07 September 2005

normal & faucets

what's interesting about living in a country you're not used to is that it's tough to figure out what normal is.

for example, our flat (or our "tall" if you're being physically accurate), has all of the hot water on the right and the cold on the left. at first, I thought perhaps I had forgotten (I'm not so good at right/left in the best of circumstances) which location they were in the last time I was in the UK. but then I started thinking, no—this must be normal, or perhaps it's a wales thing. And then, when I tried to take a shower this morning I realized that no, in fact, cold on the right is "normal" even in wales. For, unlike all the other taps in the flat (okay, there are only two sinks total and the bathtub, so three others), the shower indicator is a single unit, indicating that cold is to the right and hot to the left. the thing is, not so much in this house. I discovered this after about 5 minutes of waiting for the hot to kick in (is it normal to wait this long for hot water? I thought. maybe there's something strange about that seemingly small box water heater with impenetrable switches in the kitchen? yikes, toes getting cold...) and then it hit me. hot to the right. worked like a charm. so the house is weird, and/or we've identified what "normal" is: creative plumbing.


Ruth said...

The house I lived in in London when I was little had hot on the right. since I was just learning my right from my left anyway, it made transitioning back to the States rather interesting.

Glad you made it safely -- do avoid scalding yourselves!

Transient Gadfly said...

It is only natural, of course, that you would encounter confusion in your new environs. This is due to a condition, or preconception, that I like to call, "faucetonormativity." Your notions of "faucetness" inform your approach to all faucets, without leaving any room for the fact that some faucets may in fact be "queer" faucets. I think the only solution is a new, more radical definition of faucets and faucetness.

Number Three said...

As for me, I never have any idea which side is the hot or the cold. It's trial and error, but mostly error, every time I shower in a new place.

This post has opened up a whole world for me. But probably just for me.

Hope that everything else in the new place is going well.

Liz said...

I have faucetnormativity issues. My hot's are on the right (on the two in my house). Or is it the left? Are we talking about the faucets right or my right?