Today I decided to take a gander out on my balcony. We live on the first floor in a block of apartments, and unlike our previous one, this is a pretty big monolithic deal in terms of how many of these things on so many floors are there. Well the opposite side is no better, but I’ve never been so curious to play ‘I spy’ with the other side…until today. We just moved house in any case, so this is probably the aftereffects from settling in and then twiddling my thumbs for want of something better to do with my time than finding out who the latest ‘style celebrity’ on television is. It’s hilarious how many people don’t think of drawing their curtains and while I’m no scary stalker I just like ‘observing’ things sometimes. Here’s what I got:

Apt. directly opposite first floor: Indian lady busy hanging clothes in and out like a machine the whole day long. I swear that two bedroom houses ten occupants and she’s their special laundry machine or something. She’s like at it all day. First comes menswear, then kidswear, then more menswear..It’s like she has four husbands and six kids. So I smiled across to her after her umpteenth trip out and in and she just ‘harummphed’ at me as if I was some cracko offering her something nasty instead of my friendly nod and banged the door shut. She was out a half hour later with more laundry though! Well, that wasn’t so interesting, I thought.

But then I look up to see another lady. This time I knew for sure it was someone’s babysitting help. She was balancing a little toddler on the balcony ledge and swaying her back and forth, which would have been okay if it weren’t on the fourth floor! That kid was squirming and bouncing and I seriously thought I should keep my phone handy incase the police or ambulance needed an emergency ring any second. Its interesting to know that the UAE has one of the highest rates of children falling off balconies and through windows in high rise buildings. Google it if you don’t believe me. Really tragic, but true. Every year and every few months there’s something to report in that area. I’m dead scared about my kids tumbling over. We always check balconies when we move house. It makes me so sad to read about yet another 5 or 4 year old losing balance on a chair and falling to their death from the ninth floor. Or worse yet, the child left at home under her ‘big 8 year old’ sister’s or brother’s supervision where they’ve been clinging for their lives to ledges or window edges, ultimately lose grip and plunge to their death so many stories below. The occasional guilt stricken adult has been known to jump over right after, but seriously??? How do you separate the preventable from the very rare ‘accident?” It’s a topic that’s caused a lot of controversy amongst many people and we’ve had debates about this stuff during lunch or dinner. Should parents be jailed or have they suffered enough? Are they really to blame? Or is the badly constructed, child unfriendly balcony that they were forced to take along with the apartment they had no choice but to rent, to blame? How on earth do judges ever come to a decision I wonder! I suddenly realized why cases get dragged out I court!

      Anyway floor number one directly ahead had a less scary picture. They were the ‘unlucky floors.’ Apartments in a high rise without balconies. Some guy had strung his flimsy looking rack onto the window edge and his solitary underpants were braving the elements. Next to it were some darling lady undergarments in vibrant hues of mauve and fuschia. They were faring no better as each time the wind blew I was anticipating a drop to the basement below on top of some person’s jet black Range Rover. Lucky for me I was just about to go in when I saw a busty auburn haired madame open the window roughly, only to realize that her undergarments were breezing there. I heard her yell oh so foully and furiously at her a’mour who had probably been the idiot who hung it there in there first place and lo and behold, some skinny small made dude appears. The plot thickens. I paused mid step, one foot inside the living room, the other on the balcony, too enthralled to even listen to my little one asking me for some chocolate milk. The couple grappled with the wildly swinging clothesline and the woman snatched two garments off it with her plump red fingers. Much to my great amusement the last one didn’t quite make her heavy handed grip and it floated oh so gently and in such a feminine motion onto some Range Rover below. Luckily for her a security guard from the same building passing by looked up at the couple still grappling with the rack and went in his oh so Indian accent, ‘Ms.D’ Souza, if this is yours please collect it immediately ah?’ I had to tuck myself in at once but not before missing some spectacularly wild hand gestures from the Ms. to the Mr. and a resounding ‘thump!’ from the window!

 Well that might be mean to say, but it cheered me up considerably after the whole car crack incident, and I could go about my day without feeling my insides squeezed too much. Just waiting until evening for The Man to see his beloved brand new beemer worse for wear 😦

Maybe I should pump my insides with some coffee drowned in glucose. As a non-alcoholic I need a high from some source!

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