Friday, October 13, 2006

Why Ukrainian locks are crap

I don't count myself as superstitous at all, but it hadn't escaped my notice that, after the day's events, that it is indeed Friday 13th. I got home around half midnight this morning after a few drinks with my colleagues. So anway I walk home from Arsenalna metro station as usual, walk into my block of flats, past the 'concierge' (no I don't live in a hotel-he's more like a kind of doorman), up to my flat and . . . ah . . . why won't this damn thing open? So I try for about 20 minutes or so to unlock the door, but no luck. Then I get the doorman (who was fast asleep) up to help me. He gives it a damn good go for a good half an hour (it seems like). I suggest we call either the Landlord or my boss (moy direkter). He suggests, as I understand it, that we bring in a guy who, for about 40 US dollars, will gladly break down the door. I panic a bit at this suggestion and decide I should go out, find a phonebox, and call the boss. The doorman sees my distress and suggests I go into his flat to make the call. Several calls later the best thing I can do is book myself a space on the floor of my colleague Mark's flat, and so get a taxi across the city to унхіверситет (university) metro station, where, after a short walk, I'm really pleased to see Mark come round the corner. We have a brief but pleasant chat before settling down. I manage to get precious little sleep, maybe 2 hours or so in a very cold room, before having to rouse myself to get to the school and teach my 9.30 class, still wearing the previous day's clothes. Tnakfully at 11 I am informed that Yura, the handyman, has gone over there and sorted it out. I'm now quite liking the idea of a change of clothes. When I get over there he explains that a redundant extra lock on the door, to which I don't have a key, had somehow locked itself. The Landlord told him "oh, that happens sometimes". Yura said, "well he could have mentioned it". I'm too exhausted and relieved at this point to care too much. Somehow I got through the other four and a half hours of teaching and, as I write, hope I managed to get in tonight.

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