Monday, June 15, 2009

Boy are we spoiled

I had to get gas for the car this morning. Thankfully after 6+ weeks, the whole driving on the left side of the road thing seems to have been largely worked out, but this was the first time I'd been to a gas station. Two things I noticed:

1) For a country that spends an amazing (to us Americans that is) amount of time and energy thinking about carbon footprints and recycling and global warming, they are missing an important thing on their gas pumps. Namely vapor collars. You know, those accordion pleated thingiemajigs that make it really hard to get the gas pump nozzle far enough in to the gas tank to work? Yeah, don't have 'em here. Or at least, not that we've been able to find. Since we've only had to fill up the car twice, our experience may be too narrow to make gross generalizations, but still.

2) The signs at the gas stations are similar to what you would see in the states, namely two grades of gas (usually diesel and regular) with prices somewhere in the range of 1 pound (I have got to figure out how to do the pound symbol on this keyboard. Soon). So I pulled up and started filling the tank. Imagine my surprise when I looked up after the tank was finally full to find that the total cost was just over 50 pounds.

After I picked my eyeballs and jaw off the ground, I realized that I had been thinking that it was 1 pound a gallon. No, no, no, no...those prices are for litres of gas petrol. 1 pound per litre means $3.80 a gallon. So I just spent $82 to buy 13.2 gallons of gas. Holy crap.

Thank god we only have to buy gas once a month! I think I need to start walking more.


  1. Um....actually that is more like $6.19 per gallon. Double Holy Crap! Sure puts in in perspective for us here in the colonies.

    (On a mac, try holding down the Option key and hitting "3." I'm curious if that will get you the GBP symbol.

    Cheerio chica!

  2. Ummm...there is a very good reason why I'm not a "real" scientist (aka one that has anything to do with numbers). You are absolutely right - its £3.80 a gallon (you were right about option 3!), which is $6.18/gallon. Even worse!

  3. What makes it worse is that everything "over there" is so much closer than it is "over here"! Our cities may be the same size overall but we're much further spread out.

    Texas: 262,830 sq. miles - 696,200 sq. km
    England: 50,352 sq. miles - 130,410 sq. km
    Harris County: 1,778 sq. miles - 4,604 sq. km
    London: 609 sq. miles - 1,579 sq. km
    Houston: 600 sq. miles - 1,600 sq. km

    (Numbers from Wikipedia.)