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The differences between England and Spain

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Paloma Paloma | 11:24 UK time, Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Hello everybody!

This is my second week in Loughborough and I'm glad to be here, sometimes it's good a breath of fresh air! In this entry I'd like to compare some of the differences I've seen between where I live at the moment and my home in Spain.

The houses
I really love English houses. They are so different to the buildings in Spain. Have you ever watched Harry Potter? Well, most of the houses are like the house where he lived with his uncle and aunt. The first time that I came I really thought that I was in Privet Drive with all those brick facade buildings. In most of the houses you can see carpet covering all the floor, something not common in Spain. Another thing that I found funny was that they really have the mailbox in the door, that's something I don't still get used. I feel scared every time I hear the noise of the mailbox opening, and then I remember what it is. My first days here I didn't feel very save because in Spain you cannot open the door house from outside unless you have a key. This is a very save country and you can be sure that no one is going to enter your house. But there's something that I find weird, you can easily see what people is doing in their houses. They have big windows to let the sunlight go in. English people love their gardens. If you walk the streets you can see people pruning shrubs and bushes. And in every garden there is a trampoline, awesome!
This is what I see from my window.

Houses in England

In Spain we have breakfast when we get up, lunch around 2 p.m. - 3 p.m. and dinner at 9 p.m.- 10 p.m. The main meal is the lunch and most of the people who have a full time job have a break for lunch. Here they have a sandwich for lunch at 12 p.m.- p.m. and the main meal is the dinner. They don't have many typical dishes as we do, but I like what they cook. We rarely use butter (we use olive oil) and they use it very often. What I really love from English food is the puddings and the influence of India as they usually eat Indian food. One of the things that I like to do when I'm abroad is going to a supermarket to know what they can buy. I'm very impressed of the variety of food that they have here. You can find many ready-made meals, sandwiches, crisps of every flavor, lots of cakes, biscuits, drinks... In Spain we think that the tea time is at 5 p.m. Wrong! They drink tea all the time! British drink 165 million cups daily. I love tea as well.

People and lifestyle I've met really nice people here. This is the third time that I work as au pair, and I've always worked for the same family, so I just have good words to describe them! British people are in general friendly and have a smile for you. They are extremely polite, please, thank you and sorry and the most said words! They love cards! They have cards for every occasion and they really use them. It's one of the things that I love. Talking about politeness, some weeks ago I found an article about a woman who went to visit her fiancé's family and after that she received a letter from her future mother-in-law. She was indignant about her bad manners and she gave her some advices. Here's the link.

Where I live, in summer there's always people outside. The day before I came I had dinner with some friends in one of those restaurants that I told you which are in Pedregalejo and we stayed there from 7 p.m. until 2 a.m. There were many people all the time, even children. And shops in Spain close at 8.30 p.m. Last Saturday I went for a walk in Loughborough and at 5.30 p.m I had to go back home! All the shops were closed and everybody was having a drink in the pubs or making dinner at home. But something that I like is that shops are open on Sunday, something unusual in Spain. I think that the weather is one of the reasons that make our lifestyles different. But as Neil said last Sunday was sunny and hot for the first time that I've been here! Everybody was outside, sunbathing and enjoying the wonderful day. Someone sunbathing in Queen's Park, Loughborough, UK.


This weekend I'll go to London because one of my sisters is coming with her husband. It's a city that I really love, there are plenty things to do and see. I'd like to go to Greenwich, Camden Town and Borough Market. I'd like to discover new places in London! Neil, which is your favorite place in London? Is there any well-kept secret away from the hordes like Pedregalejo is in Malaga? And the rest of you, have you ever been to London? Wich is your favorite place or where would you like to go? Have a nice day!


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Paloma,
    Thanks again for share your British experience with us.Your blog looks realistically and vivid so no questions asked.Your english every time better, clear and easy to understand.You must take advantage of every minute in UK to learn about that country and let us know your experiences.I really enjoyed reading your blog every time you posted one..Hope to hear from you soon.
    All the best,

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey awesome experience, keep sharing your experience with us. I am also kind a interested in British culture. So waiting for your next...keep writing.

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Paloma! What a pity that July is ending...but I think you can write a lot about your experiences in England. London is a nice place to visit. Do you know Scotland? If you don't and have interest to know it it's a good oportunity. Please, tell us more. Thanks!

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Paloma
    There is the wrong building on your photograph. It has two entrances so I can suppose it has two owners, but it has only one chimney. How can Father Christmas recognize in which flat this chimney led to? :)

  • Comment number 5.

    To ALFONSO: As I learnt in marketing KISS (keep it simple stupid), so I write blogs for everybody. Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting!
    To farhad: Thank you for your comment!
    To sonia durao: Yes, it is a pity that the month is ending :( I've learnt a lot this month, and you are one of the people who made it possible! Everybody who have been to edinburgh told me that it's a really nice city. I should go! Thank you for your comments!
    To Victor_Petrovsky: Yes, there are two houses together. There's a little wall which divide the two houses. Maybe they share the chimney, I don't really know! lol.

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Paloma
    It was interesting as usually to read your blog. It would be nice if you continued this description. May be you noticed some differences in daily habits, topics of conversation etc.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  • Comment number 7.

    To Tatiana: Thank you so much for reading my blog, and for suggesting the topics of conversation! What else would you like to know? Well, maybe if you come you find more differences between your country and the UK. Even if a person from the north of Spain comes can find other differences.

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Paloma
    Tomorrow I’m in London. It’ll be my first trip to England. I think any person being abroad can notice some local and national peculiarities. But my trip is too short, only a week. You are lucky to learn England "from within”.
    Good luck with your job and have a nice time!

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi Paloma,
    Your blog is very intresting. You write like explorer and certainly enjoy it.
    How long are you going to spend in England?
    What advice could you give for those who are going to England?

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Paloma, how are you?

    Great post! I've never been to Spain or England, but I think they are good places to live and to visit. You comparision between the two countries was very interesting, because this way we can understand more about the places.
    And... what a beautiful neighborhood =D I like the England houses, too. They're very classic and charming.
    I'm waiting for your next posts!

    Good week,

  • Comment number 11.

    I've just come back from London. If I can allow a little suggestion... don't miss to pay a visit to the Pergola: a really nice walk among Hampstead!
    Have a good trip!

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Paloma, thank you for sharing us your experience about England. I've read your blog interestedly because I like London very much even though I haven't been in London yet. However, I think every culture has its advantages and disadvatanges, have your ever experienced any awful things in England or have you ever heard any taboo about England? Thanks and have a good time.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi Paloma,
    So Loughborough is the name of the place you're staying at the moment. I was wondering about the correct pronunciation of this place name. My first guesses would have been like "Low-" or "Loch-", but when I looked it up, I found it was more similar to "laugh", but with a short vowel. Is that the way it is pronounced?
    Your comparison of British and Spanish lifestyles was very interesting to read, and I share your impression that the British are generally very friendly and helpful. Thank God, I've never met anyone as rigid and uptight as the lady your link told us about, but then, I've never tried to get engaged to a young Englishman....
    I wanted to add a joyful "Yes, I've been to London!" - but when it comes to giving advice, it turns out my last visit was a long time ago (the London Eye hadn't even been built then). When I was an au pair, one of my favourite places was the Commonwealth Institute somewhere in the Kensington area, but apparently that place has been closed down for quite a while. God, I must have grown old!
    Anyway, you're probably back from London by now, so maybe you can give us some advice for future visits...
    Have a good time (and hopefully some more pleasant weather) in Loughborough and I hope to hear from you again!
    Elisabeth (Austria)


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