Awkward

To quote my nephew Kieran, awkward! That is how I have been feeling the past few days when dealing with the service people coming to our home. First it was the Direct TV guys on Friday. They appeared to have walked here carrying all their equipment. From where, we don’t know. Once inside there was waaay too much conversation for us to comprehend. But we figured it out and, several hours later, we were all hooked up.

Saturday was more of the same, this time with the plumber, Jhony pronounced Yanni), who came to repair a leaky pump and figure out why we didn’t have hot water on a consistent basis. (Cold showers were getting old.) I’m not sure how he got here, but he arrived with only 3 tools. So we spent the day with Jhony in our house, trying to communicate. Matt got to help Jhony when the pump kicked in and spewed water everywhere and I got to go on 5 trips to the hardware store around the corner for the various supplies. That’s how it works here – I had to go to buy the parts – no getting billed for it. I felt like quite the regular when I went by myself on the last trip. It made me nostalgic for Saturdays at the hardware store with my dad and Tommy. Poor Jhony – he thought he had fixed everything, but the pump still leaks. We do have hot water, but in order to get it we have to flip the pump switch, wait 10 minutes, turn off the pump and then use the water. And apparently that us how it is supposed to work!

After Jhony we met with Olga, who is going to be our maid. She was recommended by the other principal at the school and we thought that perhaps she would have some English skills. Nope. After the most awkward moments yet, we hired her and she starts tomorrow. We are going to the store together to get a few more cleaning supplies and then I will likely hide from her the rest of the day and hope she doesn’t have any questions! She will be coming 4 days a week so it will be interesting to see what she will do – we aren’t that dirty. But the house is quite dusty and I don’t want to spend my days mopping floors and dusting.

I’ve realized that when we leave the house for an errand we are prepared for the simple conversation we need. But when people are in our home, there is a lot more that needs to be said and then we get stuck. Also, I have to remember that people tend to be nervous around us and that makes them talk faster and faster, which doesn’t help. This awkwardness should be good incentive to learn Spanish quickly!

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11 thoughts on “Awkward

  1. Love reading about your new adventures! Might want to consider bringing
    back some plumbers tape to seal that leak:)

      • Fantastic blog, Kerry and congratulations on your successful travels and house set up! I am looking forward to additional posts, even if it takes me forever to get to them! Kerryon!

  2. I like that the leaking pump is hitting the electrical box. Maybe he is trying to get work for his electrician brother. How about ordering a new pump?

    • Yeah, Matt noticed that too and turned off the electrical (which stopped the pump – go Matt)! A new pump is the next step. Jhony is calling me today to arrange coming back. Yikes!

  3. Awkward is the perfect word to describe situations like this when communication is limited. We had a cleaning lady for a period of time who was Brazilian and spoke only very broken English in a thick accent. She was very sweet, but I found speaking with her to be exhausting and forget about when she tried to converse with my 3 year old. Eventually we came to understand each other, and I am sure the same will happen for you too!

  4. Wow – I would have no idea WHAT to buy for a handy man. Good job working with Jhony Kerry! It WILL get easier, and they feel awkward too in their nervousness. I smiled a lot & used a lot of hand gestures when I was in Japan (though I knew some basic Japanese). You’ll figure it out!

  5. Just catching up on your adventures and actually laughing out loud. Wondering if you get a discount for having to purchase the parts and for Matt helping? It will get easier 🙂

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