Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Differences between USA/UK; fun facts

Whenever I'm in the USA I get asked what it's like in Scotland. More often that not I now say "It's much the same as here" But I guess on my first trip I saw a LOT of differences. Of course, I've only been to Northwest Arkansas (and just over the state lines into Oklahoma and Missourri) so some of my observations may be state-specific, but here are a few of the differences that I recall noticing that first trip.

In the UK we:
  • don't have drive through banks (nope, got to find somewhere to park your car, walk to the bank and get your cash). We don't have drive-through pharmacies or Utility providers either.
  • don't have 50 different fast food chains (pretty much we have McD's, BK, KFC and Dominos the same as USA but that's about it - yes there are a few others dotted around but not real nationwide chains)
  • get a lot more rain!
  • we think 77 Degrees Farenheit is a hot day!
  • sit on the right and drive on the left
  • have a lot more smaller cars with smaller engines (probably because our gas prices are around 3x those in the USA)
  • already have tax included in the ticket price, you buy a £20 shirt, it's £20.
  • call it a supermarket (as opposed to a grocery store) and it's pretty standard in the UK to buy your cigarettes and alcohol there as well as your groceries
  • call a grill a barbecue and a broiler a grill (still causes confusion when I visit the USA)
In the USA they:
  • don't have a National Health Service (most people I personally met can't afford to visit a doctor when they get sick,  and one or two even went thousands of dollars into debt when they needed an operation, a scary thought to me!)
  • have drive-in movies (I went for the first time ever last summer, lay on an airbed in the back of the pick-up truck and thought it was sooooo cool)
  • are really Patriotic and it's common to see small versions of the US flag in people's gardens
  • don't have roundabouts (okay, where I  have been in the USA they don't)
  • can turn right at a red traffic light
That's the tip of the proverbial ice-berg, but spending time in the USA, I hardly notice a difference at all anymore. Feel free to comment with any observations you've made.

More patriotic gifts here.


Brand New Day said...

Hail fellow Scot! Like the t-shirt designs, but where is the Saltire, or Lion Rampent??? I need to know, 'cos I'm gradually infiltrating the American bloggosphere, starting blog feuds with other humour bloggers by correcting their spelling (and occassionally dropping the Queen's name into comments to intimidate them)! I have great hopes this will result in an all-out humor blog war between our countries :) (saw your blog at Zimbio, btw). Cheers! BND

ArtformTheHeart* said...

Well hey there fellow Scot. A humour war sounds fine, lol, so long as it doesn't get too personal. Plenty of slatire & lion rampants here: