Friday, April 16, 2010

DIY in Hanoi

Why is it that my old man can build a house and I can't even change a light globe? When it comes to DIY stuff I am dead set useless. Sometimes I think my genetics have it in for me.

For my devoted blog followers, I think there are two of you, you would have read about our little mosquito dilemma on a post from around a week ago.

In short, our entrance is just a gate, not a wall, and at night we are attacked my Hanoi's mosquito army.

I decided to show some initiative and do the man's thing and sort out the problem. Step 1: ask our cleaning lady, Hien, for assistance. Step 2: Wait for Hien to come back to our house with supplies. To be honest, and in my defence, I didn't ask Hien to go and pick up the supplies, instead offering to go myself. Hien I can only assume measured up the situation and realised that there was little chance I was going to be able to achieve such a task.

This morning she arrived with a big roll of thick plastic, some thin wire and that thing you use to cut wire with; pliers maybe?......Dad?

Our aim quite simply was to cover all the gaps with plastic and bind it to the gate with the wire. An ingenious idea where full credit must go to Hien. My initial job of measuring with a tape measure how much plastic we needed proved a few centimetres to short. Shit! There is a small gap on one side of the gate which I am hoping the mosquitoes won't notice. Hien, was directing traffic, telling me where to bind the plastic while I was perched at the top of the ladder grunting and moaning and trying to maintain my balance.

There were sections that were not easy I tell you and it took we a while to finish. Hien and I worked on the project for a few hours when at one point she said in her broken but otherwise very good English, "Arh......Dan. I um.....I think that maybe this is not going to be your job. I think maybe you should stay a teacher". We both laughed. It seemed my attempts to look switched on and under control in the DIY scene were in vain. The truth was obvious to see. With the job done and looking pretty damn good, thanks to the help and management of 46 year old Hien, we will wait until tonight to see the results.

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