I am the house’s bitch


Yes, that would be me.  I’ve become a general contractor.  My good friend Jean taught me to hire myself and pay me well. More on my pay, later.

In the last 24 hours I’ve had visits from a plumber (who couldn’t resolve the problem of a cistern that won’t stop running), the water purifier people, telling me I need a new pump under my sink to fortify the water purifier which needs maintenance all the time, a mason who didn’t fix leaky roof and it kept raining in my living room.

Today, a new plumber will come, charge me and tell me what HE thinks the problem is, and not one but two oven repairman, the SKY tech, after various calls to a call center in Moscow judging by the thick Russian accented people who read scripts to me. The carpenter who needs to finish his job fixing my falling down kitchen cabinets, and glue together a broken arm from the verandah teak dining table.  There is the iron worker who will refinish my garage door, sanding and treating the rust before giving it a repaint.  Next, I have to find a house painter.

Over the weekend I had the washing machine fixed and the dryer serviced.  The air conditioners will be serviced next week.

When I lived in Manhattan, my building had a super.  In Tropica, I’m the super, the super of Windlines (the name of my house).  I am the keeper of the keys, the unlocker of doors (“I have to go out and get a screwdriver” ten times in one hour), the payer of bills, the jump in the car and drive off to buy a part the repairmen spontaneously needs.  I am the server of water and lender of my bathroom.  I am the mopper upper of muddy footprints tracked across my floor tiles, the duster of cement dust, the scraper off of paint drips.

Remember my mantra?  The tropics ain’t for sissies. Vacationers see palm trees and margaritas. Residents see ant armies carrying a gecko carcass and rust on the sliding doors.

Lately, I dream of a high rise flat with sweeping views.  I want to enjoy a rainstorm sweeping across the sky without the of what room’s going to leak or when the electricity will go out, taking my fridge, running water, internet, telephone, television, garage door with it.  I want to live with candles for fun, instead of candles because I have to.  Something’s broke?  Call the super.

For now, I am the house’s bitch and I pay myself well.  This time, with a three week urban retreat to Chicago to housesit in a glamorous flat.

xo Liza

Are you the general contractor of your home?  Or do you share with your husband/partner?  Or does he do it?  Or have you sold all that and are now living in a flat?  Any secrets to contracting you want to share?  Please, do!

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4 thoughts on “I am the house’s bitch

  1. love this! just here stuck in the house supervising the AC installers…. Don and I share the role of supervisor. True some times it is really too much, but for sure you meet interesting people and learn a lot about people and work in Mexico! love

  2. I am the house bitch here. I started remodeling a house built in 1863 with my husband who decided to get sick soon after we committed ourselves, he passed away two years ago so I do everything and I mean everything. Unlike you I can’t find contractors who will do the job, so it is up to me to figure out how, which tools I need and get on the gloves and go to work. Fun! The only thing that keeps me sane (I think) is going on little trips and taking a break from it once in a while.

  3. Did you also have at least $30,000 stolen by renowned architects who are the darlings of expats and had to hire someone else to finish the renovation, thus basically paying for it twice? Because without it, the tropical fun is not complete!

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