Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things that Strike Me as Odd

So enough seriousness in my life already.  Between my bout of homesickness and this horrible cough/sore throat I've come down with, I'm ready for something a bit more lighthearted.  So today I'm just going to point out a few things that I still find strange about living overseas.  

1) First Floors - In the US, the first floor is actually the first floor.  But in most other places, it's called the ground floor and the first floor is what we would call the second floor.  I don't get it.  I mean, it IS the first floor, why not just call it that?  You don't call the first car you ever owned your "starter" car and then the next car is actually the first car.  But that's how it is.  So you always have to be careful to think who you are talking to - North American or elsewise - when you are giving directions as it can be confusing.

2) Military Time - Apparently much of the world, not just people dressed in camouflage, uses military time.  TV shows are advertised as being at 20:00 hours, not 8 pm.  Store hours are also posted this way.  I'm just now getting to the point where I don't have to count to figure it out!

3) Light Switches - A couple of things about light switches strike me as odd.  First, in the US up is On and down is Off.  It's the other way around overseas.  But the thing that really makes me wonder is that bathroom light switches are located outside of the bathroom.  I can only image how that can make for an easy torture tool for kids who want to annoy their sibling.  

4) Electrical Outlets - In the US it's so easy.  You buy something, take it home and plug it in.  Not so easy here.  Things come in different styles - either two-prong or three-prong.  But you can be certain that whatever you buy, your home will probably have the opposite system, necessitating a myriad of different style converters.  But you should still expect popping and sparks when you plug or unplug things.  

5) Toilets - No flush handles.  Just little buttons on top of most toilet tanks.  It doesn't change life in anyway, but it's just a little reminder that you are in a different place.

6) Apparently there's a different expectation of comfort here - Sorry, I couldn't think of a shorter title.  But it seems that people are not so much into comfy here.  Couches, chairs and beds are all firm.  Really firm.  Really, really firm.  Am I communicating that well.  You might as well sit on a concrete slab.  I'm SOOO glad that we brought our own furniture over with us!

That's all the useless information I can come up with at the moment.  I'm so very happy to have provided you with a few minutes of wasted time.  :)


TJ said...

We had one of those outside the bathroom light switches in my house growing up. My brother LOVED to torture me by shutting it off while I was showering.

Leeann said...

I like to waste my time learning about new things in new places!

And yep, I remember the "military time' clocks overseas. I learned at a young age to subtract two and then just remove the one. ie- 17:00 is 17-2=15 take away the one = 5 PM.

Yeah, I know. lol


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