Finding the right one

Photo by George E.Martin @Flickr

No, this is not going to be a story about love. Even though relationship is involved.  This is a story how you know when you have found the right cooperation – being it dentist, hairdresser or someone who can renovate your home. One of the hardest things I’ve found being an expat is that you don’t have that many contacts. You don’t know whom to call when your pipe bursts and you don’t know which is the best specialist in stomach problems. And before you get to the one you are happy to work with, most of all life will give you all sort of try-outs…

Some time ago I decided that I am stable enough here and I should get my own apartment. And I did so. What I did not know, of course (being young and irresponsible :)), is how much time and money an apartment can cost you. If it is not properly done. Or if you have one too many parties 🙂

When I entered the apartment it was supposedly renovated. Principle by which the guy who sold the apartment was working, was that he bought a house where one family lived and divided it into 4 apartments, renovated and sold it. I can just guess how much money he earned on that as he said that everything is renovated perfectly, but any person that knows something from construction that came later on to visit me, said that all the materials used are the cheapest possible. And a lot of times the installation is not correct. But OK, that is my fault that I did not get an expert to check everything before I moved in…

Anyhow, this is a story of people that over past years have repaired something at my place and how I found them. First there was a guy who was a friend of my Flemish colleague. He was really motivated by what he was doing and found solutions where I was just standing and staring in space. He found a full time job though and could not help me a lot. Also he was very very thin and sometimes I thought he might hurt himself while drilling in the walls..

Then, after some parties and damaged walls and balcony, I decided that I should refresh the look of my home. I was trying to find some polish people as they have a reputation of doing the work for a decent money and OK standards. I found a couple of them – first meeting was together with a girl who was translating for me. Yes. They spoke only Polish… In the end they did an OK job (from what I understood) but… they were sloppy – did not really care about perfect finishing either…  And when I tried to contact them another time when we had agreed to meet for another job, they were unreachable (maybe they had enough with all the money that they’ve earned and they went back to Poland, who knows…)

This year, when we returned from our Christmas trip, a pipe broke in my neighbours apartment and flooded a certain amount of my apartment. Of course, dealing with the insurance was no fun, but also I could see what kind of prices these renovation firms put on… Obviously – overpriced… And as on top of that my bathtub was broke (you see, this good finishing that the seller did… actually, it was just that he did not install the bath properly…), so, in total there was some work to be done..

I started to think for the solutions and remembered that one of my friend’s brother in Latvia works in this field and now (having extreme crisis in LV and so) would be happy to help me out. And when he arrived and started doing things, noticing little inconveniences and fixing them, this was the feeling that our cooperation is going to last. I was amazed not only by how he approached the situation but also that he left everything clean behind him.. I was astonished that it happens this way (as I have not had seen otherwise so far) and could not appreciate enough his help…

I think the only thing is – person who loves what (s)he is doing, will do it the best way possible and will leave remarkable results… He just reminded me one more time that in this life we should never settle for anything less than what we love….

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