Are things different? Glad you asked.

Are things different here?  Of course.  Plenty!  Let’s not even get into all the big life changes.  Or differences out and about town.  We’ll just start close to home.  Like literally.  These are a few of the main differences around the house.  Nothing shocking for those who have been to Europe.  And now to this hard-hitting bit of investigative journalism.

But first.  Are you guys listening to this song?  Do you love it?  Is it huge back home?  I only wish it had come out a little earlier.  I feel like we didn’t really have a “song of the summer” this year, and I think this could have been a contender.

  1. Ceiling fan pulls.  Maybe this isn’t universal, but for ours, the light is on the shorter cord.  I am finally stopping trying to adjust the fan and plunging the room into darkness.
  2. Light switches.  So they look like this.  Also, for small rooms, like bathrooms, they are only on the outside.  I am finally stopping walking into the bathroom and immediately doing an about face to flip the light.

    More or less toddler tempting than back home?  Trick question, it's a switch so . . .

    More or less toddler tempting than back home? Trick question, it’s a switch so . . .

  3. Trash.  There is no curbside pick-up.  And not just because I don’t have my own personal curb.  Our building doesn’t have a communal dumpster or anything.  There are bins randomly spaced on the street and you have to take care of business.  Why?  Some of this could be sheer numbers and logistics.  And many buildings are on little gated compounds, could be difficult to access.  Also, as explained during orientation, recycling is mandatory so have fun with that sorting.
  4. The outlets!!  European power is different.  This is known.  What surprised me is that there are a minimum of four different outlets in our unit.  What??  If I am using a European appliance in a European outlet, I should NOT need an adapter.
  5. European Toilet.  No surprise here, but we got the European special.  I’ll be on the lookout for even more exotic toilets.  I’ve always wanted to make a “Toilets of Europe” calendar.  This could be my big chance.  Family be warned:  when Christmas rolls around and you are excitedly opening your annual family calendar (just kidding, it won’t be wrapped), don’t expect to see a lovingly curated collection of family photos.  That’s right.  It just might be TOILETS.  Here’s January:

    Choose your own adventure!  Big flush or small: you decide!

    Choose your own adventure! Big flush or small: you decide!

  6. Dryer.  Both our washer and dryer are European.  Because the dryer is not vented, it has this handy “vapor drawer.”  Basically it fills up with water and you have to dump it or the dryer will not dry anymore.  I learned this the hard way after about a week in when I thought it must be broken.  “James!!  I dried this load 3x and it isn’t getting any better! *&*^(&”  I am pretty excited to have a dryer.  I’ve been seeing lots and lots of drying racks on balconies.  (The balconies do seem to be getting more use.)  Our neighbors across the way actually have their washing machine on the balcony.  I guess sufficiently protected from the elements?  Just cutting out the middle man.
Dearie me, I have the vapors!

Dearie me, I have the vapors!

I’m sure there are others.  The windows and blinds deserve their own full post.  I’ll report back if I uncover more riveting differences.  Happy weekend, ya’ll!

3 thoughts on “Are things different? Glad you asked.

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