Thursday, 29 August 2013

A Little Progress

McDonald's is on the bottom level. The Nile is in the forefront.

The leak from the apartment above us continued for 2 days.  On the third day we received a call from our landlord who said he was on the case and assured us that all would be well soon.  We didn't here one "inshallah" in his conversation so we took hope that it would actually happen.

Sure enough, we began to hear a lot of thrashing above, pipes banging and water being squeegeed out off the balcony.  That was a lot of water.  I do not want to be there when the tenant returns.  Once we made sure the water pipes were indeed fixed, we began restoration mode.  Buckets were emptied for the last time, floors were mopped, and furniture was pushed back into place for the time being.  The wall will need to dry out for at least 2 weeks before we begin scraping paint, repainting, etc.  

I had a new burst of energy and decided that everything everywhere would be put away today!  I couldn't take one more day of clutter, stacks or piles.  John had enough good sense to ease away until he heard his name invoking his braun for big lifting.

We had been piling our empty totes in the guest bedroom until a later date.  I asked John to move the totes to the storage room.  He said there was a table in the way.  I said I would like that table in our bedroom.  He said that there are suitcases where the table should be.  I said that the suitcases can't be emptied until we have the closets in place.  So we worked in reverse.  Moving closets, tables, totes and more until I could exit the room, walk in again and decide that I loved it.

John laughed and said, "Call me when you need something else moved."

I took a "union break" and drank some lemonade while reviewing our work.  This will do nicely.  We concluded that a full day's work had been completed so John suggested that we walk the corniche (road along the Nile), go to McDonald's and then pick up a couple rugs and gifts.

Perfect idea to a not-so-perfect last couple of days.  (Who knew McDonald's would ever hold such magic?!)

We walked in and around the barricades trying not to make any sudden moves by the soldiers keeping watch.  We were amazed when two local teenage girls asked to have their picture in front of the tank with the soldiers and they said yes! John told me, "Don't even think about it."

It seemed a lot of people were out milling around and that is good news.  We arrived at McDonald's where I was greeted by my friend, Mona.  She is one of the managers there and we visited for a bit.  She was setting up for a birthday party so I said I would talk to her later.

We sat down to eat our meal when the electricity went out.  We all sat in the dark and continued what we were doing.  Everyone is so used to power outages that no one is affected.  We pulled out our phone and turned on the flashlight.  So romantic.

The restaurant had a generator which kicked on after 10 minutes.  We finished and decided we would make our way to the market area.  We found the lights on the streets were still out so we used our phone to light our path.  (Lots of cars with headlights were on so this helped as well.)

I found a clothing store with a generator and thought I'd stop in to see what they had.  We immediately caused a scene.  No one said anything, but we could feel the collective "freeze, turn, stare, follow" exercise that takes place whenever people who look like us walk into a place.  I try to shake it off and look through the racks, but my every move was being observed.  I decided I'd had enough and we continued to the part of the street with power.

We found some rugs that would work for now…sort of in our color scheme for $1.20 each.  Not bad.  I got into a discussion about a silverware tray with the clerk, soon 2 more men were added and I was in over my head.  I realized halfway through the conversation that they don't hardly ever use silverware and certainly wouldn't have any idea about the silverware tray I'm trying so hard to describe through Arabic, English and exaggerated gestures.  I gave up and took my rugs.

John and I got a taxi back to our neighborhood.  We were greeted by different neighbors who like to sit on their porch at night.  We went into our home, checked for drips (none!) and put our new rugs out.  John commented, "I don't feel exhausted like I normally do after a trip out."  

"Me either."

We smiled at each other and realized…We'll make it.  Some days are good.  Some days are (insert your own descriptor).  But a little progress is still progress and today we rest in that.


Today's BOGO Blog:  The "Hallmark" Store

Delivery any way you'd like it...

Some new offerings and some standards...

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