Being a foreigner in England you have to face the barrier of language, and this quite an evident problem that the Brits are aware of, but something we don’t say enough, it that there is also the problem of adapting in an alien culture where people don’t realise what is part of the culture of their country and what is international. (And it is not only a British thing, it is the same everywhere)
Recently we welcomed new students at my church and organised a free roast dinner. My friends were going around in the church inviting the new people to the roast dinner and I could see on the faces of the international students that they were working out in their heads the same things I had to worked out in mine when I was invited to a roast dinner for the first time. “Dinner? But it is lunch. Roast? What are we roasting? And why do they say this as the most normal thing in the world when I had never heard of such a thing?”. I went around the church and invited new people too, sharing my the experience of my first roast dinner;
My sister’s boyfriend had told me we’d have a roast dinner on Sunday at 1pm and was confused if it started at 1pm because we were actually going to roast a pig until it was time for dinner! Finally when I asked him “what is a roast dinner?” he looked at me with a face a shock, genuine shock “You don’t know what a roast dinner is??!” he replied. As if the fact that I didn’t know the British Sunday tradition on my second day in England was unbelievable.