Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shopping with Ibrahim

The kids are studying for exams again so I decided to take Ibrahim out yesterday so the kids could attack their books in peace.

We weren't sure where we would go, no plans for anything special. We just drove around and stopped here and there. The pet shop had some sorry looking cats in cages and some turtles in another cage with rabbits jumping around on top of them, three healthy looking parrots and some other birds.

After that we looked at shoe stores. I'm looking for the perfect shoes. I hate walking into a shoe store and smell plastic and glue... it's got to smell like leather in a shoe store! We looked around in a few shops and I didn't see what I wanted.

Next stop was the toy store. Ibrahim of course wanted a plastic battery operated gun that shouted out 'Fire! Fire! Fire!' when you pulled the trigger. 'Put that back Ibrahim!' I said. We got two big bags of balloons instead. The kind that are long and skinny and you can make things with. Then we headed for grandma's house - we have balloons!

Got to grandma's and of course all my sister in laws were there with their kids. I think the adults had more fun with the balloons than the kids did. After a while we left... it was really way too noisy there after all the fights started breaking out between the kids and the balloons....

Off we went to the office supply store to make sure the kids had enough pencils and pens, etc for their exams. Then we looked around some other shops.

Ibrahim was on his best behaviour during the whole shopping expedition. He only managed to completely knock down one window display.... you know those mannequins? They come apart in all kinds of pieces - they're kind of like a puzzle to put together! And their heads come off too... The bald headed ones make an interesting noise when they roll across the floor.

Today I looked to see how much longer I can use my adsl before I run out... I've got less than 10mg left to last me about 48 hours... sigh... I don't think I will make it. 5 gigas for a month is ridiculous. I hate rationing. Ibrahim and I are going to go out again today... if I have any time left from LTT I'll write and tell you about our adventure.... if not you will just have to wait.

LTT.... I hate you... sigh... but I am stuck with you, aren't I?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Life might be more interesting if I had a decent Libyan T-shirt

In America most people like to dress casually and t-shirts are sold everywhere. When my son came back from visiting last summer he had all kinds of t-shirts that he got while he was there. T-shirts are big business - advertising all kinds of things and they make the perfect souvenir too. So easy to pack in your bag and it seems like there is something that would suit everyone on the list of people to buy for.

Sadly, the selection here in Libya stinks.... sigh... I don't think I've ever seen a t-shirt in Arabic either. They sell some in the medina and at stands set up near the snack bar in Sabratha and Leptis but they are of poor quality and most of all BORING. I like t-shirts that say something funny, or maybe profound...

OK... so here's the challenge... what would you want your t-shirt to say? Click on comments and let me know.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lots more links!

I have been totally lax about mentioning new links and adding them to my sidebar. I've been super busy for the last few months rearranging things at work. Of course as soon as things settle down and it seems I can breathe easier I find a few more things to fit into my schedule.

Anyway, enough excuses. A few bloggers have left me comments and sent me emails asking to be added to the list on my side bar. There was also a post on Libyan News List that contained my list of links. So now I'm adding some more that I've collected. Be patient it may take me a bit to add them on the side bar... I'm working on it!

One blogger Libya Ghariani even made some caligraphy for me! So nice - Thanks!

Please remember that even though I am adding these links their writers may not hold the same views as I do. Also there are some blogs that are written in Arabic or other languages besides English. Although I can speak Libyan Arabic (my grammar is awful, but comical) I can neither read or write Arabic, or any other language.

Below are some links I'll be adding to the side bar. If I missed you and you want to be added just leave me a message in the comments. Happy reading!

Beertrain - an expat couple living and working in Libya

Unconventional - a multi-cultural blogger whose parents are Libyan and Italian but lives in the US

Libya travel blogs - people just passing through

Aisha's Musings - a blogger from Misurata who lives in Canada

All things considered - a blog about the use of herbal medicine in Libya

Ambition - Loza a female architecture student in Libya

Broken - An Arabic blog by Linda in Tripoli

The Buffer Zone - a group blog written in Arabic and English

Update: D-log moved

DaMoon - a Libyan female with a good sense of humour

Ema's World - another female architecture student in Tripoli

Global Voices Online RSS feed - Libya

Libya Ghariani - whose name says it all

Lona - a mostly Arabic blog

The mind is such a secret place - A new blog by a Libyan law student

MaySoon - A Libyan working mom

Pencils - Nedal, a student who writes in Arabic and English

Wesmosis - A Libyan intern doctor who does more than dabble in computers!

Sands of Time - "This blog is a forum dedicated to understanding the contemporary realities of Libya and discuss the ways foreward."

Sh@dd@ - Artistic girl living in Egypt with her two cats

Libya Alyoum - an Arabic blog

Update Red Enclave moved

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Progress on the house

After the marble floors were laid in the house a layer of plaster was poured over the top to act as a protectant for the surface while other work was being done on the house. When I saw the plaster coating the first thing I asked was 'Who is going to remove that?' and Mustafa replied 'We'll hire a black guy (African) or an Egyptian to do it.'

Yesterday we went to the house to remove the plaster... Guess what - I've turned into a black guy... or maybe I'm an Egyptian now! It took us the entire day to clean the plaster off the floors. First we had to pour water on the plaster and then scrape it all up with scrapers. After that we had to pick it all up and haul it outside and then wash the floors with as much clear water as possible. Then came the fun part of pouring on liquid soap and scrubbing the floors. More rinsing followed that.

After all that work there is still a slight film on the floor and some plaster spots that need to be gone over again. Next time - I was too tired after all that!

There's still a lot of work to be done. All the bits and pieces take so much time. It seems everywhere I look there is something unfinished - including the detail on the front door (see above). But for now I am going to try to recover ... I keep checking the mirror to see if I'm a black guy or an Egyptian... oh my aching back!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thieves & beggars

Jenna is tough! The other day she was on her way to school and a teen-aged girl grabbed one of her earings and pulled it off in an attempt to steal it. Jenna, the quick thinking girl that she is, grabbed hold of the girl's clothes and started screaming and pulling at her clothing. The girl, dropping the earing as she was pulling herself free from Jenna's grip, took off running down the street.

Jenna was shaken but her ear was undamaged and she recovered her earing. She was really upset that no one stopped to help her even though there were many people in the area. She said she wasn't sure if the girl was Libyan or not, but she said she was dressed in a scarf and jalabia - not in school clothes.

Most likely the girl was a beggar. I've noticed quite an increase in children begging these days. Nearly every major intersection has beggars and young kids selling boxes of tissues and small Qurans. They work the street corners from early in the morning and stay there all day long, sometimes until late at night.

Begging is one thing, but criminal behavior is another. I am just thankful that Jenna was unhurt.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sounds in the night

Last night I was awoken at about 3 am by some strange noises. Layla, the cat, was having her kittens. And as usual she was having them in Nora's bed. Nora had been sleeping but was woken up by the noise of little kittens saying 'Mew, mew, mew.'

The first time Layla ever had kittens it was in Nora's bed and she had complications - the first kitten was coming out feet first. Nora had to pull it out. Ever since then Layla has always gone straight to Nora when it's time to have her kittens. Maybe she thinks Nora is a midwife or something.

After Nora told me what was going on I told her 'Well, you know what to do. You handle it.' and then I went back to sleep. This morning I had a look at Layla and her babies. Nora had moved them out onto the balcony and put them inside a play tent that the kids have. Layla was proud but protective of her offspring. Four of them - two calico kittens which are definitely girls, a grey one, and a black and white one.

Next to the washing machine are the blankets... everyday is laundry day in my house... sigh.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Quiet.... dull.... Friday

It's been a quiet Friday. I had no car for the day because Mustafa decided he wanted to use it to drive out to visit his sister who lives outside of Tripoli. Of course he made the decision to use my car when he found out it had a full tank of gas. After he returned I checked and he's used up more than half.

The price of gas in Libya went up this week. I used to be able to fill my tank with about 6 dinars. Now the same amount only fills my tank 3/4. It's still cheap by world standards but when you consider the cost of living here in comparison to the salary it's a lot. Every dirham counts.

I also got in the car and discovered that the tape I use to connect my iPod to listen to music, etc. while I drive has been broken. So another thing to spend my money on. Sigh...

Since I was car-less for the day I decided to go for a long walk and do some window shopping. I bought a beautiful handbag... quite a find and a good price too. Otherwise I didn't see or do anything interesting.

Tomorrow is another day...

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