Visiting another country is always fun but sometimes different customs and rules of behavior can be a little bit overwhelming when you first get there. The UK doesn’t seem all that extravagant when it comes to different rules, mostly because a big part of the world has been watching British television shows and movies for decades, so everybody already kind of knows what to expect. However, there are numerous little things that the British love to do, or dislike when others do (just like every other nation in the world). To make it easier for those who are visiting the UK for the first time, here’s a list of 5 tips you should have in mind when interacting with other people there.
Complaining (but politely)
You have probably all seen this in British TV shows, but this (perhaps stereotype) is kind of true. We love to complain about everything and anything – the weather, the news, other people being rude, littering, you name it. However, even though this is a common habit people have when it comes to situations where you actually have a reason to complain, we remain more silent and polite. Complaining about some irrelevant matters is alright, but not to the point of offending anyone or putting anyone in an awkward situation. This brings me to my next point.
This will be clear to you from the first moment you step onto the British islands – we are always polite. Saying sorry or excuse me even when you just bump into somebody on the street is a must. We truly value this simple code of polite behavior. It doesn’t matter whether you are at a supermarket, cinema, or at your job, the rules are the same wherever you go and whoever you talk to.
Standing in a queue
This is quite a specific rule of behavior but it actually applies to many other things. When you see British people in a queue, everybody is waiting patiently for their turn and you won’t see anybody queue-jumping. If you try to do this, expect several people to become very angry at you. As I said, something like this applies to different situations but it all boils down to following the rules and not offending anyone around you.
This is something you should check for every country you visit since the customs vary from place to place. Typically, in the UK, it is customary to leave a tip for you waiter, and some people even do it for taxi drivers or in other similar situations. If it says on the bill ‘service included’ you do not need to leave a tip, but you can if you were really satisfied with the service and the food there.
Of course, when you are a visitor of a foreign country, nobody expects you to know all their customs and rules. After all, that is what traveling is all about – learning about a culture different from your own and getting to know the culture and people. So don’t worry if you get something wrong or if you don’t follow these rules to a tee. Moreover, the best way to learn these customs is by following the example of the people there, which just comes naturally after some time spent in that country.