• Yana Palagacheva

#FOMO Being British - Five very British things I love about the UK

Updated: May 20, 2020

It is BLOODY hard to do it properly though even after a decade of living there!

So after just over 10 years of living in England I finally swore my allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II, paid a significant amount of money and was officially pronounced British! But how British had I really become was a different matter.

I have certainly changed a lot since the first time I landed on the island and my #fomo and great British (see what I did there!) friends helped me embrace the culture. But no matter how many episodes of "The Inbetweeners" you see, it takes a while until you stop feeling like an inbetweener yourself :)

Here's a list of a few things I really got to enjoy since moving to the UK and a couple that I just couldn't get into!

What I have not missed out on..

1. Fancy dress parties.

I remember very clearly my fresher's week at uni and utter confusion at the concept of fancy dress parties. I was absolutely categorical that at the age of 20 I was too old and wise for that kind of stuff. A few years down the road, my position has changed slightly...

2. Bake Off!

I used to never consider baking a thing worthy of attention - eating a nice cake, yes, but not the process of making it. So "The Great British Bake Off" was a great British mystery to me at first.

And yet, one day I found myself on the edge of my seat because someone's dough was not rising properly! I spent many hours after that worrying about other contestants and admiring their baked masterpieces.

I am far from good at baking myself so how I became a fan of the GBBO is still confusing to me but who cares? On your marks, get set, BAKE!

3. Having a rant.

It's not about being miserable, you just can't be happy and enthusiastic all the time- that'd be just very foreign of you! So if you want to fit in, you must be prepared to add a sarcastic comment now and then be it about the bad weather or the train delays. I have had many conversations of that sort and they have helped me form valuable bonds :)

Mind you, I do tend to get enthusiastic about silly things a lot. Maybe that's why everyone always knew I was foreign straight away!

4. Bonfire night!

I admit that the concept of annually celebrating the failed attempt of someone to blow up Parliament was a little perplexing at first. But Bonfire night celebrations are so much fun that the somewhat random occasion only adds nicely to the mix of fireworks, toffee apples and if you are lucky and survive the queue - mulled wine (yum!)

5. Going to the pub.

Easily the one I have struggled with the least. Cheers! :)

What I have (voluntarily!) missed out on...

1. Marmite.

For me the situation has always been "hate it or hate it very much". I just genuinely don't get it, I'm sorry!

2. Gardening.

I mean... I did mostly spend my time living in a small London flat so I never got the chance to get into it. But either way I doubt I would have been very successful as I have managed to kill every plant to ever enter my home :( Green thumbs down!

3. Tea!

Whether you put the milk before or after the tea is a matter very important and a huge point of disagreement in the country - like 52 to 48% type of important. But, regardless, I never developed an opinion on my own as I just never got to truly enjoy drinking a cup of tea like a real Brit. I just take coffee, my dear!

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