Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day One

We woke up this morning to the sound of pouring rain. Since I love rain I saw this as a good sign. Of course the sound of rain in the morning makes you want to crawl deeper under the blanket and stay there but this wasn't possible today - day one of Eid begins!

Hubby and number two son, Yusef, went off to the mosque wearing raincoats over their traditional Libyan clothes and the girls and I stayed home to get the rest of us dressed and straighten up the house. After the 'boys' came back from the mosque I took the annual Eid Day photo, this year minus number one son Adam who is in the US. Then off we went to my in-laws for the day.

The day was long, as I predicted it would be. But I was prepared with an assortment of things to do and games to keep the kids occupied. Fortunately the rain stopped and the small kids were able to go outside to play. All in all it was a peaceful day. 

Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The last of my Eid shopping was done today. I went out especially to buy a gift for my mother-in-law. I never know what to get her for an Eid gift. She really has everything and doesn't ask for much. After much contemplation I ended up getting her a bottle of perfume and a pair of earrings. I made sure the earrings where a style that only azoozas (old ladies) would want to wear so that my sister-in-laws wouldn't borrow them and conveniently forget to bring them back (that's happened in the past... sigh...).

I'm glad to be finished with the shopping I can relax and enjoy the rest of Ramadan. The past few days I've been visiting friends and relatives - without dragging any of my kids along. Nice!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Counting down

The countdown to the end of Ramadan has started. Now is the time I start getting ready for Eid and the two days I'll spend at the in-laws. It's a combination of getting myself psyched up emotionally to handle it and also to find some way to occupy my time for two very, very, very long and boring days.

I've been saving up National Geographic magazines to read. And I have movies on my iPod and some books. This will keep my brain from going numb - my ass will be numb no matter what. My sister-in-laws sit around all the time, doing nothing but gossiping. How do they sit around all day, every day? Their bottoms must be paralized.. I know their brains are. .. sigh...

The third day of Eid I am taking off with the kids and doing something, I'm not sure what yet but it will be anything but sitting around. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Autumn... looks like rain!

It's officially autumn now, the days are growing shorter, and the migratory birds are flying overhead. Watermelons are mostly gone from the markets, replaced with fresh dates and pomegranates. 

The weather has been cooling off a bit. It's still hot in the late morning and afternoon. We're still using the air conditioners but it's just not as hot. We've had occasional sprinkles of rain the past week or so  - not a heavy downpour, just enough to add to the humdity and make the car look filthy and need to be washed. As soon as you wash the car it sprinkles again.

My weather widget says rain. I hope it will pour down with accompanying thunder and lightning (but I doubt it). 

All Ramadan my desktop has had various sunset themes... I think after Ramadan I will change to a rain theme.. I really miss the rain.

Still Shopping

Push.... and shove.... 
Ripped off....
Rude shoppers....
Screaming kids...
Sore feet...
Empty wallets....
My kids are satisfied....
I am FINISHED! ! ! 

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

Monday, September 22, 2008

My growing family

We've been adding to our collection of pets this month. 

First were two tortoises - a gift from one of Yusef's friends. I like tortoises but they're a bit boring. We're keeping them on the balcony in an enclosure in the corner. 

Then came a cat. This was from a friend who is leaving Libya and was unable to take the cat along with them. It's a typical Libyan male cat with a mostly white coat, a striped tail and a spot on it's back, ears and face. He's playful and has had no trouble at all in adjusting to our rather noisy and crowded flat. The fact that we have a hamster, a canary and two parakeets as well as a female cat are all just pleasant bonuses for him! So he's happy here. The bonus for us is that he's quite happy to go outside instead of using a litter box. 

Yusef loves dogs. When he's on the internet he's usually looking at sites about dogs. We've got dogs at the farm and I think once we move out there Yusef's dream is to have 16 dogs. It's been a while since he's had a puppy. A while back a friend of mine offered me a puppy but then it fell through and Yusef was upset and has been begging me for a puppy ever since. At one point he wanted a puppy that he saw in a pet shop for 275 dinars - I said 'NO way. A free Libyan dog is just as nice if not better. Wait and one will come along.' 

The other day Yusef came home with a puppy. It's the cutest little thing, mostly black. Yusef is keeping it up on the roof until it gets bigger and then it will be moved to the farm. I'm not sure what 'it' is - a male or female. Yesterday the boys had 'it' downstairs while they were washing my car and I asked Ibrahim 'Is it a male or a female puppy?' He of course grabbed it by it's tail and held it up for me to look at all the while poking at the poor squirming puppy's butt with his finger. 'Ewe! Ewe! Put the puppy down! I don't need to know! Go wash your hands!!! NOW!!!' I should have known better than to ask Ibrahim... sigh.. 

My house is a zoo....  sigh... I'll post some pictures later.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'll keep blogging

My blog anniversary is this week, September 24th. It's hard to believe that I started this blog four years ago in 2004. The weird thing is that's nothing has really changed since then - I'm still waiting for the house to be finished and complaining about my husband and kids. lolol...  

Alajnabia , an American blogger in Palestine,  posted to say she's been thinking about me and many of the other bloggers of the blogs that she reads. I certainly think and worry about her too over there in Palestine. My life is safe in Libya - and boring in comparison. 

I hate it when I get hooked on a blog and then suddenly the posts stop. A lot of Libyan bloggers who had been actively posting have stopped. Some of them still comment from time to time so I know they are still around, others seemed to have disapeared completely.

Khalid Jorni  had decided to quit but has returned. Lonehighlander posts sporadically and Safia who has come and gone and come back and is gone once again. Lebeeyah blog is now closed to only those she invites - maybe I will get lucky and she'll invite me. These are just a few of many - you can find a updated list of Libyan bloggers here

I think of my students.. Heba , Huk-Huk  and Behi. I'm always happy when I see that they have posted and that means they are safe and well.

Some non-Libyan bloggers that I think of... Nzingha; an American in Saudi, Manal  and her husband Abu Sinan  a Saudi-American couple in the US - different because the husband is the American one, Gina who is off on a big adventure, SJ  who lived here when she was a child makes me laugh out loud. Oh there are so many, the list would take up pages. Thank God for RSS feedreaders!

Maybe blogging fills a niche for some for a time; a kind of therapy that when no longer needed gets swept to the corner of the person's life. Sometimes abandoned forever and sometimes kept around in case it's needed again. I guess I'll keep blogging for now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shopping for Ibrahim, at the supermarket and a meltdown

I took Ibrahim out shopping for his clothes today. He behaved himself pretty much the whole time. There were a few occasions when he had to be threatened but we got the job done. He has everything he needs.

After shopping for clothes we had to get vegetables from the greengrocer's and some things from the supermarket. I ended up having to go to two different greengrocer's and two different supermarkets to get everything I needed which was an extra hassle that I really didn't need. The weather was hot, humid and dusty and I was feeling pretty worn out by then. 

At one shop there was a particulary nasty boy who was giving the Egyptian shopkeeper a hard time. He was throwing things on the floor, making rude remarks and then after he'd bought some eggs he intentionally walked out of the store and broke half of them and then came back in and demanded that they be exchanged... which the shopkeeper did (to my surprise). Then the boy walked out and repeated the scenario with the eggs again! And once again the shopkeeper exchanged them. I was really shocked! 

The shopkeeper finally got rid of the boy. He was upset and told me 'I cannot do anything to the boys that come in here and make trouble. I can very easily be deported.' I told him I was very ashamed to see the boy behaving like that and suggested that he talk to the boy's father. He replied 'I have done that in the past, but it it useless. His father behaves the same way. Where do you think he learned such behaviour from?' I didn't know what to say in reply other than 'May God help you.'

I was exhausted by the time I got home. I got the car parked and everyone had excuses as to why they couldn't help me unload the car. This did not go over well with me at all. I had to threaten bodily harm to get the bags up the stairs and into the house. And to top it off when I got upstairs I found that the things I had asked the girls to do while I was out were not done. So I got angry. I shouted at girls 'That's it! I'm going to bed and you'd better have everything done, the table set and the 'breakfast' ready to eat by sunset! DO NOT bother me until then!' (I've left out the swear words and some of the kids got smacked). I left them to sort out the taco salad and make a potato tagine - I had already prepared the soup before the shopping trip. I headed for my room and took a nap until it was time to eat. 

I felt better after having had a nap. This all night long routine that my kids have adopted is getting to me. I don't like sleeping during the day. It makes me feel as though the day has been wasted. And when I try to sleep at night my sleep is disturbed by all the noise they make. I never did understand why people just switch from a daytime schedule to a nighttime one during Ramadan. Isn't that just defeating the whole purpose?  

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yusef shops

Yusef needs something to wear for the Eid and some things for school so I took him shopping today. Actually I was the driver - I got to sit in the car while he went in to see if there was anything he wanted. I understand that when you're a teenager shopping with your mom is totally un-cool, so  I'm happy to sit in the car and be surprised by what he comes out with. 

Hubby, on the other hand, is totally offended by not being included in the buying process. The last thing a teenaged boy needs is to be shopping with his anal retentive father who also happens to be stuck in the eighties. He can't understand why Yusef doesn't want to buy knit shirts that have a little alligator emblem on the chest. For God's sake the boy doesn't want to look middle aged, does he? How hard is that for his father to understand? sigh...

Yusef got some really cool looking clothes! And some ass-kicking boots too!  

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doing nothing

The ONLY thing I did today was cook, and that was something minimal - soup, marinading and throwing chicken in the oven and making pasta salad. I'm taking a break from everything and just resting. 

Tomorrow I'm going to start slowly sorting through the growing piles of books and papers that are stacked on, under and next to my desk. There is also a pile of books next to my bed and in the corner of my bedroom. The girls have been complaining that my stuff is starting to take over. 

I'll get to it tomorrow... or maybe I will just do nothing again tomorrow. It was kind of nice today... for a change.

Monday, September 15, 2008


The other day I was talking with a friend who has taken up knitting. She's on a mission to make some special things for her kids and grandchildren. Being left-handed I was never very good at knitting. I kept getting the wool all twisted around the needles in the wrong way. I was always much better at crocheting but gave that up when I started to have kids. There were simply too many little hands grabbing at everything while I worked.

While surfing the net today I came across an idea for a knitting project for my friend. As usually happens one click leads to another, and yet another and I found myself on an interesting blog of an avowed artist or artists of knit graffiti, OutdoorKnit. I'd never thought about such a thing before but I like the whimsy of it all. Now this is surely graffiti I would like to come across. From the looks of the tags they are in New Zealand so I doubt I will find any knit graffiti here.

It kind of reminds me of Monkeyshines in a way. But that's something that happens only once a year in Tacoma, Washington.

Life is supposed to be full of surprises - nice whimsical surprises.

UNO ! ! !

Last night I got together with some students, friends and some of my kids for a chat and some games of UNO. I think by the end of the night we'd played seven games. It was fun to get together and have a laugh. The place we met at had free wifi so I chatted with my mother at the same time and sent her pictures too.

Can you see my cards?

Poor Jenna! Draw 4!

Jenna has a sneaky look on her face... me thinks she's gonna try to cheat!

Tarek is taking this game very seriously!

We all had a good time. Maybe we will do it again before Ramadan is over.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Are you boycotting TV in Ramadan?

There are mixed feelings about the amount of TV watched  and the type of programming available in Muslim countries during Ramadan. There's even a 'No More TV in Ramadan' campaign. And a lot written here.

I rarely ever watch TV. I don't like TV. I prefer to look at the news I am interested in on the internet and watch any relevant videos. I don't have time for television series or other programming. If I find a film I'm interested in I buy the DVD or download it and then put it on my iPod so I can watch it as I find time. But I do appreciate Ramadan TV programs because they keep my family busy (and quiet) after futoor and I can either take a nap or get some reading done at that time.

What are your thoughts about TV in Ramadan? 

Getting through... half way over

Jenna and I spent almost the entire afternoon out hunting for a school uniform for her. We looked and looked. There are about four or five different styles to choose from... all of them ugly, with poor quality material and sewing. It was depressing. We came home with nothing.

We did notice that the Eid shoppers are starting to come out. Mostly women with their kids and their henpecked husbands... I always feel so sorry for those poor guys. They always look like they hate their lives. They stand there with inconsolable looks on their faces while their wives give them orders... lol... 

With all the funerals we've had in our family recently, Eid for us won't be very festive.  When Libyans have a death in their family the next Eid is spent sitting around crying. Eid will be like a funeral all over again. So we're not bothering with much in the way of new clothes this year. 

Ramadan is the season for beggars and pickpockets. Unfortunately, I seem to be a magnet for both. The other day when Jenna and I were out shopping we nearly had a repeat of the pickpocket experience we had before (I posted about it here). Jenna and I just looked at each other and both of us said at the same time 'It's just like before.' I held onto my purse and glared at the women.  It was so obvious the way they came bursting into the shop and charged straight over to where Jenna and I were and started pushing and shoving. As soon as they realised we were on to them they bustled off out the door, not bothering to look at anything else in the shop. 

Ramadan is lasting forever this year... I am ready for it to be over.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Computer wars

My husband has decided, for some reason unbeknownst to me, to try to attempt to become computer literate. Basically what this means is that he has taken over my computer and is attempting to totally screw it all up... I can see a reinstall of the operating system in the near future.. or possibly a format. He clicks on anything and everything.... sigh.. He's become a malware downloading maven!

The most annoying thing is that he has discovered YouTube. He spends hours happily watching reruns of long forgotten crap from Aljazeera and totally inane things such as live traffic reports from the city we lived in twenty years ago. When I caught him doing that I nearly exploded! WTF!!! 

He has used up all the internet time and I am now paying LTT ten dinars for just 500mb which lasts him less than a day.  I've got another five days before it's time to renew the internet so I'm looking at about 60 more dinars of hubby watching pointlesss videos. .... ummm.. I don't think so. 

Tonight I am changing the password.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ramadan in Libya

My website has been down for quite some time because it needs some serious updating. I've had a few requests for the information from my page about Ramadan in Libya. So I've decided to post it here on my blog. Eventually I will get to work on updating my site... I'm just too busy these days.

What is Ramadan?

On approximately August 31st, 2008, Muslims around the world will begin the month-long fast of Ramadan. Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. (Note: Because the beginning of Islamic lunar months depends on the actual sighting of the new moon, the start and end dates for Ramadan may vary.)

The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God's commandments. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam. Because Ramadan is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year. The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called "Eid Al-Fitr," or Feast of the Fast-Breaking, on approximately September 30, 2008.

Muslims look forward to Ramadan as a period of spiritual reflection and renewal. It is also a time when people of other faiths can learn more about Islam.

The Quran, Islam's revealed text, states: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint...Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting..." (Chapter 2, verses 183 and 185)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told his companions: "God has said: 'Fasting is like a shield. A person who fasts experiences two joys. He is joyful when he breaks his fast, and he is joyful when he meets his Lord.'" (Hadith Qudsi, Hadith 10)



Fasting is compulsory for those who are mentally and physically fit, past the age of puberty, in a settled situation (Not traveling), and are sure fasting is unlikely to cause real physical or mental injury.

EXEMPTIONS FROM FASTING (some exemptions are optional)
  • Children under the age of puberty (Young children are encouraged to fast as much as they are able.)
  • People who are mentally incapacitated or not responsible for their actions
  • The elderly
  • The sick
  • Travelers who are on journeys of more than about 50 miles
  • Pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • Women who are menstruating
  • Those who are temporarily unable to fast must make up the missed days at another time or feed the poor.

Special prayers, called taraweeh, are performed after daily nighttime prayer. Lailat ul-Qadr ("Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny") marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammed first began receiving revelations from God, through the angel Gabriel. Muslims believe that Lailat ul-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadan.

  • Breaking the daily fast with a drink of water and dates
  • Reading the entire Quran during Ramadan
  • Social visits are encouraged


  • Eid begins with special morning prayers on the first day of Shawwal, the month following Ramadan on the Islamic lunar calendar.
  • It is forbidden to perform an optional fast during Eid because it is a time for relaxation.
  • During Eid Muslims greet each other with the phrase "Taqabbalallah ta'atakum," or "May God accept your deeds" and "Eid Mubarak", meaning "blessed Eid".
Ramadan and Eid in Libya

The month of Ramadan is waited for eagerly by Libyans. In the weeks preceding Ramadan, housewives take stock of their kitchens and replace and renew their dishes and cooking utensils, for there will be a great deal of cooking done during the month. Some foods are made especially in Ramadan.

The fast begins about ten minutes before the Fajr prayer at sunrise, and is not broken until Maghrib prayer at sunset. Traditionally the fast is broken by eating three dates and drinking water or milk. A unique Libyan soup made with a meat and tomato based broth, chick peas, parsley, orzo noodles and flavored with mint is an important part of the Ramadan meal. Other dishes are umbatan - potato slices that are stuffed with minced meat and spices and then deep fried, stuffed green peppers, stuffed swiss chard (similar to stuffed grape leaves), pizza, savoury pastries, various pasta dishes and salads.

Social visits are a very important feature of Ramadan, Libyans often invite friends and family to share their evening meal. Muslims are taught that God bestows blessings on those that share their food, and rewards are given for even offering so much as a sip of water to someone who has been fasting.

After the meal many people go to their neighborhood mosques to pray the evening prayer and also a special prayer called taraweeh which is said only during Ramadan. Usually the Imam or leader of the prayers will complete the recitation of the entire Quran within the month - each evening reciting a portion until it is finished. Going to the mosque provides not only spiritual benefits, but also promotes a sense of community spirit as neighbors and friends have a chance to meet and exchange greetings and news.

Another aspect of Ramadan is the distribution of charity to the poor. Muslims who are able, are obligated to pay alms before the end of the month. Usually this is done in the last two or three days before the Feast of Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated.

Businesses and shops are open in Libya during Ramadan, but the working hours for most employees are shortened to enable them to be home to prepare their fast-breaking meal. Grocery stores and most shops close shortly before sunset and open again after the evening prayers. Suks and shops are especially busy the last two weeks of Ramadan as people are out buying new clothes to wear for the feast days. Visitors to Libya should be aware that restaurants close during the day and eating in public is frowned upon, even if you are not a Muslim.

The sighting of the new moon denotes the end of Ramadan. The following day is a feast day called Eid Al-Fitr and is marked by special prayers for the occasion. Everyone who can afford to, has bought new clothes to wear for the Eid. Those that were unable to buy new clothing make sure to wear something clean and freshly pressed. Men and boys often wear the Libyan national costume for this special event. The people make their way to the mosque or other area that has been prepared for the Eid prayers. While the worshippers are waiting for everyone to assemble they recite the following phrases in Arabic:

"God is great,
God is great,
There is no God but God!...
God is great,
God is great,
And all praise is due to God!"

All around the town, in every neighborhood, and from every direction, you can hear these phrases being recited in an almost musical tone. After all the worshippers have gathered, the Eid prayer is performed and the Imam gives a sermon to the congregation.

The Eid celebration lasts for three days. In the course of this time everyone will pay visits to family and friends. Special sweets and pastries are made just for the occasion. Children are given gifts of money, candy and toys. Many Libyans take their children to the zoo or the amusement park, and it is common for people to have their photographs taken by professional photographers in studios, or for those who live in Tripoli, in the Green Square.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Soup in a bag

Ibrahim has fasted a few days this Ramadan. He did this out of his own free will and never once complained of feeling hungry or thirsty. I'm really proud of him. I've decided that if he wants to fast it's up to him, I'm not going to ask him to try. He's got to do it by himself. He's only nine so it's not a requirement, but it is nice that he's decided to try on his own.

Fasting normally causes people to feel a bit subdued and quiet. No so in the case of Ibrahim. He's been up to his usual tricks and the only time he ever sits still is when he's allowed to use the computer. Ibrahim is crazy about the internet. He looks up games on Google and plays for hours. I installed Zacbrowser on the computer to try to keep him in a safe zone. In the beginning he loved it and it kept him occupied, but soon he played all the games it had to offer and he became bored and started searching on his own.

I don't think it's a good thing to have kids sitting for hours and hours in front of the monitor. The internet isn't always a safe place for children. So far he is only interested in games. He likes the interaction and making things happen. He hasn't got the ability to use chat programs.

Since Ramadan started the kids don't want to play outside. It's simply too hot and humid out. So Ibrahim has been stuck inside because I can't trust him to play outside alone. He's getting bored, poor thing. His old plastic bag obsession is resurfacing. Yesterday he went into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and put leftover soup in a plastic ziplock bag. I caught him tossing it around the living room like it was a bean bag. I made him take it into the kitchen and told him to throw it away but he hid it instead and Nora discovered him sucking soup out of a hole he had made in the corner of the bag... ewe... Later I found him playing with plastic wrap. It's time to take that boy out for a long, long walk or to the park or something.

I DO NOT want his five year plastic bag obsession to return. I thought he would never get out of that. And the weirdest thing was that just one day it stopped. Just like that. One day he was mad about plastic bags and the next day it was like the whole five year obsession never was. So I'm a bit alarmed by soup in a bag... And I would not have been pleased if the bag had broken either...sigh..

School will start in a few weeks. I can't wait!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

An important visitor

Condoleesa Rice was here last Friday. The Leader invited her to a Ramadan 'breakfast'. He also gave her an oud as a present. I thought this was kind of funny. 'Oud' has a double meaning in Libya... the word can also mean 'stick'.

Maybe he was meaning it as some kind of joke... like giving her the stick... lololol

Have you ever eaten....

I saw this food meme over at Pseudotherapy and thought it would a be a good one to do since it's Ramadan and people are discovering their obsessions with all things edible.

First the rules:

• Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
• Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
• Strike through any items that you would never consider eating.
• Italicize anything you’ve never heard of.
• Optional extra: Post a comment at www.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

I decided not to strike through anything. As soon as I say I will never eat something I will get it put in front of me for sure!

Here goes:
  1. Venison - see Roadkill below (#75)
  2. Nettle tea
  3. Huevos rancheros - Miami
  4. Steak tartare - ewe.. you could get parasites from eating raw meat.
  5. Crocodile
  6. Black pudding
  7. Cheese fondue - this was actually fun (and I was about eight years old)
  8. Carp
  9. Borscht
  10. Baba ghanoush - they serve this at Libyan weddings sometimes. I could live without it.
  11. Calamari - in my book this is just squid with a fancy name - fish bait..yuck
  12. Pho
  13. PB&J sandwich - I have eaten a zillion in my lifetime and hope to eat a zillion more
  14. Aloo gobi
  15. Hot dog from a street cart - my dad bought me one in Chicago when I was a kid
  16. Epoisses
  17. Black truffle - I've had Libyan truffles... they aren't the same
  18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
  19. Steamed pork buns
  20. Pistachio ice cream - yes but not my favourite. I'm waiting for the day Libya finally gets Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk
  21. Heirloom tomatoes
  22. Fresh wild berries - yummmmmmy
  23. Foie gras - puke, puke, barf!
  24. Rice and beans - sigh... yes
  25. Brawn, or head cheese
  26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
  27. Dulce de leche - in Miami
  28. Oysters
  29. Baklava - definitely - I even know how to make it from scratch
  30. Bagna cauda
  31. Wasabi peas
  32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - I like sourdough.. I can make it.. I don't like clam chowder
  33. Salted lassi
  34. Sauerkraut - mmmm.. with sausages. Haven't eaten this in years and years..
  35. Root beer float - I wish there was root beer in Libya... I make do with Pepsi
  36. Cognac with a fat cigar
  37. Clotted cream tea
  38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - not with the vodka
  39. Gumbo - not something I get too excited about
  40. Oxtail - this was hubby's idea, not mine
  41. Curried goat - goats have an odor about them that I'm not particularly fond of
  42. Whole insects - not intentionally
  43. Phaal
  44. Goat’s milk - cheese yes... milk no
  45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
  46. Fugu
  47. Chicken tikka masala - Yes! I like this. I like it a lot!
  48. Eel - Hubby brought some home.. I asked him to never do it again
  49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - yes. Libya has donuts now! They're not bad but still not like 'home'
  50. Sea urchin - I've stepped on one of those suckers once with my bare foot and suffered for weeks
  51. Prickly pear - every year when they are in season in Libya
  52. Umeboshi
  53. Abalone
  54. Paneer - I like paneer
  55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
  56. Spaetzle - I've made this a few times
  57. Dirty gin martini
  58. Beer above 8% ABV - I'm not sure about this, it was a loooong time ago. I drink the non-alcoholic variety now
  59. Poutine
  60. Carob chips - yes but chocolate is so much better
  61. S’mores - come on.. I was a brownie and a girl scout in my day
  62. Sweetbreads
  63. Kaolin - Kaopectate.
  64. Currywurst
  65. Durian - YES! I wish they had fresh durian here. I saw it in a can once but it isn't the same.
  66. Frogs’ legs - my mother likes these... ewe gross
  67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - they call them sfinge in Libya
  68. Haggis - ewe.. almost like Libyan osban.. uuuugghh
  69. Fried plantain - yummy
  70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - coloured folks in America buy these by the bucket.. oh sorry I meant African Americans.. yuck.. they're pig's intestines
  71. Gazpacho - soup..
  72. Caviar and blini - blini yes... caviar no.. fish eggs yuck
  73. Louche absinthe
  74. Gjetost, or brunost
  75. Roadkill - my uncle's neighbour was a highway patrolman. Roadkill was one of the job's perks. Not bad either! (venison)
  76. Baijiu
  77. Hostess Fruit Pie - ahhh... reminds me of my childhood
  78. Snail. Sauteed in garlic butter
  79. Lapsang souchong
  80. Bellini
  81. Tom yum
  82. Eggs Benedict - yes.. I'm really not a big fan of eggs
  83. Pocky
  84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
  85. Kobe beef
  86. Hare
  87. Goulash - I like goulash
  88. Flowers - rose petals, squash blossoms, nasturtiums, rose hips, dandelions, clover, cauliflower, broccoli …
  89. Horse
  90. Criollo chocolate
  91. Spam - I've consumed a can or two in my life. Mom was really into canned food when I was growing up
  92. Soft shell crab
  93. Rose harissa - just the Libyan/Tunisian kind of harissa
  94. Catfish
  95. Mole poblano
  96. Bagel and lox - bagels yes... I can even make them myself... lox..no.. ewe
  97. Lobster Thermidor
  98. Polenta - ho hum
  99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - very nice
  100. Snake - only had sea snake.. ewe
Bon appetit!

On with life

It's hard to believe that a week of Ramadan has passed already. I've been running non-stop. It seems the days are too short and the night is endless.

Aside from the cooking and cleaning and other things I have to do, I've been going to the funeral. The crying is over and the laughing, smiling, party atmosphere has begun.... sigh... I find it so disgusting. Why do women have to pack up their bags and spend the night at funerals when they only live minutes away? What important thing is going to happen in the middle of the night that they have to be there for? It's just turned into one big slumber party.

I never sleep at funerals. As a matter of fact I never sleep away from home unless I'm travelling or sick in hospital. I think it's more than enough to arrive at a funeral at a certain time and leave at a suitable hour as well.

I went to the funeral last night and decided that I'm done with this one... Nope, no way, na uh, I'm not going back. I've niether the interest or the time to waste sitting with a bunch of giggling, gaggling, gossips - the three G's! It's time to get on with my life.

Friday, September 05, 2008

And yet again...

There's been a succession of funerals in my life the past few months. It started with the aunt who died as a result of severe burns. Then it was my sister-in-law's mother who had been ill for a long time. About two weeks ago my husband's cousin's daughter passed away. She was about 13 years old and hadn't been suffering any illness, I've been told, but died of heart failure. It was really sad because it was such a shock and she was so young. An act of God.

Back 'home' in America my mother's best friend passed away. She'd been battling cancer for quite a long time. I did my best to 'be there' for my mom via the internet. ... sigh...

Yesterday, after we broke our fast and the dishes had been washed and everyone was settling into their evening routine of either watching Libyan television programs or in my case taking a nap, the phone rang. It was more sad news about yet another death in the family. This time my husband's uncle who had died in a car accident. I hate to hear about car accidents. They're usually senseless deaths that most likely could have been prevented.

I really hate funerals here. I hate the DRAMA of them all. ... sigh... I dread the whole thing. I have to force myself to go... sigh...

Off I go... sigh...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ten Dinars

Hubby came home today and told me that they will be issuing 50 dinar banknotes soon, maybe this week. I can't understand why they didn't do that a long time ago. Whenever you have to buy something that requires a large sum of cash you have to carry around big stacks of money to do it. Also the fact that credit card use in this country is virtually unknown carrying around piles of cash is quite common. Having 50 dinar notes would take up less space.

Another thing I can't understand is why people here hate using coins. When they raise the prices on goods in the shops they usually add a quarter of a dinar because that is the smallest banknote used here. When I first came to Libya, in 1989, using coins was common. It certainly would be better if they went back to using them again and then only raising the prices a few cents at a time instead of in big chunks.

For example, last Ramadan I paid 1.75 for gouda cheese that cost me 2.75 today. And pasta that was .75 a year ago is now 1.75. Everything has gone up in price and each time they raise the prices they add a quarter and sometimes half a dinar. The only place I ever see coins being used is in the baker's. Maybe if Libyans went back to using coins they probably would raise the prices in smaller increments.

Well that's just my humble opinion.

Something I did in 2002 with a scan of a 10 dinar banknote.

Old stuff

Something I did way back when... 2003...
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I'm getting adjusted to Ramadan. My cravings for coffee are abating somewhat. I also managed to get a halfway decent night's sleep last night. That made a huge improvement!

We had a long weekend and a short week. Tomorrow is the last day of the week and it's back to weekend again. So far I have nothing planned other than cooking and making it through the day.

School has been postponed for the kids until after Ramadan and Eid. The kids need new school uniforms, shoes and school bags. I haven't seen much on display in the shops yet. Why does it seem they always wait until the last possible minute to put the things on display? I guess that's what I'll do this weekend... scout out school stuff.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Hmm... someone's not on the list... for a change. lol

I'd kill for coffee...

Two days of Ramadan have past. I've survived without coffee during the day so far and not killed anyone. I feel groggy during the day; a listless feeling like I'm in a fog. I just want to sleep, and I try to stay away from family members to avoid inflicting myself on them - I am a considerate person after all. After dinner (breakfast) I have a cup of coffee and then I start to feel normal again.

For the past two days I've only been out for short trips during the day to the vegetable market. I get what I need and come straight home. I've had a few days off work. Tomorrow I will go back to work in the morning. I hope by then the coffee cravings will have abated some.

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