Saturday, October 31, 2009

This is the embassy calling…

This morning I was having a post-wake-up nap with baby Miriam while Andrew did homework and Rachel played with Grandma. Rachel had woken up earlier than she has been and came to snuggle with us in bed. Snuggling in bed with two babies makes for a lot more crowding than snuggling in bed with one baby and I was so tired that I eventually got sick of protecting Miriam’s head and kicked Andrew and Rachel out of bed. Rachel’s idea of getting too close to Miriam is a lot more lenient than my idea of getting too close to Miriam.

Andrew left his cell phone on the dresser. I knew that he had set up a back up alarm in case Rachel failed (she’s our primary alarm clock). We were expecting our home teachers sometime between 10:00 AM and noon and we didn’t want to be caught sleeping at 10:30 AM. Sometimes it’s just nice to brush your teeth before company stops by.

When Andrew’s phone beeped at 9:45 AM I rolled over and stared at it, trying to figure out how to turn off the blasted alarm. Then I realized that there was a phone number on the screen and quickly tried to wake up enough to answer the phone without sounding like I had just woken up.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Hello,” said a foreign voice on the other end, “This is the American Embassy calling. I need to check out your apartment. Your address is __________ but there are two apartments with the same number on your street. Which one is yours?”

“Ummm…” I stalled, sounding rather idiotic. Why was the American Embassy calling? Why did they want to check out our apartment? How do they even know our address? And why am I not surprised there are two buildings with the same number on our street? “Let me give the phone to my husband.”

He agreed to meet the mystery embassy worker outside. Neither of us were very sure what was going on and it was a little nerve-wracking while Andrew hurried out of his pyjamas and into street clothes so that he could meet the inspector (or whoever it was) from the embassy.

In the end it turned out to be a rather innocuous phone call and visit. We had forgotten that our home teacher is second-in-command at the embassy, so to speak, his position being right under the ambassador. To us, he’s just Brother Tueller. It had been his driver calling. Brother Tueller was busy running a booth at the embassy Halloween party and his driver decided to do a test run to our apartment.

He met up with Andrew and said he’d be back with Brother Tueller a little later. Sure enough, Brother Tueller rang our doorbell about an hour after the driver had stopped by and we had a nice visit while the driver and security escort waited outside our apartment.

Still, it caused us some momentary panic. What would you think if the American Embassy phoned and wanted to check out your apartment?


  1. I'd think it was a crank call and hang up. Oops, sorry Brother Tueller!

  2. This is a great story. Fun stuff.

  3. Sorry, Nancy! It made me laugh! But of course I'm not living in Cairo!
    Do you know that in Belgium, when you move into a new house/apartment, the town council sends a policeman to check your living quarters and to ask questions about your family? It's quite an experience!