Friday, February 14, 2014

Cyprus plumbing and construction...part three

Finally up to Thursday, the third day of chaos. At some point on this day, I suddenly realized that I was, in a way, experiencing a certain amount of culture shock, something unusual for me. If we'd known in the first place that we'd have to move out for several days, I would have been much less stressed with it all, and there wouldn't have been all the encounters with the workers saying "Today! Today!" because of the culture of just wanting to say positive things. I'd been to the house in the morning to open it for the plumbers and had had some disagreements with them before I ever had breakfast, and there were quite a few telephone calls back and forth with Mr. George.

It was wonderful going to Tots with Helen and Elisabeth and escaping it all for a couple of hours. (It did amuse me greatly when one mother said, "What?? You're staying in a flat with only one toilet?? No wonder you're having the teenagers stay someplace else!!" At home, we only have one toilet anyway. Well, when we have one at all...) Back with everyone else...not so wonderful. We are of course VERY grateful for this place to stay, but the children are used to playing outside a lot, not to mention having a lot of space even inside the house to spread out. Marie has had her own room for three years, and Jacob and Lukas for over a month now, Jacob is upset about not being able to bike ride or walk much (he hurt his leg a week ago, another topic), and Jörn and I were both very upset about what was going on at the house and not being overly patient with anyone, so nobody was handling the being on top of each other very well.

After lunch (well, I think I actually left DURING lunch...) I went over to the house to check on things, get some clothes, and of course, take more photos.

They had painted the concrete (which had been poured the day before and was very obviously NOT dry) with something that's supposed to be waterproof and approximate tile.

While I did think it looked fairly awful, aesthetics just aren't one of my worries. For the most part, if things WORK, I don't care much how they look. But then I noticed this:
 There were also some cat prints, but cats are CATS: they don't know where they shouldn't walk! (I do hope that this stuff doesn't hurt them if they licked it off of their paws...) But the workers who were DOING this?? Shouldn't they know better than to step in wet paint??

They'd retiled the shower, at least, which looked decent, although the floor outside of it didn't:

And the toilet and bathroom sink had been returned:

But the paint on the floor was very wet, and it looked to me like there was water standing on it, although the worker I asked about that insisted that it wasn't:

They'd cleaned a little bit of the concrete off of the bathtub tap:

But not off of the shower hose:

And outside, above the door to the flat outside, they'd put the drain pipe for all the water in the house!
It wiggles easily with just barely touching it, so aside from looking horrible AND the fact that I assume that every time anyone flushes the toilet there will be a lovely rushing sound through this pipe, I'm concerned that it can be easily damaged and the odds of getting a very disgusting leak are very high.

Lukas and I then watched with amusement as they came to pick up the leftover sand. They discussed which side of the crane for picking up the skip to use for picking up the bag of sand, and then backed a pickup truck under it. Lukas and I then spoke German with each other so as not to be TOO rude (just in case any of the workers understood English or were paying any attention...) as we noted that the way the pickup truck was standing, the side of the crane NOT holding the bag was going to bash into the cab of the pickup truck. They did notice it, however, suddenly shouting "Stop! Stop! Up! Up!" and after much more discussion, re-parked the pickup truck at a different angle so as to avoid the problem:
 They then took the skip, nearly taking a tree out with it, again, a problem that Lukas and I easily anticipated and giggled over, while the four men working on this didn't notice until it nearly happened.

A few hours later, Jörn and I went to see how it was going. They had re-attached the dishwasher (which we don't use, but that's a different topic), and put it ON TOP OF THE WET PAINT!!!!

Sliding it around had made quite a mess of it, and the paint was STILL quite wet.

We then went into the bathroom to be told "Oh yes, you can move back in now, the toilet is fine," despite there still being STANDING water on top of the paint on the floor. More arguing, more phone calls with Mr. George. He phoned the plumbers and phoned me back, saying that they said that the paint would dry in one hour and they had waited two, so everything was fine. I was so upset, that I even started speaking to HIM in Greek, despite his good English. I suppose it's quite a compliment to me that he even answered me in Greek. Still, it doesn't matter how long the paint is "supposed to" take to dry, if it's wet, it's WET. Even my three-year-old understand that. Finally, it transpired that if applied to DRY concrete, yes, this paint should dry in an hour, and the workers hadn't understood that it would take longer if applied to WET concrete.

When we got home, I was still fuming (it was kind of funny, because I'd spent the first couple of days telling JÖRN to calm down...), and he pulled me into the bedroom and closed the door (a very cool thing about the flat in which we're staying: our bedroom has a door! At home, we just have a curtain) and...showed me a stash of hidden chocolate! There are lots of reasons to love this guy, that's one of them. :-)

This morning (Friday) I opened the house for the plumbers again, and noted that all of the paint from yesterday was still extremely wet. And at 7:50, they started painting it again. They claim it will be dry in "one day." At the moment, I don't believe anything they say.

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear! I hope it is sorted out soon. It does look messy but as you say if it works then it is good!

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz