There are some things in our Shanghai house that make me chuckle. Here are just a couple.
1) The faucets. My faucets are labeled Kalt and Caldo. His are Caldo and Warm. Hmm….. Mix and match languages and meanings. I had to look up some of the meanings, and learned that I have German Cold on the left and Italian Hot on the right. He has Italian Hot and English Warm. Why “Warm” and not “Hot?” Or perhaps Warm means something in another language… I am thankful that the handles on the left actually do control hot water and we don’t have just hot and warm or two colds. Maybe this is the equivalent of Americans getting tattoos with Chinese characters that are meaningless.
2) Wiring. The other day our land-line telephone stopped working, so I called the house management company. They told me that we probably hadn’t paid our phone bill and that phone service had been cut off for non-payment. This was an actual possibility, as we had been on vacation and left the phone bill with someone back in Shanghai to pay (sounds strange, but it’s pretty common to have someone else pay your bills here). After momentarily freaking out that all our utilities were going to be shut off, we confirmed that the bills had been paid while we were on holiday, and I asked the housing people to send someone out to investigate. Three service calls later, a repairman narrowed it down to a loose wire in one of the control boxes, as shown. Looking at the box, I’m not surprised.
Now, here is what confuses me. In our garage, we also have some fuse boxes, which I actually know how to use, from my many years as a home-owner. Why are they taped shut with “DANGER” tape, while the spaghetti-wire box is wide open?
More on other house quirks later…