Maintenance Morning

25 Jan

Haaretz

Don't let the maintenance man read your paper...especially if he's Irish-Israeli!

Last week two representatives from the Govt. Housing Dept. came for a “walk-through” of our house. This is routine when you move into U.S. Govt.-owned or leased housing. I reviewed maintenance issues with I. while M. took requests for removal or requisition of furniture items.

This morning several teams of maintenance workers came to the house to see after the requests I had made last week. They came in pairs: two guys to repair the leaking sink and to install a towel rack in the master bathroom; two who repaired a faulty electrical outlet, made us a second garage door remote control and sealed the holes from the TV cables to the backyard; and finally two to repair a window frame and replace the cover over our patio area. One of the maintenance men spoke with an Irish accent but has apparently been living here a long time and considers himself Israeli. He kept trying to get me talking about politics. When he learned I was of Italian descent he began grilling me about Berlusconi and then began comparing Bill Clinton to Berlusconi. When he saw we had a copy of the Haaretz (part of the international version of  The New York Times) he decried it as a radical left wing publication that is pro-Arab and depicts Israel as a nation that practices apartheid. I attempted to mollify him by saying we also read The Jerusalem Post. Later in the morning a fellow stopped by for me to pick out window treatments for our sliding glass doors and living room windows. My choices were rather limited, since the govt. is paying for it. They prefer you to pick neutral colors and not too extravagant materials. His visit took about a half-hour and by then I had chosen Roman blinds for the living room and sheers for the sliding glass doors. Normally a decision like that would take me weeeeeks.

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