November 05, 2012


Saturdays are the last day of our weekend here and I usually spend them lying in bed curled around my computer and a bottle of water. It's likely that I woke up around noon, which is always a shame when I try to sleep at my days-before-work bedtime, which is around 11pm. It is a day of nursing my awful hangover and dreading the work week ahead.

And at some point I will inevitably run out of water. It's not as easy as going to the faucet and pouring out a new glass in this country where the tap water isn't quite desalinated enough. Instead, I have to find my flip flops and change into the shorts that cover my knees (for the sake of propriety. And also the pockets.) If I'm feeling motivated, I'll grab whatever bags of garbage my roommates have piled near the front door on my way out.

To get to water, I have to walk down the sandy stairs of our building, down the sandy street and past the people walking either to or from prayer at the mosque across the street. (I somehow always manage to be leaving the building at one of the prayer times.) Then I cross a road near one of it's U-turns and throw the trash into the bins there. Then, across the parking lot of the bus station, past the buses and the passengers, into the bus station where there is a little shop. I pull some 1.5 liter bottles of water from the sliding door fridge and hand them to the cashier, who puts them into a blue plastic bag for me. Sometimes I add a pack of cigarettes or a bag of Cheetos or a Snickers. I always eye the roasted nuts and peas and noodles he has on a table in front of the register, but their foreign packaging makes me wary. And wordlessly I hand him the money, always overpaying by enough to get back the coin dirhams that are nice to have for taxis.

And then it's back to my apartment, where I change back into my pajama shorts, and settle back in around my computer. Such is my life.


  1. oh yes, the quest for water. I live in Malaysia and its a similiar scenario of having to get dressed and drag myself out to fill my bottle at the communal fountain just to have to rinse and repeat the next day. I at least don't have to encounter so much of civilization or physically buy it. You should try some of the snacks- it could be interesting ;)

  2. I don't have quite the same water problem... but by the weekend I would frequently run out of food (one of the "downsides" of having the company offer breakfast and lunch to you). I can totally see your struggle with getting dressed and taking out the trash and going to the store.

    While here, a lot of people dress up any which way they feel like... I somehow never felt "brave" enough to go out in sweatpants. Sweatpants and sweatshirts are soooo comfy. I think it's mostly cause someone said they used them in place of pajamas. D: