It is almost too perfect. I’ve been complaining about my flat, ornery about it, but on my return I found it was even better than the simple, mundane things I had been complaining about, the lack of modern conveniences. I arrived “home” in the UK this afternoon and received an email about 1 pm or so from my landlord’s housekeeping service to say that there would be no hot water tomorrow morning from 8 to 11 am. OK, I thought, I can do this, bath tonight or early tomorrow, no problem. Still easy to make coffee, brush teeth, etc. I then went down to get my mail, and found a sign on the door, it said “no hot water, no cold water”. Hmmm. So I emailed back the housekeeping people and asked for clarification. They came back to me and said, yes–actually there would be no water at all tomorrow morning. I wrote back and asked if they had a suggestion on where I could find some facilities to use in the absence of my own bathroom. And then nothing. They did not answer.
Right. Got it. So I’ve just come off the trans-Atlantic flight, to an apartment with no water on my first morning home. No showers, no sinks, no toilet, no nothing from 8 am. And I’m not sure I believe the anticipated 11 am return of water, based on previous experience with prior maintenance projects in my building. Regular readers of this blog may think this sounds sort of familiar. They might remember the month across December and January when I was not allowed to sleep in my flat for a month, when fortunately I had planned ahead of time to spend three weeks in Australia, but stayed in a hotel both before and after my trip. And I stayed there for longer on my return than had been planned, as the re-wiring took “longer than expected”. I anticipate that happening tomorrow as well. I’m hoping for water by dinner. I’m planning my back up plan (there are showers at the gym…)
I will work around all of it, of course, get up early, get into the office bright and shiny. I’ll probably hit jet lag at 2 pm and be fast asleep at my desk. It will probably actually help the jet-lag problem and the time-zone reacclimation, the forced early start. And don’t worry, I’m more annoyed at my own inconvenience here, especially in light of the fact that I had just been complaining about my flat. I’m not actually trying to claim that this is a big US/UK thing. I actually did have a water shut-off in the US in one of my apartments. although it had been planned long in advance, and I had not been travelling internationally at the time, and I was able to plan and camp out elsewhere. It’s one of those things that crosses cultures, the annoying things that landlords do. (And for another really good landlord rant see Mike’s recent post here.) I’ll be fine. It’s just not quite the comfortable homecoming I had been hoping for.