Jan 30, 2009

Tagged...

I was tagged by Mev, and here is my attempt at doing it at 1am :) NOTE: You have to add one additional "favorite" thing to the end of the list when you answer. Favorite color: Black Favorite perfume (guys): Tom Ford (my husband has an addiction to them at the moment.. can't seem to stop buying anyone he see's!!!) Favorite perfume (girls): J'adore Favorite pj brand: La Perla!!!! Favorite clothes brand in general: Massimo Dutti Favorite person in the entire world: I can't honestly just mention one! Favorite country: If you asked me a few years ago.. I would have said KUWAIT! At the moment.. there is no fav! Favorite car: a Particular Lexus I have my eyes on.. i won't say the name.. for I fear I may jinx it! Favorite sport: Tennis Favorite sport player: lol... should I just say Yasser Al-Gahtani.. (he is the only name that popped in my head).. Hold on David Bekham!!! Yes.. David! Favorite spot in America: New York, actually Las Vegas beats it! They are both alive 24/7! Favorite animal: Persian Cats! Favorite movie: White Chicks.. looool Favorite singer: anything U2! Favorite day in the week: Thursday! (It's like Saturday!) Favorite time of the day: I love dawn! Favorite holiday season: Eid Breaks... they are nice and long in Saudi! Favorite number: hmmm.. I don't really have one! Favorite food: Authentic Italian Cuisine! Favorite chocolate: Godiva Baby! Favorite cartoon: Snow White and Red Rose Favorite blogger: Now why would I narrow it down? They are all awesome! Favorite Flavor Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip Favorite Mobile Brand: Sony Ericsson!!!!!!! Favorite name: (female) Lujain (male) Abdullah Favorite hobby: Writing Poetry Favorite room in my house: Bedroom Favorite Fruit: A nice sweet cold mango! Favorite flower: Roses (any colour) Favorite Word: Dude! Favourite non religious book: Shopaholic Series :D I am reading Shopaholic and Baby as we speak :) Favorite hot drink: English Toffee (Timmys!) I have added... Favorite Shoes- Christian Louboutin!!! Now I am supposed to Tag someone... Can I just Tag whomever reads this blog? I don't wanna leave anyone out :)
Jan 29, 2009

The Ignorant In-law...

Well as many of you know, I am married to my hubby of nearly 5 years, who is a sweet guy and just happens to be Saudi. I have a little girl whom I adore, and live for! I live in Riyadh, and still reside in my husbands fathers home! (I would not wish this upon my worst enemy) The reason I am still stuck int he home, is that it is in all honestly huge and empty- save my father-in-law and the maids. My single Sister-in-law and brothers-in-law are studying in the States and the rest are married. You would think I should be happy in this home, but the sad reality is, it is not my home. I have been welcomed to live here, but I still feel like an outsider or a guest in a place I have been living in for well over 4 years! I haven't really met my husbands fathers extended family- they are qaseemi's and have a hard time welcoming in non-saudis (so I have been told)- yet I must quickly add that my own husbands mother is NOT Saudi! She is Turkish/Syrian. Anyhoo, when my husband and I got married, I came to live in this home (it was supposed to be a temporary fix till we found a place that we were happy with). My in-laws were and still are very sweet to me, yet I always felt I was never truly welcomed. It's weird, at times i felt I was just one of them laughing with them at their jokes, and the very next week I felt like I wasn't welcome?! I don't know, its just me, and I haven't bothered my husband with my feelings, cause they are just that- feelings. Anyway, After a few months here, I found out that my husbands eldest sister's husband has banned her from ever talking to her brother again. He threatened to divorce her! He did not enter the home any longer, and cut off the entire family (even my father-in-law...) Wanna guess why that happened? It's because he felt that it was a shame that my husband did not marry a fellow Saudi from Najd, and from a well known family. He was angered that his brother-in-law ( I still don't get why its even his bloody business) married a NON Saudi girl. (This guy actually forced his own brother to divorce the love of his life because she was from the Hijaz!!! Go Figure!!!). Anyway, I was very shocked when I found out, and was saddened that I was the reason for causing my sister-in-law to get divorced (now I have come to terms that i am NOT the reason, and that rather this ignorant man is the reason). The funny thing is he is a very strong business man, and has business dealings with people all over the world. I wonder how many people truly know how ignorant he truly is?!?!? Anyway, for about a year and half now, things have gotten back to normal with this fellow and my other in-laws, keeping my husband and I at bay. To the point that we are given a call letting us know that he is coming over, and for us to try not come out where he can see us (Easy enough.. the place is huge, and it would be next to impossible to see him unless I went out of my way to). That has been pretty much my sign to truly distance myself from the family. My daughter- which is the only grand-child that actually bears the family name, is to be hidden from this man, as he can not accept that my child exists.. ooo and btw he isn't fully Saudi either.. his mother is Egyptian! (I hear his paternal side of the family put them through hell, and disowned his father for a few years till they came to sense). So Maybe he is like this because of some psychological scars he has from his childhood? (my naive self making excuses for someone that doesn't even deserve it.) Anyways, I have let myself sleep reminding myself that he really isn't worth my time, nor do I need his acceptance.. (his own kids come visit me, and love my little girl). I just remind myself that patience is key, and this guy truly has something awful coming to him! I truly think that I can learn to be happy here, I just need to make some changes in my life... and I will be on the road to acceptance (*_-)... till then I will take every opportunity to get out of Riyadh.. and head elsewhere.. anywhere else! My next stop is Bahrain! 10 days to go....Here I come Freedom.. here I come! That's enough ranting for tonight... Good night from Riyadh!
Jan 28, 2009

A Freedom Called Bahrain...

This is actually a pic on the bridge heading back to KSA! Anyone here in the great Kingdom will be sure to know about Bahrain. Its about 20 minutes from Al Khobar, and links to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahad Causeway. Many expats go there to have some fun... in ways they can not have it here in Saudi. But that is not the only means of Freedom it holds. I know how I feel when we are crossing the causeway, its like something has been lifted off me, that I can smile, and be happy. I can see a bit of the life I have always been used to.... aaaah I can finally EXHALE! I for one, do not drink (il7amdlilaaah), so partying it up and drinking is not the freedom I am seeking. There are other freedoms this tiny country holds. Its the freedom of just being me. Its the freedom to hold my life in my own hands, not requesting anyone to take me from one place or another. I have the freedom to jump into my car, and take ME to wherever I want to go.. no questions asked. No drama! Last night here in Riyadh, my husband and I were in jarir bookstore, and when we came out, we noticed that an idiot parked right next to us was parked so close the driver seat could hardly be opened! I could have squeezed through, but my husband couldn't. The sad thing was, I could not squeeze right in, and get us out of the parking spot so that my husband could take over without violating the rule of DWF (Driving while Female). So my husband had to enter through the passenger seat to the drivers seat, all because I was of the wrong bloody sex! Anyway.. lemme get back to the freedom called Bahrain, Its not merely the issue of driving. I LOVE to just walk around, and get some fresh air, that can not be done here in Saudi as easily, even while next to your own husband you have other men staring at you !! ( Some of these men show NO shame!)- I remember an incident, while I was with my elder brother in Mall of Dhahran, we were walking, and there was this man that was walking with his wife, staring at me! He was just staring, showing no respect to his wife, and showing NO respect to my brother right next to me. My brother gave him the most evil look and said 'what the hell are you staring at, keep your eyes moving'. The man got freaked out, his wife stared hard at him and began yelling at him.. and my brother and I kept walking (Someone was definitely sleeping on the couch that night.. lol) In Bahrain you can go watch a movie (something i love doing) with your friends or family. You can go to a nice restaurant, and get to actually experience the restaurant. You can walk through the malls, and try things on (change rooms are forbidden here in the KS of A- I believe there were some cases of cameras being installed or something). Anyway only a person that has experienced it can truly appreciate trying something on before buying it, and not being forced to return to the store a few times before you get the right fit! Another hobby I have always had, that i can't really do much here in Saudi is to take pictures. I love taking pictures of daily life, and just snapping away. that is a big no-no in Saudi, as you may offend someone and take a picture that is not wanted. Thus my camera usually remains in my purse at all times, with little use. On the other hand, in Bahrain, I can walk into the mall, and take pictures without getting a second look from those around me. i can snap pictures just about anywhere.. and I love it! There are many more little bits of freedom I feel when in Bahrain, but my time is up.. and I must say bye for now
Jan 25, 2009

100 Things...

Saw this on Stranger in this dunyas website, and thought I would do it... :) 1. Started your own blog 2. Slept under the stars 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a praying mantis 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumping 12. Visited Paris (if the airport counts) 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France 20. Slept on an overnight train 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset 31. Hit a home run 32. Been on a cruise 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David 41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa (North Africa… Algeria) 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Been in a movie 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 62. Gone whale watching 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favourite childhood toy 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial 71. Eaten caviar 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London 77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican 82. Bought a brand new car 83. Walked in Jerusalem 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read the entire Qur’an (shockig I know!! Allah yahdeeni!!!) 86. Visited the White House 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox 89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous 92. Joined a book club 93. Lost a loved one 94. Had a baby 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone 99. Been stung by a bee 100. Read an entire book in one day

Losing myself?

I have been here in Riyadh for about 4 years and a half. Although I have gotten used to life here in general, it was not always like that. I initially came in a happy and excited girl that was full of ambition and hope for the future. I was going to start a new life here, and continue with my education. I was always an independent person, so much so, that my mother used to leave me with my younger siblings from the age of 15 while she traveled back and forth to her family. This independence I achieved at such a young age, had me doing things people my age wouldn't even think of. I would get all my own paperwork done, I worked throughout university so that I would not have to ask my parents for money (they would be ready to oblige, but I wanted to do it for myself) and I HATE asking for money, it just makes me feel low! Anyway, I met my dear husband, and moved here to Saudi in hopes to strive, and build my future here in the Great Kingdom. Once arriving here, I saw that things were not as hopeful as I once thought, my husband had taken over everything for me. He would purchase my tickets, he would make my appointment, he would tell me to wait in the car, or tell me to stay seated as he got things done. How could I just sit back and have everything done for me? My husband was merely following the customs he was raised with (although I married him because he was so open minded). Places I would easily walk into anywhere else in the world, were Male territory now. I remember walking into a music store once when I first arrived with 2 of my cousins (aged 8 and 10 at the time). The man behind the counter came running to me, and told me I had to leave the store immediately, I was shocked.. I asked him why? He pointed to a sign outside the store stating that woman were strictly forbidden! I was shocked, yet I had to leave, and wait outside while my cousins got me whatever I wanted. I still remember the shock I felt when I went to several restaurants and cafe's seeing signs that woman were prohibited unless they were with their mahrem (male guardian). I remember one day when my husband and I were sitting in starbucks, and the religious police walked in and started ID'ing people, they did not bother us, but I saw them go to a closed off section that was filled with women, and told them they would have to leave as there was no legal guardian with them (mind you if they had a 10 year old boy with them, they would have been allowed to stay!) Anyway going back to my initial subject on losing my independence, I was talking to my mother the other day, and I told her that I came to Saudi as a FULL person, someone with ambition, with high hopes to achieve something, and as the days became weeks, and the weeks became months, and the months became years, I feel like I have been losing little pieces of myself along the way... I have seen change occur in the big city, when I first arrived things were much stricter then they are now, I see woman doing more with their lives, yet their achievements are hidden from the public eye. I want to stop this path I am going on, I want to find light at the end of the tunnel! Am I selfish for having these thoughts when I have my daughter to raise? I want to be perfect for her, I want to show her the beauty of life, yet somewhere in me, my unhappiness is growing stronger, I smile to the world, yet I cry within myself. I LOVE my husband, yet I hate the life he has given me here (May Allah forgive me). Maybe I just need a vacation, and tomorrow I will awake with these thoughts buried back where they should be, deep down within me somewhere that shouldn't be found. Losing Myself Edge of Sanity Music: Dan Swano Lyrics: Jonas Renkse Dan Swano: Lead Vocals, All Guitars, Bass Benny Larsson: Drums Losing time counting hours I'll never see myself again And even though I'm alone I can't remember what I'm missing So I leave it be Closing down I expect the hopelessness And even though I'm alone I can't remember what I'm missing and that's all I need I am lost I feel I am sinking now like I was made of rain Like a wave I roll into the endless night I am not afraid as the darkness starts to make its way I breathe as hard as you as I end my day I sigh and shelter as I try to sink that deep as deep as you and make sure that I won't fall asleep Losing days I need no hours I'll never be myself again And even though it's killing me I can't remember what I'm missing So I leave it be
Jan 23, 2009

Can't they read?

My Little girl is 18 months and 3 days old. She has had her passport since she was about 3 weeks old. Her name was misspelled by some incompetent fellow at the passport office, that simply did now know how to type in what they see in front of them! I have noticed that many offices here simply don't really check for spelling, they simply type in how they believe the name should be spelt! Why can't they just do their job well int eh first place? Why would they bother forcing us to fill out an application if they will disregard the spelling of the names or even the Date of birth? My Saudi ID has one birthday (wrong one of course), my hospital records have a different date of birth (they made me younger.. so i shouldn't be troubled by it right?! :D) Anyhoo, I get really frustrated by this, I like to give 110% when I do something, and I expect those people in charge of getting our legal papers together should also do the same! I know I am just ranting ... but its bloody well frustrating!
Anyway, I have been asking my husband to fix my daughters passport from the first day he brought it home- well over 17 months ago!!!. Her name is not spelt right, and It truly annoys me. I asked him again just now, and again, he mutters I will get it done enshallah.. how much longer shall i wait? Wouldn't it have been much better if I could just waltz into the passport office and get it done myself? Wishful thinking on my part...
Anyway on a brighter note.. today is Friday, and its lovely and sunny out. I can hear the Friday sermons throughout the city, I love it! There is a slight chill, but nothing I can't handle.. I hope my husband gets home before it gets too late, so my daughter and I can get out and see people out and about! I would love to get out to the desert, but I highly doubt hubby will want to do that :(
Gonna add a pic of some desserts I made last week... I enjoyed myself... they are cupcake shaped yummilicious, extra fattening, deliciousness :D
Jan 22, 2009

Hitting?

My little girl has been doing something rather annoying for quite sometime. I try my best to let her know that she should not be doing it, yet she continues anyway. When she gets mad, she starts hitting herself on the hand, head or face. I try to tell her that it is ouch, and that she is hurting herself, yet it does not seem to be registering. I understand that at this age, she has a lot to say, but can not exactly make me understand. I try my darnest! I checked online, and saw that this is a normal thing for little toddlers at that age, but I don't recall my sisters kids doing it :( I can only imagine the wrong person seeing her do this in public, and think that I abuse my child (I have never hit her even once!) I could only imagine if the Childrens Aids folks were to see her doing it :( (Oh Yeah I am in Saudi, they would have a lot more things to worry about!) Anyway, I will continue to be patient, and continue to let her know that she should not be hitting herself. Best of luck to Moi! On a different note, I have been hearing a lot of fighter jets over the city of Riyadh for the last few days :( It gets VERY loud, and even my baby girl stops what she is doing and runs to the window to try find the source of this ultra loud room shaking sound! All in all I hope all is well in the city!
Jan 21, 2009

A New year...

I have been away for quite sometime.. a lot of it for some personally reasons.. and others simply for the lack of really being up to blogging.
  • The holidays have come and gone ...
  • The New Years (I say the plural) as we have had New Years in Both the Gregorian and Hijri calenders.. So Happy Belated New years to all!
  • I have grown a year older (won't even begin to mention the age anymore.. lol).
  • Have seen History made in the US, hoping that change will be the new thing of the future. Welcome President Obama!
  • I have seen atrocities occur in Gaza, Palestine.. and have spent many a night in tears for the poor people massacred under the worlds watch. My Prayers are with you!
  • I have been saddened by my Canadian Government's position on the Massacre.
  • My little baby has grown up to be a lovely little toddler, with her very own personality.. :)
  • My father has come back into my life in full throttle, and I could not have been happier!
  • I have tried to omit as much negative forces as possible from my life!
All in all, things are hopefully turning for the best and my prayers are for peace in the world... wherever it may be. Whilst I have not been blogging myself, I have been browsing other blogs during my time away. Keeping up with peoples going-ons. I think I will end with that for today.. and hopefully I will wake up 2morrow, and blog again! Missed being in the blogosphere.. and hope to stay here for some time longer!
Powered by Blogger.

Follow by Email

A stroll down memory lane:

Search This Blog