Friday, May 7, 2010

More things that take getting used to

I grew up in the British school system, in the Bahamas which is a commonwealth that still recognizes the Queen as head of state but LIVING in England is chock full of surprises. There are so many things to get used to. Mind you I've mentioned this before and these are not problems - they are just observations. Here are a few more things that have me stumped:

This may be small but it's amusing to me. When quoting numbers people say: double and treble. For example - on TV they quote a phone number as: 0207 - double 4, 3, double 5, etc. In the US they just say the number - no doubles and I honestly don't think half the US would EVER say treble (or even know what it means). It gets me every time! I can't get used to giving a number with doubles or trebles in it so I'm glad none of our number has this in it. I mean I want to fit in and all...

I've complained about this before and now I have photographic evidence. Toilet rolls and paper towel rolls are so tiny here. Here is the differnce between a Bounty roll and a Sainsbury jumbo roll (in the back) and a Charmin US roll vs. a Cushell (formerly Charmin). The US stuff is twice the size. Everything seems smaller here - maybe the US is just excessive? Either way - I love the big products of the US and the small portions of the UK.

Greenwich Mean Time - I do not get it. I'm not a numbers person - I am a word/English language lover so numbers leave me befuddled. I'm good in the morning but once that digital clock rolls past noon I'm done. I never wanted to do math to figure out the time but now I find myself thinking: 'Okay it's 15:15 - that's quarter past 15 o'clock, it's 15 minus 12 and that is.... what now?' I'm counting on my fingers to figure out if it's time for bed or not. I'm always exhausted because X isn't sleeping through the night so I can't rely on my internal Eastern Standard Time clock. My TV, the computer, the microwave are all testing my mathematic muscle and, frankly, I'm weak - and proud of it. I'm going to have to get old fashioned analog clock because I'm lazy. There... I said it. And I know it's daylight savings time but you get the gist of what I'm saying.

Eggs are not in the cold section. They are room temperature. That is just weird to me. In the US they are kept refrigerated - next to the cheese and butter. Here I forget to buy them because I'm not even sure where they are. I wanted to make meatloaf for dinner tonight but I forgot the eggs - again. I just have to find them - it's the only solution.

One thing I absolutelty love: the handy-dandy credit card/debit card machines that waiters bring to the table. How fabulous is that? One little swipe and you're done. No waiting. This is brilliant.


  1. I must admit, I love those hand-held credit thingies too. Although the meal service over here is fast, once your waiter goes off for the bill, it can be a while till s/he comes back. In England it's all done right in front of you -at the same time. I wonder why it's not becoming more common here yet.

  2. Amazing about the sizes of the rolls, I guess I've been here too long and it all seems normal to me now. When I'm in the States and have to sign a credit card receipt, I find it so quaint ;) And, like you, I never really know what time it is once we're past noon. Eight years on and I still don't get it.

  3. I'm having issues with the reverse! I've never refrigerated eggs! Jason on the other hand looks at me as if I have 6 heads if I say we should keep them anywhere but the fridge...

    And I really miss those portable PDQ machines!

  4. Interesting! I also find digital 24 hour clocks annoying, but like crookedways above, I've never kept eggs in the fridge, and here in Turkey they are in the refrigerated section in shops.
    Oh...and if you think English toilet rolls are should see the Turkish ones!

  5. The size thing is weird isn't it! I am so used to having lovely giant gallon milk cartons in my fridge that the dinky British ones seem ridiculous when I go home. Families must get through so many of them.

    Then again, we do waste a lot of milk, undrunk cups get poured away. Maybe large size makes for more waste.


Go ahead, make my day!