A friend of ours recently had a little cooking mishap. Not so little, really. The estimated minimum damage is 29,000 riyals [$7,774.79]. Ouch. The fire department had to put the fire out. The good thing is that no one was hurt. I sympathize with him. I have "cooking mishaps" all the time. If the smoke detector goes off, dinner is done. Happens far too often. The other thing that happens is that I'll put the tea kettle on the stove and walk away and forget it is on. The whistle thingy is broken... One of these days it is going to be a problem. [I'm getting a new tea kettle - I will bring it back from the States with me in February. Sure, I could get one here, but I want a purple one and I found it on-line.]
This morning I took a quick trip to town to get a Garmin GPS system for DH and to purchase the freezer I've been wanting for quite a while. It will be delivered early next week. Yeah!!! One of the other items I wanted to get while I was down town was a fire extinguisher for the kitchen. After hearing about our friend's "mishap" it just seems like a really good idea to have one. [We had one in the kitchen in the States. I don't know why we don't have one here, yet.] We do have a small one in our truck. Apparently you cannot purchase a vehicle here without one. Not a bad idea, really. DH and I were talking and I said, "Well it is good to know that we have one, but by the time we get out the gate and get it out of the truck the whole kitchen could be in flames if we ever have an accident like that."
I went to the two places where I thought I could get one. Nope. Not at either place. So, when I got back from town this morning I went to our "Customer Care Center" to see if they knew where I could purchase one. The woman working this morning suggested one of the stores I went to and she couldn't come up with any other suggestions as to where I might look. There was a Saudi man in there and he said, "Excuse me. I may be able to help." He stopped what he was doing to assist us. Told me exactly where I needed to go - which street - which right-hand turns to take and told me the name of the store. Thanks very much!
Ten minutes later the same man was directly behind me at the Commissary. I turned around to thank him again, and he had a second suggestion for me and again, gave me detailed instructions of exactly where I need to go to get one. He was very nice, very polite, and spoke excellent English so there will be no getting lost due to translation or misunderstanding of what was said. I thanked him, again, and as I wheeled my trolley away he wished me "good luck." Come on, Mr. Saudi Man. My cooking isn't that bad!
The point is that for all the negative things that I have to say about being here in the Sandbox, there are also positive things. And one of those things is that there really are "local" people - men and women - here that are incredibly kind and considerate. I was just very impressed with the man's willingness to be so helpful and share information that he didn't have to. He could have just shrugged his shoulders and thought to himself, "She's blonde. I bet she does need a fire extinguisher for her kitchen." Or something like that. But he didn't.
Thanks Mr. Saudi Man who knows where to buy fire extinguishers! I appreciate it. And I'll be going downtown first thing Saturday, to the store you suggested. I am going to mount the fire extinguisher directly on the cabinet next to the stove and an arm's reach from the oven. No way am I going to risk destroying my kitchen and all my 110 volt appliances which I'd never be able to replace here - or worse - someone could actually get hurt - all because of a cooking mishap.