So this is a calefont:
I have narrowed the calefont's main functions down to
a) heating water
b) sucking up all my money
c) causing alarm and worry about my safety
I call it a slot machine because I feel like it's a constant hopeful gamble of investing money, which usually results in a small payoff just big enough to suck you into "playing again." And, antique being...the thing is probably 1.5 times my age. Plus! Since I am gringa, there are always lots of sudden extra charges that accumulate once the calefont repair man arrives at the house and $ee$ me. (sees me, get it? yeah.)
To work it, you turn a lever which allows gas to flow through the pipes, light a match or something and stick it in that hole in front above a pilot thing while sliding the lever below to determine temperature, and then turn on the water. Hopefully, rows of burner looking things next to the pilot light will also shoot up in flames and the water will become hot. Also everytime someone else who shares our piping system turns on the water, the pressure changes and affects the water heating process. Everytime I need to change the temp, I get out of the shower, leave the bathroom, and go change the lever. Sometimes this happens half a dozen times.
As for the safety, at times there are gas leaks, which you can imagine are dangerous. It happens from time to time, even a few years ago a girl studying abroad through the same company as I did actually was killed by a gas leak from one of these things. It is ideal to keep them outside the house, or at least outside the bathroom so its not as confined.
Also, another factor I had never considered before, came (very suddenly) to my attention on Thursday. After taking a shower, the calefont pipes exploded while I was still in the bathroom. I suppose in the end I was thankful, because what I immediately thought was a house intruder with a pistol turned out to be merely split pipes spraying hot water all over my house. But I guess after all that still sounds pretty bittersweet....