‘Everything is older, smaller, shorter’: US tourist’s hilarious observations about England sweep Facebook…

revealing what Americans REALLY think…

  • Artist Scott Waters from Florida posted his observations on Facebook 1
  • His list has now been liked nearly 55,000 times
  • ‘Everything is generally older, smaller and shorter’ on this side of the Pond
  • And every pub in England ‘has a pet drunk’, according to Scott




A tourist from Florida who wrote down his observations of life in Britain following a Discount Holidays © holiday here has seen his insights liked nearly 55,000 times on social media. Artist Scott Waters from Saint Augustine in Florida posted his extended snapshot of Britain on Facebook2 last week following several weeks enjoying the delights of our green and pleasant land. And his ensuing list, which was preceded with ‘I was in England again a few weeks ago, mostly in small towns, but here’s some of what I learned:’ provides an eye-opening look at how we’re really seen by our friends across the Atlantic.

Notes from a small island: US tourist Scott Waters has attracted plenty of attention from Facebook users for his observations about life in England

Scott Waters notes on the differences between America and Britain have earned more than 55,000 likes

Waters, who’s trip took in stops in Leicestershire, Wales, Oxfordshire and Cornwall, starts with an old cliche, suggesting that Britons are ‘almost always polite’ and ‘everything is generally older, smaller and shorter’ and ‘There are 5,000 year old rocks still standing around. No one is sure why.’

He soon moves onto British pubs, institutions that clearly captured his imagination. He describes them as community living rooms which almost always have a ‘pet drunk’, but bemoans that they ‘close too early’. Undoubtedly some of the things he notices will raise a wry smile among the British, particularly as The Great British Bake Off reaches its climax next week. He writes: ‘Cake is one of the major food groups.’

Other passions noted include football: ‘Soccer is a religion, religion is a sport’ and our love of horticultural pursuits: ‘English are as crazy about their gardens as Americans are about cars.’

When it comes to eating, apparently on this side of the pond, we eat with our forks ‘upside down’ and in our left hands and ‘peas, potatoes and sausage’ feature heavily in our daily diet.

Artist Scott Waters tucks into a pasty, an example of British cuisine, which he was surprised to discover is ‘generally outstanding’ although he observes that ‘you better like peas, potatoes and sausage’

Scott posted snaps in which he is seen trying the West Country staple of a Cornish pasty and as he brands UK food, ‘generally outstanding’, it seems that he’s a fan of Britain’s often maligned cuisine. There are sweeping generalisations galore and not everyone might agree with his generally positive experience of transport and service. His line: ‘The trains work: a three-minute delay is regrettable’ suggests there were no leaves on the line during his trip.

The post, uploaded after his return to the States, has attracted lots of comments, with many saying it made them appreciate Britain all over again. Justine Fitzgerald wrote: ‘Really enjoyed this, makes me proud to be British.’

Scott Waters remarked on his Facebook page: ‘The most literate and well-written sign ever’

Waters, who was travelling with companion Ginger McCranie Reed, also can’t resist having a dig at his homeland. Of clothing, he writes: ‘Europeans dress better then the British, we dress worse’ and when it comes to education, he says: ‘Everyone knows more about our history then we do.’

He also seems to be impressed by our more active older generation than his own: ‘There are a lot of healthy old folks wandering around participating in life instead of hiding at home watching tv.’

While there are plenty of light-hearted observations, it’s also has an underlying political message; ‘there are no guns’ features four times on the list. He also adds: ‘People don’t seem to be afraid of their neighbors or the government’.

He also seemed to marvel at the politeness and level of literacy even on street furniture. He added a picture of a sign reading: ‘Would owners please ensure that dogs are kept on leads whilst on the path through golf course.’ His Facebook comment, ‘The most literate and well-written sign ever’, is bound to please British sticklers for grammar and clear written English. Several readers commented on his thoughts, with one woman adding: ‘Scott, I am surprised you didn’t mention our bewilderment at your people’s use of the words rest rooms/bathrooms instead of toilet/bog/loo/dunnie?’

Ian Rycroft wrote: ‘I loved reading this Scott. As an Englishman it’s always interesting to see how we are viewed by others. Especially honoury Brits.’

Victoria Kelsey Frerichs Scott, who appears to be American, added her own comment about how mystified she is about UK’s passion for The Archers. ‘I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned their fascination with a radio drama about…a farm,’ she wrote.

When it was clear his post had become a hit, Scott took to Facebook again to comment on the post’s success, saying: ‘My post about England just passed 39000 “Likes”! I feel so viral!’


* Everyone knows more about our history then we do.

* Radio is still a big deal. The BBC is quite good.

* The newspapers can be awful.

* Everything costs the same but our money is worth less so you have to add 50% to the price to figure what you’re paying.

* Beer comes in large, completely filled, actual pint glasses and the closer the brewery the better the beer.

* Butter and eggs aren’t refrigerated.

* The beer isn’t warm, each style is served at the proper temperature.

* Cider (alcoholic) is quite good.

* Excess cider consumption can be very painful.

* The universal greeting is “Cheers” (pronounced “cheeahz” unless you are from Cornwall, then it’s “chairz”).

* The money is easy to understand: 1-2-5-10-20-50 pence, then- 1- 2- 5- 10, etc bills.

There are no quarters.

* Their cash makes ours look like Monopoly money.

* Cars don’t have bumper stickers.

* Many doorknobs, buildings and tools are older than America.


  1. ^ Facebook (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  2. ^ Facebook (www.facebook.com)

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