Monday, April 7, 2014

Late Night Adventure

On Thursday, March 27 we returned home to our apartment around 9:00 only to find the front, inside door was locked.  We always lock the metal bar gate but Elder Edington hates to lock the wooden door, so we were both surprised when he tried to open it, and he could not.  He looked at me and I told him I had not locked it.  He had the key so no problem, right.  He turned the key in the lock and nothing happened.  He tried and tried again and again with no success.  We did not know where the manager lived so we walked to the front gate house.  The man there told us to go to the medical facility because they have a second set of keys.  

We went to the medical facility but everywhere we went was locked up so we rang the bell and waited to be let in.  The black nurses there were very nice and walked back to our "flat" with us but guess what!  Their key did not work either.  Surprise! Surprise  Not!  We tried everything we could think off short of ramming down the door.  

We went back to the medical facility and called the manage.   We told him our problem and he told us to go get the key from the medical office which we had already done.   Then to our surprise he told us that if we could not get in with the key then he would not be able to get in with the key either.   We kind of thought he might try to help us get in but he just said we should call a locksmith.  

Calling a locksmith turned out to be more of an ordeal that we ever imagined.  The sweet nurses were trying to help us but it was a bit like the blind leading the blind with a communication problem thrown in.  Communicating with the nurses was a bit tricky but we finally got connected to locksmith who we could hardly understand or who could hardly understand us. We finally figured out that he could come help us but that we must have 750 rands cash which is about $75.00.  We did not have that much cash on hand so we went back to the apartment a bit discouraged and not knowing what to do but perhaps find a motel to stay at.

On our way back I decided to check to see if the back metal bar gate on the back door just might be open.  I knew the back door was unlocked.  Sure enough when Elder Edington had dumped the trash and had left the back metal door open, which was a rare thing even for him.  Thank heaven for tender mercies.The only obstacle left was the five foot, padlocked metal gate  that lets us in the little patio area.  It might not look like much but it was late at night and we are old.

I wish I had had a camera.  It was quite a sight to see Elder Edington climb on that rickety plastic garbage can and up on the fence. Things got a little exciting when he got on top of the narrow metal gate and had to get his shoe situated on the inside on the little spikes to let himself down.  All I could think was broken bones, emergency medical vehicles and hospital stays, but he negotiated it with a minimal amount of pain and not too much injury to his pride.  You all would have been quite impressed that an old man could negotiate the fence and live to tell about it.  He went on in the house and found all the  necessary keys and rescued me from the dark back alley.  When we woke up the next morning the door was still jammed and could not be opened.  It took one day short of a week to finally get the doorknob replaced.  If it had been like the locks in the USA Elder Edington would have fixed it the first day, but the screws for the lock are located on the door where you can not get to them when the door is shut.   We called several locksmiths but communication, even when it happens in English, is not alway a successful endeavor.  It was the manager who finally got a locksmith here to help us.  

No comments:

Post a Comment