I’m an American visiting Scotland for the primary time. Listed below are 10 issues that shocked me.

Insider reporter holding Tesco and Sainbury's bag

Looking for groceries in Scotland.Koren Feldman

  • On my first consult with to Scotland, I used to be shocked at how reasonable the meals used to be in comparison to the USA.

  • In Scotland, I met extra American manufacturers than I believed.

  • I did not know that some retail outlets shut for lunch in the midst of the day.

I latterly visited Scotland for the primary time.

Thalia Liquorice in Scotland.

Creator based totally in Edinburgh, Scotland.Koren Feldman

I grew up within the Midwest and feature been dwelling in New York for 6 years however had by no means been to the United Kingdom till January once I went on vacation to Scotland.

I stayed in Edinburgh and traveled by way of educate to Glasgow and Inverness. I additionally made a brief shuttle to England, staying in London.

Whilst I used to be conscious about the foremost variations between the USA and Scotland, equivalent to using on reverse aspects of the street, I used to be nonetheless shocked by way of some facets of my time there.

I used to be shocked at how temporarily the Scottish climate modified all the way through the day all the way through my consult with.

Left: Arturs-Tron in partly cloudy weather.  Right: Insider correspondent Talia Lakritz covered in snow.

Those pictures have been taken not up to an hour aside.Koren Feldman

Within the morning, once I climbed Arthur’s Seat, an historic volcano 823 toes prime in Edinburgh, the elements used to be sunny and transparent. By the point I were given to the highest not up to an hour later, I used to be in an actual storm from snow.

Different days started with heavy rain, which cleared up utterly by way of midday. I temporarily discovered the significance of water-resistant coats and footwear, and layered clothes.

In wintry weather, the solar units previous than I am used to.

View from a train window in Scotland.

The educate to Inverness had a perfect view of the sea.Talia Lakritz/Insider

As a result of Scotland is additional north than the adjoining US, sunlight hours are even shorter in wintry weather. I used to be in Scotland in January and I used to be shocked when the golden hour of sundown began to appear within the sky round 2pm.

I got here throughout extra American manufacturers in Scotland than I believed, with some variations.

Insider reporter Thalia Lakritz stands outside a TK Maxx in Scotland.

TK Maxx is the United Kingdom model of TJ Maxx.Koren Feldman

Strolling round towns like Edinburgh and Glasgow, I discovered that American speedy meals retailers like Burger King, KFC and Subway are broadly to be had.

There have been additionally some surprising variations, equivalent to how the United Kingdom model of the TJ Maxx is known as the TK Maxx. Each manufacturers are owned by way of TJX, which has greater than 4,700 bargain retail outlets international, Grace Dean and Dominic Reiter of Insider mentioned. When the corporate opened retail outlets in the United Kingdom in 1994, the identify incorporated “TK” to keep away from confusion with the British bargain division retailer chain TJ Hughes.

Charges practice for some public bathrooms.

Bathroom sign with prices at Glasgow Queen Street Station.

Now not all public bathrooms are unfastened.Talia Lakritz/Insider

At Glasgow Station on Queen Side road, front to the toilet value 50 pence (about 62 cents) and best authorized trade. I don’t believe I have ever needed to pay to make use of a public rest room in The united states.

Meals in Scotland used to be a lot inexpensive than what I pay in the USA.

Insider reporter holding Tesco and Sainbury's bag

Looking for groceries in Scotland.Koren Feldman

Each and every time I went grocery buying groceries, I used to be surprised at how small my quantity used to be in comparison to my standard grocery spending in New York.

As an example, a pack of Past Meat hamburgers value £3 (about $3.71) at Sainsbury’s I visited in Edinburgh, whilst Wegman’s in Brooklyn sells them for $6.39.

Eggs don’t seem to be refrigerated in Scottish grocery retail outlets and don’t want to be refrigerated at house.

Eggs in a supermarket in Scotland.

The eggs don’t seem to be refrigerated.Talia Lakritz/Insider

In The united states, eggs undergo a bathing and sanitizing procedure that eliminates contaminants but additionally eliminates the eggs’ herbal defenses towards micro organism, Insider’s Kelly Burch mentioned. This calls for the eggs to stay refrigerated to cut back the chance of salmonella contamination.

In Europe, eggs don’t undergo this disinfection procedure, so they don’t require refrigeration. The United Kingdom could also be vaccinating chickens towards salmonella.

As an American, I am not used to seeing eggs at the cabinets subsequent to canned meals and dried fruit, reasonably than within the refrigeration segment.

I used to be shocked to search out that Scotland makes use of picket disposable tableware as a substitute of plastic.

Box of wooden forks, knives and spoons

Picket cutlery.Talia Lakritz/Insider

Scotland banned single-use plastic in June 2022, changing into the primary British nation to take action. As a substitute of disposable plastic cutlery, picket utensils have been the norm.

I knew that vehicles pressure at the left in Scotland, however I did not know that left-hand site visitors additionally applies to pedestrian site visitors on stairs and escalators.

A sign on the stairs at Edinburgh Waverley saying please keep left.

The principles of the street practice to each stairs and escalators.Talia Lakritz/Insider

Indicators at Edinburgh Waverley Station reminded vacationers “Please stay to the left” when descending the steps, when my intuition as an American would had been to stay the steps to the correct. The up and down escalators have been additionally on reverse aspects than I used to be used to.

I discovered that some stores shut for lunch in the midst of the day.

Pharmacy closed for lunch in Scotland.

Pharmacy closed for lunch in Edinburgh, Scotland.Talia Lakritz/Insider

Lots of the retail outlets in the USA towns the place I’ve lived do not shut at lunchtime, so I did not anticipate finding a pharmacy in Edinburgh that used to be closed in the midst of the day.

I used to be amused by way of kitschy odes to American tradition.

New York style cafe in Glasgow.

New York genre cafe in Glasgow.Koren Feldman

In Glasgow, my spouse and I stumbled upon a New York-style diner and went inside of to have a look inside of. The neon signal learn “Unfold the affection, it is the Brooklyn means.”

“Clearly written by way of anyone who hasn’t ever been to Brooklyn,” my spouse joked.

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