Do they have ___ in England?

W/ any luck the Air Force will send us to live for 2-4 years in England; we’ll find out for sure in January. I have questions about mundane stuff.

Here in the States we don’t have or need a landline, we’re cellphones only. Is that getting to be the norm in England as well?

Can I buy pseudophedrine (real Sudafed) over the counter there or must I get a prescription? Here I buy it over the counter at Costco w/o a script.

Are coupons used w/ any frequency at stores there, or is it looked down on?

Are hybrid vehicles popular enough that mechanics are comfortable working on them or are they still a rare bird?

Is liking Coronation Street going to lump me into any particular category?

Thank you for any input you have!

I can answer a few:

  • we’re cellphones only as well and it’s not a problem. In fact, though most electronic type stuff is more expensive, our monthly phone bill with data plans for smart phones is far cheaper than it was in North America

  • pseudoephedrine is available over-the-counter, however, there are some restrictions: there must be an on-duty pharmacist, you can only buy a box at a time, and you very rarely have to show ID. I’ve personally never been asked for ID and have bought two boxes with no problem. I guess I just don’t look like a meth-head, which I’ll take as a complement. Look for is as “Sinutab”.

  • I don’t see coupons often used any more or less frequently than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. I’ve never seen a clerk “look down” on anyone using one. Groupon is pretty popular and I’ve used it for hair cuts and spa treatments without getting the evil eye (just remember to tip on whatever the total would be without the coupon!)

  • I know no one my age who watches Coronation Street, don’t know what to tell you there. As far as I can tell it’s followed by the same type of people who watch soaps anywhere.

Let me know if I can answer anything else.

Welcome to England!

Has been normal for years, although if you want broadband at home, you will need a landline. I have a landline only for internet access, I never actually make a landline call from it.

I believe so. Here is a link to the NHS list of available OTC drugs for coughs, for eg.

Many larger supermarkets have instore pharmacies. Boots is the largest chain of high street pharmacies.

Not at all looked down upon. Most people who shop at one particular store, such as Sainsbury’s, Tescos or Boots will have their points reward card, plus these hand out coupons.

They are popular. Our gas prices are very high, so I imagine hybrids took off sooner than they did in the US.

Northern. Us southerners prefer Eastenders, but don’t beat yourself up about it :smiley:

Thank you for all the great info! It looks like it’s going to be a relatively painless transition; Costco, Curves and coupons are my big 3. The pseudophedrine restriction is the same as here in the states, a box a month w/ ID.
Still, I look forward to adapting to the local economy - walking more, eating different foods, watching Coronation Street as it airs and having cider in my local (though I did that last one pretty frequently when I lived in Michigan).

I’ve heard from other military families that the practice of putting stickers on your vehicle touting one’s ‘Americanness’ or military affiliation isn’t a great idea there and that it might draw unwelcome attention to wear camouflage pattern clothing off-base. Camo’s become as ubiquitous a fabric in the States as plaid or swiss dot and can come in any color; would it stand out in an unseemly way?

I want to be myself but not at the expense of goodwill or sensibility. I’m looking forward to traveling a lot and I genuinely don’t feel a need to stand out.

Loudly proclaiming your anythingness - outside of football team affiliation - is seen as, well, loud and obnoxious. Self-involved. It’s also, to be totally honest, also seen as a pretty American thing to do - some people might being rolling their eyes inside, but you most likely won’t get too much heat.
Wearing camo around? It’s seen as kind of low-class, like wearing a tracksuit around. I’m talking camo-patterened cargo pants though.

To, again, be completely forthcoming with you, there are certain stereotypes of Americans and some of them will be true about you and some will not. If you drive around with a big ol’ Stars and Stripes sticker on your car and wear camo pants around town, people may assume that, since some of their pre-conceived notions fit you, almost all will. That may bother you, it may not.

Do you mind if I ask roughly what area you’ll be in?

All of that makes sense and fits what I’ve heard ‘around’, if you will. Perhaps I’ll be forgiven a small amount of Detroit red Wings hockey pride, as it’s neither nationalistic nor political.
A stereotype that may seem true at first blush is that we plan to bring my SUV; but it’s a 4 cylinder Escape hybrid rather than a gas-guzzling Range Rover.

We have no idea where we’ll be beyond ‘an RAF in the UK’.

UK hybrid sales passed the 100,000 mark this year, but you’ll want to take the car to a main dealer for drivetrain issues.

Old. Though Bill Bryson also adored Coronation Street, so maybe it just marks you as American.

ETA: shipping a car to the UK is problematic. If it’s less than six months old you’ll have to pay VAT on it, for one thing. The Escape is also an NA-only model after 2005 so most parts will need to be special ordered.

One thing to add - whilst I generally agree re the uniform/camp stuff, if you’re in a largely military area it won’t stand out nearly so much of course. I live in the area of the country with arguably the highest concentration of military garrisons and people off base in uniforms raise nary an eyebrow round here.

Where ever you end up, I hope you enjoy visiting our little country :wink:

Agreed, if we’re talking about walking around off base in fatigues. An NFL jersey and camo pants though, that’s going to stand out for at least one reason. :wink:

Plus, steering wheel on the wrong side.

Have you checked that it is road legal in the UK?

You will probably have to make the modifications listed here

That’s not really a big deal in a car with good visibility (like quasi-SUVs). My brother drove a LHD Fiat Barchetta for years without a problem.

Total lack of anything remotely resembling style?

You won’t need a landline at all if you subscribe to a cable service like Virgin. Everything is piped through high speed cable (including a landline if you want one. although it’s not at all necessary for internet access., that comes directly through a cable modem.)

Another thing is that many roads are very narrow in the UK as compared to most American roads, and parking spaces are often tight too. People can and do drive big cars, but it is not just for fuel economy that most of us tend to drive small ones.

That may depend on location. I have both broadband and landline phone service from Virgin. The broadband comes via cable (and, incidentally, is faster and more reliable than the cable broadband I used to get in Southern California), but the phone still runs off regular old wires (and IIRC the services were bundled so that I couldn’t buy the broadband without the phone service, even though there was no technological reason for it).

I don’t think the Ford Escape is very big, it looks Range Rover size in the pics I have seen, so parking and driving should be okay.

I think the bigger issue will be making it MOT compliant with regards to lights.

Thank you for the list! I’d heard about the modifications but hadn’t seen the nitty-gritty of them yet. Looks like my 2010 Escape is doing alright so far in the way of lights, etc. It looks small compared to the usual monster trucks here in Utah but in England I expect to be asked if I’m picking up passengers. Which I will do, if they’ll be nice to me and not tease me for my nasal accent.

You’ll make friends a lot quicker if you sneak a bit of cheap petrol out of your camp :wink: :wink: