Moisture is everywhere out here. It is so blasted hot and humid that things really never fully dry out, that coupled with the fact that it rains at least once almost every day makes for a lot of moisture. Now when I say it rains almost every day I’m not referring to something like Washington State (that would really suck); instead, it’ll be a quick morning or late afternoon shower. Regardless of all that, when you live five minutes from the sea moisture is to be expected.
The crazy part is that it could rain at our house for a few minutes and the folks across the street stay totally dry. Just the other day I was at the recycling center with the boys dropping off our recycling and it started to downpour on us. We stopped at the stop sign just before getting onto the main road when I noticed the parking lot behind us was 100% totally dry. The nice thing about it though was that I really needed the bat guano washed off my windshield and that little deluge did the trick. You think having bird poo on your windshield stinks, try having a big ole pile of dark brown bat guano….the windshield wipers didn’t have a fighting chance without mother nature’s help.
Ok, so back to the point I was originally going to make. Mold and mildew are huge problems over here as a result of the heat and constant high humidity. We run two dehumidifiers in our house 24/7, and we empty each of them two to three times a day! That’s about 40 gallons of water a day we’re taking out of the air in the house!
To help combat the mold and mildew problem even more, Bruce and I went through the house and caulked around places we thought needed it (like the shower fixtures and bathroom sinks). I noticed it was really musty smelling under our bathroom sink, even after we caulked. Yeah, that’s when Bruce and I noticed there was about zero grout on the floor of our shower. Nice!
Fast forward a few days and now I’m standing in the hardware store staring at the plumbing stuff. I’ve grouted before so redoing this isn’t going to be a problem at all. The only problem is finding the grout. The BX and Eagle Hardware (self-help) doesn’t sell it here on Kadena, nor does the PX at Camp Foster. So that leaves me with a local hardware store and hence the problem of finding the grout. You see, here in Japan (as in off the U.S. military bases) all the packaging is written in Japanese….and, well….yeah. The gentleman I asked for help was very nice. I explained what I needed (to include kneeling down and pointing it out on their tile floor) and after a few reassuring head nods he pointed me in the right direction. He even went so far as to read the packages to make sure he was pointing out the right thing.
After I chose which grout I was going to use (the cheapest one there of course) he quickly summarized the directions for me. What I really needed to know was how much water to use. He pointed out that I needed 200-300 cc’s of water, or the consistency of mayonnaise. A few more smiles and head nods and we were on our way.
Fast forward a few hours and everyone is in bed. Perfect time to slap some grout into the shower. Since the movers broke one of my Pampered Chef quick stir pitchers I decided that would make the best mixing bowl for the grout. Have no fear, they pay for what they break….and it was the old style pitcher anyway. So I need 200-300 cc’s of water…right. How much exactly is that in cups or ounces? I still don’t have any idea how much that is in cups or ounces, but I do know that grout really does look like mayonnaise when you have it at the consistency of mayonnaise. I just dumped a little water here, added some water there….forgot the bowl was full of water when I picked it up and dumped it all over me (Tyler and Bruce had a great laugh at my expense as a result)…..stir, stir, stir….and we’re set. I’m sure that’s what the package said anyway. I distinctively remember reading: add a little water, stir, add more water, stir, pour water on yourself, curse, add more water to the grout mix, stir, stir, stir. I was just following the directions on the package.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and the shower is grouted. You know, Bruce has it made. He goes to sleep one day and wakes up the next only to find out his shower has been miraculously grouted for him while he was racked out. 😉
So tonight I go into the bathroom to double-check my fantabulous grouting abilities (and to make sure I didn’t miss anything). While I was leaning into the shower (I was on my hands and knees for this) I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Now, it is important to point out that we have a cockroach problem in our quarters. I have done all I can to rectify the situation and I am pretty sure I have it under control at this moment, but I wouldn’t bet my first-born on it. In fact, I have Entomology coming out on Tuesday night to help eradicate our home of pests. With that in mind let’s back-up to what I just said. I saw something out of the corner of my eye.
‘Yabe!’ is what I was thinking and my heart must have skipped at least ten beats. Translate that however you want but it is the only Japanese cuss word I currently know. Here I am on my hands and knees in our tiny little stand-up shower and in what minimal space was left I saw something fall from the ceiling to the shower floor (my freshly grouted floor at that) out of the corner of my eye. Naturally, I shot out of the shower like a freakin’ rocket launching while simultaneously searching the bathroom for cockroaches. Heaven help me if I step on one or something nasty like that.
Now, our pest problem isn’t that bad, but I do find myself looking for them when I enter a room. Which is odd because we don’t have them in most of the house. Either way, I was just being cautious at the present moment. Nothing in the bathroom to cause alarm……so let me check the shower again….where I know there is something.
Holy mackerel would you look at that! How the hell did that lizard find its way into our shower and thank you Jesus for not dropping it on my head a moment ago. Seriously though, where did this come from?! Whatever, who cares, what I really need is Bruce to come and get him before the boys see it because I don’t want to keep it as a pet and I have no idea how I’m going to get it outside from here.
A few minutes later and Bruce is done “taking care” of our little problem. You don’t want to know what he did.
Ok, I’ll tell you. He squished the lizard and smeared his guts all over the bottom of our shower….on my nice clean, bright white grout. Nicely done Bruce, nicely done. I’m pretty sure the grout packaging didn’t mention sealing the grout with lizard guts, although I could be wrong since it was written in Japanese.