“Do you have ID?”

Maybe it’s just in Scotland, or maybe it’s the whole of Britain, but they ask for ID all the time. Not just for normal, or at least understandable things like buying alcohol or going into a club. No, here in Scotland they ask for proof of age for the weirdest things, in addition to asking for ID every single time you buy alcohol. Even when I had just turned 18, I was only asked for ID occasionally when I was home in Norway and now, a few years later, it hardly ever happens at home. In Scotland on the other hand, I have no carry my passport with me anytime I think I might, maybe, possibly need it.

Buying alcohol

Ok, this is normal enough, it’s just that they ask every single time, almost no matter how old you are. One of my friends from last semester is 26, and doesn’t look particularly young, but even her they asked all the time.  Sometimes you will even be asked both when you enter a pub, and when you actually buy alcohol there. Overkill I say.

Knives

For big scary knives I can understand why you would want to check if the person buying it is old enough, but when it’sVeeeery scary knife... the type of knife you use to spread butter on your bread? The thing isn’t even sharp, and I doubt you could cut yourself with it even if you tried. Most people have several of them at home anyway, it’s not like it’s hard to get hold of one. Still, if you want to buy a new one, you have to show proof that you’re old enough.

Scissors

These might be sharper than those knives, but still, most people have these in their house when they grow up, or even use them in school. It’s not like it’s hard to get hold of one if you really want to. Why it’s so much more of a bigger deal when you buy one in a store is beyond me. But still, to buy a scissor, you have to show ID.

Glue

Glue is such a horrible thing, of course you can’t buy one unless you are old enough, because it’s sooo dangerous.. It’s ridiculous, sure you can technically sniff glue and slowly kill your brain in the process, but yet again, it’s a common thing to have in many houses.  It’s not hard to get it anyway, and you don’t have to show ID to use it no, just to actually buy it. My friend needed some to fix her shoe, but she had to go home empty handed because she didn’t happen to bring her ID, even though she’s clearly older than 18. Great logic.

Dangerous and hard to obtain item.Teaspoons

Yes, teaspoons, you actually have to show ID to buy teaspoons. Why? Because you could theoretically use them to do drugs. Yeah right, because it’s so very,very difficult to get hold of a spoon if you really need it for that purpose. I’m suuure asking for ID when you buy teaspoons in a store stops so many people from doing drugs…

I also experienced not being allowed to sit in a pub drinking a can of coke in the middle of the day while waiting for a movie to start, because we couldn’t prove that we were over 18. Fun times.

All these things I or my friends here experienced during the past 8 months, some of them happened several times. What is a bit strange is that I’m pretty sure I was able to buy razor blades without showing ID. Razor blades are clearly a lot less dangerous to let young people use, compared to things like teaspoons.

Of course I know that most of these rules are there just to protect the places from being sued if these items are used in bad ways. What’s really sad is that there is actually a chance of a lawsuit like that winning if it wasn’t for these rules.  I sincerely hope it will never like this in Norway, because it’s way past the border of ridiculous and unnecessary.

Do you have any similar stories of being asked for ID at strange places or for strange things, or is it just me?

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“No hot water?” “No problem, I’ll just heat water in a kettle every time I do dishes”

Since I study at the university here, I’m staying in university accommodation, a flat with shared bathroom/kitchen with 5 other girls. It’s my first time living with people I didn’t know before I moved here, and I rather like it, they are all very nice. However, the flat does have some “special qualities” which makes it interesting and sometimes rather inconvenient to live here.

First floor, drunk people noisy at night, every night. From perhaps 11pm until anywhere between 3 to 5 am. This makes it fun to try to sleep with the window open at night.

The fridge is tiny,  and I mean, really tiny. The sort of tiny which is small when it’s just for one person. I had one of the same size when I lived alone in a flat last year, and it seemed small at times. This is a fridge shared by 6 people, two of us who are vegetarians, which means they always have a lot of vegetables to store, in addition to whatever other foods we use. Needless to say, there is rarely any system in there, as we have to just stuff things wherever there might be space, and we go to the store often, very often. Luckily it’s also very close by.

 You hear everything, because the walls are that thin. I can hear when someone open a drawer in the room next to me, or if they turn on/off the light. Imagine how fun this is if you are trying to sleep, while one of the others are still awake and the involuntary sounds they make just by being awake keeps you from sleeping. Or if someone has a nightly visitor.

No hot water, this is the worst one. We’ve lived here since September, and we still don’t have hot water in the sink, both in the bathroom and the kitchen. Luckily there is hot water in the showers, or we would have had to visit our neighbours to take showers.  It’s still pretty inconvenient to have to heat up water in a kettle every time we do the dishes though… We have tried to get this fixed many, many times, but so far it doesn’t seem to be working so we have sort of given up.

The kitchen in general have several minor features, in addition to the tiny fridge and no hot water, which makes it interesting to live in. Such as the fridge also leaks somehow. Some of tiles on the wall by the sink are not on the wall anymore, but in a pile on the counter, and it’s been like that since before we moved here. One of the windows won’t close properly, which in combination with an almost broken heater which is almost falling off the wall makes the kitchen freezing most of the time. Except just after we cook food. We also got a tiny table (tiny fridge, tiny table, seeing a pattern here), which is half the size as most other tables in the neighbouring flats. And we don’t have chairs (again, unlike neighbouring flats), no, we have stools. Which is just great for clumsy people like me, who will occasionally fall backwards/sideways when trying to sit on one.

Oh, and we have this fun, little bolt in the floor, which seems to be what’s left of a doorstop, but now only gives us pain when we repeatedly hit our feet on it. You should think we would have a reflex of not walking on it by now. (We don’t)

 But hey, it’s all a part of the experience of living abroad, right?