Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Ikea, Heating, Plumbers and Mothers

Our mothers arrived last night (see next post) but the vital slats for our new bed only arrived this morning from Ikea. As we only got the water heater and central heating working yesterday as well, it was a close-run thing that we had the house ready for them. Trotzdem, we had my 'mother-in-laws' partner putting together an Ikea bedside cabinet first thing this morning. And that wasn't to much success, as Ikea had failed to put in a vital screw.

We are pissed off with Ikea as it is. The rest of the bed had been delivered last week, missing the slats. Ikea's checkout Arbeiterin had failed to run them through the till, so the van turned up with the rest of the bed, but nothing to support the mattress. Damit, we had to trail across to Ikea on the other side of Berlin again, and pay for delivery of the missing slats, which arrived today. Last night we were sleeping student-style on the mattress on the floor.

The central heating boiler was another matter. It packed in last Sunday and the only plumbers we knew about were the emergency ones listed in the Berlin Gelbe Seiten (Yellow Pages). Eventually we had one turn up and he finally diagnosed the problem mid-week as a broken pump which of course had to be ordered. In between was the German national holiday for German Unity on 3rd October (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), and a weekend. And the mothers were coming on the Tuesday. It looked like the mothers might have to be booked into a local hotel rather than wash in cold water and huddle around the Holzkamin (wood-burning fire). We ourselves had to take a shower at the Wash & WC Centre in Alexanderplatz Bahnhof so that people would deign to sit next to us on the S-Bahn. Having a shower at Alexanderplatz station was in itself a strange experience; I don't think I've stood naked under a stream of soapy hot water listening to platform announcements and with hundreds of train passengers walking by just outside the cubicle door.

Anyway, the plumber fixed the pump on the Monday and the final bed parts arrived Wednesday so all was well. Except the cost; not only of Ikea having to deliver twice, but of the plumber's bill. In future we shall have to find a local plumber, and not pay exorbitant fees to have one come out from Berlin.

The cats thoroughly like the bed though!

(clockwise top left: Simba, Cassie, Suki and Tosca).
Alles gut, endes gut!*
* Wilhelm Shakespeare

1 comment:

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