Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 1 (Of Many)

Ah, the things I don’t understand about the British. You might think there wouldn’t be all that many, considering I am married to one and have lived in this nation before. How wrong you’d be. Now, where to begin?

How about here:

This is my teeny, tiny refrigerator. I hate it.

Half-size refrigerators. I do not understand them though I know that, with British houses generally being quite small, there isn’t always room for a standard-size fridge. This particular refrigerator doesn’t even have a freezer compartment, and all of our freezer food goes out into the garage, where the full-size freezer resides. Also in the garage is a full-size refrigerator. We do not enjoy this trek into the garage, which takes us through one, two, three, four doors leading from kitchen, to dining room, to the living room, into the room where we store all of our boxes and extra stuff we will not unpack until we own our own home, and then into the garage.

No, we do not enjoy this.

I also do not understand the lack of closets. In our bedroom, we have two wardrobes, which are free-standing pieces of furniture where we hang our things. We went out to look at some newly built homes the other day and, again, for the majority of bedrooms, no closets built in. This includes a lack of coat closets downstairs, so where do you hang your coat? Well, in the house we are in now, you very conveniently have a rail of hooks in . . . the downstairs bathroom. Now, as I said to my husband when we first moved in, “I am not hanging my coat in the same place where I pee!” Though I may or may not have said “pee.”

And what about you, dear reader? Any mysteries of the British you’d like me to attempt to explain? Or perhaps there are some you can clear up. Stay tuned, because I have loads more to share.

8 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 1 (Of Many)

  1. Beth Hayden

    The one that always killed me was what Elizabeth used to call “hot water apartheid.” Do you they still have separate faucets for the hot and cold water in the bathroom sinks?? If so, do you have any idea why they do this?

    Reply
  2. Cat

    That is the same in Germany. I guess because people would go to market every day and some still do. I know I wouldn’t be able to live with such a small fridge. Even just for the two of us.

    Hugs!!

    Reply
  3. Julie Farrar (@Julie_Farrar)

    I could understand no closets in the older houses. I live in an older house in the States and the closet space is pathetic, and in France we find no closets at all. But no closets in new homes? That’s when you think an entire country has gone crazy.

    When I took my kids to London when they were young, they were the ones pointing out to me the gum that covered just about every square centimeter of sidewalk space. Why can’t they just toss it in a bin? Can you explain that?

    Reply
  4. Claire

    Perhaps its because they want you to go and shop in IKEA and Conrad’s and Habitat and because they like to change their interiors.

    Here in France, often there are no kitchen cupboards, no closets, no oven, definitely no fridge or washing machine, so you buy whichever one you like, but space is an issue, especially if when you live in an apartment .

    When I lived in NZ we had a big fridge and freezer because we didn’t go shopping very often. When I lived in London, we didn’t have a car so went shopping twice or three times a week and had to carry our shopping by hand, the more often people shop the smaller the fridge-freezer I guess. Funny how quickly we adapt though.

    Reply
  5. Kate

    The small, front-loading, water-challenged clothes washer-dryer combo with all of the settings indicated by meaningless pictograms (here in Ireland) kills me. I’ve been here over a year, and my clothes come out clean and fresh, but I still don’t believe it. I want my family-sized top-loader that uses too much water and has a real agitator.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 2 | expatrimummy

  7. rachel665

    No closets in new homes is because the house-builders are cheap. They try and make as much home for as little money as possible and make huge profits out of it. If they put in-built closets in the rooms it would mean the rooms would be smaller and it would cost them more. So why would they do it? Lack of space in the UK is another huge issue. New homes are small, as are old homes. There isn’t really enough space for big closets, big refrigerators, super king beds etc. Of course we all wish we had enough room for it all!! But very few do 😦

    Reply

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