The Pre-Iceman Cometh
Day 004 – July 26, 2011
For the second day in a row, the doorbell rang.
At the door were two men, neither of whom I was expecting. Following my protocol from yesterday, these gentlemen were not coming into the house, so through the partially opened door I asked them in my halting Spanish how I could help them.
Despite Hombre#1 speaking slowly, I could not quite make out why he and his compatriot were here. They both were wearing uniforms (dark blue shirts) that had the logo of “Sedapal”, but this meant nada to me.
Hombre#2 was standing in my driveway over what looked like a service panel (hmmm…how long has that been there?) while Hombre#1 was showing me a device that looked like this…
…and using words that I did manage to recognize such as “antigua” (old) and “nueva” (new). Through gestures, I took this afternoon visit to mean that these gentlemen were here to fix/replace/destroy something near/in/under my driveway, but as long as they did it from the comfort of not-in-my-house, I was fine. So, with a jaunty “Esta bien” (It’s OK), I closed the door and let them be on with their work.
Later that day, I emerged from my home and saw that the service panel in the cobblestones of my driveway had dirt all around it. The Encyclopedia Brown part of me deduced that this telltale sign meant that the gentlemen had indeed replaced something under the panel with whatever device Hombre#1 showed me.
I’m guessing I have basic cable now.
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2011
Sedapal is Peru’s state-owned water utility and these gentlemen were installing new water meters. On August 19, there was a story in one of the local newspapers (Correro) touting how many meters had been replaced in the first half of 2011 (280,858 for those of you keeping score). See below:
Only 513,818 more to go and I was one of those on a late July morning.
Just so you think that I erred in being overly cautious in not letting in Hombre#1 and Hombre#2 despite the official-looking uniforms, I offer this.