The Break-In

Karie on Aug 23rd 2008 09:23 pm

Tonight we had an interesting adventure.  We were on our way to the market when Scott suddenly stopped and reached for his pockets.

“Forget your wallet?”
“No.”  (super long pause)  “The keys.”
We stop and stare at each other for about 5 minutes.
(cricket, cricket)
What are we going to do?

It just so happens that our landlord, who has the only other set of keys, left for vacation earlier this week.  Also, in case you didn’t know, we live on the 5th floor, so no chance of crawling in through a window.

We tried calling our friend who’s a handyman, but couldn’t reach him. Tried calling another friend who could at least call a locksmith for us, but no luck.  As we were standing outside of our door trying to figure out who else was in town and could help us, Scott noticed a sticker on a nearby pole that said “Cerrajeria: 24 Horas” with a phone number. I took a guess that that meant locksmith, so we called.

The lady told me she’d be here in 30 minutes. 50 minutes later she called again and said it would be another hour.  Oh, and she couldn’t even estimate how much this was going to cost, but I have a feeling it would’ve included a “foreigners tax” (i.e., overcharging just because they know we’re not from around here).  I have never felt so helpless.

In the meantime the tenant in the first floor vacation rental came home, so he was able to let us in the front door of the building.  Now only one more door to go.  We were getting desperate, and we really didn’t want to wait another hour and end up paying an arm and a leg for the shady locksmith.  Scott went to assess our door yet again and started thinking that if we could get a hammer, we might be able to break through what used to be an old peep hole, which is now covered by a piece of wood, and reach inside to open the door.

The British vacation rental tenant on the first floor didn’t have a hammer, so that left us with two options: the lady at the janky salon next door, or “Antoni the Catalan”, the hermit who lives on the top floor.  Scott has had brief encounters with both, but I never have.  We decided on Antoni, thinking he’d be more likely to have a hammer.  Except that we don’t know how to say hammer in Spanish, let alone Catalan.

Scott knocks and Antoni opens the door naked.  I’m down the spiral staircase behind Scott, so he doesn’t even know I’m there, and I don’t know he’s naked. Scott used the same 3 words of Spanish about 15 times, but the repetition did not help Antoni understand what we needed.  My Spanish is marginally better, so finally I spoke up from around the corner to try to help Scott.  This freaks Antoni out, because he didn’t know I was there; meanwhile Scott’s trying to shove me back down the stairs, because I didn’t know Antoni was naked.  Once he calmed down and figured out I was Scott’s wife, I was able to communicate our problem, that we had locked our keys inside and we need a tool to hit like “bang, bang, bang”, while Scott made a hammering motion to illustrate my sound effects.

“Un martillo??”, Antoni tried to clarify.

I have no idea.  If you can hit with it, then we need it.

He disappears and comes back, handing Scott the smallest hammer in the world.  Scott asked him if he had a bigger one, but no luck. So he took the Playskool-sized hammer, and with a couple of swipes at the peep hole, he busted the cover off the other side, and was able to reach through and unlock the door.  WOOHOO!!!!  We’re inside!  I KNEW Scott could figure out a way out of this mess!  Oh, the relief.

We never got groceries, which really stinks because tomorrow’s Sunday and all the markets will be closed, but we will make do.  It’s better than sleeping outside.  And, as Scott pointed out, we probably just saved at least 100€ by not needing the emergency locksmith on a Saturday night, so now we can afford to eat out every meal until Monday.  Gotta appreciate that kind of logic… but we’re still opting for the PB&J.

Just another Saturday night in Barcelona.

Filed in Spain,Travels | Comments (3)

3 Responses to “The Break-In”

  1. VegasDadon 27 Aug 2008 at 10:06 pm

    That’s quite an evening. Kind of funny too. I bet you can laugh now.

    I just happened to find your blog today. I’m quite jealous of your adventures. Perhaps someday the wife and I could do the same. Although, with kids it would be tougher. Not out of the question, just tougher.

  2. sarahon 27 Aug 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Where’s a good human castle when you need it ?!

  3. Karieon 29 Aug 2008 at 6:26 pm

    @VegasDad: Hey, thanks for the comment! I wish you and your family many happy (and relaxing!) travels. 🙂

    @Sarah: THAT’s who we should’ve called!!!

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