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Like imperial weights and measures, only crazier.) Foodstuffs you expect to find are unavailable and exotic (bananas, kiwi fruit, curry), and stuff nobody in their right mind would eat is routinely sold (tripe, kidneys, beef hearts) and eaten. People's attitudes to death and birth are , and everyone has thirty cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Political views agreed on by today's conservatives are seen as dangerously close to socialism: you don't want to know what passes through conservatives' minds in 1914.
) and attitudes of today—specifically, of a type of Anglophone developed-world middle class lifestyle that lots of folks aspire to—has become a universal norm. In "Pandora's Star" there is at least the fig-leaf explanation of rejuvenation technology, allowing the wealthy to return themselves to physical youth every few decades (while the poor presumably die, senile and in pain in a gutter—but this is glossed over).
But I still find it deliver a massive sense of cultural estrangement, because in the context of our own history, we are aliens. You speak a dialect of the local language, it's true.
Imagine yourself abducted by a mad Doctor in a time machine shaped like a blue Police Box (itself an anachronism in today's smartphone-networked world) and dumped on the streets of your home city a century ago, in 1914. But you have some words or terms that nobody recognizes ("atom bomb"), some words that have changed meaning radically thanks to the spread of technical neologisms ("virtual", "computer") or social change ("queer", "nigger"), and there are other words and slang that you probably don't recognize because they were quaintly dated back when your parents were in diapers ("masher").
And it may be hard to tell the difference between a contemporary crack house and the typical living conditions of the early 20th century poor, except that the junkies and dealers often have electricity and running water and don't sleep that many to a room.
The rich, as always, are different: private yachts, palaces, grand houses, and a degree of insulation from the poor that is familiar today.
Some items will be disgusting (horse shit everywhere, and the flies they attract).