Monday, November 12, 2007

Ice Ice Baby...

One of the many things that makes Japan so great: ICE!!!

I'm talking about ice machines in our hotel and ice sold in bags at convenience stores. I'd go to the ice machine every evening and fill up the ice bucket just because...I could (...and because I wanted to mix us some pre-dinner cocktails). If I hadn't? The turn-down maid would have done it for me...without even having to be asked.

I know...people in North America are scratching their heads. Ice machines? Ice being sold at convenience stores? What's the big deal?

Well, it is a big deal to transplanted North Americans who live in Europe. Ice machines at hotels? Only in the kitchen/bar. Ice sold in stores? Unheard of!

Why is ice such a rare commodity in Europe?

Why? WHY??? WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?

8 comments:

Sara said...

i almost cried last summer when someone threw out a freezer full of ice at the lab (which was leftover from some we had made to keep drinks cold), because they "didn't know what it was good for"

Expat Traveler said...

Doesn't have to do deal with Europeans not liking the cold of it...

Ok sarcasm.........

The Big Finn said...

sara - I would have mixed the person a frozen margarita and told them..."That's what it's good for!"

et - That's part of it. I've also heard that Europeans used to have worse teeth than North Americans, and their teeth were more sensitive to cold. However, European dental care has definitely improved significantly during the last fifty years - as noted by the fact that all our European friends have good teeth - so I think that now it's pretty much a cultural thing.
Actually, I do always have to make a point of remembering not to put more than three ice cubes in gin & tonics when I'm mixing them for our British friends. Otherwise, I'm accused of making "American" gin & tonics.

Kirk said...

When we were in the hospital for Baby's birth in Basel, Gretchen asked for ice chips and the midwife (evidently after much searching) came back and told us there was no ice to be found in the hospital except what they used for things like ice packs (which she made clear was not for human consumption). She also tried to drink from a bottle of cold water she brought from home and was scolded and told she should only drink room-temperature water. That's one thing I don't miss...

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Sooo funny when I first realized they didn't sell crushed ice in bags here in France!!! What the HECK do people fill their ice chests with to keep the beer cold???? Oh yea.... they use those bags of ice gel liquid that you through back in the freezer when you are done with the ice chest for the day!!! EEEKS!! I sure miss buying bags of ice at the store!!!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Mrs.!!
--- Leesa

The Big Finn said...

islandgirl - Thanks for stopping by, and for the holiday greetings. BTW...you kind of look like Fergie!

IslandGirl4Ever2 said...

Oh... How funny.. I used to get Kristie Alley a lot when I was in my 20s...! Which Fergie? The Princess, I hope.... As for the other one.. I wish I had her KILLER bod and voice! Have a nice WE... ciao, Leesa

The Big Finn said...

islandgirl - I actually meant the singer.