Well, on Monday I was going to write a nice blog post about Easter Sunday here, but instead I ended up updating my Facebook status with this little gem:
“All cycling and scootering in the formal dining room has been immediately suspended due to the current water level. Wake boarding or swimming will replace normal activities until further notice.”
Yes, our house here is big. Bigger than we’ll ever have stateside. The formal dining room holds a table that seats 10, a china hutch and a sideboard and still seems empty. At one point The International Man of Intrigue and I only half jokingly debated taping off a half court basketball court and holding three on three tournaments. Friends have suggested trampolines or a trapeze. The International Man of Intrigue and a friend insisted that with its second story balcony, it was impossible to eat at the table and not imagine an old west style shootout, complete with bad guys being shot and falling over the banister. Instead of turning it into a gymnasium or movie set, we opened it up for the Little Explorers (and just maybe their parents as well) to scooter or bicycle around. Until Monday night, that is.
The reason the formal dining room is so big is that it used to be an open courtyard. It was closed in and a plexiglass skylight was added before we moved in. That skylight has been the least of our worries. We have had the landlady’s “henchmen”, as I like to call them, over here about every other week working on our roof. We had powder post beetles (or more likely, termites) and they kept replacing parts of the ceiling and roof. The whole setup over our heads is sketchy at best. There are a lot of places in the house, especially in the kitchen, where you can see right outside. I guess all those decorators who want to bring nature indoors should come and check out this idea. Our ceilings are all exposed wood beams and really gorgeous, except for the powder post beetles or termites or whatever finds them tasty this week. On the other side of the ceiling, ostensibly protecting us from the elements, is tin sheeting and a bunch of broken terra cotta shingles. That’s all. Really. It looks like this:
Amazingly, we haven’t had too many problems, except for Monday night. Monsoon season is starting here, and while we’ve had some heavy rains off and on in the past, we’ve had rain every night for almost a week. In the past, we’ve had some leaks, but nothing that couldn’t be mopped up and moved on with. Monday, we got this:
Mind you, that bright red bucket holds about 10 gallons and filled over the halfway mark in a few minutes! I was pulling buckets and storage bins from wherever I could think of and The International Man of Intrigue was bailing, still in his work clothes! We called Facilities emergency number and someone headed out right away. We knew there wouldn’t be much he could do after hours while it was still monsooning outside. Unfortunately when he showed up it was just a guy in a tuk tuk. Not exactly helpful. He assessed the situation and told us he’d get in touch with the landlady so her henchmen could come and fix it. Then he asked if we had any more buckets or a squeegee or anything. Ummm…noooo…that’s why we called you!
Long story short, the henchmen were up on the roof the next day doing a temporary fix that should get us through the extra long weekend—it’s Sri Lanka’s New Year. Now if only they would evict the tropical squirrel/chipmunk that has taken up residence in our family room ceiling. But that, Fellow Adventurers, may be a tale (or tail) for another day.