If you happened to read the previous entry you will probably be aware that I had rotten guts on Sunday and had to spend a not inconsiderable amount of time reflecting upon life from the venerable old kazi, or bog or ‘ cessu’, as they are called here. While sitting on and reflecting from the throne, I started to consider the thrones I’ve known here in historical Italy. Please excuse the terrible rhyme, I’ve had a testing time.
You see, Italian loos come in several shapes and sizes, as do loos most everywhere, I suppose. There are the horrible squatty things and then there are the normal loos, well, they are almost normal. They are not always designed too well and the flushing system is often not as potent as it ought to be. The loo brush is something of an essential, if you are not too keen on leaving your mark, so to speak. It’s the angle of approach which causes problems which means that things have a habit of sliding slowly under the water, a bit like a drunken sea snail, or something of that ilk. At least there is no possibility of splash-back, which is a bit of a relief. Anyway, most bogs are designed in this way here, apart from our new one which does seem to employ a more efficient angle of attack. ‘Italian advance in bog technology’, would make a rather curious headline, don’t you think?
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
In our last place, the plumbing was a bit strange and the bore of the pipes was not large enough – enter ‘sanitreat’ an anonymous looking 500 Euro white box which sits behind the throne. What, you may well ask, exactly is a sanitreat? Well, in simple terms it is a ‘poo liquidizer’. They hum and whir while the flush is doing its job and help everything on its way. Only, they are rather sensitive devices and are prone to suffer when certain other objects are flushed away. This means that the liquidizing effect can stop rather abruptly, leading to a call to the plumber, unless you are brave enough to flip the top off and rummage around. Yuck! What a thought. I did try this once, but will not be tempted to ever again. Anyway, we are now sanitreat free, which is a blessing.
Another curiosity concerning Italian loos, is the fact that they are often connected to a central down pipe, which means that the flush will continue, forever, or at least until the water runs out, or your neighbour knocks on the door and shoots you as a result of being driven mad by the racket of the mini-waterfall you inadvertently went and created, or you remember to turn, yes turn, the handle thing off. In new appartments the flush from these types of systems is impressive and could easily wash a small child away and probably helps prevent the pantegana (see a previous entry) rat beasts from crawling up the pipes and nipping you on the naughty bits. Alas, the power of the systems in older appartments becomes rather diluted, so there is no chance of washing baby away, but you may well get an unexpected nip.
End of rant. I will now ‘bog off’, as they can be heard to say in certain parts of the UK. Bye.