People from around the world share their biggest culture shock after moving to the UK
An Italian woman has revealed the biggest culture shocks she experienced after moving to the UK for six months.
Taking to a thread on the Q&A site Quora, Kiara Bay, 21, from Italy, revealed the elements about British culture that completely stunned her while living in London for six months.
From Curry’s selling electronics instead of Indian food and pubs closing at 11pm, Kiara confessed she was totally baffled by British culture.
She wrote: ‘Overall, it was a lovely experience but there were many crushing moments of culture shock that left me intrigued and confused.’
Kiara Bay, 21, from Italy, revealed the elements about British culture that completely stunned her after living in the country
From Curry’s selling electronics instead of food and pubs closing at 11pm, Kiara confessed she was totally baffled by British culture
Sharing her thoughts on the most unusual elements of British culture, Kiara explained: ‘Pub culture.
‘I was shocked to learn how much the English enjoy visiting the pub and having a drink because their stereotype is that of a stuffy, refined Englishman.
‘There are so many bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and pubs around London and people really love to have a pint or a Pimm’s punch.’
She continued: ‘As much as Londoners like to drink, last call at the pub is 11:00 p.m. In Italy, 11pm is when people start getting ready to go out.’
The Italian revealed she had lived in the UK for six months, and said there were varying elements of the culture which left her stunned
Meanwhile she also revealed how she was stunned with how Brits ‘cross the street’, saying: ‘Since they drive on the left in London, traffic was not coming from the direction I expected. So many close calls every day!’
Kiara said she found it confusing that ‘pants’ meant ‘underwear’ and ‘trousers’ meant ‘pants.’
She continued: ‘When someone says something is a ‘good shout’ they mean ‘good idea.
‘The store called ‘Currys’ does not sell curry. They sell electronics.
Among the things she said which surprised her were how Brits ‘cross the street’, admitting she had ‘many close calls’
‘Don’t google ‘curry’ after a night at the pub and then walk to Currys thinking you will be able to order a curry because you will be VERY DISAPPOINTED.’
She added: ‘As a greeting, everyone in the UK says, ‘Are you alright?’ When they say this, they simply mean ‘hello’.
‘But every single time I heard it, I thought I looked sad or upset. (Very plausible considering my resting b**** face).
‘The word ‘terribly’ means ‘really’ and the world ‘awfully’ also means ‘really’. I’m terribly glad we went out on this date. Tonight went awfully well. I really like you.’
Writing on Quora, Kiara said she felt ‘crushing culture shock’ and called elements of British society ‘intriguing’ and ‘confusing’
She continued: ‘Instead of ‘sleeping in’ Brits ‘lie in’. This doesn’t sound like a big deal but it’s confusing in conversation.’
Meanwhile others on the site quickly responded to the same question, with one person Hanya Bella, from Malaysia, detailing how they had become confused about several elements of British culture after moving to the country to pursue higher education.
She wrote: ‘This is more like an amazement, the UK has many functioning buildings that age more than 300 years old. For example, what boggled my mind, Cambridge is older than Majapahit empire (old empire in Indonesia before the European came).’
Meanwhile she added: ‘Cows around Cambridge.This is specific to Cambridge as a town. When I just arrived, I was beyond shock to see.. cows.. in the middle of city.. just behind King’s College.’
Other social media users were also quick to share the moments that had left them scratching their heads
Meanwhile another user, Shamim Chowdhury, confessed he had also suffered culture shocks when living in the UK.
He explained: ‘One VERY important thing, when crossing the road – Look Right or Die.
‘We drive on the left, so when crossing a road look right first and not just an instinctive glance to the left as you have been used to doing your whole life.’
He continued: ‘Holding doors open for others – you hold it for the person behind you, they take over for the person behind them, etc, do it a little longer for the elderly or those with pushchairs, etc. thank-you helps here too.’
Meanwhile Petter Brenna Rian said he moved to the UK in 2009, explaining: ‘A big culture shock was the abundance of so-called chavs.
‘They are everywhere, especially up North. These are young British people, typically lower class, who wear tracksuits, and get children in their teens.
‘They are also easily agitated. I had seen those on Little Britain, but I had never expected them to be so prevalent.’