Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let there be light

It's true. As of 5:15pm on Friday, January 27, we have electricity. Photos to follow.

Forgive me if I sound surprised. It's true that we were told, back in early November when we handed over a check for an absurd amount of money to cover the cost of cement poles and wire-hanging, that the process would take "10 days--two weeks max." It's true that as recently as 10 days ago, our own electrician told me that "things would have to get very complicated" for us not to have electricity by Friday. By now, I expect things to get "very complicated." When it comes to things involving installation of any sort in Spain, I am inured to hope.

Of course it didn't help that when I called on Wednesday to ask if they had finished hanging the wires, José told me that, well, they hadn't started until Tuesday, and they should be done Thursday. When I asked why they hadn't started on Monday, as he, and three other people at Viesgo had promised repeatedly, he changed the subject to how I hadn't gotten the right permissions. When I said that first, I had gotten the permissions they said we needed and that in any case the posts had been up since the first week of January, just waiting for the wires, he mumbled something about the weather. And then he changed the subject to how he still needed an order from his office to come do the final inspection and that another company would be in charge of putting in the meter, and who knew how long that would take. When I reported this to Nacho the electrician, he said, "Yes, I told you it was going to be very close to get it done by Friday." I said, "You told me things would have to get very complicated for them not to have it done by Friday." He shrugged.

Around 11, José himself showed up to do the inspection. Around noon, I called Laura at the customer service desk at Viesgo to ask when the guys would come out to do the hookup. Laura told me that she thought the team would be there that afternoon. By this point, I had already decided to head back to Madrid—forecasters were predicting a huge snowstorm overnight that would have the whole northern half of Spain blanketed, and I had to have the car in the capital to pick Geoff and Levon up on Monday. But I didn't want to miss the hook-up guys if they were indeed coming. I asked if she was sure. She said she "thought so." I decided to stay the night, kicking myself the whole time for ignoring instinct and experience.

But at 4:30, there he was: a handsome man in a blue Viesgo suit telling me I would have electricity within half an hour. I toyed with taking some of the space heaters I had bought out of their boxes, then decided to wait, still suspecting that something would go wrong. As the lights came on, Mr. Guapo said, "You never appreciate something so simple as flipping a switch until you don't have it, do you?" Well no, sir, you don't.


Anonymous said...

I found PlayBoy for FREE.
Absolutely FREE PlayBoy.

If I find something else I'll inform you.
Best Regards, Yuriy

Angie said...

I guess Playboy could have passed the time while you were waiting on electricity?

Anyway, great story about the joys of Spanish service, or lack thereof! I wandered over to your blog from Sal DeTraglia's site, and I'm glad I did!

Almendro said...

Thanks, Angie. Don´t know how those Playboy people keep finding me...