The hitches and the glitches

Are you wondering what happened after my last blog post? Well, wonder no more. The continuation I promised in my “Cool season – hot topic” blog post is hot of the press.

We were just getting ready to venture out when I heard an oh so familiar and disheartening sound coming from the kitchen. This could not be good – and it wasn’t! Presented by a meteorologist it would probably go something like this: The weather will be bright and sunny on Palm Jumeirah today with a chance of heavy downpours in Randi’s kitchen area.

Rushing to get buckets and towels, I prayed the water leak was the result of a broken water heater in the false ceiling – and not due to my recent shower in the bathroom above. 

The next step was to call our maintenance company, Hitches & Glitches. Their promise to respond to any emergency within 30 minutes – priceless!

For piece of mind, a maintenance contract is a must when living in Dubai. The guys arrived within the promised time and, after a quick assessment, told me, “Water heater broken, Madam.”

Although a bit premature, it came as no surprise to us that the water heater needed replacing. Believe it or not, but in Dubai water heaters only have a life expectancy of about five years. Thus adding yet another issue to a long list of maintenance endured in the Emirates. On a more positive note, the water heater was in stock and is, in fact, being installed as I’m writing this blog post. Hot water will soon be running from the kitchen tap once again. Oh, how we take these everyday luxuries for granted!

The following story will hopefully enlighten those less familiar with construction and maintenance in Dubai.

After moving into this brand new house on Palm Jumeirah in 2008 I experienced one of my gloomier days in Dubai. Early one morning and without any warning the house was invaded by workers – 25 to be precise. Why? To repair all the hitches and the glitches mentioned in the snag list. What snag list? If you, like me, don’t know what a snag list is, well here’s an explenation I found online, “A snag list is simply a list or notation of everything a customer is unhappy with after the construction on a building is finished.” I guess it just slipped our landlord and real estate agent’s mind to mention the outstanding snags when we signed the lease. 

It’s easy to be dazzled by impressive houses in Dubai. Many of which look great from afar, but when you get up close and start scratching the surface – not so much! 

The list to “our” house was extensive and some of the more severe snags made the house unlivable for the next three days. Grosvenor House is a wonderful hotel and offered us a welcoming break, but that’s not the point! 

On that gloomy day – the shoes outside my home resembled that of a mosque entrance during prayer time – I had a visit from an Irish engineer, a victim of my frustration. “This is after all Palm Jumeirah – The Eighth Wonder of the World – bladi bladi bla.” After listening to me rambling on, he calmly told me to change the word wonder with blunder – and there you have it!

For some time I have seriously considered writing a book on what it’s like to live in a house suffering from “The Maintenance Syndrome,” but I’m not yet ready to bring back all those dark memories I have tried so hard to suppress. Maybe one day…

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In February 2016 I moved back to my native Norway after 13 years in Dubai, preceeded by two years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Before becoming a full time expat in 2001, I had a carrer as a travel consultant in Norway. My expat portfolio also includes six of my teenage years in Bahrain many moons ago and two years in Southport, Connecticut, USA.

3 thoughts on “The hitches and the glitches

  1. hehe I remember your maintenance issues, worthy of a soap opera! I’m surprised you need a water heater at all. Our pipes were so close to the surface that the cold water was steaming and we used the heater (tank) inside our A/C cooled indoors to keep the ‘hot’ water cool (eh…tepid). And regarding a book with all the issues, it’s done, In France. ‘A year In Provence’ by Peter Mayle shows that the maintenance work force Dubai has severe competition in France 😉
    Love your blog BTW ! Keep writing 🙂

  2. Er så morro å lese bloggen din Randi !! Følger med vet du og ønsker meg ned igjen !!
    Just love your blog and i am feeling homesick to Dubai ….

    1. Så hyggelig å høre at du liker å lese bloggen min, Anne! Det setter jeg stor pris på. Kanskje en bridgetur til Dubai sammen med Nina i vinter er det som skal til for å kurere “hjemlengselen?” 😉 Anyway, du er alltid velkommen her! Klem fra Randi

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