Top 5 new house features that I will not take for granted.

Traditional and modern housing.

This is not my house. I live in one of those modern concrete and tile monstrosities in the background.

Before I give you my list, let me first say that I am well aware of my spoilt brat status.  Here in Brazil, we are certainly part of the privileged population.  We live in a brand new apartment, with 4 bedrooms, plus an extra room out the back “for the maid”.  There are 6 bathrooms!  Complete luxury, yet things here just don’t seem to work quite right.

As I am counting down the days until our departure (30!), here are the top 5 things I’m looking forward to having at House By The Water:

  1. A dishwasher.
  2. Hot water.
  3. Safe drinking water from the tap.
  4. Toilets that really flush.
  5. A house with some soul.


Dishes drying.

It’s usually a two rack job.

1.  A dishwasher.  Maids are more common than dishwashers in Brazil.  Hmmm.  Alas, the “maid” in my household is moi!  Dishwasher, you are most definitely top of my “can’t wait” list.


Our hot water system. I’m yet to see an electric kettle at the shops.

2.  Hot water is not plumbed into our apartment.  I suspect that most people shower in cold water which is not really a problem when you live just 2 degrees from the equator.  We have shower heads installed that heat the water just moments before it falls on our heads.  The water, that is.  But also sometimes the whole shower head and, once, the heating element, in flames.  That was an exciting moment.  These shower heads require regular maintenance to refill the little silicon plugs that pop loose and spray water all over the ceiling.  I’d have a bath, but well, it’s cold.

Water bottles

Our drinking water order.

3.  I order 80 litres of drinking water at a time.  No big deal, usually.  The supplier has changed phone numbers several times and today the number is unresponsive.  I don’t understand the recorded message in Portuguese that is coming on the line.  Ho hum.

4.  Without going into too much detail, there is a good reason why we have 6 toilets.  Only 1 or 2 work at any one point in time.  Moving on.

Typical Brazilian kitchen.

Our rental kitchen, fully lined with tiles and highly practical.

5.  Soul.  I know this bit is up to us.  Plants and things you love can bring soul to any space, but even so, being surrounded by so many large white tiles feels a bit sterile.  At House By The Water, we’ll be living in our own home for the first time in 10 years.

This list goes on, but I know I shouldn’t.  I really shouldn’t publish this post.  I should relegate it to the never-to-be-read pile, along with the post I wrote about “Ways to justify living in a big house”.  But, you know, every time I do the dishes these thoughts come back into my head, so I’m blurting it out.  Feel free to tell me to get a grip.  Or you can tell me what you are most looking forward to in your new home, or what you’ll never take for granted.

And, did I mention?  30 days!!!!


14 thoughts on “Top 5 new house features that I will not take for granted.

  1. Sally says:

    Loved this post! Yep, I bet it makes you appreciate the simple things that we take for granted. Enjoy your last 30-days. What an incredible experience.

  2. joan55555 says:

    Yes it is time to get excited about your own home. Yes we are very privileged to have good housing . I look at the first photo and wonder if the lady under the verandah , her washing flapping in the sunshine is pleased with her home. Hope so. 30 days…. Hooray.

  3. You must be so excited to be heading HOME after so many years away! 🙂 Lol…I totally hear you on feeling a bit like a spoiled brat. We have a very nice apartment by most Korean standards – very modern, running hot water etc…etc…but there are definitely still some things that are a bit lacking, compared to what I’m used to in Canada. Oh how, I’d kill for an actual open balcony, and forced ac in every room!! 🙂

  4. How exciting for you all! Great post, I’m glad you didn’t throw it out. I remember some of my showers in London… the ones that leaked through to the dining room downstairs, the cold ones, the ones you had to hold over your head yourself… I guess we are a bit spoilt in Australia! Enjoy your last 30 days 🙂

  5. A hot shower will do you good! I’d noticed you’d become a bit stinky in our past few FaceTime chats 😉
    One thing that works over there, at least most of the time, is your internet gracious au deus! I read recently that wi-fi now features on Maslovs hierarchy of needs. That’s why you are surviving.
    I still haven’t had my fridge plumbed so I don’t have cold water on demand nor an ice machine and I miss it terribly – that ought to make you feel ok about your wish list.
    Love you stinky sis

  6. Mrs. T says:

    A very eye opening post. I had no idea of all the plumbing issues that even a house with a “maid’s room” has. I am glad you published this post. It makes us stop to think about all the things we can be grateful for. Oh & I hear you on the dishwasher! Enjoy the next month, exciting times.

  7. Africadayz says:

    I had absolutely no idea that hot water is not plumbed into Brazilian homes. I found the whole post really interesting. Thank you. And maid or no maid, dishwashers are one of the greatest kitchen inventions ever.

  8. Interesting post, I’m also glad it didn’t go in the bin. I do take all those things for granted in Australia, especially our dishwasher – I can’t go back to not having one. Being a spoiled American on top of that, I also have a clothes dryer… I know line drying is cheap and wonderful but I don’t love it. Only 30 days left, wow! That should go by quickly.

  9. trixee says:

    I can relate to point number 4, though our problem is not quite as extreme as yours. But being in a house with good plumbing that works would be awesome. 23 sleeps! (Or thereabouts)

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