Sunday, October 23, 2011

Arab Teenagers - boys with bang-dos

I was in Ras Al Khaimah over the weekend, visiting my friend, and we went to the mall - while there I noticed several Arab teenagers dressed in the weirdest ways. I have no idea what/who is guiding their "fashion" sense - it looked ridiculous to me.

First of all there's the hair-do - and by the way I am talking about teenage boys - not girls and I am of the opinion that the term hairdo and man/boy should not be used in the same sentence. I swear to God this style they all seem to be sporting looks like a boy's version of the Snooki hairdo. Bangs with this big poof hump of hair behind it. Who the hell told them this looks cool????

Secondly there are the clothes - skinny jeans in awful colors - like purple (and again we're talking about boys here). And they wear matching outfits... which again is a very unmanly thing to do in my opinion.

And then there are the shoes. One black one - one yellow one 0r red or whatever color they happen to be wearing. I guess two friends will share - one gets one black shoe and one gets one of the colored ones and then they wear matching outfits. I don't think this is what American teenage boys are wearing these days but I might be wrong - anyone else seen anything like this?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Big 40 and burkinis

I turned 40 last week... yes FORTY... I really can't believe it. I can still clearly recall those days when I thought 20 was grossly old and now I am 40 and I have a teenager. Where the HELL did my life go?

It is kind of scary being 40. The main thing that worries me is security. By now, most people I know who are my age and - let's face it - younger have started to prepare for the future. I haven't been able to do that. I have NO (yes you heard me right no as in zero) savings, nor do I own my own home. In fact, all I do own is my crappy furniture, an even crappier car... and a gender confused cat who attacks my feet at precisely 4:30 am every morning.

I was really dreading my 40th birthday for many reasons. The first being the most obvious - that it was 40 - not a number most people (especially women) look forward to turning. The second being that I am here all alone. Turning 40 is bad enough, turning forty all by yourself is even worse. Luckily I expressed my fear of spending my birthday alone to a friend and he arranged a lovely surprise for me. I ended going to Oman and spending the weekend on the yacht of Omani Sheikh along with a few other people. Our host was very gracious and gave me his room on the yacht - the nicest room with a bathroom with spacious tub. We traveled along the Omani Coastline and went to one of the only places in the world where the giant sea turtles go to lay their eggs. There were baby sea turtles scrambling about all over the beach - the poor things need to safely make it to the water, but get disoriented easily. We had a barbecue in a traditional fisherman's hut where we feasted on freshly caught and grilled Omani rock lobster and hammour. It was delicious - a couple of baby sea turtles, attracted to the light joined us, and were scrambling about on the woven mats on the floor. After that we walked along the beach and found three mothers in the act of laying their eggs. Apparently only one out of 100 of the babies will survive to adulthood. I have a feeling the little lost fellows who joined us will not be among them :(. The sheikh told us that the week before, he and some of his posse had gathered up buckets of the little guys and taken them to the sea. Normally, most of them never even make it to the water as they are eaten by hungry sea gulls who just wait for this time of year to feast on baby turtles.

Some of the guys went fishing and caught a 100 (or was it 200?) kg shark, and we all went swimming and jet skiing. The Omani coastline is quite beautiful and towards muscat you have old castles on the cliffs overlooking the water... built by the Portuguese back in their heyday.

I haven't been swimming/ to a beach in ages. I have some problems with sun - photosensitivity - which doesn't actually mean i burn easily - because I don't - i just react badly to the sun at times. So I have avoided it for several years and consequently am as white as a ghost. One of my big fears before going on this trip was the issue of swimwear... I don't enjoy enjoy wearing bathing suits. I didn't enjoy it back when I was young and had a perfect body, so I certainly don't enjoy it now. It just always has (and still does) felt weird to me to walk about in something that is no bigger than my underwear. I wouldn't wear my underwear in public, so why it suddenly is 'OK' in beach context escapes me. So I actually went in search of a burkini, and I did find a sportswear store that sells them. Unfortunately - they were truly hideous. I am not Muslim, so I don't need the head gear part nor do i need to cover every inch of skin above my ankles and wrists. I just wanted something more modest than a bikini, but also somehow stylish looking - this does not seem to be on offer in burkinis. There were different styles - but they all had ugly prints or weird cuts, so I wandered about in the sportswear section for a bit and what ended up getting was a couple of tennis skirts with built in shorts in bathing suit type material that about 2/3 of the way down my thighs and a couple of t-shirts and tank tops in the same material. I think it did quite nicely, but it got me to thinking about burkini and bathing suit design, and think there is an untapped market out there for more modest BUT sleek/stylish/attractive looking swimwear for women of all kinds - not just Muslim women - who don't feel comfortable prancing about in a nearly-nude state in public.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Unlovable

That's how I feel.

Especially these days, now that I am all alone, I can't help but notice all the people around me - all the people who have someone who loves them and thinks they're special.

I don't know what that feels like, and sometimes I can't bear the thought that I will never know. Sometimes I feel I just don't want to go on in life anymore. My heart is like this big aching bleeding mass full of stabs wounds and holes left behind by people I loved who betrayed me or used me and didn't love me back.

I don't know what it is, but I am sure there is something inherently wrong with me.

I feel invisible, unlovable, untouchable.

I keep asking God to seal up my heart so I don't feel anything anymore, so I can't love or even like too much, so I don't want or need love. It's got to the point that I dread meeting anyone that I could like, because I know that if I get to know them more, inevitably, I will feel more and more but I will not be loved or even liked in return and it will hurt. I just want to want to be alone and not care, but that's not how God made me - I am some big joke or flawed design - a human being who craves love and affection more than others do, who has a lot of love and affection to give, but who has been made unlovable. I just don't understand why I even exist.

And because this is how I am - all I am is food for emotional vampires.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The miss who turned out to be a mister...

I spent the first part of my nine day eid holiday up north, sorting out things and packing in my old house.

It so empty and lonely there without the boys. I kept expecting my little one to come round the corner at any minute with his long hair, clad in only his little red underpants and looking for all the world exactly like Mowgli in the Jungle Book.

Or for the older one to suddenly appear at my elbow and tell me some string of new facts he learned from the Discovery Channel or reading.

Luckily, I wasn't completely alone. I had my cat for company. He's a little over a year old now and the most gorgeous cat I have ever seen. I have no idea what breed he is, but he is lovely. Considering his beauty, I have been feeling very guilty for getting him castrated. Cats like him should be allowed to breed.

We actually thought he was a girl for the entire first year. Mainly, because the idiots at the pet store told us he was, but also because of his behavior. He had a collection of small stuffed animals that he played with, and he appeared to be playing house. He would pick them up by the backs of their necks and carry them over to his food dish, where he would place them face down - as if he expected them to eat. Later he would take them over next to the litter box. Presumably so they could relieve themselves. He seemed quite maternal.

So imagine my surprise when my little one carried him over to me and plopped him on my lap and announced "Mom, Misty's got a nut-sack". I scoffed at him, "Can't be" I said, but I checked anyway, and sure enough, under all the gorgeous fur, there was - indeed - a nut-sack. A few days later Misty began "romancing" one of the larger stuffed animals and he started licking himself so I saw not only the nut-sack but his ... noodle as well, so before he reached the stage of spraying all over my house, I took him to the vet.

You might wonder how I managed to miss that he had male equipment - I had raised a stray kitten before and from the time he was tiny I could see his balls. But Misty was so furry and fluffy and I swear he never sexed up a stuffed animal or licked himself openly until after we discovered his nut-sack. It was as if he was hiding it from us until we discovered it.

Anyway, he's fixed now, dashing my sons' hopes of cute Misty babies to care for in the future, but my furniture is safe.

Meanwhile, a few months before I left and took this new job, a stray, that the kids named "loud hungry kitty" because - well - he's a very loud, very hungry kitty, had started coming to the house every day or so begging for food and affection. Unlike most strays, he is quite friendly, and loves people. When I was sitting near the window the other day, he was rubbing himself up against the window right next to me - as if he was trying to rub against me. It was quite heartbreaking. If I didn't already have a cat, I would have adopted him - though he is quite ugly - but I can't handle two cats, much less two males - unlike Misty, Loud Hungry has very prominent "man jewels" and short fur, so I am sure he is a male.

The most I could do for him was put food and water out. Now I worry about him, who will feed him now that I am gone. I didn't see him in my last trip, which worried me since he usually shows up at some point. I hope he didn't get run over by a car or something.

Instead of Loud Hungry, a new stray showed up. Eid morning I woke up to find Misty staring intently out the window at goat that was sprawled across my front door step. Where it came from I have no idea. I don't live in a farming area and I never noticed any goats being kept around my house. The fact that it was eid made me wonder if it was an escapee, on the run from becoming someone's eid feast. I put water out for it too. It was still there when I left later that afternoon.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shaping up

I am on this fitness kick lately. Have been trying to go to the gym regularly and not eat junk food. I have lost a lot of weight and now fit back into some of my tinier clothes (yay). I don't want to be skeletal, but my frame is not build to carry any kind of extra weight well. I don't have voluptuous hips and breasts. I look and feel better when I am toned and athletic looking.

Anyway, in celebration of my progress, I went out and bought some new exercise clothes. I need new shoes desperately because I noticed the front of my trainers are starting to split - and since they're about 4 years old, I figured it was about time for a change.

I decided to try the new Reebok "toning" shoes. I don't know if they really work or it is just one big fat gimmick, but they were very comfortable; so I figure, either way, it's all good - if they do help tone my glutes then great, otherwise I just have new and very comfortable pair of shoes.

One thing however that never ceases to amaze me is the absolute lack of awareness of sales staff regarding customer service. The salesman actually brought me dirty sock to wear to try the shoes on with - it had brown smudges on it! Seriously? Why he thought that would be acceptable is beyond me, and are they too cheap to send the socks for washing?

I also bought some self help books. I realize that I have many character flaws, and I would like to try to work on them so that I can lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Random Ramblings

Well, another Ramadan has almost finished. It turns out that I have the entire week off next week, which means that - with the weekends - I have nine days to myself - no kids. I actually temporarily considered going to the US for the week to see the kids for the week, until I saw the price. 16,000 dirhams .... (more than $4,000) for an economy ticket. Then I thought, why not visit my good friend in Turkey? But that ticket cost around 6,000 dirhams - which is more than I usually pay to go to the US. Clearly the airlines are exploiting the Eid holiday and making a killing. So all travel plans have been scrapped and I am stuck here - alone - for 9 days. I miss my kids so much.Publish Post

I checked out the Marina Mall the other day - for the first time - and I visited the Calvin Klein underwear shop. A few years back, I had bought a couple Calvin Klein bras. and they had fit me better than any bra. Anyway, to make a long story short, after this visit, I am convinced that just like clothing sizes (anyone else noticed how a size two or four has grown over the years?) bra sizes have also gone through a change. Now there is no way in hell I am actually a D (0r even close to that) but I actually had to buy a 34D bra. I had a similar experience at La Senza, but I just thought it was their sizing, since I had no earlier point of reference to compare to. But I know for a fact that at Calvin Klein - when I was nursing my youngest son - I wore a C cup (8 years ago), and I can assure you that my breasts have NOT grown since then - if anything they have deflated. So are clothing manufacturers trying to mess with our minds and make us think we are thinner than we are with bigger breasts than we actually have? I wouldn't put it past them. The fashion/beauty industry is all one big mind f**k if you ask me - trying to manipulate us and distort our vision of reality.

Well, that's enough random rambling for now, the sun is down and it's time to eat... yay!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Taxi Thieves

Just want to give a big fat shout out to all the inconsiderate taxi thieves I have encountered in the past few days.

First of all there was Mr. "all dressed up in a nice suit" - sir, even though you may dress like a gentleman - your behavior says otherwise.

Then there was a chubby heavily made up lady - She was perhaps my favorite... she didn't want to stand in the sun so she retreated back from the road side to cower in the shade of building where she could not see taxis approaching nor could they see her, when she saw me hailing a taxi, she quickly dashed out to the road in front of me and grabbed it... nice eh?

Lady with Umbrella - another sun-shy maiden - came to the taxi stand after I did and then planted herself squarely in front of me with her big fat umbrella so I couldn't see anything. Whenever I tried to reposition myself she moved and blocked me.

Here's the real clincher - I am the one who needed the most sun protection yet I stood out in the sun the longest thanks to these gems of humanity. Not only am I light-skinned, but I have photo-sensitivity - and am not supposed to go in the sun. After my little ordeal my skin rash was starting.

So people, next time you steal a taxi, or push in front of someone in a line, don't think that what you're doing is no big deal. You never know how your actions might impact another person's life.