Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel.

We have successfully moved to Cerro Alegre in the top apartment  of a three storey building.  The kids think its Christmas because it has a terrace.  This is home for the next four weeks while we learn the layout of the city, research schools, job hunt and de-gringo ourselves.


Monday.  Sea fog rolled in all day.

Karen, the real estate agent, helped us move our stuff over here last night in her own car.  During the move she said that her fifteen year old son has learnt some English from watching TV and would like to learn more.  We’ve organised some receipricol trading where he teaches us Spanish and we teach him English.  Nothing textbookey, just talking to each other.

Truce woke up with a limp this morning.  She said it’s from when she had a fall at day-care.  It’s been more than six weeks since she was last in day-care.  Oh to pass time like a three year old. We spent a lot of the day sitting around playing in various sitting positions.

In the afternoon we tried to charge the laptop with no luck.  Funny, I’d charged other things earlier.  It was then that we realised the fridge wasn’t running.  No electricity.  I went down to the front door and looked at the main metrebox.  All the switches were on.  The internal hall light worked.
Who do we call?  When you rent an apartment you normally pay  an amount for electricity and never even see a bill.  I don’t know how they come to this figure that you pay but it seems to be a standard practice.  It could be think of a number and double it.  Who am I to criticise the profiteering of a landlord?

Indy checks the lights.
We searched all over the apartment looking for another fuse box but couldn’t find it anywhere.  This sort of problem is too difficult to do over the phone so I walked down to see Karen.  Thankfully her office is only two streets away.  I want you to imagine a six foot two Australian with shocking Spanish doing a mix of opera and ballet.  I think the flyer will say ¡¿Donde mi electrico?!  It’ll be a sellout.
Karen walked back with me to the apartment and we realised why one of the paintings had so many scratches around it.  The fuse box is hidden behind it.  Power was restored and the laptop is happily charging away. 
So much to learn.


  1. hi again, some insight into electricity

    You often rent a place without utilities included. Your might have all included because is short-term. If you then move to a longer term accommodation (even if furnished), you can ask to pay the utilities yourself. You just have one provider which is regulated, Chilquinta for electricity, etc.

    The only choice you have is gas I think (since I haven't live in Valpo for several years now), and only if is LPG

    You pay them all: sewerage is included with the water bill, gas, electricity. Garbage is included in the property tax that the owners pay.

    If you live in a building, you'll have "gastos comunes", which is pay by the tenant monthly to cover for cleaning of general areas, lift, concierge, etc.

    You have to pay the postman.

  2. Hi Paula,
    Thanks for reading the blog and taking the time to write. We love the quirkiness of Valpo and all of its differences to the Australian way of life.

    We haven't had any mail yet so we haven't experienced paying the postman.