Anyway, moving on. Kaden still loves his Charlie dog. He is sleeping with him now and when I tuck him in he feels around for him if I don’t hand him to him. Cute. We got to talk to Mimi the other night, which was great. Kaden and I haven’t been able to get on messenger lately because he is such a terror that I don’t have a chance to sit at the computer until he goes down for his nap. That’s right folks, he’s down to ONE nap per day. And he was mean about the segue too! He was taking two good naps and sometimes three naps per day and all of a sudden one day he decides he doesn’t need three naps, but oh wait, doesn’t need two naps either! So he went in one day for first nap and that was the end of second and third nap too. He is still just as crabby in the evening though as if he missed a nap, but every time we try to put him down for one, he screams until we get him up again. So we get to listen to half-whining for an hour before bed. Awesome.
Last night Stu decided he needed to get out of the house (probably was really more concerned that I hadn’t left the house all week) so we went to Marina and Khalidiyah Malls. First of all, if you ever want to go to a mall here to, say, take in the architecture or to marvel at the painting scheme, Ramadan is the time to go. If you, however, would like to, say, shop at a mall… you’d best wait till October. There were approximately 15 other people in the zillion square foot mall that is Marina, and all but 4 clothing and shoe shops were closed. We went to go look at the prices for a Wii here since we can get them for about $275 and couldn’t believe that ebay had them all listed at over $300. Here they are way more than that. They start at about $350, depending on where you look, and they are all “modified” (though when you ask them, they can never tell you who modded them… “We get them from a supplier”… yeah, some guy in his Mom’s basement) so the warranty is void as soon as you buy it. Plus, Rainy and Marcelo just picked one up and all of the games are actually burned games inside of “real game” packaging, but they still are sold for 299 Dirham! You forget that there are no laws for such things here. When you buy stuff in America you know you are getting the real thing because Wal-Mart would get in trouble for selling knock-off game consoles or games. But that isn’t true here. Anyway, none of the above matttered anyway because the electronics stores were closed.
We decided to stop by Khalidiyah Mall to see if the Etihad store was open. They have these travel packages called “GotToGo” where they are for a number of days with airfare and hotel included, for much cheaper than you can set up on your own with an airline and hotel (we tried). So since Eid is coming up we were thinking of getting away somewhere. We thought going up to Fujairah would be nice but nooooo. Since it is a National Holiday it is perfectly acceptable for every one of the hotels in the UAE to increase their prices by nearly double to increase profits.
So it literally would be about the same for us to drive to Fujairah and stay at a hotel on the beach for three nights as it would be for us to take a plane to London and stay in a 5-star hotel there. Just sick. So we were talking about doing that. We’ll see. We’re hesitant to do it with Kaden and his newly found whining all day. I am not sure we could sight-see for three solid days with him in tow and him staying a happy camper. So we’re still talking about it now but we will have to see.
We decided to head up to the food court to see what it was like during Ramadan. Cool thing: You CAN order take-away food, you just can't eat it in the mall. So as we were getting fruit juice drinks, the prayer call went off and Iftar meal started before our eyes! It was so funny (interesting funny) to see all of the Muslims sitting and waiting with their already ordered food at the tables, just staring at it. As soon as the Imam could be heard they were like race horses out of the gates, eating like they were in a contest. I guess it must be awful to not eat anything all day long, but it sure was a sight to see them break the fast!
Anyway, that’s about it for me. I suppose I cannot close this without mentioning that it is September 11th. It has been 7 years! I feel so old. I remember it like it was yesterday though… I imagine it’s like those who were old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination. They’ll probably always know where they were when they heard. I remember it all though. Where I was, the utter confusion about what was happening, watching everything on TV in my DECA classroom, having a bomb scare the same day and being ushered out onto the football field to wait for our school to blow up. I even got a scholarship in college (the only recipient in Idaho for 2003 thank you very much, heh) from an essay I wrote about September 11th. (Yay for Pappy Boyington!) Anyway, take a moment to reflect.
Oh, I forgot about my bizarre experience yesterday which actually ties in with my request to reflect. I took my own advice and was thinking about September 11th, 2001 when it occurred to me that I sit here in the Middle East. How if someone were to have told me back when I was a Junior in High School that I would ever move to Middle East I would have laughed in their face. I remember how fearful I felt of Arabs after that. Naiveté I guess. Yesterday I walked down to the Haji Store (in a sweatshirt… in 100 degree weather… thank you Ramadan) for some rolls since I made sloppy joes for dinner. I got the rolls and when I was paying, this Arab man who had been staring at me quizzically the whole time I was in there said to me, “You are famous, yes?”
“You are famous!” (He points to me as he talks to the cashier… “I saw her in a magazine!”)
Me: “No, I’ve not been in a magazine.”
“You have! I saw you in a magazine. I know it!”
I decided to take my leave at this juncture in the conversation. What I wanted to say was, “Yeah? Well I saw you on America’s Most Wanted.”
But I didn’t. Instead I internally giggled at my own joke (I swear I’ve seen Osama bin Laden at least ten times since we moved here) and headed back to my apartment. See how this all ties in? Heh. Anyway, the joes were good, in case you were wondering. But I guess that was some sort of weird attempt at a compliment or a pick-up line. These men are strange. I get emails every day on my MySpace account of Arab men asking to “please be my friend” and they are reminiscent of 1940s Romance movies with corny lines and swooning tones. When Ahmed sends me a message about the “beauty in my eyes” I can almost hear Jimmy Stewart swooning Donna Reed with his promises to lasso the moon for her to prove his love. I roll my eyes and hit delete as fast as I can.
Although, it occurs to me that I probably shouldn’t complain about chivalry when some of our American men may be just as likely to use an opening line such as, “Heeeyyyy baby! Got a husband? Boyfriend? Baby Daddy?.... No? Den can I chill witchu?” as he licks his grill*. Sigh. I guess I’ll take 1940s uber-nerds over that.
*for those of you who are over the age of 30, a “grill” is a term used to describe the jewelry worn over the teeth, typically by hip hop and rap artists. They are usually made of metal and gems. Here’s a picture for further grossification: