Inca Water Engineering – not what it once was

Ever wonder why some countries were historically known for one thing but now are nothing like that any more?

  • Australia as we know it was founded as a British penal colony, a big prison. Now nothing but friendly people – yes you know who you are 😉
  • Greece pioneered democracy and responsible government. Nowadays not so much. Sadly, I’ve personally spoken to more than one Greek citizen who wants to leave their beautiful country because they are so fed up with the incompetent and corrupt politicians.
  • Julius Cesar wrote that of all the tribes he conquered, the area that is now Belgium put up the fiercest resistance due to “being the most distant from civilization and therefor the most barbaric”. (and you thought I remembered nothing from high school) Nowadays Belgium is home to the EU, NATO, you can’t find a Flemish person in Brussels. Belgium is now an institutional center.

And last but not least:

In the time of the Inca, Peru was known for its architecture, civil engineering and water works. Nowadays, you really really don’t want to know. But I’ll tell you anyway.

Disclaimer: wise man told me you can’t come down to Peru and just expect to take the good without the bad and he’s absolutely right. However, sometimes you just have to get it off your chest so to speak.

This was what our floor looked like on Friday morning, courtesy of a simple “repair” at our next door neighbor:

hardwood floor water damage

Our living room last Friday

Long story short our neighbor decided to “fix” the gutters on their house. The drain from the gutter used to be on the North side of their house, draining into the sewer system. There is a small porch on that side, so instead of fixing the existing drain, the workers decided it would be easier to move the drain to the South side of the house, into a low-lying grassy area, with no runoff at all. The drain ended up literally 10cm (4″) from our house, which happens to be about 1.5 meters (5′) below the neighbors house.

It is now rain season in Cuzco and after a long night of rain we woke up to bulging hardwood floors. Tomorrow we’ll be in the third day of repairs. The neighbors, the owner of our house, ourselves, all combined we have a good bit of time, money and grief over just one day of lousy workmanship. A nice, 40-year old floor scr***d up in less than 48 hours.

Unfortunately that type of thing is not unusual here.

I hate to fuss but picture yourself in this. Our daughter woke up Saturday with bad tonsilitis, I have a lot of year-end work to do that other people’s bonuses depend on, mamacita linda is expecting to give birth to our next princesita any day now. Not the time we want to have to deal with dumbass-induced headache.

But we’ll deal with this and as Bruce says: “Someday we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny”

* * *

Next time you’re in Cuzco and have a craving for junk food, you should skip Mc Donald’s and head to Bembos across the Plaza de Armas. Food and all is the same but last time we were there we noticed Bembos had hired a young man with Down Syndrome to help with some cleaning and miscellaneous work. I know they’re legally obligated and all but you don’t see that very often. Maybe the young man won’t be there any more, I know these things aren’t easy but I appreciate that they extended the opportunity.

* * *

Maybe I’ll name our next baby goose “Rosalita” in honor of this incident. Or go all Hollywood and name her “Purple Rain”. What do you think?

Watch all the way to the end.

Yes I did have 2 glasses of Argentine Malbec before writing this. I needed it 🙂

3 thoughts on “Inca Water Engineering – not what it once was

  1. Congratulations on the proximate arrival of your next princesita!!! That is wonderful!! So sorry about your lovely 40 year old floor. I well recall the gerry-rigged electrical connections and other creative repairs from 25 years ago!

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