17 strange things about the UK, according to foreigners

How can you come out partying mid-January wearing absolutely NOTHING?!

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When you move to another country you can pretty much expect things to be different there. But sometimes what you witness goes way beyond your wildest dreams. It's not easy adjusting, but give it some time and you will feel right at home.

We've asked 17 foreigners who live in the UK what, on top of double faucets and driving on the left side of the road, baffled them in the United Kingdom when they first moved here. Scroll down to find out the parts of our everyday life that seem totally bonkers to people abroad.

  1. 1 No touching

    ‘When I came to live with my girlfriend in Wales, I found it really strange how Brits have no customs of greeting people. Like in professional situations, they shake hands. And if you're good friends, you hug. Otherwise it's a bit of a no mans land, maybe a “hi” and some awkwardness. That being said, in general people seem to be very friendly.’ - Michael, France

  2. 2 Please stop

    ‘I was quite surprised that you have to actually press the “stop” button for the bus to stop. Or that you have to signal the oncoming bus if you want to get on it. Don’t get me wrong, it totally makes sense, but I’m used to busses stopping on every bus stop, regardless of whether someone signals the driver or not.’ - Paulina, Belarus

  3. 3 I don't know you - please don't talk to me

    ‘People just don't talk to each other in London. Like, I used to say good morning and thanks to bus drivers but now I don't because it's weird.’ - Brenda, Malaysia

  4. 4 Carpet... carpet... and then some more carpet

    ‘Carpet is literally everywhere. In the hallway, in the living room, on the stairs, on the walls… My first flat even had carpet in the kitchen and in the bathroom! That is so impractical. What’s wrong with good ol’ wooden floors or tiles?’ - Michalina, Poland

  5. 5 Hold the vinegar

    ‘I was surprised how much vinegar they use. On crisps, chips, beans… Yuck!’ - Tobias, Germany

  6. 6 Pudding

    ‘The fact that “pudding” means literally any type of dessert. To me “pudding” is a sweet, milk-based dessert similar to custard. When I read Harry Potter for the first time, they’d keep talking about having pudding. I always thought Brits are just really into this particular type of dessert!’ - László, Hungary

  7. 7 Talking to people older than you

    ‘I'm always baffled at reduced formality when dealing with superiors in work and lecturers/uni staff in general. It’s super strange to me to use "Sir"/"Doctor"/"Professor" when speaking to them. Calling people twice my age by their first name seems so weird and disrespectful.’ - Javier, Spain

  8. 8 Queueing 24/7

    ‘I'm surprised how much you guys are into queueing. It’s unbelievable. And if stares and tutting could kill, people who cut the line would drop like flies.’ - Karen, Denmark

  9. 9 Dirty windows

    ‘Windows opening the wrong way! Or not opening all the way. The only way of cleaning them from the outside is booking a special company to do it (especially if you live on the 12th floor like I do)’ - Maja, Poland

  10. 10 Leaving rubbish behind

    ‘The fact that British people tend to leave trash behind on trains, in parks, or in places like McDonald’s and Burger King. Most of the time, there’s a trash can like right next to them, but they leave their mess for someone else to clean up. I can’t get over that!’ - Sarah, USA

  11. 11 So much alcohol

    ‘The drinking culture and drinking alcohol just for the sake of being incredibly drunk, all that before midnight. Really strange.’ - Paolo, Portugal

  12. 12 The different way of saying things

    ‘The differences in slang. The worst for me was saying it's "half something", which to me instinctively meant "30 minutes until", not "30 minutes past”.’ - Dave, USA

  13. 13 You alright, mate?

    ‘That everyone is keep on asking me if I’m alright. Yes, I am alright, thank you. So kind of you to enquire.’ - Matěj, Czech Republic

  14. 14 Stones

    ‘The fact that you measure weight in stones? I already have a hard time comprehending why anyone would use pounds if literally 90% of the world uses kilograms. Why would you throw in yet another measurement unit in there? How much is a stone? Do you use actual stones to measure things?’ - Jan, The Netherlands

  15. 15 How Brits don't seem to get cold. At all

    ‘The way Brits dress. Apparently flip flops and a scarf and a winter hat is an acceptable combination at 10 degrees Celsius. Or the extremely short dresses girls put on when going out even though it’s raining/snowing! How are you guys not cold?’ - Kamila, Poland

  16. 16 The streets

    ‘Jay-walking and not getting in trouble for it.’ - John, Canada

  17. 17 Opening times

    ‘How shops close at like 5pm and then literally nothing except bars, some restaurants, and clubs stays open later. At home everything stays open until like 11pm, and a lot of shops are open 24/7.’ - Anna, Bahrain

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