Friday, May 2, 2008

This Could Cure Me

This chair could cure me of my chair obsession.
I'm killing time waiting for the curtain installer to come back for the zillionth time to the apartment we are staying in Buenos Aires.
Our friend Charlie lets us stay here, and in return I do decor chores for him. Last time we were here, he had just purchased the apartment, and it was empty. He offered it to us rent free, and gave me the job to furnish it from sheets and towels to silverware and dishes to all the major pieces of furniture, and also to redo the window treatments.
The windows are 16 feet tall by 16 feet across. Massive amounts of fabric were needed to make simple pinch pleated drapes, white linen-y cotton, hung from ceiling to floor. I had the width made double to make them extra full, and less transparent. The light filters through, but you cannot see out, or be seen.
Charlie travels alot from the USA for business, so when he needs to sleep during daylight hours, he wants a dark room. This is a studio loft, so there are no bedroom doors to close. On this trip he asked if I could get blackout curtains made and installed.
Sure thing.
Let me tell you that furnishing an apartment, or getting a handyman, or a delivery, takes patience and time here in Buenos Aires. It is an old world system that is stuck on one speed, and often in one way of doing something that has been done the same way for years.
Blackout curtains are common here. Not only do they keep out the light, they insulate against the heat or the cold.
I found out that the curtain guy I used 3 years ago, had gone out of business, so I had to scramble for a new guy. A friend gave me a phone number, which led to nowhere, because that guy only did shorter windows. So I hit the phone book, and then the hubs and I hit the street (I could not do all this without him), and we found another place.
A guy came to measure. Then we went to the store to put down the deposit. Then a guy dropped off the rods and hardware. Then on another day, another guy dropped off the curtains. Then the portero (building super) came to take down the existing drapes so we could take them to be cleaned. The the super had to move a giant ladder into the apartment. We had a cocktail party before the installer could come, and the super had to move the ladder out. Then back in after the party. Then the installer came - he's a ladder man. He had to add another rod. Fine. It looked good when he left, but the new rod did not work with the original cutains, now rehung in front of the blackout curtains. More phone calls. Resheduled installer. Waited around. No show. They also forgot to incude a blackout curtain for the balcony door. The ladder guy doesn't do the door, and vice versa. So we had a new guy coming on a different day than the ladder guy to re-do the curtain rods. A holiday, Argentine Labor Day, gets sandwiched in there. This morning the store calls and says both guys: balcony door guy and rod re-do ladder guy will happen at 9:30. They arrive at 11:15.
Cool. Everything gets done. We congratulate ourselves.
Moments after the ladder guy (door guy already gone) leaves, I try to close the original curtain in front, as the installer left all the curtains open. I just touch the rope on the pulley, and the entire rod comes crashing down, spilling yards and yards of fabric, and bending the rod. The hubs goes running after him, nearly having a heart attack, but the guy vanished.
I'm suspected of having a heavy hand.
More phone calls. Guys are coming back later. They tell us they don't have another rod and they are going to "fix" it. I know it's going to snap and fully break as soon as they touch it.
Meanwhile we're stuck in the house, so I am wasting your time with this story.
Oh yeah, the chair. It makes me feel dirty to look at it, much less sit in it.

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