Posts Tagged ‘desert’

The time we defrosted a freezer

I was 18. I was living in Africa. I wasn’t that good at being a grown up but I was good at convincing myself I was.

One time my friend Lucy and I had noticed that we couldn’t fit stuff in our freezer anymore because it was full of ice. We thought we should defrost it but just made a vague guess about how exactly you did this. We had a fridge freezer thing so left the door open for a while but in the stifling heat of the coast town where we lived, all our milk and butter was having a bad reaction. We sat and puzzled for a bit about how to go about defrosting in a shorter time.

Then Lucy had an idea. Lovely Lucy, one of those people in life who you want to be like, who’s so easy to love. Lovely Lucy. She picked up a hammer and approached the fridge freezer. I stood by, a little uncertain about what she was going to do with it…..

Then Lovely Lucy used the hammer to smash all the ice to bits and get it out off the freezer. Mid-smashing session, me hovering nervously around, there was a noise. A hissing sound. Ssssssssssssssssss….

On. And on. And on. Went the hissing noise. Until, eventually, it stopped.

We didn’t know what it was but I had the distinct impression that my being-an-adult attempt had failed miserably.

There was a funny gas smell and we giggled nervously as I ran off to email my Dad about what we should do. That’s right. I was in Africa, holding my own as a teacher in a classroom, running the local town newspaper, making my living as an editor/journalist, and at the first hint of something electronic that I couldn’t figure out, I was running off to email my Dad.

The return email essentially said, “GET THAT THING OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW!”

Obediently, we unplugged it and got it into the garden and consumed everything which had been in the fridge, to save it going off, not because we’re greedy. Honest.

And there it sat for a few days while we pondered what to do. In those few days, the maggots found it. That’s right. The maggots. We opener the door one day to see if it still smelled gassy, and there they were! Whoops! We quickly shut the door, pretended we hadn’t seen anything and called a friend to ask him if we could put the fridge freezer in his car to take it to the repair shop. He said he’d come the next day.

That evening, something happened. Something which only happened three times the entire year we lived there. Something that pretty much never happens in a desert so you wouldn’t even think about it happening (we were basically living on the edge of a desert). Something that when it did happen, was so much worse for only happening a few times a year.

It rained.

The most torrential rain we’d seen since arriving. The wind and rain whipped the fridge door about furiously. It banged and crashed all evening. The rainwater got into every nook and cranny on that fridge. Inside, in the back, into the plug. Everywhere.

The plus side of this rainstorm was that the gassy smell and maggots had disappeared. Yehhhhh!

The down side, however, was that the fridge was SMASHED TO PEICES. Noooooooo…..

Our friend, George, arrived the next day and looked at it in shock. We pretended all was fine and piled it into the car and off we went to the repair shop. He also looked at it in shock and we just smiled a bit and convinced him to try and fix it.

A week or so later, Lovely hammer-wielding Lucy was passing by the repair shop with another teacher from the school and mentioned that they’d had our fridge for a week and we hadn’t heard anything from them.

“O yeh,” said the other teacher, knowingly. “They’ve had my dishwasher for about four years now.”

We spent the rest of the year without a fridge or freezer.

A book and free time

I was away on holiday recently. It was nice. There was sun (sometimes), a swimming pool, a lovely group of people and some children to liven the mood, lots of water parks, beaches, shops, restaurants. All the stuff that you do for fun on holiday.

Except that I didn’t really need any of those things. I just need a good book and to not have anything to do. I’m quite self conscious about my type of fun, as it’s a bit antisocial and doesn’t involve screaming and laughing and splashing around in cold water, playing water polo or something. It doesn’t make¬†me¬†look like much fun.

While the others ran toward the oncoming waves and squealed and ran back when the freezing water hit them, and laughed together, I sat on a towel with a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories and had the time of my life. I don’t hate running in and out of the water, it’s quite good fun sometimes. I also like sitting in a cafe with an espresso (at no other time in my life do I drink espressos, in fact I really dislike the taste of coffee. I think I do it in cafes when I’m in public to feel grown up). I like taking a lovely walk down the twisty roads, seeing the trees and rosemary bushes and wildlife. All these things I like doing. But if I’m totally, truly honest with myself, I don’t actually need any of those things. I just need a good book and a place to sit and to have nothing on my mind (hence, I did zero studying on holiday…).

So they ran in and out of the water, shivered, laughed, played together. I took photos from my vantage point on the towel and read the Pat Hobby stories. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I spend the whole year being force-fed big fat textbooks and cases and statutes and no time for choosing something nice to read. So when I’m away from the textbooks, that’s what I most want to do.

Until recently, I would just wait and read later and spend more time doing group things, things that are fun together. But I read a book about being honest with yourself about the things you find fun and that’s what I find fun.

I’m not about to forgo hot air balloon rides over the desert or mountain trekking in exotic places, in the name of reading books, because that’s ‘my’ type of fun! I’d like to think I still do exciting things, but in a more everyday way, I’d just like a book and free time please.

P.S. 15 days till first exam. Today’s revision topic is Constitution in Equity and Trusts Law.