One of the few of many adjustments travelers such as ourselves have had to make is adjusting to the laws and cultural differences in a different country. While England maybe the ugly evil stepmother we ran away from, in modern society such as today one may expect very few differences. Unfortunately royalty has still developed ubsurd taxes, one still in effect today we learned is the window tax. Any home with more than nine windows must pay a special tax, as ten windows in a home was some how relatable to the amount of money you had. Essentially taxing the amount of free light you receive( which there is a lot of here as the sun doesn’t disappear until well after nine here) coined the phrase daylight robbery. Another large different that many of my classmates have taken advantage of is the drinking age here. In the United States it is 21 but here it is 18, and unless it’s a large city on the weekend they don’t ID you. Going along with that law was something far more shocking to me was the lack of an open container law here in the United Kingdom. Whether on a train or walking down the street it is often common to see someone with bottle drinking and walking around. Which may explain the next big shock for me in the size of alcoholic beverages here. Everything is larger here for beer and cider, even to the point of cider be sold in a two litter bottle like a bottle of coke, and oddly enough most soda bottles are smaller here than in the untied states. There appears to have been a cultural divide on alcohol between the two countries. Another odd sight for me was the amount of smokers here in the United Kingdom, as it seems the amount in the United States has dramatically dropped over the last decade, although there are many more large signs explaining how bad for your health smoking is. I’m not sure but I believe that cigarettes must be taxed highly as in the United States as we’ve seen quite a few people rolling their own cigarettes. However it was brought to my attention half way though the trip that even though tax isn’t added on to the cost of goods at the point of sale it is included in the price, and unfortunately it is quite high, somewhere around 20%, which to most of us Americans seems outrageous but they do have free healthcare so it must be paid for somehow. In the end the United Kingdom’s laws really are not that far apart from the United States, but as Dorothy says, there’s no place like home.
Until next time,