Today, after dealing with a lot of hassles trying to get to a parish church my wife wanted to see, I noticed a sign for a place to pull off the freeway and go to a Burger King. This was a service exit, and there were also signs for KFC and Starbucks, yet while we found both of those two, we didn’t see the Burger King. Upon inquiring, we were told that it was at the service exit for the people going the other way on the freeway and that we’d have to cross a bridge to get to it. We walked at least fifty yards to get to the bridge and did not see this alleged Burger King in sight, so we gave up. I can’t imagine this happening in the U.S.
This wouldn’t have been so bad if I liked the sort of sandwiches stocked in the British store at this exit, but I know by now that items like a chicken-and-stuffing sandwich will be vile. Fortunately, there are plenty of ethnic restaurants near our apartment, or I’d be starving.
Another problem with driving here is that when one comes upon a roundabout, there is a sign in advance telling what one’s options are. The problem at this time of year is that many of them are hidden by foliage so that it is impossible to read them until the last second. Again, I can’t imagine this happening in the U.S. Crews are usually pretty good about cutting branches away so that people can see signs.
Another annoying thing is the fact that not a single map gives enough detail to tell us how to get from the city of York out into the countryside. Maps of York that have the right amount of detail unfortunately don’t extend far enough out from the city centre to be useful, while maps of larger scope don’t give enough detail. I have to use the Internet instead.
Since I’m griping about everything, the washing machine in our apartment is a puzzle. Instead of a simple switch giving the temperature (hot, warm, cold), there is a dial giving all kinds of choices, but the choices are given in numerical temperatures and they depend on the fabric. There is no choice for cold water unless you are washing woolens. Plus, the workings of the machine are odd. It is a front-loader, and after putting some water in, it spins for a while and then stops for about a minute. This cycle is repeated for half an hour, and then there is a spin cycle. I thought spin cycles only happened at the very end, but not on this machine where it does it after doing some washing. Plus, after this spin cycle, then the wash cycle starts all over again until there is another spin cycle. All told, I think the whole cycle – wash, rinse, and final spin – takes about an hour and a half. And that is only because I pushed the “quick wash” button. Imagine how long it would take if I hadn’t done that.
Finally, a new barber shop opened up across the street from our apartment. It is advertised as a Kurdish barber shop. Is there something special about Kurdish haircuts that this needs to be mentioned? In addition, along with the usual services (such as hair cuts and shaves), the last service listed is “flame the ear.” I have no idea what this is supposed to mean, nor am I sure I want to know.