Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Plumbing - Libyan Style

The following is a report from my trusty, on the spot reporter, friend and confidant, Sydney.

Plumbing - Libyan Style

We recently decided to replace all the leaky taps and tubes in the bathroom . Plumbing in Libya is a exercise in adventure land not like there in the States where you boldly go where any man dares in the hardware store. The hardware stores here carry the bare minimum of fixtures and the rudiments only, as a general rule but sometimes you come across a store that has the latest things from Romania, Slavica, Italy, or even wonders of wonders, England. We are able to see how the developed world plumbs and it is a eye opener for some here.

I started out needing to replace the tube/hose on the hot water heater, the hand sink, the little tube that we have here in Libya that is attached to a nozzle that one uses to rinse off with after using the facilities instead of using toilet paper, the fawcett on the washing machine hook up, a new shower head, and a new fawcett for the hand sink as well. Plus find and stop the leak under the toilet. Easy? Maybe.

The first plumber came to appraise the situation and said yes, yes, ah-hum and I see. Then he got out his trusty sledge hammer and proceeded to knock out a few tiles to investigate the cause of the toilet leak, as One does, of course! We decide that perhaps he wasn’t the one.

The second plumber seemed to know what was what. He came and didn't immediately start saying Hum, I see, and ah hum; no this apparently wise man stood tall, silently observed the way things worked or didn't as the case may be. I took that as a good sign, wouldn't you? That's good I said to myself. So, in this frame of mind I gladly handed over to this wise plumber money to go buy the bits and bobs that were needed to bing and a bong in my bathroom and restore it to it's glory days. He did. He binged, and he bonged with mighty gusto! Things flew, things crashed! I never doubted that when he finished my bathroom would ever have looked so wonderful or functioned so well. He finished and it was a wonder to behold! I had gold and silver fawcett's, the latest hi-tech devices that you might need a Masters degree in function and design to use. The new shower head pulsed and rotated and did the hoke-poke. The fawcett it was attached to looked like a stealth bomber. It was intimidating. The new fawcett's for the washing machine outlet and the refreshment tubes were equipped with handles that were miniscule to say the least. In all it's new shiny glory the bathroom glowed. I said ah, and sighed contentedly. It was good.

Two days later I noticed water on the floor in front of the toilet. Hum? Then the new fawcett for the washing machine out let started to leak after the first use, drip, drip, drip! The new flush handle on the toilet, that incedently it did not need to begin with, would stick and cause the toilet to run non stop unless you jiggled the handle. The new refreshment nozzle was too big to fit in the places it was designed to go. Hum? Well, it is at least a work of art, my new improved bathroom.

I have to go now . . . I am on a quest, to find a new plumber.
From The Condo On The Seaside


  1. I am amazed !! What a cleaver and informative article your reporter has written ! What a Whit !I laughed so much !Thank you for such a funny acount of plumbing in Libya !

  2. Totaly unrelated but ..... Please consider making a post spot on your " About Me " ledgen where peopl could write comments concerning thier thoughts on things in General , not pertaining to topic related subjects . Example .... I think that your blogspot is very well thought out . I like your formate . It is easy to read . not boring as some pthers I have read and easily informative .

  3. In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California, with respect to
    the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain
    is very appropriate:

    "The Pledge of Allegiance" - by Senator John McCain

    As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war
    during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in
    solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from
    these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to
    a room.

    This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of
    the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000
    miles from home.

    One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.

    Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of
    shoes until he was 13 years old.

    At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to
    Officer Training School Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot
    down and captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the
    opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and
    want to succeed.

    As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners
    to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs,
    scarves and other items of clothing.

    Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he
    created an American flag and sewed on the inside of his shirt.

    Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt
    on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part of our
    day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most
    important and meaningful event.

    One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically, and
    discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.

    That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the
    benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours.
    Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as
    well as we could.

    The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we
    slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

    As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the
    excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath
    that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo
    needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost
    shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was
    not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making
    that flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our
    allegiance to our flag and country.

    So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance, you must never forget
    the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our
    nation and promote freedom around the world.

    You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the
    republic for which it stands, one nation

    under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    PASS THIS ON... and on... and on! You can even send it back to me, I don't
    mind, because its worth reading again

  4. I'm not sure what the flag story has in common with Libyan plumbing - but hey, I guess we can have freedom of speech here... or something like that...


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