Just a couple of things I’ve noticed about the UK that are different than what you could expect in the US.

When ordering a soda/coke you may be asked “Draft or Bottle?”. Which in the US is only ever asked if you’ve ordered a beer. This one threw me the first time it was asked. I barely understood the waitress and then she asked “Draft or Bottle?”. I replied, no, no, a Diet Coke please. “Yes sir, Draft or Bottle?” Uh, draft? “Ice?” uh, sure.

After eating your meal the wait staff will clean off the table and then ignore you. This pissed me off the first couple of times it happened. I was ready to leave, even had my jacket on and still no bill! Then I discovered, by asking, that here in Scotland, it’s considered rude to rush a patron from their table. So they won’t bring the bill until you ask for it. Or do anything else for that matter. You want after dinner coffee, you need to ask.  So, heads up, you will probably need to ask for your bill.

No one here is in a rush to do anything. This can be very frustrating if you’re in a hurry. Need to make a quick stop at the bank? Good luck with that. Last time I had to speak with a person at HSBC Bank it was almost an hour before I spoke with anyone. And then they told me I had to go to this other branch and speak with them! Ooh I wasn’t a happy camper.

It’s really strange, and frustrating, when you think you understand how things work and then realize you don’t. It’s little things like getting a bill after a meal that can drive a person nuts until they learn the way things work.

So, if you come visit the UK. Deep breath. Most people here are really polite. If you think they are being a pain or rude, odds are it’s because of a social difference you haven’t caught on to yet.

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