By the way, I could have called this post “For Beth”, or “For Fuck’s Sake” or “Sometimes America actually gets it right” but I didn’t. Since I don’t actually have a title for this post quite yet, I’m tempted to call it “Giraffes on Parade” just to be silly. Yes, that’s definitely what I’ll do.
If you aren’t Beth and you’re still reading, chances are that the other blogs you have read have complained on and on about the bathroom\kitchen differences between the US and the UK. I would like to state for the record that it’s my fucking turn. In an effort to not be a complete Negative Nancy, I’ve included some good bits at the end because really, I do enjoy being here and am grateful to have the chance. However, complaining is 100 times more funny than being all Shiny Happy Heather, so the majority will be bitching.
Let’s start out with the bathroom since that’s where most of the pain comes from. Here is the bathroom, as innocent as you please:
Because of the angle, you might be thinking to yourself that I couldn’t manage to get the toilet in the frame. Let me assure you that I did not. There is no toilet in the bathroom. It’s a BATHroom, which means that it is only required to have a BATH. What I find funny is that Andy’s mum had some flooding issues last year and this whole bathroom needed to be replaced. There used to be a bidet in here. Notice there is no longer a bidet in here. That bidet could have easily been replaced with another toilet since the plumbing was in place. But no. A handy 3 drawer system went in its place instead. In case you are wondering, the toilet (water closet) is in another room just a few steps down the hall. That’s all fine and dandy but what does one do when one has their period (don’t mean to be all gross here but let’s talk practicalities)? When Ole Flo is in town and I am done taking a shower, I do this lovely sprint type maneuver from toweling off in the shower to getting my ass on the toilet as not to make a mess (if you know what I mean). Because there are other people in this house, if I were to have Ole Flo in town (which thank fuck I’m avoiding at the present…thank you baby!), I would have to be somewhat dressed to leave the bathroom to make it to the water closet which by that time a mess could have already occurred and I also run the risk of losing my spot in the bathroom. Seriously, if you have a toilet in the same room as your shower\bath, hug it. Hug it hard for me.
To the right, the bathroom. To the left, the toilet.
While we are still in the bathroom, let’s talk about this sink situation:
You will notice that there are two taps. One is for Freezing Ice Water and the other is for Boil Some Ramen Noodles. The concept here, of course, is to use the plug and fill the sink with a combination of both as to get a lovely mixture of Slightly Warm to Soothe Your Soul water. But really, who has time for that? If it’s late at night and I’m doing my 3 in the morning bathroom run (thanks baby!) I’m not going to risk third degree burns and will just turn my hands into popsicles for a quick wash. During the day I’m more daring and will try to wash my hands with the boiling water hoping to be finished in the 4 seconds it takes for the water to reach that point. I have lost this battle a few times already. I also feel incredibly guilty for not adhering to the ‘sing “Happy Birthday” while you wash your hands to make sure that they are properly clean’ mantra. Oprah would have a fit.
One last detail about the bathroom and that’s the shower. Or I should say, the shower “door”:
That is the complete shower door. There are no shower curtains to fill the gap for where the shower door ends. I’m a big girl. I’m also pregnant. Even though I huddle under the shower, half of me is never quite covered by the shower door. The shower door also swings in and out. This means that on occasion, when I’m washing my hair and have soap in my eyes and can’t properly see, my elbow will knock against the door causing it to swing open slightly bringing a hefty amount of shampoo and water down the outside of the shower which makes my mother in law hate me for ruining her new floor. I’m just kidding, she doesn’t hate me. I don’t think. Yet.
With these three things, I must admit that getting ready in the morning is a bit stressful. It feels like a chore. I completely get why some Brits don’t shower every day…or even just once a week. It’s scary in there.
The last few things I want to show you aren’t really complaints. They are just differences that I thought Beth would get a kick out of. Oh wait…there is one complaint. No dryer. Since I’ve hashed that one to bits I’ll just post some photo evidence. Andy will need to thank me for cutting out the bit of the picture that has his underwear hanging on the radiator.
On to the differences:
That’s the electric plugs. There are two switches, one for each side of the plug. You have to “switch on” whichever plug you want to use. These are also the closest plugs we have to the bathroom (and they are in the bedroom) so I use these plugs with an extension cord to reach the mirror that is on the OTHER side of the bedroom to do my hair. Seriously Beth, give your bathroom a kiss.
This is the fridge:
Also very common this side of the world is the washing bucket in the sink. While the washing bucket makes absolutely no sense to me, it doesn’t really bother me so it’s not a complaint, more of “Huh?”:
For some fun stuff, here is the how the milk and juice is packaged:
Here’s what I’ve been eating for breakfast for the last 4 days. Sadly it is neither as sugary or as chocolately as its American sugar cereal counterparts but I guess that’s a good thing (grumble grumble):
And finally, what the UK got right:
Yes, that’s the automatic tea kettle. We have these in the States. Hell, we had one ourselves in California. The UK tea kettles are different though. They are magical. When I used to plug in our tea kettle in California, I could safely run a load of laundry before the kettle was ready. Not these UK versions. You plug this baby in and by the time you get a tea bag in your cup the kettle is ready. I’ve never seen water boil so fast in my life. I’m impressed. I’m so impressed I’m going to give it a kiss. And a hug even. Fuck, just burned myself. I never learn.