Monday, June 21, 2010

Home Repairs

Why does everything fall apart when Dave is out of town?

Let me just blog (vent) about home repairs here in Egypt. So I already blogged about the shoddy workmanship of our house. But that is just the way things are here in Egypt. I guess you can call it job security for the repairmen.

Yesterday after I set off the smoke detector (again)-- because our lame oven leaks gas -- I opened the window to clear the air. Only this time something fell off the window, and now it won’t close. Great, now all the bugs can come in freely instead of walking in through the ½ inch crack underneath the door. By the way, cockroaches, go straight to the sink because there’s always food stuck in the drain.

Annoyance number two. Internet is down. How do I get it working again. I don’t know, reboot the modem a million times? It’s not like I can just call Mr. Linksys, because my Arabic just ain’t that good.

As I’m sitting there fretting over the computer, I hear a strange noise. What is that? Luckily I went to investigate. Our air conditioner was leaking water – right onto our books in the bookcase. Okay, we have 10 separate air conditioning units in this house. So far 3 of them have leaked all over the place. Time to call the a/c guys again.

This leads to discussion of the “repairmen” themselves. It takes 4 men to come fix the a/c units from past experience. They show up, no English between them, and so I just point. Then he starts gesturing with his arms and legs. Ladder? Oh, yeah, I forgot that home repairmen don’t bring ANY equipment with them. They expect you to have it all. Yes, our units are on the roof, yet they don’t bring a ladder.

Reminds me when the picture hanger man came. Yes, he had the drill to gouge huge holes into this darn cinderblock (which is why by default he is the picture hanger man), but he didn’t have a level or a measuring tape. I laughed at the sheer awe he displayed when I gave him our laser level.

It’s not like they are official or licensed or even trained. It’s pretty much just the guy with the hammer hammers stuff, the guy with the drill, drills, etc. No one has ever shown up in a company van complete with all they need. It’s always just somebody’s buddy.

Pause. I just went upstairs and make that 4 a/c units leaking.

Two days later...internet is finally working after 8 calls to the internet people. They probably think I'm dumb, but truly the problem is their English. Or my lack of Arabic.

Sigh. Dave get's home tonight. He's never allowed to leave town again. It's been a rough one. All of us have been sick with colds, and last night Khamaseen came through again and left us all wanting for air and coughing up dust. Yesterday while I was out it was 111 degrees, I think the high was 113 degrees. Today the forecast is 109 degrees.

***end of vent***


Shelly said...

Please move home!

emilyaaa said...

oh my gosh, shirley, i can't even handle this. The dirty air, the cockroaches--i really don't know how you handle this. But i'm REALLY glad you blog about it!!! keep these posts coming, lady!

Cath said...

Shir! I'm crying for you! Sorry about your week from "you know where" - gah! Glad Dave is home. Maybe you can all escape to Eilat or the Red Sea. Oh wait... there are cockroaches there too. Looking forward to seeing you guys here in the states. If you have a minute will you send me a couple of your pics? I'm going to try to get my article off today. Love you!

Shirlee said...


A/C guys come today, but have to leave because the ladder I have isn't tall enough. That's right. Go find your own ladder.

The Busby Family said...

Wow, Shirlee, that is not fun. I'm so sorry Dave is out of town. that sucks. I think we got really lucky to be in Latvia for our first post. You did too with your Swiss Alps. A little different now I'm sure. I will remember you when I am complaining that it is 55 degrees on the 23 of June. I hope you all get better soon. Are you up for a Russia trip next May? We are totally going to do it and would love to do it with you guys!

Candice and Steve said...

Holy smoke, you might as well move to Arizona now after surviving those temperatures! That's the temp here today...111 degrees. I'm sorry for smiling and giggling a little as I read your post. Hope it gets better!