Sunday, March 15, 2009

And the choir sang with voices angelic...

I was visited by a wonderful man on Friday. An angel? A saint? A fairy-godmother? I never quite caught his name, but it was probably Lars. When in doubt with a Danish man's name, your best guess is Lars. Followed by Thomas.

For such a short round man, he bounced into my apartment with a light, quick step. He filled the air with professionalism and humility that I found both shocking and refreshing. He wasn't what I was expecting at all. His work bag was tidy, he smiled and made eye contact. He listened to me. He didn't, not once, wave his hand in a dismissing manner while I was explaining my problem or when I peeked to see how he was coming along.

And he fixed my oven.

His English was not so good, my piss-poor Danish was stretched to the limit, but he seemed to understand what I was telling him about the stove top. First he discovered that even though I had carefully followed the schematic my husband had drawn, two of the wires were reversed. Note to self: do not let tired husband draw schematics ever again. Other note to self: get both of us tested for dyslexia. Further note to self: never ever try to dismantle a bomb. Then I had to explain that the oven wasn't working from before I mangled the reinstallation. He checked, told me "Det er FFFTHHHHPTH." "Du rigtig? Kan du... er.... POOF!?" I asked. "Jeg kan ikke køber ny... um nu, so jeg skal har POOF... um.... please." Danish doesn't have a word for please. You have to say it in a polite verb form. I don't know these verbs yet. It's something like "I pray that you pass the butter."

Anyway, the following translation of above conversation is not a direct translation, but what was supposed to be said if we were, say, speaking the same language. Sort of a "what was understood to be said even though it wasn't":
Lars: It is completely and totally broken.
AG: Seriously? Can you fix it? I can't buy an new one now, so I really need it to be fixed, please.

He smiled. He said he could. And he did. He had the part in his van. Normally when someone comes to fix something, even if you have told them "the knob on my radiator that regulates the temperature has fallen off" they come out, look at it, say "well, the handle on your radiator that regulates the temperature has fallen off" and then tell you that they need to order the part and come back, in say a week, to fix it. They will then bring the wrong part or will not have the right tools. And you will sit in your cold room and cry. Or come up with a crazy plan to warm up the room using your halogen work light.

This isn't what happened Friday. Friday my oven was fixed and I made tarts. Wonderful, fully cooked top and bottom, tarts.

Lars, my fat little oven fairy, I love you!

2 comments:

  1. Hooray for the fat oven fairy Lars! You will, of course, reward him with a tart, no?

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  2. Ooo...oooh! You reminded me of something positive about DK! I like to collect them..and one of them is the tradesmen: they are honeys!

    They always take their shoes off, are always respectful and kind and always clean up before they go, and usually fix whatever they came to do.

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Keep it clean, don't be mean....