It was a blessing to move from a sombre hotel to a light flat with a kitchen. The only thing missing was hot water; the boiler did not work. The electrician would be there in half an hour to repair it.
Two hours later I went into the kitchen and prepared a combination of oriental noodles and Bangladeshi lal shag (red spinach). Just when I was halfway cooking, the door bel rang – the electrician and his helper were there. The electrician carried a net, one of those you see usually in supermarkets filled with oranges. Inside the net were a screwdriver, a hammer and a tool of unknown origin. That made me think of the first time we had a plumber in Uzbekistan – many times would follow. The raggedly dressed man that time carried an old leather briefcase, which upon opening revealed a pair of scissors and a big role of cello tape.
The electrician unscrewed the socket, frowned, and closed it again. Then he opened the fuse box, watched it for five minutes, frowned, and closed it again. He repeated this process approximately five times. He then shrugged, said something which was supposed to be English, but which I could not understand, turned around on his heels and left the apartment, his helper following closely. The boiler still did not work, its orange light sadly staring me in the face without a single glimmer.
My mobile rang; it was the broker telling me, the problem had nothing to do with the electricity. It was the boiler, that had to be replaced. The plumber would come and do that tomorrow in the evening. I went back to the kitchen and finished cooking and eating. Before I went to bed, I mentally prepared for the ice bucket shower. The next morning the little orange light was on; the shower hot as it should be. The leftover noodles were delicious. Tonight they will come and replace the boiler that is not broke. Bangladesh, a country full of miracles.