Author Topic: Different strokes for different folks - or: Why can't I move the shower head?  (Read 12229 times)

Offline Penthesilea

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Hi BetterMostians,

in several threads, one topic continues to come up: small, funny, wondrous and other differences between North America and Europe. I thought this could make a fun thread  :D.

I'll start with the shower heads: In Europe, we have this type of shower heads




In the US (and in American movies), I saw only this type:



The European ones are attached to a stake and have a flexible hose. You can position them like you want or take them off the wall. In the US, the shower head is directly fixed to the wall. I was like 'Hey why can't I adjust the shower head?'  :laugh: The water sprays directly on your head and you get it into your face all the time.  It's far more convenient to put the shower head a little bit down the stake after washing your hair and have the water spray on your shoulders.


Oh, and the washing machines. I didn't know before we discussed it on this board that American washing machines are totally different from European ones. They have the inner basket spinning horizontally!

Fabienne just mentioned ice water on another thread. I had never seen a vending machine offering water and ice cubes for free in a hotel floor before I went to the Denver BBQ this year.

What small, funny, wondrous or other differences have you noticed?

Offline MaineWriter

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We do have those types of showers, Chrissi, but typically they are installed as part of a handicapped setup, especially in hotel bathrooms. You might see them more commonly in people's homes. Not mine, though!

Ice machines in hotels are wonderful, wonderful things. That is one thing I do miss when I am in Europe.

Front loading washers: this is a pet peeve. You can buy them in this country (we have one in our house) but the vast majority are top loaders. Top loaders use way much more water than a front loader...something like two-thirds more. And if you want to be environmentally conscious and buy a front loader, they penalize you by tripling the price. Grrrr.....

How about bedding? In Europe you have a duvet and a pillow; cuddle up in the duvet and you are warm and toasty. Here we have sheets, blankets, pillows, comforters...ugh. I like the European style much better.

Public toilets: in Europe they are in little closets, with a proper door that locks. Much more private and again, I like it better!

Let's see...not to be so contrary about the US...we do have bigger refrigerators. And I have to say, I like my big fridge!

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Offline delalluvia

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You guys cracked me up about the ice thing.

It was one thing my sister groused about in Europe.

I don't particularly care for drinks that are cold - e.g. I'll drink sodas warm - but my sister is a dyed-in-the-wool ice fiend.  She likes ice in all her drinks that are not hot.

In London, she grimly noticed that no drink automatically came with ice.  She had to continually ask, then when they did arrive with the ice, she'd get a glass with one or two cubes at the bottom of the drink.

She leaned over to me and in stage sotto voce asked, "Are they still on wartime rations here?"

Paris, she was a lot happier with.  Many cafes served iced drinks, with a decent amount of ice - though no where near the generous heaping glasses you get if you ask for extra ice in the States.

She couldn't find lemonade in London, but she did in Paris.  Though it was the 'make your own' 1/2 filled glass of lemon juice, a carafe of water and a big bottle of sugar at $7.50 American.   ;D

The shower-head thing we had in Paris, but not London.  In Paris, I managed to spray myself, the wall, the floor and at times, reached the door with accidental aiming.  The claw-foot tub in our hotel bathroom did not have a shower curtain.  Is that normal for Paris and free standing tubs?  Our hotel bathroom in London had a walk in shower with a fixed head and a shower curtain.

Offline Penthesilea

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She leaned over to me and in stage sotto voce asked, "Are they still on wartime rations here?"


 :laugh:
I like this comment. She would have experienced the same in Germany. Drinks usually come without ice cubes, and if they do have them (sometimes in summer), it's one or two.
Here it's vice versa: when there's more ice in a drink (the only etablissement I can think of is McDonald's), people think they are niggardly with the drink and therefore put so much ice cubes in it. Ice cubes are cheaper than, let's say, Coke. So the more ice cubes, the less Coke you need to put in a glass  ::)  :laugh:

Offline delalluvia

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Here it's vice versa: when there's more ice in a drink (the only etablissement I can think of is McDonald's), people think they are niggardly with the drink and therefore put so much ice cubes in it. Ice cubes are cheaper than, let's say, Coke. So the more ice cubes, the less Coke you need to put in a glass  ::)  :laugh:

Yes, but at McDonald's you get free refills.  ;)

Offline Penthesilea

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Yes, but at McDonald's you get free refills.  ;)

 :o
Free refills? Not in Germany.

Offline David In Indy

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Bidets. We don't have very many of those in the US and many Americans aren't quite sure what we're supposed to do with them.  ???

I have a bidet story I could share with you, but I'm not going to do it.  :-X
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Offline ifyoucantfixit

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        Ok David you brought it up now fess up...       :laugh:

         We have that kind of shower in our motorhome.



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Offline Kelda

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Offline Penthesilea

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Bidets. We don't have very many of those in the US and many Americans aren't quite sure what we're supposed to do with them.  ???

I think they're mostly common in Fance. In Germany, they're not regular everywhere, but they're widespread enough so people know what they're for  :laugh: