Sunday, December 4, 2011


Ugh. Getting this loo repaired is a ridiculous ordeal. The only upside is that I don’t have to pay for it and that the Super has finally swung into action. I mean, between his smoke breaks.  

There are three workers, none of whom seem to speak much less understand English. There is one hanging out in my bathroom (literally he is sitting on the tub ledge with his phone) and two are upstairs in the neighbor’s apartment. The neighbor has agreed to leave his key with the Super but expects the Super to leave the key with the office. Why I need to know these details is beyond me. I don’t want to be responsible for my neighbor’s key period.

Additionally, it is awkward to be in my own apartment. I don’t feel like I can work, make calls or watch the telly with an unknown man with non-existent English sitting 20 feet away. Good thing I drank my coffee and used the loo before the workers came. And since I don’t own a couch, I am not going to sit on my bed with a stranger in the apartment.

Ten minutes later the Super comes in. “We need your drain stopper,” he says to me and then barks something at the man in my bathroom. “Uhm, okay – well, will I get a drain stopper?” I ask as I watch the worker take the stopper out of my apartment and up the stairs. “Yea, yea, sure – let me take care of him first. I want to finish with him and then you. Can’t understand anything he says…” the Maltese Super mutters.

I find this so offensive on a few levels. One, I have watched “Americans” mock my parents for their accents while growing up in the heartland. So I think it is heartless and cruel for the Super to do this because (1) the Super is an immigrant from Malta and (2) my neighbor pays his salary and (3) isn’t this discrimination on some level? And holy moly what does the Super say about the rest of us? It is not like any of us WANT to have issues in our apartment. While I love living on the UES, and don’t miss that commute from Washington Heights – I do miss my former Super.


Dhak-Dhak Girl said...

I understand why you're worried about the workers understanding you and the Super (assuming they don't speak a language in common). But this surprised me: "I don’t feel like I can work, make calls or watch the telly with an unknown man with non-existent English sitting 20 feet away." Does his lack of English make you more uncomfortable? If so, that's akin to the Super's attitude toward your neighbor. Personally, I'd feel more comfortable conducting private business in front of someone who can't understand what I'm saying than in front of someone who could.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Dhak-Dhak Girl -

Thanks for the comment. And no actually my discomfort has nothing to do with language. I dont feel like myself. I dont it just felt awkward to conduct business as usual with an audience. I guess I am so used to living alone and being alone that I did not know what to do with him there.And when I home alone I always have the telly on - for noise and companionship - and I guess I didn't want him thinking I sit at home all day with the telly on - I dont know why I even cared what he thought - now that I think about this some more ...