Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Necessity, it would seem

"More news from Santiago" they clamor. Less navel gazing! More nuts-and-bolts. This is what I like to pretend is happening, and I run the show here, so here goes.

The other day I went to take out the trash, to the tiny room in the hallway where we all deposit our disposeable whatnot, and I came upon this scene.



I post this poor quality, dingy picture because it illustrates the following:

-I really dislike flash photography
-What a trash room looks like in Santiago
-That several apartments on my floor have red "rechazado" (rejected) signs referring to our gas de caƱeria, or municipal gas supply (as opposed to canister gas), meaning that there's something not up to code, most likely a leak. (I include mine among these)
-What I'm talking about when I talk about electric tea kettles; and lastly
-The one of the neighbors is atrasado (late) on the electric bill.

You have to work pretty hard to have your electricity cut off in Santiago (several months usually) so it could also be that they have not paid their gastos comunes (monthly building maintenance fees paid by the renters, not the owners) for just three months, at which point the concierge wrenches open the painted-over electricity cabinet on the first floor and shuts off your juice.

Whatever the reason, someone up on this floor is reading by moonlight and heating up water in the trash room. I think it's probably the skinny black-clad gay rocker boys at the far end of the hall, of whom there seem to be more than the legal occupancy limit, but maybe some are boyfriends.

Anyway, back to heating up water in the trash room. On one hand, its very resourceful. On the other hand, yuck. Who wants to drink tea brewed with water heated amid stinky garbage smells? The boys in 608, apparently, that's who.

2 comments:

Mamacita Chilena said...

Don't you just love how so many buildings in Santiago have the big sign outside proclaiming that they didn't pass inspection? So what happens then...do the buildings crumble, does an inspector come along and evict the residents or force the building owners to make changes? No. Nothing happens. But I definitely wouldn't want to be living in one of those when an earthquake hits!

Eileen said...

oh, my building should be earthquake resistent, as it's old as dirt and lived through the last one. I'll just blow up from an inopportune match strike or something. Which reminds me of the time the manguera/hose on my stove caught on fire. But I just turned off the gas, and after some failed McGyver machinations, bought a new one!