More Questionable Australian Conventions

I’m finding that quite a number of things in Oz have me raising my eyebrows. The drink-don’t drink campaigns aimed at (legal) teen drinkers; the lack of modern conveniences in pre-2000 construction; the propensity of fathers to call even their sons “mate”; and now, I unveil the latest curiosity: the half-sink…

The half-sink can be found in cramped half-bathrooms across Australia. And while it seems like a charming little happy medium, like many Aussie conventions, the genius of it is just not 100% there. Why duct and pipe homes for air or dryers when you build them? Why build closets into apartments and homes? Rubbish. Who really needs a built-in closet or a clothes dryer? Who really needs a sink you can wash your hands in without contorting them?

OK you’re sitting at your computer right now. You probably have one hand on your mouse. What general direction are the fingertips of that hand facing? I’m sure your arm is somewhere in the vicinity of perpendicular to your body, which means your fingertips are facing away from you toward the front, versus the side. Kind of like when you wash your hands in a sink.

Now look at the photos above. You see any way to get your hands under those faucets in the natural direction of your wrists? It can’t be done. That sink looks bigger than it actually is—you can only wash your hands in an awkward, sideways fashion. Hmmm. And how about if you want to wash your hands in warm water? Look at the placement of those faucets. Looks like the options are HOT or COLD to me.

Well, I guess sometimes I forget that the inhabitable parts of Oz were settled by English convicts. It may be a grand leap, but I’m assuming that most people doing jail time are either deranged, destitute, devilish, or dumb. Maybe that’s why older construction in Oz leaves much to be desired, and there are half-sinks and other half-assed attempts at civility here. I don’t know. I’m just trying to understand why it’s the 21st century in America, but it’s still mid-20th century here.

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