Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Good Enough!

Lavadora/Secadora. Spanish for Washer/Dryer. I bought an over/under washer/dryer at Gollo. "El gallo mas gallo" is their slogan. Translates to "The rooster most rooster". I'm a gringo and don't understand. Most ticos don't either.

At first glance, Gollo appears to be a store franchise. But the prices and products vary from store to store. Turns out the company founder didn't trademark the company name or logo, so everyone uses it. If you're too unimaginative to come up with your own appliance/furniture/electronics store name, pirate the Gollo name. Everyone does it, and sign makers have the template in stock so you can save money hanging out your shingle.

Anyway, my electrician began the installation process and I finished it. A few things:

- In English, 'H' is for 'Hot; 'C' is for 'Cold'. It's not uncommon here for them to be reversed. You see this on imported shower and sink faucets all the time - you go for cold and get scalded. That's because, in Spanish, 'C' is for 'Caliente' ('Hot'). 'H'? Well it's just leftover so it must be for 'Frio' ('Cold'). I mean, it's only two letters after 'F' in the alphabet, which is pretty darn close. And darn close is good enough. So the guy reversed my hose hookups. Not a big deal.

- When making a hole through a masonry wall for the dryer vent, you typically drill a small hole through the wall from the inside to mark the center. Then core through the wall from both sides. If you can't core, you chisel from both sides. These guys chiseled from the inside all the way out, spalling the stucco off the wall on the outside. Had to be repaired. Cost me an extra 2 days for patching and painting. Not perfect, but good enough.

- The guys lined the vent hole in the wall up with the duct hookup on the W/D. But the W/D was sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, not where it would eventually sit in the corner of the room. The hole should have been about a foot toward the corner. It now sits centered on the wall with the hole dictating the location of the W/D instead of the reverse. Not the best placement, but good enough.

- Is it a man or a woman? The adjustable galvanized through-wall duct that hooks up to the louver plate on the outside, and the flex duct on the inside, has a male end and a female end. The female end receives the louver plate on the outside. The male end penetrates the flex duct to the dryer on the inside. These guys didn't know boys from girls and reversed the through-wall duct. I caught this in time before the pegamix the guys were smishing around the duct hardened. Had it hardened, it would have been good enough to live with.

- Rubber washers for hose hookups cost less than a nickel and are readily available, but you would think they were made of solid Molybdenum and mined on Neptune. People steal them all the time. My garden hose is constantly being violated. So when I turned on the water for the washer, the hookups leaked because they didn't have washers. Not good enough. Trip to the fereteria.

- All 220 volt hookups are not alike. My fault. The W/D's don't come with the hookup. You have to buy it separately. I bought the wrong one - the one with the 'L'-shaped ground prong. Not good enough. Another trip to the fereteria for the 'I'-shaped one.

Thus, a W/D hookup that should have taken about and hour or two, took about 3 days. Pretty typical of doing just about everything here.

I used to be a perfectionist. I'm recovered now. If someone asks me how something looks, I say, "Pura vida!". "Pura vida!" translates literally to "Pure life!". But to me it means, "Good enough!"

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