So I lied. No funny story today, either. I have a ton of repair people coming to the house today and I have to play hausfrau for a few hours. New construction to an old mill equals tons of money and constant work. We’ve been here her more than a year and stuff still needs to be finished. So much for a new house=turn key operation.
So, for those living far away in customer service, convenience and answer land, let me give you an idea of what I’ve had to deal with building our house.
We got home late last night and woke up this morning to the doorbell. Granite man cometh. Sparky and I raced to throw on clothes. Didn’t want another incident like that with the painter, the locksmith, the mirror installation guys, the tüv inspectors etc. Everyone in this town has seen me naked or in some sort of compromising position.
Our granite guy came to re-do the silicon in our kitchen and bathroom. The house has shifted and all our glued parts have come unglued. The granite countertop separated from the granite wallboard. The marble kickboard from the floor tiles and the glass from the marble in our shower. The glass required clear and the marble, jurabeige. The kitchen was some unknown color the granite guy had since he installed it in the first place. One would think this was easy, but no. That is not the German way.
The marble silicon, left over from installation last year, had dried out in its container. The color, Jurabeige, stumped the granite guy. He offered to do the bathroom in the same dark taupe color as the kitchen. Our marble is the lightest shade of cream. Taupe is not good with cream. White would not work either as the rest of the bathroom including the floor times and walls were done in jurabeige. It needed to be beige. The inability to match colors seems to be national epidemic. I asked if he had jurabeige or if he knew where I could get the same product.
Well, the “jurabeige” tube had a label in French. The granite guy told me there was no way I could find that in Germany. I asked if there was a market I could find it in, someone I could call. He told me specifically that there are no shops or storehouses for tile and stone workers, there were no similar colors. I must call the French.
Well, dealing with the French was out of the question. Our construction came to a screeching halt in the early days because the French were not available to ship parts. I’m sure it was because they were drinking wine, eating cheese and fucking each other’s wives. Time means nothing to the French, until payment is required.
Then there were slight disagreements between the specific specifications of the German builders and the Laissez Faire French when it came to the actual building part. Those arguments did nothing for French-German relations. Our master builder would not even speak to our French designer after a few meetings. Since my French is limited to “Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir “, I wasn’t THAT helpful in smoothing things out. We did not separate happily with the French firm. I would have to find this tube of silicon on my own. Why this is so complicated, I do not know.
So on to the Internet I went, looking for this one particular brand, thinking the color must be specific to this company and rare as the megamouth shark. Looking at the tube and I saw faint writing beneath the French label. I tear a little piece off and what do I find? German writing. The freakin’ company is German. They stuck a French label on the tube to sell to the French who sold it to us, in Germany. And old Mr. Internet told me that jurabeige is a common color for natural stone silicon. It’s like white, black, clear and beige. Like jurabeige.
To an American, the granite guy must have been smoking crack. To a German, this is standard customer service.
I sat there, fuming, tearing off the label. I found a phone number for the company. I had Markus call, but it was between the hours of 12-2 when NO ONE works. We’ll have to call back between 2:00 and 2:03pm to reach anyone. They might answer the phone if their circulatory systems are okay during this heat wave. Or not. There are lots of fests right now so it may be some sort of holy day of the beer stein or heavenly ascent of the apple wine.
It’ll take us at least 4 weeks to get this tube of sticky stuff, 3 weeks to get an appointment and 300€ to have this genius come back and install. I wish I were better with silicon. I’d do it myself. It’s never smooth and seamless. I just manage to get it all over the place and in my hair.