Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 5

This. I don’t understand this:

Why do I have separate hot and cold water taps? Why can’t I mix the water together from one tap and combine the two temperatures to the degree of warmth I want? Why? (I have never found a single place in Britain where this is possible—if anyone can show me photographic evidence that there is, please send it on.)

Also, carrying on with the bathroom theme, I don’t understand this:

Bathroom CordThis is the cord I have to pull to turn on the bathroom light—again, you will find this in every residential bathroom in the kingdom, probably even in the Queen’s multiple abodes as well. This drives me a little batty.

Right. My last thing I don’t understand from the bathroom is this:

This is the only outlet plug you are allowed to have in your bathroom in Britain. It’s for an electric razor. Because British voltage is 220 volts, and the powers that be are convinced its citizenry will electrocute themselves if provided with anything convenient like, say, a place to plug in a hairdryer in the bathroom. So, this is your only outlet option and you are left drying your hair staring into a mirror eight feet away on the other side of your bedroom. This is also why we have a cord to pull to turn our lights on, because, I imagine, if we had a switch on the wall we would touch it with damp fingers and electrocute ourselves.

It does make me wonder just how stupid the politicians and regulators think British citizens are (don’t answer that). My amusement with these regulations mirrors that of my in-laws when they learned that all American children are taught to “stop, drop, and roll” as part of fire safety. “What happens?” they have asked me, “Do American children regularly burst into flame?”

No, no more than British citizens routinely electrocute themselves by turning on a light switch. Go figure.

7 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 5

  1. stephaniedennis

    As a Canadian in Kent I have been know to watch TV programs or movies where people randomly end up on fire ( let’s face it, it happens). I end up annoyed and wondering why these people aren’t stop, drop, and rolling. It is supposed to be the fastest way to put out a fire on your body isn’t it?

    I also don’t understand the pull cord to turn the shower on and off!

    1. Ginny Williams Post author

      We have that so ingrained in us, don’t we? Stop, Drop, Roll! Though in all fairness my son did learn it in his Year 5 class this year–maybe it’s something new here?

      I have seen the pull cords for the showers but forgotten about them–haven’t seen one of those in a long time, and I’m ok with that.

      Thanks for dropping by Stephanie!

    1. Ginny Williams Post author

      Since I put this post up, my British Facebook friends have posted photos there to show me that there ARE such things as mixer taps–why have I never seen these before?

      Glad I can help by being a fellow confused North American, Stephanie! 🙂

  2. Bill Gottschalk

    Here’s a couple of other British bathroom anomalies. Glass shower enclosures that surround only half the bathtub or shower stall and the love of luxury shower heads that can empty a small electric water heater within minutes. Hey but on the bright side there’s always the heated towel bar!

    1. Ginny Williams Post author

      I never thought those heated towel bars were up to much. Pointless, if you ask me!

  3. Pingback: Things I Don’t Understand About the British, Part 5.1 | expatrimummy

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