Compliments of Guest Blogger, Fia Essen
I reluctantly admit I was once a hapless vacationer, charmed by a Greek island and a realtor’s well-practiced tale of tranquil living. I fell in love with a beautiful wreck of a house and simultaneously became convinced I possessed previously dormant carpentry skills. Oh yes, I was almost certain I was one of those people who can build you a shopping mall if you hand them nothing but a length of rope and a Q-tip. Let’s suffice it to say I was quickly brought back to earth with a resounding thud when I fell off a ladder while trying to change a light bulb… so I hired a contractor.
Three days before Mr. Manolis, my contractor, was supposed to begin turning my Greek ruin into a habitable dwelling, I came home from a jog to find a three-man crew lined up in my driveway.
“Hello,” I puffed. “Are you starting today? Did I get the date wrong?”
The three men looked at each other, shrugged, and then stared blankly back at me. I took a moment to catch my breath before asking the same questions in Greek. They looked at each other and shrugged again.
“Okay,” I sighed. “No Greek.”
The almost scarily tall and scarecrow thin man on the left shook his head.
“And no English,” I stated needlessly.
The considerably shorter and much wider man in the middle nodded.
“Italiano?” I tried.
The average height man of equally average weight on the right cleared his throat and said, “Bulgaria.”
“Oh great,” I muttered.
I began the process of opening my very warped wooden front door, which involved a running start and throwing the entire weight of my body against it. Then I headed to my bedroom to call Mr. Manolis. After having called his cell phone a dozen times, paged him and called his office just as many, I gave up. I returned to the crew of three who were shuffling aimlessly around the hallway and said, “You can go.”
“Go?” they parroted in comical unison.
“Yes.” I pointed at the open door. “Go.”
The three of them whispered to each other for a minute. Finally, the human beanstalk said, “Okay. Go.”
I smiled in relief. “Thank you.”
I went back to my bedroom and booted up my laptop. Just as I was about to delete a veritable cornucopia of spam, an earsplitting creak followed by a thud sent me bolting back into the hallway where I found Larry, Curly and Moe standing in a gaping hole where my massive wooden door hung only minutes earlier.
“What?” I gasped. “What did you do?”
The vertically challenged and rotund barrel-like man gave the front door that was now laying on the floor a kick with his booted foot, and said, “Go!”
Now, almost four years later, I’ve sold the house to another tourist with more optimism than sense… and I’m nearly fluent in Bulgarian.
Sofia Essen is the Managing Director and a Change Counselor at Essen & Essen. Change is the theme of Sofia’s existence. Helping people to both deal with change and create it is her specialty. She permanently left the country of her birth before her ninth birthday and she has been on the move ever since. You can find her at: http://fiaessen.wordpress.com/