Alamzeb the carpenter

I asked the guest house manager to fix my window, which was hanging off its hinges. The ‘handyman’ came and screwed the hinges in; the whole affair was still pretty warby, but while the hinges were well attached they couldn’t get the window into the frame anymore. So the handyman jams it half in the frame. It’s Ramadan, no one feels like overwork this time of year.

Next day, plenty wind. This place is a windswept desert, with the weather forecast most summer days as ‘blowing dust’. Mid-afternoon there’s a big crash. Seems the blowing dust has blown the window open, swung it right around and the impact against the wall has torn the whole (warby) window off the jamb; head, sill, glass and all.

Ok, so now I ask the house manager to replace the window this time. Wait a week for the ‘carpenter’ to turn up (It’s still Ramadan) while the dust blows around the room and I spend every night lulled to sleep by the noise of the generator. This goes non-stop because the power supply into the house is stuffed and the Army won’t let us dig up the street to fix it.

Come home this afternoon to find Alamzeb the carpenter. Alamzeb looks like a caricature of an ancient Arab, old as Methuselah, all white hair and flowing robes, and buck teeth sticking out everywhere. His tools are a tiny handsaw, some rusty nails, a chisel, and a hammer. Didn’t see him at work, as he was just finished, but I’m told he spends a lot of his time trying to hammer the rusty nails straight. He’s in good health and uninjured. I’m also told Alamzeb manages to injure himself quite a lot, either missing when he’s hammering the rusty nails, or mostly just chiselling himself.

He had managed to cover the whole of the room with wood shavings; seems they had been blowing around the room with the dust. But he did seem to do quite a workmanlike job with the window, pretty sturdy and fits in the frame. Openings match the window on the other side. Only split the timber in a few places. Obviously he’s chiselled a few windows before.

There’s just one problem with the finished product. NO BLOODY GLASS. OK, house manager, where’s the bloody glazier then?



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