I have lived in England, more precisely London, for almost 9 years now. It’s quite insane to think about, and I’m not quite sure where the years have gone. There are many aspects of life in London that i love. It’s a big, stressful, dirty city, filled to breaking point with all sorts of people, but it’s also a city full of experiences, surprises and opportunities. I don’t want to live here forever, but at this point in time I’m quite happy here. I’ve done several variations of this sort of post before (This one for example, about Danish and English differences), but this time I’ve tried compiling a list of the things I miss the most:
- Not having to say ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ all the time. Not because I want to be rude, but sometimes the politeness in the english language feels a little fake. A bit like as long as you say ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’ and ‘Excuse Me’, you can do whatever you want, because you are being verbally polite. There is no equivalent of ‘Please’ in Danish, but somehow we all get along anyway.
- The directness of the Scandinavian languages. Sometimes I feel like English uses about a million words for a point that could be made with 5 words. Perhaps because of all the “Excuse me”s and the “Thank you”s. Again, we’re not being short with you because we are rude, we just like to get things done.
- Proper rye-bread with loads of seeds, and not just brown bread that tastes like cardboard.
- And while we’re in the bread category: Rundstykker.
- Triple glazing.
- Real snow, that stays for days during winter, and doesn’t turn into slush within a second of landing on the ground.
- And following on from the two points above: Houses that are actually proper WARM in the winter. No better feeling that coming in from a freezing day to a house that is warm, and stays warm.
- Underfloor heating as standard (We have this in our current London flat, and I LOVE it!).
- Being able to take the bike to work. I wasn’t keen on this when I lived in Denmark, but living in a city where cycling equals risking your life, I’ve really started to appreciated cities that put cyclists high (if not at the top) of the list.
- Smaller distances. It can easily take 2 hours to travel from one side of London to the other on the train/tube, which can make it quite complicated seeing people, even though you live in the same city.
- Spaaaaaaace. This is a big one for me. There’s just people EVERYWHERE over here. Sometimes I like to turn down a street, and be the only person on it. This probably stems from me having grown up in country side surroundings.
- Houses without carpets. The English love their carpets, and I have never understood why (I was recently told that in some buildings you have to have carpets, by law – Not sure if this is true).
- Working days where working late means 5pm (and Fridays where you leave at 2pm as the norm).
- Doors opening outward.
- And windows opening inward.
- Lots of lovely people, family and friends. And that is the most difficult part.
To be continued…