Are you Canadian?

London Travel Blog

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Hey everyone!  Things are going well even though I have major allergy problems at the moment.  Oh well!  By the way, this blog is harder than I anticipated.  I am overwhelmed because I have millions of topics I want to write extensively on.  I am going to concentrate my blog more on my job and cultural differences I have experienced, therefore, if my blog goes on about random subjects, which is why! 



Work Ramblings:


My manager Celene gave me the biggest compliment last night at work.  She stated that I have grown to become a very important team member and she knows she can leave me on the floor by myself and she cannot really say that about the other new members of the pub.  There are a lot of us!  She also stated that she felt she was too hard on my at first because she was used to people use to English food, using English money, and knowing English terms (beyond chips and crisps).  This made me feel good because a couple of weeks ago my assistant manager (Andy) told me that Celene didn’t think me and this other new girl were where we should be…performance wise that is.  This really bothered me and I had trouble sleeping that night.  I hate not doing well at things.  I’m not sure why but I have to do my best.  Therefore, after I heard that (not that I didn’t know that anyways) I gave 200%.  Using the till (cash register is what we call it) was probably the hardest.  England uses so many different coins!  The notes (bills) are easy but I was so slow giving chance back because I had to look at each individual coin to see how much it was worth.  Here is the low down of the coins.  There is a 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, and the 1 pound coin.  This was hard to get use to because in the States we have one dollar bills.  They do not have a bill for one dollar; they use a coin for it so you end up carrying a lot of change in this country! 


I asked my manager if it is common to not have to-go boxes because I haven’t noticed anyone ever asking for one except an American woman.   She said that its very rarely that a place will have containers to go and if so, its even more rare for someone to actually ask for one and if they do ask for one they call it a doggy bag and they claim that they are actually giving it to their dog (even though that may not be the case).  Celene (my manager) worked in South Africa and getting ‘take away’ is very common, therefore, when she moved back to England she was out with friends and asked for a take away box and her friends got extremely embarrassed and couldn’t believe she had the gull!  I found this interesting because everyone asks for to-go boxes.  If anything in the states, if you don’t ask for one and you still have at least ½ your food left people will think either you did not like it or you are just wasting your food!  Very interesting differences between cultures.


As stated before I work at a pub that is very well to do.  I work in a gastro pub, which is a high-end pub that serves more than the normal bar food.  We serve Risotto, Rib eye, Lamb Burger (Great by the way), Penne Pasta, and several other foods that do include the typical bar food such as French fries, humus, and spinach dip.  I was talking to one of the regulars a couple of nights ago and he said that most of the kids that come in there fall under the category of “old money” which is always the worse kind of rich person because there mom/dad or great grandparents become millionaires and the inherited a large lump of money for simply just being born in the right family.  “New money” would be a person like Donald Trump and rumor has it that he isn’t accepted in some social circles for the simple fact that he isn’t “old money”.  I do feel that the rich here is different from the rich in the states.  Americans are more flashy and everything is big and better (think Paris or P.Diddy!  Just kidding, but you get the idea.)  Here rich people are more proper and very well to do.  They are truly classy.  Brits have that term down.  The well to do brits talk perfect English and at times I wonder if they really do speak that way because it sounds very forced or that they are trying to hard.  The English are extremely polite but not friendly.  Yes, I know that might not make sense to whoever is reading this but it makes perfect sense to me.  I had an English friend tell me a couple of years ago that and it didn’t make sense to me.  You may have to experience it to understand what I am going on about. 


Oh!  People do not like it when you call say “Yes Ma’am” or “Yes Sir.”   They find it very odd here to say that!  Again, very interesting. 



Are you Canadian?


Now this is interesting and shows you the double standards that Americans traveling over seas have to put up with because no matter what we say we are damned if we do or damned if we don’t! 


I was out with my coworkers, we discussed Canadian and Americans, and it was brought up that Canadians get upset if you think they are Americans so it is just safe for people to assume you are Canadian.  Well, some point in the conversation it was mentioned that Americans do not care if you call them Canadians.  I pointed out that its not that we care or do not care but if we correct a person and say we are American then the person will go on and on about how we think, we are better or that we are being the typical pretentious American.  I asked my American coworker if he agreed and he did.  Then the next day at work a person ask me if I'm Canadian and he kind of had a smirk on his face.  I told him I was from the states actually and he goes “oh, did that insult you!”  It proved my point from the night before!  Another interesting observation I have made is that Canadians always have their flag on their backpacks; therefore, people won’t think they are Americans.  (I have to say, I have met a lot of Canadians and sound American.)   I mentioned this to my coworker who is American and going through the same program as I and he said that its an unwritten rule that Americans don’t put the American flag on bags because if we do we are more flag waving then we already are.  If an American has a flag on their bag, comments are more likely to be made then if a Kiwi (name for someone from New Zealand) does it.  If someone has a flag sewn onto his or her bag, then it is okay and it’s just letting people know where they are from.  I can honestly say I have been here for almost a month and have not seen one American flag sewn on any bags.  You know what?  I think I’m going to buy one right now!


More updates to come!  BTW, I am going to try and start writing a blog daily about one or two topics.  Topics coming up will be my daily routine, rules of the tube (train), hostel, who I work with and any other topics that I decide to touch on!


God Bless!



REDZ28 says:
Great Keysa, Glad you are Learning alot and that your Ok.
Posted on: Jul 01, 2008
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