by Hunter7Taylor (Inger Eberhart)
we’ve returned to the US and I’ve had to hit the ground running. I returned to work on Monday to a full list of assignments and no shortage of catching up to do. in spite of the daunting “to do” list at work, I’m still thrilled that I had the opportunity to go overseas!
The atmosphere and culture were not overwhelming. After all, there are many similarities between the US, UK and Ireland. English is spoken in each country, the infrastructure is developed and the governments are democracies. The economies are based on capitalistic ideals, the legal systems are established on a common law foundation and the citizens of each nation enjoy free speech. Women can avail themselves of the same opportunities as men, education is readily available and literacy is valued. In those regards, there was little adjustment necessary. What really caught me off-guard were the small things.
In restaurants in the US, the waiter/waitress is very attentive. S/he returns to the table to refill drink glasses, clear used items, etc. In the UK and Ireland, the server came to the table to get the drink and entree order. The server returned with the meal and that was all. The servers were kind and polite in their interactions but there was a question as to whether or not to tip. The tipping question also applied to the taxi. If the taxi driver engaged in conversation and made the ride entertaining, I tipped, if not I didn’t.
As I stated in an earlier post, wi-fi is practically everywhere, the bus, train, restaurants, some hotels, on the streets and more. This was such a wonderful convenience and is something I miss having returned to the US.
Last, but certainly not least, the sheer volume of people meant that as I walked down the sidewalk, there would be lots of bumping into one another. It is inevitable that I would be bumping into and brushing past others. If I said “excuse me” or “sorry” to each person I ran into, I’d never get to my destination. It is understood that no one intentionally bumps into one another therefore no apologies are needed.
I realize this is a rather trivial post; however, it is the little things that I noticed and decided to share.