As some of you may know, at the beginning of last month I moved to the UK.
Since then, "spot the difference" between here and Italy it's become my favourite game
Here are some, I tried to sort them out between "UK" and "This Lovely Little Town".
But there are so much more..
- They train you for the new job. Really. I spoke with one of the driver, the bus company I use to move through the city offer all the training and exams you need to be licenced to drive a bus.
- Every small shop closes at 5:30pm.
- The 24/7 exists, but are only the huge franchise.
- Banks are open on Saturdays.
- There is a lot of people living on boats on the canal.
- It is legal for common citizen to live in a boat on the canal, or wherever else you want.
- The only downside of living on a mobile home is that you can't vote.. and probably you will have an hard time with obtaining a citizenship, too, if you do it before becoming a citizen.
- A rod licence goes from 20 to 70 pounds for the entire season, depending on what do you want to fish.
- The municipality and the entire Nation don't care of where you live unless you owe them the council tax. So good luck demonstrating your residence to the bank in order to open an account.
- Papers from the bank, on the other side, are a valid proof of residence. As are bills or council tax papers.
- Racism is not even on the dictionary.
- Repairing and recycling is not a mark of infamy, it is common sense.
- 'Fill your house for free' is a BBC program with a lot of public.
- You can find very nice things in charity, for no more than your spare change.
- You can find very nice furniture abandoned in the middle of the green areas between houses. I need to get a pressure cleaner.
- Extreme DIY is not prohibited by law. I have yet to see what are the boundaries, but seem to be very relaxed.
- Post offices can and often do include real small supermarket.
- Train cost a lot, unless you return on the same day. A return off peak ticket cost usually 50p more than the single.
- The sky is continuously shifting. It's astounding.
- What here is called rain in my hometown was called "dense mist", and anyhow I have never seen it last more than half a day.
- What here is called a storm in my hometown was called "mild rain" , and anyhow I have never seen it last more than a few hours.
- I have yet to see a real storm.
- When you board a bus, a train or the subway, you first let room for people who are leaving the wagon, and only after you get on board.
- Off-Peak costs less. For any service - pool, gym, transports.
- People don't cook. They barely put the bread in the toaster, or the pre-cooked dinner in the microwave. And eat loads of chips, chocolate, candy..
- The unemployment rate is below 1%.
- You greet the driver every time you board a bus.
- You cheer the driver every time you leave a bus.
- Tickets are issued on board or over the internet, no phisical ticket office exists
- As a result of the previous, buses are on time in the mornings and completely off in the late afternoon. But nobody really cares.
- The town is spread like butter on a slice of bread too big
- If you don't see more green than concrete, you are in a different town
- If you can't smell water nearby, you are in a different town
- In the swimming pool is not required to wear a cap. Free floating hair in the water!
- I'm not completely sure that in the changing areas and borders of the pool is required to use some sort of appropriate footwear. You just have to remove your outside footwear before entering the area.
- I don't want to find out if a swimming suit is required. I strongly hope so.
- Eating snacks during working hours is considered completely appropriate.
- Spring water, coffee, milk and tea are on the house.
- Having lunch at your PC is not a problem. Eating something with a strong smell neither.
- Flexible hours. Really flexible hours, you just have to do your 37.5 hours a week, it doesn't matter when as long as you inform your boss.
- Working from home. For real. Two of us work from their home in Poland and came over every now and then. A third one is planning to move to London (for his girlfriend's job will require her to be there) and will keep working with us.
And yes, in case any of you are thinking "but those are such common habits!", I am amazed of habits we don't have in Italy.
Try to get on or off a subway train in Milan during the peak hours. Good luck. Or buy a ticket on the train. 25 euros fine plus the price of the ticket.
In my previous workplace I had to eat cold stew and pasta because heating it would make the whole office "stink of food, and that's inappropriate, what will the client think, we are a software house not a restaurant!", and still they were somehow relaxed about eating in the office confronted to many other companies.
On the other hand, the concept of basic hygiene is a bit.. different? here. Ahem. I can't really complain as everything else is simply great.