Moving obstacles

When I wrote about the new bedroom closet a  few days ago I hoped that there would be no surprises, because there have been unforeseen obstacles at just about every step along the way to moving into our new apartment. Of course there were obstacles again.

We were not surprised at all to discover that the closet was not as we had ordered it. Luckily, in this case it was only a matter of having gotten the wrong doors: there were mirrors on too many of them, so the effect is rather dizzying. We had wanted fewer mirrors exactly to avoid that effect.

They will replace the doors at no cost to us, but because this is not Ikea furniture the solution is not simply to drive there and pick up the right parts like we did with the kitchen. This closet is made to order and we can expect to wait six to ten weeks for the right doors.

Just as we were relieved that this incident wasn’t really any obstacle at all, we discovered the next bit. Rice discovered that a kitchen closet was soaked with water. On investigating we discovered that the water supply to the sink was leaky. But the water was not coming from the sink hose, it was coming from the tap in the wall. We could not replace that but needed a solution fast.

It just so happens that we have recently switched some of our insurances over to Allianz because as an employee I get better rates and conditions there. We chose an add-on to the home insurance called something like “home assistance” which is where you call for help when you have a leaky tap on a weekend evening. Perfect.

So we called, and had a friendly plumber arrive at six o’clock on a Sunday evening. He would fix the problem and we’d only have to pay materials. How cool is that? It’s well worth the €14 per year for that insurance add-on.

To replace the tap, he needed to turn off the main water pipe to the apartment. Next obstacle: that valve was stuck open and would not budge no matter how much he sweated and cursed. In the end we actually had to go into the basement and turn off the main water supply to four apartments including ours. (We told the neighbors before we turned the water off—that’s one way of meeting your neighbors!)

Now the leaky tap could be replaced and the water turned back on. But we still have a stuck main valve, so I’ll need to talk to the building management to have them fix that. And to fix it, it’s going to be another dirty pipe mess. We should be used to it by now…

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