When I first started thinking about this post it started off as a general musing. But the more time I spent musing the more annoyed I got. Enough to stick this post in my griping section. Yes, it’s that serious. I’ve been living in England since September now and there are so many things here that are just completely non-sensical. But if you try pointing out the absence of logic to them and you’ll only be blasted at full force with patriotic love.
I suppose you want to know the premise of my ranting and raving so let me rewind back a little bit.
I finally figured out why my pizza deliveries have never arrived, why I’ve been paying incorrect amounts for my utility bills, and why I’ve been shot dirty looks by visitors who have come to my flat after giving them directions. APPARENTLY (and I really did just find out about this very recently), the way the English define stories/levels of buildings is very different from the North American way (thereby, obviously wrong). Since moving into my current flat I’ve been telling everyone that I live on the 3rd floor. Why? Because my flat is on the third level of the building. Simple. So when a plumber called me up to see if he could come by to check in on our plumbing (we had an issue involving a broken pipe) I told him no problem. Here’s how the conversation went:
Plumber: Is it alright if I pop on over to check your pipes?
Me: Of course! Not a problem, I will prepare some tea and biscuits for you.
Plumber: That sounds absolutely smashing. You are on the 2nd story, is that right?
Me: Oh, no, kind sir, we’re on the 3rd floor.
Plumber: Well this is quite curious indeed. I have here that Sarah is on the 1st floor, you are on the second, and Alfred is on the 3rd.
Me: I have been living here for 5 months and can tell you quite confidently that we are on the- *lightbulb goes off*– …ohhhhh….wait…I think what I call the 3rd floor is what is the 2nd floor in England…
Plumber: You’re from America, are you?
Me: Excuse me, I’m from CANADA, but…close enough. So yes, I’m on the 2nd story. I’m so sorry about the confusion. Really, really sorry about that. I cannot apologize enough.
Plumber: That’s quite alright. I’ll pop by in a jiffy.
Me: That sounds great. Sorry sorry sorry sorry sorry……sorry sorry sorry………
So as an FYI, buildings here start off on the GROUND FLOOR and work their way up (ground floor –> first floor –> second floor etc). When I asked my friends about this nonsense they were quick to point out that the North American way was backwards, which I would have happily accepted if only they hadn`t sounded so unsure of their answer when I asked:
Me: How many floors does this building have?
Me: What floor would you call the top one?
Friends: …the top flat. Me: Ok what else? What floor/story/level would be the top flat of this 6 story building?
Friends: …the 5th floor…it just makes sense! Your way doesn’t make sense!
Our friendship now ceases to exist…