Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cultural Differences

Statistically, the highest failure rate for expat assignments are for individuals moving from the U.S. to England. It seems that since the language is relatively the same (and I do mean relatively), Americans assume that everything will be the same as it is back home. If you were sent to France, you would learn the language, immerse yourself in the culture and celebrate the differences. But when you go to England, you just drop yourself in and sadly, often complain about why things are different.

Case in point: it took me a few trips to the petrol/gas station to figure out why my hands always smell like gas. Here in jolly old England, they don't have the little barrier thingys that keep the fuel from running down the handle when you put the nozzle back in.

So instead, you have to search for the disposable gloves before fueling up. And if they are out, no luck. Gas hands all day. Not a huge deal but in my head, every time I go I think "why can't it just be the same? do they want gas on their hands all day??!?"

Don't even get me started on the English version of Tivo, the difference in paper sizes, why they use a dashed line to both divide the road and split lanes or why they don't swab your arm with alcohol before drawing blood.....


Anna said...

You should get your gas at Texaco. Then your hands would be clean.

Lynda said...

I will from now on!