Friday, 30 May 2008


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I was mortified at discovering another major difference between the way Americans do business vs the English. I met a French woman in NYC at the ICFF who had recently moved to the US from Europe, and she'd literally just bought a house with her husband. They were getting the keys from the realtor [aka real estate agent] the following Monday and the builders were scheduled to arrive two hours later to begin work. Two hours! Urgh!

She asked me enthusiastically which kind of counter top I was going to get. I laughed embarrassingly and said "We'd love to have Corian" [cue - French woman smiling enthusiastically] "… but in reality, we'll end up with that new Ikea composite!" [me smiling as if saying ha, what a kidder I am, despite thinking yes, it will be Ikea. Or even glued together ice-cream sticks]. The woman sensed that I was in another (lower) league of d├ęcor and made her excuses to find a drink. Five minutes later I was bemoaning my angst to another New Yorker having spent the most I'd ever blown on a pair of jeans at Bloomingdales. He asked me how much. I said $185. He looked at me and said in all earnestness: "Wow. You can get jeans in New York for under $200?"

Sometimes it's like living on a different planet.


Lindsay said...

Hello there

Thanks for stopping by my blog, we are househunting at the moment so your blog makes excellent reading! (and perhaps a reality check!) We've been looking for ages in and around east London and have seen nothing that's grabbed us yet. Anyway, I just wanted to say don't rule out Corian, when we renovated our current house we got a quote from our kitchen people and it was astronomical, my husband did some research and we ended up getting it for a third of the price from a company way up in the north of Scotland, they came down and templated it, and fitted it and it's fab. Can see if we still have their details if you like. Good luck with everything!

kaybar007 said...

Ooh Lindsay yes please that would be ace. We got a quote for granite from an outfit at the Grand Designs Live show, but even with their "half price discount" it was still over £3K, which is more than the budget for the entire kitchen, sadly...