Viva La Difference . . . No. 5

15 March 2009

British baths, basins and kitchen sinks have an opening about 2 inches from the top to take the overflow (in case you leave the tap running, or for some other reason the bath or whatever fills so high that it’s likely to spill over).  Australian bathrooms have a hole in the floor, and the floor slightly slopes towards it, to serve the same function.

On escalators in London (despite the fact that cars drive on the left), you stand on the RIGHT.  In Sydney, where cars also drive on the left, you stand on the LEFT on escalators.

Interesting, isn’t it???



  1. …. and in days long gone, everyone would walk up and down the footpaths on the left, go up and downstairs at the railway stations on the left, move in and out of public transport doors on the left. No pushing and shoving, order and speed. Alas, all gone like so many other rather regimented but nevertheless sensible habits.

    Just to hark back to a previous post about school uniforms. I don’t think I have ever seen girls in uniform trousers (but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any schools in Australia that do have trousers as part of the girls’ uniform) but at Mosman High there is absolutely no uniform code so the girls wear jenas, trousers, shorts, very, very short shorts, skirts that barely cover their knickers – anything at all really. Uniforms are so very sensible!!

  2. Hmm! I have problems every day just passing through the corridors at work. So many migrants from countries who walk on the right!

    I didn’t know one stood on the right on escalators in London; luckily I don’t remember riding any! Ooh, yes I do – there mut have been some in the Underground! Uncouth colonials!!

  3. Oh, my, I just had to go check. In the US, bathtubs and basins in there have that overflow protection. My kitchen sink (and all those I remember using over many years) DO NOT have this protection.

    I’ve never seen the slanted floors/drain hole except in large public restrooms. And I figured that was for the convenience of those who clean the floors, not as an overflow issue.

  4. Ah, but though we drive on the left, we sit on the right in the car. Think about that.

    I don’t understand about bathtubs and basins – are you saying the hole is on the floor proper so when the water does overflow it has somewhere to go? Wey-hey!!

    Lesley, I think uniforms are good full stop. Everywhere. But in JL now, they have a uniform that varies slightly according to the taste of the wearer and it can be hard to tell staff from customers without you peer hard at their chest in search of their badge.

  5. Liz – our bathrooms must have solid and usually tiled floors – MUST and I think it is because of the termites or something similar. Maybe I’m quite wrong. However, in the centre or thereabouts of the bathroom floor is a hole with a little silver cover, about 2 inches across, attached to a pipe which joins to the sewer pipes that take the bath/shower/basin water away. I was going to mention the position of the taps too – our hot taps are on the left and cold taps on the right. Is it the same everywhere?? I’ve also hard that the water swirls down the bath plug hole clockwise in one hemisphere and anti clockwise in the other but can’t now remember which is which!!

  6. Mine is a wooden floor in the bathroom and a solid one in the kitchen, probably concrete originally. I just checked the water – it seems to run away clockwise here. Myhot taps are on the left and cold on the right but I have been in houses where they’re the other way about so maybe that’s down to the plumber, especially if it’s a DIY job.

    I remember those outlets when I had the dubious pleasure of living in the Middle East. You had to make sure they were fitted a certain way to stop the cockroaches coming in. Yuck. Lesley, you may have some beautiful beaches, wonderful birds and plants and tons o’ sunshine but I’m not a lover of creepy crawlies. We each have our compensations.

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