Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Quirky House

I can't complain about where we live.  We're on a quiet street with a beautiful view, a swimming pool in the backyard and a playground within 5 minutes walk.  Still, in a company town where the boss is also the landlord, quirky things happen with the house.  And I am under the impression that we're going to be living with some of these quirks for quite a long time.

the light bulbs
The lighting in the house is great.  The electricity that's manning said lighting, well, I'm not holding out much hope.  Within the first two weeks we lived here, we lost a full 15 light bulbs.  One of them went out rather dramatically, with a quick explosion and glass all over the bed.  Most have since been replaced.  I'm assuming that replacing light bulbs will become a regular pastime.

the dishwasher
We never had a dishwasher in China, so I'm not complaining.  Plus, we've got a housekeeper, so why would I complain?  But all the same.  The door doesn't open beyond a 45 degree angle, because its positioned too close to the wall.  Functional, but quirky.

the spaceman shower
Full-on quirky, we have what has been dubbed a spaceman shower in the girls' bathroom.  It could be compared to an old-school phone booth, free-standing and enclosed entirely in glass.  It has knobs and gadgets and fancy lights and several sprayers, and you can even take telephone calls on its speakerphone.  This thing does it all.  And, for some reason, scares my kids.  And leaks all over the floor.

the surge protectors
This quirk is entirely our own doing.  We invested in surge protectors before we left the states, knowing that the flow of electricity is Venezuela is not always smooth.  Apparently, we invested in energy-saving computer-desk-focused surge protectors.  A good idea for a computer desk, this power strip de-activates entirely when the computer (or whatever is plugged into the first outlet) is not turned on.  Want to watch a movie?  The tv doesn't use enough power until the DVD player is on.  The DVD player apparently doesn't ever use enough power to activate the power strip.  Want to charge an iPad overnight?  The computer will go to sleep within a few minutes, turning the entire system off when it does.  Solution?  A lamp.  If you want to use electronics in our house, turn on the lamp in the den.  And buy some new surge protectors from amazon.

the master bath
In this lovely jet bath, the water runs slow.  So slowly that it takes a full 30 minutes to fill the tub enough to run the jets.  Luckily, our kids prefer cold and shallow baths.  And Dave and I prefer showers.

the bathroom accessories
There are none.  Anywhere.  In the whole house.  No towel rods.  No toilet paper holders.  Some bathrooms even lack a mirror.

 the fridge
A beautiful, sleek and monstrous side-by-side beauty that can hold any number of cold items for us.  Except that its been installed poorly, and the fridge side won't seal.

the filthy floors
With the windows open, the floors gather dust and other particulate matter.  And when the weather is always in the 70s, a little (okay, a lot of) dust is not going to close my windows.  The first floor has marble floors.  The second floor has lacquered wood floors.  No carpet anywhere.  Just hyper-smooth surfaces throughout the house.  Hyper-smooth surfaces which create tumbleweeds out of hair, blanket fuzz and that same particulate matter always flying through our windows.

the mirrors
The house came furnished.  The office that brings the furniture is not the same office who hangs the pictures on the walls.  The house came with two dressers, each with a mirror leaning on top.  That seems dangerous, I said.  Shouldn't someone attach them to the wall?  The office who hangs pictures on the walls will only perform that service once, they tell me.  They suggest we ask for that service when our pictures arrive.  That'll be in 3-4 months.  Until then, the mirrors sit snug behind the dressers.

So, we keep the housekeeper busy sweeping the floors and washing the dishes and replacing the light bulbs.  And within an otherwise pretty great house, the quirks make it feel a bit more like home.

1 comment:

Nomads By Nature said...

Laughing about the mirrors. In five countries our mirrors were either precariously perched and titled or stuffed between the back of the dresser and the wall. And we have almost always sent them back because on the back of the mirrors are NEVER any form of hook or wire to actually hang them. And since they are so very heavy the hanging stuff people will just point to the fact that they can't be hung without a wire and that they are too heavy, so we end up sending them back and make due with two small, light, hangable mirrors we haul to each country and any mirrored item in the house if we are lucky. You might check to see if your mirrors even have the ability to be hung or if it is just easier buying that item from somewhere/someone.