There’s Something Fishy Going on Here

It’s true what Adam Gopnik states in his “Distant Errors” essay* that “this business of things almost but not quite being the same” can really shake an American up. He points out, “A pharmacy is not quite a drugstore” in Paris and I would say the same holds true for the UK and Ireland. You’ll find no selection of key rings (asking for key chains will bring only puzzled looks from store employees), no basic cleaning supplies, no snack food or office supply aisle or anything other than drugs and hygiene products.

I would like to add bed sheets as an excellent example of Gopnik’s “almost but not quite” theory. There is no top sheet.

That is to say that the flat sheet that one typically finds between body and duvet is missing entirely. Oh, you might find a flat sheet whose purpose is intended to replace the fitted sheet by providing the diversity of hospital corners and thinly veiled protection between your body and the mattress itself (as there seems to be no manufacturing of a mattress pad/cover either). But, even buying a set of sheets will provide you only a fitted sheet, a duvet cover, and two rectangular (not standard) pillow cases.

The sizing chart is also somewhat difficult to convert. We, in the States, have twin, double/full, queen, king, and California king. They have single, double, large double/king (presumably equivalent to queen), and super king (equivalent to 2 twin beds pushed together).

I miss the top sheet.

*From his book entitled “Paris to the Moon”

Breaking the Code – Update

We have been told by Jane that most likely 1-800 isn’t a type of number that you can dial in Ireland. There must be some other international number that Chad should be using for his calling card.

There are times when you are given a 4 digit number and this may be a free call, as is the case with the telephone company Eircom – 1901.

Sometimes you get a 10 digit number, as with the Eircom Internet group – 1800203204. It’s a 1-800 looking number and a free call and yet there are 10 digits not 11 as in the US.

Deciphering the phone system eludes me still.

One Response to “There’s Something Fishy Going on Here”

  1. Vonster Says:

    You bring back memories of living in Germany. Although we had the Army Base to get real American items from, we still ventured out to buy from the locals. We had the two twin beds pushed together with the hard board right down the middle. Really enjoyable! That was my first introduction to the huge down pillow (aka comforter). Like you mention, that was all they used with a sheet at the bottom. Starting the “Blog” was a great idea. Take care.

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