Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Night of the Sopapillas

This night seemed like an ordinary one.  The roommates were home, and some were hanging out in the common area.  A few were cooking.  None of us had any idea what was in store for us later that night.
I shared my exciting news that I was moving next weekend with them.  I had found 2 Chileans that were looking for a roommate in their 3 bedroom apartment.  It puts me closer to work and costs a bit more than what I am paying now, but it is worth it for the piece of mind with the roof and having internet that actually works consistently.

Fabiola and Matias were making sopapillas, which are like the fried dough of doughnuts but flat and round without the hole in the middle.  They made enough for everyone, and so we sat around and shared a meal of sopapillas with a sauce like pico de gallo (but with avocado added in also) and also with a sweet sugar sauce and honey. 

So we sat around talking while we ate the sopapillas.  There were lots of jokes and laughing, and I also found out about an amazing deal for flying with LAN Chile within Chile for between 50 and 75 bucks roundtrip.  Mario showed off his amazing sense of fashion.  As we shared this meal together, I realized something: my concerns with the house not being clean and that some of my food are something that I think I have been taking personally.  My roommates are nice people for the most part and don't have any bad intentions, and despite the things that have happened I enjoy spending time with them.

That's when the rain started.  We expected the roof in the back to leak since it did that when it rained about 3 weeks ago, but we didn't expect water to be dripping out of the pipe directly onto the cords for the telephone and modem.  Water started making a puddle on the floor, and the same place we were just enjoying the sopapillas then looked like this:
The next hour or so invovled drying off the modem, moving the telephone and internet cables, and relocating all of the living room furniture to higher ground so it would not get wet.  In the process we also discovered other areas of the main roof that were leaking, and we gathered bowls and buckets to catch the rainwater.

We called our landlord about the situation, and surprisingly he wasn't available to help us.  His reason: it was raining.  This was after he was almost refusing to give me the address to write the letter to give my ten day's notice of vacancy and wanting to meet with me to try to talk me out of moving.  He also was trying to tell me that I would only get my security deposit back after another person moves into my room, but after verifying the information with Andrea (my program coordinator) I found out that he has 30 days to return my security deposit to me, regardless of if my room is rented or not.  She assured me that I am doing everything right and that she would help me out with getting my deposit back if necessary.

The landlord kept giving me a hard time about why I was moving, (the roof was supposed to be fixed for the second time over 2 weeks ago, and they never arrived to fix the internet over 2 weeks ago either, and then there's the rat and how badly they handled that situation) so I simply told him that I will not be discussing anything about the place without my coordinator present to prevent any misunderstandings.  It was a really frustrating situation, but I am grateful to have people here that are looking out for me.

I don't know what resources there are here to file complaints against landlords, but at this point I will be glad to get my security deposit back.  I just feel bad for my roommates that are stuck in this situation, especially with the leaky roof.  I will sign the contract for my new place on Saturday, and I already have a suitcase packed with things I won't need for the following week until I can get completely moved in. 

At the time it was a really frustrating situation, but I am looking at it as part of the adventure and experience.  And despite the problems I am having getting back my security deposit from the landlord, it is actually a really good exercise in asserting myself and reamining calm in an upsetting situation.  Given time I am sure it is going to work out.

No comments:

Post a Comment