Saturday, February 14, 2009

Broken Glasses

I slept in this morning because I wasn’t feeling well. Rachel always misses me when I sleep in and eventually Andrew gave in to her pleas and they came in to wake me up. Rachel jumped out of Andrew’s arms and gave me a big hug. I love Rachel hugs!

Whenever Rachel sees me without my glasses she gets really concerned and tries to find them for me. I think she equates my wearing glasses with “awake time.”

This morning my glasses were sitting on my nightstand. Rachel got off the bed and grabbed them, even though she knows she’s not supposed to.

“Rachel, don’t touch!” Andrew advised a little too late.

Rachel was already working on opening them so that she could help me put them on. She’s all about helping these days.


She bent one arm completely skiwampus, rending the glasses basically useless and changing the itinerary of our day. Now our #1 thing to do was to find an optometrist instead of going grocery shopping.

First, however, I had to find my backup pair of glasses. While being blind because I couldn’t wear my regular pair. That took a while.

We went to Magrabi Optical first. Andrew stayed outside with Rachel but told me it would be okay if I went in alone since they’d be sure to speak English.

I walked in and showed the man my glasses.

“I was wondering if you could fix these. My daughter twisted the arm.”

The man took my sad, little glasses. He stared blankly.

“Is broken.” He said, decisively.

“Well, yes. They are.” I agreed and then started using some big gestures because it was clear that English wasn’t going to cut it. “Can you [point to him] fix [spin an invisible screwdriver] them [point to glasses]?”

“Aiwa, aiwa!” said the man and then asked me to have a seat. I understood him because I say that in Arabic in primary all the time.

He fiddled around for a few minutes and then brought back my glasses, as good as new. He’d installed a new hinge.

“Bikam?” I asked.

“Repairs is free. But, something to consider: your lenses are cheap. Perhaps you would like to purchase these [random super-coated special expensive lenses]. Observe while I put them on this paper. Notice how there is a lot of glare with the bad lens but all is clear with [random super-coated special expensive lens]. Now see as I put them up to my eyes. The bad lens obstructs the beauty of your eye. The [random super-coated special expensive lens] allows everyone to see your beautiful eyes.”

“I don’t think I can afford those right now,” I said.

He stared at me blankly again. He had no clue what I had said. So he continued with his script, explaining the cost and the lifetime of the lenses.

His whole speech was completely scripted; if I strayed from the script his English was hopeless.

“Mish inharda,” I told him. “Not today” is the polite way of saying, “I don’t think so.”

“Okay, okay. You are under no obligation.” He said walking me to the door and holding it open for me, “Repairs is always free. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

It has been so long that I’ve experienced such wonderful customer service. I walked into the store completely expecting to be ignored, ripped off, or have them tell me it would take me 2 weeks (inshallah) to fix my glasses. None of those things happened. I was amazed.

My glasses are fixed. It was free. And life is good.


  1. And this reminded me of Josie totally twisting and ruining Craig Snow's glasses which were hanging on a chain around his neck when we were watching Uncle Bruce in Possum City USA a long time ago!

  2. Wow! That's great :) I'd have had the same suspicions. I'm so glad he was so nice (and as accommodating as he could be considering the language barrier)

    So, about visit teaching...?

  3. Sweet, that's always a nice surprise to find out something is free when you thought you would have to pay to get it fixed. Well actually I don't think that's ever happened to us, but it would be a nice surprise... ;)