Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Multi-Tasking Nation

I wandered into our university’s gym one day and scanned the sweaty arena for an empty treadmill. After spotting a vacant machine, I sauntered towards it, swinging my handy, music collection in one hand and a scruffy towel in the other. After jogging on the rolling floor for a while, I looked around to see students huffing and puffing as they were simultaneously reading a textbook, listening to music, and running and/or hastily stepping on the Stair-Master whilst grabbing an occasional sip from their water bottle.

I am amazed by these people who can do three and sometimes four things at once. I have tried reading while jogging but the words blur as I jump from one foot to the next. Sometimes, I fling my headset on the floor because of the jumble of thoughts racing through my head. How can these people do it?

And it’s not only exercise. Lunch breaks consist of a mere ten minutes spent at one’s desk, wolfing down a bland sandwich while typing emails with greasy tips. Relaxing baths occur once in a blue moon; jumping in and out of a five minute shower is the usual routine to bodily cleanliness. People are ecstatic about their long, four day break that sadly has amounts of work related phone calls and messages exchanged with the real, grim, fast-paced world that awaits their return.

Yes, we all have to work. And we’re all searching for comfortable happiness. But we keep overlooking one factor that balances work and happiness, and that is appreciation.

PS DJ Shadow - In/Flux
PPS Emiliana Torrini - Telepathy

at 6:52 AM 10 comments

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Harlot

I rarely attend Kuwaiti gatherings here, but this past September, I felt a bit obligated to meet and greet the newcomers and welcome them to the urbanizing ghetto of a city we are located in. I also heard that there was a new girl who had just transferred to my university after a semester’s worth of English language classes tucked under her thick, studded belt.

I walked into the balmy, reserved party room that reeked of the ‘qoozi’ the boys had ordered. And there she was; a pretty, wide-eyed eighteen year old sitting amidst the pool of young men; I smiled at her and strode over to one of the pint-sized girls and engaged in idle small talk. Soon enough, the new girl – I’ll just call her Harlot for confidential reasons – bounced in. We continued yakking until suddenly, the Harlot turned to me in titters.

Harlot: (loudly) Wow! Mashallah intay tara wayed 6oweelaahh! 6a3 il farg beinich oo bein *pint-sized girl*!”

I laughed it off and joked that I can get away with my kitten-heels in the U.S. because most Kuwaiti men would reach my kneecaps if I wore heels more than two inches.In a slightly seriously tone, she replied, “La2. 7ata 6oolich ib Amreeka moo 6abe3i.”

Now keep in mind the muggy room is packed with Kuwaiti guys.
I dismissed her comment. Hell, I just met the girl.

With Harlot seated to my right, I assumed my social appropriateness during lunch. She interrupts me mid-sentence, Hatha sijeee?” she asked, pointing to the tattoo on my pulse point.

Me: La2. I got it from ‘Claire’s.’”
Harlot: Ahh. Moo 7ilo.”
She reaches over and touches my hair, Sha3rich imqa9af.”

I restrained myself from exercising any sort of verbal combat with this vermin who sported low-waist jeans that exhibited all the three, fluorescent bands of her g-string.

As the eldest and only female driver, I felt sorry for the girls and offered to take them out to see a movie. We decided on ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin.’ After driving twenty minutes to the theater with five, raucous girls, we ended up leaving fifteen minutes after the picture started because one of the girls was 'offended' by the movie’s content.

I drove back and dropped the unruly bunch at a café near our complex. Everyone bounded out of my car. Everyone except Harlot. She remained in the backseat, situated in the center.

“Ana baroo7 ma3a Erzulie na9fi6 il sayara winyeekom.”
I was indifferent; my apartment was across the street anyway, so I shrugged it off and started to roll onto the pavement.

All of a sudden, Harlot squealed, Whaaaay chinich my driverrr! Yallah Babu! Go to the right! Go to the right!” She jutted her hand in my face, waving it rightwards.

I had two choices: I could grab her by the hair and slam her head on my rigid arm rest and paw her eyeballs out. I sucked in my breath and chose option number two; I turned around and faced her, this tart I’ve known for a mere three hours, and firmly said, “Intay minsijich?”

Harlot giggled.

Harlot squirmed in her place.

Screw the Harlot.

at 8:42 AM 49 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blithe Memories of Desert Storm

At five years of age, she did not recall the somber months her family spent in Egypt during the invasion. Her mother rarely speaks of it, probably because most of the memories are infested with cockroaches and the shattering of needles under the girl’s feet whenever she scampered on the dark pavement that encircled their shoddy neighborhood.

Nevertheless, she enjoys her mother’s light tales as she recounts episodes that made her already pink face turn crimson with embarrassment.
“I was with your older sister Jude*,” her mother started, “Oh, and we had just moved into our new apartment…do you remember it?” Her daughter, now a young woman, nodded her head in response.

“Well, we didn’t have an iron, so Jude and I headed out to the nearest store. We walked in and found out that the place was filled with pale-faced Kuwaitis.” She looked down at her daughter’s cotton bed sheets, pressed her lids together before clearing her throat to continue the story.

“We quietly headed to the front desk and asked if they had an ‘ootee.’ The man scratched his tanned, bald head and looked at us, perplexed.”

“Mama, go on!” her daughter pressed, seeming more like the five-year old in the story than a mature, twenty year old woman.

“We suddenly saw his face light up as he loudly exclaimed ‘Aughhh!!! 3ayzeen makawi!!! Na7na 3indena makawi kiteeeeera!’”

The two laughed in unison with that loud, trademarked guffaw her other sisters also share.

“And I am telling you,” her mother carried on, hardly catching her breath, “every single Kuwaiti was staring at us!”

She looked at her daughter tenderly, her warm, loving smile still on her face.“Yallah, good night my darling.” With a sweet kiss, she tucked her daughter in and carefully closed the bedroom door.

at 11:56 AM 23 comments

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Life & Tigimber*

She plopped on the plastic chair as her father plodded around, swinging a stiff, ink drenched canvas bag. He had bought her a new spear; she reached out and carefully grabbed its smooth, wooden middle, smiling to herself as she remembered the flimsy plastic one she always ended up with when she was younger. Finally, he said, “Ha, Mishaina?”**

As she arose from her seat, her father’s dowdy swim trunks dropped an inch of her waist. She bent down and pulled her socks up, recalling the stinging itch of the boots’ harsh interior. Clutching their spears, the pair silently trudged through the soft sand towards the temporarily bare gulf. They passed the beginner’s zone, where a handful of children scampered barefoot, in search for colorful seashells and small sea creatures to play with.

As the two veered leftward, the water slowly crept toward their knees. She glanced at the miniature sand dune to her right and laughed when her father reminded her how it was her safe haven; as a little girl, she would often squat on the ephemeral island and impatiently wait for her father as he ventured deeper into the sea.

When the sun bowed down, she held the oil lamp as her father gingerly brought it to life. Soon enough, the game began; multiple squids smoothly propelled themselves, coyly displaying their vivid, ribbon-like veins; mighty, coral crabs with brilliant blue edges mimicked their movements, bucking left and right whilst defensively snapping their pincers. The occasional “Ew7ara” would be spotted lounging on its belly; the last time they caught one, however, the fish almost broke her father’s spear as it writhed and squirmed under his fork’s pressure.

After walking for two hours in the still, humid airs of the sea, her flimsy General Electric shirt was drenched with her sweet, salty sweat that dripped from her neck onto her chest. After wrenching a few fat oysters, she looked at her father, her face glowing with perspiration that had gathered into demure puddles under her eyes and over her lips’ ridge. “Ha, Radaina?”***

PS Jessie's Girl

*Spear fishing
**"Shall we get a move on?"
***"Shall we return?"

at 7:48 AM 19 comments

Friday, November 04, 2005

Which Cartoon Character Are You?

Everyone has a personality of a cartoon character. Have you ever asked yourself what cartoon character do you most resemble? A group of investigators got together and analyzed the personalities of well known and modern cartoon characters. The information that was gathered was made into this test:

Answer all the questions with what describes you best, add up all your points (which are next to the answer that you choose) at the end and look for your results.

1. Which one of the following describes the perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.)
c) Painting in the park (5 pts.)
d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
b) Alternative (1 pt.)
c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
d) Country (5 pts.)
e) Pop (3 pts.)

3. What type of movies do you prefer?
a) Comedy (2 pts.)
b) Horror (1 pt.)
c) Musical (3 pts.)
d) Romance (4 pts.)
e) Documentary (5 pts.)

4. If you could only choose one, which one of these occupations would you choose?
a) Waiter (4 pts.)
b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.)
c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
e) Cashier (1 pt)

5. What do you do with your spare time?
a) Exercise (5 pts.)
b) Read (4 pts.)
c) Watch television (2 pts.)
d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
e) Sleep (3 pts.)

6. Which one of the following colors do you like best?
a) Yellow (1 pt.)
b) White (5 pts.)
c) Sky Blue (3 pts.)
d) Dark Blue (2 pts.)
e) Red (4 pts.)

7. What do you prefer to eat right now?
a) Snow (3 pts.)
b) Pizza (2 pts.)
c) Sushi (1 pt.)
d) Pasta (4 pts.)
e) Salad (5 pts.)

8. What is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween (1 pt.)
b) Christmas (3 pts.)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
d) Valentine's Day (4 pts.)
e) Thanksgiving (5 pts.)

9. If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?
a) Paris (4 pts)
b) Spain (5 pts)
c) Las Vegas (1 pt)
d) Hawaii (4 pts)
e) Hollywood (3 pts)

10. With which of the following would you prefer to spend time with? a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)
d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)

Now add up your points and find out the answer:

1-16 points) You are Garfield: You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how to have fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

17-23 points) You are Snoopy: You are fun, you are very cool and popular. You always know what's in and you never are out of style. You are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned. Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times.

24-28 points) You are Elmo: You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice: try not to be too much of a dreamer, if not you will have many conflicts with life.

29-35 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants: You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never want to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny and calm for the most part. Stay away from traitors and jealous people, and then you will be stress free.

36-43 points) You are Charlie Brown: You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few Birthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality.

44-50 points) You are Dexter: You are smart and definitely a thinker. Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. Maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes.

PS I'm Elmo! And yes, I guess I am a bit of a dreamer...
PPS The World is Mine
PPPS Afroman...oh you know it! Dedicated to the lovely city of...
PPPPS Welcome to Jamrock...refer to previous post note

at 12:15 AM 22 comments

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Memories of Eid

Late as usual, the girls dashed out of the house in their spanking new attire, barely escaping their father’s cigarette fumes that might tinge their incensed hair. They would cram themselves into the unusually warm car and visit the elders first; the aunt with swelled legs propped up on stool who surprisingly remembers minute details about them, the ageing relative they visit twice a year who bouncily scurries with sweets and treats in one hand and a handful of cash in the other, and the tiny grandmother who daintily props herself on her beautiful couch and pillows as she observes the smiling, fresh faces before her whilst quietly ordering the service to distribute the coffee, tea, and sundry, sweet finger foods.
Humorous tales between cousins are exchanged; the youngest girl points accusingly at one of her relatives, remembering the time she was coaxed into giving up her five dinars when she was a child for her cousin’s stack of four ¼ dinars.
Before the table was completely set, the women gathered into an already crowded room and change into the traditional Kuwaiti attire. The festive and rather chaotic lunch takes place with a row of family members hunched over their plates, unaware of the few mischievous individuals around who have strategically placed the best dishes besides them for their personal enjoyment. The dramatic aunt stopped calling the service and settled down in her place; the lanky, introverted cousin plopped down next to his squirming little sister to have a quick bite before joining his friends in the chalet; and my father finally sat back after spending quite a while hunched over the spread, flinging pieces of lamb he detached by hand to people seated by him.

PS Red Red Wine...dedicated to everything and everyone reminds me of the times above. Yeah, it's old...but it resonates with me!
PPS Breathe

at 5:34 AM 22 comments