Friday, March 28, 2008

My worst Day in Cairo! Ever!

Today just has to be the worst day I have ever had since we moved into this city.

We normally sleep in on Fridays being a holiday. I leave enough dry food and water for the cat on Thursday nights, so she doesn't have to wake me up on Friday mornings for breakfast and I wake up in time for her lunch.

dh was up half the night with food poisoning. He just kept rushing to the bathroom. Finally with his stomach emptied from the retching, he was kinda resting in the early morning, but the cat kept driving us bonkers and not letting us sleep. She scratches the headboard and the skirting around the bed when she wants to wake us up. So at 6am, I fed her some whiskas from the box on my bedside table, which I store there for expressly that purpose (to stop her scratching when I wanna sleep)

That kept her quiet for awhile. but by 10 am she was scratching up a storm again. dh was still retching, couldn't even keep water down, so I woke up and mixed him some ORS (the medicine cabinet is next to the bed too as is a bottle of water on each side for us to drink in the night.... see a pattern here?)

Then I walked into the kitchen to get some more water for him and to check if the cats food and water bowls were full. I almost slipped and banged my head, but stopped myself in time to realise that I was wading in a couple of inches of water.

A plumber had come in yesterday to change the washer on my hot water tap in the kitchen, but he decided it was unsalvageable and bought me an entirely new contraption for 120LE which he promised would not give me any trouble. 25 minutes after he left it started to drip a bit, but being a Thursday evening, i would have to wait until Sunday to get this fixed again!

By the time i did the dishes at night, I moved the taps around a bit and the dripping seemed to be temporarily solved. But it seems the drip came back with a vengeance at night and had a full 10 hours to flood the kitchen.

The water had gotten under every wooden cabinet and electrical appliance in the kitchen. Many of them unmovable and so I had black water all over the kitchen. There were glass pieces from God knows how many years ago which were stuck under these unmovable pieces of furniture, dust bunnies disintegrating in the water and of course cat fur and little bits of her dry food that she manages to kick under these impossible to reach surfaces that had turned into soggy lumps!

Took me 3 hours of cleaning to mop up 90% of the water. 3 buckets full. A family pack of kitchen rolls (thank God I had them in stock - toilet paper is woefully inadequate for cleaning up large water spills) and the kitchen is finally semi dry.

During the process I realised that no matter how much water I seemed to be emptying into the kitchen sink, there seemed to be more coming out from somewhere. I opened the cabinet under the kitchen sink and found that the sink itself was leaking (not at the joints, not near the pipes, the damn metal sink itself was leaking in over 15 places! In all my life and the 30 or more houses I have lived in (I've moved around a lot) I have never had a problem like this, nor have I ever heard of anyone having a problem of the sink itself leaking. But this is Egypt, so "Maalesh"

The drip wouldn't stop, so I had to turn off the mains for that circuit - this means no water in the kitchen sink, the washing machine is temporarily useless and the bathroom next to it has the water supply turned off too. Now remember hubby is still suffering from food poisoning and rushing to the loo every 15 minutes. Which effectively leaves the 2nd bathroom in pretty bad shape too and I don't want to be using water from this bathroom for cleaning dishes or washing anything else kitchen related because I don't want the bug in his system finding itself into something else in the kitchen.

So kitchen closed. The water that flooded the kitchen has seeped into the wooden shelves and cupboards and the wall skirting. I can't turn on anything electrical until its all dried out - because we all know how fantastic the wiring in these buildings are & I can't risk electrocuting myself.

the tilt of the kitchen floor ensured that the maximum water collected under the refrigerator. And the plug for the refrigerator is behind it and can only be turned off when the fridge is pulled forward. Catch 22 situation - I can't touch the fridge without turning it off because of the water all around and under it. I can't turn the fridge off because I can't pull it forward!

So..... I can't access anything in the fridge either. anyway, with hubby's food poisoning, I don't have much of an appetite left myself, but I would have liked a cold glass of milk :(

Today being a Friday, its obviously impossible to get anyone to come in to fix the damn sink and taps! i hate my situation here! All i can do is clean up the mess instead of getting it fixed!

Kitchen is semi dry, the cat has gotten off the microwave and is eating her food and drinking her water. Husband is sleeping quietly, so temporarily things seem to be ok.

But I still have a useless kitchen, a temporarily unusable fridge, no water supply in half the house, no more kitchen towel rolls, no washing machine, the knee which has an old injury (3 torn ligaments) is acting up and I can't get myself a glass of cold milk! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Taking a deep breath, I resort to my highly over-used coping mechanism in Egypt of thinking - "what are the positives here ?"

1. well its summer so things are drying faster.
2. I could have fallen and hurt myself really badly in my sleepy state which I didn't.
3. the cat hasn't electrocuted herself - although she did cough up hairballs on the carpet too which I had to clean this morning.
4. the flooding was restricted to the kitchen.

So if you call me and I don't answer, please forgive me, I'm in too p!$$ed off a state to have a conversation with anyone (just as well the dh is fast asleep and has no energy to talk when he is awake, else he would have been at the receiving end!)


egianqueen said...

Kim - I am very confused - why can you not get someone in to fix on a Friday - here in Alex we have never had a problem getting workers in on a Friday. Usually have to wait until after the prayers - but then it does not seem to be that difficult.

Kim said...

my regular plumber is out of town for the weekend & I really don't have the patience to go through another series of incompetent plumbers like I did before I found the current one. They tend to create more trouble than they solve.
Waiting the weekend out, is easier than getting in someone who will compound the problems.
And yeah, there is the additional problem of me not being able to speak enough arabic to make the plumber understand the multiple problems.

shi said...

Hi Kim. Sorry about your troubles I know how frustrating things can be. I was just browsing through some of your blogs and found them interesting. You are quite the traveller. I'm in Egypt now on a short trip. We have a place here but we are currently living in Saudi. My husband is Egyptian and I've lived here for 2 years before we took the job in Saudi. Before that I was raised in Canada with Indian parents. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Maybe I'll set up an account when I get time.

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