So, while there are many sightseer type things I could tell you about, I’ll save those for one very long post with photos, because I am very lazy when it comes to figuring out how to post pictures from my phone.
For now, British things. You may be aware there are a lot of British words that are different from American words, like jumper is a sweater, lift is an elevator. But, did you know that all the signs in the Tube say “Way out” instead of “Exit”? And, did you know that entree (a French word, which is obviously a terrible thing to say here) should be called a “main”?
If you ask directions to go to the “restroom,” you’ll be met with blank stares. Apparently, it’s more correct and more common to say “toilet,” which just seems funny to me, since sometimes I just want to wash my hands.
And, some people even try to take advantage of the cultural differences. For example, we went to an Indian restaurant one night (more about this possibly in a future post to be entitled “Dining in the Pit of Hell”) and the food, as one might expect in an Indian restaurant, was spicy. Very spicy. And of course, they have mineral water on the table, just tempting you to open it and quench your thirst and calm the fiery spiciness and thereby end up paying five pounds or something for it.
But, we noticed that other people near us had a silver pitcher of something resembling free tap water (which, by the way, is something we take for granted in the US). We asked the waiter if we could have some and he pretended he absolutely could not comprehend us. “You already have water,” he said, gesturing to the liquid-gold-priced stuff on our table. “No, like what they have in the silver pitcher,” my husband said, boldly confronting the issue head-on. But the waiter was not to be dissuaded. Perhaps he could tell from the sweat beading on our foreheads that we wouldn’t last much longer. Dismissively, he waved his hand in the other table’s direction and said, “Not water. That is shish kebab.” And walked away.
Really? Americans may be gullible, but we were actually quite stunned that he thought we were so stupid. Shish kebab in a pitcher. So far, that’s the most egregious language issue I have faced, but I am assuming there are still opportunities for more.