A few weeks ago I showed you our indoor fountain:
which has served us faithfully since 2006. Recently the pump started to complain, drowning out the musical water sounds with pump-groans. Rather than waiting for it to expire entirely, we retired it and then set about trying to replace the pump.
It is very difficult to find practical items here. Once there were fountain pumps at one of the 'plant souqs', but when they were sold out - about 18 months ago - the stock was never replenished. Typically a new business brings in a container load of stock and everyone is excited by the choice, and then it dwindles, gets covered in dust, shop worn and disappears: never to be seen again.
The other complication is there is no adequate 'yellow pages' type of directory, either in hard or soft copy. And there are no street addresses, even if you find a likely business.
I had the bright idea of looking up aquaria because I had a vague memory that keeping tropical fish was a popular hobby amongst the locals (as well as keeping cheetas and jaguars and other unsuitable pets which escape occasionally). We found 10 suppliers listed in an online directory - but none of them gave a street address, only a PO box number, as is usual. I decided I would go through and phone them in turn, hoping someone would speak enough English to give directions. Eventually I found one who not only had pumps in stock, but could also give me directions.
It took us over an hour, with several phone calls enroute, to find them but we were rewarded with success. While Marius was busy dealing with the technical side of things and actually purchasing the pump, I was mesmerised by the displays:
Our world is veiled in khaki-coloured dust, washing out all colour and definition. I was quite uplifted by these beautiful fish, putting aside any considerations of the morals of keeping fish in boxes.
The pump is replaced and is burbling away happily.