Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BBB: Bathroom, BHU and bird watching

We finally met our house owner a couple of weeks ago. We had been wondering to whom we should pay the rent so his visit was timely on that account. He was understandably very glad to be handed two full month’s rent.

There was an unexpected dispute as to just how much the rent was. We maintained that it was 3,000 per month but he was adamant that it was 3,500. I showed him the email from the BCF and he was forced to agree with us. The question of the geyser was the next sticking point. We were under the impression that a geyser, or bathroom hot water service, was on order and would be installed forthwith. This was the first he had heard of anything to do with geysers. Our contact person from the BCF was a little hazy on the exact details too when asked.  Our landlord said that he could install one but that we would have to pay extra for it. A bit of to-ing and fro-ing ensued and we finally reached an agreement on the post geyser rent as well as a timeline for installation.
As we were expecting guests, we asked him if it could be all installed before the 14th of the month, a deadline he did not seem to have any problems with. I guess one could have predicted that on the 14th of the month the bathroom would be in a complete state of upheaval. 
There was a ‘Maintenance Monk’ from the monastery and his offsider wielding spanners, wrenches and most alarmingly, hammers in our not quite water tight little bathroom.

The story goes that they were unsure about which pipe led where so they decided to investigate a little further by smashing through the tiles behind a couple of the taps to reveal the labyrinth of pipe work within. The pipes were eventually identified and tracked back to the geyser so it was all hooked up.

I think they managed to get their choice of hoses 100% wrong; the cold water hose was of the reinforced type and the hot water hose of the ordinary plastic type. The latter hose blew off the hand basin about 24 hours later and we awoke to the sound of gushing, running water. 

The hot water hose from the geyser was of a similar construction and was actually ballooning out at the join when we decided to change it over.

There is a shop in Rangjung that sells plumbing bits and pieces as well as a shop that sells spanners and wrenches, not the same shop mind you… I got a spanner from one and nothing from the other despite it being full of dusty plumbing bits and pieces. The man took one look at my exploded hose and just said, no, no, no.
So, to cut a long story short, I took the remaining reinforced hose from the cold tap on the hand basin and fitted it to the geyser, so far so good.
Now we can enjoy showers on demand, providing of course that there is electricity and water at the same time!!

Some time later....I sure hope I didn't speak too soon there, as now the apartment below us is experiencing some unauthorised water entry and fingers are being pointed at our geyser...
Hope the Maintenance Monk doesn't have to come back...

The monastery in all its glory at night 

I am having a sick day today and have been to the local BHU or Basic Health Unit. Last Thursday my voice deserted me but I managed to croak through the day. Friday I was a little better voice wise and Saturday, with only one lesson was quite easy. Sunday a bit of a cough developed and by today I was just jack of it so I called in sick and made my way about one km out of town to the BHU. It is, as the name implies, a basic health unit. It does have wards and beds for really sick people but most of them go to the hospital in Tashigang.
It was the geriatrics and me first thing in the morning I can tell you. I felt like a bit of an imposter there with old folks who have chronic diseases, but we all smiled and nodded at each other. The staff slowly breezed in and soon I registered and was in the queue to enter Doctor’s Chamber No. 1. Luckily for me she came to the door and called me specifically, as, if she hadn’t I think I would still be there.
The patient’s protocol seems to be you stand at the door, peeking in occasionally, until you feel the previous patient is about to leave, or has had enough of the good doctor’s time, then you insinuate yourself through the door about the same time as they are leaving, voila, new patient ready for diagnosis!!
She questioned me about my symptoms, listened to my breathing through her stethoscope (no comment) and took my blood pressure before telling me that they didn’t have any cough medicine but that she would give me some antihistamine tablets and if I was not better in 5 days to come back for some antibiotics. I certainly hope I don’t have to see her again soon… Good on her for not just jumping on the antibiotic bandwagon though, there is far too much of that I think.

We see these crazy looking Hoopoes regularly and they remind us of woody woodpeckers: most especially when they start their sewing machine action in the ground and exercise that special muscle they have for opening their beaks under ground! They are just too active for us to have snapped a shot yet so we are relying on the information that allowed us to identify them in the first place to post a picture.

We have a resident pair of Oriental Magpie Robins nesting in the roof above the veranda. They have built their nest and it must be very close to egg sitting time for Ms Robin at least. They say that their nests have a distinct aroma so we will keep you posted… Mr Robin gets up very early and almost sings his beak off.

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