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11/02/2013

When the fan becomes of an instrument of torture of the fan; Pedro to the rescue!

 You were asking for it, IndianSamourai did it! Pedro, the return… 

My mission today was to purchase some kind of LED lamp. I waited a few minutes at the hardware store while the guy made a few phone calls asking around who would have stock. Meanwhile Pedro – who works there – was smiling at me and showing pictures of my cat on his phone to everyone around! Once I had enough, I asked for the material to be sent at home. Yep, in India you can get anything delivered at your door step! 

 

When Pedro arrived he offered to test the LED. I was first tempted to cut the scene short and get back to my movie. After all I trusted him! I supposed he had tried it before coming didn’t he?? But just to be sure I agreed and BAM. The adapter was missing... Note to myself: always test the goods before purchasing them! 

 

I took the opportunity of Pedro’s presence to ask a question regarding the living room fan. Since my brother left and I returned to the living room, for a month it is, I have spent most of my evenings with my eyes riveted to the fan, wondering if it will ever speed up. Though the speed was on maximum, it had not been making much wind. And I had a good reason for not having called Pedro yet: the fan worked. Not very well but it worked. And if I gave it to an Indian, there was a chance it would work better but there was a greater chance it would not work at all. It seems like we have a trust issue here! And yet I speak from experience… 

 

In Mumbai, you can’t live without the fan; you can’t breathe without the fan. It helps for the heat and the mosquitoes. A drug. The fan is your best friend until the day he decides to make itself heard and starts to make some TAC-TAC noise. If he continues after you give him a few BANG, your only option is to turn it off and sweat in silence! It is impossible. This TAC-TAC is some kind of sheer Japanese torture I tell you. 

 

And then sometimes the fan goes TIC-TIC. TIC-TIC is manageable with ear-plugs.  

That’s how I have been managing for weeks, waking up early every morning to the sound of TIC-TIC (which comes when the fan is warm), putting my earplugs on, going back to sleep, and finding it impossible to wake up later on on time for work...  

But well, Pedro was there... So while we were at it, I entrusted his (expert?) hands with two of my fans! My bedroom fan thus ended up in pieces and as one again.

 

Results of the game: my living room fan is now going full speed and the bedroom fan continues with its TIC-TIC. Not so bad!

india,mumbai,flat,hardware,electrician,fan,pedro

india,mumbai,flat,hardware,electrician,fan,pedro 

09/16/2013

Meet Pedro

Special dedication to my best friend who had shocked my Indian girl friends in Delhi by commenting appreciatingly the buttocks of the rickshaw cyclist and the figure of the plumber! In India, it is like there was a mass of invisible (but very useful) people who stick to their jobs  and with whom you exchange a minimum of words because anyway (very realistically though also a bit sad and hard to admit for a French) you have nothing in common...

I met Pedro not long after moving in in my new flat in Mumbai...            
Because it didn't take long for my water-heater to blow up... Obviously.
Now that I'm experienced in this type of house catastrophes (this one can easily be put into perspective in a city where the average temperature is 30 degrees all through the year), I didn't panic one bit and simply went down to the first hardware shop to ask for a plumber.               

And here came Pedro. Tall, nice pecs, dark eyes (stressed by the khol underlining), the bad boy (Indian style).

And Pedro was taking all kind of poses, perched on my toilet to reach the heater and I couldn't help thinking of the gardener in Desperate Housewives!!       

When he left, my new plumber recommended I call him for anything else I may need. Anything?? I see you coming... No no I was just wondering what else I could need him for except for heaters bursting or pipe blockage (water pipe that is)... I must have looked puzzled because he then suggested "carpenter, fixing painting, electricity, anything". The magic plumber! 

And this proved very useful as he did drill the wall to put up shelves and frames. He also found the carpenter to fix my cupboard (a smart plumber that one isn't he? He knows his limits!). He fixed a curtain rod and did other things that you are not allowed to do yourself here. Because it is cheaper to get someone to do it than buying a drilling machine or any other tool. Also because it is better and faster done. And it provides money to someone who needs it! So why take the pain to do it yourself I ask??     

Pedro comes running whenever I call and I like this because I have zero patience when it comes to putting up a shelf. Once I realise I need the shelf up, I need it immediately. And he also gets others (real carpenters or electricians) to come immediately! And since he wants to show off his English he even tells them on the phone the job is for a "foreigner" - to translate as "hurry up, there are easy bucks to make here"... And I don't even mind!!
Take the other day for instance. Pedro overcharged me (I estimate at triple the normal price) and I was too tired (and relieved the job was done) to discuss so I hand over the notes with a face saying clearly "I know you are fucking me man!". And guess what, he gave me a hundred back!! Sometime I feel I could find faith in humanity again...

And now meet Pedro!

India,Pedro,Sameer,Desperate Housewives,hardware,fixing

     I wanted to take a picture when he was posing drilling the wall - the noise would have covered the click - but I didn't dare so I stole his whatsap picture. You wish you had a Pedro don't you??!!         

By the way his real name is Sameer...
He got that nickname from my bro. Pedro/John Rowland, Plumber/Gardener, India/USA Same same but different!       
 

09/04/2013

Imli-ji in Madhya Pradesh - Part 3

To conclude, what made our trip in quite untraveled Madhya Pradesh – who has heard of it? – very pleasant is that we discovered I could actually speak Hindi! 

I started by throwing in a few words to the herd of rickshaw wallahs jumping on us at Gwalior train station. Till there nothing too unusual… But then in the car, while the driver was chatting restlessly to impress us with his tourist guide skills, both my parents, in turn, told me one: “I don’t know what is happening I understand less and less English?” and the other: “They really have a strong accent in Madhya Pradesh don’t they? I don’t understand a word he says.” The driver had been going on and on in Hindi and I had been ‘ha-ha-ing” all along to encourage him! So here I was, able to kind of understand Hindi!! (With the valuable help of the English words sliding in here and there ;) ) 

 

And guess what? We had a very chatty driver the day we spent 10 hours in the car… Ah, dear Ravi, who hated Muslims and truck drivers, and who almost threw us in a river. He kept calling “Imli-ji” (“ji” being a mark of respect) to make sure he had my attention.

The ultimate was the lesson I got on how I should hurry up with my marriage and kid plans because if I waited more the age gap would be too big and all. My Hindi was not good enough to explain that in my case I can’t first fix a date and then look for a husband to fit in the plan… 

 

On a more serious note, throwing in some Hindi with everybody opened a lot of doors and got me a lot of nice smile!!  

 

Great trip!