In the beginning, it was hard to think about what was great about Great Britain since I was a bit traumatized by all of the differences and things I missed from home.
After a while though, Perry and I realized there are many things that are actually better in the UK. To make sure we didn’t forget any, we started a list, which we kept on our refrigerator.
Some of these are silly, while others are serious, and a few controversial. However, we do stand by them 100%. My fellow Americans, let’s get ready to rumble…
Better in the UK vs the US
- Pin & Chip credit/debit card
Honestly, I don’t know why we haven’t gotten on board with this.* Signing a credit card slip is time-consuming and archaic.
- Tea & biscuits
No doubt. A hot cup of tea with a custard cream biscuit (cookie) can solve the world’s problems.
- No gun crime
Walking down the street at night feels completely different.
- Women’s reproductive healthcare
Ladies, this country gets it. Access to birth control is part of a woman’s healthcare. Full stop.
YES, I'm serious! A place where the weather won't kill you is an improvement.
- More outdoor cats
Maybe there is more howling in the neighborhood at night, but the kitties seem pretty darn happy.
- Yellow (aka amber) traffic light flashes before it turns green
Hey America, the light is already there, why not use it?
- Public transportation
As much as they moan about it, the train service in Britain is a huge asset.
It’s probably because the weather isn’t too hot or cold, but I rarely saw potholes.
- Football (Soccer)
EPL vs, MLS? Please.
- Liquid foods in a tube (tomato paste, gravy starters, etc)
As America originated Easy Cheese, frankly, I was shocked.
- No poisonous snakes or spiders
- Postal Code system
Your postal code is related to the street and town, which is very efficient. If you enter a house number and postal code online, it populates the rest automatically.
Boiling water in one minute. In every home and office.
No tasteless ginormous Driscolls here. They may be small, but they taste like strawberries.
- Sweet Chili flavoured things
A benefit of being such a melting pot society. From peanuts to potato chips to hummus- this became my favourite new flavour.
- Historical sites
Probably not fair to add this with the 1000+ year head start. Sue me.
- Military time
This makes so much sense. I’m pretty sure we can teach kids to understand that 15.00 means 3 pm!
- Fewer police on the roads
I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because they have more speed cameras.
- Low cost airlines
And SO MANY! I heart Easy Jet.
- Less costly wine in restaurants
The Brits have standards and 100% mark up on wine in restaurants is not one of them.
- Larger produce section in the supermarket
They may shorten the word vegetable to veg, but there is nothing short about the size and selection of fruit and veg at the local Tesco. America’s stores compensate with a larger frozen pizza section. *sobs*
The longer we lived in Britain, the longer the 'Things Better in the UK' list became. The refrigerator list became a bit of a minor celebrity. Friends would be sure and check the fridge during visits to see what new items had been added.
Of course, these friends would inevitably ask ‘what’s not better.’ I used to think ‘Do you really want to go there?’ but for those that really want to know, I’ve selected each of our ‘Top Two’.
- No outlets in the bathroom (#1 for Paula)
- Small and time-consuming washer/dryers (#2 for Paula)
- Small pours for hard alcohol (#1 for Perry)
- Tasteless hot chocolate (#2 for Perry)
And refrigerators? While they are small, we found them to be perfectly serviceable.
Had we stayed much longer though, we might have needed an American sized fridge to fit the list.
*I have since discovered that conversion to pin and chip is very costly, so despite the fraud prevention savings, credit card companies are dragging their feet.