The curtains are coming!

23 Oct

We love our apartment, but it’s currently something of a fish bowl as we have no curtains. Besides privacy, curtains are important for regulating temperature. Right now, for example, it’s impossible to take a nap in the afternoon because the bedroom is too light and much too warm with the afternoon sun streaming in. Also, it’s hard to sleep in past sunrise (~6 am). Well, at least for Vicki, but then she can’t sleep in even if it’s pitch dark 🙂

As an aside, taking an afternoon nap (siesta) does not appear to be an official Peruvian tradition. However, there are certain professions which I suspect practice the traditional Spanish siesta. And I’m not talking about outdoor workers avoiding the hot afternoon sun, but rather notaries. They all seem to close at 2pm and reopen at 4pm. Very suspicious. Thanks to the bureaucracy here (it is said of bureaucracy that the British invented it and Peruvians perfected it), it seems that large numbers of people need a notary on a regular basis. I’ve been twice already. This in turn leads to long lines at the notarías beginning to form as early as 3 pm (although those lines are nothing compared to those at the public hospitals, which reportedly begin forming at 3 AM in order to get an appointment sometime that day).

But back to curtains, a friend showed us the good fabric store several weeks ago but we have dilly-dallied a bit getting started. The store must be the wholesaler from which all the other fabric stores buy because their inventory is huge and their prices are just above half of what everyone else charges for the same material. At any rate, there are no curtain rods or anything currently in our apartment and a couple of the windows are curved outward on a corner, so I was unsure how to measure. Someone at the fabric shop said he would come and measure but he didn’t show. It turns out this was because he was going to be late and tried to call me, but I didn’t answer, which was in turn because I keep getting unwanted calls and find it difficult to understand Spanish on the phone. But he did come today and it was a good thing he did the measurements because I would have missed some of the subtleties. If you make curtains too short, for example, they will blow out in the wind when the window is open. The total price for nine different windows of varying sizes is going to be about $300 INSTALLED. Amazing, really.

The metal workers also came today to install bars on the windows near the stairs, which the landlord had agreed to do earlier. The bars are decorative, even attractive, and tremendously improve security. We’re really thankful for this and for a very good relationship with the landlord so far. Next week, they should come back to fix a couple loose ends (literally) and install a chin-up bar for Daniel on the roof. He brought one that fits in a door frame, but alas, none of the door frames in our apartment are strong enough to hold him. I could probably install the chin-up bar myself. It’s just a pipe with a couple elbow joints, but it needs to be anchored into concrete, and drilling into concrete still feels kind of wrong to me. As long as the guys are going to be here, anyway, I might as well let the pros do it….

4 Responses to “The curtains are coming!”

  1. Rebecca October 24, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Let me understand this total…$300…for…9 windows…for…
    Fabric, sewing, hardware (you said “no curtain rods”), and installation ?
    That is amazing!!

  2. michael CHANDLER October 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Congrats on the curtains and the bars. Both will greatly improve your lot. Letting the pros do it is increasingly easy for me. You don’t want to drill into concrete. I tried to do this even to brick and it requires a sturdy 1/2 inch drill, a masonery bit, and a lot of force which at chinning bar height is not easy. All this effort for a 5/32 hole. The pros have a hammer drill which goes through concrete like it was wood. Best to let them do it.

    You likely knew that mom is sunning herself in Naples, FL this week. I’m managing well, especially with Becky in town. No, I don’t eat every meal there but I have been invited for many. This week is meatloaf feast week. I made it Monday and have been working on it all week.

    The congressional investigation on the Obamacare website is quite interesting. This software product was released way too early and lacked much pre launch testing. The developer is trying to cover their tracks without admitting that they likely told the govt it would not be ready by Oct 1 but somebody in govt (scapegoat not yet named) told them it WOULD be ready. Well, they did launch on the planned date but are trying publicly not to say, I told you so.

    For all the grief the Republicans went to recently to defund Obamacare, they could have just let it run its course and die a natural death. But the news reports glowingly that some folks, previously uninsurable now have insurance. And they were able to get it via the website and phone in 7 to 9 hours! And you thought things were slow in Peru!

    Love, Dad

  3. georgiajammy October 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    I really enjoy reading your blog! It is like we are there with you…which we are, of course, in prayer. 😊

    • Michael October 26, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      Wow! Daniel gets a custom chin-up bar on the roof!? Now that’s pretty cool.

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