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Saturday, October 27, 2007

 

Euwww

Out on the road with one of the Red Cross technicians yesterday, delivering kit to the infirm in apartment buildings. We do a lot of these kind of deliveries. The apartments are small and often very crowded but yesterday one beat them all.

The apartment building was very smart, if a little cramped by Canadian living standards. In London it would be 'Compact and bijou'. Most of these apartments are neat, airy and light, kept in good order by their tenants. The apartments living room are usually dominated by a massive TV. A 32 inch screen seems to be the smallest I've seen, their inhabitants idly channel surfing while we set up whatever we're delivering. This is not surprising, we deliver mobility aids and suchlike for the sick and infirm. They are probably not at their best when we come calling.

I digress. Friday's call was to one of these cramped apartments where a bomb blast would have counted as gentrification. My usually less than totally fastidious flesh crawled, as did the carpet. Let's start there. It was grey, threadbare and with rolls of fibre all over the place. I presume these folks didn't have a Vacuum cleaner. The walls weren't actually stained, but the paint had a uniform patina of grubbiness that would have shamed a hippies grow-op. Black bags were everywhere and shelves of canned food narrowed the entryway. Fortunately it was a nice sunny day and the window to the balcony was open so we had breathable air. Detritus was in every doorway, and the bathroom looked rarely used.

Two care workers were chucking stuff out, but as it was they were fighting a losing battle. My oppo and I fitted the two items we'd been asked to and beat a hasty retreat.

"That was pretty bad." Commented my oppo when we got back to the van.
"That was appaling. My flesh crawled." I responded with unconcealed disgust.
"Mm-hm."
"If I ever got that bad, I'd just open the doors and let the bears in."
"We get them like that." He was actively enjoying my discomfiture.
"Personal hygeine obviously happens to other people." I commented, wondering why their care workers hadn't helped the two invalids tidy up.

Back at base our Manager told us of a couple more horror stories and continual re infestations of fleas at a previous office that occurred when the little sods hitched a ride in the bottom seams of care workers trousers.

Needless to say, my first port of call on the way home was at the pet store where flea spray went to the top of my shopping list. Euwww.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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