Having lived in a variety of conditions in remote parts of Indonesia, I'm okay with whatever faces me when it comes to showers...and yet...my expectation of a hot shower in Europe this morning was, as it turns out, a bit out of line. It seemed to go from ice cold to not quite ice cold. Fortunately, I remember when we were shown the flat yesterday I recalled seeing a hot water heater about the size of a beer keg in a strange closet accessible by one of the landings on the stairwell.
Sure enough, I opened it up and saw this:
|Keg-sized hot water heater (note where the needle is pointed).|
Of course, after crawling inside the closet (you need to pull a gymnastics move to get up into there), I poked around a little more and saw that both the water inlet valve and the gas valve were both in what looked to me like the open position (valves that rotate 1/4 turn...open is parallel with the pipe, closed is perpendicular to it). Of course, I then found an electrical switch which had markings on it, and I must confess, I wasn't sure which meant on or off. I chose to flip it where it wasn't...but nothing seemed to happen.
|Switch in the "on" position.|
When we came back from dinner tonight, Hailey and Sean were the guinea pigs. We advised to be quick, and to their credit, both managed to have showers and both reported that the water was indeed hot! So, tomorrow morning...I get a nice hot shower!
This whole thing brings up some interesting questions about switches, interactions, affordances and feedback. It would have been nice if there was something that could have alerted me that the tank was "heating" so I needn't worry all day (even better if last night I got a reminder to turn on the hot water heater...), AND that Americans like myself may NOT understand "universal" symbols like those for on and off.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll write about the insane lock on the door and the number of stairs we climb every time we arrive and depart our flat! But for now...it's bed time.