31 March 2010

The glamorous expat life

Wednesday 24 March: Nana notifies letting agency that boiler is broken and flat has no heat. Temperature in the low fifties.

Thursday 25 March: Temperatures in upper forties.

Friday 26 March: Contractor comes to visit. Says that boiler is so badly screwed up it should maybe be replaced, and the landlord will have to decide what to do. He orders the necessary repair part and says it will be in in 1-3 days. He does managed to reactivate sink and bathtub hot water, which operates separately from radiators. Nana goes to ask letting agent for decision. Letting agent says the company is authorized to repair without consulting the landlord, and therefore Nana should just wait.

Saturday March 27: Overnight low in thirties. Flat unlivable. Having obtained a key from hero History Department admin, Nana and Justin spend all day working at the University.

Sunday 28 March: Temperature rallies to 43 degrees. Friend lends Justin and Nana space heater. Nana and Justin alternate between heating bedroom and kitchen workspace. Load of laundry is attempted; humidity in kitchen means laundry won't dry.

Monday 29 March: Contractor calls to schedule boiler appointment. Overjoyed, Nana schedules it for Wednesday AM, soonest possible time.

Tuesday 30 March: Temperatures fall below freezing, with severe winds. Power lines, and thus space heater, flicker. Snow overnight.

Wednesday 31 March: Ice in toilet. Repairman arrives but is apparently not here to repair, but rather to get another estimate of cost of replacing boiler. Puzzled and cold, Justin and Nana visit letting agent, who says that the landlord decided he wanted to hear about replacing it. Justin and Nana ask why they could not have been notified of this delay. Letting agent says they are far too busy scheduling repairs to contact tenants about scheduling repairs. Justin and Nana want to ask precisely whose flat is getting repaired, as it is certainly not theirs. Instead, they ask why this estimate could not have been done one week ago, when the man came in the first time. Letting agent passes buck. Letting agent discloses that contractor is supposed to supply temporary space heaters when they can't repair the boiler immediately, and pledges to have heaters delivered today.

Justin and Nana pardonably skeptical.

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