Friday, September 24, 2010

this too shall pass...

When we were in the U.S, my mother called one day and advised me on installing natural gas pipes in our Egypt apartment. Why? because the gas tanks that we used to use were going to get obsolete in a few years, and if we decide to sell or move back that's the way to go. I took my mother's advice.
Little did I know then.

The natural gas pipes got installed when we were abroad, with only the doorman's wife supervising.

Since we've arrived we've been chasing the natural gas company to activate the pipes and most importantly we've been fixing our electricity. The electricity that the natural gas company workers sabotaged. How are the two connected you ask? well, since the pipes came in later they had to install them in the most primitive way ever, outside the walls, but in some parts they needed to drill in the walls to pass the pipes through from one room to the next.

 All over the world, it's human nature to get away with what one can. But in Egypt, oh-dear in Egypt, we take it to another level.

When one drills a hole in the wall and meets a plastic pipe filled with all the apartment's wires and electrical work what should one do? hmmn, tough right? Nope on the contrary, one cuts through the wires and avoids finding a new spot in the wall to drill. Easy. Peasy. Lemon-Squeezy!
(see the orange pipe,this is what once held all of our electrical wires)
We had two different electricians come several times, and both of them were pretty much (and I-kid-you-not) talking to themselves the whole time, trying to figure out how to remedy the situation. Also our electrical work was funky from the start. They had it rough I tell you. I should bill the Natural Gas company, but instead I am grateful that they showed up at all to inspect the pipes and then activate the lines.
(now this is how our wires appear, over the wall... not the prettiest sight but they get the job done!)

This part is behind us now, it has been behind us for the past three days now. We are enjoying the fact that we shall no longer wait for days and days until someone shows up to fix something (or at least for the time being. No, wait aren't we still waiting on the phone company and the internet company. Right!)

Amongst all the unpleasantness, I keep on reminding myself that, this too shall pass...

I mean, I don't want my readers to think that Egypt is an unpleasant place, on the contrary. It's definitely tough getting things done here compared to America, but there's so much beauty and hidden gems.
When I first moved to the U.S, I cried myself to sleep for the first three months (It's true) until one morning I  decided that home is where my significant other is. And I remind myself these days too. Maybe that's why I am into this song these days.

Transitions are rough, and getting settled in, I sometimes forget to breath.

 Tonight we decided that this is what we should do, breath, slow down, and take advantage of being in a magical place like Egypt. We sat down and wrote down a list of all the things that we want to do. And we'll be ticking it off (hopefully) together on this space... Once I get over carrying my big camera.



UmmLayla said...

You are scaring me because we had gas lines installed in our apartment too!!!! And we haven't seen it yet!!!! *runs to cal SIL*

Stephanie said...

I think you're taking it all much better than I would! It's all so frustrating just reading about it. But as you say, this too shall pass. So have fun and go enjoy the country. And take your camera! I remember seeing a youtube photography tutorial and the guy said the key to being a great photographer was to be fearless. Don't hesitate to go in and get the good shot and walk up to intersting people and just point blank ask them if you can take their picture. I still feel pretty self conscious sometimes too but am getting over it slowly :)

Anonymous said...

Are they phasing out the gas tanks in all of Cairo, or is that just because of the neighborhood your apartment is in? I have a hard time imagining many of the poor neighborhoods there getting piped gas any time soon. Funny enough, our last apartment had wiring on the outside of the walls, too.

Muslim Hippie said...

Um Layla, InshaAllah khayr. I'm assuming you probably had someone supervise better than doorman's wife. Yet it's still a good idea to check with SIL.

Stephanie- I'm not sure if I was taking it that well during, oh the nights I cried. But then again transitions are tough, with bad work ethics or not.

Theamerabwife- No they're not getting rid of gad tanks anytime soon in Cairo. And I still see them around as a matter of fact, even in our neighborhood. They were just making them rare and threatening people around the time they were providing the service. I hear the gas tank prices sky rocketed around this time.