Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Making Life Easy

Dominicans on the whole like making life easy for themselves, which on the face of it is a good thing. Nobody wants a difficult life. But what this means in practice can be very frustrating for their first world partners. It means never checking in the fridge to see if there is an open can of tomato paste, just open a new one and put it half empty back in the fridge to join the other seven half empty ones there. It means never putting the lid back on anything properly, place it on the top but don't bother to screw it down. It means never emptying the bucket of the dirty mop water, never picking up beer bottle caps when flipped off whilst opening the bottle. Never drying the dishes and putting them away, just take them from the draining board when you need them. The teenagers are worst. My stepson washes the dishes at night, and it is hard work washing the pan which the rice was in as it has to be burned on the bottom - the concon - the
favourite part of the rice. He would no more dream of washing it up than flying to the moon, as it takes some effort to get it clean. The easy option is to leave it to soak in the hope that someone else will wash it up, or to hide it in the oven or a cupboard. Out of sight out of mind. At least he no longer throws the dirty pans in the bin as he did when he was much younger.

And it doesn't just apply to your nearest and dearest - the workmen are the same. I recently
had satellite TV transferred from the old house to this one. The man drilled the hole in the wall for the cable half way up the wall for some bizarre reason. He then had three choices; take the cable to the ceiling and make a nice neat line along the line where the ceiling joins the wall; option two to do the same on the floor and round the bathroom door frame. And option three was just to leave it where it was and go in a straight line along the wall, drape over the bathroom door and hence to the television.

Yes, he chose option three.

Our television was fried a while ago when too many people connected illegally to our electricity. A friend of mine offered me a 30 inch TV so I called my husband and asked him to measure the space in the unit we had for the television. He assured me it would fit. It didn't.
So he had three options too. Firstly to give to television back and get one that did fit. Secondly to put the television in a different place. Thirdly to take a machete and hack a massive hole in the purpose built, beautiful pine unit.

I wonder if you guessed which option he took.

I am all for not making life harder than it needs to be, but sometimes the easy route drives me mad!


  1. Your last paragraph about the unit made me laugh out loud!

  2. Glad to have brought some sunshine into your day! How are the curries going?

  3. Hmmm...interesting that in my household I (The Dominican) am the one constantly annoyed because my wife and kids (All Americans) NEVER screw a lid back on anything, squeeze toothpaste from the bottom, never put things where they're supposed to go in the fridge, etc...I've just basically given up trying to change them. We've been married for more than 20 years so my wife is not going to change and I just hope my grandkids do the same thing to my kids so I can just sit back and laugh my a$$ off.

    The Machete to the cabinet part was funny.

  4. Puyaca you sound like a man in a million! So you have no tips on training?