Bless His Heart

As I mentioned, we just moved into a new apartment. Looking for an apartment here is an awful process. There are a few websites to search, but you can never tell if the apartment has already been rented and trying to get someone to call you back is like trying to convince a kid to put down candy at 7pm. You can also forget calling on a Thursday afternoon or Friday. No one wants to work then.

Anyway, I found the listing for our current place. It’s a three-bedroom, but Mr. Lyndsy didn’t like the size of the rooms. Our old place had a huge living room and master bedroom. The kitchen was crazy small and the bathroom was shit, but it was nice to have a huge master bedroom. Our laundry could multiply on the floor and we didn’t notice.

The next place we looked at was a four-bedroom in the city we live in now. It was under construction when we looked at it, but we knew, even without the construction that the place was going to be a hot mess. For one, the kitchen sucked. You could barely turn around in it. I guess people here don’t cook for themselves much? The living room was non-existent; it was really just a hall. It looked old and shabby. The bathrooms looked like they were going to fall apart at any minute and I have no idea what the hell the shower was in the guest bathroom. It had window A/C units instead of split A/C (there are very few places with central air here). And the strangest part – there were windows from the bedrooms  into the hall. What?

We found another place in a city north of Doha. Called the listing agent. It took TWENTY-FIVE minutes of us driving around a gas station looking for him for him to realize that he was actually at a gas station across the highway, NOT where he told us he was. Once we found him, we followed him to the apartment. It was in an area that’s just being developed so it was nice and quiet. The building was new. Definitely a step up from what we’ve just seen. We went into the building and he takes us up the two flights of stairs to the 2nd floor. I looked around for an elevator, but just figured we went into a side door of the building and keep trudging up the stairs.

The apartment had a large living room and large bedrooms. The kitchen was yet again practically non-existent. After seeing the kitchen in our current place, I was unwilling to cave on the kitchen. I do the vast majority of the cooking. I was tired of being trapped and cramped. It happened to be a cool day, so I didn’t notice the fact that the A/C wasn’t on. Which, it couldn’t be, since it didn’t have A/C. Don’t get me wrong. It was wired for it – there just weren’t any units. Mr. Lyndsy notices this though and asks the guy.

Mr. Lyndsy: So, 7000QAR per month for this place? ($1950)

Agent: Yes.

Mr. Lyndsy: With no A/C?

Agent: Yes. You can buy units at Carrefour. (These run at least 1500QAR/$420, each, but probably twice that if you want something that’s not a piece of shit. We would have needed four for that apartment.)

Mr. Lyndsy: In Umm Slal? (25-30 minutes outside of Doha)

Agent: Yes.

Mr. Lyndsy: And without an elevator?

Agent (starts looking sheepish): Yes.

Mr. Lyndsy: You guys are crazy.

Later that same day, we drove north of Doha again, but not quite as far as Umm Slal, to check out a 2-bedroom apartment. A friend of ours had recently been looking for a place and referred us to one of the agents she spoke to. As soon as we drove up, we knew this wouldn’t be the place for us.

The apartment was part of a villa that had been partitioned. Not really what we were looking for, but we decided we’d look since we were there. The agent takes us inside and we meet his brother. It is clear that they were LIVING there. The living room is a big space, which isn’t surprising in a villa here. It’s also obvious how much the room has been cut off in the partition.

The agent walks us back to see the rest of it. The bedroom isn’t so much a bedroom, but rather a space you walk past to get to the rest of the unit. It’s a bed, shoved into a space with walls around it. Directly on the other wall of the “bedroom” is the “kitchen” and the sole bathroom. The kitchen is not, in fact, a kitchen. It is a sink. With no space for a stove or refrigerator. The bathroom sits behind the kitchen, does not have a tub, and is tiny. Then we go to the second “bedroom.” The room didn’t look big enough for us to lay down in, let alone put a bed or anything else in. I would wager that most walk-in closets are bigger than this room.

How we made it out of there without bursting out laughing is a mystery to me.

Anyway, Mr. Lyndsy was finally satisfied that the first place we looked was the best, by far. Huge kitchen, 2.5 bathrooms, and two little balconies! One off the living room and one off the master. And now, dear reader, we come to the heart of this post.

The balcony off the bedroom is adorable. But, it lets in too much light for me to sleep well. I was waking up at 3:45-4:30am when the first rays of sun stream into the room. I can handle the call to prayer that happens at 4:45am with no problem. But sunlight is a whole other story.

We knew we’d need curtains, but since my mom was visiting, there was a delay in obtaining them. We finally made the trip to Ikea to get some. And then… we still didn’t put them up.

About a week after we got them, I accosted Mr. Lyndsy as soon as he came home from work. I was getting a couple hours of sleep before waking up and when I fell back asleep, I slept very poorly. It was catching up and I was falling into a state of perma-cranky. Not good. Despite the fact that he was very tired, Mr. Lyndsy decided to put up the curtains that night.

This is where we ran into a problem. The sliding door to the balcony isn’t very tall. The curtains, however, are 300 cm/9.8ft long. I suggested placing them not too far above the balcony, but long enough so that they would only drag on  the floor a little bit. Mr. Lyndsy did NOT want them dragging on the floor, AT ALL.

We have a stepladder.

Stepladder

But the stepladder only got me high enough to where the curtains would drag on the ground. Mr. Lyndsy tried and learned the same thing.

We have dressers in the bedroom too.

Dresser

But they’re shorter than the stepladder.

I know you know where I’m going with this.

Mr. Lyndsy, in the wisdom only men possess, decided that the best course of action would be to put the stepladder on top of the dresser.

Stepladder and Dresser

Does that look dangerous to you? Here, I’ll show you a close-up.

Stepladder and Dresser - Close

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG WITH THAT?

Well, at first, nothing did. Somehow Mr. Lyndsy managed to drill the first hole and place the support. However, when he moved over to the second one, something shifted. I was holding some of the tools he needed, so when the ladder slipped, I was only sort of able to hold on. I kept the ladder steady enough that he was kind of able to regain some balance. Mr. Lyndsy managed to get one foot down before his ass hit the floor and he nearly knocked himself out on the bed.

Since I ended up more hurt than he was (read: not at all), he went up on just the stepladder and managed to get the second support up. The curtains are wonderful and I’m sleeping so much better!

Curtains

The next day he came home with a taller ladder to put up the curtains in the Man Cave game room.