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Old 11-27-2009, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic / United Kingdom
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Hi all,

What's the difference between an 'average' Brit and 'average' American? I know that it's hard to generalize Brits and Americans, but what change did you noticed the most? What was your culture shock when coming to Britain / USA?

Thanks,

Jay
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Limbo
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For me going to the southern U.S it wasn't so much of a culture shock, there are similarities as their culture is very like ours in many ways. If you think back.

It wasn't a culture shock like going to a non English speaking country like Turkey or somewhere like that, its all pretty relative to me apart from accents, etc.

Same goes for my other half when he moved from the U.S to here.
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Old 11-27-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I couldn't find any self-rising cornmeal to make cornbread in England!!
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnn5 View Post
I couldn't find any self-rising cornmeal to make cornbread in England!!
This must be a southern thing - I've never seen self-rising cornmeal up in PA.

I suspect this this something that has changed a bit (for the worse) but when I came to the US it seemed very odd that people drive everywhere. In fact, it can be difficult to walk sometimes - no sidewalks, no crossings. Also, people will park in a strip mall and shop at one shop, return to their car, move it a couple of hundred yards, and shop at another store in the same strip mall.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Limbo
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I like the fact that I live mostly rural, i can walk from my house and be downtown within 15 minutes theres pavements everywhere and I find places here to be more walkable which I would like to find in the U.S like even being able to drive downtown and park and walkabout, go for a coffee etc.

If not then I would really miss that, could not drive everywhere would do my head in.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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I think that's more likely to happen in small towns and cities of all sizes. It's just so much of the USA is suburbs and they are designed on the basis of everyone having a car. People get used to that so that even when they get into a town, the concept of not walking is very foreign.

Obviously, these are generalities.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Generally the US is far more sprawling and car-centric, with alot more space and less crowds (for the most part). We Americans are also used to huge choice in a consumer sense, sometimes to the point of excess. "Everything is bigger in America" is true if you have traveled around the world. I have to acknowledge a sense of thoughtfulness in US society- or a level of convenience unparallel in other countries- in instances such as physically-impaired contexts (it is so hard to avoid climbing steps in London!)- the US is more advanced that way, and customer-oriented.

The UK is more dense with cities and towns closer to each other. The society is generally more reserved. Things are almost always smaller in the UK- if you are coming from the US. There is in a sense, more connection to other parts of the world- to some extent, due to history- that makes the US kind of insulated in some ways.
I would say that one moving from the UK or US to another will likely experience some level of "culture shock." Oh and British people look different from Americans. Different tastes in food, clothing, etc. Different music, books, tv, sport. Different immigration patterns/ ethnic patterns, etc. Different subcultures in society (the British have a delinquent group termed 'Chavs'; the Americans have a title for a certain type called "Redneck" and so on). In the English-speaking world, the US and the UK are on opposite ends of the spectrum culturally.
Oh, and British people appear to smoke, drink and swear ALOT more than their American counterparts!
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:38 AM
 
Location: t' grim north
521 posts, read 1,314,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
Generally the US is far more sprawling and car-centric, with alot more space and less crowds (for the most part). We Americans are also used to huge choice in a consumer sense, sometimes to the point of excess. "Everything is bigger in America" is true if you have traveled around the world. I have to acknowledge a sense of thoughtfulness in US society- or a level of convenience unparallel in other countries- in instances such as physically-impaired contexts (it is so hard to avoid climbing steps in London!)- the US is more advanced that way, and customer-oriented.

The UK is more dense with cities and towns closer to each other. The society is generally more reserved. Things are almost always smaller in the UK- if you are coming from the US. There is in a sense, more connection to other parts of the world- to some extent, due to history- that makes the US kind of insulated in some ways.
I would say that one moving from the UK or US to another will likely experience some level of "culture shock." Oh and British people look different from Americans. Different tastes in food, clothing, etc. Different music, books, tv, sport. Different immigration patterns/ ethnic patterns, etc. Different subcultures in society (the British have a delinquent group termed 'Chavs'; the Americans have a title for a certain type called "Redneck" and so on). In the English-speaking world, the US and the UK are on opposite ends of the spectrum culturally.
Oh, and British people appear to smoke, drink and swear ALOT more than their American counterparts!
Pretty much agree with you on that (yes, even the swearing). I guess it just isn't east or cheap to adapt those old buildings to meet the needs of the physically impaired (although by law they should). Any new buildings would have the same level of access here in the UK as they would in the States though. How about taxis? The London cab is great for people in wheel chairs - they carry ramps and of course their is loads of room in the back. Anything similar in the states?

Life in the UK pretty much revolves around getting up in the mornings and going to work to earn money to support your family. What do you guys do in the States?
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkie Bar View Post

Life in the UK pretty much revolves around getting up in the mornings and going to work to earn money to support your family. What do you guys do in the States?
That's mostly true the world over I think. But that has reminded me of something that I did notice - rush hour starts much earlier over here. It's not uncommon for people to start work at 7 am or earlier while when I worked in London, if I got to the office at 8 there was hardly any traffic.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
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The big thing I noticed in the States is that unthinking, fundamentalist religion appears to be everywhere - also all the right-wing nut-job conspiracy theorists are treated as having something worth listening to, as opposed to being put on the next bus to the loony bin....
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