Sunday, January 10, 2010

Remain calm.

I am continually amazed by the mediocrity the British are willing to live with - pathetic water pressure during a shower where one feels as though one is being spit on, consistently tardy trains, poor quality goods (the coat I got for Christmas is already splitting at the seams and the wellies I got less than two months ago have also split.  Le sigh). 
The latest in a string of inadequacies struck the country last week, causing the proverbial squealing of breaks and bringing most of the country to a standstill.  Snow.  But not just any snow....wait for it...three inches of snow.  Dear Lord! What will we do???  Panic ensued.  Sheer panic. The grocery stores were packed as though Armageddon was upon us.  Canned goods and bottled water were flying, literally, flying off the shelves.  Ready meals were carted off by the, well, cartload.  Schools were cancelled for DAYS before the snow even started.  DAYS, I tell you.  At work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, Bath was like a ghost town.  Intrepid shoppers came in looking dazed, telling us we were the only shop open in town.  By that point, there was no snow accumulation at all in the city of Bath.  All three inches of it had been cleared away, and yet, it was utterly deserted. 
Evidently, it snows pretty much every year with this result.  I would have thought that a Plan B might have been thought of, or at least the mass hysteria wouldn't be quite so massive or hysterical.  But no.
I was struck by the dogged determination of the English, though.  As no one was able to go to work lest they get their feet wet, snowmen were erected that rivaled some of the cathedrals in the area.  Mind you, I have no idea how one constructs a 7 foot plus snowman with less than three inches of snow, but construct they did, and with gusto.  The specimin in our front garden has not only a generous three-ball-body, but a full head of hair and various accessories, and she was voted best dressed in the neighborhood.  Sophie, our roommate, scraped up almost all the snow in the garden to create her, with the odd result of a snow(wo)man sitting in the middle of a green lawn.
All in all, the Brits are an odd bunch with some pretty bizarre priorities...we're fitting in just fine.


  1. The British also like to put up with poor service, long lines, and clerks who just don't give a crap. My English friend Simon (he only counts as part since he spent part of his years growing up in Pennsylvania and Holland) was always on a one man mission to change the culture. He was always trying to send back an inferior lager or complain to store management all to no avail. Of course, now he has his wish of living back in the states and has married a Yank. He has everything he wants... except US healthcare. He's still on the NHS.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.