Sunday, May 1, 2011

The End of This Story is Like a Coldplay Song

No I didn't wee in a glass! It is our tap water
on the left compared to bottled water on the right- nice!
Probably the most time consuming thing I have had to do in India so far, is to try and explain to somebody who probably has to share an outside toilet, that doesn’t even have a flush, that our plumbing is inappropriate and needs fixing. For obvious reasons if you are an expat living in India and your toilet is broken you are screwed, so when I discovered we had this problem I was somewhat distressed. In the morning, I walked into the bathroom to see that the toilet was leaking from the cistern (the top bit of the toilet, for those of you lesser versed in the art of plumbing) all over the floor, I then embarrassingly realised that the flush wasn’t working. Dismayed, I dragged Praveen, our housekeeper into the bathroom and showed him the leakage; he didn’t seem fazed at all ‘What’s wrong?’ he asked in broken English ‘Its only little bit leaking’. Slightly surprised at his lack of sympathy, I continued to show him that the flush wasn’t working, in the hope that he would realise that there actually was a problem. ‘It take 15 minutes for tank to fill, then it will work,’ he replied in a tone which suggested that this was perfectly acceptable. ‘It needs to be fixed properly! No leaking!’ I answered; with the state of our bowls in India we cannot be waiting 15 minutes between flushes, we needed a plumber and we needed one ASAP.
When the plumber finally did arrive, I was required, once again to explain, to a man who didn’t speak a word of English, that all I wanted was a fully functioning flushing system (a bit of alliteration for you there). After an exhausting 10 minutes of sign language, he started work, 5 minutes later he finished and left. ‘Fixed now madam’ Praveen said and left the flat quicker than lightning. Thinking that this was very suspicious behaviour, I went into the bathroom to check out the handy work, and low and behold the toilet was still leaking and the flush was still delayed. I was not happy, I ran to the top of stairs and called Praveen back up, he didn’t  answer, so I ran down the stairs as fast as my legs could carry me and intercepted him on the 5th floor as he exited the lift. ‘It's still not right Praveen’ I said. Clearly annoyed that I had caught up with him, he explained that it was only a little drip now and that the flush only took 10 minutes to work! As the tears welled up in my eyes Praveen seemed to thaw for a moment and said he would sort it, he came back up to the flat and called the plumber again. This time the plumber actually brought some tools with him which I thought was much more promising and I watched whilst he changed some of the piping around. Success! We had a leaky toilet no longer! However, we now have yellow water flushing the toilet so it constantly looks like a wee has been left behind, our tap water is yellow and our shower water is yellow!! I’m not looking forward to explaining that ‘yellow water’ is not acceptable to Praveen on Monday morning. And did I mention the water is YELLOW? Breathe!!!! 


  1. hi......
    friends your blog is beautiful. i like this blog.
    plumber los angeles ca

  2. Thank you! It's appreciated! : )

  3. WOW!

    You managed to make an Indian plumber fix a leak in ONE SINGLE DAY! :-o

    Who ARE you? :-P

    And that tap-water's will get worse.... because its most probably from a rusted tank.

  4. Easy explanation - I cried! ; )


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