(Thanks to Will for the title)
There is something disconcerting about stepping out of a plane in another country and finding all the signs are written in…English. At least for me. The odd thing though, is that while I understand perfectly what the signs mean, they’re never worded how I would expect. Examples: Yield signs that say “Give Way”, and my favorite, an “in case of fire” sign that advises the reader to “if possible, attack the fire with any available appliance”. Hmmm, like a toaster oven?
The spoken word is different here too, and not just the accent. Many words are not pronounced the way they seem like they should be (kinda like French). The rhythm of speech is also must faster, and more disconnected, playing staccato to the legato of a southern drawl.
I recently had the adventure of riding a bicycle through Oxford, and found it extremely disconcerting to be on the wrong (as opposed to the right) side of the road. During this adventure, some interesting discoveries were made, namely that English bikes are backward from American ones. The back brake is controlled by the left hand, as are the main gears. It was much easier to ride after I found this out, since my bike was initially in first gear.
It seems like there are many other differences too, but I can’t think of them at the moment.
Oh, and for those wondering, they do have peanut butter here.