Last Saturday, our hair dryer unexpectedly cycled down to a lower speed while my wife was using it. We let it rest awhile, and it came back on at its regular speed. The next day, it did this again. Both times, we noticed a slight burning smell. So my wife decided it was time to buy another hair dryer.
One thing I like about England is all the picturesque villages and towns. Big retail stores exist, but as a rule they are set outside of towns, and there's nothing like the concentration on brick-and-mortar stores that there is in the United States. People evaluate products online, order them, and have them delivered to their home far more often. Imagine buying a big screen TV, a dishwasher, or a refrigerator online. In America, that's virtually unthinkable. In England, I get the sense that preserving the natural beauty of their landscape is more important to the individual than "kicking the tires" of everything they buy.
Or perhaps the average citizen buys less than we do. Perhaps theirs is a less consumer-driven culture?
In any case, my wife noted the danger signs, and got online. In a few minutes, she had located the manufacturer and the model number she desired, and figured out what online supplier to purchase the product from. Purchasing the same model was important to her, as we drilled holes into the wall for the housing, and we didn't want to have to drill more holes. Plus, we've enjoyed this particular hairdryer. It hangs on the wall, so it doesn't take up counter-space. It also features a nightlight in the handle, which proves a valuable safety feature at night.
Oh, one other interesting fact: we've only ever seen this product online. As much as we like visiting superstores, and keeping brick-and-mortar stores in business, we've never seen a wall-mounted hair dryer for sale in a store. We only got the idea to buy one because we kept seeing them in hotels. So here was one case where we didn't have a choice of buying in the store or online. If we wanted it, we had to buy it online.
It was a good thing my wife acted when she did. On Monday, the hair dryer stopped working, and dark smoke wafted up, accompanied by a strong smell of burning. So we unplugged it and used our travel model. Two hours later, a box arrived on our porch. Although it hadn't been scheduled for delivery until the following day, the post office had delivered it a day early. The day after we ordered it!
Even more amazing, the Post Office delivered it on a holiday, when they supposedly aren't working!
|Our new hair dryer,|
only available online,
and delivered precisely on time.
In a few minutes, my wife unscrewed the old holder, and then screwed back in the new one. The only noticeable difference between this one and the last is that the nightlight is white, not green, which makes for an even stronger nightlight.
As beautiful as I find much of England, I'm not ready to give up the ease and convenience of America's shopping centers just yet. But it's nice sometimes to be reminded that you can get most everything you need online, and in some cases, get it precisely when you need it.