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Khartoum 28.1.17

February 2, 2017

Middle of winter with a temperature of 40c outside. Sudan welcomes you! Emma asked Sabeet, the apartment block’s handyman, what had happened to the winter, he replied that there hasn’t been one this year. At least today has been cooler with the wind creating a dust storm in the streets.
While Emma was back home the ground apartment had become vacant and she jumped at the chance to nab it. But it did mean the first day back shifting all her furniture down the four flights of stairs in crippling heat. Although she did have three helpers, Adam, Sabeet and Mutaz. Adam’s job is security for the landlord. He also has a little stall at the nearby intersection where he spends his off time. I don’t think he sells much but enjoys sitting chatting to his mates. Mutaz is one of three guards that are on site around the clock. Boring but although crime is rare it seems to be increasing due to the financial situation. And Sabeet, the handyman walks around with a shifting spanner and a Chinese screwdriver that he curses regularly hangingout of his pocket. A good bloke to have around.
Then there is Sameera the cleaning lady. A lovely gentle lady who insists on doing her share of the shiting even with a gammy leg.   Tee Tee the Amah has joined the household and seems to get on very well with Mia as well as Zameera. Lucky  for us they, as well as many of the locals, speak English which makes things very easy.

It’s Friday, their day of prayer. The streets are fairly deserted. The intention was to take a city tour this afternoon but the three of us have been laid low with gastric problems and now it seems Mia is coming down with it as well. Jetlag, the heat and a very spicey Indian meal the first night here may all be factors.
Sudan is a dry country, no alcohol. In fact the “GROG ON BOARD” alarm went off as I walked through security at the airport. A perfunctury check proved it was a false alarm. But there was a surprise opening the fridge in the apartment to find the sub-lettor had left a full bottle of gin, third of vodka and even a bottle of home brew beer. The authorities are very strict on the alcohol law. Even going to the trouble of looking through expats rubbish looking for empties. The idea is to smash them or dispose of them elsewhere.


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