Saturday, 2 June 2012

From the airport to my house and from my house to the airport!

Beautiful sunny morning. Me, Dimbery and kids are walking along the Mar Ilias street, playing hide and seek on the road. Touti needs ballet shoes so we enter into the shop, kicking each other at the doorway. The shop owner looks at us with a broad smile full of hope and anticipation. I ask about the shoes, along with Touti's nagging that she needs pink ones. He smiles again and politely informs us that only white and black are available, but if that cute girl insists he can paint them in pink in one day. Then all of a sudden he glances at Dimbery and asks me in mysterious tone: "Are there any problems?" Me and Dimbery exchange dull-puzzled looks. Seeing us confused, he continues in plain Arabic, handling impatient Touti her magic ballet shoes: "I have ordered one now from Ethiopia, she will be here next week inshallah, but I wanted to know ....are there any problems?"

 I finally get what he is talking about and playfully turn to Dimbery: "Are there any problems, Dimbery?" I ask her, enjoying the fruitful situation. Dimbery gets it too and starts an innocent talk about language difficulties that Ethiopian girls have upon their arrival to Lebanon. The owner does not seem comfortable anymore, he nods impatiently and offers Touti a larger size to try. After a short silence he resumes his thoughts-out-loud looking at me. "We all order from that agency; all our sons ordered from them, they are very good. Here is her picture.....she is Ethiopian no?"-he puts some papers on the table in front of him. 

Colored picture of a beautiful Ethiopian girl seems heart-breaking to me. "Yes", Dimbery confirms " she is Ethiopian...."-she turns to me and adds smiling-"her hair is nice". "We had one Nepalese",- the shop owner continues in a matter-of-fact tone, "She stayed three years and then left. My policy is: from the airport to my house, and from my house to the airport" , he proudly adds,"she never went outside the house unless accompanied by us. That way we were happy and she was happy. "-he concludes with a self-confident smile.  
"I bet she was",-I take the shoes and pay him ten thousand liras. "Bring them back after the class, so I paint them pink in one day"-he reminds us and looking at Touti adds in playful silly tone, that is manufactured especially for kids: "Bye-bye"! 

We step out and start talking about the incident. Poor girls. Dimbery keeps repeating his words, "From the airport to my house, from my house to the airport....." Shame on him she says. I sadly nod. We'd like to talk a little bit more, but kids prevail and we're into the hide and seek game again. 

No comments: