kookie in dubai - tales in the desert city

Wednesday, June 20

Take Me To The River

One night, a month ago, P and I were sitting in the lounge room, lounging, as you do. I decided it was time to refill the chardy and walked to the kitchen to do so. I could hear the water gushing and when I opened the door the room was flooded with water.

It turns out that the hot water unit located in the ceiling had sprung a leak. P turned off the tap and we started the mop up process. It was around 10pm and I went and saw our doorman, Mohammed.

He’s from Pakistan and we often have chats through mime. When I come in to our building and he’s slumped on the sofa I fan myself and say ‘hot, hot….’ And he nods politely. When his feral adopted cat had a litter of kittens I ooahed and aahed while he looked on with pride.

So when I try to explain to him on a Wednesday night at 10pm after two glasses of wine that there is water gushing down my kitchen walls my arms are flailing and I’m making gestures and noises to re-create a waterfall. He just looks at me in stony silence and says ‘come…come’.

We go upstairs to our apartment. He sees the water, looks up at the ceiling and mutters ‘no good’. Very observant is our Mohammed.

After more miming and standing in puddles he gets the ladder. He gets up, takes a look and says ‘broke’. He tells us he will fix it.

The next day we get home from work and again, there is water all over the floor. Not good. Again, I tell Mohammed. Again, he says it will be fixed. It turns out that the plumber did come and had told Mohammed that it was fixed.

That night, we clean up again and take everything out of the kitchen cupboards – damp flour, sodden cardboard boxes and all the unusual tinned food I’ve been collecting since we’ve been here.

We just came back from being on holidays for two weeks. There is still no hot water and no signs of it being fixed.