“The difference between America and England is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, while the English think 100 miles is a long way.” –Earle Hitchner
My first day at work I realized in the United States, they use the older Imperial system, where things are measured in feet and inches, miles and pounds. A big deal if you are an Architect. One foot are 12 inches and 1 foot is aproximately 0.3 meters. Converting meters to feet and inches is useless most part of the time. The imperial system uses fractions instead of decimals. Converting gives you a general idea but it is not precise. My first reaction was panic. I did not use fractions since I was 15, at maths’ class. I learnt by heart some imprescindible dimensions and I compare everything else to them. A bedroom is at least 10´ by 10′, a wardrobe is 2´or 24¨ wide, the diameter circunference for a wheelchair is 5´´…
I rembember the first time I was told ”it is jut 20 miles away”. I smiled. I had no idea how far was 20 miles. Now I know one mile is 1.6 kilimeters. This conversion is easier, a distance in kilometers is aproximately 50% more than a distance in miles. In addition the oil price is per galleon. So at first it can seem expensive, but we have to keep in mind than one galleon is near to 4 liters.
Not to mention that if a look at the termometer I never know if it is cold or hot. You are preparing a trip and someone tells you: ” this weekend is gonna be almost 70º” . And my answer is: should I bring my coat or my swimwear? Converting Farenheit to Celsious and vice versa without a conversor is almost imposible. In short 0ºC are 32ºF and 30ºC are 90ºF. I always wanted to live in a place where temperature is never negative. Dreams come true.
And a kind reminder when you visit the grocery story keep in mind that 1 Kilogram is over 2 pounds so prices usually are higher than expected.
In the USA they also use ounces, teaspoons and tablespoons, yards, achres and posibly other units I had not discovered yet.