Showers. Or lack of. Most apartments have bathtubs with a hand-held showerhead that is not attached to the wall. There is usually no shower bar or curtain. I’m still mystified as to how people take “showers” this way. The hose that connects the showerhead to the faucet is not very long, so it must be impossible to wash your hair unless you kneel or do it upside down. And how do you stop the water from spraying all over the bathroom? How do you not freeze to death? How are you supposed to wash your hair and yourself when one hand is always occupied?
Television. The daily news is on at 8 pm instead of 6 and 11. The “primetime” shows usually don’t begin until 8:50 or later. There seems to be no pattern as to when when the shows start, so that if you want to watch two different shows on two different channels, their times may overlap and you’ll miss part of one. Everything is dubbed, not sub-titled, in French. And France is apparently 3 years in the past because CSI is still in season 4 here.
Grocery stores. Smell like raw fish. No bag boys. Must put a euro in the cart to unlock it. Shortest aisles ever. Whose great idea was it to leave only 5 feet of space for the check-out lanes? Stores are always so packed here (regardless of the time or day) so the line of people waiting continuously extends into the aisles of food, making it impossible to shop in those aisles or even go around the corner of those aisles.
Erratic hours. For example, the library: Closed Monday. 11 am – 5:30 pm Tuesday. 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 6 pm Wednesday. 3 – 6:30 pm Thursday. 2 – 6 pm Friday. 10 am – 12:30 pm and 2 – 5 pm Saturday. Closed Sunday. WHY? Whatever happened to open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm? BTW, banks are closed on Mondays and national museums are closed on Tuesdays. I’m sure there’s absolutely no reason for this either.
Late dinners. I’m hungry by 6 pm, please let me eat then. I don’t like waiting until 9 or 10. That’s what time I go to bed.