It still amazes me that the chickens across the street from my bedroom window don’t make any noise. I woke earlier than usual today, or rather I got out of bed earlier, and even in the dark, I could make out the fat little hens scratching away in the small patch of land they have been allotted below. Marcos says there probably isn’t a rooster, and they are usually the culprits. We planned to cook one if they became annoying and it’s a bit of a relief that I dont need to live up to my part of the bargain.
Marcos has become my hero. Many of you already heard about us trying to acquire “Padres” gear for him, when it was distressing to give up precious room in the over packed luggage. If I had known the resource he’d become to me, I’d of brought “Angles” and “Dodgers” gear too.
Marcos is turning 30 next month and lives just around the corner. His mom is Gloria’s sister and he has a car and is a plumber by trade. Trust me I am already contemplating what I can do to get him to help me in my battle with my arch enemy “the bathroom.” He was hurt sometime back and is on disability which allows for plenty of time to be of use to us. By “Us,”’ I mean mostly me.
The first day Claude went to work was the day the Cable man was coming. Marcos dutifully reported early to our place to play chief communicator. With time we realized the wait was going to be much longer than hoped. He promised to come back the moment they showed up. But as you know by now that didn’t happen. He did call me in the afternoon to check in and stopped by with a screwdriver and hot chocolate mix to make the day better.
I showed him the cabinet for under the sink in the bathroom that I had been working on. I had already put the matching bits and pieces all I the right spots, I just needed to tighten things up, which he did for me quickly and with a smile. After we discovered that the part was missing, he signed off for the night and I went on my shopping adventure.
As I mentioned earlier, it was dark when we got up today, but the office of the internet/cable/telephone company opens at 9 and it about two metro stops from Claude’s job that starts at 10. Unless Claude dies, I cannot be added to the account, therefore him there with me was critical. Also the fact that only a few employees at that office speak English made for another reason I needed him. I had a list of issues starting with Cable guy “no show,” ending with my phone not working with Wi-Fi.
Seems the lines are all live at home we just need the box and they are shipping it to us for arrival next week. Great, another week without TV, I imagine that when I do get the TV working I will have no English channels. I remain optimistic and having Internet to stream should be comforting. I have been using the computer, meaning that when Claude decides he wants to share something I need to get up and go to the computer to pause the show. I know I am selfish but I don’t want to miss anything and the cord isn’t long enough to have the lap top closer.
Running late as always, we practically ran from the sardine packed Metro during work rush hour to speak to the less than enthusiastic French girl with pacifiers around her name badge lanyard. I accepted the small victory of my phone working and said goodbye to Claude for the day.
The company we work with is called, “Free.” It is very confusing when you try to google them FYI. It is located near Blvd Madeleine where my favorite Starbucks is. I like hiding on the big sofas in the back with my laptop plugged in for t=free with a giant cup of tea. No one pays attention to me till I say “Bless you” when I hear then sneeze. Still gotta practice that translation. It’s a dead giveaway. It is also near Galleries Lafayette. This is probably a good time to mention that if you have snapchat, you should find me (akisambert). My daily commentaries on the too tight pants, crazy hairdos, and my apartment make for a fun visual diary.
Thanks to the internet and Yelp, I found a good home store that is close by there and has reasonable prices. I like Carrfoure a lot, but it’s basically a target. I wanted to get nicer towels and I managed to find some nice fluffy allowing me to stop using hand me down dishtowel that has been less than adequate after my scornful showers. I have been dreaming about them since the first time I saw them and today was the perfect opportunity to pick them up after working a couple hours in the café. I’m also dreaming about pillows but that’s another story for later.
Good Old Marcos called me again to see what I was doing and informed me that he was free to take me back to Ikea to find the missing part and translate the issue if an interpreter was needed. He once worked for a few months at a Club Med in the kids club. This explains his ability to be kind and accommodating with my lack of verbal skills. I speak to him in Spanish and he tries to practice English a little as well. We both throw in some French for good measure and he’s very encouraging that I am doing well and that I will get better.
In order to speak to a representative at Ikea, you need to be able to read the French on the computer to check in. He asked them if they spoke English after waiting for at least 20 minutes and when no one did he explained the issue and I held up photos, manuals and receipts with a sheepish smile. After he explained that they no longer have that missing part, we went home. I bought him a six pack across the street while he went to get his drill.
I am happy to report that as of tonight, I have new clean towels that only took 3 and half hours to clean and a new cupboard in the bathroom covering ugly tile, patched wall and rusty pipes. I still fantasize about them knocking down a wall and putting in a tub shower combo, but we have time for that and a plumber in the family.