It has been a long time since we had a table.
In the States we preferred not to use a normal, American table with tall legs. Instead we had a foot high table that we sat on pillows next to. It was a lovely and unique way to eat.
We’ve been living here for almost a year now, and we never got around to buying a table. About a month ago, we spotted one for a good price at the mall near our house. It was round, came with six chairs, and wasn’t too big for our small apartment.
We asked to purchase it, but they told us that they didn’t have any in stock that day. Come back in two days, they said. We’ll have your table then.
I called two days later, but they said call back tomorrow.
The next day, I called back, and they informed me that they had ordered the table but it would be a few days.
This went on for some time. We were frustrated, but busy with finals and preparing to move, so we didn’t go to the store in person.
Four weeks later, finals were over, we were living in a different apartment, and we still had no table.
With some wife-ly encouragement, I was motivated to return to the mall and see if I couldn’t move things along in person. This time my goal was not just to ask for a table, but to figure out what I needed to do to actually get a table.
I spoke to most of the staff members in the building. I mustered up as much of my childish Arabic as I could manage. Instead of just demanding things from the staff, I tried to connect with them. And it worked magnificently. When I explained (half-honestly) that my wife would kill me if I didn’t come home with a receipt, they laughed at me and were happy to help me avoid such a grisly fate.
I paid for my table and they say it should be delivered tomorrow.
We shall see.