Friday, April 27, 2012

All it does is rain...

It must be spring; I think it's rained every single day since Whitney left. Apparently we're in a drought here in the UK. It's the wettest drought I've ever experienced. I was at a restaurant the other night and asked for tap water. They said their water machine got turned off at 3pm because of the water rationing. I was in wet clothes because I had just been outside in the rain. My face revealed my confusion. 

It's been a relatively uneventful week aside from the rain (and the consequences of rain, which I'll get to in a moment). 

Kenz and I have gotten used to riding on the bottom level of the double decker busses. Does that mean we're locals?

Apparently you get a trophy for going to church here. 

At our local pub, The Tiger. It's better than what Kenz's face is saying. I promise. 
 The rain has been taking its toll on Kenz and I. I usually don't mind rain. It's not that big a deal to me - so I get  a little bit wet on my way around town - no biggie. 

Well, that's what I thought until I experienced something I thought only happened in the movies and/or cartoons. Two days ago, I was walking home, minding my own business, and just generally happy to be alive. Maybe I was oblivious. Maybe I was being an idiot. I was just walking alongside the road on the sidewalk ("pavement" in UK terms), when a huge truck ("lorrie") whizzed past me. McKenzie's luck must have rubbed off on me, because the timing was uncannily perfect: the truck hit a huge puddle at the same time it was passing me. A tsunami of water rose into the air and splashed me from head to toe. I was stunned, flabbergasted, shocked. I stood there, alone, wet, and speechless - my mouth agape, jaw hitting the ground. "Did that seriously just happen," I asked myself, soaked. I watched the truck speed off and thought to myself, that asshole probably meant to do that! But the moment was over as quickly as it started. The truck was gone and I was covered in street water. Sure, getting rained on isn't that big a deal, but having the collected water from a nasty south London street wash over you is an entirely different thing. Luckily, I was on my way home. 

I posted this picture to a social networking site, and a London friend commented, "Don't wear beige." Now I understand why everyone in this city wears jeans. 

The other side effect of rain is leaks. As I've mentioned, the building we live in is over 100 years old. Last week, I was sitting on the couch, again - minding my own business, when I heard the pitter patter of water. I looked up and water was running from the ceiling, down the hanging lamp, soaking the spherical paper lamp shade, and falling directly onto the various electronic devices that were sitting on the coffee table. At first, I just stared at it, confused. I didn't realize that the water was coming from the ceiling - I was dumbfounded as to how the lamp was producing the water. Shortly thereafter, happy that no one was there to see my confusion, I got into action with a bucket and towel. 

The letting agents, who manage the place, were "quick" to respond with, "we'll get to your problem soon" or something like that. Stereotypical UK customer service. 

The leak stopped and I eventually forgot about it. Then the rain hit hard again this week, and the leak returned. However, this time, the water was falling from above and seeping up between the floorboards! Walking around in the living room area sounded and felt like walking through a swamp. I went to the flat directly above us and found out that their situation is just as bad. Same goes for the flat directly below us as well. 

The response each of us has received from our letting agents is "we have to wait for the rain to stop before we can get contractors to fix the problem," which is funny, considering the fact that directly behind our building is a massive construction site wherein workers are laying brick and building an apartment complex six days a week. Whatevs. The leaks only happen when it rains really, really hard. 

Our landlord knows that he'll probably have to get workers to replace the floorboards and fix the water damage on the inside of these walls and ceiling. I can rest, happy that I don't own the place. Home ownership is a special type of joy I haven't had to deal with while over here - and for that I'm grateful. 

We had to send photos of the damage to the landlord

You can see where the water is running down the corner of the walls

Kenz: Do you think it's safe to use these sockets?

In other news, Kenz has taken to ignoring me when she gets home from school. I think she's happy to have some time without visitors, so that she can continue her campaign in the latest video game...

Who plays a video game on their stomach?

She didn't even know I was taking these pictures
That's all for this week. We're getting out tonight to another play, thanks to the "secret club."

Have a good weekend!