The Heater

Well, my water boiler (water heater, or geyser, as it’s known in India) was acting up for… well, actually, since about a week after I moved into my apartment. So it’s been off-and-on for about a year, though with a little banging I’ve generally been able to get it to start.

Well, on Friday, that finally didn’t work. I punched the heater any number of times, but it just would not start. I ended up hurrying to school after just barely washing a couple of crucial spots and wetting down my hair; but, I fel icky and I was relieved to discover my first class canceled (the majority of the students were to go to some kind of theology lecture). So I put in my hour at the English cafe and came home, armed with a trick someone had mentioned to me: Korean water heaters have a little knob you need to periodically loosen, so as to let out air from the heater chamber.

I tried that, and it didn’t help. It really didn’t help. So, I resigned myself to a cold shower, and on the way back to school I called in to see if someone could fix my water heater that night. I was told it was unlikely but someone could come by on Saturday morning, for sure. That was a relief, but an unhappy one: Lime would not be comfortable with a cold room, and she was coming over for dinner.

Anyway, when I got home, I ran into Lime on the street; due to her supervisors all being off at a conference in Seoul, she got Friday afternoon off and had decided to come meet me after work. While I prepared dinner, she called the repair shop and, as it turned out, the technician for that office lived near my home, and said he’d drop in on the way. I hurried to the bank to get some cash, and when I got home, she’d already let him in and he’d done the majority of the work. A few minutes later, I had a fully functioning water heater.

And what a difference it makes to my home. No longer is having the heat on or off a gamble, and no longer does the heater refuse to warm my house minimally. It used to just cut out and not turn on again if I had the eondeol (the floor heater) on at the minimum level, so that meant turning the floor heater on full for a while, and then shutting it off for the night. No longer: now I have it on minimum and when I feel fine I can just turn it off for a while, and then turn it back on to minimum. When I want a shower, there’s no more going out on the cold balcony at 7:30 in the morning and pounding on the water heater to get it to start: I turn on the hot water tap and a few moments later, gloriously hot water bursts forth! It makes my home so very comfortable and happy.

I feel silly having waited so long to get it fixed, too. It only cost me about fifty thousand won—that’s about $50 or $60 Canadian. Ah well, it’s fixed now, and I am more than happy.

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