Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Travelers Guide To London: Chapter One

Now That I have returned from a trip to London, I would like to write a series of blogs dedicated to making all the future American travelers to Britain a little more informed. In the first part of this series, I would like to focus on the differences between American and British terminology.

Let’s first take a look at food terms so that the average American traveler will know what they are getting when they order in a restaurant. For example, what we call French fries the British call chips. And what we call chips, they call crisps. So obviously what we call crisps, they call French fries. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? It should also be known that what the British call cider we call wine, and what they call wine we call vinegar, and I think that what they call vinegar might actually contain malt liquor, but I’m not sure. At breakfast time you will notice that what we call ham, they call bacon, and what we call bacon, they call a rasher. They will also refer to sausage as a banger, and what we call sausage, for some ungodly reason, they think it should be eaten with blood in a pie form. And just so you know, “spotted dick” is not a crude term in the UK. It’s actually a meat product.

Speaking of spotted dicks, it should also be noted that if you ask for directions to the bathroom, you may have to pee in a bath tub. That’s because in the UK, they don’t have toilets in bathrooms. And what’s even worse is they don’t even have any restrooms! Apparently in the UK you can find a toilet; inside a toilet. I guess that’s so if you are standing there peeing, and you miss the inside toilet, then you got the outside toilet for backup. I am not sure how things would work out if you sit down, but luckily, everywhere we went they had a room called a loo which just has normal American toilets in it. I’d bet money that if they built more of those loo’s, they would have less people peeing in bath tubs.

Speaking of money, it’s necessary for the American traveler to know that what we call a dollar, they call a pound, which is strange because it is a real small coin that doesn’t even come close to weighing a pound. Unless of course their system of weight has a lighter definition of what a pound weighs, which of course means that a normal sized person would weigh like 10,000 pounds! If that’s the case then I can understand why they switched to the metric system of Kilograms. It’s much more flattering to those on a diet.

Well, that’s all I got for this week. Stay tuned next week when I delve farther into the mystery of British currency.

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