Inocentes: in which our apartment tries to kill us and we also party.

19 Dec

Saturday morning found both Greg and I lounging around, him working and me reading (Daniel Deronda you start off so slow and then get SO.GOOD). It was a lazy day and we had very little planned aside from a shindig in the evening our friend Veronica invited us to.

Then came the knock at the door at 9AM.

The gas company, EPM, was scheduled for some kind of check-up and assessment. “Bueno” we said, and let him go on his merry way to our kitchen. He plugged some numbers into a few machines, turned our oven and the stove burners off and on, checked the hot water in our sink. He spent a lot of time with our water heater; there was much beeping.

30 minutes later, our friend wants to talk. I am tired and reading and cannot speak Spanish, so I call Greg in. He then proceeds to tell us that our apartment is trying to kill us. It seems our water heater is putting out ~40% more carbon monoxide than is legal. Then came the kicker: sorry, but we have to turn off your gas until you fix this.


A week before Christmas and two days before four people arrive at our apartment, our appliances need to be not only fixed, but then we have to call EPM to come back and turn our gas back on (and who knows how long that would take during a busy holiday week). WORST.TIMING.EVER.

For two people who enjoy cooking at home, not having gas is kind of a pain. But eating out or eating something cold/microwavable isn’t the end of the world. What is the end of the world is cold showers. I am not kidding you when I tell you in Boston, when we didn’t have hot water for three days in the winter, I didn’t shower (this is a no-judgement zone, right? NO?! Dang). I know that makes me sound spoiled but I DON’T CARE. HOT SHOWERZ 4 LYF.

After having the EPM guy explain the issue to our landlord via phone, he sent someone over who was like “mmmm this is outside of my area of expertise”. THANK YOU, KIND SIR.

After Greg talked me back from the edge of the “cold shower cliff”, I took a breath, continued reading and figured “this isn’t the end of the world”. And then I had to take a cold shower. But then I had some tea and got over it. After all, we had a party to go to!

On our way out the door at 9PM, we meet our landlord, his wife and a technician on their way up to see us. At 9PM. If we had left any earlier we would have missed them, because landlords here DON’T CALL YOU, they just show up! Which is fine, but also kind of scary when you work from home and usually don’t shower or change out of your pajamas until 4PM (forgot that this wasn’t a judgement-free zone again!)(I am the worst).

The gas guy assessed the problem and promised to come over the next day to take care of everything. For your reference, someone working on a Sunday here is like seeing a unicorn. And we saw one. Because he was here on Sunday. For five hours. And then he illegally tuned our gas back on! UNICORNS ARE MAGICAL, GUYS!

So our gas situation is fixed and our apartment is no longer trying to kill us for the time being. And even though our hot showers are not nearly as hot as they were before (STUPID) at least we are not slowly being poisoned. The flip side of this may be that our resistance to carbon monoxide poisoning has likely gone up. If that’s even a thing (Greg said it isn’t).

So! When we finally did head out on Saturday it was a super interesting evening. Veronica has been working with a group of artists to put on an…artistic evening…at a formerly abandoned house in the center of town. It was so cool! They had live bands, food, an artisan room and different rooms were dedicated to different mediums of art with showings at different times. My favorite room was a dank and dark basement (gross) that had been transformed with various glow sticks and Christmas lights. It was awesome! There were clowns performing and art everywhere. And we took sips of this weird ginger wine that was alternately shocking/burn-ey but also surprisingly good!

At midnight we headed over to the Poblado with Carlos and another friend, Virginia. Super fun, as usual. Also, we were finally able to drink the famous Duff Beer that is sort-of-illegally marketed in latin america. They describe it as a “roja” or “red” beer, and it wasn’t terrible! SUCCESS!

And so, today, we are looking forward to the arrival of Mari, Marc, Torrey and Garret to start off our Super Medellín Christmas Extravaganza! Things I hope:

  1. We all get used to the firecrackers and fireworks that are seriously going off at all hours of the day and night. Doesn’t firecrackers during the day seem “off”? Fun/UGH
  2. We find some better vegetarian options than making Mari eat beans and arepas every day while the rest of us eat delicious, delicious  meat
  3. That nobody pukes on the ride back from the airport (who am I kidding? we all know I will be the one to puke)(UGH)

Updates to come, I am sure.


One Response to “Inocentes: in which our apartment tries to kill us and we also party.”

  1. Lea Anthony December 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    NO KIDDING! What a nightmare. These are the times you either cowboy up or crumble.
    I dunno about the cold showers..I might chose to take a tiny spitz bath in a tub or sink. Whatever……
    Glad to hear things are back to normal just in time for your guests. What a wonderful time you all will have. Know we will be thinking of you both enjoying Greg’s family, and maybe we can sneak in a holiday Skype.

    Everyone asks after you and wonders when you will be back. My answer is always a puzzled look, and then I tell them sometime next spring, so we all can have a reception celebration. Seems people feel cheated they did not see you get married.

    Keep enjoying the Columbian Christmas, an do not tell them you were raised Catholic or they might lock you in a church,

    Kisses, Mom

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