General September 28th2012

17 ways the UK is better than the USA

17 ways the UK is better than the USA

The American Dream with its frontier ranches and white picket fences doesn't seem so far from our UK ideology that our home is our castle. However, you’d be shocked and stunned to silence to learn that our American cousins haven't taken to double glazing! After all, nobody wants a draughty castle.

This shocking revelation got us thinking about what else our neighbours from across the pond are missing out on...let us know in the comments if you think we've missed anything!

1. Electric Kettles

tea kettlesYou’d have a hard time finding a home without a dishwasher or coffee maker, but the US still boil water the old fashion way; over the stove. In fact most Americans have never heard of an electric kettle. Then again, tea is not every American’s…well, cup of tea.

2. Annual leave

annual leave

Whilst Americans still have the benefit of annual leave, it’s actually surprisingly short. Average leave in the USA is just 12 days, compared to a full 25 in the UK.

3. Free cash machines

free cash withdrawalsSource: Flickr

In our world, the majority of cash machines give you money for free. In the USA, you have to pay the “ATM” to get access to your own cash if it’s not your bank. Something about that just doesn't seem right.

4. Reserved seating in cinemas

reserved cinema seating

Hollywood might cater for an American audience, but cinema owners still make them fight for the best seats. Reserved cinema seating might not be common in the US, but at least they can move away from noisy neighbours.

5. Sweet and salty popcorn

popcornSoure: Flickr

If the merits of reserved cinema seating are debatable, this certainly isn't. The simple pleasures of sugared, salted or (if you're feeling adventurous) mixed popcorn easily surpasses the luminous, sticky 'butter' US cinemas slather on their snacks.

6. Plug switches


We know that simply unplugging an appliance does the same job as a plug switch, but we like to feel a little more in control of our energy.

7. Bacon (real bacon)


American bacon is limited to the fatty-fare we know as streaky bacon, which is cut from pork belly and totally lacking the meaty goodness of our beloved back bacon. We can't imagine breakfast without it.

8. Swearing on TV / Radio


Even the cherished first amendment and its guarantee of free speech hasn't been enough to protect the rights of profane TV personalities, with the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Jimmy Kimmel being forcibly bleeped at every opportunity.

9. Real ale


Source: Flickr

A cold beer on a warm summer's day is all well and good, but sometimes you just want something with flavour and substance. And in our mind, nothing's finer than a fresh ale.

10. AGA ovens


They're big, heavy, constantly burning and they use a horrendous amount of energy, but these large iron lumps are a chunky reminder of our industrial history.

11. 1 pound shopping trolleys


Sometimes there's a fine line between order and chaos, and nowhere is this clearer than the humble supermarket. A simple £1 coin keeps canals clear of rusty mayhem, car parks free of rolling clutter and your trusty steed stored in neat rows by the entrance.

12. Tuck shops

tuck shopSource: Flickr

Some might say that a tuck shop is just a dressed up sweet shop or canteen - we beg to differ. The name alone conjures up sepia images of gleeful childhoods spent purchasing all manner or sugary treats.

13. Squash

squashSource: Flickr

Here in the UK, squash isn't just a game you play with your boss once a month - it's a childhood staple. Sugary concentrated juice you dilute yourself might not sound too appealing to the uninitiated, but it's a quick and tasty way to rehydrate.

14. High Streets

high streetSource: Flickr

Napoleon once dubbed the UK a 'nation of shopkeepers'. He meant it as a slight, but we have a proud high street tradition. In the US, massive shiny shopping malls are much more the norm.

15. Sunday roasts

sunday roast

Source: Flickr

Americans have apple pie, we have the Sunday roast. A glorious platter of meat, veg, potatoes and tradition, accessorised with all manner of extras like Yorkshire pudding, stuffing and crackling.

16. Accurate pricing


There's nothing worse than sneaky pricing plans that carry hidden costs, so imagine our surprise when we discovered most US stores display prices without the tax added!

17. Double glazing

double glazing

For a nation that loves its air conditioning units, we were stunned to find that insulating homes with double glazed windows just doesn’t happen. And in the big cities, imagine the noise! This is probably because the annual energy bill in the US is £68 a month compared to £118 a month in the UK, but that’s no excuse. Then again, we are a little biased.

'17 ways the UK is better than the USA'

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