Showing posts from May, 2007

Are you still using dial-up?

There are actually many, many people still using dial-up in Libya. ADSL is available here but most people consider it way too expensive - 200 dinars to start up the service and than 50 dinars a month after that. That's a lot of money considering the average salary in Libya is about 250 dinars a month.

One of my friends told me she would visit my blog more often if it would only open faster for her on her painfully slow dial-up connection. So I've found a solution for all of you stuck in this dilemma.

Mowser is a proxy service used for people connecting to the internet via their mobile phones. It offers users the chance to view pages on the net that are free of all the bulk of unnecessary HTML and JAVA script. What you get is just the basics - the text and a smaller version of the images.

So here's my blog's link using Mowser:

What do you think? It's really useful, isn't it?

A wasted afternoon

I woke up this morning thinking I had overslept. I looked at my watch and found it was only seven. I lay in bed trying to get back to sleep but it was impossible so I got up to face the day.

The house was quiet with everyone else still sleeping so I was able to eat my breakfast in peace. Then I got dressed and started my day. When I got outside I found the air was still and seemed thick and smokey. The sky looked overcast as though it was going to rain and the temperature was HOT and I knew it was going to just get even hotter as the day progressed.

A trip to the bakery, then to the butcher shop for meat, then off to a meeting. On the way home a stop at the vegetable market. In the house and straight into the kitchen. Lunch: rishta kiskas along with two kinds of salad.

The afternoon today is like a furnace. The heat is making everyone just want to stay indoors, wasting away the afternoon sleeping. This is one thing that I hate about Libya - the time wasted while everyone lolls around fo…

My shoes

Lately on Libyan blogs there's been a show-all of everyone's shoes. Well, I thought I would share a picture of mine. I took it last week while I was visiting Sabratha with some of my students. My foot with a mosaic in the background - I wasn't stepping on the tiles! What do you think? Pretty cool?

Thinking back, I posted a story about my shoes a long time ago. For some reason the picture disapeared but the story is still here: Ever get the feeling someone is looking at you?


The sitemeter says that I've had 50,000 hits on my blog! Number 50K was in Libya, using IE on a Windows XP in Arabic, among other interesting things.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog! I'll let you know when I hit any other interesting milestones (on my blog or in my life).

Another weird product

Yesterday when I was out shopping with a friend we saw this! How weird! Who would buy such a contraption? It looks painful! Why would a shop owner even put it in the store? My friend and I had a good laugh.

Weekend's here & summer's here too!

Well, five kids are through with exams.... only Adam left now. Since Adam doesn't use the telephone very often (because he has a cell phone), we dragged it out from the lock-up and plugged it in.

Do you know what we heard?...... Fatima Omar of course! Asking us in her sweet voice to go pay the phone bill. It will have to wait now until next week because the weekend is here. It doesn't really matter anyway, we were actually getting used to not having the phone. It did make some of my friends pissed off though... they are begging me to consider getting a mobile phone..... sigh.... I'll have to think about it.

Now I'm trying to figure out what I will do with all these kids for the summer.

Any suggestions?

Have you been trying to call me?

The kids are getting through exams...Adam doesn't start until June 3rd. We solved the problem of the girls having gabfests on the phone by unplugging it and hiding it. So if you've been trying to call me just forget it and send me an email. We'll plug the phone back in when exams are finished.

Dangerous products are sold in Libya!

Most Libyan women don't feel complete unless their eyes are lined in dark black kohl. It makes them look beautiful and exotic - their dark eyes shining and the whites of their eyes appearing even more so with the effect of the kohl. But these products are really dangerous! Most contain large amounts of lead - in some cases up to 47%.

Lead is especially dangerous for pregnant women and children. Libyan women often decorate newborn babies eyes and small children with kohl. Besides it's use for cosmetic reasons, Libyan women believe that it prevents eye diseases, and argue that it was used by Prophet Mohamed.

The New York City Dept of Heath put out a press release warning against these products that are sold illegally in America for use by the immigrant population there. The article is very informative and I really recommend reading it and passing it along to anyone you know that uses these products. Link here:

#16 - solved!

Where is this? - # 16has been solved. Go have a look and read my story.

Where is this? - #16

I haven't had a picture for the 'Where is this?' challenge in quite a while. So here's a recently taken picture for the challenge. If you think you know where it is (or you want to guess) click on comments. Click on the picture to see an enlarged image.

The pictures for the game 'Where is this?' have all been taken from someplace in Libya and are in an area open to the public. The prize for the winner will be the satisfaction of knowing that you had the right answer! - I'll let you know who the winner is.


Tara wins this round of Where is this? Not fair really since she's the one that gave me the picture in the first place. And yes Kris, it is very much improved since we were there last.

This is pretty much a typical public bathroom in Libya. When my kids saw the picture they said it looked like a bathroom at either a public school or a mosque. In fact this particular picture was taken recently at Ras Ajdir, the border po…

Thinking about invitations...

I've gotten to the point that the word 'wedding' makes my heart sink. I am totally sick of Libyan weddings - and I don't even go to very many of them.

The whole idea of getting all dressed up in an uncomfortable outfit, with a face full of makeup, spending time on my hair and all the rest, just to sit for hours at a wedding with music blasting so loud that you cannot even hear yourself think let alone have a conversation with anyone just makes me feel ill. I sit there thinking about how uncomfortable I am and wishing I were elsewhere. Thinking about all the things I could be doing if I wasn't there. Feeling alone in a roomful of people - feeling alone because the loud music is so isolating.

I might find Libyan weddings a bit more interesting if they were not all the same. But every wedding has the same music, same food, same routine. Why can't someone have a quiet, 1 hour ceremony on the beach with everyone having a piece of cake and something to drink and then …