Thursday, 23 April 2009

A funny non-ha ha few days

It has been a funny old week, what with the dog catchers and Allia our Nanny off sick again. Murderous thoughts about the dogs were banished when she didn't show for work on Tuesday and didn't call in again. I don't mind if she is ill. She is, after all, a fairly overweight and relatively unhealthy and unfit 50 year-old Kazakh lady (already on borrowed time even), so she is bound to get sick from time to time. But I just wish she would call in. Gulya, her daughter was in to clean the loos etc and she agreed that this not-phoning-in-when-you-are-sick business is one of Allia's bad habits.  

It reminds me of my days working on the check outs in Sainsburys supermarkets in my gap year, a job so mind-numbingly dull that I just could not stand it. From time to time, I would call in sick, but the worst thing about pulling a sicky was having to phone in and say it, because I just knew that the HR lady knew that I was pulling a sicky, not matter how long I had screamed into a pillow to try and give myself a husky voice. So it makes me think she is pulling a sicky. But then I think, "Oh, don't be ridiculous, Gail, she is a 50 year old woman, surely she is not pulling a sicky?"

So eventually, after muttering to myself about 'unreliablility' and 'this has got to be the last time,' and ' well this time she has gone too far, I am going to definitely have to tell her that she cannot work for me any more' and 'gosh she is taking the piss, this is a job after all, not a paid hobby' etc etc, I decided to call her. And of course, she sounded really ill, and told me she was at the clinic and something something and something else that I didn't understand was wrong with her. 

So then on Wednesday Baktiyar asked me where she was and I muttered something about her being ill, and a bit of a problem actually and I didn't know if she was coming tomorrow either. But at least Gulya called and told me that she would not be in for at least two more days because of something something and something else I didn't understand. So today I got my Russian teacher to call her and find out what has happened, and it turns out she fell as she was getting off the bus at the weekend and has nearly broken her ankle and been told by the doctor to take a week off to let it recover. So at least I was able to ask her if she needed any help (she doesn't) and will come back after the weekend. 

Then I got a phone call from the school to say that AGAIN Beatriz has got the nits. I can't believe it and I wish that we knew what the source of these creatures was. Sasha is clear again. But tonight we ordered pizza, put on Kung Fu Panda and did the two hours combing with our patented Israeli nit comb (absolutely amazing nit comb, the Assi 2000), followed by a dose of strong chemicals and off to bed. 

Then later I got another call from the school to say that Beatriz had hurt her eye falling and banging her head. This was a bit alarming (not as bad as when Sasha cut her chin at GaYong's house) and the doctor said that she thought Beatriz should see an eye specialist. 

So I called good old Dr Heinrich at the SOS clinic (I will be gutted if he leaves) who said to bring her down to the clinic. It has been at least 18 days since we were there, so I suppose we were ripe for a visit. We all went because no Allia

Beatriz did have rather strange looking eyes. Her right pupil was more dilated than her left and she was seeing double. Dr Heinrich knows all these fantastic field hospital tests for everything, lots of basic mechanical tricks to tell him if a body is working properly or not. He gave her a really good check (I think, I don't know, not being a doctor myself but it looked good), and tested her reactions, her reflexes, her sight, her ability coordinate her own body etc and listened carefully when she described what had happened which was as follows: 

"Well, me and my friend Piers were playing fake punch-each-other-in-the-face, like this (she wildly swung her hand towards her face to demonstrate) and then we were falling over because we were pretending that we had hit each other, and I fell right on my face."

Beatriz has mild concussion and has been sent home with some anti-inflammatories. Dr Heinrich told me he had seen a very nasty case of concussion on Saturday from an adult up skiing at Chimbalak who had hit ice under the fresh snow and catapulted himself head first onto the ice. This made me feel better about missing the last powder of the season which has fallen in the last couple of days but which I have not been able to try out for lack of child care. 

We got in and found the cold water running dark brown out of the taps and in the loos (cue: Ugh I am not washing my hands in that, Mummy) and water dripping through the ceiling of our living room. It has rained a lot this week, but we called Yuri the fix it man and he will come tomorrow. 

As will, I hope, a new person to cut the grass in what is our quite large garden. It all looked so manageable until I started digging and weeding it, and then it seemed like a quite insurmountable task. I have damaged my right foot, I think, digging flower beds (and the swimming pool which has been filled in with earth) so vigorously. The grass is raging out of control, and once the dandelions started to bloom and created an almost dazzling pure yellow effect on the grass and I saw Connie walking thru the "lawn" which came up to her 18-month-old thighs, I called our landlady to ask if she has a mower. 

They do not have a mower, so i found out that to buy a medium Bosch lawnmower will set us back $500, but for $100 a month, we can get a man to come and "do the whole territory" with his own stuff. Since we only need someone until November when everything dies for winter, we have opted for Man not Mower. Previously I have been told that this kind of attention costs about 300 dollars a month, so I am not convinced that this person will know much about gardening, but let us see. Hopefully, for once, we are just paying local rates and not foreigners rates. 

He is due at 9am tomorrow. We might have cut grass tomorrow night which would be splendid. 

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