Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Aren't you glad your kitchen doesn't look like this?

In the very earliest days of this blog, I shared a bit about the Polish style of running wires. At the moment, I have the opportunity to observe it all over again. Because...

I have a very, very tiny kitchen. It's a galley-style kitchen, barely six feet wide on the longest side, and less than six feet on the shorter side. I have seen closets bigger than this kitchen. The only thing that keeps it from feeling like a cave is the generous window on the wall opposite the door.

I'm glad the window is there, but it does completely preclude that wall from being used in any functional way. When we moved in here, there was an iron sink bolted to the wall at exactly the right height for my eight year old to wash dishes, but a back-breaking level for anyone else to use. About ten inches from the bare iron sink (no counter, no cabinet underneath) sat the stove, which reached all the way to the wall, nestled into a corner. On that side of the kitchen, there was not so much as a place to lay a spoon while cooking. Here's the sink:

The other side of the kitchen is the place for a refrigerator (half-size, to fit under the counter), some cabinets with counters, and a few cupboards up above. To say that this kitchen was inadequate for a family of six is only to state the painfully obvious.

Thanks to some generous gifts from friends in the states, we are re-doing the kitchen. Hallelujah!

This is what the inside of a Polish wall is like. There was some tile on the lower half that has been removed. Notice that one pipe was already buried in the wall. That's the cold water, and when the house was built, that's all there was. Cold. Water. At some point, hot water was added. The pipe comes up through the floor from the hot water heater below, but it ran along the outside of the wall.

The faucet was attached to the wall above the sink. Pretty, yes?

Now, new pipes have been installed, burying both the hot and cold in the wall, and coming out lower, so that the faucet can be fitted from the counter top.

And channels have been chiseled for the electrical wires for the nice new outlets we need.

And the whole thing has been now been covered up again, quite roughly, with cement/plaster.

We have one remarkable worker doing the construction, the plumbing, and the electrical work. This is two days' work so far. Meals and clean-up are not too fun right now. But it's only a matter of time until it's up and running, and I can't wait.

Further bulletins as events warrent...


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