Luis Rondon Paz
HAVANA TIMES — Last Thursday at 3 PM, somebody knocked on my house door. Who is it at this time of day? I asked myself, curious, as I’m not used to receiving visits at home at this time in the afternoon. When I approached the door, I heard one of the people saying my name on the other side.
A whole load of irrational ideas passed through my mind for a few seconds, but that didn’t stop me from opening the door to satisfy my curiosity and face the strangers that were talking about me.
“Good afternoon, does Luis Rondon Paz live here?”
“We are from a brigade with Aguas de La Habana (the city’s water company) and we have come to carry out the request you made to install a connection.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I’ve had water at home for a few months now thanks to several years of hardline activism in Santiago de las Vegas. However, the price was high, very high. What rock did these people climb out under? I said to myself while I listened to the explanation one of the technicians in the brigade gave me.
“Five years ago, I did put in a request for an installation and I’ve got the independent service set up in my home for over three months now,” I told him pointing to the clear spot on the street and the pavement in front my house door. (I didn’t mention what I wrote in my last diary post that having the installation doesn’t mean that water flows.)
“You signed the contract and did everything with the company?”
“Yes, I did. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have the installation, but what strikes me is the fact that you, who come from the same company, don’t know that the order for the installation was carried out a while ago.”
“The thing is that we used to deal with other areas in Havana and the Aguas del Sur company had nothing to do with our work. Then, when everything became centralized and Aguas del Sur became a part of Aguas de La Habana, we were put in charge of following up files from Santiago de Las Vegas and to deal with these requests.” He said showing me a document where my request with the approved order to install a second connection appeared as bright as day, where my home had nothing installed according to the piece of paper he showed me.
Like I told you, I already have an independent water installation in my house, but there are a lot of people here in the area who don’t have the connection installed, I responded.
When I bode farewell to the technicians, I burst out laughing and I don’t know how I was able to keep a straight face while I was dealing with these two characters from the water company. This is definitely the joke of today! I thought, confirming something that I’ve already known for a few years now: there’s definitely no way to fix this country.
With regard to the water supply, I mentioned in my last article that even though I have the connection installed, I don’t get any water because of low water pressure and I also mentioned the solution I was forced to resort to.