Fixing the world. With Youtube.

Our heating went out right after it had been warm for a few days. I had actually drafted a post on how spring was coming but refrained from posting it- the second reading revealed that it contained no message more meaningful than that there’s a still a place in Den Haag that sells “koffie verkeert”, instead of the more trendy term latte. I get excited about these things, but I am afraid you don’t so I decided not to share those particular musings with the world.

At any rate, it had been so warm that I had dared to sleep with an open window and the heating off for the first time in ages. Karma had objections, and so the heating promptly went out. You must understand that our house is so old and so terribly insulated that a) our heating system is essentially a bunch of pipes assembled in random fashion and b) once you turn off the heating, the temperature drops within minutes. I woke up to a room being 12 degrees cold, turned on the heating and waited. It dawned on me that something was wrong when the shower stopped producing warm water, and quickly we found ourselves with a situation.

A few weeks back, when assembling a lamp, we had turned off the electricity, which subsequently refused to go back on. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the affected room in our apartment was also wired to the entire apartment underneath ours, resulting in the poor inhabitants down there spending an evening in the dark. This time we weren’t going to let it come that far and take matters into our own hands. Christoph had recently demonstrated that Youtube yields all kinds of useful life-guidance (he taught himself the guitar, relying effectively on nothing but Youtube) and so Margot found video instructions on how to fix the heating. Picture a calm voice giving Dutch instructions to the finest of elevator music. Obviously, our system didn’t quite correspond to the cleanly wired once on the video, but we decided to go for it anyway. And so before we knew it we had disassembled a faucet, connected a hose to some random pipe, and once the water started flowing, the pressure in the heating went back up, which had been the issue causing our problems. When it still didn’t work we had the mechanic come, who took a quick look, told us that all had been done right- but some switch wasn’t turned on. A switch we had never touched, that is. He then charged us an exorbitant amount of money for the 2 minutes of work (thankfully covered by the landlord) and left.

We were invited at my our friend Gert’s new apartment tonight, which seemed like a great place to live. Sometimes I long for some proper housing, where the walls don’t shake when the wind blows and you feel a breeze of air in the room even though the windows are closed. Something that has a basic level of cleanliness we might never achieve.   But then I would sit in my great room and the sun shines in through my massive windows and I would remember why I like living in this patchwork of a house. Whenever I move out, I’ll certainly take great memories with me. And the reaffirmed notion that there’s a Youtube video for just about anything.