I've come to love so many things about Scotland. The fish suppers, the mountains, the graffiti…
At the train station
… but I cannot get my head around THE TUB.
You're familiar with a kitchen sink, right? Into which normal people would insert a plug, fill with soapy water and wash their plates?
Over here they ignore the sink and the plug and for some unfathomable reason place a large plastic tub inside the sink and fill that up instead.
Why oh why?
At first I thought this was just a weird habit of Gareth's, but as I mingled more with the natives I discovered they were tubbing it all over the countryside. My mother-in-law, friends, colleagues…
I just don't bloody get it. What purpose does the tub serve? You've got a perfectly good contraption there already with the kitchen sink, designed precisely for the task. Does the tub have historical significance? Is it an ecological or economical thing?
I've asked Gareth many times, why do they use it?
"Because we just do."
In my quest to fit in to my adopted country I'd come to tolerate the tub over the years and had actually stopped ranting about its pointlessness every single time I did the dishes.
Then my friend Jenny was over from Australia recently. She stared in bewilderment as I turned on the kitchen taps after dinner.
"What's the go with the tub?"
"SEE!" I crowed to Gareth, "Told you it was weird."
After staying with us for a week Jenny filed her report: "I can see only one benefit of the tub. If you forget to empty a cup or saucepan or something, you can tip it down the sink. But apart from that? It's just weird."
I'm curious if the tub phenomenon is a Fife thing or if it's rampant across the land. And what about the rest of the British Isles? Rhiannon reported with great relief when she first moved to London, "No tubs down here" but we've no data for the rest of England.
So… if there's any Scots out there:
- Do you have a washing up tub?
- If yes, why the hell why?