Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Yesterday there was a knock at the door. I pulled my weary body off the sofa, threw a scarf around my bare shoulders and went to see who was there. Opening the door I saw a man holding a rather large metal frame. I didn’t understand what he wanted. He gestured from the metal frame to me. I took a closer look and saw some leaf designs on what appeared to be a small bench of some kind. Only it had a peculiar truncated L-shape to it. Under his arm was what I imagined to be the cushion for the bench.
“Not me” I said in my limited Arabic.
“Said”, he replied and then made circles of with the thumbs and fingers of each hand and put them in front of his eyes.
Did he want me to look at the piece more closely? Was he selling it? What did he want????
“Meshi ana” I repeated and apologetically closed the door.
About 10 minutes later a loud conversation was taking place outside my door. I went to peer through the gap between the two doors and I saw a head about waist high. Someone was sitting right in front of my door. In fact, he was leaning on the door and having a lively conversation with some young boys.
Oh well. I thought. Leave them be. Perhaps it’s the only shade they can find on this hot afternoon.
I returned to the sofa only to be disturbed fifteen minutes later by another rap on the door. Once again I threw a scarf around my shoulders and went to see who it was this time.
The same guy stood there with the same bench. He repeated the mysterious gesture and once again said “Said”.
I said “Hassan”.
He said “Said”.
Just then, a young boy I hadn’t noticed emitted that sound everyone here makes when a light bulb goes off in their head
“AAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaa” (the ‘a’ is pronounced like the ‘a’ in attic)
All of a sudden, the man, the bench and the boy headed up the street without such much as a backward glance in my direction. I imagine it finally dawned on the man that he was at the wrong house and the boy knew where to lead him.
But what was so funny to me was that this man came to the wrong door, didn’t get the answer he wanted and then proceeded to plop himself on my doorstep and wait about 15 minutes to try the whole routine over again. Nothing changed from the first attempt to the next. But the crazy part is it worked. Because trying again resulted in someone standing nearby to overhear (well, actively listen) and send him off in the right direction, presumably to get the answer he wanted in the first place.
I hope Said -- who obviously wears glasses -- is happy with his new bench.
Posted by Water Dragon at 12:21 PM