A broken door and shower trickle was just what I needed when back in the desert. After all, who needs a functional room when away for work, right? “Okay. We Fix!”, said the camp boss. Which turned out to be a lie. But that’s besides the point.
After a long days travelling, I wanted nothing more than to get my bags unpacked, a nice hot shower and my bed. Food at that point was a distant second, as I was completely knackered. So I went to the camp office (as I’ve done countless times before), got my passport photocopied, given my key and headed to my box. It really was just a box, but it quickly becomes “home” when you have to live in it for a month.
A broken door and shower trickle
I opened the door to my box and put my bags down. Then did the usual walk around and count how many mosquitos required killing before a good nights kip. 32 was the count. Then I walked and checked which of the two rooms I preferred sleeping in, then checked if the toilet was still there and that it worked. Believe me there were times that it didn’t and I realized that at the wrong moment.
Once I had done my usual walk around, I started to unpack my bags. I sat down on the bed and felt the wood crack underneath me. “Oh perfect! I’ve chosen the wrong room. Should of done a bed test first!”. So off to the next room to check if the bed was better. It was, but the room stank. So I swapped beds. Luckily they were only single ones.
Right, bags unpacked, time for a shower. So off to the bathroom I went and turned it on. I stood back and watched the water trickle out from the tap. “Seriously!”. “That’s it!”. I waited some more (clearly hoping the water would start gaining momentum), then realized I was going to have to stand underneath that trickle.
This is going to take ages
So I undressed and stood under the trickle. “At least it’s hot”, I shouted. Clearly hoping someone would know what kind of a problem I was having. It took bloody ages to shower. Imagine trying to wash with someone pouring water out of a coke can. It just doesn’t work.
Eventually, I got all the water off me and got out of the shower. Well I have done some daft things in my time, but that was something else. I dried myself off and double checked the toilet worked, before leaving the bathroom.
The door came off in my hand
Now that I was all clean (and fresh for the most part), I decided to get my inspection paperwork ready for the following day. So I got out my laptop and sat down on the chair. A little while later, I decided it was time for bed.
I went back into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Once that was done I started doing the usual, of closing all the doors in the box. Mainly to keep any rogue mosquito in there over night. My last door was the bathroom one.
Not really paying much attention to what I was doing (who does when they close a door), but grabbed the handles and proceeded to pull it close. Not hard, just pull it closed. Next thing I knew the door was off its hinges and closing in on my face.
I grabbed a hold of the door and picked it up. Looked at it. Then leant it against the wall for a more thorough inspection. I was an inspector after all. I thought I had broken it, but upon closer inspection, I noticed that the hinges had snapped. The door had simply been placed in the open position, precariously balanced on the hinges.
So now what?
So now I have a broken door and a shower trickle. All in the first day of getting to camp. Oh I am so looking forward to this.
I got collected in the morning and made my way to site. Upon my return to the camp for lunch, I went to see the camp boss about last nights incidents. He just looked at me and then said, “This is problem?”. “Well I don’t know my man? What do you think?”, I replied. Clearly the sarcasm was lost on this particularly large individual, who simply grunted to himself then barked something in Arabic to the guy standing next to him.
I spent 4 weeks in that box and all that was fixed was the air conditioning unit. Which wasn’t even broken in the first place.