Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bad Paint and Bucket Showers

It's been about two weeks since I returned but I forgot to mention some of the things that awaited me at home.  Earlier this spring, my landlord's son offered to paint the house since it hasn't been done in the past five years.  I agreed that it would be good and mentioned that I would be gone in June and that would be the ideal time for them to come.  So when I came back, I was greeted with banana yellow walls (not my first choice in colors) and paint splattered all over the furniture, floors, and my personal belongings (a huge drip of paint down the front of my TV was the clincher). 
I also left about 300 Euros for my landlord to purchase tile and put tile in the laundry room and bathroom.  The walls in the laundry room have molded over the years because the paint in the walls just soaks in the moisture from the dryer.  Lovely!  The tile in the bathroom is cracked and there are large holes where the hot water tank was removed....and put in the adjacent laundry room rather than in the shower.  That's a funny thing here.  You'll often find the hot water tank inside the shower, taking up half the room.  The locals don't seem to think to think much about getting electrocuted while taking a shower...might as well bring a really big hairdryer in the shower with you!  Anyways, after five weeks of vacation I came back and the tiles were sitting in the hallway.  And only half the tiles I had paid landlord's son informed me that the money I gave was enough to cover the tiles he bought and the painter/painters (which I was not supposed to pay for!)  So now I'm withholding the rent until the tiles are put up and taking 100 Euros from the total price because I'm no longer going to pay for the repairs to my place.  According to friends, I've been far too kind in taking care of the place and the rent I'm paying is more than I should...time to not be nice now, I guess.

I'm back to taking bucket showers.  With temperatures hitting the 90's now, the water pressure in my flat has dropped off to barely a trickle.  The landlord was supposed to install a water tank while I was gone too but that didn't get done either.  Supposedly it's being put in this weekend.  If not, I'll probably seriously consider moving to another place.  After five years, I'm getting a little frustrated with having to take a shower from a bucket when others have 24/7 water.  Why suffer when I don't have to???

There was a very interesting article today in the American Spectator about how the international community, especially the UN, US, and EU, have turned a blind eye to Kosovo.  The article discusses the problems that face a multi-ethnic Kosovo and some of the problems that need to be addressed.