Monday, May 30, 2011

Plumbing Drama

Last week, randomly, 2 men showed up at my house wanting to have a look around because there was a puddle of water in the garage and they were trying to find the source of it.  As it turns out, the source of it was behind my bathroom wall.

My first reaction was panic.  From what I know of German tenancy laws, they're strange and I was half expecting to pay for the repairs (any damage deemed your fault, from regular wear and tear etc.... needs to be paid from the tenant) After some research and assurances from friends, I'm not responsible and don't have to pay for the leak.

They came back again the other day to do more investigating.  It turns out the damage is worse than they thought and have to break apart 3 walls, put in a new toilet and retile.  That's the short story.  The real story took about 3 hours, a lot of charades and an iphone app. 

You see, so far, I only have about 4 classes worth of German and I talk the equivalent (and sound) like a 4 year old child.  Sure, I can say "Hi, How are you?" "My name is Katherine, I have a dog, I live in Nuremberg" "My cat is sitting in the drawer" (don't ask- I don't even have a cat!) as well as my phone number and very few other basics.  However, plumbing vocabulary is NOT within my repertoire of basic German.  And English was not in the plumbers repertoire.  And so, we resorted to charades and an iphone app.  The charades were a given, but the iphone app was genius.  When, after lots of charading, I still wasn't getting what they were saying.  Plumber #1 spoke some German into his iphone and his phone said back to me "the experts are coming on Monday".  It was genius.  I kinda feel like it's cruel and unusual punishment to have to tackle plumbing German only 4 months in, but whaddya do?

The nice thing about the toilets in Germany is that all of the plumbing is built into the wall, so it looks nice and clean.  The bad thing about toilets in Germany is that they're built into the wall so when you have a leak the whole wall needs to come apart (witness exhibit a in the picture above) to make matters more interesting, my walls are entirely tiled so how they're going to make it look normal again with matching tiles is beyond me.  And my German doesn't extend to asking.  All I know is that my bathroom will be a disaster for 10 days and after that, things are supposed to return to normal.  I think.  That's what the iphone app claimed anyhow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. We had to learn all about saltpeter, mold and incompetent workers all in German the first few months we lived here. Good luck!!-bz