Good… Nay… GREAT Housekeeping

I bought a new fridge. Well, not entirely NEW. But new-to-me. Our American doctor has repatriated, much to my chagrin. What am I going to do now? I guess WebMD and I will be on a first name basis.

Hey, White Girl, stop being so neurotic.

Thanks, Webbie. (He likes that pet name. And being scratched underneath the chin.) See you later for coffee?  Yes?  No?  No, then.  Not even an Insha’Allah #3?  Fine.  I’ll CALL YOU!  Heh.

A sad part of living internationally is the constant ebb and flow of other expat friends. I remember sitting beside Charlie on his bed as his shoulders shook with sobs because his closest friends were leaving. I put my arm around him, and offered my condolences for another loss. It’s something that I just don’t understand from personal experience since I lived on the same street from the age of 4 until I was 18. In that time, some friends moved away, but not until I was 12 and then again at 16. Hardly the frequency that Charlie has dealt with loss through moves and changes in his short, nearly 11 years.

Now we are experiencing another loss. With loss, comes gain, in our world, it seems. People who move, especially when they are repatriating into their home countries, don’t often want to move all their belongings back with them. Heavy items like furniture and appliances are up for “grabs”. It feels an awful lot like pillaging, if I’m going to be honest. Walking into the house of my friend, knowing that in essence, this is still her home, and she’s not here, but all the while looking at things with the question, “Do I want this?” in my mind. It feels wrong.

But, of course, I bought stuff. Who am I kidding? I love shopping, in any context.

I picked up a great table for homeschooling purposes, and some bookshelves to help with organizing the books and all. I also brought home the refrigerator. And this is where it gets a little complicated. Did you pick up on the fact that my friend is not currently in the country? Did you also connect the dots that there have been a lot of frequent and long-in-duration electricity cuts? Do you know that refrigerators often prefer a lot of electricity? So, um, let me hold your hand as we wander over to this funny thing called logical conclusion:

The refrigerator stinks really badly. By stinks, I mean, a turkey died in the freezer.

While I’m more sad that there was a freaking turkey in the freezer that was located in my city, and I could have gotten it and eaten it as happily as it would have been to be eaten, but instead it went to waste in a puddle of rotten swill, I am upset that the beautifully large refrigerator smells like corpse. The Mister and I worked on it for hours today (me, more sporadically in between teaching the difference between mixed and improper fractions and memorizing a Days of the Week poem). We bleached. We vinegare’d. We baking soda’d. The Mister took out and cleaned the drip tray, which was filled with rotting coagulated turkey blood and cleaned it. If the drip tray is full, it had to have been filled from somewhere. That’s when we found the greatest source of the stink in the freezer itself. The Mister took apart the front drain grid, and I got to work with my arsenal of cleaning products and old toothbrushes. We ran hot water, bleach-hot-water, and vinegar hot water through the drainage system until it ran clear.

But it still stank.

I’m the mad-internet-search queen. Google is my bestest bestie. I searched for home remedies for getting rotting meat smell out of a freezer, and learned all about coffee grounds and COAL! Who knew? Currently, the refrigerator is still empty, save two plates of coffee grounds and a shallow bowl of coal, but running at the warmest temperature to get the air circulating, hopefully ridding it of the final remnants of stench. I’m giving it 3 days. I figure if there hasn’t been a remarkable improvement within that time, it’s probably beyond rescue.

I like to think that the desert, even though it’s littered with piles of plastic bags that aren’t breaking down anytime soon, has made me a little bit more environmentally friendly. If I was back in my western context, I would have dumped that fridge at first sniff, chlorofluorocarbons and all. But here I am, doing all I can to salvage this great appliance. Even sacrificing the nectar of the gods coffee for the cause.  I’m a good person.  The world sure looks tiny from this high road I’m on!  You all look like tiny ants from up here!