Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Old Apartment

I'm delaying the post about my new apartment until a later date, one where my room is clean enough to take pictures of it.  Just know that I am now sitting comfortably in the living room of my new 4th floor apartment, where the sun is shining on the patio and the house goldfish peruses the water's surface in search of nourishment.

Now might be a good time to answer the question of why I left my old apartment.  I had signed a contract to stay through the end of February, but another opportunity had opened up (namely, this place), and I had to take it.  Why?  For many reasons.  First of all, the people who I lived with were friendly, but "South American stranger-friendly".  I would be asked how my day was, and then between sideways glances in the kitchen or living room, I was generally left alone. 

The landlady, Monica, also had this really passive-aggressive way of doing things that just irked me.  For example, my room was literally 10 feet from the patio where we hung clothes to dry.  If I walked out of my room to grab laundry, she would walk by and turn the light off in my room.  I would literally be gone for less than a minute pulling shirts off the clothesline, and I would come back to a dark bedroom with my hands full.

I know this isn't her fault, but I'm also fairly certain that she had a colostomy.  As a result, there would often be an awful smell permeating the apartment.  This lead to me spending the majority of my time in the apartment with my bedroom door shut.  And then when I did wander out into apartment, I would be treated to these little signs everywhere:
 Reading it every time was like a double stomach-punch.  A reminder to turn off a light switch I never used, and then poorly translated into English.

My personal favorite - this was the sign you couldn't help but read every time one used the porcelain throne.  It was on the door, perfectly placed at eye level.

Also, hot water here is generated with an in-line heater that is turned on/off only when used.  It's called the "calefont", and looks like this:
Frequently, Monica, in an effort to pinch every available peso, would turn off the hot water in the middle of the day.  It also happened 3 times WHILE I WAS IN THE SHOWER.  So yes, that was another strike against the place.
(Side note - down here they have a lot of tongue-in-cheek ways to identify people as homosexuals.  Some of the most popular ones are translated to "he burns the rice", "he likes the leg of pig", and "he turns off the hot water."  Maybe Monica was trying to tell me something...)

So yes, I am now fully moved into an apartment 4 blocks away, after telling her that I was moving back to the United States.  I never, ever saw her outside of the apartment before, but Karma dictates that I am now going to run into her on a weekly basis.  Whatever, she kept the security deposit.

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