The UK and the USA may seem like similar countries to outsiders, but in reality there are many differences between them. Sure, they may enjoy the same TV shows (and much of the same music) – but when it comes to daily life and culture, the countries are worlds apart!
Here are nine surprising differences between the UK and the USA.
1. Surprising Differences Between The UK And The USA: Halloween Is Way More Important In The USA
Halloween is a well-known holiday in both countries, but in the UK the celebrations are much more low-key. Children go door to door for candy, and sometimes adults will attend a dress up party – but decorations are sparse, and it is totally normal to not celebrate the holiday as an adult. In the USA Halloween is much more popular; you can expect to see giant spooky street displays, and pumpkin carving is extremely common.
2. Fall Is Also More Important In The USA
Fall (AKA autumn) is also more popular in the USA. Americans will attend a range of fall-themed events, from pumpkin picking to driving around to watch the leaves change. This celebration of the seasons changing is very cool, but British people simply aren’t as interested; ask someone to go apple picking, and they will probably give you a strange look.
3. Credit Card Etiquette Is Different In Each Country
In America most restaurants take your credit card to make a payment at the bar, but in the UK the server will bring the card machine to you. Both methods work well – but British people tend to be fairly surprised when the visit the USA and a server walks away with their credit card!
4. Tipping Culture Isn’t As Important In The UK
In the USA servers are paid a small hourly amount, so it is expected that customers will tip the staff to increase their wage. In the UK servers are paid the national minimum wage, so they don’t rely on tips to pay their bills. Sure, you can still tip servers in the UK, but it isn’t expected; most people just do it if they receive above average service.
5. There Are No Electrical Outlets In UK Bathrooms
Safety laws in the UK state that power sockets can’t be placed in bathrooms, but this law doesn’t exist in the USA. So if you’re in the UK, you will need to blow dry your hair in the bedroom – but if you’re in the USA, you can do it in the bathroom!
6. Patriotism Isn’t As Prevalent In The UK
In American it is fairly normal to see flags outside of homes and commercial buildings, but the same level of patriotism doesn’t exist in the UK (although of course some people are still patriotic!).
7. Pancakes Are Different In Each Country
If you order pancakes in the USA you will give fluffy, thick pancakes, but if you order pancakes in the UK you will get French style crepes. Both are equally amazing, but they are very different!
8. Egg Storage Is Also Different!
In America eggs are stored in the fridge due to the way they are prepared (the egg is washed beforehand, which can remove a layer of the egg. Storing in the fridge adds an extra layer of protection), but in the UK eggs are normally kept in the cupboard. White eggs are also more common in the US, and brown eggs are more common in the UK!
9. Medical Care In The UK Is Free
One of the most significant differences between the UK and the USA is that medical care is free in the UK. In America people pay for their own health care (often an employer will also help with this), and things can get pretty expensive; a recent study found that the annual premium for a family of four in American is around $20,576 (thankfully employers pay around 70% of this).