Saturday, July 22, 2006

Back to Basics

Monday night. After a day of reaching 90F with over 80% humidity we're home enjoying a quiet evening with the AC on. We start seeing lights flickering and power getting weaker so we turn off the AC and get candles, batteries and flash-lights out. After the blackout of two years ago we recognize the signs. Power is low but it's late so we don't mind. Off to bed.
Tuesday morning. No hot water. It's hot and humid so it almost feels refreshing. The light in the bathroom has the power equivalent to that of a candle, but I don't see much in the morning anyway.
Nadir suggests that I take a pocket flash-light with me just in case and I leave early not knowing what I will find out there.
The first sign is that there is no light in the hallway, no elevator. So I start taking the stairs and thank my lucky stars that I married such a smart man as I turned on the flashlight. 6 flight of stairs later I'm lighting the way for a group of people going to work and trying to make it to the main door of the building.
Subways are running OK, no signs of anything wrong in Manhattan. My office is an ice box and the day goes by without a glitch. I get updates from my husband of the conditions back home. The temperature reaches 100F, Nadir is beyond miserable, he tries to cool off at the pool but going up and down 6 floors would make anyone cranky.
By Wednesday I was trying to make light of the situation and told Nadir to see it as an adventure. Needless to say that he looked at me like I had two heads.
It's day 5 now and I'm the one on the edge. There are things that people not going through this do not realize, little details that might not seem like much but that after a week begin to take huge proportions.
We had to throw out everything we had in the fridge. Then the problem becomes what to eat. Most would say take-out, and that would be OK except that the whole neighborhood has no power. No power=no refrigeration, no refrigeration=food spoils. I'm not about to get food poisoning. The supermarkets have no power, the restaurants have no power, we would have to go to another neighborhood to get food, and then what? keep it how? canned food is a solution, but when you have thousands of people in the same situation guess what, we all think of the same thing. Salads? hmm they don't really fare well in 100F, nor do vegetables or fruit, all rotten.
Laundry. What laundry? I'm going to have to start doing it by hand and trust me, not looking forward to it. The dishes OK, but washing clothes in the sink?
The garbage. No garbage-shoot and so we have to walk down the 6 flights, with a flash-light.
At least we have the pool you say? no, we don't. No power therefore no filters, ergo no pool. No garden either, it's pouring.
At first people would take it in stride, laughing and saying "unbelievable". Now the unbelievable is usually preceded by a curse word and the faces do not show any amusement. Everyone looks tired and beyond annoyed.
We're one of the lucky ones, we have power in half of the apartment since Thursday. We still don't understand why only half but at this point we don't care. We're locked up because there is no way we'll be going up and down the stairs and walk aimlessly in pitch-dark streets. Don't want to go into the city either because it will only serve as a reminder that this is the kind of thing that would never happen in Manhattan. I'm already mad, no need to get furious.
I have totally lost my sense of humor, I am beyond cranky, I am tired and I want this to be over.
If I hear one person telling me that it can't be that bad I'll choke them. Unless you go through something like this you can't understand the toll it takes on your psyche. We're all doing the best we can to maintain a sense of civility, but seriously, the last thing you want to do is to be nice.
After 5 days of taking cold showers, of not being able to get normal food, of not knowing when the hell we will go back to "normality", I don't want to hear one more politician telling us that they're doing the best they can. I want them to come over and take showers in our houses and deal with the crap we've been dealing with.

Monday, July 03, 2006


We had our exciting moment this weekend. When you have a 4 day weekend, are married and both parties like to live like recluses, exciting moments can be counted on the fingers of one hand, besides the obvious moments that is... ahem...
So maybe it shouldn't be called "exciting" more like disturbing or an adrenaline-pumping moment. We had a waterbug (or American cockroach as I learned after doing some research, like I always do when I worry about something) in the apartment. You know the ones, they are huuuuuge, have wings although don't always use them, and you can actually see the hair on their freaking legs, which are more than four. Many of you know my opinion: more than four legs, not normal.
Anyway, this waterbug or roach or whatever huge thing it is, made its appearance in our spare bedroom which is our home-office, right in front of Nadir.
He, of course, tells me this in a very nonchalant way: "I saw a huge cockroach". Now, 1) for my husband to say that it was huge it means that it was gargantuan, and 2) he wasn't able to kill it. Needless to say that I proceeded to lock the room and duck-tape the door shut, I did not want that creature crawling on me while I was sleeping.
The day after, we (we being my husband and me looking on by the sidelines) emptied the office and cleaned it thoroughly, setting "roach motels" all over the place. At least it could die of laughter at the sight of those things.
And so this evening, as I'm typing this, Nadir is in the doomed room and I can hear things moving around and flip flops being banged against the floor. There is a fight going on, and I'm staying as far as I can from it.
Let the best man, creature, win.
Conclusion: the man won. After hearing many bangs I saw him darting into the kitchen and grabbing paper-towels to retrieve the corpse while mumbling "got the damn thing". The dead beast is in the garbage. My man, feeling like a hunter that has finally gotten his prey, is proud of his accomplishment. Me? I'm sure that the thing is going to try and crawl its squished-self out of the garbage bag just to prove us wrong. Why couldn't he just drop it in the toilet?? Can't wait until Nadir dumps the garbage. I just know that the moment I grab the bag the monster will come back to life and jump on me seeking revenge...

Saturday, July 01, 2006


This, ladies and gentlemen, is what football (or soccer) is all about:

And ultimately this:Captwcfra22207012054wcup_world_cup_socce

Oh yeah baby!

I have to do this: Allez les Bleus!!! France won against Brazil!!!!!! yeah! And again, Zidane, one of the oldest players in the cup, proved to be amazing... what a game...