Ah, the snow-capped mountains, the verdant rainforests, the general lack of people getting in our way – us Brits bloody love Vancouver.
But when we’re fresh off the boat, looking for adventure in the land of moose and maple, there are a few things we have to… get used to.
So, with a tip of the hat to all my fellow British expats, here are 24 things you only know if you’re a Brit in Vancouver.
Tea. Always there for you in a crisis. But in Vancouver, it’s not that simple. For the closest cup of regular British brew, buy Orange Pekoe… whatever the heck THAT is…
It’s true – Canada has no standard pint, so good luck sending your beer back for a top up. And WTF is a sleeve? It’s for clothing, not containing an alcoholic beverage.
Hash browns are supposed to be shredded potato, pressed into triangles and fried, fast and dirty. Not bite-sized frozen tater tots or hipster cubes of fried potato with rosemary.
While Stella Artois may have dubious reputation back home (Brits know what I’m talking about), here in Vancouver it’s actually a discerning choice and can even make you look classy. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
A Scotch Egg – a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat and breadcrumbs, and deep fried – is for grimy pubs and common picnics. Not high-end, British-style restaurants, Vancouver.
You lucky Vancouverites just don’t understand how much we would have had to pay in London for an apartment that is a 30-minute walk from work. This is paradise.
If someone offers you tea or coffee, and you choose tea, don’t assume it will be black. And even if it is a bizarre white colour, that’s not necessarily milk in there.
Vancouverites who complain about the Canada Line have never had to get the Tube to work. In fact, they would probably be eaten alive in less than 30 seconds on the Underground.
Confusion. Massive confusion. Like a baby lemur trying to use a quantum computer. Vancouverites do not understand roundabouts. But we do.
What is this fat, streaky mess? Can I get some meat with my fat please? Bacon should not look like this. Even the pig knows that.
Also, how are chequebooks still a thing and debit cards don’t work online? On the flip side, no one is going to call us out for paying for a stick of gum with a credit card.
The stuff that was always on offer back home is a lie. In reality, Canadian cheddar is orange and white, tastes bland and plastic, and costs way, way too much. Cheese here IS the biggest disappointment in life.
In the UK, if we asked a waiter to split the bill 11 ways, accounting for the fact that five of us shared nachos, he would tell us to f**k off. Here, the servers do it before you even ask.
Seriously, when you can’t just pop down to the supermarket to buy some milk and grab a bottle of wine “while you’re there” you have to ask what kind of world you’re living in.
Once you add on all the provincial sales tax, general sales tax, liquor tax, environmental tax – none of which are included in the price – plus of course, the mandatory 15% tip.
No standing room here. Vancouver likes its drinkers seated, served at the table and preferably eating food too. And good luck finding a pub without a thousand TVs in it.
We’re not sure what’s going on, but the milk lasts for like three weeks. God knows what they do to it, but it’s nice not having it smell like cat puke in a matter of days.
Aw, you think a house that’s 80 years old is historic. Bless. Try the Tower of London if you want something really old – that’s been there 1,000 years!
Good luck trying to get Vancouverites to commit to plans more than a day in advance. Or ever, in fact. Not like back home, where we reliably turn up at the pub any night of the week.
The cashiers at the supermarket here pack your bags with a smile on their face. Sometimes they even have actual staff dedicated to bag packing. Bloody amazing.
OK, it’s still not technically legal. But it’s way easier to smoke pot in front of police officers in Vancouver than it is on the High Street in Birmingham.
Come on Vancouver, can’t we be grown up about this? All I want to do is have a nice case of wine/crate of craft beer/sneaky bottle of whisky with our picnic.
Now that we don’t have to pick between City or United, or Arsenal or Fulham, we can just cheer for Vancouver wherever we go. Go Canucks!
The Queen is great and everything, but her anthem is a bit… dull. The True North strong and free? Way, way cooler. From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.