the purchase of a ladder

it was a rush purchase, lacking the lust of ritual, Saturday morning, after unsuccessfully having tried for one hour to drill a damn hole through steel reinforced concrete in the ceiling above my dinner table, standing atop a stool and a chair, my back hurting. It was an aluminum ladder wrapped in transparent plastic and with a user’s handbook larger than my computer’s. The right working height: 2,65 m taking in consideration my height as detailed in the appendix table of the users’ handbook.

Coming from Spain and at a time when you could affordably find somebody who would hang a ceiling lamp in your house, to Germany where I wonder if you can actually find someone who would come to your place to drill a hole, not to mention how much that would cost me, I still sometimes can feel the sting of customs.

It was in the end of the nineties when I bought a small apartment in Barcelona that had one wall too much and employed a “carpenter” who came every day from the other side of the city in the tube (tools and all), worked the whole day as I was in the office, and even managed to carry away the debris of the wall back to his place, or who knows where. In the tube.

Back then, I never entertained the idea of buying a ladder, nor I would know what use could I find for such bulky contraption.

I was obviously unprepared to the hardships of Germany, and even worse equipped to withstand the critical eye of my dear German wife in what relates to house improvement abilities and capabilities. Generations of skilled men in her family modelled a DNA signature, incompatible with the sight of me atop a stool, stretched arms, sweating and panting like a Spanish bull would have been chasing me around the block, unsuccessfully trying to drill through that tough, well-built, DIN, ISO and all, steel reinforced concrete ceiling.

I wonder if the purchase of  a ladder would be something to celebrate. Something you would do when you come of age and you move away from home. The beginning of a long friendship.

My lamp is finally hanging. Somehow in the right spot.