Before we go any further, remember the post of a couple of days ago about the creeping sweat patch on the screen of my phone after carrying it in the left cup of my sports bra? It is very relevant to this, very, very relevant!
Well, I suppose it was inevitable that himself would read that post and later that night it was suggested to me, quite politely but firmly I may add, that it may be a good idea to persevere with the arm strap as there would not be a new iPhone if the current one got trashed.
Now being the obedient wife that I am, (he hem), I took these words on board and before heading out this evening I dug out the offending article and asked himself to help me put it on to stop it slipping, rubbing, falling off etc, etc. That was my first mistake. When you ask himself to put the arm strap on tight, he does. So, with the blood flow to my arm seriously compromised and a vague blue tint appearing around my hand off I trotted on what should have been a routine training run to consolidate my speed and distance.
The run started out well, despite the numbness in my left arm and nearly strangling myself on the headphone cable that was under the strap with very little spare capacity to allow for head movement. But I persevered and got used to running with my head at a peculiar angle, tight with the headphone cable.
As the light went I started to hear bangs and there were flashes on the horizon. Things like that are not unusual here, (no don’t get alarmed), the locals like to let fire crackers off, are masters at weird and wonderful driving with skids, bumps etc that make loud bangs and often have large flash lights or wacky car headlights that look like strobes. So, I was not too worried.
The run carried on, the light went and after a while it became obvious that the bangs and flashes were actually thunder and lightning. Still I carried on, blindly optimistic that I would avoid being caught out. Then the smell came. Those regular readers will know that the dog poo bins that are common place around the common can be pretty aromatic, but on this occasion it was not them.
No, this smell was a very unique smell, the smell that permeates the air on the relatively rare occasions that it rains.
Out here, when the rain is on its way, the unique smell of rehydrating camel poo fills the air. You see on the other side of the compound perimeter wall camels are everywhere, a bit like sheep in Cumbria, cows in Wiltshire or, for my Australian friends, kangaroos in Queensland. (I hope I have got that right, it is a long, long time since I went to Oz but I am pretty sure that these fluffy marsupials are found allover).
Sorry, gone off subject again, but it goes without saying that the humped population produce a vast amount of poo which just dries in the sun to crispy, dry lump.
Now when it rains the camel poo reabsorbs all the water it can and takes on its former glory – a bit like a Pot Noodle, except that the former glory of a Pot Noodle is seriously questionable but smells not unlike rehydrated camel poo.
So, as I was running tonight, I knew that rain was imminent by the smell that filled the air and within a couple of minutes the first drops were starting to bounce off the nearest dog poo bin as I ran past.
Having lived here for a few years I knew the MO of this shower, the tell tale signs were there and I knew that it was about to hammer it down. With a determined mind set, I asked myself what I would do in London in April if it rained, and I knew that even if it is torrential rain then I will be carrying on so I should carry on now.
Then the lightening came again and common sense kicked in as the rain pelted down on me – even the gardeners stopped their rubbish wagon and collecting the garden off cuts to wait for the rain to pass, goodness knows what they must have thought as I ran past them in the deluge. So I sprinted to the top of A block and sought sanctuary under the first canopy I came to.
So, decision time. Should I carry on in the rain and risk being struck down by a bolt of lightning, (bit extreme maybe but this is me after all, anything is possible), wait there for the rain to stop, (could be anything from 30 seconds to all night) or phone himself and get him to come and get me? I had already had a good run so I decided to call it a day.
Now, you will remember that I started this post with the fact that I had been a good and dutiful wife, (first time for everything I suppose), and had used the arm strap to carry my phone on the run to avoid the inevitable creeping sweat marks under the screen after it being carried in the snug location of my Dolly Parton wannabe.
Well, I needn’t have bothered. As I stood under the canopy I pulled out a very wet and rained on phone to call himself. Firstly, the water on the screen meant that the touch screen was pretty confused. Secondly, my t-shirt was so wet with sweat and rain that actually there was no benefit from wiping the phone on it. Thirdly, my first call to himself was met with that immortal word that everybody here in Saudi hears so often, ‘afwan……’, i.e. sorry, but this phone is off….. Then on the next attempt his phone rang but the water took its toll and my phone cut us off.
Fortunately, himself called back having assumed that I wanted rescuing and asked where I was.
Now, at this point I should point out that he has lived on this compound for almost five years and I assumed that he knew his way around.
So, I told him that I was under the canopy of A7B, near the recycling bins and I would start running towards home, dodging under the canopies and would meet him en route.
Those people who know Salwa will be able to picture my reaction when I explain what happened next.
I started running towards home, dodging under the canopies but looking down the long road towards home so as not to miss himself in the car. I saw himself in the car in the distance pull out and start to head towards me. Ah rescue I thought to myself.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw him turn left off the main road to the side road between K and C. Slightly bemused and getting wetter all the time I carried on running and assumed that he would reappear any second.
I carried on running, and running, and running…….
I finally made it home, some cars came and went past the house but no sign of them, (it turns out J had also been on the rescue mission).
Finally, my phone rang, it was himself, ‘Where are you?’, he asked. ‘At home’ I replied, ‘you took the scenic route’
His cool and calm answer to that was, ‘well I didn’t know where A7B was’……
Is it me?
Goodness knows what state my phone screen is in, I haven’t plucked up the courage yet to take a look. I may be off to see Rafiq in the morning after all…..
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