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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
Coplas in the bathroom 
12th-Dec-2006 03:41 pm
Let me see..
The plumber was singing coplas (a kind of Spanish folksong) as he fixed the toilet. "Gee, there's a quite a few things broken here," he said when he first lifted the lid on the tank.

I knew that. Toilets here contain a bewilderment of parts, and I knew that the water intake contraption leaked as well as the column that controlled both the flushing mechanism and the shutoff valve -- one of the shutoff valves. The other valve float seemed to stick a bit. Something also vibrated so loud that the neighbors may have noticed. And the flush trip mechanism didn't fit securely.

So he took all the Rube Goldberg plastic doohickeys out, put in new and what looked like more complex ones, checked his work, cleaned up nicely, and took our money (a mere 80 euros/US$105). It is now safe "to change the water in the canary cage," as they say here.
12th-Dec-2006 04:14 pm (UTC)
Ok, so have you been wasting water in the drought? Or did this crazy concatenation of complex parts help to conserve water? Were you just doing the LA thing of 'if it's yellow, let it mellow?' And will the new contraption thingy work? Oh, and how long has it been like this? And finally, shouldn't we change the newspaper in their cage? (What a bizarre expression.)

14th-Dec-2006 06:45 pm (UTC) - Bubble, bubble, toilet trouble
The drought started in 2004 and ended in mid-November 2006. We started wasting wate rin late November 2006, so we're safe on that point. It took a little while for the plumber to arrive due to the Immaculate Constitution super-long weekend.

The complex parts seem to flush the toilet similar to the way that a non-complex American toilet mechanism accomplishes the same thing.

The idea of not flushing unless absolutely necessary has not seemed to occur to Spaniards yet.

Yes, canaries need clean cages and food, but also water -- and probably more stuff too. Canaries are popular pets in Spain. People put them out on their balconies (in cages, obviously) to serenade the street, and it's lovely to hear them. The Canary Islands are part of Spain. "Canary" refers to the many dogs (canines) that populated the island at some point in history.

This reply is late because I had deadlines for some translating projects. Sorry.
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