Oh hey look at a long-haired and very blonde me around 2 years ago! This was one of the only photos I could find of me being a proper British tourist (at Edinburgh Castle) and I thought it would suit this post quite well.
Today I’m talking about what I miss about the UK. If you didn’t know, I am a Scottish student but I am currently living in Montréal for my exchange year. I have been here for around 3 months now and it is safe to say that I am missing home quite a lot. While Canada isn’t the hugest culture shock ever, there are definitely differences between this great Maple-loving country and my homeland.
I’ve reduced the list down to the top 5 things I miss and here they are:
Readily Available Good Tea
AKA, a proper cup of tea. In Canada, of course, you can buy tea. They have a wide variety of herbal teas, they have the wonderful David’s Tea (one of my favourite shops here) and they have a plethora of amazing coffee shops which also serve a multitude of teas too. However what Canada doesn’t have is that super-comforting proper British tea that is my ultimate favourite thing to drink. Now you may say ‘But Canada has Tetley’s and Lipton and…’ IT’S NOT THE SAME. Trust me, it isn’t. If you only like herbal tea, you’re in luck, but never ask for just a normal cup of tea. What you will get is a weak, weird tasting cup of liquid. Rule of thumb – get coffee. They’re good at that here.
High Street Shopping
Back in the UK, we really take our high street shops for granted. We don’t need to pay very much to get good quality, trend driven fashion and there is a huge variety of shops to choose from. Here in Canada, the shopping is amazing for beauty items but for clothing, not so much. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great shops but the scale here goes from cheaper/bad quality to expensive/good quality. There isn’t much of an in-between.
Tax Being Included
OMG. Anyone who has ever lived in North America will feel my pain on this. Over here, the price that you see is never the price that you pay. Tax is never included in the price of a menu in a restaurant, on clothes labels, on signs. You constantly have to work out whatever the tax percentage is on top of the price, which is always a bit of a nasty surprise. What’s more is that the tax is different from state to state – in Quebec it is around 15% (the highest in Canada, yay…) but in some states it is 5%, 10%. It’s all very confusing and pointless to me.
I mean, I’m sure French Canadians are funny and all that but I just don’t understand their jokes. I’m not quite at the point where I understand French humour yet and to be honest I think they have their own very unique humour. I miss sarcasm, thick Scottish accents, overhearing funny conversations on the street. I mean, I constantly laugh at my own jokes but that’s not enough is it?
Nightlife & cheap booze
The nightlife in Montréal isn’t too bad but it certainly isn’t as cheap as Glasgow – where you get in the club for free, drinks are normally £1-£2 and even the booths are free on weeknights. Here the cheapest drinks are roughly $5 for beer (£2.50) but you have to tip in a lot of places for almost every drink – which adds up. Wine is also very expensive which is depressing because what is life without wine? I miss the £8 bottles of rosé wine in Bar Home – the perfect pre-drink before a night of £1 drinks and questionable decisions.
I feel like I’m moaning quite a bit in this post – but I DO love Montréal, I promise! I love Canada in general and it is the first place I’ve ever been that I think I could genuinely move to and be happy. That being said, the UK is the best place in the whole world – I don’t care what anyone says.