Random British Facts (Part the Second)

In which I state gross generalizations and simplifications of things I’ve discovered in the UK that differ from things in the US. See also: part the first.
# British TV seems to find it highly amusing that Hugh Laurie (a Brit) plays a grumpy American doctor on _House_. They especially like it when his accent slips.
# Construction crews, many police officers, some cyclists, and people from numerous other professions where it is appropriate wear jackets or vests with bring yellow or white reflective stripes. This “high vis” clothing is required on construction sites and is really darn useful in picking police out of the crowd. It is fairly prevalent here, but virtually unseen in the States.
# Street performers are called “buskers,” and Underground tunnels bear signs stating “no busking” and designating busking areas.
# The phrase “mind the gap” refers to the large gaps between trains and platforms in some tube stations. Newer or renovated stations have a minimal gap, and the announcement is not made at those stations.
# Much of the transportation (busses, trains, etc.) in the UK is privatised. All of the transportation in Glasgow is excellent.
# “TV Licensing: easier to pay, harder to avoid,” is the tagline of a BBC advert campaign. Brits can be fined up to £1000 ($1883) for failure to pay their TV license fee, which currently stand at approximately £130 ($245) per annum.
# Fries are called chips. Chips are called crisps. When you say fries, there is a 50/50 chance they’ll know what you mean. Thanks, American TV!
# Most of the non-fancy restaurants have crappy ketchup. This was explained to me by a native simply by, “we’re cheap.” Luckily, the fancy place we went to had Heinz, which is important when your steak comes with chips!
# Brits refer to GPS navigation systems as “sat nav,” which, in my opinion, is a way cooler name. *Added 5/28:* It occurs to me why this is the case. GPS is a “brand” that refers to a US military satellite system which provides global positioning information. Europe, which does not like the idea of relying on the US military for such a critical service, is constructing an alternative network of satellites called Galileo which will not bear the “GPS” moniker. Thus the naming “sat nav” is more appropriate in addition to sounding cooler.

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