Electricity

Colonial Zone Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Churches, Hospitals and Clinics and Public Works I wrote before about
living without electricity/sin luz but trying to GET electricity is more difficult sometimes than learning to live without it.

So here’s my story.
Thank goodness that my first apartment had everything included in the rent. This at least gave me time to learn a little about the way things work in Dominican Republic. I did have to get the phone/internet hooked up but I’ll write about that later.

So I moved to my apartment in Colonial Zone after living in the country for 6 months. I wanted to live closer to the Zone since I didn’t have a car. I found my apartment quite fast and was able to move in with in 2 weeks. So all was good.

I called to have the phone transferred..oops…phone later… I had to get someone to sigh for me to get the electric. So my friend Mamita went with me to the office. I got the address all correct and we went into the little office to talk to the guy.

I was getting frustrated within minutes of being there. The guy was asking how many rooms I had. How many lights I had. If I had a fridge. What did that have to do with anything? Mamita took over and told them I had 3 lights, no fridge and had 1 room. All was a little exaggeration, not much but a little. I didn’t know they charged by how many electric consuming items you have in your place. That just didn’t and still doesn’t make much sense to me.

But anyhow…got all the papers signed and the deposit all taken care of. They said the guy would be there to hook it up in a day. I was content.

So the next day I went to the apartment to wait. Figured I’d clean while I was there. I’m not very domestic. Never was good at house keeping. But I spent the day cleaning, killing my back in the process. They never came. Who wouda thunk??

So the next day I got in the public car early and went to see Mamita in the galeria. Told her they didn’t come. I asked her to call the company for me to see what happened (its easier for her to talk because of my limited Spanish)In true Dominican form, we had to discuss for at least an hour, what may have been the problem. That maybe the person that will answer the phone won’t know what we’re talking about. That maybe the man was there and couldn’t find the apartment. Instead of just calling and finding out all the answers to the questions we had to discuss the what if’s for a while. This is the Dominican way. I didn’t realize this at that time. I was still a newbie.

So When she called they said they would be there that day. I went to the apartment and sat there. My back wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to push it with anymore useless cleaning. Why clean, everything just gets dirty again?

By about noon I was really bored. I went down to the Colmado to get some bread (pan de auga)and ham to eat and of course I got a beer and started to meet my neighbors. I talked them out of 2 plastic chairs to borrow until I got my belongings moved in. WE were talking and guess what..the electric guys came!

I looked out the door of the Colmado. I was keeping an eye on the apartment for them. They were pulling away! I went running out to stop them. They stopped, probably wondering why this rubia was running after then waving arms wildly. I got them to return. I went and grabbed my beer and my chairs and headed back home to get power.

Didn’t take long. He put a meter in and talked a bit and he was gone. All was good. I returned to the galeria to spend the afternoon with Mamita and be happy.

I moved in the next week and all was good until I realized that the neighbors were hooked into my electric. I called the landlord to fix it. He sent a guy and the guy made it better and my electric was good. Until the neighbor came over yelling that he didn’t have lights! He was yelling at me for disconnecting him stealing from ME!

Finally we made a deal. He gave me a deposit and I gave him a few extending cords with the deal that if he didn’t pay 1 time I would disconnect him and keep the deposit. He signed a contract with me.

Well that lasted 2 months and it was too hard trying to get the money and the next month he was 3 weeks late so I literally pulled the plug. He was mad at first but he got his own electric and he let the other neighbors have an extention cord, which they were not paying him on time and he was coming to me complaining. Imagine ..he did the thing same to me and he had the cajones to come to me and complain when the next guy did the same to him!HUMANS!!

Anyhow. My electric at first was under $100 pesos. Then 1 month it went to $800 pesos. Noone was connected to me. I called the office. Dumb me…not in USA anymore and have to remember one doesn’t call, you have to go directly to the office. So the lady on the phone told me who to ask for when I went to the office. I went in and it was chaos as usual. Asked for this gal, they said she was at lunch that I should come back in an hour. So me and a friend that worked there went to lunch. I returned and asked for the lady. The receptionist said the gal didn’t work there. Just an hour before she told me that the gal was at lunch! She said I had to take a number. I had a number but it was called while I was at lunch which the receptionist told me to do! I was ready to kill all Dominican electric people!

FINALLY, I got into the office. Noone would talk slow for me to understand. It took another hour for someone to talk English for me. Long story short..I never got the problem resolved. I did try but after months of going to the office and listening to people talking out their asses I gave up.

OK. All normal. Power in. Power out. Bills averaged RD$300. I’m content. I have to return to USA. After 3 months in USA I had to give up the apartment. My wonderful boyfriend, Felix, moved all my stuff out. He went to the electric company and had it all disconnected. He got the papers. Paid the last bill for me. All good.

Then he was visiting my old neighbors a few weeks ago. One of my neighbors told him that I had an electric bill. He got the bill and it is still in my name! The guy living in my old apartment is paying the bills, thank goodness. But they are still in my name! Felix went 2 times to make sure all was good, to the office. He has the contracts termination papers. And the electric is still in my name!

At this time we are still trying to resolve the problem.

Still gotta love Dominican Republic! It is my home.

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