What might you not know when you arrive in a new country and in the UK? You might have all kinds of assumptions based on your reading, tv programmes you have seen, what other people who have moved here have told you, listening to the BBC but anyone going to another country is going to find some things confusing. When I went to the US, I ordered a chicken sandwich. Much to my confusion, the person selling me the sandwich asked what cheese I wanted? I said, no, I want a chicken sandwich to which he replied, what cheese do you want? I asked again for a chicken sandwich and he responded again, what cheese do you want? Eventually, I thought the only way I am going to end this conversation is naming a cheese. I didn’t realise to order a sandwich in the US, you need to make about 10 decisions. In the UK, you are mostly dictated to about the sandwich filling – you don’t go off book. This blog is about the smaller detail of life in the UK that you might not know until you are living here.
I want to find out what has been surprising to people when they have come here or when they have gone abroad, what are the details of life that we take for granted. How can we make explicit what is implicit and we presume everyone knows. I am going to start with something that anyone here would know – if your bank writes OD, that means the amount of money you are in debt, not that you have – yes, I had a friend from Russia who got confused about this.