Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘roasting rats

Civil work (continue 32)

I finally worked in a civil project in M3ameltein for four years; it was a resort hotel on the beach.  This project was executed by the contractor Jacque Matta, who happened to be renting the second floor in our building at Kunetra.  I was supposed to be hired as the prospective general manager of this resort complex when it is finished, but a relative of the owners was hired at last.

Again, I felt redundant in that civil job since I am no civil engineer and had no training in the construction business; I mainly recorded workers time, paid wages at the end of the week, and faked to be useful supervising work in progress.  I was asked to do the disappearing act and not linger at the office on the construction site.  Basically, I was supposed to check every studio and check how much work has been done and what is lacking to finish it.

I recall that many Indians and Indonesians worked on the project and they lived in the basement.  It was not a healthy habitat for the workers and they managed to set up partitions, especially for married couples; I doubt that couples were officially married, but nobody checked their marriage licence or cared to know how official is official.  The Indonesians had a favorite hobby of chasing rats and roasting them.  I don’t recall if I was invited to have a bite; I would have remembered anyway.

It was during that period that I suffered from a chronic stomach ache that kept me doubled up for 6 months. I visited all kinds of physicians; one physician assumed that I had parasites in the intestines and I had to take an assortment of medicines for that assumed illness; it turned out I had no parasites whatsoever.  One physician said it is mainly a nervous case because I had no physical symptoms.

Somehow, when a new foreman took over and offered me wider responsibilities and recognition then this stomach ache vanished instantly.  The pain disappeared like by magic.  This experience taught me not to linger on any job that I don’t like doing:  It is not worth the suffering and the humiliation.

I think that I took swift revenge on the former foreman by forbidding the Indian workers to wash and clean his car.  That decision made the round and the story told throughout the enterprise.  All Indian workers exhibited a frank smiled everytime they crossed my path: I guess the foreman was not liked.

There was a beautiful girl in my neighborhood who studied architecture at Kaslik; I was glad to give her ride to work.  One day, my nun of an aunt told my parents that I had no chance to marry the girl “ma fi nassib”.  I don’t recall asking the hand of the girl or maybe the nun, who loved to get people wed, had talked to the girl’s family about this possibility.  A week later, the house of the girl was robbed or there was an attempt to rob it or it was just a fabricated story by the parent’s girl.  The father of the girl told the investigator that I used to jog early in the morning wearing a stupid multicolored winter cap. Well, the lawyer brother of this infamous father came and apologized to my family for his brother; as if it was my father who attempted the crime; as if it is none of my concern to meddle in that affair!

One day, returning from work, missiles and shells fell on my way, close to home, and I had to park and wait.  Yes, the civil war was not over.  I recall that we had to live in the basement for several weeks.  My mother enjoys telling people, on the civil war, that my preferred location was under the table. I have no recollection of what I did in that dramatic period:  I have a way of forgetting traumatic events.

At least, this job afford me possibilities to learn snow skiing, buying the necessary implements, get away on several cruises to Hungary, Cyprus…




January 2021

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