Monday, August 10, 2009

Dealing with a Bulgarian speaking plumber

A week ago, Jodie noticed that the wall in the hallway leading to our bedroom was a bit damp, directly behind the kitchen sink. We had Marina, the office assistant who handles our affairs, call the landlord, and the landlord visited our apartment to assess the damage.

On Friday, Jodie stayed home in the morning waiting for the plumber to arrive. He showed up, and didn't speak a word of English. However, looking under the sink he knew what the problem was, and using phone calls to Marina as an intermediary, informed Jodie that he had to go out to buy parts.

The plumber switched a small faucet, which apparently had been leaking into the wall. He left, and Jodie went to work, assuming that our problems were over.

On Saturday morning, Jodie put up a load of laundry, only to notice that water was leaking under the woodwork onto the kitchen floor. A look under the sink revealed that the plumber had neglected to connect up the drainage pipe.

We called Marina and she called the landlord. The landlord's plumber could not be reached, so Marina found an alternative, and the landlord agreed. This new plumber showed up, of course not speaking a word of English. There is only so much you can explain in broken Bulgarian and hand signals, even though the word problem is exactly the same in both languages. Through Marina's translations over the phone, we learned that not only was the drainage pipe not connected, but that the drain was clogged.

A short while later, after some plumber magic, we were connected again and clog-free. This plumber was quite professional, and checked to ensure that the washing machine was draining properly.

We said, "Blagoderiya" and the plumber left. We could finally begin our weekend!

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