England, June 1, 1998
Low or High, the flow is dynamic in Cool Britannia
|In England, I had a few culture shocks. One of the
strongest was the traffic flow. Not only do the cars drive on the wrong
side, and scare me when I look the wrong way, but the Underground is
backwards too! I'm sure everyone can expect and appreciate that shock,
but it's the little stuff that got me.
In the bathroom, strangely enough, is where I had the strangest culture shocks. After doing my thing, which was quite odd since there was no reading material in the bathroom, I looked around for the toilet paper. Spying only a tissue box, I was a bit dismayed. This was England, a place where there definitely should be TP! That's when I realized that the tissue box was the TP. How odd, toilet paper in a box.
Next, I went to bathe and was presented with the standard tub, only this one was missing the standard (or so I though), showerhead. Seems they really take baths in England, no showers, not even showerheads, just baths. I ran with it, but when I asked how they rinsed (I re-filled the tub with clean water and splashed around like a bird) they looked at me funny and asked, 'What do you mean, rinse?' How odd!
Oh yeah, one last bathroom-related culture shock was the toilet flushing mechanism. In America and Russia, toilets flush with a roar; you kinda jump back to make sure you don't get sucked down too. Well there, I ran into 'low flow' toilets, which annoyed the hell out of me! You would flush and this spit of water would come out, not enough to do much of anything. Apparently, there is a way to make the toilet flush normally, but I think it must involve a secret button or a bucket of water. Nothing I did could make the damn things work normally!
I guess I really wasn't shocked all that much by Britain. After Russia, it was a welcomed relief to the daily shocks this place gives ya.