Hanging Container Holder Update-Painting!
Well, all three of the Hanging Container Holders (HCH) seem to be holding up so I decided the next step was to paint them. But what color. Hmm. That is a tough one. At first I thought green would be good, as there is not a lot of that around here and it would maybe encourage the plants to grow and look green too. But, when I asked for input, a friend of mine suggested brown. I frowned in side at this suggestion. “I am in a sea of brown,” I thought, “Why do I want more?” Well, off to the little hole-in-the-wall hardware store to find GREEN paint for the HCH project. Wow, I thought, won’t green look great on the blog.
Once arriving and establishing who could speak “Inglizi” and who could understand my broken Arabic sign-language, I asked for green paint. The young man brought some out, opened the can and promptly took a little on his finger and swiped the wood counter. A beautiful color I think he said in Arabic. In broken English I heard, “Like grass.” Well, I thought, if that is grass green, I think it best be left to be in the paint can. It looked more like an off olive drab at best. Hmm. Ok, humility, adapt and overcome. “Do you have any brown?” I ask in sign language, pointing to four or five brown items in the store. After my helper had an animated with two other guys in the store, he goes back to the paint shelf and brings another can to me, opens it up and swips another finger of paint on the counter. “I sure hope he doesn’t get in trouble with the owner with all this wet paint,” I thought. I look down, and, well, I am sure somewhere in the world that would be brown, but to me it was very red looking brown. “Lah”, I say with confidence, which means ‘no’, I wave my finger back and forth, shake my head and say, “Lah aahkmar” or no red.
Now, I realize at this point I am in trouble of losing the whole bridge of communication I have built with this very helpful young man and his friends, who are watching the whole thing with great interest. The pressure builds. Animated Arabic side conversations occur. They are sure they k new my English word was brown but how come the Inglizi refused it? What to do? “Ah hah” I think. I remember my training. Stop, Think, Observe, Plan. I quickly ask to see the green again. He brings it back off the shelf, obediently opens it up and swaths another paint strip on the counter. I look closely at it, Nope, that just looks too much like someone tossed their cookies. The attendant, looks at me, looks at the new paint swath, and looks at me with a look of, “Does this Inglizi think the green color changed in the last few minutes? Is he crazy?”
Ok, I did humility, STOP, and still I am not getting success. Hmm, oh yes, A.A.O., Adapt And Overcome. I look at him and, (speaking loud enough for his friend who understands English to hear), “Do you have another brown?” His friend, quickly spins his translation wheels in his mind, thinks he understands, rips out some Arabic and his friend goes back to the shelf, looks around, reads lots of labels, then triumphantly pulls one out, brings it over to me and, to make sure I understand, he holds the can up to me, points slowly, and carefully reads out “CHO-CO-LATE” in clear, LOUD English. After all, we all know if someone doesn’t understand what you just said, say it next time LOUDER!
I know he needs a reward to show him he is on the right track and to preserve international relations, so I give him the universal sign for success, I smile REAL BIG! He opens the can with a patient look a parent gives his child which seems to say, “Why didn’t you ask for this in the first place. This is what you should have asked for. ” (He is right, but more on that later.) He opens the can, sticks his finger in and adds more to his counter artwork for the very nice but seemingly ignorant Inglizi. I look down and there is the perfect color of brown! I mean it is beautiful. It is perfect. I mean I didn’t even want brown and it just excites me to think of painting it on my HSH’s in just a few minutes. Now we are all happy, I am grinning and saying “Na’amb, na’amb. Shokran, shorkan” (Yes, yes, thank you, thank you), the ‘gang’ are all happy, backslapping each other, and the attendant knows, as he puts the lid on (tightly I notice) that he has made a sale . Yeah, truly successful international relations between everyday people. I quickly order a brush and thinner, and after paying up with cash, I exit the store with farewells of “Ma salama!” and smiles coming from all of us. Whew. I made it through another one.
Now what would have made this a lot easier is if I had known the words “booni” which is brown with a masculine ending. Important since I was talking to a male! If I wanted to get really advanced I could have asked for “booni chocolatay” or chocolate brown after seeing the booni ahkmar. I need to be better prepared!
Well, now on to the point of this blog entry, painting the HRH’s! Thought I had forgotten didn’t you. Well, I got home, painted the HRH’s and they looked REAL good. I wasn’t even finished painting them yet and three people came by and said, “Wow, that looks real good!” Success. Now, if I had stayed with my green idea, well, maybe no success. You be the judge. To me, I did the right thing by practicing humility, S.T.O.P. and A.A.O.
Here they are from different angles.
Until next time, “Ma salama!”