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...


  1. How many times did you break down and cry? I feel you are going thru not only one very difficult transition right now, but several and will pray for you.

    You just lost your brother; missing the everyday visits with your mom/sister/son/ and the beautiful Gulf in the good ole UNITED STATE OF AMERICA !!! sandi

  2. Dear friend.

    I know what you are feeling. I work in an office managed by the Libyans but not in Libya. I worked with them for many years. But still I cannot understand why they are not even interested to make their life better.

  3. welcome back , and good luck readapting

  4. Dear
    Don't worry Al Madar will activate your internet but sometimes it takes them one day over the weekend.

  5. Welcome back,

    I used to live in Egypt and I remember how it feels reajusting back and forth.

    I'm sure it meant a great deal to your American family to have you home for this time of sorrow.

    We on the net look forward to lots of new pictures and up dates on the new house and farm.

  6. Hi Teri !

    Welcome back.
    You would've found Tripoli a cleaner city if you were visiting Cairo LOL that's what happened to me :-)When I went back from the states I noticed the same busla smell and dirty streets with sky high trash let alone the demolition...
    Great to have you home safe and sound.Alhamdulilah.

  7. I hate it when people smell like food. im so not ok with smelling basla or anything other than freshly wahsed clothes. It bothers me. People should shower, and wash their clothes. Not just go out after cooking...hate it..hate it..hate it is summer. call it adding mositiour to clay!!!

    Good luck adjusting. I never adjust to bugs me each time i see trash on the streets. I cant stand people who throw stuff whereever!

  8. Hi Mrs.Khadija

    I`ve just deleted your blog from my favourites,because i can`t tolerate more offense toward us,the Libyans.

    Good luck & all the best in your life....

  9. Ex follower.... sorry, but I think you are in denial. Libya smells and is dirty... sad to say but 100% true.

  10. Jet leg is always bit weird as this article is. Welcome Back good luck and keep updating this blog.

  11. I told you to get out of Libya at least once a year!!!
    It'll be a year next month since I've been back and I miss the filth, the flies, the smell of rotting garbage, the sound of crunching as you drive over the streets paved with plastic bottles, the smell of poor air quality, the traffic,the fact that there are no rules of the road, the Libyan 'guidos' who wanna be Eyetalians, the smell of glue in the shoe stores, and being able to leave my car running while smoking a cigarette and gassing up my Jeep!

    I really do miss it! But the answer to why it's like that is because you have no government.

  12. You FORGOT to mention..... the noise , the bugs ,crap service ,the black magic superstitions ,and the Ninja women all covered up in 100degree weather .What were you thinking ???

  13. Oh Khadija, I know it's not easy living in Libya for you, but surely you exaggerate!Tsk,tsk. There must be at least one of us 'natives' out there from the six million, who tries to be clean and smell nice. I didn't know that you were familiar with every single Libyan. Wow, what an amazing woman you must be!

  14. Hey, Teri Welcome back , and am sorry for what happened with your brother but THIS IS LIFE anyways am here to say i been visiting your blog for 2 years now i guess however i was really shocked by the way u dislike to say Libyans couz i`ve never smelled food on them to be honest, and if some do plz tell me where can i go and have some (smell) doesn`t matter it either could be (bsal) or (felfel) am cool with both, as i know there r plenty of jeolus ppl of us out there couz the way we are LoL


    My best

    now you have the right to re-write or to edit this part before postin` it,,, these words are to you from deep of my hearth and any Libyan guy i know and i am sure i do know more Libyans than you do i just wanna say : WOMAN Plz bugger off get the fuck out of Libya Please we don`t want you here YOU aren`t welcome anymore we don`t wanna fucking racist ass holes like you that u been here 20 years and never
    attend to change stick your self in ur husband`s place, u lost respect when u spoke about Libyans in general if u said libya was dirty i would agree with u couz its true if u said need to be developed its also true corruption,,,etc i agree on all that however one like u can never judge humans okay!!! and be sure you will be treated so badly soon when i meet u, u will really hate it when ur students know this


    Cyaa SOON!

  15. Dear Khadija,

    you are really wierd character by the way there is a lot of cities that have bad reputation in air pollution and still atract tourist ex:Madagascar, Cairo and etc. even in US there is dirty polluted cities but I dont think you have an Idea about the problems of your country and I dont think you were leave in Malibue or LA before coming to Libya to critisize in a vulgar way!!!eventhough it is unfair to compare. Ms Khadija I think you suffer from midlife crisis, or you feel that you choose the wrong man or any hidden reason.

  16. can you tell me why you've been married to a dirty, stinky, ugly, libyan guy? you've lost the plot. you are very rude.

  17. People STOP IT.

    She did speak of reality. We all know that the faults are always generalized and the good things are specified. Think of Khadija as a Libyan. Forget her roots! She has been here longer than many of you. She was just saying what she observed.

    Yes some libyans do smell like food. They cook or come across someone who cooks and just leave the house smelling so stinky! Yes there are some libyans (most of i may say) who throw grabage in the streets...and everywhere. I have seen them. So if any of you would try to say that im not saying the truth, i would reply that you are in a state of denial. Pointing the bad side doesnt mean that the country is not loved. I love libya with all my heart, and i do wish that these things will get better. There more stuff in those lines to talk of...and like we have that not so great side, we do have a great side! People stop taking it so personal!

    Some of you spoke in such a disrepectful manner that im ashamed to think that you are truely Libyans.

    Then again, she is taking of what she really experienced. She has every free will to do so.

    If i was in the US i would point stuff that i dont like. There is NOTHING wrong about that. Its one's own prespective!

    Khadija, i know you havent done anything wrong, and there was nothing racist about what you wrote!

    For example, i think eating the escargots is truely disgussting (a famous french dish) does that mean i hate the french? use your senses everyone.

  18. hi khadija
    i am who wrote about your smell like American food . when i said American is mixed from all the world guess what kind of smell well get . ok now i would like to know why you didn't publish my comment,i will say why , because you think you are best than the else people (i mean Americans) and you like as you like, you dont care about else people.
    i was like you as a perfect woman , but now you lose your respect specially where you found the people who given you your respect
    i am sure you don't publish this or previous one
    i hope to find out your mistake

  19. Dear khadija

    I think it's time for an apology, I'm not Libyan, and I don't agree with ur article at all. And being married to a Libyan and living in Libya for a while now, you're not considered a guest anymore, and you should adapt yourself to the society of the hosting country, like we do when we go any where in the world, it's really not polite and acceptable to go live somewhere even if not married to a citizen from that country and start insulting them.
    You really owe an apology to Libya and all the Libyans, if you don't agree why would you then live in Libya.

  20. PART 1:

    Assalamu alaikum!

    Although I prefer staying in the background, I feel a need to shed some insight into what appears to be going on here as far as the backlash is concerned.

    What's going on is not about the fact of the garbage. I'm sure we all know why the situation 'stinks'. Heh...perhaps countries in the developing world should take the industrialized nations' example and 'export' their garbage to underdeveloped countries too! (sarcasm)

    As a Japanese-American (Nikkei) Muslim married to a Libyan, I am seeing what's going on here through slightly different eyes (I suppose you can take that both figuratively AND literally).

    The cultural differences in expression are apparent. I'm not going to address that here. What I would like to point out, however, may shed some insight on the angry responses you have received. One of the first and most common taunts children from 'ethnic' families in the United States suffer from is 'you smell funny!'. It may be 'fact', however, being pointed out in such a way, with or without malicious intent, is quite hurtful. I do understand that you didn't mean harm, but especially after having made it clear that you are tired of Libyan food...well, do you see how that may cause some offense? You were merely stating your opinion, but some may have interpreted it this way, 'Libyans smell like Libyan food. I do not like Libyan food. Libyan food stinks. Hence Libyans stink and I don't like them.'

    There's another important thing we have to realize and acknowledge in order to move on as human beings. The scars of colonialism/imperialism run deep. Mind you, I can empathize with this from BOTH sides. Understandably, there are still bitter feelings and resentment towards the Japanese from people in the countries that Japan had occupied. And I feel it is incumbent upon the Japanese to learn from this and understand the ill feelings in order to mend the relationship.

    Now, I know I personally had nothing to do with the colonization and atrocities committed, but I must UNDERSTAND the history and the reasons bad feelings still exist.

    Much of the non-white world still feels some resentment towards whites. You know, the great white man goes to brown man's country to civilize him...that sort of thing. I'm not trying to turn this into a racial issue, and I'm almost positive that this kind of thinking isn't even in your head, but I feel I should let you know that this is how many people of 'color' still think. (And I think you also inadvertently insulted some people even more by saying that Libyans 'who had gone abroad' to white majority industrialized nations...had returned to Libya enlightened about cleanliness.)

    We may like to think that race/cultural issues have all been taken care of and dealt with as in the United Colours of Benetton ads! But. Under that ideal surface, there are still many problems that need to be addressed. Realizing this is an important step in understanding and accepting others.

    Continued in Part 2...

  21. ...continued from Part 1:

    And to the posters of the negative comments...I understand your anger, but, again, I see this from another angle as well. The way in which she stated her opinions may have been hurtful to you, but she is in no way like the ethnocentric xenophobe who posted the 'ninja women' comment. (As a niqab wearing person of Japanese descent I am doubly offended!) Anyway, I was born in the United States, and although I've never lived elsewhere, and I am fluent in English and familiar with American culture and customs, I will never be described as the 'All-America girl-next-door'. And I've been told a countless number of times to 'go back to your country!' even before wearing hijab. Khadija Teri has made Libya her home and has been there for years and years. I'm sure she has had to struggle with ignorant comments and prejudice as minorities often do. Telling her to 'go back to her country' or 'go home', even if said out of anger, is incredibly painful. I'm sure she'd LIKE to go 'home' sometimes...but, Libya IS her home. And as minorities often do, she has worked VERY hard to make it her home.

    I think we all need to learn to see things from other people's perspectives. We need to keep our minds and our hearts open as the world becomes more accessible and we encounter many different viewpoints. I thank you for letting me share mine.

    On the authority of Iyaz bin Himar (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Allah, the Most Exalted, has revealed to me that you should show courtesy and be cordial with each other, so that nobody should consider himself superior to another or harm him." (Muslim)

    Best wishes to you, Khadija Teri, and to your family in Libya and the United States! Perhaps one day insha'Allah we will meet!

    Now...please start posting more of your lovely photos of your family and of Libya!


  22. Unbelieveable comments - I am appalled.

    You are absolutely in your right to comment on your experience. People need to take a reality check and realise that if we all become robots and lose the ability to express our opinion this world will become a very boring place.

    The reaction to your post is the shame, not the post itself.


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