Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sundays from Singapore, part 3

View from apartment

And the story continues...


Okay, so I've got the macaroni cooking away on a gas burner that is so hot, even on low, that you need finger protection to adjust the heat. Makes you debate whether keeping the water from boiling over is more important than your sense of touch. So anyway, I am preheating the oven (which I successfully used the night before to make garlic toast) while reading the manual on how hot to set the controls. I need to dig out a math textbook to make the degree F to C conversion. Once figured out, I will have it tattooed on my wrist to impress strangers at parties.

But the point of all of this is that in the midst of it all, the oven, fridge, air con, and half of the lights and outlets in the house cease to operate. Being the handy woman that I am, I rush for the main panel in the coat closet ready to save the moment. Alas, the wiring diagram is missing, and I have what looks to be a GFI circuit tripped, Everything else is, of course, written in chicken scratch.

As the house starts to heat up, and the forgotten macaroni swells into gargantuan elbows, frantic calls are made to everyone who ever stepped foot in this house. Larry, DH's boss, comes to the rescue with a reminder that every outlet, appliance and light is on a wall switch, and I should turn everything off that seems to be affected, reset the recalcitrant breaker, and try to isolate the offending machine. Lo! It works and the oven is in the doghouse. Of course, this means I can't even call for an appointment until Monday, and this is Friday night. Sigh.

Kitchen before we moved in with offending oven!

I don't know who designed the bathrooms in this place, but they must have arms that drag behind them when they walk! Each bath has exactly one towel bar, no matter how many are expected to share it, and that bar has been mounted at the absolute farthest point from the shower. Oh, there is plenty of room for another bar, but one appears to be the maximum allowed by law.

The TP holder is either across the room from the toilet, or mounted directly beside the tank, resulting in cracking sounds emanating from your shoulder and/or back as you reach around yourself and try not to topple off the throne. Once reached, about a yard and a half of paper is dispensed, as your arm muscles snap back into place, before you can stop it and tear it off. Think of those silly little fly-fishermen on Sunday TV casting their lines. {Note: No offense intended. I now know some of those guys, and they are neither silly nor little!}

Oh, and lest you think I have overlooked the obvious solution of moving or adding bath fixtures, I should explain that the walls are tiled in large marble sheets up to the ceiling. All other walls in the house are solid cement. You think those double sided stickies will hold up my large framed picture from Hawaii??

Coffin size shower I can hardly get into and marble surround. See the one towel bar?

We hooked up the fax machine this morning, and after much discussion on how one actually places a long distance call around here, dispatched a message to Toni. Mission accomplished. Her return fax was a bit more problematic and her machine kept calling and sending and calling and sending. We'll have to work on that.

As we tried to call her to say "Stop Sending!", we realized that we couldn't call long distance from the main house number. Of course, we haven't had time to read all the manuals (again) so we are limited by what we know to be absolutely true about any appliance. I know, for example, to push the little handset icon to answer a call, and push it again to hang up. Good. Now, if call waiting rings in, the best I can do so far is irritate the first caller by poking buttons that either gives them Muzak on Hold, or the same ringing noise that is driving me wild. I am losing friends fast.

After much scanning of strangely worded manuals, and 2 calls to the Singtel help line, I found out that you actually have to request the ability to call out of the country on your phone. Wisely, they figured that we would want to fax to parts beyond, but apparently not necessarily wish to talk to any of you to find out if you got the fax. Silly me! Now fixed.

As I sit back and elevate my sore feet, I am amazed that we have only been here one week. We have done so much, learned so much, and learned how much more we still have to learn, all in seven days. There are no moving boxes in my house, but rather, piles and stacks of belongings all threatening to spill over when I am not looking. We marvel when we realize that a cheap plastic adapter will convert a plug with 2 thin round prongs to one with 3 honking square prongs, and prevent frustrated male members of the clan from ripping the outlet out of the kitchen wall when they mistakenly jam the wrong shaped plug into the wrong hole. They do that all the time, don't they? He fixed it, thought, by calling the management office and telling them we had a defective outlet installation! I don't think he fooled the repairman.

So here goes another missive, We bought me a printer today, but it isn't set up yet. I do want to print and keep these emails. I can't seem to keep a handle on a pen these days. I will get the printer up and running soon, but guess what?? It comes with another manual!

Love to all...



Anonymous said...

Love the singapore posts.......keep them up. Also your sister is one heck of a good looking gal and so good with her veiny hands. Hope you leared alot

Celticspirit said...

Nice Pictures Lisa! Singapore is one of the places that I've always wanted to visit so your adventures there are very interesting to me. Barb