Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Desert 1 Bright Sparks 0

This is my first attempt at adding a pic to my blog...lets hope Ive figured out the small print.
For my first pic post Im using these two bright sparks and the result of their "lets take a short cut"....Bahrainis love short cuts.
This is out in Arad towards Amwaj I dont know much about driving in the desert but I do know, after watching these guys for a good 20 minutes, a few things I didnt know before...
1. Gunning the engine when your trapped in sand may send out and impressive spray reminicent of a brown rainbow...but the result is that you just dig yourself in deeper. I find it interesting that these two got out and surveyed the result of gunning the engine 3 times before giving up on it...hard to see from this angle but the jeep is quite deep...up to the floor boards on the far side.
2. Accusing each other of not watching out for soft spots doesnt do the situation any more good in Bahrain then it does in America...end result...still stuck.
3. The 4 men sitting off to the side out of the photo shot...were certainly enjoying the free show while they sipped tea and apparently were quite content not to lend a hand and sort out these two troubled souls.
4. About 30 secs after I took this photo...they gave up and started off across the apparently some men know when their beat...Desert 1...2 Bright Sparks 0.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spontaneous Survey of Mindless Idiots

Found myself sitting in the car waiting for my friend to finish her business and was casually watching cars going by...when I realized it was a golden opportunity to do a quick survey on the average driving activities of citizens of Hidd/Arad. I was parked in a prime location for it a parking lot next to the customers of Midway have to slow down to turn or wait for other motorists to get out of the I could get a fairly good luck at the Occupational Hazards operating a vehicle without thought or reason...believe me...after you see some of these "statistics" you will agree with that statement.

Now this was all done without too much thought and take it all with a grain of salt...and of course accuracy was not totally possible as a clear view was not always available and nationality is not always apparent just by looking at the face....but heres what I came away with.

I made a few quick for apparent nationality, seatbelt or not, talking on phone or not, child not in seatbelted etc, and one for general things like doing something else while driving.
I "surveyed" about 120 while I waited...this is what I got(remember accuracy isnt exact)

From 120 cars(there abouts)
1. At least 98 drivers would appear to be Bahraini...8 were asian...4 European(British?) 10 drivers unknown just by looking.
2. 114 drivers were not wearing seatbelts that I could determine. All 4 European were...2 of the Asian drivers were.
3. 32 people were talking on a mobile. All Bahrainis as far as I could determine.
4. 53 cars had children in them...all 53 cars had children either standing, jumping around, or sitting in either the front passengers lap or, in 3 occassions, in the drivers lap. One car had two children sitting in the windows of the car. One Bahraini father made all categories...believe this...he was not wearing a seatbelt...he was talking on the phone...and he had a child in his lap...not to mention two more jumping in the back seat. Once again, all these drivers were apparently Bahrainis.
5. In 74 cars I was able to observe the driver doing something that could possibly distract him or her from driving properly...such as reaching for something...looking in the visor mirror...turning the head and looking at persons in the back seat...eating and in two instances trying to read something. This does not include those on mobiles. 65 of these drivers were apparently Bahraini...the others were a mix of either the Asians or Unknowns.

This does not include the 4 near accidents that occurred for whatever reasons...I wasnt watching those drivers at that time so not sure what was going on. Not to mention the speed some of these drivers were going considering this was a a very congested area that needed caution and a soft touch on the accelerator.

Somebody else can do the math on these "statistics" but at a glance its obvious people are not to concerned with obeying traffic laws...the ones with apparently little concern for their children should be openly faced with this fact...the strange thing about all this was that there was a traffic cop right across the road writing up some report or another...not paying the least attention to the high number of traffic violations going on right under his nose. He didnt even stir at the heartbeat skipping squeal of brakes that accompanied the almost accidents. Hmmmm?

I was actually considering taking pics while I was sitting there...but I thought that might irk some people when they actually realized what I was doing...people are so touchy when you point out the Mindless Idiot living within them. I know what your thinking...Im not better than them...Ive got one in me too no doubt...Im fully aware of this fact...but I try not to let mine come out and play while Im me old fashion but I prefer to believe children learn from their parents...if I want my kids to be responsible drivers...Ive got to walk the walk...right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A New Deadly Game Being Played in the Games Room

I live in Hidd as I may have mentioned a time or two...that in itself is enough to give you some sleepless nights...some tightly wound individuals living throughout the alleys and by ways of this little town. Whatever faults I may find with it pales in comparison to the latest addition to my neighborhood...well actually two awhile back and one more recently. The two additions are not more than 10 steps from my door and their proximity to my house is now my number one concern...and is the cause for some more sleepless nights.

I might mention first that something I notice that occurs like clockwork in this neighborhood are the dozens of little shops that dot the streets...some of them are fairly fixed in what they offer but others seem to be confused about exactly what they have for sale or their actual purpose in life...and so go through quite a few changes until finally settling down to real business. Some of these shops never seem to find a purpose and are constantly going through one moment a laundry...then a few months later its all cleaned out and a phone shop in its place...only to be cleared out again and its filled with vegetables which spill out into the street. Its actually an interesting process which keeps one guessing as to what the next Big Idea might be and if it will benefit the neighborhood in anyway.

Now back to the two new additions...right across from my such shop has gone through a myriad of changes until apparently finding its true last! When it first went through the process of tearing down the old and setting up the gathered quite a crowd when games and a billards table were brought by a lorry and dumped right in the street awaiting its owner...who came running just in time to save them from possible destruction at the hands of inquisitive neighborhood kids. The kids were delighted...whooping and shouting at the new Taslyah, or Games Room. that was being opened right under their noses. No need trekking to Muharraq or Magic Island when you could spend your change on a few local games. So all looked the beginning. A few months later and it has changed once again...from a Games Room that was full of boys ranging from the very young to teens(or maybe older...who can tell)...into a HangOut for older boys...not only have they taken over the place they have introduced a new game apparently....huffing! For those that dont know...huffing is when you inhale chemical smells such as glue...paint etc...anything that gives you a feeling of being high. Most of these boys can be seen with kleenex or pieces of cloth forever gripped in their hands and constant "huffs" are taken. To describe these boys as walking zombies hardly paints and accurate picture. If that werent bad enough...some of these boys sit outside on the steps that are practically in the street and pester little kids. I recently witnessed a large boy grab a small boy and try to force him to huff on the kleenex jammed to his nose. My friend shouted at him to stop and we called the little boys father to rescue him. A lot of shouting...but no real action taken.

Its an outrage when these boys do not even try and hide what they are doing...anyone can see them...and everyone does...and nobody is doing a thing about it. No complaints to the lectures from the minbar on action taken at all. Presumably these boys are someones sons...yes? Where are their parents this the life these parents dreamed about for their boys? Have they given up all hope and just pray it will go away...or do they hope the boys themselves will eventually go away and take the burden of "raising" a drug addict off their shoulders? Huffing is a deadly addictive habit...will one of these boys have to die before parents...citizens...local authority, steps in to stamp it out and treat these boys for their addictions? Its only a matter of time...and I know what the outcome will be...if a death occurs...momentary outrage...a closing down of the Games Room...and all the other addicts will fade into the alleys and go huff somewhere else...but they wont stop....without help.

The other addition, which I find extremely awful as well, is a tobacco shop...right across from my house. Considering Hidd is quite conservative...Im surprised the darn thing is there at all...the more conservative Muslims view smoking as haram. Not only is it a disgrace and an eyesore...the boys next door include it now in their "territory" and so more boys gather and roost like ravens all along the steps. Cat calls and horseplay...and the occassional honking from an irate...or possibly scared, motorist ...who narrowly missed hitting one of the rough housing boys...I fear its only a matter of time here as well...until one of these boys are hit by a car...and then more outrage and I hope to God the motorist in not a Hindi or someone non Bahraini cause he will be dragged from his car and beaten no much anger and outrage that a "child" was run over...and yet no outrage for lives that are being lost to this addictive sometimes fatal past time.

I hope someone opens their eyes soon and takes action against this disaster waiting to happen. These boys need someone to show concern for them..they need guidance and treatment...what happen to the "good old days" in Bahrain when neighbors had genuine concern for each other and never hesitated to take action when it was needed? I miss those days...I hope they come back.

btw in case anyone wonders...I have complained several times to many different people here in Hidd...nobody wants to not "their" problem...I just hope none of their kids get taken in by the new game being played in the Games Room.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Smile...your on Coolreds camera!

So I was out riding shot gun in my friends car last nite. We were going along minding our business when out of the blue...or should I say the right hand side of us...a mini cooper came blasting past and did, what I refer to as, Sewing Up know...that quick and reckless darting from lane to lane with little regard for fellow road users. The fact that he came from the right side took us by he nearly clipped our front fender...but it didnt slow him down a he went...hopefully to hit a pot hole or something equally destructive to speeding mini coopers.

After getting our heartbeats back down to cruising levels...we were waiting at a traffic line with quite a long line behind us...we were first in line...until Ms. I Dont Have to Wait Like All You Ordinary Citizens came up smartly and parked herself right in front of us...then she had the nerve to back up so as not to get hit by traffic coming straight at her...and tooted at us to make room. My friend and I each helped the other put our lower jaws back in place...the Nerve!

Oh...lets not forget the sly dog that just lept out into traffic on the roundabout nearly sending us into the lorry on our other side...did he even notice the several sets of eyes popping in his rearview mirror as he sped blithely away? I think not.

So all in all...our short ride was frought with peril and near death at every turn...makes the days of riding donkeys just a little more appealing with every passing car trip....people can be whatever they are in real life...but put them behind the wheel of a car and they turn into...well...Mindless Blind here is what I propose to do in my effort to make the Blind see again...

I will forget for a moment the possibly physical reactions of taking peoples pics in a country that considers that an invasion of privacy...never mind that my personal space is being invaded by their 3 tons of metal...from now on I will keep my digital cam handy in my Jeep...any time I see someone driving..or an illegal manner I will take a pic of their car doing this deed. I will of course...not break traffic laws myself while doing this...both hands on the wheel and all that...but take pics I will. What I will do after that is still up for debate...but printing out pics and distributing them sounds good...making a website exclusively for traffic offenders is another good other words...shame these Mindless Blind Idiots into realizing that they in fact do not own the road despite who their father is or their nationality. Make them understand that their driving affects all of us...I prefer to get home to my kids in one would everyone we need to do something to wake up these people to the fact that a car is not a PS2 cant hit Re-Start when things go bad...if we all do a little..we can do alot.

anyone want to start a photography club with me...applications are available!!! sigh.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fun for all or Free for All?

There are lots of ways to have fun in dont have to look hard or dig long as your willing to pay for it. Not much in life is fun...especially if its things are not usually free...which means that free things are not usually all that fun. So when I looked in the GDN today and saw this....

The BD15 million revamped Adhari Park threw open its gates with an offer of free rides for the next three days starting tonight. Visitors will just have to pay a minimal entrance fee of 500 fils, before having access to all rides in the park, which was officially opened last night.

The first thing that sprang to mind was not Fun for all but Free For in chaos and mayhem. We all like free no doubt there will be plenty of families descending over the next 3 days on Adhari in order to avail themselves of the free ride offer...but heres the little drawback to such an offer...a majority of Bahrainis that I know...hell! a majority of Arabs I not understand the concept of standing in a line. Have you ever been standing in the line at the bank, Batelco, or name any establishment...waiting patiently for your turn behind others...when along comes one or more Bahrains(Arabs) that dont even hestitate when marching to the front of the line demanding service. Hostile looks from those standing quietly in the line seem to affect them not at all...or if they notice they give you the ..."Im Bahraini so like it or go home"...look. We've all been given that look at one time or another ...right? Have you ever been waiting patiently at a red light only for a Bahraini to skip the mile long line and cruise to the front and edge himself into the front of the line...even if it means sticking the nose of his car halfway out into traffic....raise your hand if its happened to you(two hands up here). If you protest at all with maybe a toot of the horn or just throw a dirty look their way...they reward you with a raised finger and a colorful burst of what I assume would not be invitations to dinner. Eventually you get tired of complaining as brainless objects usually do not respond to sarcasm or lectures on manners and how to stand in line and wait your turn.

So...all though my kids are clamoring to go...and I will take them eventually...I will not avail myself of the "free ride" offer as, without a doubt, the headache gained by trying to find a park...negotiating the throng of people...and then wait patiently for your turn only to be pushed back further and further in the line while "other" jump the queue, is just not my idea of a good time.

Come to think of it...maybe the next 3 days would be a good time to go to Seef...avoid the crowds that will be amassed at Adhari...woohoo.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Defining Moment...come on...we all got at least one!

So your sitting on your couch one day...wearing the same night clothes for 3 days...pigging out on chocolate and diet pepsi(nice combo) and rehashing your life and wondering where it all went wrong...then *ping*...just like the proverbial lightbulb over the comes to you...that defining moment that sent your straight and ordered life skidding down a slippery slope into chaos and oblivion...or something like that.

We all have them whether we are rich or poor, brilliant or mediocre, male or female...moments in our lives...more specifically One Defining Moment, in which we can point a finger and say "thats where it all went so terribly wrong." If we could go back in time to that moment and do it it differently...and get that much deserved outcome we were "supposed" to get if destiny, fate, the Hand of God...had not stepped in and robbed us of the life we planned on..would we? I know you are all thinking about your One Defining Moment right this you know what Im talking about.

Mine goes something like this...I was fairly brilliant in school...high marks without even trying(other kids hated me..go figure)...I had dreams of being either a writer or a vet...or both...why not both...All Creatures Great and Small etc( a very fine book btw) was written by a vet so I knew it could be My Life was all planned out...except for one hitch....dear daddy, of whom I have mentioned previously, would not fork over the money to send me to college...not only that, he wouldnt allow me to apply for scholarships or anything...said if I wanted a free education to go in to the military. So My Life took just a little side step...nothing too bad...I could recover and get back on track while doing my military stint....(no war anywhere at the time so that was a relief).

So off I went to the Air Force with The Dream still alive and well...boot camp was an eye openener...heat and humidity a drag...bugs the size of VW Beetles...Texas in otherwords...but it was all good. The advisor said I could enlist in college on the Air Force dime when I finished bootcamp and training no problem...a little patience and all would come about.

So there I was, enjoying life, preparing for my life as it were...then along comes that fate, destiny, Hand of God that we all get a taste of now and the form of pizza and pool. Pizza and pool you say? How can pizza and pool...two of America's happiest of combinations...send my life into a tailspin in which 20 years later Im still trying to recover...well, pull up a chair and I will tell isnt a pretty picture.

There is I was in my dorm studying for the next weeks big exam...Im not usually one to study but things are just a little more serious in the military...eveyone is rather new meaning to the words..."uptight" I like to be extra prepared. No need to give the instructor reasons to make his head swell with superiority more than it all ready does...the fact that his head hasnt burst yet is a testament to how tight his hat must be...keeping all things intact so to speak. study study(and all the while impatient to start my real job...studying to be a vet and or writer)...when there is a knock on the door. Now this knock should have the full sound effects of impending doom and ultimate tragedy to that knock was the beginning of the end for me...little did I know this when I walked across the floor and opened it up to destiny, fate, the Hand of God...or friend from down the hall. Impending doom comes in many disguises. "Lets go out for pizza and play some pool," she says. Ive got to study I tell her and go to close the door...she is insistent and tells me that with my brains why the hell am I wasting my time studying when I can be out having is very over rated I have since learned...sigh. Anyhow, with much persistence on her part...and not much defense on we go to meet my destiny....somebody please slow the track down...its going much too fast for me at this point.

I must digress just a bit here and just make this simple statement. I wish our lives were accompanied by soundtracks just like movies in the cinema...I mean, really, would I have been so easily led to my ultimate downfall if the soundtrack was playing something appropriately gloomy and just a little dangerous sounding...maybe...who knows...we dont always listen when we should anyhow.

So, there I was...enjoying pizza and playing pool....The Dream playing like elevator music in the back of my mind as it had been doing since I was around 12 when I realized I liked writing and writing liked me just fine...not too mention animals were pretty cool too...and much more dependable and predictable than humanbeings so to combine the two seemed like fate...ha ha(cue the laugh track here....sigh). It was at this point that I noticed the man playing the table alone beside mine was noticing me noticing him. He wasnt bad looking....good dresser...clean cut and groomed just looking back all these years I wonder about it does one know when a person looks ok on the outside but harbors a beast...a black heart...within his chest? What self defense do we have against destiny, fate, the Hand of God when it comes wrapped up in the form of a good looking man with a soft spoken voice and enough charm to make Mother Theresa blush? Thats right...we have no chance at there I was playing pool...eating pizza...having fun while all the while dreaming of My Life and what it should be....when destiny walked up to me and asked if I wanted to play a game of pool...and I said yes(funny enough there was no dipping of the heart, that skipped beat we sometimes get when we feel something isnt right... then as there always is now when I think of that moment)....and the rest, as they say....was written. More on that later....

Friday, April 18, 2008

One Man's Junk...?

I have a small flat...about the size of a pro basketball players right foot...myself and my 5 kids enjoy a certain amount of freedom of long as that movement is restricted to turning in circles...or the rare times we may need to change our minds about something...we often are forced to step out onto the patio if two or more of us are changing our minds at the same other flat is small...dinky...miniscule...a shoe box.

The funny thing about all this as that it seemed huge when we moved in 11 years ago...the kids were running throughout the flat screaming and having a good time...I was imagining curtains and carpet and painting the walls all sorts of lively was heaven. Heaven compared to the one room we all shared in my mother in laws house up to that was a veritible mansion...and it was ours....of course the kids were little then and one still on the way...not to mention the fact that we had no furniture....not even a fridge or clutter the place up. It was an empty mansion....but it was ours.

Fast forward 11 years later and the kids are all grown up just about...elbow room has been reduced to eyebrow room...and even though we did chuck out a great deal of junk when we tossed out the "man" that owned the junk...its still pretty darn crowded...which makes me wonder....where the hell did all this junk come from?

I have things stuck away in corners...up on cupboards...under the other words...every nook and cranny has something stuck in taking up space...most of that stuff, I have no idea where it came from...and worse yet....I dont know why Im keeping it. Every few months I do a clean which I take everything out...evaluate its potential as useful in the future...and either chuck it or keep it...most of the stuff gets chucked but a few months later the flat is stuffed again and the process needs to be repeated.

A short list of things I always have stored somewhere which I dont use and dont know why I always assume I will...

1. Plastic bags...I have enough plastic bags at any given time to cover my Jeep...which is good since this will afford it some protection from the Mindless Idiots that are lurking around every corner...but I rarely use plastic bags again...except maybe to put trash in...what I end up doing is putting all my "trash bags" into one bag and throwing the lot away...but next month I will have accumilated a new collection...sigh.

2. Perfume bottles...for some reason I save empty perfume bottles. They serve absolutely no purpose except some of the shapes are interesting and I like to admire them...up to a point tho. I recently tossed 12 empty bottles...pained my heart to do so but toss I did.

3. Boxes....Im a box freak....there I said it now maybe I can get that much needed help. I love boxes...small, big, medium...doesnt matter...and empty box has sooo much potential to be used again and again. When I buy something or someone brings something over in a box...Im less interested in the contents then in the box and all its possibilities. Ive often bought unneeded things just cause the box it came in was so interesting...said I needed help didnt I? Problem with boxes is that I pile them up and gloat over them and never ever use them now and then I have to give myself a good talking too and convince my box lover greedy side that some boxes have got to go...after all...the flat is only so big..and there are always more boxes to be had...ha ha.

4. Dishes....I cant remember the last time I walked into a store and bought a dish...and yet my kitchen is stuffed with dishes. Most of them I dont recognize as being mine...but unless my dishes are mating or mutating they are coming from somewhere, Now and then my neighbors will send a dish the number of dishes in my cupboards I would harbor a guess that my neighbors cupboards have been emptied and need filling up I send all the dishes I dont recognize upstairs...they take the ones that are theirs and the rest come back to me. Who those remaining dishes belong to I have no clue. Anyone missing a dish?

5. Now the one thing I have lots of but have no plans of getting rid of but are taking up the most space are my books. I feel about my books the way some NRA members feel about their guns. You will have to pry them from my cold dead fingers and all that....for real. I happen to have at this moment more books unread then read...which for me is something of a phenomenon...very rare that a book goes unread for any length of time once in my possession...however, my newly acquired life as a single working parent has robbed me of my much loved reading time...will have to work on that but to get rid of even a single book is akin to asking me to give up a arm or a leg...I could do it but life would be hard and I would always dream of that phantom limb(book) that I no longer have. If my books reach to the ceiling and we are squeezing ourselves through disorganized piles of books throughout the flat...I still dare one of my kids to suggest getting rid of them to make more space....I would suggest that child consider moving out if my idea of heaven was becoming unbearable...for real.

All of those plus so many other things are constantly being sorted and thrown out (except the books) on a monthly basis...I fill up the front door area near the street with all my cast offs...funny thing cast offs become someone else's new treasure for no sooner have I tossed it out the door then someone comes along and rifles through the pile and hauls much of it off. I hope they enjoy all that "junk" as much as I did...Im glad it found a new home...I would hate to imagine my boxes (sniff sniff) in a trash mountain some day...what a waste....on second thoughts maybe I should save those boxes just a little longer...excuse me...Ive got to go check the front door real quick.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Urban myths are true?

Its kind of funny when we make off hand remarks that seem fairly rediculous and without meaning at some point in our lives...only to realize those remarks have returned to bite us in the ass and remind us...that off hand remarks are not always rediculous and without meaning.

Last June I walked into a Daihatsu dealership...with the intention of buying a red something...didnt care what it was to tell the truth but I knew I wanted it to be red. I wanted a red vehicle...had wanted one for a long time...dont ask me why...just a bee in my bonnet. I told my best friend..."if there is a red jeep available, Im getting it."...ha ha...there was one...only one...and it was on sell...woo hoo my lucky day had arrived!....sigh.

While the dealer was writing up the paperwork, my friend and I sat inside and admired all the nifty little gadgets etc...and she kept remarking about how come "this flashy beautiful red jeep was still not sold...even though it was nicer than the other colors?" Heres where the off hand remark came in...I said..."well you know that red colored vehicles are involved in more accidents than any other color...its been proven." Now I actually have read that somewhere but I cant remember whether it was something statistical or something someone said cause they hate red cars...I dont know...but it seemed pretty plausible at the time. Immediately she jumped from the jeep and forbid me to buy it..."how can you buy a red jeep knowing its going to get in a crash?" she shrieked. I laughed...ha ha ha...(oh how I laughed)...its just a myth...dont chances are just as good as you in your green car...its all the same....sigh(again).

So....10 months later and Im starting to think it was something statistical that I read about red cars...either that or people just have it out for my jeep and want to see it begin its next life as a lead paperweight post haste. I have had white cars...even an ugly yellow jeep once that all ready had quite a lot of damage on it when I got it...and none of them suffered what this poor red jeep has suffered during the times that I owned them.

Here is a short list of indignities suffered by my red jeep at the hands of the uncaring public...or as I like to refer to them....Mindless Blind Idiots.

1. Within 2 short days of having it...while parked innocently outside my received a unwarranted assault by an unknown assailant that resulted in a rather large dent on the front passenger side area...between the hood and wheel...had to be done on purpose as it was on top more or less...couldnt have been done by a careless passing car....sigh.

2. Was forced to play tag with some Mindless Blind Idiot giggly girls that assumed erroneously that a RedFlashy Jeep must be owned by a Hot Guy that wanted to flirt with two Mindless Blind Idiot giggly girls...which resulted in me being side swiped by two equally Mindless Blind Idiot macho boys that had seen the previously mentioned idiot girls and were trying to get in on the jeep was the collateral damage in this "game of giggly fun"...sigh.

3. A very large bus driven by a Mindless Blind Idiot man decided that arrows on the road and traffic signals pointing the way were of no use to him when what he really wanted to do was turn left ....even though he was in the right lane...apparently it never occured to Mindless Blind Idiot man that while he could disregard all arrows guiding him forward and turn left anyhow...other drivers might not have the ability to read his empty head and react accordingly to avoid the unavoidable ....once again...poor red jeep was assualted.

4. While recently arriving home...ready to put my lovely innocent red jeep to bed for the night...Mindless Blind Idiot man decided that alleyways were shortcuts and looking before darting out of said alley was for wussies and the faint of heart...

resulting in a further assualt to my rapidly disintergrating red jeep caused by those "driving" on the road and others who think parking lots are real life versions of bumper cars. I have not had time to take my poor jeep to the garage for the other accidents...when a new one pops up to add to the damage. Keeping all these accident reports separate is becoming quite a chore. Not to mention the continued drama of trying to convince Mindless Blind Idiots that while they are Bahrainis and, yes, this is their country...driving their cars as if they are playing the latest PS2 game does not qualify one as a Formula One driver...nor does it exempt one from obeying simple traffic rules.

What is it about red that attracts people like moths to a my flaming red jeep hostile to the eye of an otherwise law abiding fellow driver....does my jeep cause a rage similar to the affect a red snapping cape has on a single minded raging bull? Am I a matador waving my red jeep in the face of usually placid cows(drivers) and so the fault is really mine for having the nerve to want to own a red vehicle in the first the future I fear there will be a traffic law that states...article 567 of the traffic penal code...if you are in an accident in which a red car is one of the parties involved...automatically the owner of the red car is at fault and libel for all charges...ouch! Its coming...just wait.

My beautiful red jeep of less than one has a full ring of damage the encirlces the entire vehicle...there is not one spot left without a ding..scratch...dent...or just outright body damage. Im sure my jeep still loves me...but is probably wishing I had gone to Honda that day.

The "myth" of the red vehicle seems to be alive and, unfortunately, very true...this could be the reason why...when Oprah gave a parking lot of new cars away to her audience...there was not one single red car in the bunch...Oprah was not taking any chances of being the defendent in a which the free red car she gave to a greedy audience member was involved in an altercation with a Mindless Blind just cant escape the fact that sometimes...urban myths are true....sigh. Im considering getting a bicycle...not red of course....sigh.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cultural Brainwashing of the Arabs

In todays GDN it mentions that Dar Akbhar Al Khaleej Press and Publishing House chairman Anwar Abdulrahman attended a recent conference entitled Bahrain University's second International Conference of Language, Literature and Translation in the Interdependent World. Mr Anwar said...."young Bahrainis must learn the language of success if they want to get on in the world"... and that "they should see mastering English as the key to succeeding in the global arena, rather than a form of cultural brainwashing."

I dont agree with Mr Anwar on a great many things at but I do have to agree this time. I have heard often from Bahrainis that learning the English language is tantamount to turning up their noses at their own language and culture. I dont understand how they come to that conclusion because every extra language you know is an asset that many people wish they could gain in the business world. The business market is a global entity but English is the official business voice and in order to do well in it you just have to speak the lingo. Bahrainis are doing themselves a great disservice by not attempting to learn English well enough to use it to prosper in a predominantly English language environment. You are basically holding yourself back and with the cost of living being what it need every advantage from the moment of birth.

There he learned the importance of books in helping to master the language and he urged people to read at least one book a week. Not very often do I hear a Bahraini encouraging the reading of books...and I dont say that just to be mean or critical..I seriously do not hear that enough over here. Reading seems to be a lost and forgotten pastime among many many Bahrainis and I cant agree with him more on this want to get ahead in have to read. It teaches grammar, spelling and improves vocabulary with every sentence read.

Some people in Bahrain often shout for their rights, but rights have to be earned, said Mr Abdulrahman.
"We will have no future if we don't take this life seriously," he said in his 19-minute speech.
"There is opportunity in this country, but are you willing to work for the opportunity, or just sit and criticise?"

That was sort of thrown into the middle of the article but its worth mentioning...todays Bahraini youth are growing up fairly lazy...believing that, while they dont have a silver spoon in their mouths. they damn well should. I hope there were many ears listening and paying heed to Mr Anwar speaking at this conference.

"Education cannot be taken lightly. Education is the best thing you can have and you ought to be very, very serious. This is absolutely true but, again, its hard to convince todays Bahraini kids that education is so damn important when their own parents are complaining the govt should give them this or that "just because they are Bahrainis" does that encourage these kids that their education is something valuable and without it...they are left scratching for a living just like so many others out thier own parents most likely?

Mr Abdulrahman said the only reason the ideologies of capitalism, socialism or communism failed in the Arab world was because people did not take life seriously.
He pointed to the productivity of the Japanese, British and European workforces during an average eight-hour day, compared to those in the Arab world that lag behind.
"We are backward and we should admit we are backward, but the key is how to march forward," said Mr Abdulrahman.
That is the of the most frustrating things I have learned about Arabs is that they revel in the "glory days of old". What the hell good does it do you to remember the past if it doesnt teach you anything about how to deal with the future? Who the hell cares if you have a Maserati if you just keep it parked in the garage and talk about it all the time? Maserati's are made for driving and driving is made for living...and there is only one way to go...foward.

Mr Abdulrahman said parents also had a big role to play in encouraging their children to pursue life-long learning. Again we agree...but parents have a very real adversary when it comes to encouraging their children to learn...its called the Ministry of Education...(cue sinister music here). The govt school system does not encourage one of the basic fundamentals of learning...reading.

Mr Abdulrahman also expressed concern about poor reading skills in Arabic in Bahrain, but said part of the reason was because there were not enough good Arab books published. Here is where we do I said before...the Ministry of Educations teaching policy does not encouage reading to these kids. My own have been in this school system for over 14 years...they do not have book reports due on research in the library...hell, no trips to the library. No encouragement for reading just for the pleasure of reading...nothing. Not enough good books!! What the hell kind of excuse is that...that sounds like a lame way to blame something other than the governmental system that is churning out kids that have no interest in reading books whether in their own language or any other.

Until the teaching standards in Bahrains government schools change into something Bahranis can be proud of...a system the encourages reading, whether for academics or for pleasure, Im positive Bahrains will always suffer from this malaise and lethargy when it comes to finding enthusiasm for learning. Parents have got to do their work from an early age...and the teachers in the classrooms have go to do their part in school...but the government has got to step up and change the whole concept of learning into something dynamic and exciting....otherwise, apathy and being considered "backward" is just a short step away from illiterate.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Pedophile Prophets Latest Conquests

I've never been one to suffer the ignorance of people whose soul objective in life is to spew hateful words and create conflict and division where ever and when ever possible...I especially hate it when it concerns religion and prophets. Any religion and any prophet....

Now, as a Muslim, I must admit that the prophet of Islam holds a special spot in my heart but that doesnt mean I hold other prophets any lower in my eyes...they are all highly esteemed men who dedicated themselves to accomplishing a near impossible job....getting people to change what they believe...if you have ever tried to change someones mind about something they have spent a lifetime believing then you might understand, at least in a small way, what these men were up against. Throw religion into the mix and the "nearly impossible" part comes into play.

When it comes to the age old game of "my religion(prophet) is better than yours" ...history proves time and again it can be a dangerous game for the losers., those lovers of all things concerning bloodshed and death, have lost the lust for actual physical battles in the war on religion...they mostly stick to using words(which can be just as powerful and devasting)...and only battle and kill now...not in the name of God...but for more important idols, such as oil and "sacred land."

So it truly shames me for my fellow man(and I use the term lightly) that the war over religions has not only fallen to the written word but that slander, false accusations...and just down right evil is the best the "other side" can come up with. I say if you feel your right for whatever reasons...use your religion/prophet to prove yours is right...if all you've got as an "argument" are wild accusations and slander against the "enemy's prophet" then why even enter the fray to begin with? You just sound like a petulant child that has resorted to name calling when you realize the battle for strength or reason is lost.

Recently, once again while persuing a post about hijab(sigh), what started out as a fairly sound discourse quickly fell into the usual slanging match that basically boiled down to the "argument of last defense"....your prophet was a "bloodthirsty pedophile that rampaged and pillaged and created Islam just for his own sexual perversions."...or something along those lines. When I see this phrase...or something like it...pop up into the debate...I know hope for open dialogue is gone...along with reason...and there is no need to go on. You cannot debate with such closed minded better to concede your "loss" and leave the scene of the accident...the accident being the complete inability of some to understand the completely basic assumption that while your religion and prophet maybe the "only right one" for may not be for someone else. You know...that whole live and let live thing.

I'm currently in a little war of words with one such close minded was going along pretty good until he made the his last desperate claim for superiority....first he claimed that the Quran was ...."pornographically evil ...and then...., "Who knows how many other six years old girls Muhammad ogled and then, three years later, f*cked, as the old, dirty arsehole he was." ....when I read this(and a few other comments) I knew the battle of reason was need to continue....but I left one last post...hoping he had time to reconsider his stance and come up with something a little more intellectual and worthy of is what I posted.

"pornographically evil quran"

Wow! I have to admit...havent heard it described quite like that. Thank you for a new addition to my growing list of colorful adjectives thought up to describe an otherwise colorless book(the book itself...not the contents). I know Islam haters hate the tit for tat kind of thing when it comes to arguing but correct me if Im wrong...doesnt the bible have quite a few explicit sexual scenes played out quite vividly for all and children to read...I admit its been awhile since I read the Bible...but I do remember the giggles we use to get as children reading certain passages. I do believe the passages describing Mary's eventual pregnancy could be read as rape considering the words used and the "overshadowing" that was happening to her. Oh my tender young ears could barely handle such pornographic scenery played out in the Sunday classrooms of my youth.

At any rate, you said, "Who knows how many other six years old girls Muhammad ogled and then, three years later, f*cked, as the old, dirty arsehole he was." Well considering you just claimed there was enough material written on him to condemn him to 100 death sentences...I dare say if he made it a habit of taking young girls for marriage and or into his bed...wouldnt there be lots more written on just that subject. I would venture to guess there would be whole books written about the "dirty ole arsehole"...and his harem of 6 year olds...yes? I can only surmise scribes everywhere would have kept the breathless public waiting impatiently for the next installment of The Pedophile Prophets latest sellers one and all.

I'm curious as to why when Christians fought and killed(massacred) any old non Christian(whats that number again...millions...billions..hmmm) of any religion or country etc...they are doing the "Lords Work"...when a Muslim does battle in order to defend himself against his enemies and then ultimately wins that struggle...he is a horrific murderer? The Jews are wiping out Palestinians from existence...but thats ok....Mohammed allows a tribe of Jews that reneged on a treaty to be judged by one of their own...who sentences them to death(much to their obvious surprise Im sure)...and he is considered a horrific murderer? "A sadist"? hmmmm care to clarify that point. A rapist...who did he rape?

"holds perfectly good people under his demonic spell."

I a billion people currently on the planet...not to mention the uncountable numbers that have passed since his time have all been duped into believing one mad mans ranting and all so he could get his leg I realize men since Adam have been consumed with the idea that all women are there for the sole purpose of providing sexual entertainment and relief for their self inflated sexual egos...but to foster the belief that a entire religion that has lasted well over 1400 years is based solely on the sexual deviances of just one thats something only another man could think up. Kudos to you for imagining that many men...and women for that matter...would consider one mans fantasy life worthy of their worship and practice. If it were that easy to dupe the population into believing such a thing...I dare say we would have a hell of a lot more "religions" based only on the sexual perversions of just one man. Your a man(Im assuming) know very well its a lingering fantasy every man has...complete sexual compliance by a harem of willing women...and all cause "God says so" completely sublime.

I find it interesting that Mohammed never ordered his people to worship him...seems only reasonable if the man had such an inflated ego that he "still holds perfectly good people under his demonic spell"...but then again...Jesus never said that either...but he's got billions of people worshipping one man had such complete power over his followers that to utter the words "worship me" would have been seen as the next "logical" step(yet he never dared utter such a thing)...and the other man who continually preached to his followers about One God and only woship Him...ends up being burdened with the very thing he spent his life trying to change..."the best laid plans...." and all that.

Ok...then...what else you got. ;)


So...what do you imagine he will come back with...or will he? I find most of these sort of "debaters" throw out slander like this like handgrenades...throw and run...and dont look back to see what damage you might have caused...if any. The more advances we make in technology...the further back we fall in intellect and reason...but thats just my opinion.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pedophiles are our friends...part 2

In todays GDN there is mention of a lecture given by Microsoft director of legal and corporate affairs for the Middle East and Africa Dina Founes> According to her lecture there are no laws in favour of children that fall victim to sexual abusers that entice them over the net.

"Bahrain should introduce laws to protect children from online predators," said Ms Founes.

Which is all well and good and should be done immediately...but is she aware that the punishment meted out to actual sexual predators right here in Bahrain arent all that tough I cant imagine these cyber laws having much affect...if any.

"Children are really vulnerable, especially over the Internet and it is very important for us to be able to track the offenders.

Im curious if sex offenders in Bahrain are tracked and if anyone in the court system actually cares that children are indeed vunerable....and once abused can be set on a course of self-destruction for life.

"Predators are really sophisticated in targeting children and they know how to get to them psychologically.

That pretty much holds true for all predators...cyber or otherwise...anyone care to inform the Bahrain authorities about this revelation.

"It is becoming a major issue and we have to be aware that there are not sufficient regulations to tackle these types of offences, especially towards children."

All the regulations in the world dont mean a damn thing unless those in charge enforce them and punish the offenders in a manner that discourages reoffending...and others from taking that first step towards a child in the first place.

Ms Founes said only Saudi Arabia and Dubai had cyber crime laws and urged more countries to sign up to a Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which has laws specifically to handle the abuse of children.

So as good as that sounds...the laws "protecting" women arent enforced(those derived from the Quran) with much enthusiam in those signing up for some council or another hardly seems worth the bother.

"The Internet is a gift that we have but we need to get the proper regulation to deal with it," she said. "It helps to have these laws because it helps in dissuading people.

Children are a gift from God...but we need to give them the proper protection...and when that fails we need to punish the offenders with diligence and enforcement. Anything less is criminal by the court system itself.

"If nobody introduces these laws people feel they might get away with it."

Sounds like the pedophiles and rapists in Bahrain pretty much feel like they can get away with it considering the light sentences handed down.. then most likely cut in half....and then they walk...without even having to be registered as a pedophile or rapists as in America and other places.

Bahrain use to be a fairly safe haven for children to play...letting your child out of your sight was never as fearful a choice made as it is today. By the look of the number of children still playing without an adult presence and by the very young age of some of these children...I would have to assume that Bahraini's have not yet realized the enormity of the danger they have placed their children in. I blame this on the little attention these pedophile cases are given in the media and then the light sentences handed down...its almost like an afterthought in the news....

Parliment squabbled again today....traffic accidents tied up traffic as usual...and, oh yeah, a pedophile was released from jail after serving less then half of his sentence...which wasnt that much to begin with.

Unless and until this country...this supposed Sharia Court the proper amount of attention this situation deserves...our children will continue to be the playthings of pedophiles and rapists from one side of Bahrain to the many children have to suffer the loss of their innocense before people wake up and pay attention?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A foot in both worlds.

I have found through my 39 years on the planet, 21 one of which were spent in Bahrain, that by and large Americans arent all that informed about things unAmerican I mean anything that falls even slightly outside the American culture(if that can actually be defined). This is never more clear than when your an American that has been abroad...has experienced another culture etc...and maybe even acquired some of that culture...and then take it home to meet the family and friends. Having a foot in both worlds sounds a lot more physically painful then one might be led to expect....but its nothing compared to the emotional and mental pain...that takes on a whole new meaning.

When I first stepped foot on Bahrain dirt over 20 years I was a very young...very naive...very white girl that didnt have a clue about what misery she had just signed herself over too. Granted life in Bahrain has not been a 24/7 sweat filled muscle clenching pain fest...but its had its moments. Forgive me if my rants are just a tad too ranty still about Bahrain...the wounds are still healing.

Anyone that has walked in only one pair of shoes their whole life would not understand what it means to have a foot in both worlds...the two worlds Im talking about are...the world of America/American...and the world of Islam/Muslim(and by proxy Arab as the two are hardly separated in thought or action). When I first arrived here I was as American as you can get...plopped right down into about as far from that as you can be and still be on the same planet. I was not in Cultue Shock...I was in Culture Meltdown...Midwest America does not prepare you for Mid East living.

Within a few years I was hijabbed ...converted...was "influenced" into changing my style of manners(well those can always use some improving)...basically, through time, the Americaness of me became less...the Arab influence became more. Many will say its a good thing...and in many ways it is a good thing as Arabs have a lot of cultural traditions that are superior to ones we in America might have....but at the same time, I lost a lot of myself along the way. My hesitation to change myself in bigger ways...eventually became a downright refusal to change myself in even little ways. The breaks had to be applied...slow the horses down for Pete's sake...before I was led right over the cliffs edge...into oblivion....

Over the years when I visited America I was rather caught between those two worlds. I now dressed like an Arab...but was white as eyed to this caused a lot of Americans to assume I was Syrian...maybe Jordanian...something "other" than American...and my ability to speak english fluently was always cause for surprise. People sometimes spoke to me slowly and deliberately and usually with a rather loud if my assumed inability to understand english was on account that I was deaf or something. Assertions that I was, in fact, American as they were ....never seemed to ring compeltely true...because I eventually came to realize that I wasnt really like them...not anymore. I had spent enough time in the Middle East to have acquired...even if by force...many Arab habits and thinking...I had taken them in without even realizing it because everyone else was doing or thinking pretty much the same. Its only when I arrived in America that I realized how different I had become. Others could feel it and see it too. So this left me in a very awkward position...I wasnt Arab enough for Bahrain...still American in the eyes of the masses...still not quite a full blooded Muslim cause, as a non Arab I could never be considered "truly" Muslim...and when I went home I didnt feel like a full blooded American...cause I had too much Arab "in" me to make me feel if I didnt this world or that. So even when I went home I felt like a stanger in my own country.

So now, circumstances have changed...I am planning on going home once again...but without the confines of a hateful marriage forcing me to endure life in a certain way...without the hijab on my head which caused so many of my fellow Americans true consternation and instantly labeled me "unAmerican"....without the Arab name and without many of the Arab habits that I have recently shed believing they are not really me...and Im a hypocrite to go on pretending they are. I will be setting foot down in my own country as Me...or at least the me Ive become in this past drama filled year...a year which has changed me once again...into something neither Arab nor American..something neither Muslim nor non Muslim...something quite different and unique from any of will be the first time I experience being an American in America as me(since I left at 18 and my father...well thats another story u might all remember).

To say Im nervous hardly describes say Im scared to death doesnt even touch say I can hardly wait...well...lets just say...Im ready ...if America is....more on that later.