Monday, August 18, 2014

That's a Bit Different - USA v. UK (Part 2)

A few more eye openers from while I was back in Blighty.

Sales Tax

I love the fact that in England the price you see is the price you pay for anything.  I remember when I first got to the US I would go shopping and at the cash register, have the exact amount of change in my hand only to be surprised when the tax was added and I had to dig around in my bag for more money.  It's very inconvenient, not to mention a bit bloody annoying.  I like to see what I’m paying straight away, not have to get out the calculator to work out the tax (which tends to be different in every city). 
Shopping is supposed to be fun and not include maths (which is not fun - at all).
Air Conditioning
While we were in England, it just so happened that it was one of the hottest times of the year so far.  My American fiancĂ© kept commenting that it was hot and stuffy in the house and he didn’t understand why nobody had air conditioning.  Well, it just seems a bit expensive and a waste of money to have air conditioning that you will only use maybe once or twice a year, doesn’t it?  
Not so in America where every house, car, shop, office, petrol station, restaurant and possibly dog kennel has air conditioning.  You just can’t get away from it.  My main complaint about this though is that it’s always set so flamin’ low, it's absolutely freezing.  I sit at my desk at work with a heater and a thick cardi to keep me warm.  The hotter is it outside, the colder it is inside.  Sometimes I think I can actually see my breath.  And as for going to a restaurant in a t-shirt, you can forget that.  Every flippin’ restaurant has the coldest of cold air and it’s just not very comfortable or easy to eat when you’re wearing a parka and mittens.        
This is me at work
Although having travelled on the tube a lot during the time we were there, I must say it would be nice if there was at least a little air conditioning in the trains and I am sure my daughter would agree seeing as she nearly fainted from the heat while we were on a broken down train on the circle line!
Ahh… this is the very best thing about eating out in London.  You don’t have to tip if you don’t want to.  There is no set rule that you must and the waiter will not chase you down the street if you don’t (yes, this has happened to a friend).  To just pay and walk out without feeling guilty that you might not have left enough tip is a wonderful feeling. 
I’m not saying I’m a stingy tipper or that I don't tip, but it just irks me a bit when you're expected to leave a tip, no matter what kind of service you get.  My daughter works as a server (which is just a fancy name for a waitress) and I know how hard she works, but she's good at what she does.  Sometimes the waiters are just crap and don’t deserve to be tipped.  One day, I would like to leave a little note saying “Wear a hat when it’s raining!”  That’s the only kind of tip some of them deserve.  

Apparently, the English have been there
Shouty Newsreaders

I actually thought I was going deaf the first few days I was back in England.  While watching the news,  I noticed you really had to listen because the news readers spoke in their normal voices.   I’m not saying the ones in the US use Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck voices, but they SHOUT.  Literally, sometimes you have to turn the telly down because they are shouting so loudly.
I really do miss the subtlety, Britishness and professionalism of Angela Rippon!
Angela Rippon - First ever lady newsreader

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