It was a little more than a week ago that I was in our little life of every day, it had been like riding a time machine and stepping down in the wrong place. Many times I have spoken about my little basement. Well, I found it with unmistakable odor of Cuban public bathrooms, because I can testify that the public bathrooms in Spain smell of disinfectant or air freshener; but so that I don’t change the subject, I found my house flooded with sewage (in Spanish literally “black waters”), that beautiful euphemism for such an ugly thing. Havana Water, the company that deals with those problems was our first option. A very kind employee took down our information and informed us that the inspector would arrive within the next 72 hours. It was many hours later when the inside of the house was like a sewer, but at moment, I could hear a woman with two little kids hurling threats about the health of her children, because her situation lasted a week and hadn’t been resolved.
About 48 hours later the inspector appeared, very understanding and knowledgeable about the secrets of the plumbing of sewage. His opinion was that as the flow was coming from the under the sidewalk, Havana Waters was not responsible for my case. Now for that moment, courtesy of a friend, we hired an experienced plumber that came with 3 more and opened a tight hole in the part under the driveway parallel to my dining room, a hole where only a head of young person working inside it could be seen. The things were dirtied with the blocking and unblocking, they opened the broken tubing with a modern tubing that they had brought (purchased in some hardware store?), they connected the empty tank, refilled the new hole, that then could flood the house with clean water to disinfect it. This service didn’t appear in the Yellow Pages, and nevertheless, is essential, 60 Cuban Convertible Pesos plus lunch; nothing compared to the work those men did and the peace of mind of having the house clean.
Translated by: BW
June 13 2011