People say that Slavs are lazy.
Actually, that’s not true at all.
On a certain level, Slavs are actually workaholics.
I know this because they’re continuously working, even when they’re never actually getting anything done. They just can’t stop tinkering away at something, even when the time spent is completely unproductive. They just need to stay meaninglessly, pointlessly busy.
My landlord is a genuinely nice guy. I enjoy talking to him when I’m smoking outside my front door.
Football, history, politics, whatever.
But he duplicates his own workload pointlessly. He spent all day yesterday and the day before installing an electric bell up on the gate. He spent most of the time just talking to his father-in-law about it. They always do these little jobs together, so they always slow each other down and get in each others’ way, so every little job turns into a fucking mission.
So I walk outside my front door again this morning, and he’s working on the gate again. This time he’s welding something.
Jesus Fucking Christ, does this shit never end?
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THE GATE.
THE BELL HAS BEEN INSTALLED. IT WORKS.
THE GATE ISN’T BROKEN.
IT OPENS AND CLOSES JUST LIKE IT’S SUPPOSED TO.
IF IT AIN’T BROKEN, DON’T FIX IT.
I suspect that the only reason he does these little jobs non-stop is because they give him a pretext to go down to the market and smoke cigarettes and talk shit and haggle about the price of some DIY-stuff with some geezer in a fucking tracksuit. Any excuse to get entangled in some tedious web of intrigue with a fucking baryga. Crimeans do DIY non-stop because it gives them an excuse to haggle about the price of shit down in the market, which makes them feel like wheeler-dealers.
It’s a little bit like Irishmen or Americans or Australians who, in their spare time, talk about nothing but the real estate market.
It’s as tedious as fuck.
So I walk outside my front door, and my landlord is there talking to his father-in-law about the (utterly superfluous) welding-job on the gate.
Then I see that he’s removed a refrigerator from one of the apartments. It’s standing in the courtyard. It’s identical to the refrigerator in my apartment.
He asks me if he can swap the refrigerator in the courtyard for the one in my apartment.
My fridge works fine. I presume that the one in the courtyard works just fine, otherwise what point would there be in my agreeing to swap?
I know that he wants to swap the fridges for the one and only reason that it will give him and his father-in-law another little job to do, and that will give them more meaningless shit to talk about, and help them kill some more time. It’s a lifestyle-thing.
So he asks me if he can swap the fridges.
I sigh. I ask him:
“Arsen, why do you have to make life so fucking complicated all the time? Keep life simple, bro. Keeping life simple improves your chances of not getting cancer. If you want to talk about football or history or politics while we’re smoking at my doorstep, that’s fine – I enjoy real conversations. But the non-stop interruptions for superfluous DIY-bullshit are as tedious as fuck. So can you please quit wasting my time with the DIY-bullshit? We both know that you’re only killing time.”
I had to tell my last landlady the same thing.
I feel a little bad about it – he’s a nice guy. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. But this addiction to complication for the sake of complication is a pain in the fucking arse. If he’s got too much time on his hands, then why can’t he spend it having a real conversation with me about something? Or, failing that, he could read something or watch a movie or listen to some Khachaturian.