Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And the descent into hell continues....

Today I got great news. My coworker - the one who handles the Arabic stuff / protocol / etc. has resigned with no notice. Well actually she sort of did give notice. She told them several months ago that she wanted to be transferred to a different department or she would resign. They didn't take her too seriously. Partly because they were under the incorrect assumption that she needed the job. I warned them that she was not happy and they had the nerve to blame me for that (yeah... I am the one who blames people for things that aren't their fault, has no respect for other people's time and makes unreasonable demands).

Anyway the HR was taking their sweet time finding a replacement, partly because our bosses are demanding that we have someone a) Local b) with very very good Arabic to English / English to Arabic Translation skills c)a personality like a bulldozer (because Fatema and I are "too nice" and that's why the office is such a stressful place to work d) stellar Arabic letter writing skills (which I have come to understand is not so easy to find) e) willing to take a crappy salary and work like a slave. Basically, such a person doesn't exist, especially not in this town.

For one thing, most locals wont work a minute past official working hours, and many don't work even that long - especially not in government organizations. Also, finding a local with stellar English is very difficult. Fatema's abilities are, quite frankly, amazing. But of course they never fully appreciated her.

We found one girl, her English was better than average, as were her translation skills, she was hard-working and prompt but "her personality wasn't strong enough" (like mine and Fatema's) so the deputy squashed that, now another department has taken her.

Funny how they say my personality isn't strong, and yet I am one of the only people working here who has had the nerve to tell the boss that yelling does not contribute to a productive "professional" working environment and that it is demotivating.

Speaking of yelling, he called me this morning and told me that he left his car at work and he needed the driver to come get him. I asked him where the key is, and he said with "H" (the driver usually assigned to him). I called H and his mobile was off. I called the tranportation coordinator, and he told me that H hadn't come into work yet today. I called my boss back to tell him that H was unreachable at the moment and could someone would pick him up in a regular company car. He screamed at me "what's wrong with you! The key is with the security!"

Anyway, with her gone, I will have twice the work and no way to deal with any Arabic Correspondence. Since I already leave around 7:30 - 8 PM, maybe I should just set up my bed here behind my desk and ship my kids off to my mother since they will never see me again.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I hate my life sometimes

The official working hours of the company for which I am working are 8 AM - 4 PM, which means I usually get to go home at 7 PM or even 8 or 9 PM if I am extra lucky.

Since I am staying late and not getting paid overtime, you would think the company and / or my boss would be just a bit grateful. No such luck of course.

On Sunday, my boss called my mobile at almost 7 PM. I was still in the office, but I was over in another section talking to the unfortunate PR officer. Anyway, I heard my mobile ring once and then go silent, so I figured that whoever was calling me didn't have anything terribly urgent to tell me if they let it hang up after 1 or two rings. Anyway, after finishing my conversation about 2 minutes later, I returned to my desk, saw it was my boss who had called and called him back.

"It takes you this long to answer my CALL?!" he shouted into the phone. I hate people who shout into the phone for no good reason. The shouting makes them harder to understand and it just hurts my ear - especially since I always hold the phone to my left ear and loud noises feel like they are stabbing it ever since my ear drum broke when a certain jerk broke it by slapping me up-side my head.

I told him, "It is after hours. I left my mobile on my desk for a couple minutes, and I called you back as soon as I saw your missed call" I was really pissed off, still am when I think about it. Who the hell is he to scream at me and for that?! It was 3 hours in to MY time and I was still at the office, he should have been thankful for that. Secondly it is fucking rude to ask that, since he has no idea what I was doing. I mean I could have been in the toilet for all he knows. Does he want me to answer him on the spot when I am in the middle of taking a dump or a shower. He had no right to assume that I would be in the office at that time anyway so I could have been doing just that or any other number of things that would have prevented me from answering him right away.

Then again yesterday, I was in the office trying to finish up my work, and he had told me to remind him in the evening to call his Bank in the US as he was having some problem with an account. So, as usual, in the evening he was in the middle of one of his 3 to 6 hour arguments with the Deputy Director and I wanted to go; I just needed to remind him before I went. So I went and told him to remember to call his bank - actually I figured he wouldn't do it, so I planned to also send him an SMS shortly after that reminding him again. Anyway, he just kind of looked at me and then carried on again with his argument in Arabic. So I turned to go out of his office.
"Wait a minute!" he shouted "where do you think you are going?" (HOME! it is fucking 7 o' clock - is what I wanted to say). I told him "I am going back to my desk to finish up, I don't understand Arabic and I don't feel like sitting here for three hours while you two continue your conversation in a language I don't understand"

"What do you have against Arabic?" He asked. (What kind of stupid question is that?, I thought)
Nothing, but it is boring and unproductive to sit and listen to a never ending conversation in a language I don't understand. If you want me to be present for this conversation for some reason, then the two of you should speak in English, otherwise I don't get anything out of it and I am wasting my time."

"It's not for you to decide your time is being wasted!"


My boss normally comes into the office about an hour or two later than I do and the Deputy comes in after noon. Then my boss goes home again for lunch for a couple of hours and comes in nice and fresh after 4 just when I am hoping I can go home and traps me for several more hours.

I don't even get a lunch break and if he catches me trying to eat something quickly at my desk he makes a snide remark. And then they act like I am lazy when I want to go home in the evening 3 hours after all their other employees have left.

I think it is inconsiderate that just because someone doesn't want to be here during the full normal working hours, they expect other people who have been here the whole time to sit around and wait for them.

The best part of this is I get the worst performance appraisals ever according to grading he gives me I am jut shy of being a completely useless imbecile and because it is so low, it means that I don't qualify for any kind of increment.

There are times I just want to explode and scream back and tell him off for the way he treats / talks to me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Arabian Ghost Town

This past Friday we did something a little different than our usual - wake up late, go have lunch at Chilis, do something at the mall, etc. - routine.

"A", who is a photography buff, and a friend of his from billiards also named "A" (and herein to be referred to as "A2") who also likes taking photographs, took us to an old deserted village by the sea here. Al Jazeer Al Hamra, is a ghost town of abandoned old Arabic houses, crumbling mosques and shops. I had told "A" before how I wanted to go see old places around here and take pictures so I can get ideas for paintings (I am not very big on painting modern looking buildings or people wearing modern western style clothing - it is boring - though I don't mind if they are wearing modern versions of traditional kinds of clothes, like kandora, abaya, Jilabeeya, Shalvar Kameez, Sari, etc.

Anyway, in true local fashion, "A" kind of forgot to mention this plan and only informed us when they were ready to go, so the boys were just wearing regular house clothes. I told him that if he had told us longer before just showing up at our gate, I would have made them wear kandora - then we could have taken some nice photos of them too in that setting. So he said "insha' allah next time."

The place was truly amazing and the kids had a great time exploring the crumbling houses and towers.

I thought I would share a few photos with you all here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I've been tagged - lists of 8

Well, Puca tagged me so, here are my lists of 8 things...

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. Getting a divorce

2. Losing 9 more pounds

3.The weekend (every weekend)

4. Eating something other than boiled chicken breast

5. Sleeping

6. Getting my old a** back

7. Maybe going home this summer

8. Hugs from my babies

8 things I wish I could do:

1. Own a vacation home in Zanzibar

2. Live and run an orphanage in the Kenyan highlands

3. Learn to play the violin

4. Write a best selling novel - or just a book for starters

5. Have a baby girl (or even another baby boy - at least one more baby)

6. Find true love

7. Stay home with my boys and teach them many things

8. Make my husband pay child support and alimony

8 things I love:

1. My family & friends

2. Chocolate Milk

3. Lemon Pies / tarts / filled donuts

4. Reading

5. Painting

6. Africa!

7. Exercising (but at my old gym - I miss it :( )

8. Dancing

8 things I did yesterday:

1. Went to work - blah

2. Uploaded pictures to Facebook

3. Checked my Farm (on Farmtown - I am such a dork) and Chatted with my mom on Facebook

4. Took Max for a walk.

5. Did 1/2 an hour on my Exercise machine.

6. Had a bucket bath because the water went out just as I was finished exercising.

7. Watched Candy Girls and wondered if any of these reality shows are for real

8. Made Chocolate Milk with chocolate whipped cream on top for my boys :)

8 Shows I watch:

1. CSI - love crime solving shows

2. House - love how mean House is

3. Criminal Minds - same as number 1

4. Keeping up with the Kardashians - because it is so satisfyingly trashy

5. 10 years younger - because I like to imagine that there is hope for me yet

6. Dr 90210 - because it fascinates me

7. Grey's Anatomy - because I wish I had got that medical degree and married a hunky doctor

8. Candy Girls - because cat fights are always good fun!

I don't have 8 people to tag :( but I tag:
Empress Anisa (if she finds time)
Ahavah (if they read this and happen to see that they are tagged)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Loving Narcissus

I realized recently that I am a magnet for narcissists. I always thought there was something wrong with a lot of the people who seem drawn to me and they have things in common. It was only the other day that I realized there is an actual clinical name for what they have: Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Although I don't encourage the worship of ancient pagan Gods, nor do I take the myths as literal truth, you can often learn something from them.

For those who aren't aware of the Greek Legend of Narcissus: (Taken from Wikipedia)
or Narkissos (Greek: Νάρκισσος) in Greek Mythology was renowned for his beauty. In the various stories he is exceptionally cruel, in that he disdains those who love him. As divine punishment he falls in love with a reflection in a pool, not realizing it is his own, and perishes there, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection.

Narcissistic people are so in love with themselves (though this self love actually stems from a deep self hatred that is buried beneath the conscious level - you know what they say, love is akin to hate). The painful thing about loving a Narcissist is that they cannot truly love you back. They have incomplete personalities that do not allow them to empathize with other people or understand their needs. Living with a narcissist is like living with a big and mean child that never grows up and learns to appreciate you for what you give to / do for him / her or love you back.

A brief run down of the traits of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:


A pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.

Most narcissists (75%) are men.

NPD is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders ("co-morbidity") - or with substance abuse, or impulsive and reckless behaviors ("dual diagnosis").

Description of a Narcissist: (Narcissists usually have 5 or more of the following characteristics)

  • Fees grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

  • Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)

  • Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations

  • Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

  • Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

  • Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her

  • Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted

Another good article about the disorder, written from the viewpoint of someone who has known several can be found here: http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/howto.html

Pretty much all narcissists go undiagnosed because the disorder itself is of the nature that it would make it very hard for them to even admit they need help(and thus go to a doctor and be diagnosed). I actually believe that the Arab world - or maybe the Gulf Arab world and the UAE - Dubai - in particular (since that it where I have been living and have encountered a remarkable number of narcissists) has more of these men because this is a case of a nurture induced personality disorder. I got to wondering why there seemed to be more of such people here than I have encountered elsewhere (though they can be found everywhere and I have not been everywhere on earth so there very well may be other places that have just as many or more of these monsters running around.)

Now I have noticed that many parents here seem to think that parenting means producing children, paying for their needs and wants, and turning them over to tiny little maids for rearing - tiny little Indonesian / Filipino / Indian maids who have no authority over them. On top of that, the boys in particular are treated like little gods and indulged (this holds true with other men who are raised in a similar way - like my husband - oldest son, apple of his mother's eye who could do no wrong, etc.). These boys are basically grow up thinking other people exist for their pleasure - to give them what they want and make them feel good about themselves.

Over-indulgence of a child and distant parenting are both cited as factors that contribute to the development of a narcissist.

If you have a significant amount of children being raised this way in a given population, then you will have a significantly higher number of adult males with narcissistic personality disorder in that population as well, and because of that, a larger number of girls will also have grown up putting up and dealing with narcissistic brothers and fathers, which preps them to think such behavior is normal and to not ask for / expect more in future relationships. Now let me just add in here that I don't think ALL Arab men are like this and that all Arab families raise their children this way or that here is the only place you find children raised this way. I don't think this problem exists here because they are worse than any other group of people. They are normal people, capable of good or bad behavior, like everyone else on earth. BUT I do think certain factors - large families combined with newly acquired wealth (sometimes unearned or easily acquired), heavy reliance on hired help in child rearing, certain traditional attitudes regarding boys (males) vs. girls (females), sense of superiorty (nationals vs. non nationals and particularly Asian non nationals who tend to be the ones caring for the children) - contribute to this problem. I mean let's face it, if a child is never told no, if it is receiving care from people it learns to identify (from the example set by parents) as beneath itself and owing it this care (because they are hired to do it - its their job / duty ) they are more likely to grow up thinking that a) others are beneath them b) they deserve to have whatever they want c) people owe it to them to give them what they want and need.

Narcissists are like vampires, they feed off of the emotions, reactions and insecurities of their chosen victims. Before I knew that such a term "narcissistic personality disorder" existed, I used to call them "emotional vampires." And then, when reading about narcissists this past weekend, I saw another person refer to them by exactly the same term. Whatever the case, to a narcissist their partners, friends, loved ones, anyone who is putting up with their shit is not a person, they are what therapists like to call their "narcissistic supply" - they exist to feed the narcissist's emotional void.

Expressing love for a narcissist, being patient, putting up with his crap, are all seen as weaknesses by him, weaknesses that he will exploit and for which he will hold his victim in contempt. He will not appreciate anything that is done for him, because deep down inside of himself, so deep that he is not aware of it, he hates himself and this is why he is obsessed with himself. Doing things for him will not "help him realize his better nature and become a better person." The only way for him to possibly learn anything and get the help he needs (therapy) is to lose everything. So leaving him, might actually be the only thing one can do that might (might) possibly help him.

If a narcissist appears to have spontaneously changed and be acting nicer for a while or appreciative, it is only so he can string his victim along some more.

If you want revenge, the best revenge is to leave him and ignore him as much as you can. No matter what he does to try to upset you, do not give him any more of your emotions, even anger, that is what he wants and needs from you. Once he gets nothing from you, he will leave you alone and move on and find a new victim. Don't waste your time wondering if he is treating his new victim better, because he is not; and if he is, it isn't because he likes them better than he liked you or appreciates them more, it is either because he has to (some external factor is forcing him to behave better) or because he is still fattening them for the kill so to speak.

In the Roman Version of the Narcissus Myth, a nymph named Echo, falls in love with Narcissus, who was the son of the blue Nymph Liriope and the river god Cephisus.

Because of his great beauty, by the time he had reached "his sixteenth year," (fifteen years of age, by modern reckoning) every youth and girl in the town was in love with him, but he haughtily spurned them all.

One day, when he was out hunting stags, Echo stealthily followed him through the woods, longing to address him but unable to speak first. When Narcissus finally heard footsteps and shouted "Who's there?", Echo answered "Who's there?" And so it went, until finally she showed herself and rushed to embrace the lovely youth. He pulled away from the nymph and told her to leave him alone. Narcissus left Echo heartbroken and she spent the rest of her life in lonely glens, pining away for the love she never knew, until only her voice remained.

I find this version of the myth interesting, because, it illustrates what happens to those who are unfortunate enough to love narcissists and persist in this love. Pouring all of your love into the emotional void that is a Narcissist will drain you until you are obliterated and nothing remains except pain and tears.

Because, they are void of normal human emotions (like love) they feel empty, so they suck all the emotions and feelings from their victims, but it is never enough, so they are discontent and they blame their victim for not being able to satisfy them or fill the emptiness. When their victim has nothing more to give, they will discard them and find another victim. As long as you keep giving to narcissist they will keep taking. The only way to be free is to stop giving - stop feeding their sick hunger otherwise all you become is a faint Echo of what you used to be.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


They're so cute when they're brand new and tiny....

Salman - newborn (next to my sister in law's ugly doll - for size comparison)

My little Guy when he was 1 1/2 months old

I love the little hands
the tiny feet
the wispy hair
the sweet breath
of babies

the way they turn their head and open their mouths when you stroke their cheeks
the way they grunt and squirm when you hold them to your shoulder...

I miss having a baby

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Maid Speak and Weird Local Men

I took the kids to see UP this past weekend. "A" went with us. It was a very cute movie; "A" even laughed, which means something because "A" is a really moody and often cranky guy - at least when I am around him he is, which isn't that often really. The kids see much much more of him than I do.

"A" was married several years ago to a Dutch lady. She and their baby daughter died, along with her mother in a car crash when she went home on holiday. Three generations wiped out in a single blow. He never remarried and doesn't have any children of his own. I guess that is why he likes my boys so much. Especially the little one. He is a father who lost his child and they are children who lost their father - they kind of fit. I don't know if I do, but ....

After the movie "A" dropped us at home, and as we were pulling up to the gate, I saw that Sablah, my new Ethiopian maid was outside walking the dog. This bothered me. I don't like her going out like that when we are not there. She just got a mobile and some local guys have started calling her. I am certain they aren't calling her for her great conversation skills since her English is limited to the point that it often frustrates me and her Arabic is even worse. I can only guess she meets them when she slips out of the house like that. The best part of it all was that, when she took the dog out and closed the gate behind her - it latches automatically when closed - she left the key inside the house so that meant she and we were all locked out. Nice! I had to hoist Salman over the wall so he could jump down on the other side and open it for us. I have no idea what I would have done if that was not possible.

Sablah does a lot of strange and impractical things. For example: I bought a Turkey and kept it in the freezer in the spare fridge in the courtyard. Last weekend, while putting some groceries away in the lower (not freezer) part of the fridge, I noticed a plastic bag wedged in the corner. It had smelly raw decaying turkey bits in it - the neck and other parts of the carcass. I opened the freezer and to my horror saw my turkey was not there anymore. I don't think I need to tell anyone that turkeys are not the cheapest things to buy. So it turns out that Sablah, who had never seen a Turkey before in her life, decided to thaw it out - which in and of itself scares me because the only way to safely thaw out a turkey is in the fridge over several days - and had been carving away at it, using it as she would an ordinary chicken. I asked her "Sablah, you see this thing like big chicken?" "yes" she gasped - Ethiopians have this weird way of saying yes where they simultaneously gulp the word in as they say it and exhale at the same time - it sounds like a gasp of sorts. "You know what it is?" "no"
"Then why you cook it?" (I have to speak broken English and leave out any words that aren't absolutely necessary - the extra words just confuse her - I call it "maid speak" since I have had more than one maid I had to use it on - my kids are masters of maid speak, I have to remind myself to speak it and don't do it so well) There really was no reasonable answer for it. If I was in her shoes, I would not just take the frozen carcass of an animal I have never before encountered and decide to cook it without asking about it.

She did the same thing with the expensive steak I bought to be grilled. There were four big fat juicy pieces and then suddenly there were only two. She had cut them up and used them in macaroni of all things! Again, it just isn't something I would do. Common sense would prevent me from doing it. Which makes me wonder if common sense isn't so common after all. I mean maybe different cultures have different common senses?

She also has blown up two eggs by boiling them until all the water dried up and they exploded - lovely smell that makes.

Anyway, after we got in the house, I decided to take a walk - I have been trying to eat right and exercise these days to curb the rapid a** expansion that I have going on.

We live just across from the big mosque - the one used for Eid prayers. Between us and the mosque is a big field and in the middle of the field is a square courtyard used for the overflow of people during Eid prayers. It is walled in, and the locals have made the path around the outside into a makeshift track. In the evenings you will see a lot of people walking or jogging on it - mostly Emiratis. I decided to walk there. I hadn't been walking long when a car full of young Emiratis (18 - 20 years old) crept up on my left side (I was walking clockwise around the prayer yard.) It was a convertible. They turned up their rap music as they passed me and then slowed down ahead of me so that I would pass them and then they could pass me again. I ignored them. As they passed me again one of them sang out his phone number while the other two smirked at me.

They went around and passed me again, and again the driver sang out his phone number. I was annoyed at this point so I turned to them and said "NOT INTERESTED!" and then went back to walking. The other two laughed at the driver and he sped off. I thought I was free from them and continued walking, but again they came back and again the driver chanted his phone number. I just rolled my eyes and kept walking. I can't imagine why they would think that such behavior would actually get any woman to look on them favorably and call them?
They passed again. This time one of them asked, with almost a bewildered look on his face, as if he couldn't understand why I hadn't got my mobile out and started dialling yet, asked "why aren't you interested" at this point I was thoroughly annoyed so I turned to them and shouted "Listen little boys! I am old enough to have given birth to you. PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE!"
They drove off after that :)

After that, I went back to the house and got Max the dog and continued my walk in the neighborhood with him. As I was getting back towards home, one car pulled in front of us and the local guy behind the wheel whipped out his camera and asked if he can take a picture of Max. My brain doesn't operate very quickly when I am surprised so I kind of just gaped at him digesting what he was asking and then he just took one. I don't really care if anyone photographs Max, but I wasn't too happy about the fact that I was in the photo too in all my shocked and sweaty glory.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Please call before stopping by....

I sat through three boring hours of meeting this morning while freezing my butt off. The CEO called a Department Head meeting and as usual he talked, and talked, and talked, and talked...... by the time I got out I was so cold and bored that I was mentally and physically numb.

I'm feeling kind of smug today and amusing myself by top management's reaction to the new lock on the Executive Office door.

The Operations department FINALLY installed the automatic lock on the door leading to the CEO's and DDG's offices, so people can't just waltz straight in without getting permission.

For most of the employees, this is no big deal, and it makes no difference to their lives because they wouldn't dare barge into the CEO's office uninvited anyway, and in fact, they are scared shitless in his presence and therefore would not WANT to do that, even if they could.

But there are a select few who always reveled in the power and importance they thought they had. They used to walk straight in an interrupt him "hey everybody look at me, look at how important I am, I can just pop in and address the CEO by his first name without being fired on the spot." OK, they don't actually say that, but I can tell they are thinking it. Either that or they are the special pets of the DDG and regularly "pop in" to her office.

So, now with this new lock (which I ordered be installed), they have to ask if they can enter first, and if they are allowed, they will be buzzed in. Such people really hate having to ask secretaries for permission because they assume they are higher beings than mere secretaries.

All morning, I have been watching as certain people try to open the door, can't open it, look puzzled try again, then notice the box fixed next to it with numbers on it, try to push random numbers - as if they think that will work, or maybe they would rather act like they knew the code and just forgot it (because they are so important naturally they would be told) than simply admit that they don't know, that they aren't "special" enough to have been told and ask us to let them in. The funny thing is, I have no idea why the numbers are there because the only way I know to open it involves a card, which only Fatema, Security, the DDG and I have - the CEO would lose his so he isn't allowed to have one - or pushing the buttons at our desks, so there is no "special code" that only the select few have.

Once they finally admit defeat, they have different ways of handling it.

The IT Director seemed quite miffed by it all and said that he should have been aware of this. I asked him "why? it's just a lock, what does it have to do with IT?" I mean really, just because it is electric he needs to know about it? Then why isn't he interested in the damn A/C above my desk? Actually the IT Director is quite a nice guy and isn't much of a bother,but he still seemed pissed off by the lock.

Another Department head, one of the worst walk-straight-in-without-permission offenders, poked at the pad for a while, and then, instead of asking to be let in said "just buzz me in will you" - he was in denial. I told him that "just buzzing him in" without asking the CEO first would kind of defeat the purpose of the whole lock in the first place. On a completely unrelated note, this Director is Indian, and I had a dream the recently that I was at work. It was a completely normal working day, except that this guy had dyed his hair blonde. People say dreams have meanings but I can't figure out what the point of that dream was. He wasn't even a main part of it, but at one point he walked past and his hair was blonde.

HH, the Chairman, was the only person, who is used to walking straight in that doesn't seem bothered by it. In fact he looked at it, smiled, then asked Fatema about it. Of course he knows that, unlike everyone else, he actually has the right to walk straight in and no one can tell him no. He seemed impressed by the door though and he told her she is a genius. Hey it was my idea!! :( sniff sniff. She told him that it was my idea (she is too sweet to take credit for something that is not her idea) but he was already walking away. I am convinced he thinks I am an imbecile. Usually he ignores me, but occasionally he will do something strange like wink at me slightly, and the other day he walked in straight towards us and said hey and raised both of his hands in the air. Neither one of us has a clue what that was about. Fatema thinks that greeting was meant for me, but if it was I have no idea why. Its not like we are old buddies or have some long standing joke that involves us greeting each other that way. Or maybe that's just how he greets imbeciles? Another reason why he usually ignores me might be that I don't speak Arabic and he doesn't have a clue what my name is. I am sure he has been told, but most people don't get it and if they see it spelled than they get even more confused. That means the only option they have left is to speak to me only when they can make eye contact with me.

He's not a bad guy, but I think that he thinks I am weird. Don't ask me why I think that, it is just a feeling.

Ok, I guess that is enough rambling on for today....