Friday, September 05, 2008

All fur coat and no knickers

You don't have to know me very well to know how important water is to me. I think about it all the time. I carry it with me everywhere. I have a qualification in its supply and removal. Clean water is life's first essential, but also one of life's greatest luxuries. There's not enough of it around and it's unforgivable to waste it.
So rubbish plumbing Really Pisses Me Off. 
The bathrooms in the guest house here in the Hot Place were recently 'refurbished'. The walls and floors are tiled, the toilets are those swanky looking back to the wall numbers with push button flushes, there are mixer taps on the basins and showers. There are towel rails and toothbrush holders galore. 
But the place leaks like a sieve. I first got here in the early hours of the morning, having travelled all day, and tried to go for a shower. No water came out. I investigated, and found a tap coming out of the wall that seemed to control the supply to all the cold taps (there are hot taps too, but I can't see much call for them -- the cold water is never cold and we are always hot). I turned it on and the toilet cistern started filling, which was reassuring. Then I realised why it was turned off: the joints to the shower taps, which come straight out of the wall, were leaking a steady stream of water. It just runs straight down the wall. This also robs the shower of some of its already fairly feeble pressure. Not that you can easily stand under it, as the holder for the shower head has broken off. Everything, in fact, that is screwed into the tiles can be pulled straight out. 
So I have developed a routine: enter the bathroom, turn on the water. Go to the loo. Fill basin (using my own travel plug, as the pop up waste pops neither holds water not pops up, so I have hoiked it out), wash bra and pants (we can get our washing done, but they will not do 'ladies underwear'). Leave them to soak, get in the shower. Get out of shower. flush loo (not done before shower to protect shower pressure, also sometimes the push button sticks, so the water just keeps pouring down the loo). Rinse underwear. Brush teeth (using bottled water, the stuff out of the tap smells funny and is sometimes a strange colour) while cistern is refilling, in case I need to go in the night. Turn off water. Go to bed. Repeat loo, shower and teeth part in the morning.
*This* morning, I turned on the water. No reassuring rushing noise. Turn on shower. Nothing. Turn on basin tap: feeble dribble. Swear a lot. It's 38 degrees outside and I am bleeding.
I went searching for a jug and a bucket, a perfectly effective washing method in much of the world, but no joy -- we do not have a jug and a bucket here, we have a shiny but USELESS bathroom. So I ended up standing by the basin, chucking water over myself with a coffee mug. I assumed that the water would make its way to the drain down by the toilet, but no, that would have required the floor to have been laid by someone competent. And it wasn't. 
It's enough to drive you to drink. But there isn't any of that either. 


Blogger bedshaped said...

I went out to a house the other day that was an extension, changed into a utility room and it sounds as bad as what you've described. The silly people had paid the plumber in full and he just never finished the job. Leaks everywhere.

8:28 pm  

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