Monday, August 31, 2009

September 1st

Big day in Libya... there are so many words that describe how I feel about the day. You can find them all here: How I feel

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shopping adventures

The house is starting to look like a home on the inside now. We're getting more furniture and furnishings and it takes time. There is the risk that you will get tired and settle for something you really wouldn't buy if you weren't tired. That's when it's time to quit for the day and go home.

We did get some really nice things. Today's haul was two mirrors - one we will hang next to the entry and the other in the vanity area of the main bathroom. And we also got a cabinet that is supposed to be a TV table but we're going to use it in the entry (under the mirror). I'll take a picture as soon as we hang the mirror.

Yesterday we got a coffee table for the entry. We need another for the ladies sitting room too, but the only one we saw that we liked didn't have matching side tables. So we'll keep looking. The bedroom furniture arrived today and will be assembled tomorrow. Not sure what time though. It's sitting in the hallway in a huge pile of boxes. There is still a long list of furniture we need... I'll be shopping for quite a while I think (and boring you with it all).

One really weird thing happened today. While I was waiting for furniture to be loaded into the truck a car drove up and stopped next to me. There were three small kids in the car (standing on the seats). The oldest was probably 3 or 4 years old. The guy that was driving was holding a speargun in his hand and he was checking to see if it was ready to use. And he looked very ANGRY too. He was gripping the gun in his hand and leaning out the window looking for someone or something. Then he sped off, driving erratically down the road, the kids falling over onto each other.

I rubbed my eyes and wondered if I had imagined what I had just seen. It was truly a 911 moment... if there was a way to call 911... which there isn't...... sigh...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Too hot to shop!

I decided to sleep in today. That was a mistake because I just woke up with a headache. Then I decided to go out and walk around in the garden to see if my headache would clear. It's baking hot out there! I managed to last about 5 minutes outside and then came back inside where it's cool.

I had planned to go out and do some shopping. But the thought of getting into a hot car is just too much. Maybe it will cool off a bit later. Or I'll just wait until night.

The good news is that last night we finally found a bedroom set. And it was on sale AND the price included delivery AND installation. So hopefully by Saturday (which is the earliest the shop can manage) I will have someplace to put my things and a bed to sleep in. Of course I'm not stupid... if the shop said Saturday that really means like maybe Monday. This is Libya after all and it is Ramadan. But OK.. I can be patient and wait.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day Three

Everything gets turned upside down during Ramadan. Tonight I had a dentist appointment at midnight, but as I was getting ready to go, the dentist's office called to reschedule my appointment until mid September. Dentists don't like to work during Ramadan during the day because people think having dental work done will break their fast. Most dentists work at night during Ramadan. I'm not sure what's up with my dentist. I was looking forward to getting my dental work done. I'll have to wait now.

My PC has been giving me grief. Coming up with errors… RAM parity, checksum… sigh… The advice I got was to get a new PC because mine is about 8 years old. But I like my PC. We’ve been through lots of stuff together. I like it better than my old laptop and my new netbook. I don’t want a new one. And besides, money these days is going to the furnishing of my house. I opened up the case and cleaned away some of the dust bunnies. Then I went to the shop and bought new RAM and came home and installed it. There are still errors but it’s running. I will manage to squeeze the life out of it a bit more.

We're still looking for furniture. We need a dining room set and a kitchen table. In the meantime we are using two white plastic tables. They will do the job until I find what I want. I need two coffee tables and a china cabinet. Most importantly I need a bedroom set. So the hunt continues. While everyone in Libya is busy foraging for the perfect Ramadan breakfast food I am looking at furniture. At least the furniture shops aren't crowded.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak

The month of Ramadan has arrived. I've been so busy getting things done in the house that I didn't do any Ramadan shopping until the night before. And that was only to buy some meat and chick peas for the dreadful Libyan soup. We aren't completely moved into the new house - we're using both places. But I hope to cook mostly at the house so that we can make full use of the grill outside and break our fast in the garden instead of inside if the weather is kind enough. And grilled food is easy and something the boys can do to keep them busy right before sunset.


The weather has been hot and humid as usual for this time of year. It makes fasting difficult, but as long as you stay in air conditioning for most of the time it's not going to be too bad. Ramadan Kareem!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last weekend

The last weekend before Ramadan begins starts tomorrow. We've been working on getting things done at the house almost non-stop for the past few weeks. We were hoping to be completely finished before Ramadan but it looks like we won't reach that goal.

We did manage to get a lot of things crossed off the list. We decided that we'd get the main pieces of furniture bought and then work on the smaller things as we can. It's hard to get just what you want here. I had a plan for a particular colour scheme for the ladies sitting room that in the end I had to just give up on. No matter how hard I looked I could not find the colours. In the end I went with something else. I'm not thrilled with it but if I do come across what I'm looking for I've left some allowance to change it.

The house still needs to be painted from the outside. We've simply run out of time. It will have to wait until after Ramadan. The kitchen counter tops were a huge headache. We finally found the granite we wanted and got the guy to come out to measure - and then he called and said there wasn't enough granite in the colour we wanted. We had to go out searching again. Finally we found the granite we wanted and got that sorted out. Still it was stressful. One step forward, two steps back and finally a push forward again. We'll have the kitchen ready for Ramadan.

We've decided that until we get the house completed we'll go back and forth between the two places. We'll have to do that until there is Internet at the house anyway. Since it's the last weekend before Ramadan we're going to try to enjoy it by spending time with friends and having a cookout. I'm looking forward to relaxing for a change.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The worst pain is toothache

I've been in agony the past few days with a toothache. One of my students told me that toothaches were listed as number two on the list of the threshold level for the worst pain. She said number one were labour pains. I disagree with that - I think toothache is the worst pain. Labour pains come and go - you can even time them, but toothache is just one continual hurt that doesn't stop until the problem is solved.

Of course my tooth started hurting on Thursday evening, and Friday the dentist was closed. On Saturday I went to the office at 9am... no one was there. I went back at noon and then again at 3 in the afternoon. Still no one was there. So we went to the farm for the afternoon. On the way home I stopped again at the dentist and found him there and made an appointment for the following morning. He gave me a prescription for pain medication that just made me ill when I took it.

Anyway I got my tooth sorted out yesterday and now I am on the mend. I'll finish the rest of my dental work during Ramadan.

I did manage to do some things at the house over the weekend and also to watch an interesting film called 'Arranged'. It's a cute movie about a Muslim girl and an Orthodox Jewish girl who work together as teachers in New York and become friends. It looks at the similarities and differences of two cultures. A nice family film.

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