Saturday, August 28, 2010

Being Useless

During lunch today, our cook (Gabby) was fixing a bike. I got really excited:
“Oo what are you doing? Can I help? Can I do it? Fixing a bike is about the only useful thing I know how to do!” [Thank you River Rye Lovec and “Happy F*cking Chain Day”…my favorite day during our bike trip.]
This might not capture it, but I was REAL excited to show off my skills. Life gets a little boring and repetitive when you’re completely useless. When you don’t know the language, you don’t know how to turn on the oven, you don’t know how to insert a column in excel with using only shortcut keys (and then deleting it), you don’t know how to drive stick…etc…etc…etc… So I was super excited (and proud!) to show off that I actually know how to do something.
Gabby wouldn’t let me help.
I grabbed the tools from him anyways, insisting that he was just fixing the brakes and I could do it.
Then I realized that he was actually installing a kickstand. I don’t know how to install a kickstand. I’ve never even ridden a bike that has a kickstand. Disillusioned, I was forced to just put the tool down and walk away.
Fast forward 3 hours.
I walk past my bathroom and there is water literally GUSHING out of the wall. Not out of the sink or out of the furnace thing…because that might make sense…just straight out of the wall. And if it wasn’t for the drain in the middle of the bathroom, it would have been very well flooded.
A quick analysis of the situation, and I decide that this is a big problem. Big enough to forego the chocolates that I was intending to steal from Zack’s room. Lauren is sitting in her room, right next to the bathroom, I rush to tell her about the MAJOR problem happening right next door. She seems unconcerned.
I do a mental run down of my options: fix it myself (ha), find Gabby, ask Rene.
Option 1: Even though living with Sarah Koo often forced me to act braver and smarter than I really am, (There’s a wasp and a snake in the basement? Hmm…let’s put them in a container together and let them battle it out?) I have never dealt with water gushing out of the wall.
Option 2: I made a fool of myself in front of Gabby at lunch.
Option 3: But I made a fool of myself in front of Rene too. And he knows English better so he’s better at teasing.
I choose Option 2.
It appears Gabby is not around. Check the bathroom – water is still gushing (What a waste of such good water pressure! I consider taking advantage and just showering in it)…and then I forfeit myself to calling Rene in for help.
I am apparently not too good at the damsel-in-distress thing because Rene takes his sweet time to respond to my urgent plea. I imagine that by this point the bathroom flood has reached my toiletries, or at least wonder if I can run and get some chocolate while waiting for Rene.
When he gets there, I am torn between watching and learning, or getting chocolate. (It was 3pm, I was getting towards cranky mood.) But ultimately, I am disappointed to see that all he does it turn off the pipe right under the sink…and then it stops. I hadn’t noticed that knob before and suddenly feel embarrassed and…you guessed it…useless. I think I looked quite pathetic really. I had obviously over-exaggerated the “flood” in my bathroom, and then hadn’t even tried/tested the most obvious method for stopping it.
My only savior here is that we then went to investigate Lauren’s room because it’s right on the other side of the flood and mysterious-water-gushing-wall (caused by a burst pipe in the wall), and it turns out that her closet has been wet for “months” but she didn’t feel the need to tell anybody. Literally, she pulled clothing out of her closet that was wet from water coming through the wall.
I may be useless and unable to install a kickstand, but at least I didn’t let a wet closet go unfixed or undocumented for months? 

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