Americans know how to do convenience well. Europeans have not caught on to the 24-hour shopping concept. In London, we had a “24 hour” grocery store down the street, but it was closed from Sunday evening at 5 until Monday morning. So it actually wasn’t open 24 hours at all.  But it was the closest thing the neighborhood had to 24 hours, so no one objected to the neon sign with the questionable claim.  

Here, homes are rigged with every imaginable comfort. The house we just rented is wired to allow the dweller’s iPod music to play throughout every room, via the intercom system.

That same system allows for eavesdropping on conversations happening in every room of the house. And of course, there is surround sound for optimal TV viewing.

Our flat in London was functional. It had three bedrooms — no more, no less. Here, houses we looked at were billed as three bedrooms, but actually had “bonus rooms” — extra rooms that could be bedrooms, studies or whatever you wanted them to be.

Most of the houses we saw had closets that were bigger than some studio flats I’ve lived in. An enterprising London realtor would try to cram 10 people into the house we just moved into. I almost feel guilty using so much space.  

I’m sure we’ll get used to it, though. If and when we go back to London, we’ll demand where our iPod intercom system is.

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