English-isms pt. 2


Driving:  I won’t say that I’m an expert on these tiny, winding roads that used to be home to carriages and horses, but I’m adjusting pretty well to driving with my steering wheel on the right and on the left side of the road.  I’m also adjusting to squeezing through a road with a huge lorry (truck) coming in the opposite lane of traffic, as well as horses and cyclists.  My only nemesis now is the weather as it starts becoming more stereotypical England: clouds, mist, and light -> heavy rain.  Also nightfall is arriving earlier and earlier each day, starting around 4PM, which to me makes roads creepier and more difficult to maneuver.

Reflective gear: if you’re going to be walking or cycling around after sunset, it’s a good idea to invest in some reflective clothing such as a belt or a lights specifically to indicate that you are on the road or sidewalk. Roads are often not lit at night time to cut down on light pollution so be cautious when walking your dog or taking a jog at night.

Waving at horse drivers: English drivers tend to be very conscious of other drivers on the road.  One should be especially aware when there are horses present, as they get scared easily and can be quite skiddish.  When driving around towns like Newmarket where people ride on horses often, make sure to slow your car to a stop if necessary to allow them to pass.

Environmentally friendly stuff: low toilet water pressure to conserve on the amount of water we put in the drains, no air conditioning in most public places because of the freon that they emit

Non-refrigerated eggs: free-range eggs are pretty popular like I mentioned earlier as well non-refrigerated eggs.  Their eggs are treated differently and thus don’t require refrigeration.

Dual water faucets: this feature on our faucets took a little getting used to, but there is one faucet for hot water and one for cold.  The Mr. says we’re supposed to plug up the sink with the stopper, run both hot and cold so we can have warm water.  I, however, have no patience for that and wash my hands in the hot water before it turns scalding.  The cold water that comes out is ice cold.  C’est la vie.

Plastic bags: many major stores across England are now charging 5 pence  (7 cents) per plastic bag at grocery stores and other locations to promote environmental awareness.

Taxes: tampon tax: not sure why there is a 5% VAT tax on these women’s hygiene products, but there isn’t one on men’s razors or anything else. Current legislation is keeping this tax in place.

closet tax: one major reason we don’t have a lot of closet space in our house is because there is a tax on closets in England.  Instead we use wardrobes to keep all of our clothing and built in cupboards are what we use for bigger things like comforters and towels.  As for the pantry, we have open shelving in our kitchen. It’s pretty useful for knowing what foods we have and what we need to buy next, but for anyone with OCD and wanting all things in one centralized place, it’s not ideal.

window screen tax: our windows are built like the ones in the Peter Pan movie, no screens, because as I mentioned before there is a tax on these as well.  It’s like living in Snow White’s cottage and hoping that no insects will come inside our house through the window, but inevitably they find their way inside and it drives me insane.  For now, they fog up pretty easily in the cold autumn air and let what little sunshine in.

tv and cable tax: another reason we only use Netflix and Youtube in our house is because there is a tax on TVs and streaming live cable in our home.  Since we usually just watch American shows anyway, it’s not too big of a hassle.

I’m sure there’s more taxes that I have yet to encounter but for now that’s all I can think of.  What are your thoughts on all these taxes? Let me know.

-the tan bunny ❤


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