LOL Volkswagen, so stingy?

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Instead of sleeping, I was randomly browsing on facebook and interweb. I landed on a Volkswagen “My Renting” (Spanish) brochure by accident. Wanted to see if I can find some helpful data between the many lines of “bla bla” usually these documents have. I am not even sure why I opened the PDF, I am not really interested in Volkswagen and this new “renting” whatever it is- (I think this is some sort of “business leasing”? long term renting? no idea really). I said I was randomly browsing so there it is the reason 😀

Browsing trough the pages the above image caught my eye. I actually imagined how nice would it be to drive a car (no, still not Volkswagen) in a place like this… Just going slowly and enjoying the beauty of this place…so obviously I became curious where was this photo taken. I saved the image and used google image search hoping to find a location. Much to my surprise, I haven´t found anything about the location … (appreciate it if somebody could tell me), but I found that this is a very widely used FREE stock photography… LOL LOL LOL.

So basically Volkswagen, this famous brand for cars… just goes to free image photos and uses them in their brochures 😀 😀 😀 I think this is super funny! You know why? I would imagined that a company that i s world wide recognized as a big brand, cares at least so much about their image, to use photos their own brand photographer’s photos in this sort of brochures. No idea why I was thinking this. Just the perception of what a brand should/could mean. Well it could be that only the Spanish brochure makers were so lazy, but anyway I had a good laugh*.

I often work with some tiny and small companies. And believe it or not, they do care so much more about what goes in a brochure, what pics are used on their website 😀 you would think this massive company hires some stupid cheap freelancers who don’t really give a shit and work for $2 to design the brochures 😀 Not saying that it is… just saying that it looks like 😀 Very big LOL indeed.

Here is one place where you can find this image. There are plenty other places too….

*I was told I am weird, so nothing to worry about!

December 2017

The first month spent in our apartment was not an easy one. While winters here are very mild, it was still winter, cold and wet on occasions and we barely had heating. The gas powered heater provided some, but we had to open the windows often in order to have clean air. The wet heat and the outside cold helped the mold to grow wild. One morning we noticed a lot of mold on the walls, so we first had to clean that up. The rain continued to pour for days, and one of our room had a leak in the ceiling…

By the middle of the December we had running water, and two days later hot water as well. It was life changing to be able to shower normally after almost two weeks of wet wipes and lazy showers!

The whole month was full with ups and downs.

At the beginning of the month we realized that our car needs some servicing. The “copelas” some metal-rubber parts from the front suspension needs to be changed. We went to one of the local shops, and to our surprise the guy made an offer for 990 Euros. The value of our car is about 1000. What was upsetting is the fact how this moron tried to scam us, saying that changing these parts are super difficult. We knew how difficult it was… 2 years ago we changed one in a parking lot with my dad in half an hour, without having an idea how to change it, with basic tools we had. None of is is car mechanic. Not me, nor my husband nor my dad, we just had basic idea, and a broken down car. To avoid this happening again, we bought new parts and wanted them changed… And just to show how outrageous the price for the service was: at the end an official service changed it for 135 euros, with some other extra small fixes.

We barely got the money to pay for the car fix when the plumber-electrician also wanted us to settle the bill. I kept telling my husband to ASK for the price upfront, I do not want any surprises… He kept saying that “I asked bu the said he will tell us at the end and it won’t be huge amount”. You can imagine the shock we had when he gave us the bill… 1250 euros. I was almost crying.

From where the fuck are we going to get this money? I was very upset. Somewhat at my husband, because I was not yet speaking the language, but mostly because we were so poor that this amount was ridiculously high. We managed to pay it in 3 parts. I don’t even remember how.

At the end… one good thing emerged from this: both of us realized that either we need to make more money. Like way way way way way more in order to afford some experts to come fix our house, or we need to become the experts (or butchers) ourselves and do it with our hands. And so we did.

This particular bill for the plumbing and the basic electricity made us plumbers and electricians, and tilers, and window installers, and carpenters. You will see… pretty much everything. Also super grateful for the idiot from the first car service. He did us a massive service with his ridiculously high price. Next time we went to the shop next door. It was for a simple oil change. And we found a very nice, honest and good mechanic there, who so far never tried to rip us off. It’s good to know basics about how your car works, or how much it takes to change certain parts. Being poor as fuck sometimes can bring you unexpected benefits in other areas.

3 years ago

Exacly 3 years ago on December 3rd, we were returning from home where we spent 2 weeks visiting our families. It was the very first time, when we returned to our apartment, it was the day when this adventure began.

Our car was parked at the airport and on the way back, we visited one of the hardware stores and bought a few tools, a gas heater, and some other basic household stuff.

The place was dreadful, ugly, the roof was leaking, we had no running water, and was damn cold. We bought a gas heater, but it was not enough to heat up the whole place, so we made camp in one room. But it was OURS.

We were happy, sad, angry, worried at the same time. It´s impossible to describe the mix of feelings that rushed in and out the first days. We knew we had tremendous work ahead of us, but we at least worked on our OWN.

Our very first lesson was to “never trust a plumber“. They will LIE. Constantly and always. This guy promised to fix our running water in the previous 2 weeks. He had a key, and on the day we returned, we should have had at least cold water. We had nothing. Luckily there was a public well very close to the place so we were able to carry up couple of 5l water bottles up to the last floor, without elevator of course!

This was our power box in the beginning.

We(mostly my husband) did the whole wiring in the house. The fact that he had prior experience with installing electricity was one major win for us. The authorized electrician arrived, connected the main power line from outside the apartment to the box and he left. Luckily the power company only cared about the installation from the meter to the main switch. The rest was pretty much “our business”. Not sure how legal it is didn’t asked anybody. I will tell you here “don’t try it at home”, electricity is dangerous, bla bla bla…unless you have some sort of basic training in safety and standards… and always take extra safety measures (turn off the damn main power switch) if you consider doing anything with the cables. But at this time, we had… 1 switch and 1 plug to power up everything. (not to many devices, 2 laptops and a light)

And we had a mattress. No bed. Didn’t had money to buy a bed.

But the adventure began.

Not your average DIY blog

For about 3 years now I would like to launch a blog about our adventures in a foreign country, without exposing to much about who we are, and where we are. Not because it would be a massive secret, simply because I would like to keep it as honest as i can, without making things look nice(errrr than they really are) just because some relatives might read it….

I was 33 when the whole adventure with my now husband started, and was/is a somewhat crazy roller coaster ever since. We didn’t had a particularly shitty life back home, we mostly wanted to live here because of the weather, and because we liked it better in the new country. Left with hatchback, a dog, and some belongings we were able to squeeze in the car, and never looked back.

And so many things happened. Sometimes in a weird way. Sometimes in a boring way. We got settled in a strangers house for a while, 3 years later we bought our apartment and started renovating it. Each of this was a long and crazy story 🙂 Will maybe tell you abut it once.

The blog – like Star wars- begins somewhere at the middle of the story. 3 years after the moving in the apartment. 6 years after moving to a different country. And while we did pretty much everything on our apartment, this is not going to be the average DIY blog where I present some shitty furniture turned into some magical dragon overnight by my amazing skills… with an ounce of paint and two swipes of a brush. Oh no.. more likely this is going to be the “lesson to be learned” and the “how not to do it yourself” type of DIY. Or better “misadventures” and “don’t do it yourself”.

The blog will be here, on wordpress and free domain probably… I tried to buy a domain name once for this project, I was enthusiastic to send it over to a few friends and people I know… just to realize pretty soon, that I do not want to share many things with people I actually know. So the blog became artificial and soon was left to die.

So a few things… just to get them out of the way: my English my sucks. I know, trying to improve it, but being only the 3rd language I speak, I hope you can forgive me. (this is just to show you that I am smart…)

My composing and story telling sucks. And I loose track of what I want to say in mid sentence. Sorry. I don’t think I will ever become better at this.

My story is going to be boring. Renovating an apartment for 3 years… it´s kind’a boring.

Recipes – you may find recipes here, but I don’t suggest you to try them either. They are often “mixes and matches” of stuff I have at home.

Eating mostly keto-carnivore.

You will see we/me/us messed up all the time. I mean, I generally speak about the life I have together with my husband. But right now he doesn’t know about this blog’s existence 🙂 Will try to surprise him in the next few weeks.

I love dogs, 2 very particular breeds, but not a dog crazy crazy person if it comes to other breeds. I can tolerate cats, but I don’t like them to much. Had 2 turtles once, I felt like shit because they lived in a fairly small aquarium.

And most importantly, we are childfree. No babies, I was never interested in having any mini human around. So no soapy baby stories going to be here.

I think this is good enough for introduction. The rest will maybe follow soon.

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