Two perfectly sweet Arabic students. Both have teddy bears at home in the states (one against her will), and both love animals a reasonable amount.
One bowab (see previous post) and one bowab’s brother. Both are respectable gentlemen currently employed in the cleaning of said Arabic students’ apartment (don’t judge us. you try dealing by yourself with the relentless, powdered Cairo that coats your toothbrush).
One large, squirmy gecko. It is a wild animal, and like my sisters, it has the ability to climb on walls and hide behind curtains. If it were to be squashed, one would need more than one paper towel to wipe up the gecko goo.
One set of living room furniture, including a coffee table, a dining table, a couch that pulls apart into sections, and curtains. There’s also a bookshelf but we don’t talk about it. I probably shouldn’t even have mentioned it.
Time: Post 6 o’clock coffee and snack break.
Weather: The autumn mildness is setting in and one Arabic student’s bed was cool to the touch when she got back from class today. It was bizarre but not unpleasant.
Location: The living room, slightly disheveled and in the midst of being cleaned by the bowab and bowab’s brother.
Who’s hungry: No one. Large sandwiches were eaten just a few hours earlier.
One roommate squeals. She has seen a large slithering thing in the apartment. The other roommate is not surprised; she saw that gecko last night. They both huddle near a corner of the room and make a fuss about the wildlife in the house, attracting the bowab’s attention. Quickly, he thinks of a solution and removes his shoe. Upon realizing his intent, the Arabic students’ shrieking becomes louder as they both imagine how disgusting it would be to see a gecko of that size squashed on the wall. Also, geckos are cute. The bowab ignores their humanitarian and “yucky” concerns equally. “He’ll just come back inside,” he says, determined to crush the gecko that is scurrying across the wall.
The living room transforms into a gladiator’s arena, the gecko its target. The bowab leaps onto the dining room table. He aims his shoe at the gecko darting across the wall and misses. Now he apparates to the other side of the room and tries to flush the gecko out with a broom. Now he yells at his brother to stop being lazy and help him. Now his reluctant brother is tearing the couch away from the wall in order to apprehend the gecko that has crawled underneath it. All this time the Arabic students clutch each other helplessly and pray that there won’t be a huge stain of lizard innards to look at or clean up.
In the midst of the prevailing chaos, the pleadings of the Arabic students and the acrobatic feats of bowab and brother, the gecko escapes from the room onto the balcony, to the disappointment of some and great relief of others, namely the gecko herself.
10 minutes later, the bowab invites Arabic students to go to his village in Upper Egypt (hint: south of Cairo) and visit his family and an old monastery, church, and Roman ruins. Will there be more geckos to kill?