Life in the UK
Very often, when people ask how the life in UK is different from life in Russia, I say that it is very much all the same. We are on the same planet, aren’t we? And indeed, moving from Russia to England at first did not seem to bring much change. Later on, I started notice some differences.
Differences in clothing.
You probably heard saying: «There is no climate in England, there is only weather». This outlines people’s general attitude to their daily clothes. In England, you cannot pack you warm coat away for summer, because you might need it in June as much as you need it in December. Also, you can see the most bizarre clothes worn in the streets. In winter, you can see people wearing ballerina shoes, or even flip-flops. In summer you can see girls wearing Ugg boots – because they are in fashion! Younger girls would complain that is it cold outside, but they will not think of getting warmer clothes on, this idea will not even cross their mind! And indeed, it can be +12 degrees in January and +12 in June. So you can understand, why British are so confused with their weather, climate and clothing.
I grew up hearing that «Russia is a multi-national country». But guys, honestly… you do not know true multi-national. In London, you can see people who are truly different to what we are used to see! Sometimes they are wearing something so strange, so out-of-this-continent, something I only saw before on TV programs about African tribes, or other remote locations.
As an example, a woman with colourful clothes head dressing, with her carrybag attached to her head (with handles across the forehead). I did not take a photo, but it remotely looked like Photo 1 (found in internet).
Or you can often see an African woman, dressed from head to toes in garments made from the same fabric. For you to have a rough idea, Photo 2 from internet.
Jewish men in kippah hat, Arabic men in white trousers and long white dressing gowns worn over the trousers – you can see it all in London, often on the same underground train carriage.
Greenery and flowers.
It was curious to see how the outdoor plants in England stay green all year round. The grass on the lawn might not grow, but it stays green. Also, there are always some plants that are on blossom, even in December and January!
The climate and the weather.
Sometimes, I look at the map, thinking, London is roughly the same latitude as Samara, my home town, but the winters and the summers in these two places are dramatically different! Probably, the best thing I like about England, is their winter with average temperatures of about +6. Equally, the thing I dislike the most is English summers, as the average temperature in July is +17 with average 7 rainy days a month.
This climate dictates
But I have to note, the people in Britain are generally more open and inquisitive. An old lady at a bus stop can ask you where you are going. Surely, you have never seen this lady before and will never see her again.
In the office kitchen, the British colleagues constantly examine what I’m having for lunch. They do show interest in foreign food, and are always eager to try something they have not tried before. Well, you might say, this is the same with Russian people, we also like to try foreign cuisine, but with British – they are so eager, and so enthusiastic about foreign food, and it makes it different. I should probably add here, that the most popular cuisines in UK are not British or European. British people like Indian and Chinese. And it is very easy to order Chinese food delivered to your doorstep.
And still I want to say, there is more in common between British and Russians, than there are differences. British people have a good sense of humour, and always try to make a joke, even at a business meeting. And this is definitely something I like about people in England.
Personal Assistant to Managing Director
Volga-Dnepr UK Ltd.