Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What's with the British... screenless windows

Well another day I should be writing my thesis, another bit of waffle about the perplexing nature of the UK. This is one which I've actually noticed extends beyond the UK. I've actually observed this phenomenon in every country I've visited outside of North America: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Turkey, France, Germany, Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Tunisia, Italy and Switzerland:

Windows without screens.

Now this just baffles me. Sure, the countries I just listed don't have the same problems with biting insects that we do in North America (though I'd wager that Turkey and Tunisia have some issues in the heat of summer). But none of them are devoid of insects. This very summer, I've had to kill about a dozen flies in my kitchen because I like to have the windows open. And because I have a hard time cooking without filling the kitchen full of smoke, but that's another issue and beside the point.

In North America, no problem. The screen keeps them out. That little $5 piece of plastic mesh allows me to see out, allows the breeze to come in, but keeps out 6-legged flying friends out. It's simple and effective. Sure you have to wash it every now and again, but so what?

This one, I really don't understand. We're not talking about high technology or fantastic costs. It doesn't dramatically alter your view or add any real inconvenience. So why not have a screen? Are we pro-malaria now?

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