Words I learned today that are used differently in the UK:

  • It’s not takeout (food), it’s takeaway.
  • It’s not a trash can, it’s a trash bin. (They’re also really hard to find in certain public places.)
  • You don’t have friends, you have mates.
  • It’s not a stroller, it’s a buggy.
  • Fillet is pronounced “fill-it”.
  • Pita (as in bread) is pronounced “pitta”. It’s also spelled that way.
  • Claritin is spelled Clarityn.
  • Jewelry is spelled jewellery.

Initial impressions from the first day in London:

  • The taxis are very clean, compared to other cities.
  • A lot more smokers than anywhere in the U.S. It was really bothering the kids. I suppose they’ll have to get used to it.
  • It was surprising to me how many internationals there are. I spent a lot of time people-watching and many people were speaking a foreign language. White English-speakers almost seemed like a minority.
  • It’s a bit sad to me how dependent I am on Internet access. When we first arrived, we had no working phones, and only the address of our temporary housing. I did not even know how to get to the Facebook office. And it felt kind of scary. Once I got a little web access by mooching off of Starbucks wi-fi on the street, I felt a little better. After I picked up a working phone from the office, I felt great. My smartphone has become an integral part of my life. Kind of scary.
  • We got food at a nearby 7-11 type place and they had a massive selection of instant Korean noodles. I thought that was interesting.

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