Thursday, May 24, 2012

Caught With My Clothes Off......

Sitting here naked yesterday when a truck pulled up to the front gate.  It was the window installers of course at 9 am.  They told us they'd be here around 1 pm and the man even specified after lunch, but here they are four hours early.  So we both scrambled to put on clothes but since Clyde had it easier he was the one to let them into the house. 

On Monday we waited all morning for the window guys since Clyde said they told him they'd be there first thing Monday morning.  In the afternoon Clyde suggested we run over there to see what time they'd be here.  I asked "did they say....temprano Lunes.....which means "early Monday?"  Clyde looked confused and said "no, they said "Martes."  Well since "Martes" is Tuesday we were just lost in translation again.  But the good thing is Clyde won't ever mix up Lunes and Martes again.

Since early can mean 6 am to a Panamanian, on Tuesday we got up early and put clothes on waiting in anticipation.  It was around 9 am that two young men were dropped off at our house, with their tools and the ten windows.  The truck left them here apparently to go to another job, which made perfectly good sense not tying up a truck on one job site.  Although the windows were numbered the installer had no idea which went where.  Fortunately Clyde was here when the owner measured the windows and he knew which was one, two and so on and told this to the young man.

They went to work installing the windows and caulking around them on the inside and out.  Clyde asked about the screens and was told that the screens and the locks would not be ready until mañana.  Before they installed the glass sliders they carefully cleaned each one using a glass cleaner and I was impressed.  But after they put them up I noticed large, black numbers written on the glass with marker.  We questioned why they left the numbers on and the young man commented that he'd remove those.....mañana.  Yes there's always.....mañana.

They finished up around noon and called the office for a ride while sitting outside on our front porch.  Clyde gave them a bag and told them to help themselves to mangoes which they munched on while waiting for their ride.  Before leaving they told us the materials to make the screens was coming from Panama City in the morning.  Once it arrived they'd make the screens and bring them over around 1 pm and he even said "despues almuerzo" which means "after lunch."  Which is exactly why they showed up at 9 am ready to install the screens and locks.

Yesterday once again they worked until noon and told us they had to leave to get one more screen and would be back in one hour.  So while they were gone we ran off to the eye doctor in Coronado so I could get my eye rechecked.  The doctor saw me immediately and said that my eye was healed and didn't even charge anything.  On the drive back home Clyde said "where could you go in the states to be seen by a doctor immediately and for no charge?" 

The window guy showed up on schedule only to discover that the screen didn't fit which meant he'd have to come back again.....mañana.  And as for those numbers on the glass written in marker, they did clean them off yesterday.  Now instead of numbers we have a big, round smudge on the glass that needs to be cleaned again....mañana.

My afternoon was spent sucking up dirt made by the installers and then washing the floors after vacuuming.  Clyde's been on the lookout for a hedge trimmer and after another expat emailed him about where he could buy one, he was off to the store.  He found a Black and Decker one at a local hardware store that works just fine making him a happy hedger. 

Headed over to Coronado toward evening for an expat mixer. We met a few new people there.  Some thinking of moving to Panama and others already living here.

All projects here in Panamá take longer than expected.  So whether you're visiting on vacation or moving your life here bring lots of patience.  And remember if it doesn't get done today, there's always mañana......along the gringo trail.

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