So I have successfully moved into my new apartment! I'm still recovering, but I'm completely unpacked and starting to really enjoy the new place. Here are a few highlights, lowlights, and funnylights (yes, I just made up that word) from move-week (I can't call it a move-day because nothing gets done in a day in Kuwait).
1. Lowlight: spending an hour lugging a pre-move-day load of stuff into my new place in 110 degree heat, and then coming home to the old place only to find both elevators shut off and being forced to climb 9 flights. I realize this was the subject of my entire last post, but I thought it deserved another mention.
2. Highlight: returning to my old place on the day my furniture was moved out, needing to just sit tight in an empty apartment for a couple hours til my new place was ready for me...and then the harris (building maintenance guy if you haven't read my last posts) showing up at my door with his leather wheelie chair from the security desk because he was worried about me having nowhere to sit while I waited! Ten minutes later, he showed up again with a bag of cold water, juice, and bread from the local bakala (store). He was concerned I would die of dehydration or starvation during my forced time of waiting. Needless to say, he was at the top of my A-list that day.
3. Funnylight: Cramming into an elevator with 10 sweaty worker guys who were so worried that they might get in trouble for accidentally touching me in the tiny space that they were practically on top of each other while I had about 2 feet of room.
4. Lowlight: Realizing at 9pm that I had no water. Calling the new building harris to come in and fix it, which he proudly did. 10 minutes later realizing it was broken again. Calling him to fix it again. Broke again. Fixed again. Gave up at 11:30pm. Was able to take a trickle cold shower the next morning. But now it's fixed and has stayed fixed for 36 whole hours!
5. Highlight: exploring the local food scene when I was kicked out of my new place so they could clean. Finding a little French bakery, which was of course run by an Egyptian (can it be French if there are no frenchies involved in any aspect of the business?). Telling the guy I was new to the area and getting a scrumptious pastry for free to welcome me to the neighborhood! ...or maybe it was just because he likes american girls. Oh well...I enjoyed it whatever the reason!
6. Funnylight: Watching 8 workers crammed around my dresser trying to hang up my 2-foot mirror. Yes, I counted. There were EIGHT of them trying to hang one mirror.
7. Lowlight: realizing last night that the frigid temperature in my apartment was not normal. Doing a little research and figuring out that the thermometer was stuck on 62 degrees! (note: had to do research because I still can't figure out how to convert celsius to farenhight). Trying to get it fixed last night...but you guessed it...they "fixed it" and it miraculously remained broken. Called in the harris again. He "fixed" it again. It broke again. Although it was over 110 outside, sleeping in flannels and a winter sweatshirt.
8. Highlight: returning home today to find my thermometer fixed and my apartment back to a healthy 80 degrees.
And just to round this off, I would like to mention that my new apartment is right smack on a roundabout. That means I have to take the roundabout each and every time I leave or return to my apartment. [see Rules of the Road post for more information on roundabouts]. This particular roundabout has the special extra of apparently being a parking place for any cars who want to stop at a store! SO, on top of the fact that a 2-lane roundabout becomes a free-for-all 4-lane circle and drivers here have never heard of the fact that right of way goes to the cars already IN the roundabout and keeping in mind that one of the top rules of the road here is to NEVER ever look right or left when attempting to merge and simply hitting the gas pedal as hard as you can when plunging into a large mass of moving steel with fragile little people inside...now I have to navigate the parked cars stopped here and there all the way around the circle! Sigh. But I'm officially going on 3+ weeks of driving in Kuwait and no accidents yet...so cross my fingers. I'm learning the exceptional skill of navigating my car with no regard for the people around me, always staying no more than 1 inch from cars in front, behind, and to both sides of me, and reading the minds of every driver in a 20 foot circle around me so that I can anticipate whatever insanity they are planning. Gotta love Kuwait.
Pics of the new place to come soon! I'll try to post them this weekend. Thanks for reading! Surviving the insanity of daily life here is a lot easier because I know so many of you can sympathize with your own zany stories of life overseas.
Grace (in abundance!) and Peace.