8 Things About Britain Every American Should Find Strange

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Americans may find that most of their ancestry hails from the British Isles, but after the revolution, that's about where the similarities stop.

Brits do things a lot differently than we do, especially in their own homes. Take a look at these 8 things that you will find strange if you ever find yourself as a guest in one of their homes.

1. Electrical Sockets

If you have ever seen any comedy movie set in western-Europe, there are always hilarious antics associated with the difference in European electrical sockets. In Britain, not only are they orientated differently, they also have their own on and off switches. This is to ensure that your appliance doesn't automatically turn on the second that you plug it in.  

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2. The Bathroom

When you say the word "bathroom" in North America, it is awknowledged that you are talking about a room where you can bathe or relieve yourself. In Britain they are quite specific, a bathroom is the room you go to clean up, it doesn't always have a toilet inside. If you want to use the toilet, you literally have to specify that.

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3. And about those bathrooms

Washing your hands after doing your business is not only paramount to health and cleanliness, it is basic common sense. But occasionally you will find a "toilet" in Britain that doesn't include a sink. You will have to find one somewhere else in the house... eww.  


4. Hot and cold water are completely separate

When you go to the sink in your North American home, you usually have one faucet with two separate knobs. Water then mixes in the pipes and comes out at the temperature that we want. In Britain, you have separate faucets for both hot and cold water. You have to pick and choose which you want and go from there.


5. Their plugs are just as different as their electrical sockets

Just as the sockets in Britain are different from those in North America, so are their actual plugs. Our plugs in North America have three prongs, but they are all the same length. Britain's plugs also have three prongs but they all have different lengths for safety reasons. The grounding prong is longer than the actual electrical ones, this ensures that electricity is not delivered until the plug is fully inserted.


6. Back to the bathrooms, except now it's about light switches

When we enter a bathroom here in North America, we usually reach over to the right side of the door and flick the light-switch so that we can see what we are doing. In Britain, you are far more likely to spend time searching for that non-existent switch while the pull cord goes unnoticed.

7. No basement "man caves"

Basements aren't wildly popular in Britain, and when homes actually do have them, they aren't what you would see here in North America. No finished and furnished comfy spaces, homes that do have basements in Britain are more like cellars; dark and damp spaces for storing food and other items.


8. Backyard workshops instead of sheds

Most American homes have the backyard shed that they use for storing yard equipment or seasonal stuff you bring out depending on the weather. In Britain they have something similar except they are more like outdoor craft rooms than actual work sheds.

Share if you have ever experienced any of these situations during your travels.