The Penguin and The Plumber

The sheets, the book and some terrible pegs that break when touhed.

I mentioned in my previous post that my Dad bought me ‘The Penguin Lessons’ by Tom Michell for Christmas. I was a little dubious, but Dad is generally pretty spot on with book gifting so I gave it a go. Today I finished it with a tear in my eye and a little sadness that I had turned the last page.

The book brought back some memories of backpacking in Argentina but also reminded me that I’m embarking on another adventure right now (granted it may be slightly less remarkable than befriending a penguin in South America).

Another reminder that things are a little different to normal was the plumber who arrived at 9am today — half an hour early which is astonishing in a place where most people run on what I call ‘mediterranean time’. Yesterday the man who came to install the internet modem ‘between 8am and midday’ arrived at 1:45pm.

The only English word the plumber seemed to know was ‘water’ and I have to admit my Maltese is somewhat lacking. He ambled over to the washing machine and started fiddling about behind it and for a minute or two I watched him wondering if I should offer him something to drink, then retreated to my bedroom to send some emails.

When I returned to the living area he had disconnected the bendy tube/pipe (technical term) from behind the machine and seemed completely unconcerned by the purple tide spreading across the floor. This of course caused by bed linen, kindly left for me by the landlady, which leaked a significant amount of dye when I attempted to wash it. My discovery of a large purple puddle around the machine had been the reason the plumber was called in the first place. After much fiddling and his repetition of ‘Water? Water! Water…’ and some gesturing, I think he explained what the problem had been and that he had fixed it. We both mopped up the pool on the floor and then he went on his way and I sat down and finished the book.

When I felt brave enough I collected the sodden sheets and ventured to the roof to hang them out to dry. I felt very mediterranean hanging the linen to dry in the wind and sun. I’m sure my terrace is not too disimilar to the one that Juan Salvador the penguin spent much of his time, except maybe for the large purple sheets billowing from the line.