Friday, March 11, 2005

Life goes on here

I have not been around for awhile as you can tell, those of you still around, that is. I have been busy trying to get our apartment in shape to live in and we have been trying to get all the services turned on so we can live with less difficulty than we have had to live for the past month or more.

My wife went to the government agency in charge of certifying the apartment building the other day to see if she could get them to turn on the hot water and some other things. She talked to the head guy and he said that he had problems with the building, that the builder needed to convince him that things were done right and he did not know when the building would be certified. He was bureaucratic perfunctory with her but showed some humaneness when she said we had a small child. But even so he was still not able-- or not willing-- to give her a date when the services would be turned on.

A couple of days later, however, there was a note by the elevator that the hot water would be turned on the 9th and 10th of March. That note could be taken two ways though. One way was that the water would be turned on for those days only we think because they want to make sure that the pipes don’t leak in the building, the ones carrying the hot water. The other was that they would be turning on the hot water and it would take those two days to do it. We preferred the second interpretation and the woman who guards the building—I used “guard” loosely because graffiti has started to show up on the stairway walls, on a new apartment building no less—said that they would be turning it on for good.

We were thinking that my wife’s visit had had some effect, that is, until yesterday the 9th. Yesterday, there was no hot water. And this morning, the morning of the 10th, there is still no hot water.

The elevator saga continues. They said it would be on 24 hours beginning a couple of weeks ago. But we come home often to find that it is off. And on this past Monday and Tuesday, holidays here, the elevator was off. (“Don’t you know it’s a holiday? The elevator does not work on a holiday.”)

And on the day before, we had come back from church at about 1 p.m. My wife grabbed the kids to see if she could get them up by elevator. I had to go back to the church to find something we had left. I got back to our building and found the elevator off.

Some minutes later, when my wife opened the door and gave me oxygen, she explained that an apartment owner had gone over to the government agency and had paid an employee there, the one in charge of the elevators, to come and turn it on for him on that Sunday. (Otherwise it was going to be off all day.) That apartment owner was taking his stuff up when my wife and the kids got to the elevator. She let them go on up but had the oldest boy ride along to make sure the elevator got back. That government employee was on the elevator when he got back but was on it turn it off again. When he saw my wife with the kids and the baby, however, he made one more trip and took her up. That was nice of him but it shows the real problem.

Last night though, the elevator was off when we left but when we got home at about 9 p.m. we just went in to check it in the off chance that it might be working. It was to our surprise. Why it was we do not know but it seemed to be working until late last night. This remains an inscrutable mystery.

Anyway, life goes on here.

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