Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Don't break down the door!

One of the many annoying things about Spain is that on apartment doors, they don't have real doorknobs. I mean like, the variety that you can turn and get back into your house. They have these fucking keyholes that you have to put a key in to turn to let you in, thus if you happen to be a dingus like me it is exceedingly easy to lock yourself out. The doorknob is just a knob in the middle of the door that you can pull on to shut your door, just a poor facsimile of what a real doorknob should be.
So that is exactly what I did. I went into the hallway and pulled that big stupid knob while my keys were still inside. I stood there for a moment to let what I had just done sink in.
"Oh, yes. Now I have locked myself out of my apartment."
I'm on the third floor so there is no way to climb in a window which has always been my preferred method of entry (including once in the middle of the night at a neighbors house after a long night of drinking).
Everything was in the house, my computer, my phone, but not my credit card, which I used to try and break in to no avail.
I was late for work.
I'm such a fucking spaz. Screw feminism! I need a big strong man to take care of me and climb up the side of the building and open the door when I lock myself out.
I went to school and told everybody what happened. Then I emailed my old standby, my realtor to ask her to tell the owners to bring the extra set of keys. She emailed me back to say they're on 'holiday' and won't be back till Sunday. What a couple of losers! Then she asked if I would like her to call a locksmith. Uh, yeah! What are we supposed to do till Sunday? Sleep in trees?
Then I didn't hear back from her for a while and people at the school had ideas about what to do. First the other assistant said he was good at climbing buildings and could perhaps climb up to my 3rd (4th in the United States) floor balcony. Exactly what I'm looking for in a man.
We went to look at the balcony and how it was situated in relation to other balconies. I was not very excited about this idea, but at least we were wandering around town instead of working. It was very high up, but he was developing a plan. The thought of this person dying to get into my apartment was too much so I had to put a stop to it and we went back to school.
Next the director of the school had an idea and a maintenance man was summoned. I took the other english assistant with me to interpret as we set out for my apartment. We took his truck a block to my house where he parked and dug some very scary looking tools from the back of his truck.
We squished into the very small elevator and got out on my floor. I showed him the odious door. He started by shoving a file between the door and the frame. Then he became more violent with a chisel-type thing. Then he went back to the file and then back to the chisel. Then he used the chisel as leverage and cracked the door frame and made a mess of the door and slid the file up and down wildly. My door was no longer a virgin. Finally and without warning he stuck the chisel in the lock and started banging on it with a hammer. He was going to break the lock out of the door.
"No! No! No!" I yelled at the other English assistant.
He told the guy in Spanish, "She doesn't want the door broken."
They guy reluctantly put his tools away, said some things that I didn't understand at all and then we left.
We went back to school where I was able to use the director's phone to call my realtor. She told me the locksmith would be at my house at 2:00. Exactly the time my kids needed to be picked up. I ran to the bank to get money as I was sure this was going to cost something outrageous and met him at my apartment.
15 minutes later the door still wasn't opened. The realtor showed up and I asked her to ask him if I could go get my kids.
When I got back, the locksmith was standing triumphantly with the door open. Cost: €50 fucking euros. I have to console myself with the fact that the other assistant didn't fall to his death and the other guy didn't break my door down, either of which would have been infinitely more expensive.

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