When I first decided to go to college in Scotland as an American, my impression of what life would be like there was incredibly quaint. I pictured something like this: lots of kilts, men who looked like Gerard Butler, and sheep scuttling over picturesque hills. I arrived on a wave of exuberant legal 18-year-old drinking, and made friends of the English and Scottish varieties who were constantly cooing over my "American-ness" and doing awful imitations of my accent.
I was loving it. Everyone was so exotic and British and quite honestly, I was pretty drunk. However, what really shocked me was that there were a lot of cultural in-jokes and traditions that went way over my head. It wasn't just that my New York jokes wouldn't always land — I was on the outside of decades of culturally relevant happenings with absolutely no idea how to gain a foothold. I answered a lot of questions about Manhattan, did loads of hilarious Chandler Bing impressions, and pretended to know who Boris Johnson was for the majority of an entire year, with relative success.
Now that I'm at the end of my four years on this fine, windy island, I remain both charmed by the quirks of this seriously cold country, and intimately aware of how seriously different it is to good old America. Here's what you can also expect as an American in the United Kingdom:
You Really Love It When Someone Corrects Your Pronunciation
Oh, it's "to-mah-to" not "tomato?"
though You Not-So-Secretly Think the way they say "Aluminium" Sounds Ridiculous
On the outside I'm nodding along as if that's the right word, but I think we both know it's called aluminum, not aloo-mini-um.
You Really Don't Get The Obsession With Marmite Or Blackcurrant
But The National Obsession With Stephen Fry Makes Perfect Sense to you
This man is a treasure, seriously.
and Same goes for David Attenborough
The father of nature documentaries should be as well-loved everywhere. Where would the world be without Blue Planet or Frozen Planet ?
You Think that Cordial As A Substitute For Juice Is Preposterous
Uh....ok, you drink your strange sugar-water, I'll pass.
But Late Night Chippy Runs? YESSSSS
It's like the God of Alcohol shone down from above and gave you everything you ever wanted after a night at the club.
you know that Every Joke About The British Loving Tea Is True
They really really love it.
But It's So Cold And Rainy That It actually Makes A Lot Of Sense
Talking about the weather here is not social filler — it's legitimately worthy of comment.
you're used to hearing People generalize about "You Americans"
Because it makes total sense to generalize about America like it's all the same, even though it can fit roughly 38 United Kingdoms inside of it. I once had someone say to me that most Americans they had spoken to were perfectly fine with incest. No joke.
and you know most people Think America Is Either Manhattan, Disneyworld, Or Rural Texas
Given how often you're mistaken for a backward hick, upstate New York might as well be Texas because they have no idea what our deal is. Also, good luck if you're from any state in the Midwest because the Brits have no clue where you come from.
You Try Your Hardest Never To Think About The Exchange Rate
It will drive you to drink, and then live on lentils for weeks on end.
because It's Hard To Resist The Cozy Pull Of Day Drinking At Pubs
You mean you can walk into a drinking establishment before 12 in the afternoon, start ordering pints, and then eventually order warm awesome food if you get hungry? I am never leaving this country ever. Pub culture over bar culture for real.
You can Never Get Over How Cheap It Is To Travel To Mainland Europe
Forty pounds roundtrip to Paris? IS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE.
you still think that Calling Your Apartment A "Flat" Makes It Sound So Much Cuter
Come back to my flat, won't you? Dinner at the flat anyone? Gosh darn does that sounds adorable.
...Although If You Live In London, your Rent Is Really Far From Cute
All of a sudden, living on a housing estate isn't really a joke at all. Because any of the gorgeous London flats you saw in the movies are waaaay out of your price range.
You're Always Wondering Why The Fruit Is So Darn Small
It's probably because they use less growth hormones or something, but it's sad that grapefruits are the size of American oranges and clementines are the size of my fingernail.
you know there are Few Things Cuter In This World Than Small Children With British Accents
Those cute little British words coming out of teeny tiny British mouths, its too much.
You Constantly Worry About coming back to the states with A Weird Madonna Pseudo-Accent
But given that everyone makes fun of you when you go home, you kind of know you already have one. Ugh.
IPlayer and 4OD Are Too Good To Ever Give Up
How will I be able to access unlimited Grand Designs or Nevermind the Buzzcocks elsewhere?
most of all, Even Though You sometimes Miss The Joys Of Home
Mainly Dunkin' Donuts.
you think Being an american In The UK Is Dead Brilliant
Plus you're definitely going to be a princess someday, Harry is still single-ish...right?
and you always will