The roof in our house leaks in heavy rains. The leak is in an unheated space in the home, though it’s where the laundry room and a spare bedroom are located. The owners of the home are aware, and they seem to have very little concern. I thought perhaps our landlords were simply neglecting their property, though now I have my doubts that they are particularly unique among Chilean homeowners.
Surely some homeowners would not tolerate a leak at all, though our recent experience at grocery store on a rainy day has led me to conclude that there is some tolerance for leaking roofs in Chile. At least, I conclude there is significantly more tolerance than one might find in a similarly affluent area in the States.
At one of our higher end grocery stores in our higher end neighborhood in Santiago, on a rainy day, we found that leaks were prevalent throughout the store. And no one seemed to really be too concerned. Buckets, bins, and trashcans were scattered throughout the store to catch water or warn of leaks, and shoppers went about their shopping. Water leaked from the ceiling onto us. We felt drops on our heads, faces, and clothes. Water dripped onto merchandise, food, and produce. And yet, no one seemed to give it much thought.
In the States, I can imagine multiple roof leaks in Wegman’s or COSTCO being reason for consumer alarm. I imagine associates guarding the puddles, ensuring no one slipped, became injured, and filed suit. I can imagine a stream of poor reviews on Google or Yelp.
Not so in Chile. Even in an extremely affluent area of Santiago with luxury cars on the streets and mansions on the hillside, it seems roof leaks are a normal part of rainy day life. And I am now less inclined to complain to our landlord about the roof leak issue.