Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweatin' in the Morning Sun...

I'll be sweatin' till the evening comes... [Who was it that sang "Sitting on the dock of the bay...? Otis Redding.]

Lucky me. I got to go for two walks. Heck, it was only a hundred degrees out this morning! DH has his priorities askewed. He
decided he wanted to go play golf instead of going with The Kids and me. [Something he and I will discuss later.] I took The Boy first. He is getting old and as much as he likes the heat, I don't want him exercising in it or getting over-heated or dehydrated [yes, of course I take a bowl and water]. When I got back to the house, I decided that I needed to take the camera with me when I went out again with The Baby. [So, apologize for any of the photos not coming out like they should have, but it was a little bit more difficult than I thought it would be to get photos while holding on to the end of The Baby's leash at the same time.]

If anyone at the Commissary is wondering whe
re all the grocery carts have "run" off to, I know where three of them are. Three. We saw three grocery carts in one forty-five minute walk this morning, all at random and odd places. Who takes the grocery carts and goes off with them. I have a really good idea who. I've seen them playing with them - racing in them up and down the street.

This old chair has been on the roof of a shed for at least three years. Maybe longer. I've seen it for a long time, walking by, and cannot believe it is still there. No one has bothered to go up and get it; no one has used it, either. It just sits there - toppled over by itself with only a satellite dish for company - on a roof, collecting dirt.

Let me point out that someone at some company that supplies many of the laborers to the compound who do the grounds-keeping and gardening is a total, complete asshole. He needs to be severely punished, if you ask me. Or, at the very least, a good swift kick in the butt or a slap upside his head with a brick to smarten him up. He makes his workers wear dark jumpsuits, or coveralls. Are YOU, company owner, trying to make these guys here suffer more than they already do? Why in the world would you put them in DARK jumpsuits and then put them out in the sun if you are not trying to punish them for coming to work for you. It pisses me off. Just so thoughtless and inconsiderate. [Oh, yeah. Like someone here could be that way. Such a big surprise.]

This afternoon I had to go to the Passport office, to the bank and to the post office [my trip to the Passport office is tomorrow's post - I'm still seething!]. I was in a navy-blue short-sleeved t-shirt and lightweight denim pants [not jeans]. I had to walk all of three or four good city-length blocks and thought I was going to die. It is that hot out [109° this afternoon] - especially in dark clothing. There is absolutely no logical reason for these guys to be wearing dark coveralls but for the fact that someone must despise them.

I asked these two men if I could take their picture; they stopped so that I could but neither one of them much wanted to smile. I cannot say that I blame them. There is nothing for them to smile about - dressed like they are - they cannot be happy. [The can one of them is carrying is his lunchbox. They use some little propane type of thing that comes in a small can to put in the bottom of the big can and it cooks [heats, maybe?] their lunch.]

These guys in the dark coveralls I caught in the distance.

Not only are these company owners devoid of any compassion and consideration, but they are the epitome of cheap. You don't think they could come up with some other way to effectuate safety other than putting men in yellow or tan coveralls and then adding an orange vinyl safety vest over top of that, do you? Nothing says comfort in the heat and sun like wearing vinyl! You couldn't simply make the sleeves of the yellow or tan jumpsuits orange? Or put orange stripes on the upper half of the jumpsuit or something? What I would like to see is one of the owner's of these labor companies go out and try - just try - to rake leaves all day long, or sweep the street all day long, in the heat and the sun with a yellow or tan jumpsuit on and an orange vinyl safety vest. Yeah. I didn't think so. Not holding my breath. We won't be seeing that happen anytime in the near future. Ha! We won't be seeing that happen anytime in this lifetime! Ya know what? The owners of these labor companies would pass out with heat stroke before nine-thirty!

[Several of my photos of the yellow coverall clad men with their orange vinyl safety vests are very, very blurry. I'll try again for more another time. My apologies. No matter. You get the general idea with what did come out.]

The bags - they are full of leaves. There are some pretty nasty trees, these:

...that have got to be the nemesis of every gardener, here. They are nasty whatever they are. Lose their leave all day, every day. Except in the winter. And they have berries that are almost, if not, as nasty as the dayum leaves. Boy-oh-boy do those things make a mess on the patio and in the pool! It has got to be a never ending job keeping the leaves of those trees raked up. Rake them today. Rake them again tomorrow. In yellow or jumpsuits over which you are now having to wear an orange vinyl safety vest. In the heat and sun. Or, you could be fortunate enough to cut grass and then rake it and push it in a wheel-barrow to a central pick up point:

Doesn't matter. It is all hard, long, laborious work.

These guys are simply amazing. This is a really bad example of what they do because this is a very small palm tree. They have this "baskety" looking thing - a little bit bigger than a woven place-mat you'd set on a table - with a rope attached to it and a steel coil. They scoot up the palm trees using their BARE feet to support themselves while pulling the coil up at the same time. Palm trees are NOT smooth - it is rough bark [?], very, very rough. I cannot imagine what the bottom of this guys feet are like but you can figure that he has some permanent callouses. Then, once they "shimmy" their way to the top of the tree, with a curved-bladed knife they cut the dead palm fronds. Next time I see him - or one of his buddies - at the top of the palm trees, I'll get better pictures. He took the time to smile and wave at me.

Much, much better photos of this are required. I'll get them as soon as I can.

All of the guys we see out and about working, and working very hard, I might add, are so friendly. I certainly hope that my smiling and waving and saying, "Hello. How are you today?" is not the only friendly face they see every day. Doing this kind of work, for eight or nine hours a day, SIX days a week, away from family and friends wherever they've been imported from, for pay that is only just slightly higher than slave wages, has got to be a pretty miserable existence.


  1. Perhaps you can suggest they change to a mesh style vest:

    In college I worked on roofs in the summer, and it does get miserable. It's oximoronic to make the guys wear safety vests, but overload them on heat-stress with the coveralls. They probably eat enough salt to choke a whale.

  2. Tim,

    you must be joking if you think that any of these 'company owners ' listen to advice. they are just not bothered about the plight of these support staff who slog it out in the extremeties of weather and all for a measly 150$ a month sometimes. The infrastructure of almost all middle-east countries have been built by the blood,sweat and tears of South Asian workers


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