New wine in old wineskins

the old wineskins

So much for a simple life (re: previous post).

This afternoon I made an appointment for a plumbing service. The water keeps leaking into the toilet bowl. We’ve had a similar problem before, although it was a bit different. Last time the water leaked out to the floor, now it leaks into the toilet bowl. And, the last time I called a plumber, the whole service took only about 10 minutes. So I guess it wouldn’t be a big deal, either, this time around. In fact, the service should have been done on Saturday. But, on Saturday morning I checked the bowl and the drip seemed to be very insignificant, compared to Friday night’s flow. But on Sunday the leak became faster again and afterwards it was chaotic, on and off like a sinusoidal function. So I decided to made another appointment today (the timing couldn’t be any better, just nice at the tail of this long weekend).

The plumber arrived around 630pm, and, again, I thought at most it would only take 30 minutes. I’ve taken my shower before he came so that I could go to NTU afterwards (for you-know-what). But, well, sometimes (or, often) life turned its way to the more complicated route. The plumber said that we needed to change the flushing system, since the rubber which held the water was spoilt. That’s why the water keeps leaking into the toilet bowl.

And the fee increased astronomically. I thought it would only cost $40 (like the last time around), but because of this, we needed to pay four times of that amount. Well, to be fair, the 10 minutes became 2 hour, and he installed a new equipment, as well, so the cost might be justifiable, especially if it were landlord-sponsored, as it is, indeed (spoken with a silent yay).

the culprit

I also stayed with him throughout the process, since I felt a bit cheated the last time we had a service — they closed the door and I could only wait from outside. If I remembered correctly, my father always fixed and put into rights everything in our house by himself. And I want to be like him, and that’s why I need to learn to change from GYAH-I’M-SO-PANIC-HURRY-CALL-911 mode to D.I.Y. mode. I believe now I’ve learnt something about flushing system and might be able to do it by myself if needed again (the bonus is it was landlord-sponsored; the yay was not so silent, afterall).

Things became more complicated when we found that the new water pump didn’t fix quite well with the whole system. The baloon (see image at the top, it’s the black thing) was stucked. That’s why no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins. Heck, the baloon might burst! So we twisted and turned, cut and pasted (for real, it’s not copyrighted by the Evil One, you know), until finally we could fit the baloon into the new system (I felt a bit proud, also, since I was the one who suggested the modification — well, I’m an engineer, you know that).

Then we tested the old wineskins with the new wine. Dang. It tasted good. The water leaked no more and everything looked brand new (sort of). Mission accomplished. Well done, my good and faithful friend. Let’s celebrate together! (well, we gave him some drinks)

where I spent my mornings blissfully

Finally, a few wrinkles in a such enriching experience overall. First, I distrusted the plumber once, when I thought he was re-using the spoilt part into the new system, but I was pointing at the wrong part. The plumber assured me that he wouldn’t cheat me. Yeah, I was told by my father to be not so naïve if outsiders got hold of your items (e.g., electronic equipments), so I guess that’s another reason I kept my eye on the whole process. But I guess we need to learn to trust each other better, as well. A community must be built on trust or it will crumble into pieces.

Second, we called the owners, since we thought they needed to know about this (esp. about the price). And, lo and behold, they came, both the husband and the wife. The husband was a nice person, he understood the problem well enough, although he said to me that it would be better if I informed him earlier, since recently he just fixed his own toilet by himself. If I had informed him earlier, he might be able to help and the cost might be lower. Anyway, that’s the husband for you. About the wife, let’s just say that they complemented each other very well. I won’t say anything more than that.

Or not. The wife asked (to put it mildly) for a cheaper price to the plumber and they had a small quarrel because of that. Well, I guess that’s the reason why the Chinese are the Chinese. They are Principle of Economics made flesh. To maximize profit and minimize cost runs in their (nah, our) blood.

Again, so much for a simple life. As soon as after I posted the previous post, life turned into its ugly head. Or, perhaps, ugly according to our eyes, but it’s actually beautiful in his. Again, at least the complex one is real. You need to deal with real people with all sorts of personalities etc. As difficult as they might be, it shows that they are human.

I would end with another (perhaps impure) echo of Scripture. When we finished, it was almost 9pm. Then I bought my dinner at the Long John Silvers. I always liked to ask for more crumbs whenever I ordered (at best, junk) food at the LJS. Well, even dogs eat the crumbs that children drop from the table. And I have no idea why I remembered this verse when I asked for more crumbs today. Perhaps I was just tired. Or that I was simply weird.

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