I have nicked (OK borrowed with permission) this idea from a fellow lovely ex-pat blogger Expat Mum. She wrote about things she hasn’t embraced in her host country,USA, whereas I (she takes a deep breath) am going to write about the UK…here goes:
1. Strong, milky tea. How can you drink that stuff? After 25 plus years in the UK I’m still a true Finn: it’s got to be strong, black coffee.
2. Instant coffee. See above. When I came to the UK I was always offered something that I can only call teacoffee, weak, mud water-like stuff with a few grains of instant coffee floating on the surface. Then they’d pour fatty milk in it and expect me to drink it. Thank The Lord for Starbucks.
3. Damp, cold, drafty, old houses. In Finland we have to have warm houses, otherwise in the winter we would die. And OK, I admit, I have sort of succumbed to this. But, when we moved into our old house, I did insist on installing efficient central heating, and good showers. And I use them. I insist on not being cold in my own house.
4. Saying one thing and meaning something quite different. Here are some examples:
‘We must get together soon’ = ‘Please let me go, I don’t like you’.
‘That’s so interesting’ = ‘I am sooo bored.’
‘No problem’ = ‘You’re such a nuisance’
‘Don’t mention it’ = ‘You should be kissing my feet’
You get the picture. Finns may be considered a little uncouth and impolite, but they say what they mean.
5. Being obsessed with animals. I have dogs and cats but to me children are more important, sorry.
6. Calling complete strangers, ‘Mate’, ‘Love’, ‘Dear’, or ‘Darling’. Its’ so obviously insincere, and at worst patronising, so why do it?
7. Serving chips with everything, or eating everything in either a batter or pastry. We live on an island, why can’t we have proper fish?
8. Bread sauce. Just think about it, what could be more wrong?
9. Not dressing for the weather. For example, wellies on a snowy day? They’re cold and slippery…?
10. Chit-chat at business meetings. No-one’s interested in the weather, no-one cares how long it took you to get to our offices. Let’s just save time and get down to business.