Thursday, April 17, 2008

Your Guide to the British Bathroom

Lots of things are different here, some better, some decidedly worse, some just different. Bathrooms are one place where it seems American ingenuity hasn't quite made the passage yet.

The Loo

Key Features:
  • Lever seems to require about three pumps before it actually decides to flush
  • Square shape impedes water from swirling
  • Seat has sharpish inside lip that hurts to sit on and (one imagines) leaves quite a mark

The Sink

Key Features:

  • Separate freezing and scalding water spigots to make washing hands in warm water impossible without filling the sink
  • Extra wide basin to keep separate spigots as far from eachother as possible, lest you be tempted to try mixing the water in your hands
  • Low flow helps you conserve water!

The Shower

Key Features:

  • Red switch outside the bathroom controls whether or not the shower is capable of providing hot water - great for getting back at housemates!
  • Shower apparatus requires you to push a start button, at which point cold water will immediately shoot forth onto you, becoming hotter in a few moments.
  • Multiple ways to end up with a cold shower: adjust any dial for a most refreshing frigidity
  • Or, adjust it to WAY TOO HOT!
  • Yes, you're seeing that bottom pic right - there is a shower wall only halfway out along the tub on one side. Note that this makes it impossible to bend over to pick up your shampoo without water splashing off your back and all over the room.
  • Half wall swings out of the way at the slightest touch, allowing for more chances to get your dry clothes wet
  • As with the sink, there are separate spigots for freezing and scalding water, making it risky to put a kid in the bath while still filling it without some chance they will get burned.

Also, as I am planning to do lots of "Britain is Different: Good" and "Britain is Different: Bad" type posts; I need a name for these. Shall I steal "A little Brit different" from BBC America, or can you give me a better name?


Maren said...

Love the Water Closet. Hilarious! Someday, someone will figure out how to translate good American plumbing over there, but probably not in time to help you.

I like your title. Or you could make some reference to not being in Kansas anymore... not that you ever were....

Unknown said...

Ah yes, the infamous power shower. I had read about those before we went to england back in 2003, and the whole trip I kept dreading encountering one. Fortunately, all the hotels indulged us with a proper shower.

hemisphire said...

How about Brit-astrophe?

Disco Mom said...

Laughing to tears and literally aching sides - very, very close to talking to Dave in person. Thank you so much for this peek into your daily life.

"It's Britain, it's Britain, it's Britain Kinda Hectic"

"Brit Happens"

"Kiss My Brits"

"Britshful Thinking"

Ok, I guess a little brit different is probably the best...

Anonymous said...

I give this post 2 thumbs up. Thanks for starting Monday with a laugh.

Unknown said...

Have you run into any of those pedal-operated sinks? My first trip to Italy, I spent minutes of increasing frustration in a public bathroom trying to get the sensor to turn the friggin' faucet on. Ultimately, it's a much better technology, though. It allows you to wash your hands without re-crud-ifying them, and controls water pressure like a car's acceleration.

"UK, Okay!" and "UK, Oh no..."
"Jolly good!" and "Folly, what?"
"Brit-Ten" and "Brit-Nil"
"UK: A to Zed"
"God save the Queen!" and "God, what I've seen..."
"Cheery-o vs. Cheerios"

Lyf2.0 said...

Ok. You ask and receive:

"Jolly Good Codswallop"
"Good Bobbie. Bad Bobbie"
"Bollocks and Mustard"
"Across the Pond Scum"
"Willy Wonkies"

I'll think of some more...

Disco Mom said...

Tomato, Tom-AH-to

Disco Mom said...

Bob's My Uncle

Bob's Not My Uncle

Anonymous said...

Good god, your shower looks better than mine! Have you figured out the oven yet? I spent two weeks trying to figure out how not to burn anything I put in there. Mine has weird pictograms that barely relate to a cooking function. And don't get me started on the washer/dryers here.....

Damien said...

All of that is so true it's hilarious! Never had the half wall thing, but the rest is about right for Switzerland and France. Thanks for sharing those pics and your comments to them. My cheeks hurt from it. :)