Monday, 18 May 2009

La Loo

It appears that my Quematutti has been a bit of a hit, especially with the men! Well, here's another treat for you. The loo mechanism!

This is at about adult eye level, so any mother would be permanently flushing the toilet if there were kids about. Inside the gaping hole, in a classic Argentinism, there is a bit of alambre, or wire -- the solution for everything -- that has been attached at my insistence. Boy, did they think I was dainty for refusing to flap my hand about in the water in order to make the loo flush. But my familiars will know that only yesterday it was that I overcame my fear of slipping down the drain hole with the bathwater.... this is like reaching into the maw of a dragon!

In travelling, you begin to realise that there are entire cultures built around plumbing. In much of Latin America, it would seem to "northerners" that there is an untapped market for toilet seats, while in Egypt (can't say about other Middle Eastern countries) one would often find grippy, rubber strips on the bowl itself. Hmm. Until it became clear just how handy those nonslip strips were when one stood perched on an otherwise slippery porcelain bowl. Back in London at the university there were little stick figure drawings on the back of every stall door to indicate that standing on the toilet was definitely a no-no.

Now, for some reason I haven't fathomed yet, I appear to have one of the very few bathtubs in Argentina. Again, for those who know me, or who have lived with me in England where it seemed the only way to keep this re-potted tropical plant warm, a bath is essential. The gas still isn't in yet, so I'm working on a strategy for how to keep the Quematutti stoked up outside, while having a bath inside...

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