07 July 2009

The Unfinished Touch

Once again I am going to put up photos of my bathroom and shower facilities. Before you groan, accept my word that I have a point to make this time.

As advertised on its web site, SMRVPTC has three newly renovated shower rooms, which are also restrooms.


Inside they are really quite well appointed and well decorated.

Thoughtfully appointed as well. Lots of wall hooks for example.

This is the ceiling. The molding around the edge of the ceiling is hand-molded concrete that is very attractive. The vaulted ceiling is made of brick, which in itself constitutes a skillfully done masonry job.

One does not learn how to construct that brick vaulted ceiling in Bricklaying 101 at Kirkwood Community College.

Then there is the hole in the ceiling for the skylight.

And what covers the skylight? It is a sheet of that translucent fiberglass roofing material with concrete blocks set on top of it to keep it from blowing away.

That sheet of roofing material with the concrete blocks set atop it is so completely out of place with, so inconsistent with, the rest of this beautifully done construction work. My point is that you see this sort of thing over and over and over in México. It is typical.

I hesitated to put up this entry. I do not wish it to appear that I am mocking this or otherwise making fun. I am not. The Mexican people are not a wealthy people, and they certainly are a people fully capable of creating amazing beauty in their art and architecture. I simply find this recurring unfinished touch interesting. As a norteamericano, I am accustomed to new construction that is consistently cheap and shabby from beginning to end and through and through.

I am not sure what exactly is going on with this phenomenon that I am describing. I suppose in some instances finances force them to settle for something like this sheet of fiberglass over the skylight hole. I suppose in other instances they willingly settle for a finish item such at this.

Perhaps it was simply a materials issue. There was an ample supply of ceramic tile and brick at a reasonable price. However, no translucent brick was available at a reasonable price.

Or perhaps they are going to finish off that skylight in a more permanent fashion mañana.

I just do not know. All I know is that I see this sort of thing repeatedly.

I will say this though. I have come to share the Mexican penchant for skylights in every room. They have converted me there. I guess that also means that I have become a fan of ranch style houses, too, through the back door so to speak.

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In the case of the shower room structure, there is a bonus.

This is my outdoor dish washing facility appended to the end of the shower room building. However, it also features a communal lending library in the form of the books on that little bookshelf hanging on the wall over the garbage can. Folks throw in a book. Folks take out a book.

Some of those books could topple into the garbage can and not constitute any loss whatsoever of course. But there has also been some pretty impressive, and obviously well read, high end literature left behind. I am already in the middle of a big book. Otherwise, I might reread Thackery in the form of that edition of Vanity Fair over there that is missing its cover.

The current offering features an outsized collection of German novels in German, as well as Spanish novels in Spanish and English novels in English. I therefore suspect that my neighbors are not the only German speaking guests who have frequented the place lately.

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