1. In the US, the running water in my shower gets hot. I don’t mean warm, or somewhere in the vicinity of warm, but hot. HOT. I decided that one of the things that Brits get in return for the exorbitant percentage of their income that they so generously donate to the government through taxes is some sort of government regulation on how hot running water can NOT get, because I sure experienced a dearth of it while I was over there.
2. In the US, the lines on the road make sense. I asked my brother, who has been driving over there for several months, what all of the different lines meant. About half the time, he had no idea. I asked his pastor, who has been driving over there since he could get a license, if he actually knew what they all meant. He said, “Yes”, and then proceeded to have no idea what the couple of lines I asked him about meant. I decided that another thing that Brits get in return for their tax money is creative road decorations.
3. Speaking of taxes, they’re much lower here. Much, much lower.
4. We believe in stop lights, or exits on freeways, not roundabouts. Not only are roundabouts fairly difficult to navigate, but they’re difficult for any passengers. Ever mile or so, you have to hold on for dear life because you’re going around YET ANOTHER fairly sharp turn. So much for straight lines.
5. In the US, the sun comes out. Repeatedly. Ok, so this one might more specifically refer to southern California, but still…sunlight is good for both physical and mental health. I’m suprised that all Brits aren’t sick or depressed. I wanted to make signs and picket: “Free the Sun!!”, and “The Sun Has Rights, TOO!” I refrained.
6. In the US, people have dogs bigger than postage stamps. Ok, some Brits do, too. But they are either farmers (who don’t count because I didn’t see them), or basically dedicate their flat to their dog (and it therefore becomes smelly and hair-covered). Little yappy dogs are good for very little except drop-kicking, which I will not do because I like dogs too much.
7. In the US, stores and tourist attracations are open and staffed on the days around Christmas. Not on Christmas itself, but on the days around it. In the UK, as far as I could tell, some places just closed for the entire two weeks surrounding Christmas. Which, I’m sure, is wonderful for their employees. It does, however, suck for the tourists. Or for the people who forgot to get their groceries before the store closed. “No Christmas goose? I’m sorry. It really does suck to be you.”
8. In the US, people meander. As far as I could tell, Brits don’t. They walk full speed (where full speed is the fastest you can walk without running) and manage to look diginified while they do it. The best I could manage was a flurried (flustered and hurried) shuffle, and they STILL passed me.
9. In the US, clothing stores having sales do NOT stuff all of their non-sale merchandise into the dressing rooms, rendering the dressing rooms unavailable for customer use. Somehow, this seems like bad marketing to me. Or, well, maybe it’s good marketing. If you buy the clothes and they don’t fit, and it happens to be raining outside, you just might forget to return them by the deadline, in which case the store makes money and you lose. Though my reaction is more along the lines of walking frustratedly out of the store buying nothing at all, which seemed reasonable to me.
10. In the US, the number of parking spaces a place has is at least roughly proportional with the number of cars that the establishment is planning to have park there. In the UK, as far as I can tell, parking lots are made without regard to the number of cars that might need to park there at once. And the error is on both sides of the equation (too big and too small).
And now, for the caveat. I really do love England. And Scotland, and Ireland, and Wales. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post the Top 10 Reasons Why I Wish (Beyond Anything and Everything I Hold Dear) I Was A Brit.