The dollar is pitting its might against the Pound Sterling this year folks. That makes it a great time to head to the United Kingdom, one of the most beautiful and popular holiday destinations in the world. Stunning vistas, rich history, delicious food and warm people, UK has something on offer for all kinds of travellers.
However, as is the case with most travel destinations, it pays to be informed with a list of do’s and don’ts for the UK. No, we are not talking about the handout that you received from the government.
This is a list of things that you should never do in the UK to ensure that you have safe, happy and hassle-free holiday.
Put on a fake British accent
Rookie mistake! You don’t need to talk like British to be welcomed in UK. Moreover, a fake accent sounds funny at best and disgusting at worst. Let Madonna do it. Stick to your natural lingo and accent.
Try to make eye contact
People rarely make eye contact with strangers in the UK. It might sound rude to you. But that’s just the way they are. There’s nothing strange or rude about it. So, if you are trying to make eye contact and end up accidentally staring at them in the process, you have every chance of drawing the ire of some of the less friendly locals.
Mix up the Scots with the English or the Irish
If you call a Scotsman English, you are most likely to get an annoyed frown or a grumble for a response. But call a local Irishman English and you are most likely to start a fist fight. England is not UK and vice-a-versa. There are four countries in the UK. That’s England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Each one of these countries has a distinct culture and they are fiercely patriotic about it. To be on the safer side, stick to addressing people as British, if you are unsure of their country of origin.
Piss/Spit on the streets
It is illegal to spit on the roads. It goes without saying that the rule extends to pissing too. Avoid these activities unless you wish to get arrested.
Addressing people by their first name
People in the UK usually like being addressed by their last name with titles like Mr, Mrs, or Mr where appropriate. Do not address someone by their first name unless you know them personally or are a good friend of theirs. Oh, almost forgot to mention that you don’t address someone as ‘Sir’ unless they are knighted.
Picking your nose/Burping/Passing wind in public
Unlike most parts of the world, there are two distinct lanes in an escalator in the UK. You will find that people who stand from the bottom to the top of the escalator usually stand on the right side while there are others who run or race up to the top using the left side of the escalator. If you stand on the left side doing nothing, you are blocking the way. And an irate commuter might not mince his words.
Talk about the Royals
You may discover that the Queen and her family are often the butt of jokes in mainstream media in the UK. But royal humor is reserved for the Brits. Do not make the mistake of showing a flippant attitude towards the family or their traditions or heritage. At least not until you are sure about how the people you are with feel about the whole thing. Usually, most British might take it with a grain of salt and smile over it. But, you’d still want to be sure that you don’t end up hurting someone who’s got a penchant for the monarchy.
Compare the UK with America
Rookie mistake again. Never compare the UK with the USA or any other country for that matter. The fuel prices may be sky high. The unpredictable rains may be a pain. But when you are in UK, it is the best. Period.
Enjoy the local cuisine
For some reason, there’s a floating misconception among the rest of the world that the UK is a gastronome’s nightmare. Not true. British cuisine is diverse, delicious and gentle on your tummy. There’s a rich influence of almost every country that Britain ruled over in the yore. Try the fish and chips in a small eatery on the streets or for the ones who like to experiment, there’s the toad in the hole to be tried.
Did we scare you? There’s no need to be afraid of when travelling to the UK . Despite sounding like the idiosyncrasies of Britain are never ending, it’s quite a popular tourist destination. Armed with these social etiquettes, your chances of making a blunder in public are close to zilch.