Cultural Differences

When I was in Moldova, I got into the habit of turning out the light whenever I left a room. All my colleagues did the same in the office and my friends did it at home. Now, when I was back last week, I saw that the office had put up small reminders to switch off the light also in the kitchen and in the visitors’ room. Here in Rumania, the light is off in the restrooms in the office, also outside by the sinks and the mirrors, and I make sure I turn everything off as I leave.

In my apartment in the U.S., my fridge is placed right in front of the light switch and in order to reach it, the fridge has to be pulled out a bit from the wall. When I moved in, the guy who showed me the apartment said that if it was his place, he would just leave the light on all the time. And right before I left, I got a note from my apartment manager asking everyone to keep the water-heated radiators on at all time, in order to not interrupt the system. Since keeping the radiators on for more than a few hours per week turns the apartment into a sauna, I think that the only way to keep the apartment at a tolerable temperature would have been to open the window to cool down the place. Fortunately I went abroad for a month, so I never had to ask.

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