On Saturday I realized my refrigerator wasn’t working. I called a maintenance service and they sheduled an appointment on Monday. Slightly ahead of the appointed time the repairman arrived and quickly diagnosed the problem. He had the required part in his van and within half an hour the fridge was working again – no fuss, no muss.
I couldn’t help but imagine how this would have played out in Baku, Cairo or Dubai. To begin with, the repairman wouldn’t have shown up on Monday. After staying home until Wednesday I would have finally risked a quick dash to the grocery store, at which point the repairman would call and tell me he was standing on my doorstep. There wouldn’t have been just one repairman either. They always come in twos or threes. An “engineer” to decide what to do, another guy to do the work and a third one to carry the tools – a plastic shopping bag containing a screwdriver, a hammer and a tube of silicone sealant. After disassembling my fridge, the engineer would have told me “Fridge not working, madam” and at that point they would probably have insisted on taking it away to their workshop for a week or more, or at best left for several days while hunting down a replacement part somewhere in the local souq. When the fridge was finally fixed it would be covered in black fingermarks and there’d be a crack in the tiles on the kitchen floor but I’d be so grateful to have it working again I wouldn’t dream of complaining.
Maybe repatriating isn’t so bad after all.