Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's a tiny baby country...

If any of you are familiar with the comedian Jim Gaffagin (if you're not, you should check him out - hilarious!) you may recognize the title of this post: "It's a tiny baby (enter noun here!)." The reason I inserted "country" is not meant to be an insult, but rather to convey the sense of how little things here are. Yes, the UK is one of the most powerful countries in the world and have contributed greatly throughout its long history. However, coming from America, one easily notices how different things are here, especially in size. England is a relatively small island that has a large population. So, a lot of people are squished into this small piece of land and, consequently, everything here has to be in proportion to that. Allow me to give you some examples: The cars here are all little economy cars. You do see some suv's, like Land Rovers, but not many. My little Hyundai accent was big compared to most cars; homes: most houses are small and narrow and the rooms are closed off with doors. Even the kitchen and living rooms, which are typically open in the US, are separate rooms; Appliances: refrigerators, ovens, stoves, washers, dishwashers, etc... are all much smaller than we are used to. Even apartment dwellers like us (in the US) have had full-size appliances. We went to dinner the other night at a house that includes 5 family members, three of which are young children, and our fridge is bigger than theirs - they have one that fits under the kitchen counter and is bigger than a dorm room fridge. As a result of this, cartons of milk, juice, dairy, or just food in general is smaller. This has made us realize just how big the US is and how most things in our culture there are in direct proportion to that; we like things big: houses, cars, trucks, yards, appliances, and food. This strikes me as really funny. Not sure why, but it does! I am sure it will take some time getting used to the size of things around here!

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