“Would you like custard with your spotted dick, love?”

CultureShockTo all my American friends: Sorry if you are offended. What you are experiencing is culture shock.

To all my British friends: Sorry for making your mouth water at the sound of this lovely dessert.

This blog post is an attempt to show you that even things that may seem like something harmless (to Brits) may be something extremely rude to people on the other side of the world. Two countries not just separated by very different cultures and ways of life but also divided by a “common” language.

This week I flew to England for a couple of days to say goodbye to my grandparents and spend some time with my family in Essex. Although we speak English at home, I noticed that Britons’ way of life is totally different to our lifestyles here at home in Germany. I’ve been to England many times. I should be accustomed to the culture, yet I experienced what I can only describe as a mini culture shock. The small houses, carpet in the bathroom, tea, people walking outside wearing shorts in the freezing cold, women I have never met calling me “love” or “darling”, more tea, and desserts (or puddings, as we Brits call it) with rather “rude” names. It was up on the specials menu, so I decided to try something new. And… I loved it! Those of you who don’t believe me can check out thisย Spotted Dick Recipe.

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My Spotted Dick with custard

Even though I have vacationed in the US, I am sure I will experience a few moments of culture shock. There are endless books (e.g. Divided by a Common Language) describing what to look out for and how to deal with certain situations, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing. It’s like you don’t actually believe some things are true until you see them and experience them for yourself. Things like drive-thru banks, the extra-large portions, the extra-large ‘everything elses’ including fridges, cars, houses or peanut butter jars. The ones here in Germany are about the size of a cup ๐Ÿ˜€ Our refrigerator only has one door and our car only fits 4 people (sorry no room for any luggage, perhaps an additional backpack or bag may fit into the boot/trunk). I’ll let you know about any other things I come across when settling in to my new home in the U.S. I’m sure there will be many.

With just about 10 days to go it has started to sink in that I will have to say goodbye to my lovely friends and amazing family here and that life is going to change a lot very soon. My bags are starting to fill up and I am more than ready to embrace this new season in life and all it has to offer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love, Sophie x

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