What a Weekend!

November 22, 2009  |  Articles

This last weekend was quite the busy weekend.

As they say in Half Life 2… Prepare for Unforeseen Consequences.

After Friday Prayers:

Since moving to my new home in the ‘burbs… I’ve found it a little difficult to stay in touch with my friends from the old neighborhood that I lived in. So every friday… I drive to my old neighborhood… pick up my old neighbor (who happens to be one of my best friends) and we head on over to the mosque I used to go to for friday prayers before the move.

Its a nice tradition that I’d like to keep going until my friend moves or until some other issue comes up.

Now for those who are not familiar with Islam … the islamic holy day is Friday. In most Muslim countries that day is the first or second day of the weekend. In kuwait (where I grew up) its the second day… which means that wednesday is the last day of the work week… It’s kind of alien (as a concept) to people who have had friday be the last day of the work week their whole lives.

In Egypt (where I currently reside) friday is the first day of the weekend and sunday is the first day of the work week.

Anyway … to muslims… friday prayer is kind of like Sunday Mass for Christians… we go to a mosque (its a compulsory prayer… the only exemption from it is traveling or illness. During friday prayers … the Imam (he who leads the prayer congregation) goes up and gives a sermon.

So we listen to the sermon and perform the prayer and I drop my friend off…

As I drove away from his building (my old place of residence) I notice a  slight warbling sound coming from the car… Filing the sound in the back of my mind as something that I should ask my mechanic about… I proceed to drive the 15 km to my new apartment.

Half way there I happen to look down and see that the car’s temperature has gone past the red zone and the car was beyond overheating.

So I look for a place to park on the freeway and do so.

Long story short… my water pump had developed a hole in it. I somehow get it to the mechanic and then have to figure out a way to purchase a new spare part…

It took the whole day to locate the spare part and go to cairo (I know reside in new cairo) to pick up the part… get back to where my car is and get the mechanic to install it.

Thankfully the mechanic’s fare is not as exuberant as it was in Canada … or else I’d be broke for the rest of the month… But unlike Canada the price of a car is very unreasonable.

For a Toyota Corolla (for example) in Canada you might pay around 15 thousand CAD. In Egypt… the same car would set you back 135 thousand Egyptian pounds… 135 divided by 5 equals 27. So you are paying 27 thousand dollars for a 15 thousand dollar car. That’s 12 thousand dollars more… Those 12 thousand dollars are the government’s tax.

Needless to say it is very difficult for the average person to purchase a car.

Anyway… That was one of 2 crazy incidents that happened to me this weekend.

Things I Accomplished

1. Well I did get the car’s water pump fixed

2. I rented a hammer drill and was able to install enough nails in the wall to put up all (or most) of the pictures and paintings my wife wanted me to hang up in the new apartment.

3. I also used the hammer drill to make holes for the electric water heater in the kitchen…

4. I fixed the showerhead so that it doesn’t leak when we take a shower (that was this morning … but I’m looking for victories here people)

5.  I was able to help my parents download the pictures they took on their phones to my dad’s laptop (sitll looking for victories… no matter how small)

Things I learnt

  • Be Cool… stress won’t get you anywhere

  • Haggle… it won’t hurt to try

  • It’s OK to admit you don’t know something

  • Thank God I never went through a “Blast your music real loud while you drive around town” phase… its idiotic

  • Exploring is the best way to find about new places in your new place of residency. Do it often.

  • Sometimes messing up is the best way to learn.

That’s it for now…. no wait.

Your Homework for tonight

A while ago I asked if anyone would help receive a package for me (it was my AT2020) and only one person replied (kudos to being a decent human being buddy).

I will put out another question this time. And maybe this can pave the way to an article that can help my readers (and myself) build a better studio.

What elements do you guys use to soundproof (and echo proof… reverb proof) your home studios.

What did you use (element, substance, material) and how much did it cost and from where did you buy it?

This would be immensely helpful. (between you and me… I am setting up a new studio in my new apartment and I want either soundproofing suggestions for material I can use… or anything DIY… I’m open to all suggestions)

I look forward to your comments,

Taji


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