Thursday, September 30, 2010

The surprises never end...

Days 5 and 6: Moving in and unpacking

Don’t you just love it when the left hand knows absolutely nothing about what the right hand is doing??

This house, unlike the house in Cape Town, does not have a securely covered patio to shelter doggies from rain, nor does it have a snug dog house like Hell House. We therefore ventured back to the wilds of Four Ways (the traffic was horrific even on Saturday) and bought a dog house, which was scheduled for delivery around 10 am Monday morning. Today is Monday and when the poochie palace hadn’t arrived by 2 this afternoon, I put in a call. “The delivery guys are running late,” the woman explained to me on the phone. “But you will have it this afternoon.” A few minutes later my phone rang…it was another person from the dog house place, calling to inform me that they didn’t have the house I wanted (and have already paid for) in stock, that it won’t be available until later in the week, perhaps not until Wednesday. When I asked about the delivery commitment made at the time of sale, I was told “she doesn’t work on the weekend, she doesn’t know.” Huh? Any way you slice it, no dog house today and there is apparently some serious miscommunication going on at the place that is now holding a big chunk of our money without having provided product in return.

Yesterday, Day 5, was spent running around collecting various bits and bobs necessary to make a life in this house: an extension for the baby gate so that the Yorkie (whom Hubby has recently nicknamed Chewbaba for her penchant for destroying a rawhide chew in short order) can’t slip out into the garden unnoticed. She’s not water safe yet and the pool is disgusting, so I can’t teach her, so the gates stay up. We had to return to the pharmacy because they forgot one of my prescriptions (how does that happen??), pick up a little something for dinner, and find a doorbell and a mailbox, since this house needs both.

The antiques business in this town seems better than in Cape Town: we went to the monthly antiques fair held at Sandton City and I saw some lovely European pieces, things we don’t often get in California and are in short supply in the Western Cape. Johannesburg, after all, was the centre of mining wealth and the gracious living it could provide, so many of the accoutrements of that lifestyle grace the antique fair tables. From Waterford crystal to Wedgwood jasperware to clamshell-shaped silver Victorian biscuit barrels to lovely Royal Albert porcelain tea services, it was all there, beautifully displayed to tempt one’s pocket.

We had lunch at a seafood restaurant called Montego Bay. I had hopes that the name reflected the menu choices, but no such luck. No conch chowder, no stone crab, no tropical fruit salads to appeal to the palate, but the Scottish salmon was tender and delicate, the mashed potatoes surprisingly tasty. I have to admit to being a bit of a Philistine in this regard, however, for as nice as the salmon was, I really couldn’t tell if it was from Scotland, Norway, Cape Town, or even off the Oregon coast. Perhaps because I am not a fish aficionado, they all taste the same to me? Ordinarily I detest fish, salmon being one of the notable exceptions. I grew up with fresh-caught (and subsequently home frozen or smoked) salmon from the Oregon coast and, frankly, this Scottish salmon tasted much the same to me.

Today, Day 6, was another day of unpacking. We have not fully unpacked the kitchen, but the necessity of finding Hubby’s work clothes overshadowed that. By the end of the day, however, we had pretty much located most of his wardrobe and, as a bonus, mine as well. After a few loads of laundry were run through the machine and attacked with an iron, we’re on our way back to normality, at least where the wardrobe is concerned.

The quote from the plumber for replacing the staff quarters toilet and repairing four others was a shocker: R10,000!! That is a substantial sum of money…we are paying R2,000 to have the pool fixed, including digging up the lawn and removing and replacing some of the paving! And no quote for chasing down the electrical problems has even been submitted, so we still have that to deal with. Tomorrow a handyman is coming to assess a myriad of little problems, including the shelf runner that has fallen out of the cupboard wall, and installing the mailbox that seems to have disappeared from the front of the house. The law says you have to leave curtain rods and the sellers did…but apparently the law is silent on the condition of said rods and the rod above a large window is apparently non functional…I can’t even figure out how to hang a curtain on it, so either something is missing from the thing or…well, I dunno, but maybe this handyman fellow can figure it out for me.

And so Day 6 winds down, nothing dramatic to report except the effort to drag my eyebrows back into their normal position after hearing that plumbing quote…maybe the handyman can replace toilets at something more reasonable? Tomorrow, I suppose, will tell.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, SV, I am so happy for the surgery results. You are the second of my myopic friends who says her vision has NEVER been better. You've not mentoned house security - I trust that you are in a more secure sub-division - maybe the whole community gated? The rental house made me nervous just to read about it :-(. Care, Norine


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