Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cold and snow comes early to Masalli

I didn't really expect to see snow on the trees and grass this morning but Masalli got a taste of Winter weather overnight. It doesn't quite look like MN out my window: those are pomegranate trees plus I have daffy ducks on an icy pond that's getting bigger by the day. Now I understand why people usually occupy just the upper level of a 2-story house. People told me houses here are constructed like this due to flooding and it makes sense when I realize the ground today is saturated. (They may also have kept livestock on the lower level, so they haven't given up that idea.)

I checked the Masalli weather on a website and the temperature was near zero Celsius. Unfortunately, I had to bundle up yesterday and walk to get the gas "balloon" filled or I wouldn't be able to cook. I put on long johns, leggings, jeans, 3 pairs of socks, a turtleneck, 2 knit sweaters, plus a scarf, wool hat, gloves and windbreaker with hood and my rubber boots. The guy filling my gas tank still recognized me as an American!

This was the temperature in my kitchen this morning. I turned on the water heater for over an hour and got the water hot enough to wash my hair. I also hung my clothes near the electric space heater in the kitchen so they are warm when I put them on. I cooked hot oatmeal and had a cup of hot coffee. Then I usually say a prayer that the electricity stays on. I also have special prayers I say for special people when the imam sings from the mosque five times a day.

Around 11AM today my landlady came with her son and the workmen to install gas lines to the house! Finally! They hooked up a 3-burner gas cooktop in my kitchen (I won't need the gas balloon), but they need to come back next week with an inspector to put in a stove that will heat my bedroom. I'd rather that they put that in first, but I'll take this work today as progress - knowing that it's really not Winter yet!