Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Concrete is mostly sand

I know this not just because I have thoroughly mastered the obvious, but because I drilled through about six inches of it today in hanging a mirror in our bedroom. Concrete is the primary building material around here (No. 2 being tinted glass), and it makes perfect sense, given that it's mostly... sand. And we live in a desert.

But it's a huge pain in the butt when you're trying to make a house a home.

For instance, in most circumstances, if you need to hang a picture, you drill a hole in the drywall and screw in a hook. If it's a massive picture--Center High School Class of '95, for example--then you use a drywall anchor. And if it's a mirror big enough to signal the International Space Station, then you find a stud and cross your fingers.

Here, in the land of concrete, you drill and then pretend that the drywall anchors you buy at Carrefour are actually masonry anchors. You also ignore the fact that the drill you borrowed doesn't quite hold the bits steady, so that 1/8" hole is closer to 1/4" than you'd like it to be. And finally, you'll ignore the fact that everyone apparently uses wood bits to drill into sheet rock, concrete and, who knows, glass, metal, lettuce and styrofoam too.

Up next: installing a new light fixture knowing for certain only that the blue wire connects to the blue wire, and the brown wire connects to the brown wire.

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