UK vs US: things you might not know are different

English Rose Cafe

When I came to the UK, I had done some research into things that were different from home in the US. However, most of these were very basic like the money exchange rate, the outlet differences, etc. This list gives more detailed (and possibly less useful) differences between the United States and the United Kingdom. Note that I am based on London,UK, so most of the differences will be based on how life is in London and may not apply exactly to everywhere in the England or the UK. Be warned that:

In the US, orange juice has a pull tab under the lid but the milk doesn’t; in the UK, the milk does but the OJ doesn’t.

Where the US has red “EXIT” signs, the UK has green “Way Out” signs. Similarly, instead of saying “yield” like one might in the States, in the UK one would say “give way.”

In the US, eggs go in the refrigerator; in the UK, I still put my eggs in the fridge because leaving them out scares me (even though it’s supposedly okay).

In the US, every building is air conditioned cold enough to appease Elsa from Frozen; in the UK, nowhere has AC, not even the tube which is like a million degrees all the time. 

US: blue post boxes; UK: red post boxes (which took me some time to realize, and I had postmarked, unsent postcards for longer than I care to share).

So many places in the UK have two different facets for hot and cold water which is so strange in the US. I haven’t washed my face at a comfortable temperature in months.

The UK Netflix is better; sorry US. (But the US Office will always be a hundred times better, so don’t feel too bad)

(This is subject to change based on where in the US you live but) I actually know what the weather is going to be like in the UK every day without going outside because it’s the same every single day: 50 degrees F and probably going to rain. Weather in the US is as crazy and unpredictable as it’s people: one minute its warm enough for the beach and the next it’s snowing.

The US calls them “ovens”; the UK calls them “cookers.”

This one is obvious, but tea. The US is doing it so wrong (which I guess is their fault for throwing so much in the harbor during a tantrum; we never recovered).

Hulu does not work in the UK; US people with the sweet Spotify Hulu student deal, be prepared for this if you’re going to visit.

London and European public transportation is literally fantastic which is probably common knowledge, but it really doesn’t get emphasized enough.

Everyone knows that the UK drives on the left of the road instead of the right like the US and the rest of the world, but what people forget to mention is that everyone also walks on the left side of the sidewalk, stairs, etc.. I almost took a guy out going up a spiral stair case in a tube station because I was walking on the right.

People in the UK do not “do the dishes”; they “do the washing up.”

I hope this was helpful or at least entertaining!