It never occurred to me until some time after we had lived in Kuwait, that none of the taps in any of our bathrooms had “hot” and “cold” marked on them in any way.
No words, no markings, none of the traditional “red is for hot” and “blue is for cold” markings. No matter as, after a while, you get used to it – the right tap is for the cold water and the left tap is for the hot water. And thankfully, it’s the same for all the bathrooms!
It bothers me though when, after I’d been out of Kuwait for a while, e.g. that time I spent three months in Malaysia renovating our apartment, I come back and positively can’t recall which one was the cold water tap and which one, the hot! For the first few days after coming back I’d turn on the “hot water tap” and wait for the hot water….sometimes in vain because of course I had turned on the cold water tap instead. Once routine sets in, I’m fine and I always remember – cold water tap on the right, hot water tap on the left.
Well…not for long. Because this is only applicable during the “cool” months usually around November to April or thereabouts. In the “hot” months when the temperatures in Kuwait go up to more than 50, yes fifty, degrees Celsius, hot water comes out of BOTH taps if you have the water heater on! We get hot water from the left tap – from the boiler – and also hot water from the right tap – from the building water tank. How can this happen when the right tap is supposed to be the cold water tap? Its very simple – the scorching summer sun just heats up the water from the source and if the water tank for your building happens to be outdoors usually on the roof (which it usually is), it just gets hotter!
It happened in Dubai and it happens in Kuwait. Apparently some of the newer buildings now come with air-conditioned water tanks so you always get cold water from the cold water tap. But for us in earlier-built properties, there’s only one thing to do – turn off the boiler for all the bathrooms in the summer. We still get hot and cold water though except now they’re reversed. Since the hot water boilers are indoors the water stays cool, so we get cold water from the “hot” water tap and the water coming directly from the source is hot so we get hot water from the “cold” water tap. Cool, eh? (Pun intended )
It still confuses me for a while every time we turn off the boiler in the summer and turn it back on in the winter but this tap dance is an annual routine for us by now!