It all started with mice – a relentless invasion in the kitchen. We killed nine of them in a week – it was a war with brutal means: we disseminated pieces of sticky paper that would make them realise that they were dying, slowly.

As the mice drama took its course, one of the boilers in the house broke – the handyman came several times in his shiny suit, fidgeted around it for a few days without doing anything, but leaving every time saying that THIS time it was OK.

The day the boiler got finally fixed, it was time for the sewage to break – worms and cockroaches inexorably emerged from the slime and the underground darkness. The very same guy who fixed the boiler, wearing the very same shiny suit, came back to check the sewage. The story, also, did not change: a lot of fidgeting and a lot of “mushkil neist” (no problem). As the diagnosis turned out to be more serious than just a local clog, long plastic pipes were purchased and shallow trenches were dug in the garden. The handyman in a shiny suit supervised the works, It is OK, he said and left without connecting the pipes together. And so it was that one of the bathrooms kept flushing straight into the garden – oh joy…

A lot of shouting later a t-junction arrived and the sewage was fixed.

That very same evening the chawkidar, the young boy who is meant to look after our security, decided to host a policeman for the night in his little hut – the horror, the horror.

A wave of panic took over the house and a virtual debate began around our security not being so safe anymore and about the all the ensuing potential dangers. Panic escalated and experts were consulted internationally on the gravity of the situation. As the temporary house manager, I was asked to speak to the chawkidar and explain him the situation. He understood, or so he said, and promised not to do it again, but the anxiety kept simmering. I looked for ways to disengage.

The following night I hosted a music jam session – ten friends came over for dinner. Amazing food, wonderful company and great music.

But… Electricity went off at 6,30 in the evening – the chawkidar was away for his English classes. He wouldn’t be back until 8,30. Dinner was at 7. We therefore tried to get the generator going – it jammed or perhaps we did jam it – hence no light. The electricity came back, but only for a short while – only just as much for the main fuse of the house to blow.

Everybody thought we had a wonderful atmospheric, lantern-lit evening.

The following morning was bright and sunny and I was in a very good mood for no particular reason.

The fuse got fixed.

The light came back.




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