quinta-feira, março 24, 2005

Last night our shower exploded. Actually that was this morning, techinically - around 5 AM, but seeing as we had not slept yet, it seems like last night. Seeing that we (or rather O Maridão since our workplace has seen it fit to give me almost NO hours, knowing we need the money and all) has the next 3 days off from teaching due to the Easter holiday, there was a multiple friends' birthday party last night that we decided to attend. O Maridão saw this as his opportunity to party hard for the first time since graduation (especially since no driving would be done, being that our car is being fixed for countless problems), while I have come down with a cold and upon arrival was reiniciated to the fever and coughing I had had the day before. So he drank some while I rested on one of our friend's beds.

Sometime around 12 AM I felt a tad better and went to rejoin everyone. Meat was passed around, along with many bottles of beer (they even had to do ANOTHER beer run, because they had run out - when we had arrived 2 hours before the fridge was FULL of beer), and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I hung out restlessly, trying to avoid cigarette smoke, and drank an entire liter of water in half an hour. Sometime around 1:30, a birumbau appeared and a man by the name of Lorimbau began playing some traditional songs on it, over the din of the downloaded music of the computer, the portable CD player blaring something else, the television on in the "living" room right off the veranda, and everyone talking. Everyone yelling to hear eachother, will yelling the songs as well, and doing random little dances (no capoeira though), it was getting rather ridiculous. I'm amazed no one else in the building complained about not being able to get to sleep.

By the time I layed down again to rest it was after 2:30 and people were drifting in and out of the living room where I lay, trying to talk to me very quietly over all the noise. This does not work well for non native speakers, and I spent most of the conversations asking people to repeat what they had said because despite reading lips helping my listening comprehension, I DO have to hear you to understand you. Most people got tired of it quickly and went back outside where the air was more livre.

O Maridão woke me up and stumbled about around 4 AM, and we caught a ride home with his cousine (taxi's got enough of our money for one day). Somehow drunk men take longer to pee than women, and we finally got out the door and into the car at about 4:30. Anyone who has taken care of a drunk loved one will know it is really hard to do when that loved one weighs more than you, especially when you yourself are not feeling well. After some prodding, I got O Maridão to go upstairs to take a shower while I made him something to eat.

In the midst of pouring water into a glass, I heard a strange "buzz buzt buzt" sound. It sounded very much like when the street light out back was having issues with rain and sparking and sputtering. I stopped and listened for it again. Then I called O Maridão, suddenly worried that the shower he was in had blown up. He answered. I asked him what the noise was. He asked ME what the noise was. I came up stairs and he stood there dripping in the hallway while we debated what the sound had been. It was not the shower he was in. Nothing had been running down stairs except the light in the kitch and the gas stove. Nothing had been running upstairs except the hallway light. A light had been flashing in the pool area for weeks. It was now out. That must have been it, I summerized. But why could we smell it so well?

We turned on lights in various rooms, and finally happened into our own bathroom, full of smoke (this all took about 10 seconds). Some years ago, this shower head had blown up while he was in it, I have been told. Shortly there after he had an electrician come in to fix it and install a ground wire that runs all the way down the outside wall of the condo into the ground. This type of feature is almost unheard of in this country for some reason, possibley because showers don't blow up that often. You'd think when you are using a normal electrical current to heat up water that is passing over your naked body into a large puddle of water on the floor to go down a metal drain, that it would have occured to some engineer that the safety of the contraption was in question. Not so. In any case, because of our ground wire, the shower head didn't blow up itself, just the electrical part did, showering the wall in black goo and filling the bathroom with electrical fire smelling smoke. So, the ground did it's job. Question is, WTF is wrong with our wiring that in a country that showers don't blow up very often, it happened to ours TWICE? It's like a revisit to a guy I dated in highschool who's house burned down, TWICE. What are the odds of that happening?

The other pecularity is that there was no apparent reason for it to blow up. It wasn't turned on, there was no water running in it, no one had even been in there for at least 24 hours. No power grubbing appliances were being run, like the microwave, at the same time. There only power being used on the upstairs circut was from the hallway light. A 60 watt bulb. The mystery remains. Needless to say, no one is going to use that shower until I am satisfied with. And I think that's going to take someone REALLY professional (I'm talking electrical engineer here) comming in and checking the wiring. It might even involve breaking into the wall a bit. At this point I'm even afraid to pee in there, so something has to be done. And I have to pee a lot. At wierd hours.

quinta-feira, março 17, 2005

I updated it, and I am alive. But I lack motivation.