|WebJournal - The blog will set you free
News of no interest whatsoever except to very close and patient friends and family members and maybe people with no life
Sunday, September 12, 2004 Inefficiency at its best
A warning to the inexperienced: don't expect speedy services in Puerto Rico. Actually, don't expect service at all.
On Friday evening the hotel's Internet connection went down. I had been on line in the morning so I knew it was not me (in the sense that it could not be me just because I have a Mac and not Windows). We were already in the process of trying to get some info about flying to Culebra from not less than seven concierges at the Hotel, so M.A. went down to the front desk and explained the computer situation too. We were told "technicians" would be dispatched. Eventually we got tired of waiting for the "technicians" to solve another "situation" so we called the front desk to cancel our cry for help. The guy downstairs wanted to provide me with the phone number of the cable company. I declined. I could not bear to imagine a conversation with a help tech. Two minutes after our cancellation the "technicians" showed up. Burly men with stupid looks and lots of gold rings, as per the local fashion. From two feet away one of them looked at the cable sticking out of my iBook and going into the modem and decided his job was done. He had verified everything was plugged correctly. He then handed me a bit of paper with a couple of handwritten phone numbers so I could call the cable company. Fucking unbelievable.
Bars and restaurants:
Waiters and waitresses handle about one table at a time and get very confused it you, like, interrupt their leisurely stroll back to the kitchen to add a glass of water to your order. Should you ask what a certain dish is made of, they will stare back at you with a blank look on their face.
Yesterday we had a feverishly active day spent mostly in our room and waiting for a bus. In the morning we had decided to do some cultural tourism and go visit a couple of forts in downtown San Juan in a 200 degrees weather. The getting to the Old San Juan was not bad but the coming back was a nightmare, We had to wait for about an hour at the bus terminal, listening to the locals cuss about corruption and lousy government while the bus drivers lounged around. Eventually there were 4 (as in FOUR!) or our busses parked at the terminal and one of the drivers decided maybe it was time to hop on one of them and drive his exhausting half hour route. By the time we were back at the hotel we were weary and drenched. All I needed was the regular phone call to my mother - that left me as usual fighting back tears - and I was done in for the day. Well, almost. A couple of beers at the pool tend to work miracles.
Movies ond demand:
In the evening we holed up in the room. Called in for food and watched movies on demand. Make that "tried to watch movies on demand" . The demand part was not working and M.A. had yet again to call the front desk. We got a technician. He came and checked the cables and plugs. He told us everything was OK. M.A. explained how not OK it was so the guy called a girl on the radio and asked her to check on her side. Ta da. After some mamacitas, mi amol and other terms of endearment the girl turn some fucking knob and we got our movie (I-Robot, by the way, we loved it!).
Somehow we managed to sleep siesta and to sleep all through 10 AM this morning. We have still to see Puerto Rico by night. This is so unlikely. Age is creeping up on us at breaknecking speed.
Time for the beach. We are leaving tomorrow. Who will make coffee and buy croissants in the morning next week? Damn! 10:41 AM
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