Restoring a Damp House in Sicily, Part 10

May 17, 2010

Doing the bathroom twice was not fun.

In the aftermath of Round One, I was tempted to give up and flee Sicily for good.

Results of Round One

“You get no respect from your crew,” noted a friend. She persuaded a local bigwig to throw his weight around, Sicilian-style, as my proxy.

That did the trick.

Early one morning a new piastrellista, tile setter, showed up on my doorstep smelling of cologne and rubbing sleep from his eyes. He toiled away in a no-nonsense fashion, furiously attacking his predecessor’s work. Glass shattered kaleidoscopically.

Io sistemo tutto,” he kept repeating. I systematize all. (Sistemare is one of the highest Italian virtues.)

To fuel his fury, I ran to the local bar for tiny cups of thick black coffee and sweet ricotta tarts.

Round Two produced an apple-green bathroom. The tiles are ceramic and plain—not the pricey designer ones of yore. But you know what? Good riddance to those fancy-pants glass tiles. I like the brighter cheap-o ones better.

Results of Round Two

I hate to trivialize Andre Gide’s words by using them in this mundane context, but I’ll do it anyway: “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

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7 comments to Restoring a Damp House in Sicily, Part 10

  • I really liked the color of the blue tiles, but I must say that I really like how the bathroom came out the second time. It seriously looks like a spa retreat type shower. 🙂

    Hope you’re now more at ease and not wanting to still flee the island. 😉


  • Christine

    BRAVA! It looks great—–musta been the cafe e tante torte di ricotta! See you soon!

  • Tom

    I am glad all is well again, we have the same problems in the good old USA. But you have the msot wonderfull food. stay well Tom. (Just about a month until we go to Sicila.)

  • Well done! Are you happy now? Summer’s just arriving…missing you on our walks.

  • Your re-do looks great, Jann. If it’s a consolation, we had to do re-tile the kitchen and two out of three bathrooms in the house in Fez, before the “master Zelige” laid them straight. And that’s in the Motherland of fancy tile work!

    • Jann

      Anita, Anita, I don’t know how you survived all that. I certainly could not have. But your end results must be stunning. Fez is so wonderful! If only we had Zelige masters in Sicily! (That particular Moorish influence seems to have completely disappeared here.)

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