Monday, March 12, 2007

Moving Pains

It's been more than a month since we moved into our new place and I have yet to go to the pool or the gym just once. It seems that all of a sudden I had a million things to take care of everyday and there never seems to be enough hours in a day. All I did, all day long was opening up boxes and putting away stuff for the first week. When that’s done and taken care of and I thought I could take a breather, other issues started to present themselves.

Among the things to be taken care of was the air conditioner that wasn’t working in the kitchen. There are two, and according to the previous owner, one AC unit was “cooling the kitchen just fine” (her words). Well, not if you are doing pastry work. Fortunately, fixing the AC turned out to be quite fast and painless and along the way I sign a maintenance contract to have our nine AC units checked and cleaned and pampered every three months.

The next item that broke turned out to be a lot more stubborn and more resistant to repairs. Before I go on, I must say that I have never really trusted German products. They have all the high-tech design features and perform like a dream when they do work, but once they break down, it’s down right impossible to fix them, and they often do break down, quite unpredictably. Jason and I go through the same debate every time we move to a new country and try to buy a car. He’s all for design and performance whereas I value reliability above all else. So far I have always been able to steer him to buy a Japanese car, but this time I finally gave in and agreed to a German car.

Anyway, back to the piece of #@$% appliance that broke down. It was the less than three year old Gaggenau refrigerator that came with the apartment. Top of the line, with a price tag that allows you to buy a decent car in some countries, it all of a sudden decided to turn itself into a wine fridge. It would take six repairs, spanning almost six weeks to get it to work. First it was too warm in the fridge compartment that there was almost no point in using it, then it was too cold and everything got frozen, including eggs and milk. The repairmen could never seem to get the temperature just so. Actually, the verdict is still out on the result of the sixth repair, since it always takes a few days to show its true colors after each repair. It has gotten to the point where I don’t even know if I should blame Gaggenau for making such a crappy product (I mean, who’s ever heard of a fridge breaking down after only three years?) or the incompetence of the repairmen. After the third visit, it would take me an average of a week and at least five phone calls to get the guys to come again. When they do come, they look so grumpy as if it’s my fault that they weren’t doing their jobs properly. Well, now that I’m back in the US, if the fridge breaks down again, Jason will have to deal with them.

Needless to say, after this saga, Jason’s agreed to buy a Lexus. I am glad he could finally see things my way, but I just wish the convincing process didn’t have to be such a nightmare.

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