Transportation accidents may be the highest cause of the death in the developing world, but I think 'daily life' should come in at a close second. This term may be vague, but then again, who knows when it will strike!? A short list of the bodily perils of the past few weeks, for your holiday reading pleasure:
1) Need I remind you of 'ye olde ladder' which gave me nightmares of being eaten alive by cats? I think not.
2) While attempting to fix my toilet, my handy dandy landlord offered me what looked like a bottle of wine. Had I been in a non-Muslim country, I might have instantly tucked it away for consumption. Considering my surroundings, I took a look before storing it underneath my sink and realized it was extremely strong poison/chemical intended to destroy the inside of anything. Perhaps a more distinguishable container would be effective?
3) While using my buta gas oven for the first time, I apparently turned the gas on too high and practically burned by eyebrows off when the flames shot out at all directions. The worst part was not the heart attack which immediately followed, but that I destroyed by banana date flax seed bread that I had spent two months collecting the ingredients for. I continued my oven debacles by over-salting and under cooking my granola. Back to the stove, the oven is too much for me.
4) Walking back from the weekly market (souq), a kind housewife threw a bucket of dirty water directly in front of me, missing my body by inches. She was horrified and spout out two minutes of apologies before letting me go on my way. In retrospect, I can't believe that I didn't get an invitation for tea...strange.
5) After a particularly vigorous aerobics class, I walked to a friend's home and discussed the water outage on my side of town. Shortly after entering her home, she offered me a plastic bottle with a clear liquid. Assuming it was water (aerobics, water outage, yes), I opened the bottle and went to take a drink. Just before the 'water' hit my lips I was overcome by the smell of chemical death and my friends' scream. Turns out this 'water' bottle was holding the paint thinner she had mentioned several days ago, which I could use to clean various parts of my house. Thank goodness for a sense of smell.
6) Shortly after returning home with my bottle of poison, I tipped it over and spilled the paint thinner all over my kitchen floor. Not being overly familiar with the clean-up of paint thinner, I let my friend take the lead. She promptly took my sponge (which I use to clean dishes) and poured bleach in a bowl (again, which I use to clean dishes) and then soaked up the paint thinner with a combination of bleach and dish detergent. No explosion on this one, but I prepared myself for the end. I have since demoted the sponge to new toilet-related opportunities...the bowl may still be in use.
7) For roughly two weeks following the paint and paint thinner incidents, my house reeked of chemicals. It was too cold to constantly keep the windows open, so I ventilated for a few hours in the afternoon and then closed my bedroom door in the evening to try and keep the smell out. It didn't work. I may have been teaching English unintentionally high as a kite that week.
8) My new hot water heater has the fun side effect of sparking every time my upstairs neighbors use their water. When I tried to fix the problem, the heater simply stopped working. After consulting the installation guy, I've decided to let it spark. How bad can it be? And no, I have not yet set up my carbon monoxide detector. I swear it's on my list!
9) The birds flying in my house used to be cute, until they started perching on my door frames waiting to take me during a particularly intense 'Zeus' weekend. Chasing them out has become increasingly difficult and I get the sense they are working together with the flies - a plot is afoot!
10) Finally, my neighbors started construction of my roof this week everyday from sunrise to sunset. It seems they are changing my dearly loved and needed roof into a home for their extended family. Did they tell me? No. Is there anything that I can do? Not really. It's pretty frustrating on a number of levels. Getting back to the point, the men doing the construction aren't overly concerned with the items constantly 'getting away from them' on the rooftop. There have been a few times where I hear the explosion of bricks or thump of wood hitting the ground just moments after stepping into my apartment building. There are no words.
Hopefully my luck changes after my upcoming vacation and time away from site. Despite the dangers of transportation, I am unconvinced it can be worse than walking outside my house, drinking my water or cleaning in Morocco. All I want for Christmas is to make it to next Sunday!