So you’re planning on traveling to England? If you think that just by reading the news, watching Mr. Bean and listening to Oasis you’ve got a good grasp of what English culture is about, I’m here to tell you otherwise!
I grew up in Brazil and although I studied and learned a lot about other countries around the world, some misconceptions remained and I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to find out I didn’t know much about the Britons.
After living in England for the past eight years and talking to many travelers, I realized I was not the only one with the incorrect knowledge! So let’s see what people thought was true before traveling around the country.
1. There Is No Five O’Clock Tea
I mean, I always thought that when the clock hits five o’clock, everyone has tea at home or somewhere else! That’s what I learned in Brazil! It was indeed something people used to do in the past, but not anymore — or not in the same way.
Nowadays, many hotels and restaurants offer the “Afternoon Tea,” which involves sampling several types of tea, with cakes and sandwiches. You could also have a “Cream Tea” and gorge on those marvelous scones, any time of the day!
2. No One Eats a Full English Breakfast Every Day
To be honest, some people probably do, as it’s super tasty and it’s going to fill you up for a good half of the day. But can you imagine yourself eating sausages, grilled tomatoes, hash browns, mushrooms, eggs, black pudding, French toast and bacon every single morning?
I can’t! And I don’t know anyone who does. The majority of people eat normal breakfast like you, in their own home. But to have it once or twice a week, it’s a welcome treat.
3. Not Everyone Speaks the Queen’s English
So you’re addicted to Downton Abbey and think you’ll need to improve your English level to match those in England. You’re going to be disappointed! The amount of different accents throughout the whole country is vast, but considering you — and I — will probably only meet the commoners, there won’t be any Queen’s English for you, I’m afraid.
The moment you listen to the Cockney Rhyming Slang in London or when someone says “Cheers duck!” instead of “Cheers mate” in the north of the country, you’ll know you have a lot to learn!
If you ever come across Chavs, a special breed of Englishman, you’ll hit the top prize of English grammar and pronunciation exposure!