Unfortunately this isn’t about being ‘good’ green in a recycling-knit-your-own-yoghurt sort of way, but more of a dimwit, new and stupid sort of way. It’s been a week of things breaking down in the apartment and yesterday was the first day that we had everything working at the same time – electricity, water, telephone and internet. Although we’re as thrilled as thrilled can be by having a connection this does mean that I’m going to have to up the conversational ante somewhat because (until last week and the water problems) my conversations played along the lines of what I’d said to the telephone company, what the telephone company had said to me and the conversations that the various people I’d recruited to my cause had said to the telephone company. Generally it ended with me weeping in frustration and my companions weeping with boredom. But that is no more because we’ve got a connection.
But, I digress. Last week we’d invited a friend over for dinner and just as we’d reached a really interesting part of our story about no connection I noticed that there was quite a lot of water on the floor. Assuming that our guest hadn’t cried a river of tears through boredom I reckoned that we’d got a big pipe/tap/sink malfunction. Fortunately we have a building’s manager whose wife speaks English and she telephoned a plumber who came out the next morning and diagnosed that we had a sink/pipe/tap problem. Despite only having three words of Greek (one of which is pie) I completely understood Mrs F, the building manager’s wife, when she told him that any fool could work that out and he was the plumber and he’d better get on with it and get it sorted. Mr Plumber went off and got a new tap and installed it and we still had a flood of water coming out from under the sink so Mr Tabliope tightened up the technical bits and it’s all working now.
And then the boiler broke.
For a couple of days we’d been paddling through water in the garage and saying things like: ‘ha someone’s got a problem somewhere’ and then we discover that it’s our problem. Fortunately the buildings manager arranged for all this to be mended but we had no hot water for two days. But silver linings and all that – because of the boiler breaking we learnt that we’d had an immersion heater switched on for 11 weeks. In our defence this switch is in the fuse cupboard and doesn’t announce itself to be a switch for an immersion heater. When we moved into our apartment there was no handover or explanation about how things worked so we assumed that the hot water came from a central point and that it was metered in the same way that it was done in our apartment building in Switzerland. Yes, I know. Dim.