Well...........Dear Reader, as I'm sure you're aware, we have a total of 83 steps from the street to our little roof-top hovel, and we're responsible for the top 36 or so, I forget exactly how many are inside our stairway door. The rest are the responsibility of the other occupants of the building; the dentist and the surgeon. So, I either clean them myself or get someone else to do them for me. (A blog in itself!!!)
For the past year or so, we've had Joseph as a replacement for the hapless Rachad, who was as much use as man off! Joseph is employed, full-time, as a street cleaner, otherwise known as an "Amoun Man" after the name of the company which used to have the street-cleaning contract. He comes every Sunday (without fail, so far) and brushes and washes the stairs from top to the street at the bottom. He also, occasionally, runs one of the filthy floorcloths over the painted walls on the way back up the stairs, when he returns the bucket etc, leaving lovely dirty marks which NEVER come off! Bless him.
Well.........(again?).......... I have to say that I've noticed that the white mosaico (Colloquiallism, mosaico = the white cement with flecks of stone in, which is used all over Luxor on stairs and footpaths and some floors, as well. Pronounced "moz-eyeco") wasn't as white as it used to be. In fact, after inspecting it, as we had guests arriving, it was scruffy! Joseph was managing to mop it dirty instead of clean! I have showed him (time and time again!) how to do it effectively. Sweep first, then mop (hard) with the prepared solution in scalding water, of Gen-er-Al cleaner and either bleach or vinegar, and then dry immediately with the bundle of floorcloths provided. It's not rocket science!
Anyway, I knew I wouldn't be able to see to our stairs in time for the guests coming, so I was just a bit ashamed, but didn't say anything to them about it. They didn't mention it either, so it was a case of "Least said soonest mended!".
Obviously, the situation couldn't just be left as it was, and I would have to tackle the stairs sooner or later; it ended up being sooner! The trick is, when they are really stained with ingrained dust etc, is to clean them as if they were concrete, with an acid based cleaner. In other, here in Luxor words, neat vinegar, especially as it's only 1.5LE per bottle!
Here's the first flight of our stairs as you come up them:
Yes, tomorrow is another day, and I hope to get it finished before dinner time (that's lunchtime if you're POSH) as I'm back in demand as an actor in an Egyptian film production tomorrow afternoon. No idea of what I'm supposed to be, yet, but "a foreigner" will certainly be part of the job description. I hope I'm not playing a cleaner, eh?
I'll tell you more about it next time, Insh'Allah!