The plumber and his sidekick arrived on a scooter with a collection of long rods that have travelled down countless drains, and placed them down on our dinning room floor. I think the plumber must have accidentally swallowed a humming bird on his way over here because he spoke so fast I could barely see his lips moving. He could have been auditioning as a beat boxer for all the sense he made. We asked him to slow down when he spoke to us but we think that people here have had little exposure to foreigners and just speak at their normal rate.
Lion tamers put their heads inside the mouths of lions risking life and limb for the sake of entertainment. This plumber was braver than any lion tamer. Without a moment’s hesitation he lifted the lid off the grease trap and plunged his hand into the water past his elbow. After fishing around he organised for his offsider to assemble the rods together. While the plumber was pushing the rods down the drain his offsider asked for a plastic bag and started digging a hole in our back yard. What was the plastic bag for? What was going to go into the hole? Did I want to know the answers to these questions? Eventually I heard that wonderful air bubble sound and water whoosing away to goodness knows where.
As I walked the plumbers to the door I couldn’t see the plastic bag that I gave them and all the while I kept thinking, please don’t offer to shake my hand.