Friday, January 25, 2008

buying shower knobs

Let's say, for the moment, that you are going to buy new knobs for your shower. You browse the aisles at Home Depot, ACE, OHS, and finally decide on a lovely set that will, by chance, match the tile you have chosen as an accent in the new bathroom. You ferry this precious purchase home, open up the box and discover, what!! there is a missing piece. So you package up the knobs and return to the store. You explain (I can only hope, for your sake in your native language) that the set is incomplete. Exactly what was missing? The chapteon de laton. You'll never find that in your Oxford Spanish Dictionary, so I'll tell you. It's the flat piece that goes against the wall into which the knob fits.

Now if this were the Home Depot or ACE or OHS, they would check that you really did buy this from them, credit your account or give you some sort of slip for exchange and point you to the aisle where you could find a new set of knobs. Not here. The gentleman helping me disappeared into the back of the store and eventually came back with a new box of knobs. He opened the box, removed the missing piece, tried the new part on my purchase, nodded satisfactorily, put the piece in the box and that was that. The person who wants a set of those knobs will go through the same routine. Just as we did. It's a whole different way of doing business.

This sort of routine makes shopping in Mexico a real challenge. You never know if what you want is available, even it's displayed prominently. The Patient can hardly wait to take his first shower.


At 7:50 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

Oh, so pretty!


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