Schlemiel, Schlimazl, My neighbor probably thinks I’m crazy

I don’t want to think I have bad luck. In fact, despite life’s major ups and downs, I have a positive outlook. Have even been referred to as bubbly. Everyday I am thankful for my apartment, which my job pays for, which means I will never be homeless and burnt to death by the unforgiving Dubai sun. I am thankful for my family, friends, toes, eyes, coffee, books, chocolate. I am thankful for the ocean, the palm trees and fresh juice. The list is possibly as endless and infinite as the universe.

A friend posted to facebook: illustrations for words that do not exist in English, by Marija Tiurina  It’s awesome. Then she said as soon as she saw ‘Schlimazl’, she thought of me! A chronically unlucky person. Not so awesome.

This winter, I had bed bugs. It was awful. I had my apartment treated. Twice. Bagged all my knick knacks- bric-a-brac-everything into black garbage bags, after cleaning it all with rubbing alcohol. Then I put the black bags in my car. The heat is supposed to kill the eggs. I had Post-Traumatic-Bedbug-Disorder, sleeping on an air mattress instead of my bed, for an extra month after the treatment.

This winter I spent weeks shopping for the (expensive) gear I would need to hike the Great Wall. I don’t have winter clothing in Dubai; I needed thermals, a really warm jacket, boots and more. I packed it all in my carry-on…in case my checked baggage got lost. So smart! Until my carry-on suitcase, was stolen, at the airport. “Oh, it will turn up…it won’t be stolen! People wouldn’t do that in Dubai!” It was never seen again.

My neighbor probably thinks I’m crazy.

My ground floor hallway, with its perpetually propped open side door, near the garbage, attracts massive, fatty, monstrous cockroaches. Recently I saw three of these saunter in the side door. I’m in a horror movie fussing with the sticky key. When my door finally opens one of the giants slips in! I screamed so loud. I screamed so loud my cat hid in the bedroom for two hours. I screamed so loud my throat hurt. I screamed so loud that my neighbor poked his head out. I heard him in the hall “Is someone being attacked!” I didn’t answer. Embarrassed and still too panicked trying to find a weapon. I’m proud I managed to kill it with Windex.

Not too many days later, I am playing with my cat. He’s got that bushy tail, huge-eyes- hyper, pouncy look. He’s running back and forth, jumping at the wall. Skids under the kitchen table, pulls the computer plug, sending my computer flying, until it crashed. Hard. I screamed. Loud. This time like an angry mad woman. Then swore a bunch. The screen blinking a question mark.

In the morning I saw my neighbor for the first time ever. I wanted to tell him, ‘There was a huge cockroach and then my cat broke my computer. Okay. I’m not crazy Thank you for asking if there was an attack’.

More things, like having a super-exploded tooth, needing laparoscopic surgery, winning a phone that doesn’t work…also: banks. A string of years of stressful life events, are probably a few reasons my friend thought of me, when she saw “Schlimazel: a chronically unlucky person”

Sometimes it feels like one thing after another. Always some problem to solve.

When your friend tells you she thinks of you as a chronically unlucky person, you have to wonder about your luck or lack of luck. What is this luck thing anyways? Being born without all my molars?

Am I a negative person? I don’t think so. Is it random? Is it fate? Part of my karmic cycle? Do any of us deserve it? Do I need to read ‘The Secret’? You could read this blog and think I’m lucky with the travels and living in Dubai, the so-called lap of luxury. It’s all somewhere in between. In the end, the good luck and the bad luck both make good stories.


2 thoughts on “Schlemiel, Schlimazl, My neighbor probably thinks I’m crazy

  1. That sucks about your carry on being stolen, etc. Life does often seem like one big succession of annoyances. Trust me, you don’t need to read “The Secret”. That’s the last thing you need to do. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha. Good to know 🙂 Because I wonder about the thoughts equal reality concept. Of course I thought about making eggs before they appeared on the breakfast plate. But the world also has everyone else’s thoughts, like a theif’s thoughts,and other things too.


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