What do Spaniards find surprising about living in the UK?

Carpets, long socks and potato crisp sandwiches are just some of the things that have perplexed Spanish people in London

Carpets are something of a curiosity to Spaniards in the UK.
Carpets are something of a curiosity to Spaniards in the UK.Getty

British people in Spain have many opinions – often contradictory – about what it is like to live and work in the country. But what do Spaniards think of the UK?

According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), 240,934 Spanish people are living in the United Kingdom. To find out about their impressions, Verne asked two Facebook groups of Spanish expats in London, which together have over 90,000 members, the following question: what surprised you when you first arrived in the city?

Here is a list of the replies:

  • Carpeted bathrooms
  • That there are no persiana blinds!
  • The shape of the taps
  • Trains with carpet
  • That people sit on the floor of their office to eat
  • People drinking alcohol on the bus or even eating sushi
  • How elegant the pubs are compared to the 80s bars in Spain
  • That people drink coffee while they have lunch or dinner
  • Potato crisps that taste like beef
  • Potato crisp sandwiches
  • That they say “cheers” instead of thanks
  • Socks! Up to the knees whether it’s summer, winter or a wedding
  • That they say “fair enough” to anything
  • That there are still milk delivery trucks
  • The music of the ice cream trucks
  • That they push you and elbow you but always say “sorry” very politely
  • That kids eat dinner at 4pm and go to sleep at 7pm
  • Most children go to school on a scooter
  • They charge by the week instead of by the month

English version by Melissa Kitson.


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