No, You’re a Little Ghetto

So it took me a really cold day (I mean, high of 15c y’all) and a trip to Latvia to realize that my hot water is not so hot. Seriously. 

When it’s 80 hundred degrees all the time, the last thing you are wont to notice is a lack of hot water coming from the shower head. 

So when I went to Riga, Lativa (one of 3 Baltic states up near the north there) (maybe my dream of being a travel writer is unrealistic) and the best thing about my hotel room was a consistently hot and strong shower, I missed it when I came home. 

And I also noticed that my dishes were not getting as clean as I might normally enjoy. Being a hand washer of dishes I tend to just do it without much thought, because “mindless chore” you know? And then I went looking at my hot water tank and sure enough, it was set to the highest temp but not high enough for me, or anyone else really. 

So I set about reporting the concern to building management. If I could remember her name, and she spoke any English or I any Arabic, I am sure we would be friends, the apartment boss lady. I mean, I have done her job in the past. And she is pretty funny. But we literally communicate on a wing and prayer. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you might remember that I gave her the finger once, by accident. Honestly. 

Any who. I had my phone-a-friend on stand by and popped in after my decadent manicure this morning. My phone-a-friend wasn’t answering sadly, so I wrote my problem in Google Translate and handed her my phone. She nodded. “Asseyez-vous.” (Sit down). I did. 

She made a call. Spoke in Arabic. I know she said “where are you?” (Feen?) and then she said something at me and waved her hand. I stood. I sat. “Go home?” “Stay here?” “Ici?” 

“Asseyez-vous.” I did. Again. 

After some uncomfortable sitting together, not sharing a language, the plombre showed up. I know the players. I’ve lived in the building for 3 years. Nice enough fella but not a word of English. Better to have electrical problems round here because at least you can understand the follow up. 

Any who. They start talking in the office as soon as he walks in. In fast Arabic. I knew after a quick minute, based on the emotion, that this was not about me. He was explaining, ney complaining, about something to his boss.

I listened for it to turn to me. I watched like a tennis match. Head bobbing back and forth, trying to catch a word if I could, to follow along. 

Finally nice lady notices and points to me and laughs and says in Arabic to the plumber, (I assume) “Check out the English lady trying to figure out what we are saying and she can’t keep up,” and they laughed. And I laughed. And then they resumed the conversation. 

About 5 sentences in I finally hear I word I know. He said “flouss” which means money. 

I said, “Whoa! Makainsh flouss!” And wagged my finger. (“I don’t have any money”). 

They both stopped and looked at me. Did the instant triple assessment:

1. Are you talking to me?

2. What language are you speaking?

3. What did you say?

Both of them burst out laughing. “Hahahahaha, makainsh flouss” followed by more Arabic. 

Anyway. Got my hot water tank turned up to scalding and now I can have a happy winter. 

After this I took my fresh manicure out for a walk over to the train station, and I parade broke out. There were some matching outfits and drumming things. It lasted about 4 seconds, blocked traffic and went away. But, in true Moroccan fashion, we may never know the occasion.

Later, I was at a Riad check-in ceremony where its customary to offer arriving guests a glass of tea and a cookie. The nice fellow, who spoke some English and some French in no particular order, leaned in to me and said “Tea, Madame?” and then pointed out the cookie. I took one. He went to the next person, leaned in and said, “Tea, Sir? ” and then added “a little gateaux?”

And because I will always be 11 in my mind, can’t stop laughing. The first thing that came to my mind was “Who are you to be calling him “a little ghetTO?”

Still giggling……can’t stop.