I lived almost all my life in an old apartment. Very old indeed. To give you an idea, there are no garages for all residents because the building’s designers thought it impossible that all residents would have cars.
I once saw a satellite photo of it taken in the fifties. There was only MY BUILDING in a radius of kilometers. Avenida 23 de Maio, one of the main avenues from São Paulo, where I live, and which passes near here, STILL DIDN’T EXIST.
Yeah… It’s an old building.
Despite this, it is well maintained. The ancients used to make buildings more solid, so all the bricks are in place. The big problem runs inside them: the hydraulic part and the electrical part. And it was electricity that I had problems with recently.
I freshly got married, but I’m still not living with my wife because I had to take care of my mother during the pandemic. She rarely leaves the house; I just take her out for a drive from time to time, so she doesn’t forget that there is a world out there. The maid who works here comes twice a week, but she takes a shower and changes clothes when she arrives. I take all measures to keep us isolated.
The problem is that our electric shower — the most common here in Brazil and the only type we have here at home — failed. At first, it failed after several minutes of bathing. Then after a few minutes. Until the circuit breaker went down and didn’t go up anymore. That happened last Friday.
From there until here, we took cold showers. But the temperature should drop from now on in the southern hemisphere... And I found it even more dangerous to let my mom take a cold shower than to let an electrician into the apartment. So I gave in. I looked for a good electrician online and made an appointment.
He arrived at one o’clock in the afternoon. After analyzing the problem, he told me it would not be possible to run a new, more resistant wiring because the channels for electrical wiring were already full. The wiring went short-circuited at the root, near the shower, probably because of the incompetence of those who installed it (me). It is not the ideal wiring, but it can resist for years yet until we decide to make a general renovation of the apartment. He then suggested turning the shower on properly, organizing the circuit breaker box that was messed up, and naming all the circuit breakers, which had no label.
Okay, I’m in. You had little choice, right? The work took over three hours! The circuit breakers’ organization was the funniest part because we found that three of them were useless. After all this time — when I couldn’t work, since the electricity was off — the electrician left, with the house functioning properly.
Tired and hungry, I was dying to sit down and have lunch finally, but no… It was time to disinfect the house. I took a bucket of soap and water and wiped everywhere the electrician went, including the floor. AN HOUR LATER, even more tired and hungry, I finally went to lunch. It was almost five o’clock in the afternoon by then.
I heated the food for my mother and me and set the table. I sat down at the table with the relief of the mission accomplished. From now on, I could go back to my routine. I served my mother’s plate, and when I went to fill the glasses, I realized that there was no water in the jar.
I went to the kitchen and turned on the filter tap. It exploded in my hand.
What a day…