Tag Archives: new apartment

13th point of the Scout Law

There are 12 points to the Scout Law, but my friends and I would always joke about there being a thirteenth point…

Not long ago, I decided to make spaghetti for dinner. In making the sauce, I had already put the tomato paste and some water into my skillet and was about to add some tomato sauce. I picked up the can and started looking for a can opener. My apartment came furnished with a well stocked kitchen. All the silverware I could ever need, wooden spoons, ladles, whisks, cheese graters of various shapes and sizes, pampered chef measuring cups and spoons, a blinder, a rolling pin, a garlic press, pots, pans, and baking trays of all varieties. In short, everything that I could ever need and more.


I dug through every cabinet and drawer, searched high and low, left no utensil unturned, yet, to my utter amazement, there was one item it lacked. A can opener.

I was in disbelief. How, in a kitchen that could prepare a meal for a king, could there be no can opener? I shook off my bewilderment and tried to assuage my disappointment by determining what my options were.

The closest place that I could think of to buy a can opener was almost 30 minutes away. To get there, search through the store (not a simple task in its own right), check out and return home would likely take close to an hour and a half.

My disappointment began to bubble to the surface again. “No”, I said to myself, “there has got to be something in this house that I can use to get this can open.” “What do I have?”

After some deliberation, I began to form a plan. “I have a hammer, screws, and a pair of needle nosed pliers. Humm… that just might work.”

Using the hammer and one of the screws, I began to punch holes in the rim of the can. I tried to keep them as close together as I could, creating a makeshift perforation around half of the top of the can. The pliers were then able to peal back the lid as easily as tearing a page from a notebook. Mission accomplished.13th point of the scout law… a scout is resourceful.


Like drinking from a mountain stream

I thought I would get some pictures of the water tank on my roof.If you are ever curious as to how much water you have left, all you have to do is walk right up to it, remove the brick the holds down the lid and open ‘er up.While you might be tempted to think that the little orange thing is a runaway ball from an old McDonald’s Playplace ball pit, but it’s actually a float valve, like the kind used in toilets.

Oh, one other thing worth noting, there’s a rock that lives in my tank. I call him Fred.Hi Fred!

Adventures in Moving

Just a few days ago, I moved into a new apartment here in Amman. Imagine moving from a place that looked like this:

Into a place that looked like this:

Well… maybe the difference isn’t quite that extreme. I guess it would be more like moving from this apartment

into this apartment

This will be the third place that I have lived in less than a year and a half (fourth if you count the month I spent in the States). It reminds me of what it was like when I was in seminary. I moved 12 times in the three years that I was at Asbury. Needless to say I’m kind of sick of moving.

Moving is always an adventure. There are always little things that you don’t really think about until you need them. Like a trash can. “I’ll just throw this in the… oh… (staring disappointedly at the spot where a trash can should be) umm… the dumpster… at the end of the street.” And then there are things that you find out about your new place that you just didn’t think to check on before you moved in. Like does the bathroom door close. “Hey. How’s it going in there.” Awkward.

And then there are the really fun things. Like running out of water. For those of you who have never lived in Amman, let me take a moment to explain the water delivery system. It’s quite unique. The city only provides water to your home once a week. When the water is turned on, it fills a tank on your roof. Once they shut the water off, you use the water from the tank until next week’s water day. If you run out before then… well… I hope you already had a shower.

So, when I found myself standing in front of a dry faucet this morning, I was somewhat dismayed. Then I remembered “Wait a minute. It’s Wednesday. Wednesday is water day.” I went up to the roof to check my tank. Far from being empty, it was overflowing and had flooded most of the roof. Now I was just confused. Why was there a swimming pool on the roof and a desert in my sink? When the repair man showed up, I asked him to explain this situation to me. He grinned a toothy grin, “This is Middle East. When tank is full, you have no water.” Oh, well that cleared things up for me. Welcome to my life in Amman.