Friday, April 17, 2009

How to get your sink fixed in 3 (make that 8) simple steps

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. This is my craziest time of year at work, so between that, a quick fun trip to Dubai, and saying goodbye to my best friend over here...the past two weeks have been a bit insane. There are a million things I could write about today: the amazing jazz concert I attended thursday night in a little muslim cultural center that I didn't even know was right across the street from my apartment, bowling in the shopping center with my coworkers, buying my first set of abaya, hijab, and nikab (the full set of Muslim clothing for women including the black robe, black head scarf, and full-face covering)...and of course having my own little fashion show back at home with the full get-up (it's hot under all those layers! AND there is a distinct lack of oxygen)...and all the other hilarious and odd and fun and hard parts of living life in Kuwait. But for now, I'll stick to today's little adventure- fixing the leak in my sink.

On Wednesday, I got home from work and realized that the rug in front of my kitchen sink was soaking wet. I had done a stack of dishes before work, so I thought maybe I had just spilled some water...but the amount seemed a bit absurd for a messy dishwashing episode. So I started to explore...there was water on the shelves below the sink, water on the tiles, and water making its spindly way all over the kitchen by way of the devilishly clever grout that likes to take any form of liquid and help carry it into every corner of the area! I hung up the rug to dry, and decided to ignore the problem (yes, my domestic skills are somewhat lacking...ignorance is bliss, right?). I ate some dinner and went to wash my dishes...only to find that when I turned on the faucet, the puddle of water at my feet mysteriously expanded. Unable to live in denial anymore, I figured this was something that needed to be fixed. However, I had a packed schedule of movie watching and general relaxation planned for the next day (vacation day for me!), so I decided that the best plan was to ignore the problem, do my dishes in the bathroom sink, and worry about it Friday. Luckily, the leak didn't grow too much over the next 24 hours, although I did manage to track mud around the kitchen after stepping in one of the puddles. So when I woke up today, I decided, "today is the day!" Time to go find the harris (maintenance supervisor) and get this problem under control.

My first step was to tidy up the won't do in the Middle East for strangers (especially male maintenance guys!) to walk in and see things out of order (or see my laundry hanging all over the extra room!). So I tidied up a bit and then went down to look for the harris. I found him washing some of the tenant cars (he does that every morning). He and I have become good friends over these past weeks...which basically means that we smile and say hi every morning since he doesn't speak any English. So today I walked up to him and in my perfect broken english (I'm an expert at broken english! I'll demonstrate for you's quite fun)...I said "problem! kitchen! water! you come?" (accompanied by big hand motions and facial grimaces). Thank goodness he got the picture and told me he would be up in a minute. He comes up with another maintenance guy, who peers under my sink and says something about something being broken and needing something to fix the something (my plumbing vocabulary in arabic is somewhat lacking). With another few gestures, the harris explained that they would leave to look for the something, and that the other dude would be up but he wouldn't be back. I smiled and said that was fine. So as I sit writing this, the maintenance dude has been up and down three times, fixing the something with the something. I have no clue if any of this will actually work, or if in an hour I'll have another puddle on the ground...but here's hoping that the something fixes the problem! memo to self: learn some plumbing vocabulary in arabic.


j.renee said...

Did it get fixed?

Donna Kushner said...

yes I am wondering the same thing. You really need to make these stories into a book, it would sell in the travel stories section!