Day 9: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Casey chose the title for today. We’re in a difficult spot, as indicated. We’ve spoken to “management” about moving and no one takes any responsibility. Everyone says that they’ll talk to someone else, and then nothing gets done. Sigh. I hate to say that this precedent has been set numerous times, so it’s really not surprising, but it’s still disappointing. At any rate, Casey flew two legs today and came back early. It had recently rained, so the roads were still muddy as he walked from the plane to the hanger.


While he was at work, one of the guys in charge of housing for Arik Air employees came by and talked to me about our accommodation. He said we could either spend our own money to fix and furnish the kitchen in our building, or we could use the staff kitchen in the building next door. First of all, buying all the appliances would cost a lot of money, and we don’t want to fix it ourselves because of the health hazards from being around mold for so long, since the kitchen looks pretty bad. Secondly, the staff kitchen needs work too! Only half of the stove works, there are no lights, the drawers are broken, and it could use a good cleaning. I stated all of this, but it didn’t really phase him. I asked about moving temporarily to the pilot compound while things got fixed, and the guy said that it was full. How could it possibly be full? There are 50+ rooms, and there certainly aren’t that many people there. I needed to get to the bottom of that shady statement.

After Casey came home and ate lunch, we decided to go to the pilot compound and talk to the manager there to find out what the deal was. She was busy when we arrived, so we waited…


And waited…


And waited…


I had never played real darts before, just a magnetic version, so that was fun to play. I think I won? We couldn’t remember what the scoring system was. Those Wine Gums above were very interesting… We thought they would taste like gummy Life Savers, but they tasted a bit different. I read the ingredients and they were vegetable flavored! It says online that they’re fruit flavored, but the ingredients on the package clearly state “vegetable extracts: black carrot, spinach, stinging nettle, and turmeric.” Need I say more? Casey liked them, but I didn’t really care for them. Meh. He also found a neat article about Google to pass the time.

The manager was still “busy,” but she was really just wandering around at that point. They were planning a barbeque at the compound that night, so she was checking on the status. We looked out the window and observed the people below…


We decided to go downstairs and talk to her there. Overall, it was an unsuccessful conversation. She was nice, friendly, but not exactly helpful. The issue with the compound is that there is not enough storage for food. They have two, huge chillers outside but they are not working at the moment, so she has rules to only take in 26 pilots because that is all that they can feed. Arik just hired a bunch of Airbus pilots too, so now she had to take them in, making her final count 32, and she said she just can’t take in more. They have enough rooms, 54 actually, but it is a food issue, and her boss said no to more people. EHH. We said we wouldn’t eat any of their food, but that didn’t help us much.

The funny thing is that she is staying at House 69 too! In another building though, so she hasn’t seen our kitchen problem. We explained the situation, and she said she’d take a look at our building to see what could be done with our kitchen.  We tried to tell her that nothing can be done, since nothing is in there, but she brushed it off and said she’d “look into it.” What else could we do? We thanked her…

It was about 4 PM by then, and the bbq was supposed to start at 6, so we decided to stick around for dinner. Of course we should have known better about the time, but more about that later. Casey brought his frisbee along and played with another pilot, then with me.  He also helped move a table, and then helped himself to some bread. Very good bread, though. I think they bake it themselves… not sure.


We walked outside to see the bbq set-up… and then waited some more! Dinner was finally ready around 7-7:30 PM, but it was worth the wait. We didn’t have anything better at our place anyway. They had chicken wings, chicken thighs, crocker fish, pork sausage, steamed veggies, and sweet potato wedges. It was pleasant! Those chickens don’t have much (or any) fat on them though, so it was a struggle to cut the meat off of the bone. And forget about those wings… We also had dessert: bread pudding and crème caramel. I didn’t like them very much, since I don’t care for custard-like dishes, but they were prepared well and Casey enjoyed them.


We also had a great visit with the Q400 pilots! They are fun guys, so we had a good time. Lloyd is from Antigua and Andre is from Holland, so we enjoyed hearing about their countries. Lloyd’s Caribbean accent made the following statement particularly memorable for me. He was trying to cut the chicken wings but was having a hard time, and he said, “I’m trying to wrestle with the local fowl.” I’m sure the joke doesn’t translate through the blog, but it was hilarious! Trust me.


Author: CnLsnapping

Casey is an airline pilot and professional photographer. Leanna is also a photographer and an aspiring writer/journalist.

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