I Am A Creature And I Want My Comforts
SOMETIMES HAVING THINGS DIFFERENT IS GOOD…SOMETIMES NOT SO GOOD.
I’m a person who likes his creature comforts. I like being warm when it’s cold outside. I like to take a shower with hot water. I want to have the toilet flush when I push the handle. Am I asking too much?
I am in much of Ireland it seems.
It looks like there are different standards of expected comfort. In every place we have stayed in Ireland, not just on this trip, but over the last 13 years of my personal experience.
At home in the U.S. there is a thermostat on the wall that lets me adjust the temperature 24 hours a day. In Ireland there is a timer. The house we are in now has heat…from 8 to 9 AM and then again for an hour in the evening. That’s it. If you want to be warm during those other hours…put on another sweater and make a pot of tea. When I questioned this I was met with looks that said, “Duh! What’s the problem?”
I was informed that I could adjust the timing by following the instructions in the house manual, flipping switches and turning on the hot water radiators in whatever room I want heated.
The same thing applies to my desire to take a hot shower. Turn on the hot water, wait about twenty minutes, and then shower quickly. If you want to have hot water in the kitchen and/or bathroom sinks that’s a different set of switches to be flipped.
While there has not been much we could do about getting hot water for showering and other needs we did come up with a “solution” (And I use the word loosely) to the rooms that could double as meat lockers.
We dropped a few Euros and bought a couple of electric space heaters that we can plug in and raise the temperature in a room to non-hypothermia levels. At night they are in the bedroom and during the day one is in the Kitchen and the other in the Living Room where the big screen TV is located. It is not a great solution, but it is one that keeps me from becoming frost covered in my jammies at night. Big heavy comforters on the bed are wonderful, but they are enough when they are frozen too.
The other area where my American Standard of Efficiency dominates my brain is, quite simply, flushing the damn toilet!
The Irish are a clean people. They even have a nationwide contest called “Tidy Towns” when every little village and town competes to make themselves clean, neat, and…tidy. Then why can’t they install toilets that don’t require instructional tutorials to operate? In this current house the toilet requires a certain ritual before it will do its one single, rather simple, task.
After two frustrating days with mixed successful results one of our Alaskan Cousins discovered the secret key to effluvial banishment. To induce a good and proper flush one must push down the handle four times in quick succession before the flushing process will begin. Water will begin to churn in the bowl and…if you are lucky, what was there will be gone. If you push the handle more or fewer times all bets are off.
And then the reservoir tank will noisily refill – maybe. We ended up removing the lid off of the tank and assisting the refill by pouring in a pitcher or five of (cold) tap water.
Call me fussy. Call me curmudgeonly. Call me a snob. But you can also call me an old guy who wants his simple creature comforts.