Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

This too.

I know...three posts in a week?!?
But I'm up and I'm fuming, and I need to vent.

Well I have a BIG FAT NEW ONE to add to that list.

Let me paint you a word picture...

Yesterday it was cold here. Like, cold enough to turn your heat on.

I know, I didn't realize that happened in the Desert either, but it does.

Dave went to plug in that heater I joked about never needing to use. That one that the college's Housing Department provided for us.

Well it didn't work.

So this morning David informed the Housing Dude (I have no idea what his official title is) about it, and he said he'd send someone over straight away to fix it.

Mid-morning our Super knocks on the door, explaining in his minimal English he is here to take a look at our heater.

The Super? Is he an electrician? 
I have my doubts, but when in Rome...

In my non-existent Arabic  broken English, I invite him in and show him the heater. He messes around with it, while the kids and I work on Homeschooling.

After a bit, he tells me he'll be back.

After a bit, he's back.

He has in his hands a bunch of tools and a new socket-head-thingy. 

He fiddles around with stripping the original head from it's wires with tools - and at one point, his teeth - and ends up jimmy-rigging a new head to the existing wires. He plugs it in, sees it's working, and declares it's fixed.

I check, and heat is in fact coming out of it.

Ok then.

Cut to 11:30pm tonight when I'm up late writing on a blog post I've been working on, and all of a sudden the power goes out. 
Like, it's pitch black in here.
I had my cell phone next to me, so I use the flashlight feature to lead me to our bedroom where Dave is already asleep, and I wake him up to ask him what I should do. 
Should I go get our Super?

We find the lantern I recently purchased and get ourselves some better light. 
I open our Living Room window and peek my head out to see if anyone else in the building has lights on. Sure enough, the lights in the lobby are on.

We head back in our bedroom for me to grab a sweater to throw on to go get the Super.

And that's when David smells it.

Electrical burning.

Right away, he knows. 

He shines the light down on the socket the heater is plugged into and finds this...

Actually, the plug part was on the floor. The socket must have spit it out. Ya know, WHEN IT EXPLODED.

I completely and totally LOSE IT. 

I throw on my sweater and march myself out in the hallway and press the elevator button.

Dave comes out after me and suggests we take a picture with my phone so I have something to show him in regards to what I'm speaking about, since communication is minimal. 

He takes the picture, and I go back to storming outside.

I fume the entire seven floors down to ground level.

I bang on his door and when he answers show him the picture, and then say "AND our power is out"

He puts on his shoes and follows me up to our apartment.

He flipped a few breakers, and nothing happened. He stepped outside.
I fumed some more.
He disappeared, and then our lights came back on.

He reappeared and checked a few more breakers, and then had some verbal exchange with David (can't tell ya what they said - I was in the corner FUMING) and he left.


I mean, what the hell?!?!? 

HOW is it possibly OK for someone to put people in such danger?!?

Ok, fine, so it didn't actually cause a fire. 
They say it's because the majority of the walls are cement.
I say I don't care.


We said something needed to be fixed and THIS is their response?!? 



I came thisclose to having David plug that heater into the twin's room tonight. But since they had warm, fleece, footie pjs to sleep in, I decided against it.

Oh I am just SO DAMN ANGRY. 
And part of the reason I'm furious is because I already know nothing will come from this. David will yell and make a scene tomorrow, and everyone will apologize and they will deliver us a brand new heater and that will be it.

Because there is ZERO LIABILITY here. 
I mean, if we didn't have a VPN I was typing this from, I could even get in trouble for badmouthing this place.
NO liability.
None. Non-exsistent liability, and honestly? Very minimal responsibility.

And tonight, I hate that about it here too.

And you guys, I'm also angry at myself. 
Because I KNEW.
I knew...I just knew...when I watched him use his teeth to strip those wires...this was a poor plan. Perhaps even unsafe. But I didn't want to be that loud, brash Westerner demanding higher standards for herself and her family. So I said nothing. He said "it works" and I said "ok"
And I knew better.
I put my family at risk instead of speaking up because I didn't want to be a burden.


We've made friends that are from the US that have lived here seven years. They say "never ask why" here, because the answer is "it's just Kuwait!" and they laugh. And perhaps in time I'll learn to roll with nonsense like this too, but not tonight. 
Tonight - even though it's now after 1am - I'm wide righteous indignation firmly stuck in place and no rest coming anytime soon.

Gah. Just SO ANGRY.


  1. I am so sorry. I hope you were able to get some rest. I hope it helps to know that we are all on your side.

  2. I am dearly sorry to hear that you ave been having all that trouble. I hope you can get some sleep and rest soon so that you are energized to deal with all that has been happening. My husband has also had a really tough few months at work and I know that rest is the one thing we need.

    Ambrose @ Brown & Reaves Services, Inc.