Monday, February 11, 2008

Living in the UK

As a new resident over here, with my beautiful sticker in my passport that says I have Indefinite Leave to remain ... woo hooo....I was just randomly thinking about the differences in my life over here. (just because I can stay forever doesn't mean I will though...that is for sure).

So I thought to try and list what I could think of. So these are things that have changed with living in the UK ! There is more, but I have been working on this for a while and my brain is beginning to go numb. You could easily use this as a kind of Adelaide to London dictionary maybe.

Marks & Spencers = Coles (or favourite)

House of Fraser = Myer

Selfridges = David Jones(or if a bit posher Harrods/Harvey Nichols)

BHS = Target & Big W (or John Lewis or Debenhams)

BBC = ABC (though there is no television licence with the ABC)

Guardian = The Advertiser

Metro = Messenger (only you get the metro papers everyday)

Oxford Street = Rundle Mall

Borough Markets = Adelaide Central Markets

Monmouth Coffee = Cibo

Brighton = Brighton (not the same with the pebbles)

Central Heating = Central Air-conditioning

Hampstead Heath = Botanic Park

Ladbrokes = TAB (and William Hill, Paddy Power etc)

Thames = Torrens

Yo Sushi = Sushi Train (and girls I miss Sushi train LOTS!)

Pizza Express = Fasta Pasta

Pret = Bean Bar/Cibo

Paris = Melbourne

Sq. Ft = Metres

Sunshades = Sunglasses (bit weird, sunshades are for the car!)

Transport for London = TransAdelaide

Ken Livingston = Mike Rann

Gordon Brown = Kevin Rudd

Stray Foxes = Stray cats

Foxtons = Toop & Toop

Pebbles = Sand (Beaches)

HSBC = Commonweath Bank

High Streets = Shopping Malls

Blue Water = Marion Shopping Centre

Biscester Village = Harbour Town (but Biscester is designer labels)

Hot @ 20 degrees = Hot @ 40 degrees

Humidity = Super Dry Adelaide Heat

Vauxhall = Holden

“M” roads (motorways)= Southern Expressway

Royal Ascot = Adelaide Spring Racing Carnival

Boots = National Pharmacy

Home Base = Bunnings

Eastenders = Neighbours (plus all the others Corrie, Emmerdale)

Hollyoaks = Home & Away

Football = Aussie Rules

Lords = Adelaide Oval

Posh & Becks = Bec & Lleyton (Hewitt)

Kylie = Kylie (some things never change)

Cornwall = Goolwa

Narrow Boats = House boats

Oxo Tower = Starlight Room

Abbey Wells = Mount Franklin

Innocent = Nudie

Ted Baker = Witchery & Cue

London Marathon = Corporate Cup (does Adelaide have a marathon?!)

Swiss/French Alps = Victorian Alps

Ireland = New Zealand

Sunday Roast on Sunday = Sunday Roast available every day!

BA & Ezy Jet = Qantas & Virgin Blue

Cotswolds = Adelaide Hills

Habitat = Freedom (Furniture)

Odeon = Hoyts

Notting Hill = Notting Hill on DVD

Farmers Markets = Stirling Markets

London Eye/Parliament Hill = View from Mt Lofty

Black Cabs = Taxis

Oyster Cards = Paper Tickets

Everton (Football) = Crows (Football....but Aus Rules)

Boroughs (ie Camden) = City of .... ie Port Adelaide Enfield

Flat (20sq ft) = House (100 sq ft plus)

Lightglobes = Lightbulbs (a weird one)

Drivepath = Driveway

Barmey Army = Lleyton Hewitt supporters (BUT I WILL NEVER JOIN THE ARMY....)

Pubs = Cafes (even when out to dinner you meet at a pub first!)

A - Z (streetmap) = Gregory's

Tom Tom (Sat Nav) = Some sitting in the passenger seat giving you directions from the Gregory's!!

Other things, in general -

In London there is no smoking indoors and this has definitely made going out a much more pleasant experience. It is amazing how much the cigarette smoke contributes to a hangover. However, the downside is most pubs, the older ones especially now smell of old feet, BO, pee and stale beer, not so nice. I am wondering when it will become law in Australia now. I think it has aready!??!

There are also all the logos that you become familiar with, as there are so many things when you arrive that you have no idea what its or associated with, and not so much logos just names of places. Like Thorntons is associated with chocolates, Molten Brown high end toiletries, Orange, BT and O2 are phone companies, TFL is transport for London, and Virgin not only fly planes but do trains too.

I know how to get around London without really a thought to needing to look at a tube map! Even better for most of my regular routes I know where is the best place to stand on the platform to get out at the right spot for my destination. It becomes such a habit that you do it automatically though. For example, this is annoying for me sometimes as if I am on the Jubilee line and want to get out at Finchley road to go to Waitrose (supermarket) I automatically stand where I would to get out at Swiss Cottage and the exits are at complete opposite ends! Oh and I still refuse to catch a bus if I don't have too, they are psycho and tonight was a perfect example(I had to take the bus) as it smelled like someone had peed themselves on the bus....was totally disgusting to the point I had to cover my face with a tissue.

My flat - unfortunately is about the size of a large hotel room, so tiny compared to Australian houses. I actually was in shock when my sister showed me a link to photos of their new "mansion" (it is to me!), a 4 bed house with a million sq. mts of living space.

At home I have turned English and there is a bucket in my kitchen sink! Mind you I think I have an excuse given that my kitchen sink is the size of a laundry trough and I have a "hob" not a stove! I get up by the light of my Lumi alarm clock not by the light of the sun (what sun? well in the winter anyway) I also have gotten used to the no laundry, as all the laundry's are part of the kitchens, and all front loading machines.

Clothing - I have trainers, not sneakers and flip flops not thongs, I don’t wear pants, but trousers – pants are underwear here! I am not even going to go into shopping, its too much, but basically I just avoid the shops, there is too much choice, too easy to spend the money and it just takes hours!

Sports - I watch football not soccer. Well I would prefer to watch rugby, but its pretty much football all the way and its on nearly every night!! Well that's not so true at the moment as I have been without a TV for 6 months and you know what its not so bad!!

TV - I have to pay to watch TV and that includes DVDs played on a laptop, as you need a TV licence to watch any form of TV whether it be on your TV, PC or laptop.

Food - I hardly eat any meat, and have nearly turned vegetarian, but only out of desperation for decent red meat, though I had a steak the other night - and it was fantastic!!! I drink soya or rice milk, sparkling water over still. I have swapped to Brambly apples from Jonathon’s, and clementines for mandarins. I have mange tout instead of snow peas. Red peppers for capsicum, though they are nice over here, not so bitter.

Queues and waiting - everything requires a queue or waiting or take just ages. A simple trip to IKEA to grab a table top ironing board (yes I eventually had to buy one, as was running out of clothing to wear!!) and the whole round trip including lining up at the check outs for 20 minutes, took 2 hours. I only wanted an ironing board!!! At home it would have been a 10 minute round trip in the car to Cheap as Chips, ahhh...

Phone calls, expect to be on hold for at least 10 minutes, at least!! Allow an hour to get anywhere...or be like me and be late for everything, thank goodness the doctor is always running late and my beautician and hairdresser love me to bits!

Bad service - at first I was appalled and got angry, then you find out it makes no difference, so you accept it as the norm. No one who works in a shop seems to know where anything is, they believe they are always right, joke with each other about customers, stand around gossiping and they hardly ever know even what they sell (i.e. i might see something in a magazine and they will say no we don't have that.....). They are annoyed if you ask for help, almost to the point of trying (which for plenty of them is difficult) to look busy if you even attempt to approach you.

What else, well there are the English slang for a start. Must be careful not to say "inn-it" instead of "isn't it", I've started saying "best pleased" instead of "really happy", we say "hiya, alright" for "hi how is it going", terms of endearment are used on random people, such as "lovey", "pet" and "sweetie" - even if you don't know them.

There is so much more I could add to the above, but this blog would never get published if I kept adding to this and thinking of more on a daily basis.

PS....lots of reasons to go home to Australia..eventually...(oh and a visit in 2008 is definitely in store, wink wink, ho ho ho...see you all then!)


Dallas said...

You've left out a couple of things:

McVities = Arnotts

Penguins = Tim Tams

Lisa said...

I know it was endless, I just had to publish it...i had already been working on it for over a is you anyway!!