If you come from a non-Western background, living in the UK may be different from what you are used to! There are things that would be right up your alley, and others you might find a bit hard to adjust to.
It’s been over a month since I started my postgraduate studies and I’ve picked up a few things that you might find interesting. In this post, I’ll share 5 fun facts about living here and what I think about them.
Living in the UK: Fun Facts
Does a “Living in the UK” series sound like something you’d like to read about? Let me know in the comments!
1) “Please” and “Thank you” are your best friends
It’s in their culture to be “polite” even if it’s just reflex. From talking to someone about anything to thanking customer service agents like cashiers, bus drivers, etc, it’s just simply nice.
They are not your “agbero” drivers and conductors that make you question life lmao.
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2) “You alright?” And “…, my love” are words you’d hear often
I’d actually read about this “You alright?” thing before coming, so I knew what to expect. Still, I don’t actually know what the right response is (and I don’t think they do either!).
I just say “Fine”, or “fine, thanks”, but usually, the other party is not listening for a response. It’s like the “How do you do?” situation, I guess.
I also find the “my love” thing endearing once you get used to it (and remember, it’s just a normal phrase!)
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3) You won’t starve from not eating your local foods
I know this may depend on the area you live, but my wild guess is there’s a 90% chance an “African/Asian” store is in your area and you can get local groceries from there.
So, save your coins for shopping here, rather than waste it on extra baggage to pack all the foods in the world from home. It’s understandable that you don’t want to starve but you’d most likely find some (or all) you need here for a good meal.
4) Recycling is an actual thing
If you’re Nigerian, you most likely don’t care for recycling or ever did proper waste management👀. People litter the roads with plastic bottles and that always irked me so much!
Although waste management was better in Qatar, we still didn’t have to sort through waste and put recyclables in different bags. In the UK however, you gotta do that.
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5) There are cigarette litters everywhere
Smoking and vaping is quite common in the UK and if you come from a background that’s not used to it, you might struggle with the smell that’s literally everwhere.
I lived in the Middle East for a bit, and smoking is very common so it’s not new to me.
However, one good thing is there are litter boxes placed at every corner for the cigarettes remnants?. I’ve seen it basically at at every corner of every street. I think it’s a good way to encourage people to remember to be hygienic about their habits.
Another thing I’d recommend is to use face coverings in public if you have health conditions that might be triggered by the smokes. I particularly find this tip useful because it’s one I also use. In my sister’s words, you cannot stop anyone from being a “Sangotade“, so your only responsibility is to protect yourself from harm.
You don’t wanna catch yourself in an asthma attack (or something equally serious) over someone else’s habits.
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These are just some of the things that pop up in my mind. I would most likely write another post if I come across more interesting facts you might want to know about living in the UK!
I’d also love to write about interesting places to visit, but I haven’t actually gotten to visit places for fun! 😂
Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed learning about these things! As always, don’t forget to leave your comments!
Till Next Time,
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