Sunday, May 31, 2009

Do I Have Your Royal Word on That?

Imagine my surprise early last week when I received a call from someone, while pretty damn famous and well known here in Bahrain, is not someone that generally calls me. How she, or should I say her office, got my mobile number remains a mystery...but considering who she is Im sure thats not much of a problem...anyways...

Now heres the thing...her office called Apparently it came to their attention that I could use some help in my life at the moment as a single mom of 5 kids (important that they are Bahraini kids I might add) dealing with a crappy hand at the moment...remember...THEY called ME. Just so Im clear on that.

Now the lady on the phone was very nice...taking some information from me...asking about our situation etc. No problem. The generosity of strangers has saved me more than once the phone call itself didnt surprise me but the person calling did (or who she represented any how)...defintely did.

I was still getting over my shock at discovering who was calling me when she signed off with a promise to "help me" and would "get back to me shortly".

Now heres my question. I will not name names here so this is a general sort of question...but when it comes to "get back to me shortly" does that mean different things to different people? How short is shortly?

One week later and I havent heard back from this office. Now ordinarily I would take these sort of phone calls and offers of help with a grain of salt because, believe me, Ive received offers of help, jobs, money...whatever with seemingly the utmost of sincerity...only to discover later it didnt mean as much to them as it meant to me. You would have to be someone desperately needing something to understand that feeling of powerlessness at obtaining that "thing" you need...regardless of what it is. Invariably those offers, while received by me with abundant hope and thankfulness, ended up dwindling away like so much dust. Which resulted in the person offering the help to suddenly be unavailable to my calls and avoiding me when they seen me coming...ok...whatever. Im not going to hang it over someones head if they 'CANT help me...but I surely do wish people wouldnt make the offer if they have no intention of following through....

Hope dashed is worse then no hope at all sometimes...believe me...I know.

Anyhow, back to this I understand that this ladies office is definitely in a position to help me. Its not a question of money or ability on their side...a simple phonecall or recommendation on my behalf and...walah!! ...people would be falling all over themselves to jump and do as really would have to be that easy. Some people just have that certain sense of "royalty" about them...if you know what I mean.

Sooooo....Im sort of wondering why a week has gone by and no word back. I might sound greedy and impatient to some out there reading this...and I suppose considering who the office represents I cant help but get a few stars in my eyes about the possibilities (Ive heard in the past the sort of "help" offered by just such offices)...but really...THEY CALLED its not like I wrote a letter begging for help or used some wasta to get a special favour on my behalf. I wouldnt even know how to go about doing that...seriously. I just cant imagine it would take a whole week for something to be done...whatever that something was. Im just saying...not even a phone call back to let me know "its being worked on" or something....sigh!

Anyhow, I expect this sort of thing from "ordinary" people as they say...because sometimes people offer help with the best of intentions and then realize later they really cant follow through. Ok...I understand. I wont hold it against you if I feel it was a genuine offer on your part...just a little ambitious. Those people that offer with NO intention of following through...well hell...why even bother yourself? I wish you would just keep your promises to children and I dont need that sort of wishful thinking in our lives at this point...

but those that CALL ME and offer to help me...and are obviously in a position to do so with no obstacles...then dont bother to get back to me...seriously...WHY? What did you get out of it...or hope to accomplish with that phonecall? Just wondering.

Now, I realize its only been a week...not a whole lot of time passed to warrant my irritation I suppose...but hey...when a stroke of a pen, a phone call, or a "royal" request is certain people in cant take more than...say.... 5 mins...half a day...a whole day??? to get it done...can it?

For myself, seriously, Im use to people and how they can be...dont get me started...but I made the mistake of mentioning the phonecall to my kids...wish I hadnt...nuff said on that.

Like I said...does "get back to you shortly" mean different things to different people?

I shall ponder whether I should practice more patience...or just chalk it up to "shit happens" and be done with it...what do ya think people?

Friday, May 29, 2009

VIP Look From Top of World Trade Tower

My friend and I were meeting a potential business partner at the World Trade Tower here in Bahrain and he took us up to the top for a special viewing. Its not complete at the top yet so we had to step around construction work etc...but well worth it for the view.

My ears were popping as I believe there are 44 floors to this building. Thats the British Embassy down there...once of the oldest buildings in Bahrain. And the only bit of green that adds up to much.

My phone cam takes some pretty awesome pics ...for a phone cam. Nokia E66

Its hard to open your eyes up there as the sun is soooo damn bright...and everything is blinding. Thats the Sheraton Complex down there. Pool looks refreshing.

The cars look like matchbox cute!!!

Water looks refreshing from up here...down there its just dirty and not at all inviting...ugh!! And so much garbage along the beaches generally.

Swan dive time!!!

Sort of like looking out of a huge fishbowl. We are only one floor under the roof. A tiny little office not big enough for much considering the crazy rent Im sure they will have to pay. Very cool anyhow.

I sure didnt expect to be "on top of the world" or at least Bahrain when I woke up that morning. Something interesting to

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Boy, My Hero!!! pt 3

So, here we are once again. For those who have missed out, check out the two previous postings to catch up. (Im lazy to link at the moment).
We finally arrived at the health center only to be faced with a nurse that seemed unable to treat me adequately because of my weight.( Im no slim chicken but then again Im not immobile from weight...Im a size 20 to 22 depending on my last meal...sigh.) However, she kept going on and on about my size claiming she was unable to insert an IV because I was fat, she was unable to get my blood pressure because I was fat...unable to draw blood properly got it...I was too fat. Then she made the medically sound declaration that my recent spate of intense vomiting was due to fast food and I should just cut that out right now...and I would be fine. She was all set to send me home with Panadol, more Maalox, and a kick in the ass for daring to be fat when a doctor happened to stroll in curious to see what was up. (why a doctor hadnt been called previously...I dont know...Im just the victim...I mean patient).
By this time, I might add, the husband had showed up demanding to know what had been done, what was wrong with me etc. He and the doc came in just about the same time. Doc checked me over, pressed on my abdomen...and declared I could either go home with the meds prescribed (by the nurse no less) or go to the emergency room at the main hospital if I felt that was called for...(if I felt like it was called for mind you...not him).
Well, hmmmm, lets see. Serious SERIOUS pain, vomiting like nobody's business, sweating a rainforest, and there was that whole "alien wanting to get out of my body" business to think about yes...Im thinking I do feel like I should go to the emergency room.
The doc offered to let the Health Centers ambulance take me there...what a nice gesture...sure why not. Ambulances are allowed to cut through traffic and red lights and get you there in no time flat....much easier and saves lives...or so Ive heard.
I watch tv...dont laugh.
Now, I had never required a ride in an ambulance before that day (thank God) so my only experience with it was what I had seen on tv regarding procedure etc. You know, trained paramedics bustling around, getting you loaded on a gurney, taking your vitals, speaking in a radio to the hospital informing them of your arrival etc....oh yeah...strapping you down on the gurney so you dont fall out...things like that...very professional and all.
Here is what I got. I had to get my sick ass off the table and up onto the gurney as the two ambulance looking type guys gave me verbal encouragement. (no hands on help over here I guess) My husband had disappeared after the doctor so wasnt there to lend a hand. I was loaded into the ambulance in which the gurney was strapped in...but not me. The door was closed and we took off.
I say we as in the driver and I because for all I knew we were the only two people in the ambulance. Nobody was back there with me. My husband had been told we were off to the hospital emergency room so he left on his own.
Now on a good day (light traffic etc) it takes about 20 minutes to get to the hospital from the health center...thats without being in an ambulance with a siren wailing etc. With traffic obviously more...but just how much more boggles the mind. I have learned over the years here in Bahrain that people really do not care about seeing an ambulance with lights and siren on in their rearview mirror. They wont make any attempt to move...and the ambulance ends up stuck in traffic right along with everyone else. I have lost count of the number of times I have moved out of the way only for cars behind me to quickly jump forward and fill the gap rather than let the ambulance through. Its disgusting...and now I was inside one needing to get to the hospital. My husband informed me later that it took us about 40 minutes to arrive doesnt take 40 minutes to get from Hidd to Hamad Town (a city down south in Bahrain).
Meanwhile, if you have ever wondered what it would feel like to be inside an ambulance lying on a gurney and seriously sick...and NOT have any sort of belt etc to hold you in safely...if your wondering what that would feel like...let me tell you....its like being inside a washing machine. Bahrain is full of round abouts (circular type intersections)...not to mention just very very bad driving standards...and so between the driver hitting the brakes frequently, going around round abouts every few moments, and dealing with irate drivers not wanting to get out of the way...I was left on my own to prevent myself from falling out onto the floor.
So picture this. Me, seriously sick. Hijab askew, no strength... trying to pathetically brace myself against the sides etc everytime we traversed a round about so I wouldnt add insult to injury and find myself face first on the floor.
This went on for a good 35 minutes (based on what my husband said as we arrived at the hosp soon there after) when I vomitted once again leaning my head over and letting it hit the floor rather than myself. It was then that I realized there was in fact someone else back there with me as a hand swiftly came out with some towels and wiped up the mess.
WTF!!! Im killing myself trying not to fall down, Im sick, tired, ready to call it a day...and thinking Im actually alone so trying to make the best of it and be patient...and the whole time there was a man sitting somewhere up by my head (I think the hijab swimming around constantly in my face actually blocked me from seeing him or even being aware he was there)...but still...he KNEW I was there and did nothing to help me...until I threw up on his clean floor....ARRRRRGH!!!
I would have chewed him out at this point but we arrived at my hoped for salvation...yaay!!! Everyone cheer...this is good news! Or is it?
The TWO ambulance guys (I realized that since there were two at the health center then there were two all along...but since I had other things to think about it didnt cross my mind that there was in fact someone in there other than the driver...and since he wasnt doing anything for me...who can blame me) pushed me inside and just before leaving me on an emergency bed...patted my leg and gave me some platitudes about "be patient and everything will turn out fine"..yeah...thanks...appreciate the sincerity. Anyways...
I was finally at the hospital where hopefully all would be made right again...except for one thing...I was completely alone and would remain so for at least 20 minutes. No nurse, no doctor...just a few curious bystanders taking a good look at the obvious distressed western woman but not offering any sage advice or help...sigh!!! My husband finally tracked me down after discovering the drivers and asking them where they had left me.
I might add that on tv when ambulance drivers bring a patient...they are always calling out info to the docs...cause of injury...stats...things like that. In other words, giving the docs a heads up as to what they were facing. None of that happened with me. A pat on the leg and away they went...of course there was no doctor to fill in anyhow....or what were they to do?
Husband went off to track down a doc and drag him back (which he literally had to do I found out later). This IS the emergency room a very large
hospital...the MAIN hospital for Bahrain where all emergency cases go? hmmm?
While alone I felt the rising need to vomit once again...I turned my head to look around but there wasnt anything available to receive my "gift" and so ended up leaning over the bed and extending my gift to the floor (I was so embarrassed to do that for some reason...dont ask me why...there it is). I figured that because I had been vomitting all morning...had ate nothing previously...that the contents of my stomach were pretty much expelled. So imagine my surprise and utter shock when I enacted a scene from The Exorcist and spewed out a shit load of green least a gallon of lie!!! The whole floor in my cubicle was absolutely covered in it.
The curious bystanders now had something a little more interesting to look at since the novely of ME had worn off to some extent.
I might add that it was about at this point that I was very thankful indeed that I did not have diarreha to deal with as well...see...silver linings in every trauma.
Within a few minutes after that fun experience the husband showed up literally dragging a doctor (actually had his white jacket clenched up in his fist)...the doc took one long look at me...had a serious thoughtful moment to contemplate the nice piece of artwork on the floor (courtesy of me), listened for a brief explanation from the husband about my wonderful morning so far...and declared that my pancreas was about to rupture and I needed emergency treatment...
Gee! Ya think?!!!
Long story short (as if) I spent 10 days in hospital. Was informed by, what I refer to as a REAL doctor, that had I suffered much longer I would probably have was that close.
Ok is the truly appalling aspect of this whole ordeal. Never mind the two ladies that delayed me so long with some erroneous belief that my "modesty" was more important than my emergency...never mind the bitchy nurse that insisted her incompetence was due to my weight...never mind the traumatic ambulance ride courtesy of inefficient ambulance workers....the one thing that pisses me off more than all of that is ...all of this could have been avoided if each and everyone of the doctors I had visited over the past year had actually taken the time to listen to me and hear what I was saying...because I was telling them EXACTLY what was wrong with me and they still had no clue.
While in hospital the doctors who cared for me informed me that not only had my pancreas been suffering for quite awhile but that my gall bladder would need removing because of the prolonged assualt without treatment. It was getting set to explode on pancreas acting up and nearly causing my death was the only thing that brought my gall bladder into the spotlight...not one of those doctors I had previously visited had ever even mentioned my gall bladder or pancreas to me..not once.
Now heres the "funny" bit that pisses me off. Once I realized what was wrong with me as soon as I got home I looked up pancreas and gall bladder disorders etc. Under pancreatitis are almost word for word the exact symptoms I had been listing to my doctors again and again....painful to lay down...feels better when I sit up (which meant I was attempting to sleep sitting up more often then not)...felt like this...acted like that...occurred most often when I did this or that etc...WORD FOR WORD people. It was right there in black and white...with pictures no less.
I was in shock!!! Its not like I had some obscure illness that had doctors scratching their heads and doing countless tests and exams trying to figure out this medical conundrum...I had a fairly common (not common as in everyone has it...common as in its well known medically) illness that with even a bit of question asking...examinations or tests etc...would have been diagnosed and treated.
Instead I got buckets of maalox and addictive painkillers...and I almost died.
Unfortunately, malpractice medical lawsuits are almost unheard of here...and because patient medical records are sketchy at best (at least in health centers for expats etc and from my personal experience) there really was no way to be compensated for this gross case of negligence and medical malpractice.
I survived...thank God...but you can understand now why I am extremely leary with all things medical in this country.
My 3 year son acted more responsibly then all those others I had the misfortune of crossing paths with that day...for that...he is my hero!!!
btw my spell check is not working...I apologize for any missed corrections as well as the spacing so forgive me for the long paragraphs once again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Boy, My Hero!!! pt 2

So...where was I?

Oh yes, Boo had finally gotten the door open and my two Yemeni neighbors came bustling in looking around to see where I was (and I do believe checking out the cleanliness of my house...they were sticklers for being neat). They found me lying on the floor in obvious pain and distress. My clothes were soaked...the floor was covered in vomit and I was in agony curled up in a ball.

Now, Ive never required emergency hospital treatment in the states so I cant say with authority exactly what the procedure Bahrain (or at least in my house and on the way to the hosp on that particular day) it consisted of a series of events that nearly led to my potential death.

So there I was laying on the floor...very very happy to see my "rescuers" and quite ready to be rescued...however...they had a few things they felt needed doing before they could cart me off to the hosp apparently.

Let me first say that while my understanding of Arabic is fairly decent for the most part...when it comes to Yemeni Arabic they might as well be speaking Swahili...I havent a clue...which means the lack of communication this particular day added a great deal of stress to an all ready stressful situation.

First of all, they took one look at my house clothes and decided they just wouldnt do for an emergency trip to the hosp. So much for the...get her in the car as fast as you can cause obviously she needs hosp treatment ASAP!!!...oh no...I needed a makeover first before they were satisfied to get me moving out the door.

So try and picture this comedy of errors that preceded my being saved at the proverbial last minute by, for once in my case, a flurry of attentive doctors.

First the two ladies tried wrestling me into an abaya. I was at that time wearing an abaya that was pulled over the they attempted to get my abaya on (which can be a bit of a struggle at the best of times) by fair means or foul...but Im by no means a light weight. Ive got some jiggle that needs to be dealt with and its a chore all by itself when Im completely concious and have all my abilities at my control...mix that excess poundage with legs of jelly and a half comatose mental two rather diminutive sized women ...and can imagine what sort of tragic dance ensued.

About an eon later when they finally had me all properly abayed I felt a sense of relief that cannot be measured...finally we were ready to get out the door. Yalla! Im ready...lets go.

They were not done yet. They felt I still needed a little something something before I was ready. I might add that I was still wracked with pain...still vomiting now and then...still sweating sweat the size of rain drops...and still pretty much out of they did what must have seemed like the most natural thing to do under these emergency conditions...they now attempted to put my hijab on. (I still wore one then as well...and this incident was one of the deciding factors that eventually led me to remove it...among others).

So...for any woman that has ever worn the hijab you will know that it can be a bit tricky when YOU are the one putting it on...arranging it...and maybe even pinning for someone else to put it on you (while your practically comatose I might add) Im sure is something has to be seen to be appreciated for its slapstick comedy appeal.

Now considering I was the victim to all this fashion policing....and a very sick and very pitiful one at that...I cant say for sure just how long these ladies took to get my hijab on in a satisfactory manner that was pleasing to them. (they were niqabis themselves so were quite happy to try and introduce me to the joys of not being able to see where Im going at that particular moment)...I feebly attempted to let them know that I was more than happy to forego the "modesty "of hijab...just this order to facilitate my speedy arrival at the health center....but they didnt understand...or chose not Im thinking it must have been a week at least before my hijab was in place (more or less) and we were finally headed out the door. Me sandwiched between these two women that turned out to be surprisingly strong for their size. (they had to be to get me to the wheres that gym membership form)

So fiiiiinally we were in the car of one of their slouching in the back seat vaguely aware that Boo was in there with me...wondering if I was actually going to die on this particular day considering the pain was unrelenting and growing by the minute...and that I had Lucille Ball and her sidekick in complete control of my immediate future.

I dont know how they drive in Yemen...but from my experience having my very own Yemeni driver that day I would hazard a guess and say they drive extremely sloooooowly. No need to worry I didnt observe certain safety precautions...I might die from whatever alien was currently trying to vacate my chest...but I would not die from my failure to wear my seatbelt...small blessings and all that.

Hindsight tells me I started feeling the first stirrings of pain around 9:30 am...about 45 minutes had passed before I attempted to call husband...when we arrived at the health center it was nearly noon as I heard the adhan playing and the health center is only 5 minutes from my took those ladies approximately an hour...maybe a little dress me "appropriately" before deciding I was good to go.

So...we arrived at the health center. Yay!! You would think that was a good thing for someone like know...seriously sick and all.

Think again.

*to be continued

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Boy, My Hero!!! pt 1

This is my baby. He's 11 now but in this pic he's about 3. His name is Jibreel...or Boo for short. When he was 3 years old he saved my life. Picture this...

For about a year prior to the day he saved my life I had been back and forth to the doctors with severe chest pains. We are talking mammoth gargantuan kill me now chest pains!! Everytime I went to the hospital they would "diagnose" me with acid reflux and prescribe maalox and pain medication...and send me home.

It got to the point that I could barely take a bite of anything before that impending feeling of a freight train of agony coming on that would signal that I was in for anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours of serious killer pain...and there wasnt anything I could do about it. I was drinking gallons of maalox...downing pain pills like an addict...sometimes it worked and kept most of the pain at bay but usually I was left curled up in a fetal position, rocking myself and trying to meditate until it passed. It got to the point where I was reluctant to leave the house fearing I would have an attack while outside and would be helpless to stop it. Numerous trips to the doctors describing my symptoms etc only resulted in more of the same...maalox and pain medication with recommendations to cut down on spicy foods...yeah...I'll do that.

I didnt have the internet back then so google wasnt available to help out and the library was a joke...I had nothing to use to figure out what my problem was (obviously the doctors were not helpful). I was afraid to eat anything but just a few select foods...and I was almost housebound (even more than my asshat husband forced me to be).

It all came to a head one day in which I almost died....but first a little more back story.

My 3 year old son had recently discovered that he could act like Houdini and escape out the front door the moment I turned my I would carefully lock the door as soon as everyone was off to work or school each morning. Then he discovered how to operate the key so I had to hang the key over the door out of his reach. Soon he discovered how to knock the key I was forced to hide the key (when I wasnt wearing something with pockets). I could always see him searching diligently in the shoes and on the tables etc looking for the key every morning. I actually had to change locations on several occasions because he managed to sniff it out...the little bloodhound. On the day in question I had hung the key in my bedroom behind the door on a nail. (careful not to let him see me put it there...he was quite a sneak)

So I was busy cleaning house, he was running around playing...then I felt that familiar ache starting to build. I quickly downed some pain pills to catch it before it caught hold...and chugged some maalox (I didnt even bother to measure out a dose...just swallowed it down)...and hoped for the best...but expected the usual.

I got a hell of a lot more than the usual.

Before long I was sitting crosslegged on the couch rocking back and forth doing my best to meditate and ignore the pain. Things were quite different this time though...I was sweating was pouring down my body like rain and I was burning up...on fire!!! Not only did my chest feel like it was burning from internal felt like some kind of alien was trying to fight its way out of my chest.

It was the absolute worst pain I had ever endured.

I eventually realized that it wasnt going to pass this time and decided it was time to call the husband. I stood up to go to the phone and immediately collapsed on the floor. I tried to get up again but felt like I was paralyzed...I could barely move my arms enough to push myself up. I tried dragging myself across the floor but I felt like a limp strength at all. I laid on the floor in agony wandering what the hell to do. Not only couldnt I move...I had a 3 year old running around that could get into some kind of danger...and I was helpless to protect him.

Boo came over to me at this point all concerned that something was wrong with me. He even tried pulling on me I guess in his little attempts to get me up...Mommy on the floor crying and helpless was not part of his usual routine. It was then that I thought of telling him to bring me the phone. (no mobiles back then). He eagerly ran for the phone and carefully carried it across the floor to me...unfortunately the wire wasnt long enough to reach me and try as I might I could not move myself across the floor. The pain was enormous and debilitating.

Now remember my son was 3 and up to this point I had already started teaching him numbers etc but it wasnt something we had been doing for I wasnt real sure how much he knew...but I took the chance that he knew them well enough to hit the numbers when I called them out to him. (funny enough I didnt even consider calling 999 because ambulance service in this country is a I would be reminded yet again before too long).

Between my moans and tears I called out my husbands work number to digit at a time and watched as he hit the telephone key pad. In the back of my mind I was surprised to see he knew to remove the handset and place it to his ear even though I hadnt told him. I realize children play "phone" all the time...but this was serious and he seemed to be taking it seriously. (maybe wishful thinking on my side?)

When I had called out the last number and he had hit it...I waited a few moments giving it a chance to ring before shouting out to my husband that I was sick and needed help. I had no idea if it was even my husband on the other end of the line...or even if anyone was there...but I shouted all the same. I had no choice.

It was then that I started vomiting and my muscles were wracked with pain. My gut felt like it was being torn apart by lions and I was positive I was literally going to come apart from the pain. I had no idea if anyone was coming...if he had heard or even answered the phone...and I was helpless on the floor.

At some point I realized someone was banging on the front door. Obviously I couldnt get to the door and by this time I had no strength to even shout out to whomever it was. Boo was at the door trying to open it and I could hear voices on the other side...they were female voices and then I recognized them as my Yemini neighbors from upstairs. (I would find out later that Boo actually did hit the right numbers and my husband heard me shouting...he was far away and so called the neighbors to come down and check on me while he headed home).

By this time Boo was running around searching all the usual places for the door key and I was trying to get his attention to tell him where the key was in hopes that he would understand and get it. I finally managed to call him over and told him where it was...he needed some further guidance and encouragement but he eventually managed to get that door key by dragging some things across my bedroom floor and knocking it down.

Then he ran for the door and finally got it open.

*to be continued

The rest of the story will explain what happened to me and what was wrong with me after that front door was opened...but up to this point is important to me because if he hadnt understood numbers well enough to dial one...and hadnt been smart enough to figure out how to get the key down by himself...those ladies wouldnt have gotten in as soon as they did....and things might have turned out much different. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Higher Pay for Continued Incompetence...Only in Bahrain!

In todays GDN we find what can only be a late April Fool's joke being played out to the masses...MP's might possibly be getting yet ANOTHER pay rise!!!

Shock!!! Horror!!! Didnt see that one coming...did you?

These MP's have been one chucklefest after another...and I have yet to open a newspaper and not want to slap my forehead in complete and utter dismay at yet another "law" these bafoons are trying to pass off on the masses.

Everything from banning pork and alcohol, mannequins, preventing bachelors from hanging underwear in view of any passerbys and also wanting to corral them all up in little towns etc so they dont harrass the locals (huh)...wanting to force same sex doctors on us...not to mention keeping a keen lookout for the gays that are trying to sneak in the country (how come lesbians are not treated with a similar amount of discrimination)...among other things. It seems the MP's became our religious leaders almost overnight...who appointed them the moral lawmakers of society?

Are there any restrictions on what this Court of Jesters can pass to build up their own personal fortunes? Is anyone paying attention to this craziness? And more importanly...

How can I become an MP ????

The only thing these MP's have manged to give future MP's the green light and knowledge that they will soon have the same opportunity to make themselves rich while making the masses even more miserable then we already are...nice!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Get Rid of Repairmen in a Hurry!!!

My washing machine quit on me so I called the repairmen to come collect it. I had just tried to run an orange colored fabric through it and so the tub was full of the fluff from that fabric.

Unfortunately the repairmen were a hell of a lot faster than I anticipated and showed up while I was still running my hands around the tub swiping up the bits of orange I quickly gathered it up and threw it the first place I thought of as I ran for the toilet bowl....which is quite near my washing machine.

Im fairly sure the repairmen had plenty of time to view that mess in the toilet because when they arrived they were full of smiles and chit chat...when they left they gave me a wide berth and could barely look me in the eye.

Hmmm!!! Wonder if this could have anything to do with it....(scroll down people)

I also forgot to pick up the pads off the floor before letting them Im not sure if was the "mess" in the toilet bowl...the pads on the floor...or a combination of the two?

So what do ya think...did I scare the shit out of those repairmen or what!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

So I Googled His Name...

So I had this boyfriend in high school way back in the day. His name was R.K. (initials). He was my first serious (really my only) boyfriend during high school and we didnt go on dates or even really hang out together much outside of school...because my father didnt allow me to date. I wasnt allowed to date because my older sister had travelled that path before me and pretty much screwed up all my chances of ever having fun as a teen with her constant desire to push the limits and break the rules (future post Im sure) oh the joys of being the middle child. Older sibling breaks all the rules so parents are more strict with you figuring they made a mistake being too lenient with older sibling. So you essentially get to do nothing with your teen years...then when younger sibling reaches teen years...they feel guilty for not letting you do stuff and have are more lenient with younger sibling. were still left with nothing to remember of your teen years...anyhow...I digress.

I must admit I have googled my own name on occasion...just to see if I matter out there to anyone. Considering Ive basically had no life worth googling I never expected to find much...but I was surprised to find some of my blog posts scattered here and there on other peoples sites...some of them translated into languages I dont even recognize (hey should I get royalties or something...sigh). I even came across a few of my letters to the local newspapers highlighted and discussions taking place about their contents....very cool.

But I never googled his name before...for some reason. He has been on my mind through out the years simply because I felt at the time that he was the first person outside family that I had feelings for but it never occurred to me to do a google search...just to see what turned up...but now I have....lets see what we found.

Now of course I wont post pics or personal info etc...its his life not mine...but I will mention some things just for chuckles sake (my chuckles that is...Im sure you dont care either way).

First some back story....

When he and I were boyfriend/girlfriend he actually asked me to marry him (my mother hated him but wishes to this day that I had married him instead of the pervert I did eventually marry...oh hindsight mother...what to do)...but he apparently forgot that fact somewhere along the way (I think it was right after my mother showed her intense dislike by trying to run him over in a grocery store parking lot...nearly made it mom...better luck next time) because I was shocked one day to see him walking rather cozily along with another girl...when he was supposed to be my boyfriend....oh the heartbreaks of young love (I could cheerfully have stabbed him in the neck that day...but I took the high road and kept my pride and anger in check)....but I called him and gave him an ear full...then called it day on that relationship.

Now funny enough...the young lady he hooked up with turned out to be somewhat of a psychopathic nut job (and thats not my jealousy and anger speaking people...swears)...apparently she had lingering suspicions that because he easily turned his head from her...that he could just as easily turn it back again...or something like anytime I happen to be in the store where he worked (local grocery store) or out and about and she seen me...she threw me some very hostile looks of jealous outrage and occasionally shouted some rather unladylike dare I come within one city block of her boyfriend (my boyfriend missy!)....whatever.

Now hostile stares I can handle...physical threats to my body I cannot without serious repercussions. Turns out New Girlfriend had some serious psychological I mentioned.

I remember one time I was with my sis in her car...some of our toddlers in the back seat...when we realized a car was following us....or to be more precise...tailgating us like mad. My sis did not take kindly to people invading her space and hit the some miracle that car narrowly missed ploughing into us. As the driver backed up and sped away I realized it was New Girlfriend...couldnt figure out why she was acting all territorial and all...not like she owned the street or something. We let it go that time.

Another time when I was actually pregnant (and by which time New Girlfriend had become New Wife) and I was walking down the street...she came driving up onto the sidewalk nearly running me out and went to town screaming at me to "leave her man alone" (dont know what that was about..I was married myself by this time...and pregnant)...and that she could "kick my ass and didnt give a shit that I was pregnant (nice)". I must admit she made quite an imposing figure considering she was quite tall in a Jolly Green Giant sort of way (minus the jolly) and ready to do battle against my short 7 month pregnant body...however...Im was not without my abilities...such as they were.

I calmly told her that its possible she could kick the ass of a 7 month pregnant lady (and who wouldnt be proud of that fact)...but considering I had been in the military she might want to entertain the thought that I might have learned some self defense techniques that would and could deal with her in a timely fashion...pregnant or not.

She hesitated as apparently this thought took hold....then started back stepping her way out of her bravado with more threats and warnings to "watch my back"...yeah...I'll do that....anyways. She left.

I must say I was just a tad pissed off. After all...I had never done a thing to her in my life...if anyone should be all jealous and crazy mental it should be me considering she "stole my man"...and the fact that she was seemingly quite happy to "take me on" regardless of my pregnant state meant she was happy to possibly hurt my unborn she had crossed the line...time to reel this lunatic in.

I went to the nearest payphone (showing my mobiles back then..ouch) and called his work (taking the chance he was there) and waited fuming for him to reach the phone. He came on all chipper and totally annoying...but not so much when he realized who it was.

I calmly told him that if he didnt keep his psycho mental crazy wife away from me then he had nobody to blame but himself if she ended up hurt...because she was definitely going to end up hurt if she kept at this crazy shit. I realized I dodged a whiny mommas boy bullet when he replied..."what do you expect me to do about it?" Well...lets to her...tell her to calm the f**k down and get on with her life and leave me the hell alone. Something like that...anything to call of the dog that was itching to bite and get put down for it. Seriously.

He simpered a bit on the phone until I hung up. Never realized he was such a wimp. Obviously she wore the pants in that family.

Shortly thereafter I left for Bahrain and never heard about them again...other than the odd comment about them from a friend who still lives there...anyways...good riddance.

So back to the point of my post. I googled his name to see what I could see. Well...they are still married...two cute little kids (darn!!)..he is into computers and IT stuff...certified with Microsoft for repair work or something. Travels a lot for his small personal business and misses his kids and wife when hes gone. How domestic!!

Likes to garden and collect matchbox cars as well. Quaint.

Now heres the best part (ok kick my ass about this later)...the both of them are about twice as big as the last time I seen them (he was big even in high school...she was getting there)...they are/were considering trying out for The Biggest Loser as a husband and wife team apparently. Sweet!!!

Ok my sadistic chortling over other peoples misfortunes is beneath me...but those two sorely did me emotional...and almost physical I feel I have a little bit of room to be gleeful. So leave me to it. Bah!!

btw from the way he writes about his wife...she still wears the pants...and big pants they are...ok ok Im done.

*Ive had a crappy week...need to find my chuckles where I

Friday, May 8, 2009

Poor Me...and all that crap!!

* the spacing is still not working properly...damn!!

I dont have an A.C. to start the summer with and so the temperatures in my room have been rather humid and sweaty to say the least. Last night I literally melted into the fabric of my bed while having the fan on full blast and the ice chips on standby. How do people live like this!!!! And the real Summer hasnt even started yet...argghhhh!!!

I figured I would have a nice cool shower and wash off the melted fat and sweat. Unfortunately the water tank is on the roof so there is no such thing as having a cool shower...unless I wish to have it at 3 am.

To just add that bit more to my comfort levels I had a nagging toothache that was just bad enough to keep me from sleeping well....not that I could sleep well given that I was trying to sleep in a sauna....sigh!!
At least I wish I had a puppy to make it all better and help to forget my worries...but Im sure with the luck Ive been having it would get run over or something...sigh!!!
I hope the weekend ends better than it started.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things I Wish For

*for some reason the paragraph spacing isnt working very well of late...which is why my paragraphs have no spaces between them...sorry for the way the post just runs on in one long patch. Anyone know how I can fix that?

Ive noticed on other blogs people often make lists of various things. A lot of them make wish lists....things they want obviously but for whatever reason cant seem to get. I figured thats as good a post as any other I was thinking of doing just heres my wish list...well thought out but by no means complete.
1. I wish I could magically wake up tomorrow and be 50 pounds lighter....OK I lie...I wish I could magically find the desire to go exercise so that some day I could wake up and be 50 pounds lighter.
2. I wish I could afford to go to college...or at least take some courses on computers and journalism.
3. I wish I could find a job that would allow me to afford to take those courses.
4. I wish I could guarantee my children will not follow my footsteps into abusive marriages...and if they do happen to find themselves in abusive marriages...I hope they have the strength and courage to get themselves out of it. And I hope they reach out to me for help and not keep their pain hidden.
5. I wish I could pay off my little red Daihatsu jeep so I could send it to my daughter in Texas...she loves it and I would be over the moon to see the look on her face when she seen it. Still another Bd25oo or so to go. Some day.
6. I wish I could get some answers to questions that seem to not have answers. The not knowing the "why" of something is the most confusing and heartbreaking thing of all sometimes.
7. I wish I could finish writing this book. Actually I wish I wasnt so damn afraid of finishing this book cause then what will I do with the finished product...burn it away...what?
8. I wish I felt I deserved more than what I have been given.
9. I wish I was satisfied with exactly what I have been given.
10. I wish I knew that all of this past 23 (hell 40) years of pain was worth it to get to this moment in time and that there is truly a heaven and hell and if I do end up in hell...I wish the deepest wish of all to see a few familiar faces down there with me.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Step Back....Im on a Rant!!!

Yesterday I was standing talking with my friend when some ladies came up to her and offered her their salams and chatted for about 5 minutes before departing. During that 5 minutes they did not acknowledge me standing there...barely threw a glance in my direction. Its not the first time this has happened to on.

You know, dear readers, in my 23 plus years living here in the gulf Ive witnessed and been effected by many an Arab/Muslim tradition/culture/Islamic experience that has left me either happy, unmoved, or totally pissed off and wanting to vent like crazy. Ive been in arguments, debates, lost friends, gained new ones, learned much and wish to learn more...all in the quest to gain more knowledge about these people and their culture...and this religion. (not always two distinct entities mind you).

This particular post is just going to touch on one area in which an issue has been festering much too long. Ive tolerated this for 23 years and I dare say Ive damn near had it. Basic manners people...thats all it takes...basic manners.

Manners are taught to us from the time we are old enough to learn to say please and thank you. Manners are instilled in us so that we can learn to be sociable creatures that can get along in this jungle we call civilization. Most cultures out there, Im assuming, take great stock in manners...we pride ourselves in presenting a well mannered persona to those we know...and even those we dont know but may come into contact with for just a few minutes. Those few minutes can make the difference between leaving that "stranger" with good thoughts about you, your culture, your religion, your parents, your character....whatever...people pretty much make a snap judgement about you in just a few seconds/minutes of being in your make it count (if it matters to you).

My rant right now is about saying hello...or in this instance...saying salam or salam aleikum when you are faced with another person. We are taught at a very young age that when you approach someone to engage in conversation...or even just passing but want to acknowledge call out "hello" or "salam aleikum". Muslim/Arabs are particularly sensitive about this issue...Greeting family, friends and strangers alike with proper salams is something you learn from the cradle. If you leave the house for an hour and come back...salams are given. If your walking from your house to the car and you see your neighbor, salams are called out. If your standing in the store aisle waiting your turn to check out and you see someone you know...salams are shared...even if the person in front of you is a stranger and happens to look at you, possibly to get your attention that the cart needs moving ...whatever, a quick salam is given and then the problem stated. If you enter a room full of people and neglect to say salam...or in some cases...go from one person to another extending personal salams to each might be considered rude...and it will be remembered.

In other words...proper greetings are given a lot of seriousness and thought in this country/culture/religion. Hadith from the Prophet mention time and again to return salams with similar or even better ones...not to mention just minding our manners and showing respect etc. The Quran is full of information on how to act with proper manners etc...its not like Muslims dont they?

So I seriously dont understand my fellow Muslim sisters (Im speaking directly to sisters here as I dont generally have a problem with men in this regard)...why is it you find it so hard to not only acknowledge my presence when Im standing right in front of you...but even if you do SEE me you quite often dont bother yourselves to extend salams to me?

Now, my friend gives me every excuse in the book as to why these Muslims are being so rude to me...many of them are her friends...sometimes her family...she doesnt want them to look bad in my eyes...but this has been happening to me for 23 years...20 of those while wearing I dont understand what excuse there is. Muslims give Muslims salams...simple. Muslims should, in the very least, convey a smile or similar welcoming greeting to a person standing right in front of them...even if the arent Muslim...its called courtesy...manners.

She will tell me that they are shy cause they dont know English...well...hmmm? Last I heard salam aleikum was Arabic not English. Im not asking them to discuss the origins of life with me...just a simple salam to acknowledge they actually see me. I might even accept a simple smile to at least break tension...but no..nothing.
Now let me remind you dear readers that this is not a one or two times thing...this has been happening for over 20 years.
Ive been sitting with women at a table and other women will come....give salams...and not even eye contact with me...I will be in a room full of women...someone enters...extends salams...goes around the room for personal greetings...but for me...nothing. Its happened so many times that I cant assume its nothing but personal...but what have I done to deserve it? I dont know.
People DONT see me!!! Im starting to wonder if Im invisible...seriously.
It happens to be one of the hardest to bear experiences I have had living here...being made to feel I dont belong...arent worth being acknowledged.
Like I dont count in their why should they bother to greet me.
So my friend tells me...I should be the one to greet them if they dont greet me first. I should be the one to smile and show manners since they apparently arent going to. Ok fine...I can do that...not a big deal...but its rather hard to smile and be friendly with people that just rebuffed you for whatever comes off fake...not to mention humiliates me that Im forced to make them acknowledge me when clearly they did not want too. She doesnt understand how I feel since she has never stood in my shoes.
Anyhow, Im sick of it. Had enough. I told myself the next time someone deliberately refused to SEE offer salams etc while I was right there in front of them...I would make sure they knew just how rude they were being.
I was with my friend yesterday...and 3 ladies came up to her for a project of some sort. They gave kissy kissy salams Arab style...Im right there...they know Im with her...they interrupted us to greet why no greeting for me too? I dont expect the familiarity of kissy kissy salams Arab style...but still...Hello? Something?
So I loudly told my friend..."I thought Muslims learned to say salam from a young age...where are these ladies manners? How rude of them they didnt give me salams."
She tried to smile and cover up my talk while apparently hoping they didnt understand English enough to know how RUDE I was being...go figure.
Anyhow, anyone out there have this problem...invisibility among Muslims (in my case Muslim women generally)? It doesnt happen ALL the time to me...but enough times to really cause me grief and deeply hurt feelings towards these so called Muslims. I cant find any acceptable excuse for not extending a basic salam to someone...ignore the language barriers...whatever...I can say hello in 7 different languages even if I cant speak anything else in that language. Its an ice breaker to greet someone with a hello...its a sociable concept to acknowledge their presence and include them in your talk when you walk up and face them with one or two others. This is shunning pure and simple...and I dont understand the reason for it.
Before anyone makes the excuse....maybe they dont know your a Muslim. My answer...whats that got to do with anything? Seriously. Dont even use that weak argument with me. Are we to believe a basic salam...or even an English hello...cannot be spoken to a nonMuslim if that is the case? Are Muslims so miserly with their salams and who they give them too? Is it too much of a language barrier to utter "hello" to someone...or even just smile at them if you dont know the language or feel shy?
Seriously people...what the hell is it? Is it me? Am I wearing a sign that says "hostile combatant" on it or something? What?
Im 40 years old. Ive spent 23 years of my life being made to feel invisible for some reason by assumingly ordinary basically good people. I dont know why.
What does it take to be SEEN over here?