…that I have picked up living in England.
1. Never going to bed before Sailing By (and falling asleep while listening to the Shipping forecast!)
I don’t exactly remember when I started listening to Sailing By, but I suspect it must have been from very early days of my life in York (probably while staying late at night trying to complete essays during the first term!). It didn’t take long after I arrived in the UK to become a fan of BBC Radio 4, and my alarm-clock-radio was set to start with Radio 4 at 5:59 in the morning. I lay on bed till the end of the Today programme, and rushed through my morning routine in the next 10 minutes before arriving for class at 9:15! Like most undergraduates, I had a great morning when there was no 9:15 lecture. Of course sometimes lectures started at 8:15, so I would miss the last one hour of the programme on those days. Its not surprising then that Saturday mornings were my favourite, when I stayed in bed till 10 – till 9:00 listening to Today programme, and then listening to John Peel (one of my most favourite presenters)’s Home Truths programme. In the evenings, Radio 4 would be on as soon as I got back to my room – usually to catch 6:00pm news and the comedy or other light-hearted programmes that followed (Just a Minute, Dead Ringers and the like). World Tonight (10:00pm news programme) was another rarely-missed programmes and Book at Bedtime that followed meant that I got to know about books that I had never read, and quite a few I later had to buy because I missed a day’s reading or that I wanted to read myself in full. Well, seeing this list you’re probably wondering why not have BBC Radio 4 on the title and not Sailing By, but even when I didn’t listen to any of the other programmes on some days (because I was out with my friends or somewhere else), I usually got back home in time to catch Sailing By and go to bed 🙂 Don’t ask me why I listened to Shipping forecast after that though (as I said I usually fell asleep while the forecast was being read) – but I probably learnt a lot about British geography from the forecast too – weird names of places like the Land’s End, Lundy, Fastnet etc., which I would check on the map the next day when I remembered what I had heard the night before.
I must say I missed this (Sailing By) routine when I went to Canada (although in Canada I would go to bed after listening to the Today programme in full on the internet – good thing about being 8 hours behind the British time!). When I got back to York again, my other Radio 4 habits didn’t stay the same (well, sadly John Peel had passed away, and I also couldn’t devote the same amount of time listening to live radio – but having podcasts for most programmes have solved the problem as well!), except one – listening to Sailing By before going to bed! 🙂
2. Reading Guardian (again during undergraduate years, not regularly anymore!)
As an undergraduate, I had usually two things on my hands when walking around the university campus – a copy of the day’s Guardian newspaper, and a notebook (to jot things in lecture if in mood for jotting – usually I ended up sketching weird shapes instead!). I started reading Guardian initially to increase my English vocabulary, but instead of picking other broadsheets for the purpose, I might have picked Guardian because it gave more space in covering international stories compared to other broadsheets. Anyway, I rarely bought any other broadsheets (occasionally I did buy Independent) during my three undergraduate years. Still, whenever I buy a newspaper, I buy Guardian (or Observer on Sundays), but mostly I read news online (again mostly Guardian!) so no need to buy papers regularly (also no time to read newspapers as I used to have).
Other habits worth mentioning (but probably no need to elaborate!).
3. Knowingly failing to notice friends and acquaintances when not in a mood to notice!
3.1 As an axiom to this, try to end the greetings on just “hello/how are you” without even stopping when paths cross and I just couldn’t “fail to notice”!
3.2 As a second axiom, pretend I am in a hurry to keep an appointment and tell the other person who I couldn’t avoid that I must rush, so will talk “some other time”!
4. Start casual conversation with comments about (mostly bad) weather!
5. Taking notice / Making note of even the smallest (and often weirdest) things heard/seen during day-to-day living (often with accompanying photographs, depending on the situation)!
6. Buying things just because they are overly cheap (say 85% or more price-reduced) even though there is no need for the stuff (now its done mostly online, which is worse – at least when I had to walk or ride bus all the way to the store, I only went once in a blue moon)!
I’m sure there are some more, but am not being articulate at this point, so may be later 🙂