Sunday, July 30, 2006

What's in a name?

First "french fries" became "freedom fries"
Then "danish pastries" became "cinnamon and raisin pastries" and "great danes" became "large horse-like dogs" (not really, but it COULD have happened!!)
Now, "pizza's" have become "elastic loaves" ... elastic loaves??!!

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as "pizzas" which will now be known as "elastic loaves," state media reported Saturday.

Mmmm, I wonder what is next ..... well, you know that Coca Cola directly translated into Chinese is "Bite the wax tadpole" ...

So, how about an elastic margaretha loaf with a wax tadpole and freedom fries?

Ah.... this crazy world of ours!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Clothes maketh the (wo)man - Re-post

Okay, we have reached the highly un-PC subject of the National Dress of the UAE. I am sure you all know and recognise the long black coat-like dress (abaya) and the head scarf(shayla) that the women wear. (As seen here, being worn by the blue-eyed infidel – Dear Moi and DD who could easily pass for one of Arab descent!)

Although abaya’s are basically black and basically shapeless, you would be amazed at the number of variations you see. Hemlines, cuffs and necklines are exquisitely embroidered and beaded – making each one a fashion statement in a subtle but very clear way. Some have a small train which drags along the filthy pavement, but most are about ankle length. This means that the ladies have carte blanche to decorate their feet with the most exquisite (and expensive!) shoes oil money can buy!

The other “must-have” accessory is a highly decorated Prada or Gucci or similarly over-the-top handbag.

Shayla’s are mostly black, but we have seen them in every other colour as well. Some are patterned, some fringed, some even have pom pom’s hanging around the edges! Women are constantly fiddling with and flicking their shayla’s – much like European women fiddle and flick their hair! We have seen shayla’s that leave the face uncovered, some that leave just the eyes uncovered and some that cover the entire face. The women have become very adept at eating and drinking and talking on cellphones whilst wearing the face-covering shayla’s. A Macdonalds hamburger is tucked under the chin part, thereupon follows some wiggling and squirming and viola (!) out pops the empty wrapper!

I feel most sorry for the babies who never get to see their mother’s face once outside the home. No smiling, winking or contortions of the mouth that normally accompany a mommy talking to her little one.

Some of the most devoted Muslim ladies wear elbow length black gloves and thick black stockings as well. And one of the most perturbing accessories I have seen is the burqa which is a stiff leather mask which covers eyebrows, nose and mouth – much like those awful braces some teenagers are unlucky enough to have to wear. The first time we saw one of these, on an elderly lady, I felt terribly concerned for her, believing that she must have been in a terrible accident and was wearing some sort of corrective headgear! They remind me of a horse’s bridle and I cannot see how these awful things can be considered anything other than gross. But, to each his/her own, I suppose.

Ladies who don’t have to cover their hands with gloves, often have them ornately decorated with henna painting. Each finger then also sports a flashy, flamboyant ring which glitters and glistens as the hands express what the face cannot. Feet are often also decorated and look very fetching in sexy high-heel sandals - another post for another day.

You know, we Westerners may feel that the abaya and shayla are offensive symbols of oppression, and maybe in certain parts of the world, they are. But I figure, anything that can cover you up when you are having a feeling-fat, bad hair, no makeup kind of a day, can't be all THAT bad!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Looks Like We Made It ....Our Lulu Anniversary

Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday

They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong

You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night

Ain't nothin' better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missin'
DH and I celebrated our wedding anniversary last week -
30 years together
- our Pearl anniversary (get it? ... pearl in Arabic is lulu ....)

When we got married, there were many family and "friends" who were convinced, and had no qualms telling us, that we would never make it. Different backgrounds, different social status (I married the boy from the wrong side of the motorway), different looks (me a deb, he .... well, even my mother said : But, he is sooo ugly), different goals (I was off to see the world, he just wanted to be an aircraft mechanic), different interests (I love reading, ballet, theatre - you know, larney stuff, and he lives for car racing and wrestling), different manners (I please and thank you all over the place and he calls a spade a fu*king spade), different personalities (I'm the standoffish, non verbal type and he is the touchy, feely, let's talk type) in fact, even our differences are different!!
But, in spite of them - or maybe BECAUSE of them - we took the plunge and now it looks like we made it!

The word love doesn't even begin to cover how I feel about him after a third of a century of being with him. I respect, admire, treasure and cherish him. He truly is my rock, my very best friend and the only living human being that understands even an nth of my quirks and idiosyncrasies. He found me and then helped me to find myself. He is strong and sensitive, fiercely protective and doesn't hesitate to defend me in any situation.

Make no mistake, he drives me crazy often and intensely - he drives like Michael Schumaker on speed, his "Latin" temper has gotten us into some fairly hot water, he burps and farts - often and loudly!, he is beyond stubborn, his socks smell, , he slurps his soup ... and his coffee ... and his drinks ...
he has no sense of colour co-ordination with his clothes, and ... and ... and

So, although he will probably never read this (he doesn't read much!), this is my homage, my tribute to this gentle giant of a man with his dauntless spirit - I
appreciate him and am so grateful that he stuck with me through this rollercoaster of life and every day I wonder how I could have got so lucky as to pick the very very very best one of the bunch.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

More Restaurant Fare

How to ruin good baked beans!!

Restaurant Fare

Does this mean the lamb is really really really underdone?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006