Friday, 8 June 2012

Did I say AFTER the flood?

This morning I set the washing machine going before breakfast. (No, I’ve not yet located a manual so it’s still not yet spinning but it’s washing things at least.) About halfway through breakfast, as we got onto our second cup of coffee I realised that water was flowing across our terraza/ balcony/ utility area. Chaos at the bijou residence! 

Yes, the washing machine was emptying itself all over the tiled area. Fortunately there is a grid in the middle of it for exactly such eventualities and the water was draining away nicely. So we finished breakfast and let the washing machine complete its cycle. Then I squeezed as much water as possible out of the unspun washing and hung it up to dry. Only after that did we investigate. 

As I had suspected and secretly hoped, it was only the outflow pipe which had unplugged itself from the hole in the wall into which it was rather precariously inserted. So Phil, my hero, clambered over the machine and stuck the pipe back in place. Such are the wonders of modern technology! On the plus side, we now have a very clean terraza. That’s serendipity for you! 

Yesterday Phil tried to become one of those statistics about people injured on pedestrian crossings. Convinced that this was one of those you could just step out onto and expect the cars to stop, he did just that. Fortunately I had seen the red light and grabbed him before the oncoming car splatted him. This is part of the inconsistency of crossings in this fair city. 

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the provision of crossings controlled by lights and those which depend on the goodwill of drivers. Surprisingly there is a prodigious amount of goodwill and cars stop for you more often than not at the uncontrolled crossings. Where there are lights, however, they seem to feel they don’t need to look out for maverick pedestrians who will cross anyway. That probably goes some way to explaining the statistics. 

While I’m in this cheery mode, here’s another little something about accidents. I read that they are about to start cracking down on parents who don’t fasten their children in when they travel in the family car. What a novel idea! 

Around 20+% of children under the age of two injured or killed in road accidents recently were apparently being carried on the mother’s knee and ended up crushed by the adult seat belt. So they are going to check that children are strapped in. Parents who offend three times may be accused of neglecting their children; so it’s all right the first two times then. Part of the accident investigation into crashes involving under 14 year olds will examine how safely the youngsters were being carried and drivers may find themselves charged with death or injury due to lack of care and attention. 

Maybe someone has been reading my old blog-posts because I have gone on and on about the lack of safety awareness in cars here. Considering that this is a country where they love children, I am constantly amazed at the children riding bikes without helmets (another statistic flagged up in the newspaper article I read) or elbow and knee pads, the children bouncing about in the backs of cars and the very small babies being carried along the street while a proud parent pushes an empty baby carriage! 

That’s the way it goes.

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