Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Arrogant Landlord

So, yesterday afternoon, my wife called a guy about a house. 

"When can we see it."

"Tomorrow, at noon."

"Noon it is, then."

She arranged for me to meet her at work at around 11:30, and from there we would drive together to the house.

When I showed up at her workplace, she was on the phone with the landlord.

"Bapak, this is Louise. We're coming to see your house now. 12 o'clock, right?"

"Right. See you there."

So, we arrive a bit before 12, and he's not there yet. He's not there at 12:15, either. Or 12:30. Or 1:00.

So we head back to her workplace and stop for lunch along the way.

The man calls while we're eating.

"Where are you?" he says. I'm waiting at the house."

Sigh. This is so typical. It's not really odd at all. It's normal. It's part of the frustrating farce of looking for a house, and a landlord, in Bali. It's known as rubber-time. As a friend of mine points out, it's as if these people believe that other people have nothing in particular to do but stand around and wait on them. He has heard that this is 'part of the culture', and we ought to be sensitive to that. But he's not buying it. And neither I am. What it is is a passive-aggressive disrespect, a homegrown form of arrogance that strikes people as being a badge of merit, showing that they are 'important' people.

But, of course, it's nothing more than annoying.

And so the hunt continues, of course - quite against a current of unreliability, indecisiveness, bad manners, carelessness, laziness and, as I said, arrogance. One month left to find a place.

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