Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Holiday Away From The Holidays

Ah yes, tis the season to be jo..lonely!
Although I myself don't celebrate much of anything in general or around this time of year, I do feel a tinge of envy of those surrounded by their families and loved ones (and not-so-loved but-must-be-invited ones).

Being all by myself, hundred of thousands of light years (no I'm not out and about the galaxy on the death star, but I may as well be) away from my own family, I can't help the pang of unwanted jealousy that slithers over me, as friends post picture after picture of festivities on Instagram, and my sister updates her status: she will be taking her semi-newborn over to grandmas for his very first Christmas, and high school friends sending post cards from their honeymoon-holiday eve fest! It's all so appealing suddenly! And it's making me sick! (home sick that is).

Oh what I wouldn't do to be there...Feeling stressed out over the person in charge of cooking feeling stressed out because "IS THERE ENOUGH FOOD?" & "does this taste too salty? or does it need more salt?!" or getting into arguments with siblings over every minor detail, receiving long distant phone calls from relatives we forgot we had, making obligatory phone calls to family/friends we wish we could forget we had, rounding up the noisy children and trying to find something age appropriate for them to do, and putting a little extra food in kitty's bowl because why not? It's the holiday season!

I realize all this only after leaving, even if it's just for a short time, I'm still missing THIS time (of year)...There is something (dare I say) magical about this time of year. It's not the, star reflecting freezing your own twinkle toes off snow, and no i don't mean the over crowded living room full of unwanted guests, or trying to make everyone as comfortable as possible: "please make yourself at home" when really you wish that is where they were: at their own home! Or the smell of delicious cookies that smell oh-so-delectable only because of the amount of butter, sugar, and no love that went into them (because they're really store bought) Or the sparkling lights that blink on and off from that one random balcony, which can be seen from blocks away and (much like the star of bethleham) are often used as a guide home when lost and ocassionaly induce neighborhood wide seizures! Nope! You guessed wrong again, it isn't opening the "oh thank goodness there's a gift receipt" presents or drinking more eggnog than necessary nor all the food and drink available, which is enough to feed everyone at your party and have enough leftover for a soup kitchen type party, or the fact that almost no stores are open and the ones that are, are fully stocked and loaded...with people. These (clearly) aren't what make this time of year so magical, but it's the spirit it brings along with it. The togetherness, the forgiveness, the generosity and kindness, those are what make this a magical time of year.

So as I sit here all alone (I know boohoo) with my blanket wrapped around me, (because although I am in the desert, I have yet to figure out the air conditioning system, I can't seem to set the right temperature. It's either hot enough to make my makeup run (its in my makeup bag, not on my face) or so cold that the sound that wakes me from my sleep is actually my teeth clanking together) ....where was I? oh yes,...my blanket wrapped around me, the smell of Vix vapor rub sneaking up my nose from my-lathered-in-it chest and back, the sound of a rooster cawing at 12:50am and never shutting up ever (we live in the city for the sake of goodness!), and my dwelling in self pity with no hope for comfort from anything or anyone (maybe apart from the episode of 8 out of 10 cats with host Jimmy Carr (I met him once, briefly, honest!) , that I'm looking forward to watching) I ask as an isolated, clearly quacked out of her noodle, human person, that you remember the spirit you're in, remember those who need you, weather emotionally(love, support, caring, reassurance), physically(no you pervert that's not what I meant. but if that's what they need and you want to offer it, do so) or financially (help out a family member, neighbor, give charity). Now not only remember this togetherness, happiness and kindness but act on it! Then take it one step further and do this ALL YEAR!

Now a dew I shall bid you all, as I'm going to watch my show and nibble on some "slaved over the hot oven" cookies, that are really "store bought and being passed off as home made". I wish you all a blissful, harmonious, generous, loving, forgiving, joyous, laugh filled (from good company not from having too much to drink) holiday and life!

Have a safe, happy, merry, good, festive holiday/new year!

Signed:
holiday missing, jet lagged, too hot/cold, self pity-er



Dedicated to all friends, family, loved and not so loved ones! I miss you.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Truly Saudi


Here are some things that I have personally only ever seen in Saudi Arabia...

A German tour bus company called: Hitler


A faucet bed side lamp...pretty cool eh!
This is a book dispensing-vending-machine! I've never seen it anywhere else.

book vending machine


I can't for the life of me figure out what the Arabic means, so i don't know if this is just bad translation or if it's an actual condom storage room. 

Too bad, I'm riding a bike with a briefcase in one hand which has a camera in it, and I'm smoking with the other hand! 

The malls are so HUGE here that there are NEGATIVE floor levels!

 Good to see some environmental consciousness :)  
 Saudi Money (Riyals) 
A cute sculpture near the sea coast guard. The coloured fish are très joli!

Another wonderful sculpture, by the sea. 

One of the largest TV screens in the world. It plays commercials all day long. As if drivers are not distracted enough! 

 Camel scenery as you drive from city to city.
Sylvester Stallone made an appearance in the kingdom! 
Mother and baby matching jelbab. I rather like the emerald green. 
Finally, this you will definitley only ever see in the kingdom of saudi arabia. The road to Makkah or Madina, have these "for muslims" and "non muslims" signs up. 


Friday, June 1, 2012

Pigeon Padgent

There's a myth here, some choose to believe, that if you look at a small pigeon in its nest, it will die. I was told this upon showing a colleague some pictures I had taken of a baby pigeon in my windowsill. Several others joined in to tell stories about how this myth is 'true'! When I asked if maybe it was because they touched the little birdie or interfered with it's nest or perhaps they scared the mother off too many times for her to return. They assured me that no, it was only by looking at the baby bird that would cause it's death. Naturally I couldn't believe this. But it did make me check on the little pigeon to make sure she was still alive. Here are some progress pictures of the little pigy. 



As you can see...she seems to be doing good. In case there is any truth to this myth. I only peek in on her every 3-4 days and get a couple of snaps of her. Man they grow fast


[Update June/15/2012 Birdie is still alive and well, looking a lot like mummy over there!]


                                                            -quizzical look- Who you?  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chandeliers

I guess I can see the charm and appeal of a lavishly placed chandelier, like this extravagant/ginormous one hanging in the staircase at a hotel in Jeddah. 
video

Despite that I can't help but notice (apart from the obvious expensive cost and high electricity consumption), these things radiate heat and must be a hassle to clean. I hope they're anchored in there pretty tight, because I can see this crystal framed illuminating machine becoming a killing machine if it were to fall on someone. (God forbid!)
Still it is rather enchanting and just adds to the luxuriousness of this country. Enjoy!



Music by: Buddha Bar


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Want a Natural Raccoon Look that Lasts for weeks?

Here's all you gotta do! 
Go out in the desert sun, with your favorite pair of sunglasses on, do not apply sun block or SPF lip balm (for a crimson red pout), hang outside (go for a walk, ride dirt bikes, sit at the beach) under the sweltering/scorching Arabian sun for a few hours, preferably during the hottest time of the day (11am to 2pm).
Once you get home remove (peel) the sunglasses from your face for a reverse raccoon mask! AND you're done! 


Enjoy!


All jokes aside sunburns are very serious. Melanoma is the cause of at least 75% of deaths related to skin disease...I had no idea of any of this, but once I got this horrible sunburn, I began researching natural ways to sooth sunburns, only to find a whole lot more than I bargained for! As a heads up for all you new comers, I also discovered the very hard way that the sun here is 80 percent (I made this statistic up) hotter and more damaging than back home. I could spend hours out doors and the result wouldn't be this....!



If cancerous cells forming on your skin doesn't scare you off of tanning without an appropriate sunblock on, then I should also inform you that the results of this "tan" were not pretty. I had blisters on my lips and right on the apples of my cheeks....worst off all once it stopped hurting like hell and started to heal...my skin began peeling off like dried glue! Also my nose looked like I was in clown makeup! That was just the EWW on top of the cake!




[Incase you're wondering...I am much better now, thank you for your concern ]