September 15, 2012

Adventures in the TLF: Earth, Air, Fire, Water

I've talked about it but it hasn't happened yet--we simply MUST start keeping our shoes outside the entrance to our temporary apartment.  The dirt is ridiculous!  Charis sweeps nightly, and I bought a cheap mop to help cut down on the grime.  The cleaning crew comes every 4 days, and if we can get out of the way, they'll do a full clean (except for the kitchen), so that helps.  But our feet are pretty much constantly dirty.  And our little also constantly dirty!  The kids enjoy running laps around on the balcony, through the kitchen, and then through the sitting room and back out to the balcony (there are 4 doors leading out onto the small area).  The floor of the balcony is filthy from all the dirt that the rain and wind bring in, and whether the kids are barefoot or shod, you can imagine the trails...

Baths happen frequently around here!
One of the first things you notice about the air here, particularly if you aren't used to it, is the extreme humidity.  We thought Ohio was humid!  I've been to Florida, and that is definitely closer to what we have here in Naples.

Living in Naples has its... odoriferous times, even here on the Support Site.  If you haven't studied up on our current location, I'll fill you in on something everyone around here knows: there is a ginormous trash problem.  (Thank you, Italian labor unions.)  The trash along the sides of the roads is unbelievable!  Thankfully we've seen efforts to keep the dumpsters emptied here on base--from what I read, that is a major improvement from a year ago.  But there are still a LOT of dumpsters with a LOT of trash, which we smell during our walks out and about. At times the air is filled with the scent of burning trash--so then you know that they're "taking care" of some of the trash issues in the city.  Fun times!

Cooking over a dinky little gas stove is an adventure in and of itself, but add an exploring one-year-old into the mix and it's downright terrifying at times.  I may break down and buy a baby gate so I can ensure some peace while I'm trying to cook!

As you can see from the picture below, the range is made of metal.  Nice.  Even the dials for the burner controls get HOT, so you need protection simply to adjust the flame, let alone open the oven door.  I should probably break down and buy hot pads (I have some in our express shipment), but currently I use a dishtowel.  Thankfully we had some of those packed in with our dirty laundry before leaving the States, LOL!

Oh, and for a height comparison, those handles on the cupboards above the sink come about to my neck!  When I work at the sink, I literally bang my head against the wall!

And finally, water.  What would an "adventures in TLF" post be without talking about our water?!  First, the smell: imagine washing dishes, taking a shower, running water in the mop bucket, rinsing off produce...with chlorinated pool water.  Mmmm!  Then, there's the temperature: in Charis's words, "The shower water goes from perfect to freezing to boiling hot."  This makes shaving an adventure, not to mention rinsing out conditioner.

And finally, water pressure.  When we first moved in, the kitchen sink had almost zero pressure; washing dishes was extraordinarily frustrating.  (As an aside, there isn't a garbage disposal.)  Ted tried messing with the faucet and discovered that the end needed to be twisted on.  Hooray!  Water pressure!  OH NO--water is now spraying EVERYWHERE!  Grrrr!  I wasn't sure which was worse--having so little pressure that we could hardly coax suds to form or having so much that the entire surrounding counter and floor space ended up soaked.  The good news with the change in pressure was that we were more easily able to get hot water, which helped tremendously with the dish job!  The bad news...well, you can use your imagination with that one when I tell you that the children are in charge of washing dishes, LOL!

Two days ago, we received a visit from the friendly neighborhood maintenance man.  I was delighted, even though he spoke little English--everything worked out just fine.  He did a couple of little jobs and then took care of our kitchen faucet!  So now we have wonderful water pressure, good temperature changes, and no spattering.  The only problem is it goes from 0 to 60, so if you just need a little stream of water, you're out of luck.  But considering the alternatives, I'll just count my blessings!

1 comment:

Krista said...

Oh, your shower experiences sound like mine here at my in-laws... the shower in the basement is affected by anyone turning on water anywhere else in the house... which means that the very quick shower I took this morning turned out to be more like 10 minutes long because I had to keep stepping out to keep from alternately being frozen or scalded! It doesn't help that they keep their hot water tank at 125 because they wash their bedding for dust mites (allergies) so you literally can get scalded!