When we moved to Ireland from the U.S. we I packed our airline tickets.
Determined to have a smoother, calmer, move from Ireland to Andorra I tried to think of all contingencies.
Once again, our stuff was going in a large container by boat.
Once again, we were going by plane and would be homeless for awhile.
Planning was obviously important; but different country; different plans.
I was working for a U.S. company at the time and wanted to be very, very, very certain that my phone and internet were not disconnected prematurely.
I wanted a smooth move.
I also knew that if we didn't give proper notice we would be charged for another full month (or 2).
Doing the only logical thing: I asked for help (poor, little stupid me). I went, in person, to the phone company office.
I asked the Powers That Be how I could best accomplish this goal.
I was told to come in person (again) and fill out the proper forms with the proper agent in the office. I would sign the form, verifying the correct dates and that was that. Simple.
At the suggested time, I met with the said proper person, did as I was told and was assured all was well.
We were leaving on a Friday. The phone was to be disconnected late morning of that day.
At 8:00 on the Monday of that week the phone worked.
At 8:05 it didn't.
It was disconnected a full 5 work days early.
I called the phone company on my mobile.
They were very nice, apologized for the mistake and said there was nothing they could do.
I demanded that they reconnect it.
They said they would be happy to put in the work order and it would take 4 weeks…. And it wouldn't be the same number…. And I would have to sign up for the internet again…
I explained. I argued.
They hung up.
I called back.
Same conversation with a different person.
I patiently explained that they obviously disconnected me by throwing a switch. Throw it back.
It was their fault; fix it.
They said they couldn't.
They hung up.
I called back.
We did this for about 3 hours; the conversations getting somewhat less pleasant on my part with each phone call. But, as I kept getting different people, I tried to be polite, hoping that I could get someone to see reason and help me.
The last time I called back, I realized what a small office I was calling. After I identified myself, the person shouted: "It's that damn Yank again!"
My perseverance finally paid off – or I had sufficiently irritated enough people.
They decided to turn the phone back on…. With the same number…. And the internet connection….
They flipped the switch back. It took less than 5 minutes from the time they said they would do it until it was done.
Three hours of arguing: 3 minutes of work.
What really pissed them off was having to acknowledge that their world wasn't as complicated, difficult and/or technical as they wanted everyone to believe.
There is nothing complicated about a good Cucumber Salad.
I posted a Creamy Cucumber Salad (made with Greek Yogurt) a few weeks ago for Weekend Herb Blogging.
This is my mother's recipe, as made by her ..
I'm not repeating myself: in that post I was emphasizing the chives; this one is about the cukes.
French cucumbers are different – at least to me.
(Like so many other things about life here.) This is the first year I have bought them, always planting the more traditional kind in my own garden.
As you can see, they are very long and skinny. This one is about 20" (50cm) and it is far from the longest I've seen. They can get lots longer but not any fatter – which can make them a bit of a challenge for slicing… They wobble ;-))
This variety is known as English Cucumber. They have fewer, smaller seeds and a less tough skin than the traditional American 'Slicer'. There is also a variety called a Mediterranean Cucumber that looks more like the American, but still with a more tender skin. It's the Mediterranean that I have grown in the past, here, but it's never for sale in the markets and (I have learned) the locals don't eat it, considering it to be nothing but an overgrown gherkin!
I will admit I am now a convert to this long, skinny beauty…Wonderful flavor, and never a hint of bitterness.
Cucumbers are in the same family as zucchini (also in the photo) and have many of the same health benefits. They also contain silica, which is a component of connective tissue and can contribute to healthy, glowing skin; both by eating and applying topically (like slices over the eyes to cool).
Cucumber salad is a summer staple in our house. I make a big bowl every few days. It keeps well and tastes better with time. This is a more traditional recipe, submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Kelly, of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp. Visit her blog on Monday for all of the wonderful recipes!
Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad
2 English cucumbers or 3 – 4 slicers
1 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbs fresh chives, snipped
1/2 tsp pepper
Peel cucumber (if you want) and thinly slice using a slicer, mandolin or food processor, Layer with the salt in a large bowl. Cover with a plate, add a weight of some sort and let sit for 30 – 60 minutes. Drain, rinse lightly and squeeze dry. Add remaining ingredients, mix well. Serve. This is better the next day.
I understand that here in France one must send a certified letter 30 days in advance to terminate both electrical and phone services.
How scary is that!!!!