Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Water is Driving Me Insane

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. We ate Turkey a day late in a small restaurant in Slovenia, complete with way too much food and tryptophan comas. But enough about Slovenia. Let's talk water. As in, why-oh-why can I not have working hot water at my house for more than seven days at a time. You may recall that water issues have been a constant theme since our move to Italy. Our most recent issue started about two months ago. The plumber came out, did a bunch of work, then left...and we had hot water for about two weeks. Then the water started going. Not too hot, not too cold, and definitely not just right. We have hot water during the middle of the day, but not in the mornings and not in the evenings. The plumber came out again and insisted I had hot water all the time. Another week went by, I called him out again, he said I had hot water. I tried to explain that it comes and goes, and I got the dreaded, Italian shoulder shrug. I see his point in that when he comes to my house, and the hot water works, what is he supposed to do. But I can't very well text him at 6am, when Nathan wants to take his shower, or at 10pm, when I want to take mine. My sister was visiting, and she took to boiling pots of water on the stove to add to bathwater in order to make it hot enough. Nathan's response as she walked through the house with her boiling water: "Welcome to the 1800s." I'm just wondering why the people who invented hot, indoor water don't have some sort of ancestral knowledge to GIVE ME A HOT SHOWER! This sounds spoiled when I think about it, considering the millions of people on this planet who don't even have access to clean drinking water, much less have a luxury like a hot bath every day. However, we are paying thousands of dollars each month to rent here, and I really believe that a portion of my thousands should include hot water all the live long day.

I love our landlord, I really do. He is wonderful to deal with face to face. But I have a terrible time communicating with him over the phone. And the phone is how we usually handle matters - we call him, he sends a workman (usually on the same day, which is rare in these parts), the workman may or may not fix the problem properly, and if it's not fixed as well as it should be or only sort of fixed, I'm just too exhausted emotionally to go through another round - the process is more taxing than it sounds. After a great deal of phone back and forth this week (basically me calling to ask where the plumber is and my landlord telling me that the plumber told him he'd already come), my landlord came in person. Hallelujah! I explained to him about the variable hot water, and he instantly grasped the problem. Within another hour, the plumber was here, drilling through walls and such.

The plumber is also here fixing a water leak in the radiator system. I didn't even go into how we don't have heat other than an electric, wall unit that causes our power to go out indefinitely once per day. As I was finishing up this post, I could hear lots of arguing on our back patio and more voices than the two men I let in (when we let people "in" to our home, we open the door to our downstairs entryway that opens onto our gardens upstairs, so it's easy enough for workmen to let in more people on their own). Then my landlord called from the back (aha - that's the extra voice) to apologize and tell me that the plumber would have to return tomorrow to fix the hot water. He was very, very apologetic, probably because he' was looking at a new mom with dirty hair and baby vomit on her and leaving her with no way to comfortably right this terrible, unhygienic wrong. On a better note, though, our radiators are pumping out precious, yummy heat. Mine and my baby's extremities can now begin to thaw. And who really cares if the two of us have dirty hair and spit up all over our necks and shoulders. Other than Nathan, I mean.

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