Meeting the Neighbors and The Muzzle

photo by: Kate Farquharson; https://www.flickr.com/photos/zigwamp/

photo by: Kate Farquharson; https://www.flickr.com/photos/zigwamp/

 Steph’s note: This post is a continuation of Converting to Celsius While Down UnderMy family and I had just arrived in Adelaide, South Australia to live for one year while I taught as an exchange teacher. 

Adelaide, Australia: January 2010

We had already met Diesel, the massive bullmastiff that lived next door — at least from the ferocious pulsating muzzle up. Since our arrival five hours earlier to our new home in Adelaide, whenever Kurt, the kids or I set foot in the back yard, Diesel rocketed straight up his side of the corrugated metal fence. While his incessant barking reverberated against the fence the entire time, we only saw his face at intervals. It was like watching a carnival game when a recurring animal head pops up in random holes as contestants try to smash it down with a hammer.

(cropped) photo by: Dan Ciminera; https://www.flickr.com/photos/danciminera/

(cropped) photo by: Dan Ciminera; https://www.flickr.com/photos/danciminera/

I wished I had a blunt implement after crossing the front yard and walking over to the next-door neighbors’ house to meet Diesel’s owners and ask to use their phone. Our power was out. Consequently, I hoped they could help me although we didn’t even know their names. We knew Diesel’s, however, since his barking and canine teeth-bearing appearances were always accompanied by a guttural, “Diesel! Shut the f**k up!” from the male head of the household — who was also reputed to be a drug dealer.

United Arab Emirates_flag

I was willing to take my chances with The Dealer. With a temperature of 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) outside and with no electricity or air movement inside, our new house felt like it could easily be annexed by The United Arab Emirates.

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