Monday, October 26, 2009

I can’t get no calefacción…

I’d been looking forward to Saturday 24th, the day the heating was to come on. Yesterday was a mild 14° but mornings are a bit chilly and one day last week it reached only 8°, even at mid-day.

The notice in the hallway was dated 2008, but José Eladio assured me it was because it was the same date every year.

I was surprised, then, when the radiators were hot on Friday 23rd, when I arrived home from school. Not for long and not all of them – the bedroom and hall ones remained cold and the knob to make them hotter was stuck. Best not force them, I thought, after my disaster with the ‘persiana’ last week: I tugged the cord too hard and the blind disappeared into the box over the window.

The heat must be on a trial run, in case adjustments were needed.

Then the same thing happened on the 24th. The radiators had been on for an hour when I left the flat at one and were cold when I got back at seven. Today they haven’t come on at all. There’s obviously someone at the remote control, working to a bonus.

José Eladio and Olga have been so kind to me I don’t want to raise a further problem. They went out of their way to help when I arrived – Olga offering a room in her lovely flat, with my own bathroom, at such short notice, and José Eladio ringing agencies trying to find a place within the Vaughantown budget. In the end he resorted to friends and relations. He even drove me round to view and it wasn’t his fault the first one was too big.

When I expressed my thanks he said, ‘It’s normal’.

Are all Spaniards so kind and helpful? I think maybe they are. ‘It’s the weather’, says Olga.

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