The Plot Thickens...I think by this time you need to be introduced to the Cast of Characters:
Judy - my customer service rep at PazGas
Tomer - my PazGas technician who is forbidden by law to climb a ladder higher than 4 meters
Maor - the boss at the building management company, currently on vacation
Gili - Maor's secretary at the building management company
Itzhak - my neighbor in the adjoining building with the open balcony from which Tomer thinks he can reach my higher-than-4-meter gas pipe
B. - my friend/neighbor with a small electric cooktop.
In order to be able to fall asleep without dreaming of cold/raw food for Passover, I spoke to my friend B., who is going away for Pesach, and arranged, in the worst case, to borrow her electric cooktop, provided that her friend who is staying in her apartment doesn't need it.
This morning I couldn't believe it when my phone rang and Gili was calling as promised! As soon as I answered, from the tone of her voice, I knew that she had bad news. She said she had called the building repair department and they insisted that the gas pipes were the responsibility of the gas company. I told her I had been going back and forth with the gas company for a month already and now Pesach was dangerously near. Everyone gets in a tizzy here over Pesach, and that worked. She said she would call the gas company herself, and I gave her my customer number. So Gili called PazGaz and then she called me back to tell me what I already knew: no high ladders allowed, my only solution is via the neighbor's balcony. She agreed to provide me with the name and number of the neighbor, Itzhak, whom I still don't know. She apologized profusely for not being able to solve my problem (!) She also asked me to let her know what happens and to tell Itzhak he could call her if he wanted to check on my story. At least she was well-meaning, and gave me a vital piece of information: Itzhak's phone number.
Itzhak answered the phone. By now I've become pretty fluent in explaining my problem, and Itzhak kindly agreed to be available Friday morning for Tomer to come and clamp my pipe to the wall. I immediately phoned Judy at PazGaz to tell her the good news. She rang up Tomer right away to confirm that he would do it, even though they don't work on Fridays. She said Tomer had told her I was such a nice lady he would do it on Friday as a favor to me (I guess I'm supposed to give him a tip, but only after I check that the gas is turned on.)
Now comes the fun: Judy tried to talk to me in English and said she hadn't had the opportunity to use her English in a long time. I told her to come over with Tomer on Friday and we could have coffee and exchange language lessons. She took this very well and invited me to come to her office to visit her.We giggled a lot. After a few more social interchanges, during which I gave her Itzhak's number to give to Tomer, we compared ages of grandchildren, and agreed that health is the most important thing, she got back to business and I have to give her credit for chutzpah: she offered to sell me a gas security device and a fire extinguisher, spread over 12 payments, no interest!
Tune in on Friday for the next installment.