Repairing the Fountain | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Repairing the Fountain

Our maid, Ana Maria's 18 year old son works here as our gardener. I gave up on Manuel and his predecessors because, even though they held themselves out to be gardeners, they didn't know anything about caring for plants, nor would they take direction nor would they do what I asked them to. So I figured that I'd do better with someone I had to train myself—if he was willing to learn and willing to keep me happy. In that regard, Edgar has proven to be perfect.

However, he is Mexican.

So when left to his own devices, he does things the Mexican Way.

Here is the example you knew was coming. There is a big, noisy fountain on our back patio. It has a drain that is sealed with one of those old-fashioned rubber stoppers we used to have in bathtubs, the kind that are attached to little chains. But the stopper in our fountain is a tiny bit too small for the pipe it fits into, probably because it has been eaten away by the Clorox we use to keep algae down. So the fountain leaks and empties itself in about a day and nobody refills it. I don't get to run it during my nap so I can sleep to the sound of falling water.

[Really! You see what I have to deal with here. I'm sure you can sympathize.] 

So I asked Edgar, in my very best Spanish, to fix the fountain. Maybe he could find a new, bigger stopper? ¿Quizás un tapón nueve?


Within 20 minutes, the fountain was up and operating. While grateful for the quick response, I knew that the repair I had visualized was not the repair I got, given how little time it took.

I looked into the fountain. There was the old stopper, shoved deep into the drainpipe, with a nice new bead of silicone caulk around it.

Well, Edgar had stopped the leak. And he had done it without actually spending any money. He had acted fully in concert with good Mexican values: Do it cheaply, effectively and quickly.

Of course, if we ever want to change the water in the fountain, we'll have to bail it out with a bucket. Can't unplug the drain anymore. But then, in all the houses we rented prior to buying this one, that's exactly how the water was changed in all of those fountains. And it's not like I am going to have to change the water myself. Edgar is going to change it.

So what's my problem? I really have nothing to bitch about...