How different the British are from us Americans.

by w3woody

One household staple sums up why Americans and Brits will never see the world the same way

“He went through a rite of passage that every U.S. expat must endure: an encounter with the typical British combo washer-dryer,” Furseth writes. “It appears to be a stroke of genius until you realize that the dryer part doesn’t really work—and everyone who lives here knows this.”

This last sentence encapsulates what is, to me, a fundamental difference in the British and American psyches. The frustration an American feels upon removing a poorly washed, barely-dried load from his or her UK appliance isn’t really about the laundry at all. It’s about the tension between how each culture sees the world.

… What does not make sense to me is why British people accept, as a fact of life, an appliance that everyone knows is incapable of doing the only job it is designed to do. The debate over whether a dryer belongs in a kitchen is moot—there is no place in a home of any size for a large appliance that doesn’t work.

This acceptance is at the heart of many American immigrants’ frustrations about life in the UK. And it highlights a fundamental cultural between the US and UK that I’d characterize, broadly, as a British inclination to accept things as they are, versus an American inclination to alter and change them.

The thing is, a washing machine-dryer combo has no place in the home if the dryer part doesn’t work. You are much better off not spending the money on a useless gadget that doesn’t work–both monetarily and environmentally. (After all, a dryer that doesn’t dry clothes took resources to build, to ship, to install–resources that could have been spent on something else.)

So this British acceptance of things that don’t work baffles me, and it has baffled me for years, when I first learned about these washing-machine/dryer combo appliances that don’t wash clothes well and can’t dry for shit.

“Well, that’s just the way things are.”

And starvation and disease and death are “just the way things are” as well–yet is it humanitarian to allow the poor to go hungry and die a painful, lingering death?

“Well, that’s just the way things are.”

Fuck you.

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