2012 End Of Year Note

The end of 2012 coincides with the close of the first six months of existence  of By The Lemon Tree. As is traditional at this time of the year, I too will offer my reflections on our fledgling venture.

To sum things up, we are very happy. We are surprised to be sure but very happy and grateful that this little venture should be garnering interest and good reviews.

When I say we are surprised I don’t mean simply the fact that By The Lemon Tree should seem to appeal to visitors.  More unexpectedly, we are surprised by the quality of conversation we have been privileged to participate in with the majority of our guests. Other than a few exceptions, all our guests have inspired rewarding and worthwhile conversations that provided food for thought and entertained all present.

It is this unexpected aspect that makes running this guest house rewarding and fun and, in fact, that inspires us to want to cultivate this particular aspect of hosting guests from across the globe. Hence, from the 1st of January 2013, By The Lemon Tree will host drinks & canapés three times a week from 6pm till 8pm for all resident guests.

Naturally, no end of year note would be complete if it did not mention the amusing, the quirky, the mysterious or the down right Faulty Tower moment… and there have been many let me tell you. We fondly remember:

  • ·      A couple becoming hot and bothered under the collar as the miffed Carabiniere guarding the Italian embassy would not grant them access to spend the night on the premises
  • ·      The expatriate Jordanian back home to visit family after many years abroad where he also became a citizen of his new host country, who booked an entire week and never spent a night here.

And for the Faulty Tower moment.

One of the boilers stopped working on a Thursday evening s’il vous plait. As I ascertain that for some reason the boiler is not getting electricity I set about the usual checks: fuses, main boards, the lot. The engineer, good soul that he is at JD50 for a call out, was kind enough to show up within the hour to inform me that the boiler was getting no electricity. Thank you! What else can I get for my JD50? By this time we are joined by Naim our faithful if, as will be shown, not entirely trusty handy man whom after punctilious inspection promptly opined that the boiler was getting no electricity.

We are now three grown men stumped as to what to do next, blankly staring at a boiler that for the time being is just a hunk of scrap metal. It is Thursday evening; if we don’t fix the problem now there is no chance we can fix it on Friday which is the weekly holiday and we have a full house.

But for the hum and soothing warmth emanating from the other boilers, nothing stirs. As I am already thinking of all the wine I am going to have to give away if not fully reimburse upset guests who are going to be unable to take a shower for two days, the engineer is probably thinking about his buddies waiting for him at the shisha joint down town. But, God bless his heart, Naim is apparently really thinking what to do. It is at this point that with one arm flailing and the other sporting the index finger pointing to the sky, Naim, bless his heart, blurts out in an excited manner:

“Ah! But there is a switch!”

As both myself and the engineer turn to give Naim a piercing but quizzing look, we almost simultaneously ask him:

“what switch!”.

“Ah!” Naim exclaims again, as his face brightens with that aura that usually denotes the Eureka moment of genius. “I have had the electrician install a switch in case we should need to remove the boiler for maintenance!”

I was not inclined at that particular moment to ask about the rationale of his choice so I opted to blurt out instead:

“And where is the switch Naim?” there was an expletive in there too I am sure.

It is at this point that with the look of bewilderment reserved for someone asking the obvious, Naim declared that:

“The switch is in guest room number 4 of course”

Of course. Where else would one place an unnecessary switch if not in a guest room along side the light switch for the room?

Thanking those who have stayed with us till now and welcoming those who will stay with us in the future, we wish you all the best in the new year and we look forward to making By The Lemon Tree a safe haven from the dissonant cacophony of daily life and a warm refuge to rest after a busy day of work or fun.

See you all in 2013

Oh! And yes! We are all still alive and the world has not blown up... yet... 

Leah, Rula, Ticchia, Cece, Boxer, Puppy, Hyppo, Micia, On-On, Beyonce, Chloe, Maria, Kitten & ... yours truly

PS: Breakfast is still not served on Fridays