Sunday, January 16, 2011


Dogs are really very patient.  When they try something out and see that it doesn’t work, they are very capable of just waiting for the situation to change.  It can be a long wait, but somehow they have confidence that in the end, something will happen.  Habibi can wait very patiently for what he wants, usually lying in line of sight, in his favorite cat-like pose with his front feet folded under him.  But those dark expressive eyes following my every move are enough to indicate to me that he expects something, and at my question of “What do you want?’, he is immediately on his feet to show me.

I wish I could be as patient as they are.  I have tried, over the years, to learn, and I have improved a lot since my younger days, but life still tends to destroy my good intentions.

The thing that I find the hardest to cope with is waiting for service. I have always been the sort of person who tried to do things for myself, mostly because I never had the money to hire people to do things for me, and because I always felt rather apologetic and ashamed of having to ask for help.

Nowadays, in our modern, technological, advanced world, there are numberless things that I just can’t fix on my own – I have to call for service.

Distances in Israel, relative to most other countries, are not great.  But I don’t live in town, rather in what could be called “the country”.  So the first response I get when I have to call for service is, “Where is that?  No, too far, we don’t do service there!” 

“But it is only ten minutes away from you!  It is closer than someone in town!”

“No, we don’t get to places like that.”

Then there is the response of those who know of my existence:

“Is that the place with all of those dogs????”

You can imagine the response when I confirm this.

Over the last few years, though, the economic competition has become so great, that the provision of service has greatly improved.  Now, no one says that they won’t come out to give me service.  The question now becomes, when…

There are a few people that I know and that have been coming out to repair things here for years, and they are really excellent.  The best is my computer guy – if I have computer problems, he always comes on the same day.   I guess he figures that I am so “isolated”, at least I should have the computer…He also likes dogs, and asks me for advice about his German Shepherd, so that helps.  But with most, the answer is, “Well, some time in the next week, and you have to be at home all the time between the hours of eight and four, in case the technician has time…”

Proof of my total technological disability was the case of the TV.  One day, my TV appeared to be dead.  No response to anything, just a plain blank screen with no signs of life.  Since in my spare time (when I have some), I am a TV addict, and the warranty was also still in effect, I called for service, and after a few days (“Be at home between…”), the serviceman showed up.  In about 30 seconds, the set was alive again and working. I had apparently, in one of my rare fits of really enthusiastic house cleaning, dusted under the set and unknowingly pressed a button that was there that I didn’t know existed, which turned the whole thing off.  I still, of course, had to pay, though the serviceman was kind enough not to laugh in my face as he took the money.

I try to wait patiently.  And as the time goes by, and the days pass, I am overcome and call back.  If I have the luck of really getting a live human being on the phone, the answer is the same.  “Some time in the next week…”

This week has been a very difficult one.  First I had problems with the sewer.  The sewer system here at my place was built by the British in the time of the mandate, and is still working fine for the most part.  But the trees around here are tough and manage to get their roots in everywhere, which may be fine for providing moisture for them, but is not great for me.  This time, the line from the toilet was completely blocked, which meant that I couldn’t use it until the plumber showed up to clear the blockage.

Of all possible disasters, not having a toilet available is one of the biggest.  At my time in life, almost everything is planned with consideration of where the nearest toilet is.  I am very envious of Habibi’s bladder capacity – when the weather is bad and he doesn’t feel like going out, he can wait twelve or fourteen hours without any discomfort.  Even when I insist that he go out, he will sit on the porch by the door waiting for me to let him back in.  Just to have a fraction of that capacity would be great!

It took the plumber two days to get here….Patience….

Habibi is very unhappy when service people do show up.  They are invading his territory, and he sees absolutely no reason for them to be there, and to be TOUCHING things!  How dare they!!!!  He is also, of course, very unhappy when he has to spend several hours closed in the kennel because I am so unintelligent as to let these people in.  When he comes back in the house, he examines thoroughly every step the serviceman has taken and everything he might have touched, with occasional glances of disgust in my direction.

So now I have a working toilet.  But the day after that problem was solved, suddenly I lost the electricity in half of the house.  I have absolutely no idea why.

Electricity is something that I don’t understand at all, and that I am really afraid of.  When I first moved here, I spent 17 years without electricity (basically for no reason other than bureaucracy), and ever since being blessed with it, have held it in great respect and awe.  And since it is so easy to get used to such luxuries, I find it extremely stressful when something goes wrong and it doesn’t work like it should.  I am always terrified that the god of electricity is taking revenge on me, and who knows what will happen next.

I know that the dogs think I am crazy for being stressed about whether there is light or not.  They sit there watching me get out the candles and the heavy blankets (of course, in this modern world, the heating is also electric), and find it very entertaining.

The electrician, who has been here before, and is not enthusiastic about coming out here, has told me, “Maybe tomorrow…” 


P.S. The electrician was here, after two days of waiting, and fixed the short circuit in about ten minutes….Still no reason why…

1 comment:

  1. Service people really are arrogant and independent. No matter where you go, no matter how bad the economy, they act like they're doing you a favor. Learning to fix things yourself is a really good solution. The internet has great sites like They help you learn to do and fix things. I've ordered parts and fixed many things without calling for service, being married to an electrician was also helpful. I do admit, I've screwed up a few things but probably saved way more than it cost me. If some man can fix it, then I can too. Men love to talk about their job so I pick their brains. Maybe next time, I'll be able to fix it myself. Your patience is admirable, it's not my strong point. Yes, the dogs have way more patience than people.