Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tricks of the Trade

Our first challenges came all at once, as our hosts were leaving for the airport. "Catalina" had called the cable TV company to come and change the cable over to her new quarters. The workman showed up, but without a ladder and seemingly untrained. When he "realized" he needed a ladder, he phoned his boss, who sent out a ladder in a taxi.

Catalina says she had to tell him how to do everything. She wasn't happy with the service. When it came time to pay, she was willing to pay $100 MXP, not the $250 demanded.
As our hosts pulled away, the boss cable guy drove in to get payment. Catalina let him know how displeased she was. The whole standoff ended with the cable boss telling her, "Keep your money! You need it more than I. I GIVE you my work!"
We had stood behind her for moral support, but there was no way I was going to get involved in that dispute.

Next, Susan went to wash up the dishes, but there was no hot water. Sometimes the pilot flame goes out. I tried to light it, but to no avail. We put a pot of water on the stove, but the burners wouldn't light. After a few moments of consternation, I realized that the gas tank must be empty!

We went outside to the gas taks area, I selected one by opening the valve and hearing a whoosh,removed the empty, and attached the new, not without some difficulty.
Back in the house, I was able to light one hot water heater pilot, but the other, for the kitchen, would not stay lit.
New lightbulb: the tank I'd chosen had been nearly empty.
Back outside to change it once again.

On Tuesday, the new gardener showed up, to tell us that he, too, was leaving for the US, but he would work on Wednesday, bringing an new new gardener, whom he would train. Of course, we'd have to pay the apprentice the same amount.

While we were contemplating this peculiar reversal, we got a call from the housekeeper, that she wasn't feeling well, and wouldn't be in the next day.
(My suspicion is that these absences and leave takings are ploys to leverage more money from us.)
When the old new gardener showed up the next day (without his apprentice, by the way), Catalina told him that we had contracted with someone else. (Not quite true at the time, but we did hire the kid brother of the old gardener. He is thought to be reliable.
Thus ended the first three days.

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