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Meet the USTA!

azerbiajan-263.JPGOne of the first words we learned in Azeri has come in very handy - it’s ‘usta’. ‘Usta’ means master, as in, a master craftsman of a trade. When there was a plumbing problem the landlord would call the ‘usta’. Later, when there was an electrical problem he called another ‘usta’ to fix it. Plumber, electrican or carpenter, they are all referred to as the ‘usta’. However, we have discovered that most ‘ustas’ are more “jack-of-all trades” and “master” of none.

So in the last two weeks we have had plenty of occasions to call for an ‘usta’. After a power surge in the house a couple weeks ago we had to get the water pump rebuilt. So in came the ‘usta’. I had to locate a cell phone repair shop with an ‘usta’. We took in five cell phones to be fixed. (The fact that our family has more cell phones than members is probably material enough for another blog entry some day.)

This week we needed an usta to come to fix the hot water tank which had begun leaking all over the bathroom floor. This particular usta has been here several times and we are getting to know him well. Although it still bothers me that when I call the plumber he needs to borrow my tools to get anything done. Over the weeked we had two visits from the usta who the landlord hired to fix the heater unit in the dining room. With the cold weather coming we want to be sure everything works. He is supposed to come for one more visit and then everything should be good. The usta for dishwashers finally paid a visit to our home on Wednesday. He had promised to come for over a month and since the dishwasher was under azerbiajan-264.JPGwarrantee we could only use him. He hesitated to honour the warrantee since the company I brought the dishwasher from gave me a warrantee for a refrigerator. Over a cup of tea he decided it was good enough and his visit was free.

The telephone company sent out 3 or 4 different ustas since our phone line had not been working for two weeks. One of the solutions was to assign us a new phone number however that didn’t seem to work. Finally late on Saturday one usta found the problem outside and ‘presto’ we have our phone back - including our old number.

Last Tuesday the car went in for repairs but they don’t call the mechanic an ‘usta’. In this case he successfully fixed the float in the gasoline tank but broke the gauge on the dashboard. How they did that is still a great mystery to me. I guess I will have to find an ‘usta’ who specializes in gas gauges.


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