Saturday, March 10, 2018

Discovering Creative Uses for our Bathroom

Our sidewalk bathroom protest.
For the past six months - and counting - Bogotá Bike Tours's bathroom has not functioned.

A bathroom as store-room.
It all started last September, when the landladies hired workmen to repair the buiding's pipes, because because during heavy rains sewage water backed up and flooded the building.

The workmen finished their work in about two weeks. Then, came the turn of Acueducto to hook our building's pipes to the main running beneath the street.

So, we waited...and waited. 'They´re going to do the work on Friday,' someone predicted. 'No, on Sunday, when there's less traffic.'

But the workers never appeared.

The landlady visited acueducto, who sent her on wild goose chases to the Transito office, to the Urban Development Institute, and on and on, all in vain. The workers never came.

Acueducto even declared our situation an EMERGENCIA. But that didn't help.

Finally, the landlady discovered that she needed permission from the local Patrimonio Historico office to do the work. Easy, right? After all, what possible threat could hooking up our toilet be to the neighborhood's historical patrimony?
Parchita uses the toilet.
However, the Patrimonio's engineer didn't give the necessary approval. He was on vacation. He was busy. He was just being a bureaucrat.

We visited. We begged. They said they were working on it.

Finally, after four months, the engineer gave his approval. Now, we'd get our bathroom, right? Not so fast. We also needed the Patrimonio director's approval. Evidently, our having a bathroom was a real potential threat to the neighborhood's historical patrimony.

(This was the same patrimonio office which has given its blessing to monstrosities all around this neighborhood.)

Finally, the director gave his approval. So, we could now get our bathroom, right?

Not so fast, again. The landlady went back down to Acueducto, which had declared our case an 'EMERGENCIA.' No, they were already all booked up that month, and the next month, and at least half of the following month. Our EMERGENCIA would have to wait at least two months.

We're still waiting.

It's things like this which sap one's confidence in public institutions and erase any enthusiasm for paying taxes.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

No comments: