Expat Magazine

It Never Rains but It Pours

By Expatmum @tonihargis
I'm trying not to moan, I really am. I mean I've just come back from a month gallavanting about the globe and other people have real problems. I understand that. However, in the 36 hours since I've been back in Chicago -
  • The back door lock has broken. Given that the dog will only poop out there, and we access the garage through the garden, this was a tad problematic.  A locksmith was duly called who announced that since the lock was actually built into the door, we would probably need a new door. Which of course, would have to be ordered. Which, of course, would take some time. I pointed out that we have an identical door upstairs, and asked if he could just use that lock. No ma'am. He couldn't guarantee his work using an old lock. Fortunately the next locksmith didn't have quite the same scruples, so hundreds of dollars later, the back door was back in action.
  • The roof is leaking. Again. We have a flat roof, and Chicago has had the worst month of rain since records were kept. Not a good combo. A few weeks ago we got 7 inches in 2 hours. Yes, that much rain. Whilst showing the locksmith to the unused-door-with-a-working-lock, I noticed strange bevelling in the drywall nearby, and a slight glistening on the floor. Big problem since we have a roof deck, meaning that some (or all) of the planks would have to come up. The Ball & Chain however, had some tar in the garage (as you do) and got to work with it. It lashed down again last night and it seems that the tar has worked.
  • The front door bell isn't working. Actually it is working, but it sticks sometimes and the only way we know someone is at the door is if we happen to pass it and see a dark shadow through the side glass. Even when it is working, it doesn't make a noise outside, so people just stand there waiting. I suppose I should really look into getting a new bell, but it's linked to a speaker thing which will inevitably mean added complications and much expenditure.
  • The detachable shower head in my shower has stopped working. It's one of those with a big rain shower bit and a smaller, alternative shower head, which I prefer. Naturally it's my shower head that's not working. The wasteful larger one is fine, thank you. Unfortunately, the plumber we called can't find a replacement part. In fact he can't even trace the company that made the shower so if I want a smaller, hand held shower head ever again, we will have to install a whole new shower. This is turn, means ripping out all the pipes in the wall on the other side of the bathroom. 
Oy, oy, oy. Welcome home.

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