Once when I first moved here, I went to the beach with my husband and Salman. We were taking a walk along the beach, and an Iranian man suddenly came up and grabbed Salman and was talking about how cute he was. His friend was armed with a video camera. He asked my husband if he could get a picture with Salman. My husband said OK (I don't know why - possibly his need to appear pleasant in front of and to please everyone except for me had kicked in) so the guy picked up Salman and stood near me. When I realized I was going to be in the shot, I ducked out of it, to the side... he then pretended like he had realized the view behind him wasn't nice and moved again so that I would be in the shot... so I ducked out of it again... he kept doing that while my husband stood there grinning like an idiot and chatting with the guy... finally I went and stood behind the guy with the camera and told them "Please take the shot and give me back my son."
Soooo there will be no trips to the beach that involve me wearing a bathing suit.
The good and the bad thing about this town is that there is only one mall. It's good because it means it hasn't yet become a materialistic shopping haven like Dubai. It's bad because it basically has no clothing stores that I recognize aside from Next and G2000, neither of which make for a rocking wardrobe, but at least I can occasionally find something appropriately boring enough looking to wear to work in them. However, I have banned myself from shopping at the Next here after the time I went in, and I was the only customer and wanted to try on 6 things and was told that I could only take 4 in with me. I can understand such "security" measures in a busy store during a sale, but when you have only ONE customer, probably the only one you have had all day, is it really necessary? Is it really so hard for them to remember I have six and not four items in there with me? Do I really look that dishonest? Do they have a lot of problems with middle aged, middle class American moms stealing from them? Anyway, when they insisted, I handed them everything and told them "forget it" and walked out in a huff. In retrospect, I think I might have acted like a bit of a brat, but I had gone shopping merely to blow off steam after having another great day at work of being spoken to sarcastically, blamed for things that weren't my fault, and yelled at for not having ESP and I really didn't need that hassle.
Anyway... today I took the boys to Chiles, where we all ordered Chicken Enchilada soup, and the boys got chocolate milk shakes. After that, we went to check out what was playing in the movie theatre and the only option had another hour before it started so we went for a little shopping.
During my window shopping I had the pleasure of seeing a couple of incredibly hideous window displays. There was one outfit in particular on display that caught my attention. A frilly cheap black lace poofy ultra mini skirt and a red satin corseted bustier top. By the way, it is not a lingerie store. I have no idea to whom that is supposed to appeal or who actually shops there, since the rest of their clothes are gross too - ranging from frighteningly garish to down right sleazy like the one I just described, but they need to fire their window dresser.
It is always amusing to see what people wear to the mall and to see all the different kinds of people. There was this one couple, actually I am not sure if they were a couple or what because the guy was so young and the woman looked quite old, who looked like they were going to a costume party as obnoxious tourists. The guy had a big floppy sun hat on his head, sandals and socks on his feet and was wearing shorts and a t-shirt with an unbuttoned button up shirt a clashing print over it carrying a pink cloth bag over his shoulder. The woman was wearing thin cotton blue and white striped 3/4 length pants, a big t-shirt and orange flip flops.
Most of the people in the mall here are locals, especially men. They crowd the Starbucks. I like Starbucks' hot chocolate with whipped cream, but I never go to this one because it would mean having to weave through tables full of smoking local men who seem to have nothing better to do than stare. So if I want my hot chocolate I have drive all the way out Al Hamra to the deserted mall there where they seem to only have a Spinneys and a Starbucks that are actually open and operating. Which is fine by me, because I much prefer shopping in a nice clean nearly empty Spinneys than in an over-crowded Carrefour full of men holding hands and window shopping in the strangest aisles - like the dog food section, or the diapers and sanitary napkins aisle - and women loading carts pushed by minuscule Indonesian maids, cleaners with massive mops wiping up spills in the canned food aisles, and my favorite - the plastic bag hogs in the produce section who take the entire roll of plastic bags off the dispenser and carry it around in their cart like it is their personal supply and give you shocked looks when you have the audacity to take it out of their cart.
The young local guys, I have noticed, have started getting creative with their Kandoras - I am not sure I like it. I saw a young man in a Burberry print Kandora with matching baseball cap. I have been seeing more and more of the Kandora's with prints on them. I also saw an extremely obese homosexual Local man in a brilliantly shocking blue Kandora. There was another Local walking ahead of me with hips and butt just like a woman's. This is not all that uncommon I have discovered. I saw it a lot in my gym in Dubai. A lot of Arab men look at lot better in a Kandora than they do in gym shorts with socks pulled up to their knees. They would enter the gym looking like dignified businessmen in their crisp clean Kandoras and emerge from the locker rooms looking quite silly at times in what they thought were fashionable exercise outfits. Kandoras hide all kinds of flaws and are flattering to most body types, unless they are too tight and the man happens to be bottom heavy like that one I saw today. Such men look better in the loose fitting Kandoras. I think men should make a habit of checking their posterior view in a mirror like women do before leaving the house.
After watching the movie we came home where I am ending my day by writing this and watching Survivor Tocantins and wondering how "Coach" made it this far with his annoying habit for telling tall tales and the fact that in spite of all of his big talking he is crappy at most of the physical challenges. I am also thinking if I should try sign up for Survivor so I could go on an enforced diet - if I could manage to last long enough - to starve for several weeks. However, the seemingly mandatory costume for women, namely a bikini / tube top and optional pair of microscopic Lycra shorts, doesn't really appeal to me.