United Kingdom -- First impressions

We have been in Great Britain for about 10 months now and I thought I should write down some of my first impressions about this place. This is definitely not pretending to be a scientific evaluation, but a mere side scratches of a newcomer. It's also worth noting that we only saw part of the South West (Surrey) which seems to be in a more favourable situation than the rest of the country.

The name
It's still a bit confusing for me to make a clear distinction between Britain, Great Britain, England and the United Kingdom. It seems like the official name is "United Kingdom" although the top-level Internet domain name for this country is actually GB (and not UK) as per ISO 3166. England seems to be used to indicate the largest island.

Food was probably the most noticeable difference for me. The British seem to heavily consume ready-made and frozen meals, grocery stores contain huge sections of this type of food. The "hot food section" is usually a tiny corner that the shopper can barely spot, hot food is almost synonymous with roast chicken. The national junk food is fish and chips which is usually a portion of deep-fried, breaded Cod fish with potato fries.
The other significant food in the UK is alcohol, it seems to be an integral part of the social life and there are shops dedicated to nothing but selling beer, wine and spirits. It's very common that people head to the pub (bar) right after work, everyday at times.

This seems to be the term to use to express anger while avoiding vulgar expressions. It appears to be socially acceptable.

A very good roads network. The underground service is well-designed and reliable. There's a problem with the cost though; parking is very expensive at several GBP per day, gas is at an average of 0.90 GBP per litre and diesel is usually a little more expensive than gas. Trains tend, apparently for safety reasons, to run slower then in other European countries, a round-trip from Guildford to Cambridge costs about 36 GBP which is, by Tunisian standards, a lot.

Health Services
The National Health Service (NHS) is the public authority running the Government's health services. The state is controlling almost all aspects of health care, patients need to register with a local General Practitioner (GP) who coordinates all their health service needs. The first general impressions are not very positive so far, but we had a very good experience with the emergency service.

Fellow Tunisians have a lot to learn from the British on this matter, everyone queues, everywhere.

Urban organisation
All buildings look exactly the same: red-brick walls with tiny rooms and really tight doors, I often wonder how they could take sofas inside the house. Actually, whe I moved I shipped a 3-seater sofa to my address in the UK, unfortunately I had to sell the item on e-Bay (for a fraction of the price) because I simply couldn't take it upstairs. Some modern buildings tend to use more metal and glass. Roads are usually a bit tight compared to Dubai or the US. Some of the roads suffer a little damage, clearly because of rain water.

The Independent is my preferred newspaper. I don't have exposure to many popular TV channels, I only receive five of them. I listen to BBC 4 Radio daily and I find it great, Radio Tunis has to do a lot of restructuring to reach this high standard; too much music has exactly zero informational value.
The British media has the particularity of being shocking without turning politically incorrect. Showing body liquids and extreme nudity on TV is somehow a form of joking here and I recall seeing postcards with human genitals in London. I find it an interesting form of humour. Some say that the British were shocked so many times that they hardly find anything shocking.

No middle finger
Extending the middle finger as a vulgar sign of extreme offense does not work in Britain. The British express the same by extending both middle fingers of the same hand (the ones closest to the thumb). The legend says that in earlier times, when British archers were captured by the French, they had their fingers chopped, at least the ones used to throw arrows. Therefore, showing off the fingers is used as a sign of defiance.