Jillian R.
After yesterday's long rant, I will try my best to keep today's entry as short as possible.

To get a clearer picture of today's story, let me show you my backyard.



This was our backyard when we moved in


And this is the backyard now

After getting quoted all sorts of ridiculous prices from a few maintenance and landscaping companies for cutting up a few overgrown branches and to sweep up some leaves (a lot of leaves actually, about 2 ft deep), Eric went to the hardware store and bought a bow saw and cut the branches himself. Quoted price, 300 AED ($80). Bow saw was 25 AED ($6), rake (a good retractable one too), 65 AED ($17). We paid someone 100 AED ($27) to rake up the leaves. We saved a total of 110 AED ($30). It was about an hour's job. 

$30 might not feel like very much, but think of it as 110 units of money. 110 units of money buys quite a lot, doesn't it?

Now, the problem is getting the cut up branches and leaves to the dumpster, because there is no garbage service in our community that picks up "big" pieces of garbage, say a stained mattress or a torn up couch, we all have to either lug our own garbage to the dumpster located outside the guard house (which in our case is just a 5 minute walk away) or pay someone (there are "services" like that) a ridiculous amount of money to drag it away for us.

Anyway, our branches and leaves made about 5-6 boxes and we left it outside the house not knowing what to do with it. We can't exactly pack it into the back of our car or drag 5-6 boxes to the dumpster, because these are cardboard boxes (which we moved in with) which will probably tear after 10 feet of dragging or so, and we can't exactly carry them because they're too big! We asked around and nobody seems to know the number of the "service" to call. So there the boxes sat since last Friday. It's been a week.

Today, the security guard came knocking on my door saying that there had been complaints about the boxes, which were a bit of an eye sore really, but we didn't know what to do with them!

I asked if he knew who I should call to get rid of them. He said he didn't know, but he asked if I'd be willing to pay "something" for a gardener to remove it, I said yes. Then it was like magic, a gardener appeared from nowhere, really, out of nowhere! I had looked before, because I had the same idea, to ask if a community gardener could remove the boxes, and I'd tip them well, but I've never spotted anyone nearby! So, this gardener jumped out of nowhere and wanted 100 AED ($27) for him and his buddy to take the boxes to the dumpster 5 minutes away, they had carts, so it wasn't that hard! It's a one-trip job with a gardening cart!

I insisted that I wouldn't pay more than 50 AED ($13), because REALLY, 5 mins of pushing a cart to the dumpster for a hundred units of money is a bit much! The guy started making a pitiful face saying how poor he is. I get it, they don't earn very much, but they have to be reasonable! In the end, I didn't want to stand outside arguing about money so I agreed to give them 60 AED ($16).

10 minutes later, they came knocking on my door again to say that they were done. They did a good job I must say. Not a single leaf was left behind. So I thanked them and expected that to be it, then the guy said "Madam, JOOS?"

I said, "What? I don't have any juice, sorry". I really don't keep any bottled/boxed, sugary juice in the house, but the guy was relentless! "Madam, joos?" He wasn't about to leave so I gave them a couple of bottles of water. Only then, they left.

Joos!
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