Caleb told work that his housing appointment was at 8am, but it’s actually at noon. They want him back to work at one. This gave us both the opportunity to sleep in. I woke at 7:30 feeling like it was 10 o’clock already. I walked the dogs while Caleb got up and then we went to breakfast where we were offered French toast. I asked Caleb if he wanted any and he didn’t until I said yes. When we left he let the guy know that he was caught off guard with the offer, it wasn’t a translation issue.
We go to the Pass & ID office to learn that our registration and insurance is outdated. We walk to the rental car place, Al Kobaisi, where we get the Nissan Tiida we were driving after Caleb runs over to the dirt lot and drives the Hyundai back. The office was right that it would probably be faster to get a different car and have them make a copy of its papers that are good until September instead of waiting on the other car’s papers to show up in three weeks or so.
We parked back at the lot, near the street, and went to the NEX to get me a lock for the gym. A lot of day users don’t seem to use them, and I’ve seen paid ones that don’t have locks either, but I’d rather feel more relaxed working out knowing my things will still be there when I get back – though I’ve seen boots, soap, and purses left out – it only takes one person. While we are in the check-out line a familiar face walks up – the guy I helped build condos for in Virginia. He just got here Monday, cue “It’s a small world after all…” We talk for a few minutes and he remembers Caleb’s name.
By the time we make it the library at 11am to pass some time the cross-stitch event is over. Maybe I can catch it next week. We go through all the aisles and I’m surprised at what they have. There’s the usual Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Star Wars, and sci-fi. They have a lot of books for kids, world history, Islam history, and naval history. They have books on language, health, recipes, college entrance, and basic studies. And then they have The Swerve. Caleb tells me that a lot of the books are donated, but I’m wondering from who. Some people who get stationed overseas believe they have reasons to get more hateful in their racism; others find reasons to love other cultures or find it easier to accept that the world isn’t all about them or the lifestyle they grew up in.
From there we go to housing to wait in line. We sign in at 11:45 and get called back at noon to sign a pre-contract that we already have, so I have to put us back in the system at 12:15, but we have all papers in hand and future appointments set by 12:35. We’re both ready for lunch so we head to the NEX for bagels – veggie supreme on jalapeño cheddar and one with cucumber cream cheese. I finish mine while we walk towards the gate. Caleb says he will take the bus back over, but the driver tells him he’s not leaving until 2:30 and it’s already 1pm – when Caleb said he would be back at work.
We drive over to the Mina Salman gate and get out to talk to the guard’s supervisor. They tried having me reverse into another car and then let us pull through and park. Caleb steps up on a black stool to talk to a man inside an air-conditioned window. I can’t hear much of what’s being said, but the guy needs him to call someone to verify that he can be on the base. He tries offering Caleb a ride inside, but Caleb is determined to walk – not stand around wasting time talking to people that aren’t going to give him instant results.
He didn’t take the paperwork as he grabbed his bag and stormed off. I don’t like that he got so upset when he was the one that apparently put the appointment in his phone for 8:30. I thought that was just a lie he told work, but perhaps he is lying to me too. At some point he said, “I wish they would just speak English!” And I bet they wish he would just speak Arabic, but they’ve learned more than he has to bridge the gap. Before you marry someone, put them in a similar situation so you know how tolerant they are.
I took the dogs out in 102 degree weather and they take a short nap on the cold floor before remembering that it’s lunch time. I play with them before I realize how dirty and smelly they are. Both of them make me follow them down and carry them into the bathroom, but after their short shower they are full of energy and ready to rub themselves on the dirty rug and smelly blankets. Shower smells and feelings of cleanliness are temporary. I get to blogging and Caleb gets off work. He’s waiting at the roundabout when I get there and he apologizes on the ride home for getting so upset earlier.
Sparky puts his lovely breath in my face and I figure it’s time for a cleaning. It’s been two months. I trimmed nails, cleaned teeth, and gave baths before all our stuff got packed. I clean away some of the gunk on his right rear tooth only to realize that part of it’s missing. It looks like his tooth had a bone-slide. It’s rough and I compare the other side. There is no other damage. I just wonder how I could’ve not noticed it for so long, but it’s not everyday I’m in the back of my dog’s mouth. I want to worry about it, but he seems to be ok with it. Just like when Piggy earned her set of scars after a dog fight. I felt better though knowing where her pain came from. I don’t like that I don’t know what happened.
I take the dogs on a sunset walk while Caleb catches up on reading. I tell the dogs we can turn around twice, but they insist on going farther. I tug on their leashes when they start to drag their feet and we make it back to the room after 30 minutes where they can drink water and collapse on their sides. We self-invite to a private iftar and are told so at the door, so it’s back to the room for us to eat Ramen with corn, beans, eggs, and cheese while watching TV. I have trouble falling asleep so I get up to stretch (also in prep for my morning gym session) and Caleb joins me before going back to bed to puppies that are sleeping all over the pillows – they know comfort when they feel it.