Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home Repairs...

The weather was absolutely beautiful this past weekend. We hardly saw a cloud all weekend, it wasn't too hot, and there was a nice breeze - the way summer should be. We went out for dinner with friends on Friday night, and then we took the train to Baden (by Z├╝rich) on Saturday night for a "Sommerfest" at our friends' house. On Sunday morning, Mrs. TBF played tennis with Dr. Rammy, then we enjoyed a nice impromptu brunch at Dr. Rammy & Dr. John's house, and finally we went home to just laze around. Shortly after returning home, a small problem stuck...

The toilet in our main bathroom wouldn't flush.

I took the panel off the wall, tinkered around with the mechanism a bit, realized that it was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and then just resigned myself to the fact that a plumber would have to be called. I called our rental office on Monday morning, relayed the problem through a combination of English and German, and then just waited for a call from a plumber.

That call (fortunately) came this morning, and the toilet is now repaired.

It's when things go wrong that I really dislike living here. If I get a non-English speaker at the rental office, I always wonder if they truly understand what I'm talking about. Plus, I often don't fully understand what they are telling me. Things usually work out in the end, but I often end up sitting around the apartment waiting for a call that I'm not sure will even be coming. If I leave the apartment, and the call comes, the repairman will often hang up after hearing our English-speaking answering machine message instead of leaving a message. Aggravating!

But... all's well that ends well.

Now, I'll just wait for the bill. You see, in Switzerland, we're responsible for all repairs up to 2% of our annual rent. Can you believe it??? We pay NYC-level rent, and we have to pay for repairs up to a certain point... even if something breaks down due to no fault of our own. For example:

About four years ago, not long after moving in and while we were out of town, a torrential rainstorm came through town, and rainwater seeped into one of the covered outdoor outlets. The circuit shorted, the power to our rooftop garden was cut off, and the outlet needed to be replaced. This ended up costing something like $100. So, to recap: we weren't home, the problem had been caused by an act of nature and/or faulty construction when the building was built ten years earlier, it was an outlet we had never even used, and...

WE HAD TO PAY FOR THE REPAIR!!! It says so right in our standard Swiss rental contract.

SHEESH!!!

TBF like: our apartment!

TBF no like: standard Swiss rental contract!!!!

2 comments:

Rrraj said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Having to pay that big fat rent plu having to pay for repairs = sucks!

Leesa said...

Hey, after reading the post about the broken toilet and looking at this pic... I could totally see it being ripped off the wall! hehehe!
P.S. I met a nice Finnish gal at the gym the other day... Her hubby is from L.A. - just like me!!! Small world!