I guess we have been pretty quiet since Christmas. I find here sometimes that because the weather is pretty much the same every day that the days seem to blend together and all of a sudden the week has passed.
Our lives here are so different to where we were this time last year and while I miss my work and family and friends I aim enjoying the peace that I have here. Currently the boy is having his afternoon nap and I’m sitting in the shade on our patio with an iced coffee writing and appreciating just how beautiful my surroundings are.
I’ve already spoken here quite a bit about the challenges associated with Puerto Rico, island living and my lack of Spanish. I genuinely try to turn these differences into positive things but sometimes it takes all of my energy to do that.
In December, the AAA (water company which is state owned) were doing some maintenance on our neighbour’s home. During this they seemed to damage our pipes and water supply. We called and added our home to what I can only imagine is a long list of complaints that they have and no one came to see us. It came back for a couple of days but with very low water pressure and we went to Ireland. When we came back once again we had no water at all. We phoned again. They promised someone would be here within a week. No one came. We phoned daily. Then hourly. Then someone came. And then they left without fixing the issue. I phoned the water company again and I’m told it’s fixed. I’m standing in the house saying well no it’s not! It took another week for someone to come because we had to go to the back of the queue system again due to the fact that someone had visited the house. Eventually we got our water back – it was gone a total of 5 weeks. The next day I come outside to see a a pipe spewing enough water to create a very attractive water fountain. It’s been three weeks and the water is still flowing and nobody has come to fix it. And guess what? We then get a water bill for $400 considering we had no water for 5 weeks and that we didn’t cause the issue in the first place. Now tell me at this point that you wouldn’t have lost your cool?!
Our house is beautiful. I love it. But the houses here just aren’t built well and all seem to have plumbing issues. We had a plumber during this past week come and fix two leaking sinks and numbers leaks in the ceilings. The next day I meet 3plus inches of water in my hallway where the toilet in the master bedroom has flooded and there is water everywhere! It took over 5 hours to clean up. I mean.. It was just one of those days where I contemplated that if I was in Ireland I would be currently working on a general election campaign but instead I was here cleaning up toilet water!!!
Obviously that moment passes pretty quickly and I appreciate the amazing opportunity we have to live here in paradise and spend so much quality time with my son and that I’ve got to meet so many lovely people that I feel blessed to call friends.
Being an expat here has my guard up. I’ve had enough bad experiences here now in Dorado to know that people think that they can rip us off and that we will just pay it. I had a cleaning lady come to my home to view it. I wanted her to come every second week to clean floors, bathrooms and windows. She said she would only come if she could come and do a deep clean of the entire house. She wanted $500 for the deep clean and $100 a week to come and do my bathrooms and floors and she would have to come every week. Crazy! Who spends $500 on cleaning?! I spoke to my house owner and asked her to arrange a cleaner for me in Spanish and see what would happen. A lady came and wanted $100 for a deep clean and $50 every second week for windows, floors and bathrooms. Its upsetting at times that I have to watch my back so much for fear that I’m being taken advantage for but I’m not going to let that get on top of me or ruin my experience here on the island.
I’m living in paradise. Something has got to give right?!