Differences; part 1

Just as I have been learning about being a ministers wife, I also have been learning about being a Scot in America. Here are some of my day to day annoyances, dilemmas, amusing moments, language stumbling points etc…

  • Finding somewhere that sells a decent cup of tea and rejoicing, and then discovering that although you asked the cashier to not fill the cup so you have room for milk, they fill it anyway. You then have the annoying moment of hovering, to ask someone to tip some of it out again.
    • Oh, and then you stumble upon the milk & sugar area to realise they don’t have just milk out because they all have half & half in their coffee, and so you have to go and hover again to ask for some milk.
  • Nobody knowing or being able to spell my name.
  • I am very aware of the words that come out of my mouth.
    • It is hard not to say things like “I was on the phone to Alan and he was taking the piss of me because…”. This does not translate as I would intend.
    • Or, in response to being asked how you are, “not too bad thanks” isn’t a good enough answer, because American’s don’t turn positives negative like us Brits.
  • Four way stops. Who designed four way stops? They make no sense. It’s like a game of chicken. “I’ve decided I have right of way because I’m bigger than you” isn’t a fair way to play this game, and it isn’t the rule of the game. Why am I wasting my fuel (and time and patience) on stopping and starting when I could just be driving happily at the speed limit, and cars on the side road could easily merge in when there’s space? Seriously, no sense.
  • “Are you from Ireland?” “No, Scotland, but close.” “Oh, I’m Irish and Scottish.” I don’t even continue the conversation from here anymore because I know they’ve never even visited either country before. However, they have decided through family research that they are British…probably 3, 4, 5, 6 generations back!
  • Pants, nope, definitely trousers. Thanks for telling me about buying new pants though…
  • British place names. Everywhere. And nobody even seems aware. Maybe they think they were creative and made them up, but actually some poor wee guy from Tiverton (Devon, England) moved here back in the war and missed home, so named this new road after his home town.
  • Dates. They are wrong. Why, oh why, would you put the month before the date? Illogical. I knew this before, but having to write it this way is just annoying!
  • Signing, for everything. Chip and pin is here… but half the stores don’t have their machines up and running yet. Who knows when restaurants will work out this wonder of not signing for everything.
  • Biscuit? Oh, yes please, I love biscuits! Oh, that kind of biscuit, no thanks. That won’t dunk well in my tea…
  • Tipping. PLEASE can people just pay their staff a worthwhile wage in the first place. I would happily pay a bit extra for my food from the outset so that your staff can afford to eat also, without me having work out 15/20% of the bill cost and adding it on at the end, because I want these lovely humans to survive this world.
  • Chips with your burger? Of course. Oh, no, not crisps with my burger, I want real chips…. yes, fries.
  • The health care system in general is a faster process, but of course it is because we’re paying a fortune for it. On another note though, each doctor has a nurse that checks your weight, vitals etc before they even see you — I can’t work out if this is clever, or a waste of resources, but either way I find it an odd experience.
  • Cheques. People still use cheques. But they spell it checks.
  • That funny look you get when someone asks for your Social Security number and you have to pull out your phone because you only just received it and can’t remember it that quickly. I want to tell them that I’m not from here — I haven’t been a number since birth, I’ve been Lorna. But I won’t say that, I’ll just learn it one day and have a number too.
  • Cell phones? No, they are mobile.
  • I know not all British towns have the best public transport links ever, but they tend to have some form of public transport link. I could get to Hawick from Edinburgh by bus if I so intended. I can’t even get to the supermarket without my car here. It makes me wonder how people who can’t drive survive here, or if they just have to move to the city.
  • Standing in a queue doesn’t exist here. It’s just a line. In line.

This list could be much longer even after only 7 weeks here, but I’m getting hungry, and so I will leave it here for now and add more in the future!

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6 thoughts on “Differences; part 1

  1. “Pants”…..I’m sorry y’all, it’s wrong, just plain wrong! They are TROUSERS OK 😂👍🏻

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