When Brandon and I received our posting to Cairo, we discussed the issue of A Car. The State Department will ship one car for their employees, but various countries have various restrictions about what kind of cars they will allow to be imported. DoS will only import (from the US) cars that are two years or newer, so our Civic was not going to be put on a boat. After some discussions, we decided against a car.
And so I am somewhat stranded. We are within walking distance of the pool (2/3 mile now and ¼ mile after we move) and church and taxis are cheap and easily enough obtained. We do have grocery stores within easy walking distance, but taking the girls is quite a chore because the stroller doesn’t fit through most aisles or sometimes between parked cars that line the ‘sidewalks.’
However, I have two saviors: Rere and my telephone. I give a Rere a shopping list and she shows up the next time with all of the fruits and vegetables on my list. And not only does she bring them, but she washes them and soaks them, too.
My other best friend, the telephone also does good work. A while ago, I realized that we were in imminent danger from running out of toilet paper. A phone call and 30 minutes later, we had toilet paper. Magic! Brandon needed some suits dry cleaned. Rere took them out, and voila! The next morning they came back, cleaned and pressed. One Thursday night Brandon and I wanted to watch a movie, but had no food to eat. One phone call and $10.91 later he had gnocchi with gorgonzola cream sauce and I had four-cheese pizza. Having no cake pans to make Kathleen’s birthday cake with, I made a phone call on Monday and Tuesday evening a lovely, pink cake showed up at our door. I can even use my phone to make a car and driver appear, a car that is air conditioned and a driver that doesn’t get angry when I pay him.
With careful planning and thinking ahead I can avoid actually going to the store for several weeks at a time. And when I do, I have Rere to watch the girls. While one may not be able to have everything in this world for money, filthy lucre helps one get a good bit of those things in Egypt without ever leaving one’s house.