Thursday, August 07, 2008

Kitchen geology

Last winter was dry and warm. Or maybe the stars were badly aligned. Whatever the cause was, our house moved. The south part of the kitchen drifted away from the north part, creating a milimetre wide rift valley between the stove and the sink. In the bathroom, the west bit with the tub moved south whereas the east bit stayed in place, creating a bajillion of tiny cracks on the floor and the cement between the tiles fell out. The worst thing happened in the hallway where the same movement that lifted the Himalayas almost 9000m from the seabed to the today's peaks peeled off the tiles and created a miniature hill that effectively blocked the main door from opening properly.

After half a year of sneaking sideways in our own house, mom asked my cousin who is a locksmith and who knows people, to find someone to fix it. Cousin knows a guy who can do this type of work and since this type of work includes building safes or door frames in the walls, the guy is able to manage even without a major mess. He peeled off the tiles that stuck out and I was sent with him to get some matching tiles for the patch.

In the store, the shop assistant inspected the tile suspiciously, said that there's no way of having anything in this colour and that it's a porous tile and.... it's not a floor tile, it's a wall tile. Which explains why the floor in the hallway had been lousy ever since and why every dropped object caused a chip. I would like to point out that this is one of the less nice bits of living under the Commies: you bought what they had, not what you liked or wanted. And, since my parents are not idiots who would place wall tiles on the floor, notably on the floor that was expected to be used, it means that the idiot was the shop assistant.

I said that the tiles could be cobalt blue. It would be nice in the dark brown hallway. Mom screamed that cobalt blue is awful and dark and no, no, no way. We argued, she said that maybe some beige or gray would go nicely with the browns. Or orange or yellow. Erm, orange or yellow along with Vandyke brown would cause a creative diarrhoea effect, I explained in veiled terms. Then mom pointed to a ceramic bowl saying that this sort of blue would be nice. I said Indeed, cobalt blue, that's what I've been telling you all the time. No, she replied, not that dark one, the light blue one. Yes, cobalt blue, I said again. No, cobalt blue is the deep blue one. No, that's Prussian blue, I explained. It went for a while but the good point is that I had my way.

Life is sometimes fair so they had nice cobalt blue tiles with matching surface structure and I bet they'll be pretty. They should be laid when I'm back from work. Hopefully, no home version of the continental drift will appear too soon.

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