Wednesday, August 8, 2012

the new pad

As Aquaman is incredibly busy chasing waves and designing a resort, he contracted our usual building team of brothers to pour the the pad for our toilet and boardroom. There are no building standards here, and water proofing a slab is unheard of. They make them rough and ready, filled with rocks and a weak concrete mix to stretch the expensive cement further. Ours is a hybrid between an Aussie "raft slab" and a local rock footing, mixed by hand and poured one bucket at a time. They don't screed the slab, but trowel it in with string line guides as they go along. It doesn't make for a very neat job, so the final surface is a watery slurry of grey cement and water (semem minyak  : cement oil). It is poured on and troweled lightly, one cup at a time. They continue to smooth it as it dries, progressing to a paintbrush, and a final polish using the paper cement bag.  We are going to seal it with savon noir, a French soap made from the hulls of black olives. Once only reserved for villagers that couldn't afford tiles, the semen minyak technique is being adopted by upmarket villas and restaurants in Bali as trendy "industrial chic".  Remember, you saw it first in our toilet. 

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thanks for taking the time

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