17 July, 2011

The Lay of the Land

Sunday is the new Monday.  Scott’s first workday and he gets picked up at 7:00 am by the outgoing staff that he is replacing.  They go to work by cab.  I am none the wiser as I sleep until 10:45 am and hear nothing over the air-conditioning.  Both of us were awake in the middle of the night because of jet-lag.  Scott was scrubbing the kitchen and I was mostly unproductive except for doing some laundry.
I only awoke at 10:45 am at all because the door bell rang.  Left to my own demise who knows how long I could have slept!  It was a repair man from Scott’s work that had been tasked with addressing “deficiencies” that we had noted with the apartment.  The apartment was absolutely lovely – huge and with gorgeous furnishings – but deficiencies were fairly numerous and in retrospect quite humorous.  The dryer we found did not dry very effectively and filled the laundry room up with humidity.  It was found that though the dryer was venting into the adjacent wall, it had nowhere to go beyond that!  There was nowhere for it to go.  So a hole had to be drilled through the exterior wall to remedy this.  Secondly, the dishwasher when turned leaked all over the floor.  Upon inspection, the water connection was just a big tube stuck in a smaller tube with no adaptor – thus water just gushed out around the edges of the smaller tube.  These were the two most curious issues, the rest were less odd such as the odd nail sticking up, a patio door hung crookedly, a bathroom drain that was clogged, etc.  In a few short hours, one single worker fixed everything!  All that had to be left for another day was caulking the bathrooms and fixing a cupboard door handle.
The next visitors that day were a fleet of 4 male cleaners, also brought in before I knew they were coming – it looks like the days of wearing pyjamas when hanging out at home might be over!  Except for one, they spoke no English at all.  They had been called in because during our middle of the night cleanings we had discovered that the place was really quite filthy (especially the kitchen).  Scott’s work had already hired someone to clean, though we are not sure if anyone had come out before we arrived and if so, what they had done.  The crew was there for only a half hour but the kitchen did look a bit better upon their departure.  The bathrooms will still need our own personal elbow grease and the floors still leave the soles of our feet quite dirty.
The third visitor of the day was announced and was a fantastic English speaker - he was Canadian and was hired by Scott’s work to help get us settled.  He had called earlier in the afternoon which was when we found out that our phone was hooked up.  We were under the impression that someone would be coming in to hook up our cable, phone, and internet sometime later this week so hearing the phone ring was a surprise.  Apparently both our phone and cable had always been connected.  I had to ask the caller what our phone number was!  He let us know that our filtered tap water was safe to drink, offered up some suggestions for places to tour, gyms to join, Arabic lesson teachers, etc.  He then met up with Scott and I in the evening to walk us around our neighbourhood and show us restaurants, landmarks to navigate by, shops with good produce, etc.  The restaurants all looked great and we can’t wait to try a great many of them.
Home by 8:15 pm, hungry and exhausted (well Scott was exhausted, I was fine since I had slept in), we had our first ordering in experience.  We ordered beer in from Drinkies (a wine, beer, and liquor store that also does delivery) and supper from an Italian restaurant (though Scott had beef curry and I had cheese quiche).  It was good and about half the price it would have been in Canada.  Though we are beginning to think we tip too high based on the extreme level of gratitude that the recipients display!  Despite any advice to the contrary we have been eating lettuce and fresh produce from the restaurants with reckless abandon and so far – no issues.  We’ve also eaten some fruit and veggies from the grocery store, though we did soak it with a cleaning solution first.

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