Monthly Archives: September 2015

U.S. vs UK – Part2

It’s odd how one can get used to having things a certain way and even though one thinks oneself malleable, in actuality one isn’t quite so.

Of course, that proverbial one is me in this post, but I reckon a lot of people find this to be true. I only lived in the US for shy of 4 years, but that’s apparently enough time to start taking things like space and convenience and sizes for granted. It’s a harsh comeback to most of the other world that doesn’t live by the same standards.

Here’s a few other things that have me thinking, “But, in America…”:

  • You arrive somewhere after driving on the wrong side of a very narrow road, after negotiating roundabouts every 3 yards, after running many curbsides because the turn seems too close to oncoming traffic, only to realize that the trauma is not over yet. Now you have to a) either find a small parking spot for your small (thank goodness!) car and try to jam your vehicle in in a test of supreme parallel parking prowess or b) climb to dizzying heights in an indoor car park and then park miles away from an elevator or stairs. Such convenience isn’t free of course, so better locate the Pay and Display before entering or be prepared to shell out a couple of quid PER HOUR. Yes, even for groceries.
  • If something seems easy, BEWARE. You’re definitely missing key information. If a magazine subscription comes without a password that self-combusts in a day, you’re likely being spammed. Contact them asap. I’m kidding in this instance, but things like bank accounts and even grocery store cards are overly guarded secrets to weed out any Tom or Harriet who may want to collect grocery points. Because, why?
  • My local leisure centre doesn’t have showers in the changing rooms. Um, I got totally disoriented this morning for trying to figure out just why they would build a swimming change room with no showers?! Are people just supposed to carry on their day with chlorine scented hair and chapped dry skin? The TWO enclosed showers were OUTSIDE the gender-specific change rooms, accessible to men and women and children. Once showered, am I expected to dress on the wet floor or make a dash to the ladies with only a towel on?? I found this quite remarkable.
  • The local library charges a fee to put books on hold. Not a penalty for not picking up your holds in time but just to even have an interest in a book your local branch doesn’t stock. Not terribly inconvenient, but not customer friendly either, IMO.
  • Alas, very limited free shipping offers for online purchases.

On the plus side, UK, you got your countryside, your history and your proximity to Europe. Charm me.