January 28, 2008

When the Plumber ...

The plumber, the milkman and the postman... can bring a housewife into trouble.

In my case it was a plumber.
I was told on a Saturday that the plumber will start on Monday. And I should think about where to position radiators in the living area under the roof (we start at the top floor). That was easy. I had time enough to communicate my storage concept that limits the choice…

So how can a plumber in Italy bring me into trouble in China? Meanwhile Tuesday, it was about a radiator that my husband, Angelo, the architect and the plumber wanted to install in the small bathroom under the roof. - Hey, under the roof, in Southern-Europe? It will never be cold enough to switch on a heater in the loo. And if so, you will be done before the heater is warm! - When I realized that it could be a chic chromed radiator like the one by Villeroy & Boch (left picture) with a second function to hold and warm bath towels, I was persuaded. I made a quick layout of the bathroom and indicated the position of the radiator (of course next to the shower). Only little later, I got a confused reply from Italy, if I have not seen their drawing? Yes sure, and here is my suggestion – as requested.

This was when I found out that the plumber already had done the complete bathroom plumbing on Monday. - ?! – I only had to indicate my preferred place for the radiator.

People always ask me: How can you renovate a house in Italy while living in China? That is so amazing! – Yes, it is, indeed! Now we see how it works.

Luckily the plumbing work somehow corresponded to what I had in mind (there were not that many possibilities to squeeze in a shower, a WC, a bidet and a sink into a room with a large window and two doors).

Both sides, me in China and the palazzo team in Italy, were irritated about the miscommunication. What had happened? Apparently one email attachment was incomplete and I replied late and the palazzo team was fast ... And for them a loo is a loo and not an interior design project. (mmh, I am curious about the comments I am getting now from Italy)

Sigh, yes, we should be on site. I know. And we are going to be there! Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday in China. All Chinese start to escape back to their hometowns starting this weekend. And some will take three weeks off or even longer. A lot of shops and companies close. There is no domestic help in town, no drivers… so we are urged to flee from Beijing as well. Italy in winter is not the first option for a holiday when you live in Asia. But it is for us because we are awaited to indicate positions of electrical plugs and switches to start with – to decide on the color of the facades (yes it is on hold for us) - to get a feeling for the restructured space – and to decide on more plumbing work (this is on hold since the housewife got into trouble).


  1. What? a plumber that works fast. Where on earth did you find HIM

  2. ha ha...hang in there! I'm amazed that ANYTHING in italy works fast! - especially in the south!

  3. Maybe I am the slow one ?!