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.