Big day, today.
It was finally time to get The Decision from the electric company! Could they do it? Could they get us electricity?
It was also the day to see the lawyer and pick up the important piece of paper she had asked to be added to the contract "in case the owner of the land died." Dunno if it's standard lawyer stuff or if she has a sixth sense, but here we are and wow, it feels good to have this paper. So, lawyer paper is 98% complete (just missing an add-on about making my payment to the senora. Next week.)
This being complete-ish, I made my way to the electric commission to be told my fate.
On the way out of town, I had stopped at the "house" to see how everyone was doing and they seemed a little grumpy so I was hoping to come back with the news that "hey! we're getting electricity!" - which really probably only matters to me.
At the commission, I waited about an hour and was amused by the whole "whose turn is it?" system. You see, there is a paper number machine at the entrance of the nicely air-conditioned office - but it doesn't work. Just like the bank's doesn't work. Just like this one did not work last time either. So it's kind of fun to see people walk in, try to get a number, look puzzled and then look up at the waiting room, trying to find out who is right before them, who is the last person to have walked in. Usually, someone will point at a person sitting down and say "you're after the guy with the baseball cap." Me, I feel like inventing paper pieces with numbers on them every time, pin them to shirts, fix this darn mess, but instead, I get cozy in my chair and enjoy the system, which really works just fine.
I was after the-lady-with-the-pink-dress and took my seat at the desk, all ready to hear my fate.
I handed out my application number, made small talk about how great that the gentleman had already come by and how-well-this-is-all-working-out. The masked woman on the other side got up and left. When she returned, she had a small pile of papers with her. My papers! I thought.
She showed them to me and explained the process. I have till May 22 to go to a bank. Pay the fee. Then they have 28 days to bring in the transformer and get us ready to be connected. Then, we have a week to get the contract signed and they have 7 days to get us electricity. I am computing the calendar of this fun game in my head and I gather that around May 15 I will have electricity.
Then at the back of the papers, the cost.
The price I need to pay by May 22 to make this happy chain start moving forward. About 900 dollars.
Hmmm. That's more than I was hoping but I can make it work. Especially if we can split it within a couple of neighbors, and then they get their own account.
I thank her, I walk out, get in my car, and head towards the jungle, back home. Away from lawyers and fancy-ish offices.
In the car, I start thinking about how to make it work. My wheels are turning. $900.00 is not nothing but then I'll have electricity. At a stoplight, I look at the pile of papers and my eyes bug out. What? What is this? This ... number? This 171,000 pesos number. HOW THE HECK DID I MISREAD THIS? We are no longer talking about 900 dollars - we are talking about an impossible NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
Within seconds I have pulled over into the first gas station and I am buying two packs of MnMs (peanuts and originals) and one giant bar of Hershey's Cookies & Creams. The guy behind the counter looks at me funny, possibly a little scared.
NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS??? What the heck? Who has this kind of money?? I sure know who doesn't!! MOI.
I arrive at the work site full of sugar and my curls working overtime, flying everywhere. Jorge immediately pours me a massive orange-colored delicious orange drink. That should help. I am turning into a pure sugar-generated machine.
Whew. Door closed. Someone open a window, please. There is a solution and I can't wait to meet it.
Meanwhile, the workers still seem a bit grumpy to me. I ask Jorge and he tells me not to worry. Which makes me worry. Did they not like me mentioning that they have called in hungover 3 of the last 4 Mondays? Do they hate me? Are they going to quit and leave me all alone with my half-finished house, so very close to the sewer water and with no light?
Obviously, I need some Lila time and a lot of water.
On the way home I stop at the body shop mechanic and ask him to fix the back handle of Mitsu, my car. Mitsu has some bumps and signs of a life fully lived, but I am not liking this latest boo-boo incurred when a friend slammed the hatchback a bit too enthusiastically. Antonio knows my budget and my sensibilities so he brings out the silicone and the masking tape. For 100 pesos, I am happy. I just need to remember to peel off the masking tape in the morning.
Back home I get caught up on the events of the day with the mayor and the water treatment story (we now have over 680 signatures) and the picture that seems to emerge is that "fixing" the plant may not do it. We may need a new one all together. Ha!
What a day.
Lila and I made our way to the beach for sunset and even though I may have gotten more questions than answers today, I feel happy and trusting.
And tomorrow, of all things, I am going to... Costco! Jorge wants to buy a small generator so that they may start cutting pipes and things and we are going on a field trip. I think it will be the quickest way to feel like I am in the US.
Oh - the US.
I was told by a lawyer that I may go and pick up my resident card later this week or next week! It will most likely be ready because ... the printing machine is working again. Yup. I (and many others I am sure) have been unable to leave the country because the printing machine was broken.