Do you guys remember when I talked about the care package we have put together for the various beggars who appear at our door during the Holy month of Ramadhan?
Day before yesterday, a nice lady with a girl who was about four rang the doorbell and requested Floos. When asked, she said she was from palestine, but her skin looked darker than any Palestinian I have ever met. She only spoke arabic to me, and while I am far from an expert on reigonal accents she sounded Khaleeji to me. Whomever she was, the little girl, named Manal, was really cute, and maybe a year older than my youngest daughter.
I asked her to wait, blazed inside, grabbed the prepackaged box of goodies, threw the frozen chicken in on top, and zoomed back out. The lady gratefully took the food, and thanked me profusely.
I have no idea what hapened after that, but I was able to close the gate with a clean conceince. Money can't buy a clean conceince.
Last night, I had an entirely different experience. I'll tell you what hapened, and then can you guys please comment, and say something nice because I'm feeling really sad about it at the moment.
Last night, I am in the front yard reading the papers and smoking like a chimmney. Ding dong, dorbell, then the front gate opens, and a guy walks through and heads toward the door of the house. The gate does not lock and swings open to the slightest touch, and the car gate is wide open so I'm not anoyed that he's let himself into the yard.
I step out of the shadows, and say Salam Alaykum and the guy introduces himself as Jamal (Jassim? Juma?) a neighbour from a few houses down the street. J is handsome, about 45 years old, slightly heavy set, and six feet tall. He is dressed in the dishdasha style of someone from Musandam, and has a neatly trimmed short beard with flecks of grey through it. J speaks almost perfect english, is clearly well educated, and has the accent of an Omani who studied in a good school. There is nothing about him that would make me think he is Indian, Egyptian, or Northern Arab. The entire conversation, after the initial greetings was in english.
He says he's sorry he never introduced himself before, but as everyone in this neighbourhood lives behind ten foot walls and locked gates it's no suprise. He says his dad is having pains in his arm and chest and he wants to take him to the clinic to check him but he hasn't got his bank card and can we loan him 50 rials. My scam radar is beeping wildly, but if I were in his situation I cannot fathom that someone would turn me down in my hour of need. I am always leaving the house with nothing in my wallet so I can see how this could happen to anyone.
No problem, I say and give him everything in my wallett. It's thirty one rials, and a few baiza. He thanks me, says he got twenty from the other neighbour and that should be enough, and promises to come back tonight to repay me. I honestly don't think I will ever see him ever again.
I couldn't care less about the money, but my faith in Humanity is so weak at the moment that it will be really hard for me to come to terms with his dishonesty if he doesn't come back tonight. I don't think he is a Neighbour, because with the exception of Hassan, Abdullah, Yahia, Mohamed, and one ROP Colonel, all my neighbours are total assholes, and few of them are educated enough to speak such perfect english.
Have you guys met this guy before? Did I get scammed? Did I do the right thing? Is he going to show up tonight and help to keep my faith in Humanity alive?
And on another note, what the fuck is wrong with me that I let little things like this tear me up inside so much?
More tomorrow, because I finally got my new car. Stay off the sidewalks.