Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm having a "Bad Maberga" day.

And I've only been out of bed for 10 minutes.

A bad Maberga day is one in such nothing in the house seems to work. It is one in which I am painfully aware that I live on the top of a mountain, in a not-so organized foreign country, in a 400 year old house. It's such a day where, due to everything breaking, it's seems that my house and therefore my life is being held together by some bubble gum and and string. A bad Maberga day is when I wish I lived in a 3 year old condo in the 'burbs with a big thick Yellow Pages in the drawer where I can find someone to provide 24 hour service for ANYthing but which I wouldn't need because nothing breaks in my brand new dwelling.

Yesterday afternoon the power went out. An incredible wind had just kicked up so I thought it was because of that. Sometimes a strong wind can detach the bubble gum holding wires in place. I tried calling the electric company only to 1. get cut off after the extensive digital recorded menu, 2. get no one to answer after the extensive digital recorded menu, 3. get frustrated by the extensive digital menu. Why would the electric company's first recorded question of inquiry be "what is the fixed phone line of the house missing electricity?" I don't HAVE a fixed phone line...nor do many Italians these days. I do, however have a CUSTOMER ID which THEY ISSUED to me. Wouldn't you think that would be a more sensible and efficient place to start the inquiry? Yeah, well, back to the story...

After a slight panic, wondering if they had actually cut off my electricity because of some lack of sensibility and efficiency involved with my automatic bill payment from the bank, I decided to check the trip switch. I have that new fancy one in the kitchen, remember? It was installed when I got light switches in the house last year. So I move the fridge, climbed behind it to flip the braker...nothing. I panic a bit more and then remember the electric box outside the house.

There you go! Electricity, lights, action! I don't know why the kitchen box didn't register the jump in current and the garden one did. Frankly I didn't care because it meant that electricity was indeed coming to my house and I wouldn't have to spend the rest of eternity trying to convince the electric company that I don't have a fixed phone line but still do need help with my electricity.

Prior to losing the electricity I had put the bathroom rug in the washing machine. It's an old rug, still lovely and functional but old. In the spin cycles her rubber backing began disintegrating. An explosion of rubber confetti in my washing machine. Which, combined with the 10 ton of collected dog hair that is in the washing machine drain at any given time (even just after cleaning it), the washing machine, of course, got stopped up. I was able to extract the poor rug from the pool of rinse water and rubber confetti it was sitting in. I cleaned the filter and the drain and anything else I could detach and ran the washer again to get rid of the excess water and some more of the confetti.

Yeah, I know...even writing that right now, I can see how utterly stupid that was.

Anyway, so after I got the electricity back I ran this other empty load. And...the current jumps again. I go hit the switch (outside) and all is fine again. Except that there is a message flashing across the little screen on the electric box saying..., well, I have no idea what it was saying but my understanding was that I was using too much electricity.

Ok, fine. I'll turn off the washing machine. All that's on now is the fridge and the hot water heater. Not even one light is on.

The power goes out again. I turn it back on and get the message that I'm using too much electricity again.

I go inside and turn off the water heater. Fine. It's now late in the day and I'm resigned to sorting out the situation in the morning. Ok, truth be told I was hoping the problem would just go away during the night.


I sleepily came downstairs this morning, straight to the bathroom for my morning pee. Where, of course, I found the washing machine with the standing water and little bits of rubber confetti all over the place (I didn't dare vacuum yesterday). I pee and wash my hands - ohhhh, ice cold water. That's right, the water heater's been off since yesterday. In a vain attempt at eternal optimism, I turn on the washing machine. It runs...now being cautiously optimistic (to soon for screams of celebration and delight, yet) I go to the kitchen for a coffee. I turn the computer on to check email.

JUMP! I lose power again.

Did you ever think about how important electricity is in your house? How many things depend on electricity? Here's the list in my house...

--edible food
--hot water
--computer and Internet
--washing machine
--the elevator, no wait, I'm just kidding about that one

I'm feeling eternally grateful right now to the person or people who engineered the modern toilet for making it work with out a plug.

So, if you'll excuse me now, I'm going to try to figure this out now.

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