 28/07/2018 22:23

The OP said others of us could answer so I'll jump in on the kettle thing.

It's true that electric kettles are not a feature of many kitchens in the US. There are several reasons for this. One is that our voltage is different so it takes an electric kettle a good bit longer to boil than in the UK. So many people who use a kettle have a non-electric one they keep on the stove top.

Another reason is that we are, generally speaking, not a nation of tea drinkers. Coffee is the preferred hot beverage in the US, and most people have electric coffee makers (no instant coffee, please) so there is no need to boil water for coffee.

Some say the lack of a tea drinking culture stems from a little tea party that was held at Boston in 1773. Smile

BakedBeans47 · 28/07/2018 22:25

Thanks Seneca! I think I had heard about the voltage thing it rings a bell now you’ve said it!

MissConductUS · 28/07/2018 22:31

I drink both coffee and tea and have a gas stove (or hob as I think you call it). I do have an electric coffee maker and when I want a cuppa it only takes a few minutes to bring the kettle to a boil on the stove.

Johnnyfinland I'm glad that brightened your day. After I posted that comment I realized that Washington D.C. probably deserves that team name even more. Grin

CurlyhairedAssassin · 28/07/2018 22:44

Does the UK seem really small to you?

are you amazed that so many brilliant and varied European countries are so geographically close to us?

Cos that’s what I always imagine Americans would think! Grin

SenecaFalls · 28/07/2018 22:45

I drink both coffee and tea as well (need to specify hot tea here because, as I live in the South, I also consume a lot of iced tea which we usually buy already bottled). Some people boil water in the microwave, but I use my stove top kettle when I want a cup of tea. I learned to like hot tea as a student in the UK, and I enjoy the ritual of brewing it. Sometimes I even go to the trouble of brewing loose tea in a proper tea pot.

annandale · 28/07/2018 23:01

Do you get frustrated that people don't get the differences between federal government and state administrations? This annoys me as an English admirer of the USA that people look at a federal minimum and assume that is the same as a UK national law and what everyone in the US has.

I also think there is very little understanding of American scale in the UK. I remember the reporting here about Hurricane Katrina. Granted it did seem like a clusterfuck but the area under water was about the size of England and Wales I believe?? I think we would have struggled pretty badly too.

CurlyhairedAssassin · 28/07/2018 23:13

What preconceived ideas did you have about the English/English culture that you soon realised were completely wrong?

MissConductUS · 29/07/2018 00:46

Since OP asked the rest of us to jump in this weekend, I'll have a go:

Do you get frustrated that people don't get the differences between federal government and state administrations?

I think this requires a certain level of understanding about US history that most Brits couldn't be reasonably expected to have. And the boundary between them administratively has changed over time, with more authority going to the Federal government.

I also think there is very little understanding of American scale in the UK.

I haven't been to the UK but DH spent a year working there, mostly in London, so I asked him about this and he agreed. While there he spent several weeks traveling by train and driving through England and Scotland. What struck him the most was the population density. Cities, towns and villages are usually just a short distance apart. Even in New York, where I live, driving upstate there are regions where you can drive for half an hour and hardly see a structure. There are lots of western states with even lower population densities.

Looking at the two countries on a globe can be deceiving. The US has about 40 times the land area of the UK. New York alone is equal to 0.58 UK's and there are 11 states that are larger.

SenecaFalls · 29/07/2018 00:58

Do you get frustrated that people don't get the differences between federal government and state administrations?

Trust me, there are a lot of America who don't have a clear understanding of these differences either.

NotAnotherNoughtiesTune · 29/07/2018 09:10

What do you think of and do you prefer British or American comedy?

CaptainKirkssparetupee · 29/07/2018 09:16

Would you be willing to apologise on behalf of the whole of the united states of America for the horrible chocolate known as Hersey's?

Figmentofimagination · 29/07/2018 09:19

Hi @Avalla33, no question, but loving your answers. Just wanted to let you know there is also a Taco Bell in Manchester City Centre, but that might me a bit far away for you to travel. I love Taco Bell so always try and go when I'm in Manchester.

EspressoPatronum · 29/07/2018 09:55

There's a taco Bell in Leeds as well. Have you tried taco Bell in England? I would imagine it would be a little different in taste and products?

ScreamingValenta · 29/07/2018 09:58

Interesting about kettles. I knew tea was a lot less common in the US but hadn't considered this effect - mind you, I am an instant coffee philistine so use my kettle to make coffee as well!

Sevendown · 29/07/2018 10:11

Why do you think the abortion debate is such a strong political force in the US but not in the U.K.?

Do you think British people drink more alcohol esp binge drinking? It seems (from the media so may not be accurate!) that in the US people ‘go to rehab’/ AA for a level of drinking which is quite normal in much of the U.K.

In the US lots of babies are still given up at birth for voluntary adoption. This is now very rare in the U.K. what do you think of the different circumstances?

Roussette · 29/07/2018 10:24

Do Americans pay any attention to global warming, recycling or power useage?
The reason I ask is, when we stayed at a condominium in Florida, the housekeeper insisted on setting the dishwasher when there was just one cup, a bowl and a spoon in it! I had to leave her a note not to... I couldn't stand the thought of such a waste of electricity.

On the subject of the vastness of the US compared to us here in England... I was gobsmacked to learn that if you had an acetate of the States and you laid it over Europe, it would cover all of Europe. Shock

CaptainKirkssparetupee · 29/07/2018 10:45

Why do you think the abortion debate is such a strong political force in the US but not in the U.K.?
I'm guessing it's to do with how much religion is ingrained into US culture.
In God we trust and so fourth.

CaptainKirkssparetupee · 29/07/2018 10:53

In the UK the ideal is to accept religious belief of others but not really express it in any major way. Look at how Tony Blair played down that he was Catholic while in power.

The US ideal is to proudly flaunt your religious belief including being an atheist which is apparently so shocking it needs to be repeatly mentioned in casual conversation.

It's really total polar opposites.

Roussette · 29/07/2018 10:56

I remember Tony Blair saying in an interview that God told him to go to war against Iraq.
That did not go down well

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