Socially Confident Pigeons (And Other Cultural Differences)

The biggest difference between London and my hometown (other than the small town vs. big city thing) is the amount of pigeons that are EVERYWHERE.

Not only are they everywhere, but they are really ready to approach you. I have never been anywhere where pigeons are as ready to come up to you and just stare at you like these have. It’s bizarre.

But it’s not the only “cultural difference” I’ve noticed over my six days here in London. The list is expansive, but here’s a quick overview:

  • When I was at the grocery store, the eggs weren’t in the refrigerated section. They were on a shelf next to dried fruits and nuts and I was very confused (and a little concerned).
  • Air conditioning is NOT A THING HERE. Where I come from, if you don’t have AC, you will suffocate in your home. Here, they’re just like “yeah open some windows, it’ll be fine.”
  • There are no “normal” flavors of potato chips (or “crisps”). The selection I have found at my local grocery store include (but is not limited to), the following: prawn cocktail, spicy pepper, cheese & onion, vinegar, ready salted, and classic.
  • Pub Culture is something of it’s own breed. You see people at 11AM having a drink at a pub and it’s no big deal. I guess it is always 5:00 somewhere!
  • Jaywalking is not a crime. You can cross at anytime, but the drivers here are very aggressive, so be careful!
  • They put mayo on salads as a dressing.
  • HISTORY IS EVERYWHERE. I am staying in a really new building, but the building that I will have all my classes in is really old. Everything where I come from is almost exclusively post-WWII.
  • I was told that fish & chips were a tourist thing. They’re not. Literally every pub serves them. Also, they’re really good.

There are so many other things that are different here, it’s not possible to list them all. While some people say that the UK is just like the United States, I’d argue there are plenty of differences here across the pond.

Bye for now!



4 thoughts on “Socially Confident Pigeons (And Other Cultural Differences)

  1. [J] Eggs: We are egg producers and have to understand what we’re doing. Eggs do not need to be refrigerated – in fact if the refrigeration is too cold they can be spoilt. The egg is air-tight, waterproof, and if protected from damage and direct light, and in northern Europe certainly will keep for four weeks perfectly well. Mayo: We don’t put ‘mayo’ on salads, we put mayonnaise. Once upon a time what you in N America call Mayo probably was mayonnaise. But what you put on your burgers etc is a cheapened derivative, and here in Europe you couldn’t call it Mayonnaise, because it doesn’t have the same ingredients at all anymore. Pubs: Pubs are NOT what they used to be at all, bearing no resemblance to what was commonplace until the late 1970s – they were more of a social meeting place, serving of food was unheard of, and wine would only be ordered for women in the posher ‘saloon bar’ – the ‘public bar’ was for common folk!

    • Honestly, fish and chips are making my life. It’s kind of ridiculous how much I love them. Pubs are amazing. So so so amazing. The only thing I’m not a fan of so far (other than the pigeons) is the lack of AC. London is getting a heat wave right now and I am not about it. Where I come from, if you don’t have AC in this weather, you will die.

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