Everything feels fancier in England. Even the every-day run of the mill buildings, used for things as mundane as shoe stores and McDonald’s restaurants, are stunning and ornate. A lot of the buildings Brits just live life in every day are older than our entire nation. It kind of blows my mind to think about.
But it’s so weird, even being (pause for google lookup) over 5,000 miles away from home, so many things are so very similar. People, for example. By and large, wherever we’ve gone they’re really nice. People are happy to answer questions we have when we’re lost or need a recommendation for a good place to eat dinner. It makes me feel at home, like people are looking out for me wherever I am.
The landscape, too. Granted, I haven’t been too far out of London yet, and I know the countryside varies a lot from place to place, but really, it looks like Texas. I shit you not, people. Greener, wetter Texas. Not all parts of Texas, of course, but the vast green fields and ranches in the more rural areas around London remind me of the land southeast of Dallas. The slight hills remind me of the Austin area. And I bet when I get a chance to go down to Brighton with my new housemate, Emma, the soft waves at the beach will remind me of my very own Corpus Christi Bay.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying England is a carbon copy of the states. There are HUGE differences. First of all, there’s NO AIR CONDITIONING. Anywhere. not in houses, not in cars, rarely in restaurants; its not common. On unseasonably warm days citizens just have to grin and bear it. I can’t imagine. Though, I am enjoying the cold night air coming in from my window now. But really, I wouldn’t trade my temperature control for an open window.
They talk different too. Obviously, I know, but it’s funny the little things I’m noticing in their speech patterns that separate our two accents. Their inflections are different, for one. For example, when Americans ask a question our voice gradually gets higher towards the end of our sentences. When Brits ask a question, however, their pitch peaks at the word before the last word, and then comes back down when they say the last word. Does that make sense in writing? If it does, try it out. You’ll sound British without changing one vowel sound.
There’s a billion more differences between our countries, and I’m sure just as many more similarities. I’m SO looking forward to discovering them in the months ahead!