Back door problem

17 August 2009

If you order a telephone connection in France, you’ll learn that the former France Telecom monopoly has certain remnants, particularly when it comes to the “last mile” (the connection between the customer residence and the telecom exchange). We decided to get our services from a company called Free, but since our apartment has apparently not previously been connected, Free had to arrange for France Telecom to set up the last-mile connection. What happened then was that France Telecom assigned an engineer to the task for a particular time frame (today between 8 and 10 am). The inconvenient fact that we wouldn’t be at home was completely our problem. The appointment could not be changed. No chance.

Fortunately, Alexander was happy to keep vigil in our apartment to let the Telecom engineer in. While the engineer was doing his job, he and Alex noticed that the back door, which we believed to be closed, locked and secure, was in fact easily pushed open in spite of the lock. This was clearly a problem for the property management company to solve. Alex very kindly re-arranged his work plans for today to fit around supervising the fixing of the lock — however, irrespective of all promises, they did not. Now the back door is temporarily secured with a barricade, and we’ll have to make a new attempt at sorting it all out tomorrow. Alex saved us from major potential losses today, as well as a very hurried and stressful trip back, so we’re very, very grateful to him.

In the meantime, we’ve moved on from Bochum to Warstein and are now with Birgit’s mum. She is a minor celebrity in this town at the moment because of the giant sunflowers she grows in her garden. Tomorrow we’ll make an exact measurement, but coarse triangulation with the naked eye puts the lower-bound estimate at 2.3 metres height for the tallest ones.

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