Tag Archives: Europe

Small cultural differences are baffling and frustrating

8 Dec

I bought a new jacket a couple months ago. I like it. It’s a good jacket. I bought it online from a store in the UK. It took awhile to get here, but it still wasn’t that expensive, even with international shipping. It’s called a Harrington jacket. Mine is a knockoff of the “authentic” brand of Harringtons, but those are like $300 so fuck that. I’ve been wearing it regularly and I haven’t seen anyone else wearing a similar jacket. I like that. I am so fucking hip sometimes.

The jacket in question

The jacket in question

I mentioned that the jacket is from the UK. This particular jacket has given me a lesson in European clothing. Apparently, zippers there are backwards. In the US, the zipper pulltab* is on the right side. We have all operated many zippers in our lives, and it’s easy to grab the pulltab, insert the pin on the other side of the zipper into the slider, and pull it closed. I can do this without looking or even thinking about it in about two seconds. I cannot do this with my new jacket. I have to focus on holding the pulltab to ensure the slider is flush with the top stop with my left hand. Then I have to carefully insert the pin all the way into the slider with my right. I can’t zip it while walking. I have to stop and look down. People on the street must think I’m an idiot. In short, zipping this jacket makes me look and feel like a three-year-old.

*I was sort of stumped about what to call this so I spent some time looking up zipper terminology.

It doesn’t seem like this should be difficult. It’s the same thing I’ve done countless times, just reversing the roles of my two hands. It amazes me that our brains are wired in such a way to make this operation difficult. I assume it’s just using our hands in an unfamiliar way. Or maybe it’s just difficult to use a zipper with our off hand. Is this how left-handed people feel every time they operate a zipper? That would be horrible for them. Although I doubt it because if that was true why would Europeans make zippers backwards? They obviously don’t see their zipper style as such. Maybe one of my readers from the brain surgery community can explain this.

In conclusion, I wish Europe would get their act together and start manufacturing zippers in the correct American manner.