Finding Stove Gas — By Committee

GasBottlesYesterday while cooking our “Friday Night Popcorn” our stove ran out of gas.  It is actually good that there isn’t “centralized natural gas” coming to the house, in my opinion, because that means it can’t be cut off, like electricity or water.  But, it does mean that every time it runs out we are in the middle of cooking.

So, I loaded up the gas canister and headed down the block to our friendly neighborhood gas bottle distributor.  Well, after greetings were exchanged he explained to me that he didn’t have any of the “right kind” of gas for me.  My bottle was orange.  He only had green at the time.  Each color indicates a different hose connection, so you have to get the right color.  They don’t fill the bottles locally, but just distribute them, so he couldn’t help me out.

He did indicate where I could get some “orange gas”, however.  So, I drove down that direction but I saw that this shop was out of orange as well. There must have been some distribution issue.   So, I headed over to the big street and rumbled around until I found a gas distributor there.  But he didn’t have any orange, either.

I tried asking if he knew of any orange gas distributors nearby.  At that moment another Sandbox man came over and started talking to me as well.  We exchanged greetings and then he signaled across the street to a guy riding his bicycle, who stopped, said a few things back, and then went on.  The second guy who was talking to the guy on the bike started talking and motioning across the street.  I had a difficult time understanding his Arabic, but even though I was a bit confused, after a few rounds of clarification I understood that I am supposed to follow the bicycle.

I drove across the street (dodging several fast moving vehicles as it was close to sunset and everyone was rushing to get home before they can breakfast together with their families) and started catching up to the bicycle.  He wove around a few buses dropping off passengers and then stopped in front of a shop.  I didn’t see any signs, but I stopped the car and followed him up to the shop.  Low and behold, it was a gas distributor (on a small scale)!  He had 1 orange bottle.  I started bracing myself for what he would propose as a price, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was even cheaper than the previous bottle refill I had purchased a few months ago.

All said I had 5 conversations and a lot of positive handshakes, welcomes, and wishes for peace.  And 1 orange gas bottle to go home with to finish cooking the popcorn!

– Mr. Rikshaw