I woke up, skull still pounding, grimaced my way to the car and then on to base. I read for a while in the Freedom Souq and then passed out on a bench in front of housing – using my purse as a pillow and my sunglasses as something to leave a dent in my forehead. The door opened, people rushed in, the lights began to flash on and off, and I was again told that there was no termination letter. While I sit in the booth, and others wait in the lobby, a guy sits in a woman’s cubicle to use her lotion on his feet – our tax dollars at work.
I debate whether coming back next week will be in my benefit or not. Caleb worries too that we may have to look for yet another place. There are still plenty along the canal, but this process can be tiresome and I think I will soon be bored with it – unless it’s this big issue and we have to extend to stay in the hotel and people in charge have to get involved, but I’m guessing by then our things will be here and I will be anxious to have some of it back – to read, to wear, to run on, to look at.
Two guys come in, one with a clipboard, while the houseboy is cleaning. They are gone soon enough. I notice that only the three pillows we sleep with have been made on the bed. This is a small excitement. There is another full size one and two decorative pillows under the bedside table on Caleb’s side. I came in with the mindset that we need not wash as often – like the conservative mindset of hotels in the States – in clean urban settings, not deserts full of dirt that begins to cover your floors, and chairs, and get under your pillow somehow – thanks dogs.
I thought we would have the guys in here once a week – that’s still more often than most people change their sheets and towels and mop their floors, but it’s every three days. It would probably be every day, especially while I was gone, if it wasn’t for Sparky’s vicious bark – and he just doesn’t stop until he’s put into a closed room and told to shut up while they clean. I think I need to put them in the bathroom next time so they can change the sheets in there that haven’t been seen in two weeks.
Meanwhile, I’m trying a Bario pomegranate flavoured non-alcoholic malt beverage. I was looking forward to the carbonation, but it’s not as much fun as an Izze like I had hoped for.
Usually Caleb is available to do laundry here, but now he’s back at work and having duty every three days – today being one of them, so I’m stuck to do it myself. I put our sweaty attire in the machine along with the stinky, covered in hairs, dog blankets so they can lay around looking pitiful while their source of comfort and warmth gets washed. I had a PBJ today on soft bread. It gets hard later in the day if left in a napkin since breakfast.
I’m able to publish two posts by 5:30pm, in time to get the dogs ready for the evening walk to watch the sunset on the water at the beach near Alosra. They were tired before we got there and it didn’t help that a dog was on his beach, personal property nearby and all, and the beach is made of rocks the size of the dogs. I didn’t bother pulling my camera out of my bag. I took a quick cell picture and returned to the sidewalk.
The sun looked great even through the clouds and the shade made a big difference in the amount of tongue hanging out of puppy faces. We passed a dog and their tiredness was all an act. They were full of energy. I can’t wait to get their leashes back so I don’t have to worry about nylon rope hurting my hands. I return them to the room so they can lay on the floor in front of the door while I go back outside to get a picture of the sun. In just that moment it went from bright in the clouds to barely noticeable and half behind the building.
Lucky for me I have 23 months or so to capture the sun for every minute of the day, so I go back inside and get on my ‘swimsuit’ – Caleb’s swim shorts and black Adidas climalite shirt. I wore the white one last time and the water makes it see-through… like I should’ve forgotten that. There was a lady and her daughter in the pool and they were climbing out when I got there. I swam some laps, if you can call it that. I think I did a better job of not drowning.
While I was swimming I realised that not only was the restaurant closed, but all the booze bottles were taken off the shelf. It makes sense not to have temptation staring you in the face for the month that you can’t partake. It makes Caleb wonder how locals can smoke when they have to go a month without, but they don’t – only 14 hours a day for a month.
When I got out I remembered that I didn’t leave the towels by the door – one to put wet clothes on and the other to wrap around me. I thought 23 degrees (73 fahrenheit) was cold after hours of cooling off, but I was in for a chilly surprise when I walked in dripping wet. When we first moved in I think the thermostat was set on 22. I’ve persuaded Caleb to turn it up to 23 in the bedrooms and 24 in the rest of the place. You can get sick with over 30 degree temperature fluctuations constantly – or at least your nose can run and you can get headaches. I want to avoid that.
Out of the shower, and with my ten minutes of exercise done for the day, I choose to reward myself with a homemade girl scout cookie beverage – crème de menthe, crème de cocoa, and milk. When Ramadan started I thought it would be a good reason to abstain from alcohol, especially while Caleb is doing so, but one thing leads to another it seems. I just have to remember to not let this become a habit. And I need to get rid of the Smirnoff vodka. It doesn’t agree with me anymore.
I check Facebook and email and get ahold of my dad at work, but he’s soon on his way to the barber to get his lovely hippy bangs trimmed back to boss status. He calls me on the ride over. It’s nice to not feel so far away, but also that I’m not forgotten over the 3,800 miles of Atlantic Ocean, plus 5,400 miles of land with more water in-between. He goes back to work as I go to sleep.