Thursday, September 29, 2005

Flood season

Obviously the whole year seems to be flood season in Romania if 2005 is anything to go by. But that's your macro-flood. This week is (in Csikszereda at least) micro-flood season. This is inundation not on the river valley or vast plain level, but on a much smaller scale. Mostly confined to the individual apartment, for example. Or often one apartment and all the apartments directly below it.

This is because it's the week that the heating gets turned on. The way heating works here is that each neighbourhood has this large central factory like building in which they generate all the hot water for the whole district. For the warmer months this means just the water that comes out of the taps, but in the winter they have to up the capacity and start pumping it around the radiator circuit as well. It's not in the least bit cold yet, and in fact the last few days have been gloriously warm and sunny, but it's the end of September and hence, by some arcane system it is time to turn on the heating.

But of course when the heating is turned on after 6 months being off, during which time people have repainted their apartments or moved things around or things have rusted or even detached the radiators to clean or paint behind them, there is the very real chance that water will start dripping, trickling or in the worst case spraying wildly out of the joints or out of cracks in the piping. And so, this is the week when there are numerous cases of water dripping from your upstairs neighbours and vast amounts of work for plumbers and radiator repair men.

It seems our apartment and those above us are OK. Which is good news. Erika's school on the other hand had a problem and they got an irate lower neighbour screaming blue murder at them. I've just got back from the shop having bought him a free tub of white paint, courtesy of the school. No idea if that will pacify him, but what else can you do?

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