Tough translation in words AND numbers


Not knowing words in a foreign country is tough — but not knowing the metric system is worse. Take today, for instance.

Simple project: I was out of garbage bags for the little can in the kitchen and the even smaller container in the bathroom. No sweat. Tesco, of course. But….

Finding the bags wasn’t hard— and I KNEW they were garbage bags because some packaging — though not all — had pictures. But they were labelled by number of liters — 40 x 20L and such. That wasn’t too helpful. For the 35L bags, my iPhone converter app says that’s 36.98408 quarts, but I had a hard time picturing how much milk my garbage can hold…. If the packages just gave me height, that might be better, but of course it would be in centimeters so that probably wouldn’t solve the problem either.

Bottom line: I chose the smallest ones, and, although a little flimsy, they seem to work. There should be some way to indicate how strong they are. Denier? No, that was the problem I had with buying tights. Just plain black tights — how hard could that be? But every package looked like sheer pantyhose, even though they were all labeled “Tights.” And some WERE sheer and some were not. What denier is a regular pair of tights? But I digress…

For the garbage bags, I considered the 60L x 26, but I knew 63 quarts of milk would overflow that little garbage can, even if that size WAS on sale ($1.02 instead of $1.31). It pays to be a careful shopper, whether you’re dealing with dollars or koruna, liters or gallons. Or even denier.

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