Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting more done

I've been busy, busy, busy.... Lately we've been shopping for all kinds of things for the house. We still need to pick out the granite for the kitchen counters. Hubby came home with a selection of handles for the cabinets and drawer pulls and I wasn't happy with any of them so I sent him back to look again (I had no time in my schedule to go with).

This time he came home with handles shaped like leaves. Oh! Oh! Oh! I just held one in my hand and tears started to roll down my cheeks. They are perfect. Ah... he knows how much I love leaves!

I found something to keep me and the kids busy at the weekend... and it involves leaves. Something for the garden.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Make way for the kitchen!

Cabinets are being installed in the kitchen... work is in progress!

On another note... some one, anonymous, has mostly figured out the answer to the "Where is This?" that I posted last week. Have a look and read my explanation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where is this?

If you know, just say so... click on comments.

I don't know who guessed because they posted as anonymous... the picture was taken in Florida, near Seminole.

In my 20 years of living in Libya and my 27 years of being married to a Libyan, and the two years we were engaged... That's a lot of years! And a lot of chances to get to know the Libyan mentality and culture.

One of the things that I found surprising came about while I was visiting a Libyan woman who was potty training her toddler. Anyone that has any experience with that knows that you spend a lot of time standing next to a kid that is sitting on a toilet. But to my surprise this woman had her child standing on the seat, legs wide apart, squatting. When I asked her why on earth she was having the child stand on the seat she looked at me strangely and said that this was how she had been taught. I asked if she still stood on the seat and she said 'Of course.' Later I found that this was not uncommon among Libyans who were used to using Turkish style 'hole in the floor' toilets. I often find foot prints on the seat of bathrooms I've been in in Libya. I probably would have just thought the seat was dirty but ever since seeing that kid standing there I look for footprints... lolol...and wonder why on earth they can't figure out that you are supposed to sit on the seat, not stand on it.

While I was in the US my sister took me to have a pedicure. Knowing that I'd be sitting for a while I decided to visit the bathroom first. It was located in the back of the salon and was used mainly by the staff, all of whom were Vietnamese. I sometimes wonder if the entire female population of Vietnamese in the US are working as manicurists. Anyway, I walked into the door and was confronted by the sign. I read it and started to laugh and decided I'd better take a picture because no one would believe me.

I don't think I've ever heard of an American standing on a toilet seat. Standing on the toilet seat must be a third world kind of thing. The sign was posted for the Vietnamese employees.

Culture even finds it's way into the bathroom...lolol

A commenter pointed out Baba Gannouj's blog. He posted this image of a sign from Syria:

Special wishes

Happy birthday to Adam my # 1 son!

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

Friday, June 12, 2009


All of us should take a lesson from the weather:

It pays no attention to criticism.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Care to comment?

In my last post I wrote about how I felt on the first day of my arrival back to Libya after a month's absence. I said it was dirtier and stinkier than I remembered and that Libyans smell like Libyan food (onions and spices). I wrote that the streets were lined with trash and rubble.

Lots of people agreed with me but some accused me of being everything from racist to suffering a mid life crisis. One commenter even threatened me: 'and be sure you will be treated so badly soon when i meet u'. There were a few comments that I didn't post because they were vulgar in the extreme.

I said Libyans smell like Libyan food.... well guess what? Indians smell like Indian food, Ukrainians smell like Ukrainian food, Chinese smell like their food and so on. The saying 'You are what you eat.' means just that. And don't forget that old people have a specific smell and babies most certainly have their own special odor. Does this mean that I hate them? Any of them? No! Of course not. How ridiculous!

And for the people that didn't like the fact that I pointed out the trash and rubble - OH PLEASE! Go outside and open your eyes for God's sake. There is garbage all over the place and you have no one but yourselves to blame for that. Probably you have gotten so used to the mess that you don't even see it anymore.

There are plenty of Libyans who care about their surroundings and try to keep things clean and make a difference. There are lots of Libyans who have lived abroad and have learned how other people and cultures feel about keeping their country clean (my husband for instance). They come back wanting to clean, save and protect Libya's environment.

For those that accused me of hating Libyans... I have watched Libyans throw trash on the roads and beaches for the past twenty years. Lazy Libyans who think that someone will follow them around and pick up after them. Oh yes... I hate THOSE Libyans. Wouldn't you?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Jet lag... and other things

I made it home in one piece and with all the luggage.

It's amazing what a month away will do. Libya is stinkier and dirtier than I remembered. Libyans smell like Libyan food - even when they aren't eating, so I'm surrounded by the odor of onions (basla), and the spices used in Libyan cuisine. ... sigh... I will become used to the aroma after a while. Plastic bags float through the air and rubble and trash line the streets. In a few days it will all look normal to me but now it all seems to attack my senses in a violent kind of way.

I'm adjusting to the difference in time and jet lag too. During the day I feel fine and then all of a sudden I feel like I must get sleep immediately, then I find myself wide awake in the middle of the night. It will probably take me a good five days to get back to normal. Just in time to go back to work.

As I had been gone for a month, the Internet expired on my mobile and needed to be recharged. I sent Jenna to buy a top-up card and sent a text to renew the Internet... uuughhh... Almadar ripped me off! They deducted ten dinars from my phone but didn't give me Internet service. How do you get them to sort it out? Welcome to Libya..... sigh...

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