Back At Square One

John Steinbeck was right about the best laid plans of mice and men. Things often do not work out as planned and that is especially true here in the land of 19  21 Century Socialism, as they laughingly like to call their style of government. We were unable to complete to the deal to buy the house I mentioned in my last post. To understand why the sale didn’t go through, you need to understand a concept, which is prevalent in Latin America, called vivos. In English the word vivos would come closest to meaning clever. An example I witnessed many years ago will help you understand the vivos concept. I was sitting in my parked car. in a commercial area while waiting for wife who was doing some shopping. There were no parking spaces available along either side of the street. A woman got into car in front of me and a gentleman in a Jeep Wagoner pulled to   a sop beside to wait for the woman to pull so he could take her parking space. When the woman had pulled out, the Wagoner pulled up beside the car in front of the now open space so that he could back-in (parallel park). But, before he could begin to back-in, a young woman in a small car whipped-in and took the parking place. The gentleman was furious and got out of his car screaming at the young woman: asking if she was so blind that she could not see that he had been waiting to park in that space? The young woman responded: The world is for the “vivos” (clever)  not for the “tontos” (fools). The man glared at the young woman for a moment then turned and got back into his Wagoner. He put it in reverse slammed into the little car twice bouncing the right front wheel of the small car up and over the curb and doing substantial damage to the door panel of the small car. He then got out of his car again as the young woman was calling him every name in the book at the top of her lungs. The gentleman calmly looked at the young woman and said: Jovencita,el mundo pertenece a los ricos y  no a los pobres (Young lady, the world belongs to the rich and not to the poor.) At which point he took out a card from his wallet and gave it to the young woman; telling her to contact his insurance company. He then got back in his car and drove off leaving the young woman with her jaw agape. She didn’t turnout to be so clever after all. So, back to the house sale that didn’t happen. The hose is owned by four brothers who inherited it from their deceased parents. It had been for sale for almost three years. The four brothers were all well do professionals. Three of them lived in cities several hours way.  The older brother, with whom we were dealing, is a medical doctor with his own clinic and he also owns the only medical laboratory (where blood and tissue samples are analysed) in the city. The chink in the deal was that they had a young woman with baby living in the house to keep an eye on it and she paid them a small amount of rent each month. She was the niece of the wife of one of the brothers. I saw the house for the first time on a Monday. I noted the young woman and her baby and asked the Doctor when she was leaving. He said not to worry she would be gone by that afternoon. Tuesday morning the Doctor called to say that the house was vacant and his brothers had arrived and that we would sign the documents at the Registrar”s office at 11:00am. My wife immediately called a taxi and went to see the house. The young woman and her baby were still there. She called the doctor and told him in no uncertain terms that she would sign nothing until the young woman and her baby were out of the house. The Doctor was irritate and said that his brothers were important men and needed to get back to their businesses and besides; the young woman was a nice person and she would be leaving the house in a couple of hours by three o’clock. My wife, however, was insistent that there would be no signing until the woman and her baby were gone. So, the next day the Doctor called and I answered this time. He told me the house was now empty and could we please meet him and his brothers at 11:00am at the Registrar’s office to sign the papers. Once again my wife took a taxi to the house and once again found the young woman doing laundry and hanging clothes to dry. And that was that! My wife told the Doctor he had lied to her for the last time. The laws here make it very difficult to remove a renter from your house; especially if there are children. The four brothers could have saved this deal quite easily. If each had put a quarter of one percent of what each was going to receive from sale into a pool, they could have rented another place for the young woman and her baby and paid for four months rent for her. But, the Doctor, at least, was intent on proving that he was more  vivos than my wife. He wasn’t. We all ended up losers as a result. My poor wife spent the next ten days pounding the pavement trying to find us another house to buy. We had everything we owned in boxes and ready for the movers and we had notified the owner of the house where we had been living that we would not be renting the house any longer. We were paid up for two more weeks. We did find another lovely home for more than we had to invest; but the owners said they would give six months to pay off the balance. But, when we went them to their lawyer’s office they dropped the bomb. They want us to put up 70% of the price in advance and then give them three to four months to move out. So, we decided we were out of luck. The owner of the house we had been living in agree to give us a new contract and we prepared to make the return trip. Unfortunately, the government was in the midst of changing airline ticket prices and there were no flights for what turned out to another two weeks. We are now back at square one. We wasted a month of our lives and no small amount of money. Maybe next year we will have better luck. Maybe next year we can find someone who seriously wants to sell their home and aren’t trying to prove how vivos they are.

11 thoughts on “Back At Square One

  1. “vivos” means sly — not just clever. And those brothers were just stupid greedy guys out to unload the troublesome young woman and babe while making a profit. Good riddance! You have to be so careful even in the US.

  2. Vivos also has sense of sly, and always has a sense of the cheat about it. Street kids are “vivos” in order to stay alive. These brothers were a greedy bunch hoping to unload the house and the young woman and babe. You can’t be too careful anywhere, even in the US. The shysters abound.

  3. The world is rampant with people who will take advantage of others. A higher percentage of them seem to live under so-called “socialism” where they are forced to lie, cheat and steal to make a living.

  4. Wow. As Bunker says, just glad to hear you are o.k. (Being one of the many, here). What an ordeal you have been through. Thinking sarcastically, if you were under 20, you could be one of the invading hordes and be given a free ride in the U.S. Right now…probably be given a free house here.
    Well…as you say, maybe next year. And maybe that house you were after was a money pit and you’ve been saved from some unknown infestation of termites…or something. Be well! And thanks be to smart wives!

  5. I am just glad you are back. I thought maybe the government had nabbed you and was providing you with their own special brand of housing.

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