It's easy, and not so easy, to recognize the differences between London and the United States. I've been in London for about a month now, and I have compiled a list of things that are different.
1. It's a bottled world.
In America, when you go to a restaurant, it can be almost guaranteed that you will get a fountain soda. However, restaurants that give you a soda from the fountain are far and few between. Ninety-nine of your food havens will give it to you in a bottle or can. It's different and was surprised. Plus, there aren't any refills because of this. You have to buy two drinks instead of buying one fountain drink and being good for your whole meal.
2. No ice.
The ice in drinks here is slim to none. They don't give a lot if at all. You normally have to ask for it.
3. Ask for the bill and not being able to split it.
Most of the time, you need to ask your waiter for the bill. Also, it's the bill, not the check (as we call it most of the time). If you don't ask, you can be sitting there for awhile talking after you get your food. If you want to leave soon after you are done eating, ask for it when you get your food!
They don't split the bill for you. You have to do it yourself! You also don't have to leave a tip but make sure you pay attention to the bottom of the receipt. It'll include a service charge most of the time, so divide equally. Also, each place has a portable card machine they can take to the table, where they will individually take the card and do it in front of you. It's pretty handy!
4. So. Many Coins.
There are many coins here and no bills. The first bill is 5 pounds, and everything below it is a coin. I save all of my coins and cash them in when I have enough. It seriously weighs down your wallet!
5. Public Transportation!
Public Transportation is basically a must if you are living in London. I take it everywhere. It is really convenient and easy to learn. A month of living here, and I have it down pretty well. Sometimes I don't need to use an app to get there!
6. Bathrooms are private.
You have probably seen the pictures. Each bathroom is basically its own little room, even the not-so-nice bathrooms. In America, you can see straight through, and it's considered acceptable.
7. All toilets have options.
What I mean is, you can choose which button you want to push. They are water conscious, and almost everywhere is doing their part by opting in.
8. Sidewalks are small.
You really can't fit a group comfortably on the side of the road, it's almost impossible. Sidewalks aren't huge in Amerca either, but they're pretty small here.
9. Dr. Pepper is fake.
No really, it's the worst. The regular tastes like diet. If you are a fan of Dr. Pepper, you might want to bring your own supply.
10. Everyone drives a scooter.
If you order delivery in the city, it's guaranteed it'll be delivered to you on a scooter. It's pretty effective and refreshing because I'm so used to seeing things delivered in a car.
11. Carry-on suitcases are tiny.
Not only that but everyone you sill will only have one. They somehow manage to fit everything in it. I had to buy a new one because my American-size carry-on was too big.
12. Doors are always open.
When you walk down a street with many stores, odds are the door is open. It's kind of crazy. Doors are constantly closed in Amerca. It's nice you don't have to open as many doors here. The UK also doesn't have the same problem with bugs as we do in America.
13. All water is labeled differently.
In London, they drink mostly Evian water. In America, we have endless options for water. They have to differenciate their waters between "still" and "sparkling." Meanwhile, I'm used to buying a bottle of water and assuming it'll be still (without bubbles), but that's not always the case.
In conclusion, London is pretty great. However, I find myself caught up on the little things sometimes. Guess you will just have to come here and see for yourself!