Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve in Ain Zarah - Tripoli, Libya Posted by Hello

Don't do this to a cat. . .

The other day I went to the pharmacy because it was the only thing open in my neighbourhood due to the motamaraat. I was bored. I bought some hand cream and on the counter they had chewing gum and muscle rub on display so I bought some of those too.

Today Sara was all excited about the muscle rub. She was having a nice time sniffing it and she kept asking me a million questions about it.

'Where is this made?'
'What is in this stuff?'
'Why is the bottle so small?'
'How much did you pay for it?'

She was being rather annoying and after a while I just ignorred her. A while later the kids said there was something wrong with the cat. It was drooling and of course trying to hide behind my computer. I yelled at the kids to grab the cat - the last thing I need is a sick cat throwing up behind my computer.

They caught the cat and we were trying to figure out what was wrong. Yusef said it smelled like medicine and I got all in a panic thinking the cat had got out and ate poison somewhere.

Yusef said 'Hey mom, it smells like muscle rub!'

Wouldn't you know it? Sara had put muscle rub all over the poor animals nose. It's the kind of stuff that has capsicum (otherwise known as red pepper) in it. We cleaned up the cat, but it is still not very happy. I hope it feels better tomorrow.

Poor kitty!

Monday, December 20, 2004


Today I recieved a message from work saying that we would be having the week off. We'd go back to work on Saturday! It's because they are having the annual (or is it bi-annual or maybe tri-annual) meetings called Motamaraat. Kind of a town hall kind of thing that everyone is supposed to attend. Everything closes down except for essential services like medical care.

So now that I have a few days off and I am going to do my best to enjoy them. I did notice that the house gets quieter when I open the TV for the kids (I have it locked with a password). Now they are sitting in front of it like zombies.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ibrahim's winking! - the scruffy little boy was playing at the farm last week. He's had a haircut since then and now looks much better. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Our new cat is in heat for the first time. The kids got up in the morning and were all worried about her. They thought she was sick or something and they begged me to take her to the vet. I told them she wasn't sick - she just wanted a boyfriend. Actually the kids were pretty happy with that explaination.

In the afternoon I went off to work. I guess while I was gone the kids spent most of the time observing the poor cat and discussing what to do. In the end, they decided to find her a boyfriend. Off my kids went, running all over the neighborhood, chasing all the tom cats. God only knows what the neighbors thought. They didn't succeed in catching one.

I got home from work in the evening and had to go out again with Mustafa and Nora to see if we could find Nora a winter coat. While we were gone the kids went out again to hunt down a tom cat and see if they could catch one. - By this time it was about 9:30 at night.

We got home and walked in the door. The kids were all excited. They had foud a boyfriend for their cat! The poor tom cat was terrified! Ibrahim was chasing it all over the house. Of course it decided to try to hide behind my computer.

AAAAAHHH! Get that thing out of here!

Ibrahim caught it, grabbed it by the scruff of its neck - it was snarling. We opened the door and threw it out!

The cat is still in heat and now I'm sure the neighbors think we are really crazy. (But they pretty much knew that already anyway).

We'll have to get the cat spayed before the kids give the neighborhood a repeat performance.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

You Know You've Lived in the Arab World Too Long When...

You're not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat

You think the uncut version of "Little House on the Prairie" is provocative

You expect the confirmation on your airline ticket to read "insha'allah"

You don't expect to eat dinner before 10:30 p.m.

You need a sweater when it's 80 degrees outside

Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the maid

You believe that speed limits are only advisory

You have no problem with tractors driving 40kph on the highway

You think all cops drive Audis and Mercedes Benz'

You know whether or not you are within missile range of Iraq

You get excited and spread the news when "Oreo" cookies show up at the grocerystore

You fully expect to go to jail when a local national hits the back of your carat a stop sign

You know which end of a shawarma to unwrap first

You think that the further you inch into the middle of an intersection, thefaster the light will turn green

You consider it normal for the same section of the road to be dug up three timesby contractors in the space of a few weeks

You understand that the true definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the light turning green and the guy behind you honking his horn

You think that all gas stations are made of marble

You can receive every TV station crystal clear except the local one

You get used to using the cold water tap to get hot water during the summer

You make left turns from the far right lane without a second thought

You expect gold for every birthday

You think Pepsi begins with a "B"

You think that a box of kleenex belongs on every dinner table

You think water only comes in bottles

You understand that when someone says "Bukra (tomorrow), Insha'Allah" to you itreally means "Sometime during this calendar year"...if you're lucky!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

One week done - nine to go....

Well, I finished a week of the ten-week course. My schedule got messed up, but I expected it would. But never mind. I'll set aside the money I get for working those ten extra days as mad money and buy myself something fun.

- Gotta console myself somehow, don't I?

Locusts in Tajoura!

Recently parts of the Mededteranian have been overcome by locusts. The following is an eyewitness account of the swarms in Tajoura, Libya:

Dateline : Condo On The Med. ,

You are not going to believe this ! The locust came back yesterday and they swarmed overhead from 2:30 p.m. until dark at 6:00 p.m. It was so weird ! We had thought they were all gone the other day but all of the sudden they came flying back over our area surprising us all . It was just a few ……….. thousand , then it was a millions , and finally it was billions flying so closely packed that it was like a fog at some point .They flew in from the east , then they turned around and flew back over us going to the east again . The people around us started fires and the smoke scared them . You could see them heading in one direction and then take a sharp turn to avoid the smoke . A plane flew over and they freaked , scattering to the 4 winds ! They descended to the ground , some of them , to land in the field behind our apartments to chop the tender green shoots of grass that have shot up after the last rain we had , only to left off in a dusty beige cloud because a car drove by the field . The noise frightened them away . They were flying so low at one point , that they were bunching off the top of our apartment building .People were below , walking around like nothing going on , as the locust were mostly high up in the air ! It was so strange to see this going on outside my very own window . Surrealistic , if you could just imagine it ! The oddest thing was , when grasshoppers/ locust swarm like this they are called gagraious locust , and gagarious means to talk ; but when we braved opening the window , all you heard was the silence . There wasn’t any noise at all , none . Smoke from fires set all over the surrounding countryside drifted lazily across the Mediterranean Sea that the locust tried to avoid being pushed out over because the temperatures were cooler than the land temperatures . Sunset the temperature dropped over the land as well and the locust disappeared . We assumed that they would be around again at day break , but they had just disappeared ! Magic !Pouf ! Gone , I hope for good . I don’t know what the damage to the country side is as the very strangest thing about this whole thing is , no one wants to talk about them now that they are gone . Maybe they think it will ginks them ?Odder yet , there were no little bodies littering the ground today either !Not one single one .

This is all the news in English from your intrepid reporter , from:

The Condo On The Med , ; this is Sydney Hamed signing off for now!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

An engagement party!

My sister in law has been very nice to me for the last few weeks. I was very suspicious as she is usually such a *itch.

Well, today I found out why. It seems that her son has found himself a girlfriend and they will have the biyan (engagement) on Thursday. She came to invite me along. I guess it would look funny if all the women in the family go except for me. I'm not sure if I'll be going though. Mustafa hates this particular sister - and her son is a creep. But most of all it will be dead boring. I hate these kinds of events.

Here's a thought: I could go and bring Ibrahim along to spice things up!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

My husband is getting awfully famous - click on the image to see what he's beenup to. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


God has been looking out for me - I got the schedule of my dreams at work. Now i hope and pray nothing gets messed up.

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