Our refrigerator stopped working a couple of weeks ago. We called the real estate agent who in turn called the house owner who took the trouble of calling his much trusted maintenance man, Mr.Su. After a couple of days of trying to explain the urgency of the problem (and discarding a lot of rotten vegetables and spoilt meat), Mr. Su finally graced us with his presence. He opened the fridge, stared at it long and hard (the way I stare at Ka when she has been up to some mischief) and let out a laugh. He closed the fridge, opened it again and then tried telling us that it was working. We didn’t quite understand how he came to that conclusion. Maybe his faith in that magic voodoo glare he had picked up recently was absolute and unassailable and he was seeing things as a result of that. So, we stood there and with the help of an English-chinese dictionary, argued with him for a good 10 minutes. None of the things that were meant to be frozen were frozen. And none of the things that were meant to be cold were cold. The fridge clearly wasn’t working. So, off went Mr. Su, disappointed and heart-broken at the failure of his MVG technique, to get the repair man who we hoped would come equipped with a little more than the deadly voodoo stare. And he did. He came with a screwdriver. Don’t get me wrong. He turned out be a staunch believer of MVG too and together, they tried it one last time. But alas! It didn’t work. At all. And upon its failure to work, they turned to Plan B, which involved opening the freezer with the screwdriver (the only tool they had on hand) and then taking turns to laugh at the freezer. Mr. M’s diagnosis is that the laughing is a nervous reaction to seeing about 5 inches of ice in a frost-free fridge. To be fair, something like that would make me nervous too. So, in all their nervousness, they tried scratching the ice out with their fingernails and the screwdriver. Soon enough they realised that that wasn’t the best way to go about it. So they used my hair-dryer. They didn’t want to know why there was so much frost in a frost-free fridge. They just wanted to make the ice go away and pretend there was nothing wrong. So, they made the ice go away, pretended there was nothing wrong, told us that the fridge was working again, and left feeling mighty pleased with themselves.
In a couple of weeks, the damn thing died on us again. Once again, after the whole wooing Mr. Su ritual, he showed up. This time he came prepared. He came armed with the one piece of equipment he thought he would need – a Hair Dryer! What will it be the next time around? A curling-iron, mascara and some lipstick, maybe?