Well I don’t think it’s that bad

I’ve encountered a few problems with my apartment over the past few days. The biggest one by far has been the complete lack of hot water. Yes, this means I haven’t been showering for the past few days. The pipe under the sink has also broken (Again. Good money says it’ll be fixed with tape. Again.) as well as the freezer box door, which is now dripping on my food. And there is water damage from last week’s rain on my kitchen walls. I tell my colleagues at work about these problems and they, as always, are always attentive to my concerns (not just about my living situation).

I was told that they couldn’t get a repairman to my apartment then. It wasn’t a big deal; I’m oddly calm about everything. I started out with “Well, my apartment might be frigid, but at least I have hot water” I just rolled with it and changed it to “Well, I might be able to see my breath and can’t take a hot shower, but at least the pipes aren’t frozen”. Glass half full kinda stuff. But still, it got me thinking, if I lose power? I’d probably just shrug my shoulders “meh” and stick it out to morning. Odd, don’t you think?

So back to the story. Today, my colleague gets a phone call saying my land lady is going to meet me at my apartment to get the boiler fixed. Thankfully, it’s still under warranty (it was installed four days before I moved in). I get to the apartment with someone else from the office and she and a repairman are already there. I walk in, still wearing my boots, and notice everyone else is too. My land lady points to all the Bulgarian words and verbs I’ve taped around the foyer and smiles. She asks me for something from the kitchen, I go in and walk across, still in my shoes, to get it. She is horrified! And goes on about not wearing shoes in the apartment.

The boiler gets fixed (it turns out it was just a fuse) and I head back to the office. I walk in, and my colleague is on the phone…with my land lady. She (my co-worker) gets off the phone and tells me my land lady is very concerned about how messy my apartment is and the fact I wore my shoes into the kitchen. She goes on to tell me about how Bulgarian children are taught never to wear shoes in the house and that my land lady has offered to show me how to clean my apartment! My colleague then offers to show me how to clean my apartment as well! I’m sitting there thinking, ok, yes, I am a guy living alone, but it’s not that bad. Should I be grateful or mildly insulted? She then calls my land lady back to assuage her. “Jimmy,” she says laughing, “she wants to know what day she can come over and show you how to clean”. I think she’s joking, but no. She’s coming over Sunday morning to teach the hapless American. I told my site mate I was going to pre-empt her and clean before she gets here. She just laughed at me “There is no way you can clean better than a Bulgarian” (she’s lived in a small town in Bulgaria for over a year).

So that’s my Sunday. Oh, and I have to work on Saturday (but I get the 31st off).

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