Sunday, August 26, 2007

This Kitchen Is A Mess (And I Want To Go Home)

We finally took a trip into Shanghai proper and I took some good pictures around the Bund. Those will go up hopefully in the next few days. But for now some more complaining.

We have ants. Lots of ants. Bunches of them sneaking and crawling across our kitchen counters.

We had them pretty much from day two crawling around the dirty dishes in the sink. We moved everything out of the kitchen and I laid down some heavy duty ant spray outside the door (for their is a door that leads to a little balcony from the kitchen) and all over the trouble areas. This seemed to work.

It worked for a few days in fact and I moved all the stuff back in. The nearest supermarket is a ten minute taxi ride away and so we can only buy food and things in small batches. At this point the batches were pretty small indeed. I had all of our non-refrigerator food in one little cabinet.

Then the cabinet go ants. It was weird because the ants would seemingly have to go across the counter where I sprayed, or at least underneath the counters where I also sprayed to get to the food cabinet. Yet they were doing no such thing, they just seemed to magically appear in this cabinet.

Again I cleared everything out and sprayed like crap. At this point I'm beginning to worry about the effects of the poison as I'm pretty much layering my kitchen in it. This is doubly concerning as our little apartment doesn't really move air around much. But it was poison or ants and I chose poison.

Again this worked for a few days and I started putting food back. Again the ants are back, this time back to the sink again. They aren't in the droves they were before, but they are still her. Laughing at me. Mocking me.


I woke this morning to find my kitchen floor full of water. Well, it was more like I awoke, checked my e-mail, played a game, piddled around and eventually went into the kitchen where I found several puddles of water across my kitchen floor.

Curses were uttered and I began to look for the cause. The problem with the kitchen floor is that it isn't exactly level so it wasn't like I could follows the trail of water to the source. Like I said there were several puddle of water all clumped together, but no real trail. I checked the water bottle and found nothing (in fact we ran out of water yesterday.) I checked under all the counters and again found nothing.

Amy came in and said she heard a dripping noise last night, but thought it was the water bottles heating mechanism (I guess she didn't know it was empty). We continued to look and eventually found a small drip underneath the gas water heater.

Our kitchen is absolutely horribly designed. Every single cabinet has piping or duct work or something really obnoxious in it that should have been hidden inside the wall. In one of the upper cabinets is our gas water heater and all the pipes leading out of it. This is doubly obnoxious because every time you turn on the kitchen sink to a hot water setting, the gas ignites in a giant WHOOSH right next to my hear. I duck every time.

Anyways, one of the pipes was leaking. After a lot of sleuthing we decided the drip was seeping into the side of the cabinet, down through the wall behind the lower cabinet and out onto the floor. Sure enough the wall down by the floor was soaking wet.

We stuck a glass underneath the drip and went to complain to the LQ. We are amazingly lucky in that most of the folks at the LQ speak some amount of English. While this can be very frustrating when we want to explain in detail what is happening to our kitchen, with our complete lack of Chinese we are thrilled we can at least explain that there is a leak.

This explanation rendered an appointment on Monday. As the lead was pretty small we figured we could glass it until then. When we reached home the leak had increased. It was dripping very heavily from two places now. I called Brian and he called the LQ saying maintenance was needed now.

The guy came quick and fixed the leak (which was now back to a drip and thus made me feel stupid.) I tried to explain the whole leaking through the wall thing, but he speaks no English and I still speak no Chinese so it was pretty much impossible.

Thus the war with the extra water is not over. Not by a long shot.

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