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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Two Countries Separated By A Common Language And Other Differences

If you have never been to the United States of America before, you will find some very unusual differences, in particular, the language. Most of what we say to each other is very obvious and the main difference is the pronunciation, but sometimes it is very confusing. For instance, if you wish to ask for jam at breakfast they may not understand that what you really mean is jelly. They do have jam but it is rather a specialist product where as jelly is the norm. Jelly is jam without any pieces of the fruit in it and is very smooth. If you really do want jelly then you would have to ask for gello.

A simple case of ordering breakfast is a minefield of confusion. Fried Eggs.

“How would you like you eggs done? ” “Err Fried”………

What they want to know is if you want them Sunny Side Up – how we usually have them, Over Easy- Flipped over for a few seconds, or Well done – flipped over and fried until the yolks are set. Then the bacon. This will be streaky bacon fried until it resembles the snack “Frazzles”. If you want back bacon the nearest you will get is ham and eggs. You will also notice that if you order coffee, they will keep coming back and refilling your cup, do not panic, refills are free. This often applies to soft drinks too. On the subject of soft drinks, they will always fill your cup to the brim with ice then add the drink, so if you do not like too much ice you must let them know. If you want a cup of tea you must ask for Hot Tea or they will assume you mean iced tea! I am afraid when you get the tea it will be a mug of hot water with a tea bag on the side for you to put in yourself. If you ask for milk, make sure they do not bring you creamer, it is like liquid coffee mate – not good in tea.

One thing that the British find very disconcerting, is that very few restaurants (or shops) have chip and pin. We are always having it drummed into us never to let our credit cards out of our site, but in America they always take away your credit card when you present it to pay the bill (check). They will bring it back to you and you will then be asked to complete the receipt with your tip and to adjust the total. I have never understood how this works, but it does. If you are really uncomfortable with this, then you would be better off paying by cash or travellers cheque.

More differences in part 2

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Page added on: 19 January 2012
Viewed 2680 times since 19 January 2012.

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