Expat Troubles

This expat life really is tough. It’s terribly difficult to juggle the staff and all my appointments for hair, manicures, pedicures and other basic necessities. I even have to go shopping on occasion to those shops who can’t seem to employ a proper English speaking telephonist to take my order.

Just the other day I had to have “words” with the Gardener yet again. He really should count himself lucky as my darling son smuggled through customs three sprinklers in his suitcase (and multiple replacement valves because I knew they would break them)
I say “they” because obviously I have two gardeners, we are in Egypt darlings, no one person is ever enough.

 “The words” were the result of him dismantling the hose attachment so he could use his finger to squeeze the end of the hose to create a rather fetching spray. The whole point of the sprinkler system was to alleviate the 3 hours a day they spent watering the garden with this finger technique. Obviously the sprinklers need little supervision, don’t answer back and quite frankly smell a whole lot better than the staff, although I’m sure their fingers smell fresh.

Following this incident our driver proceeded to do the same, dismantling the hose attachments again to wash the car. Fortunately for me it was my hubby who caught him at it, my reaction would have resulted in a troublesome swoon, at the very least, or possibly a fainting fit for me after such a stressful day. Anyway we have rectified the errant ways of the driver, he now goes to the Bowab (doorman) across the way and uses his facilities. I fear the hubby may have addressed him as you would do an adult which I find is never a good idea with Egyptian males.

We don’t have a Bowab, and as such it is affecting our social standing with the local merchants, delivery staff and bin collectors. I need to rectify this as a matter of urgency. It’s not, you understand, that I have any concern for the opinions of these rather quaint people, Its simply that at the moment I have to answer the door which I find rather taxing. A decent Bowab would alleviate this unnecessary chore as goodness knows I have enough to do.

There are some expats here who I feel are going native. Just last night my girlfriends and I where commenting on the latest antics of one such individual, it’s terribly worrisome. As we were enjoying a Bombay Sapphire and Schweppes tonic (imported of course) Aine, yes that’s a real name, Irish of course happened to let slip that a mutual acquaintance had been seen eating Egyptian food whilst sitting on  the floor upon some Bedouin carpets.

Well I say, that really is taking it to extremes, I know some tourists participate in that kind of uncultured behavior but an expat lady has standards. I dread to think what her husband would have to say about this carry on, we decided not to inform him at present regarding her cavorting with the locals. It will however be widespread knowledge as unfortunately there is little in the line of marital strife at present and us girls do need someone to gossip about.

  Now, I’ve just been rudely interrupted by the door again, this time it’s the bin man. He comes on a daily basis and always knocks to let me know he is performing his duties. He is a rather odd looking character, about 21 and not totally unbecoming in a slum dog way. I have taken to keeping a vial of lavender by the door for rubbing on my wrists prior to answering it. Unfortunately I can not see through the door so the deep inhalations I have to take on each occasion to avoid the stench is leaving me rather light headed, either that or the Egyptian wine I’m forced to suffer through at lunchtimes is not organic as it claims.

I will have to sign off now as my poor fingers are getting weary from all this typing. Maybe I need a personal assistant to undertake this arduous task, I could simply dictate, I’m rather good at that. I could get them to make the appointment I’m going to need now for a massage to alleviate the stiffness, you can’t be too careful with your health you know. Just mentioning health, as winter is fast approaching I would recommend that all expat ladies imbibe of a hot whiskey on a daily basis to ward of any potential chills. I find it works best taken in the afternoon, after your luncheon wine and prior to our evening G&Ts, as an extra precaution one before bed will boost it’s medicinal effect.

The views expressed are not necessarily my own, and from now on I will publish all the stupid comments from Egyptian men who actually take this nonsense seriously


2 thoughts on “Expat Troubles

  1. Stacy says:

    Thanks for the laugh! We don’t have a bowab (which I have been thinking was bohab since I arrived in Cairo 11 months ago, so thanks for that correction) but I do have a gardener and a pool guy. And a maid, who bosses them both around for me. Such a gem! We just found out we are moving to Dubai and I will miss this place, like crazy. Very crazy, yes?

  2. Hamish Esslemont says:

    I read this whist home in Scotland, but just re- read it…………………and fell about laughing, as I pictured you “juggling” your staff. Did you start off with easier objects, like oranges etc ?!

    H 🙂

    Sent from my iPad

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