Friday, September 18, 2009

I Can't Stop Chasing Men

I have been married for almost six years. I am happily committed to my life partner of 16 years, but I am sad to say that, for some reason, no matter where we move to I just can't stop chasing men.
In Utrera there was strong, dark, curly haired Carlos. When he would drive by in his orange truck, my heart would pitter-patter and there were days I would actually chase after him. His physical presence in a room would cause me to shout an "Hola". My girlfriends all thought I needed help, because they felt Carlos was a bit of a perv. I would argue with them, "What other man in town could keep your shower as hot and steamy as Carlos?" After all he was the Butano (butane) delivery guy.
In rural Andalucia, and most of Spain for that matter, there are no gas lines. Water is heated either electrically or by butane--our apartment had the joy of butane. Butane comes in these orange canisters that are a bit bigger than the propane ones for the gas barbies. It is delivered to your home when you call the company and place an order.
There are several cons to the heating of water by butane. One is that you never know when the bottle is going to run out. This usually occurred half-way through my shower and I would find myself wrapped in a towel, dripping wet, on the roof of the apartment trying to change the bombona. Believe me when I say this was not fun in the middle of winter.
Another problem, as stated above, was the rooftop location of our heater. This meant that I had to lug the heavy, bulky bottle up three narrow, steep flights of stairs.
And finally, when you called to order a bottle of butane you were either assigned a morning or afternoon delivery time. This meant you had to dedicate either an entire morning or afternoon to sitting at home waiting for the gas. Since we lived smack in the middle of town, there was the added issue of limited parking. I tried to explain this to the delivery company and would request that the butane come first thing, before the businesses opened. I was always told--and quite rudely-- "you can't choose the delivery hour of your butane." So my actual delivery was never really based on a morning or afternoon time slot; it was whenever the delivery guy could find parking. This could be three days after the scheduled delivery.
After about six months of butane delivery madness, I decided to take maters into my own hands. There was nothing I could do to control when the water turned cold, but I figured there was something I could do about the delivery process.
It didn't take much, just some of my female charm and a few extra euros, to get my butane carried all the way to the roof. The actual delivery was a bit more difficult. I had to become a stalker. I constantly scanned the streets for the orange delivery truck and soon I was familiar with Carlos' routine. I discovered, if I stopped off at Cafe Illy on my way home from my 7 am run, I could pay for Carlos' coffee, which would ensure that by the time I arrived at the flat he was waiting at my door step.
So when we moved to Adelaide, and I found out the water isn't heated by butane, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, I was soon faced with another dilemma. For some reason, we do not have recycling pick up at our building. I spoke with the guys that pick up our neighbors recyclables, but my female charm hasn't worked at getting them to pick up ours--we don't have a bin.
Fortunately, one day as I was returning from my morning run a resolution to my problem presented itself. It was recycling day for everyone on the street but us. In the distance I could see an older gentleman searching the bins for 5 cent deposit items. I ran upstairs for my collection of beer bottles. A new chase was about to begin.

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious! Keep the funny stuff coming.