Saturday, February 17, 2007

Back Home (Better late than NEVER)

I have been back home for 5 days now. I have thus far spent 3 days at home with Mummy. I have been to work once. I have been to a birthday party. I have attended the wedding of the teacher Twin. I feel like CRAP!

Let me repeat that I feel absolutely CRAP! I feel this not because I am back home in the land of the rain and cold but because I was LATE to my friends wedding. I arrived 2hours late to a wedding. I arrived AFTER the bride (who looked dazzling in her pink princess gown btw). I feel terrible.

I am trying to think of ways to make it up to her. If this was me and a so called friend had done this to me I would be most upset. I really don't know how to sort it so make dua for me anyway.

I have no hope that my lateness was missed as both the brides mum and my friends commented on it. I am such a bad time keeper. Believe it or not I had gotten up at 830am and was still late for the midday start (I got there at 205pm!!).

Allah grant me the ability to keep time. Ameen.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Crazy Laws


A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing. (She can however risk her life on Saturdays!!).

Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown. (What!??).

You may not fart in a public place after 6 P.M. on Thursdays. (make sure you consume your beans prior to Thursday morning!!).

No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour. (How do they punish the car?).

Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship. (How do they punish the animals? Hee Hee!).

The value of Pi is 4, and not 3.1415..... (What? Honest to God that was a law in the good old US of A!!).

The penalty for jumping off a building is death. (IF you survive that is!).


It is legal for an Englishman to shoot a Welshman with a longbow, provided the Englishman is in England and the Welshman is on the Welsh side of the border. (I assume the this works both ways right?!!).
It is illegal for a lady to eat chocolates on a public conveyance. (Huh??!).

London Hackney Carriages (taxis/cabs) must carry a bale of hay and a sack of oats. (What?!!).

A bed may not be hung out of a window. (You can however hung you couch out to dry BUT only on Wednesdays. Nah! Made that last bit up).

It is illegal for a Member of Parliament to enter the House of Commons wearing a full suit of armour. (It is legal for any Tom, Mohammed and Hamza to do it though).

OK so I am now officially bored with this as only USA and England seem to have this laws.
believe it or not some of this laws are still in the books although no one enforces them!
I'll leave you to guess which are still in the books and which have been removed once the lawmakers gray cells woke up...

Only 24 hours more in this land of sunshine.

We went to a cafe today and painted our own mug (tea cup not my face) and shark!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Talons and Sunburn

I got my first manicure and pedicure today. Although I have had these 'PROCEDURES' done before, I can honestly say never like this! I had the longest manicure to begin with. I sat there trying not to cringe when they filed my nails. It always seems like torture to me and I have never understood people who have this done or do it to themselves twice weekly or a weekly basis.

Anyways I had paid for it and therefore had to endure it.

I must admit I actually enjoyed the pedicure as it was part massage, part foot spa and full pampering.

Definitely will go back for that alone.

I had a brown colour painted on my nails that I soon regretted but I am very bad at complaining so I thanked the lady and went on my merry way!!!
I have to admit I have had pampering month here and it had better show or else. I have spend nearly two weeks at a ladies only club. I have enjoyed the sauna, steam rooms, occasionally I ventured into the gym but only so I could keep having their fattening ice creams and cocktails.

I have spent countless hours by the pool side (only literally two hours in the whole two weeks in the pool though) basking in the sun and trying to get a tan. I once fell asleep and woke to with awful pain on my back. I had burned myself in the afternoon sun!

How black people burn never made sense to me.
I did manage to burn myself in Egypt too. I always get cocky and don't apply sun cream properly.

Well my pampring sessions are coming to close. I only have to get a hair cut and then I am done and dusted IA Ameen.

Life away from Manchester...

Life here has been a laugh (mainly I am laughing at myself at the stupidity of the things I do and say). No joke. Every time I step outside of the home something ridiculous happens to me.

Lets just look at yesterday...

I woke up and as per usual I had over slept but hey there is no work to be done so I just continued to get ready at a nice and easy pace. I got breakfast (it should really have been lunch but who's counting!), read the newspaper and got ready to leave the house.
My aunt noticed me leaving and I got given a little errand to run. No problems so far.
I leave the house walking in between two houses to get to the main road to flag down a taxi (taxis are my main form of transport here as it's really efficient and cheap to boot). As I am stepping on to the pavement to wave a taxi down one nearly runs me over. It's like these guys are psychic or something.
I get in and give a destination. He sits there looking blank. I tell him the destination again. He is still sat there and then he has the cheek to turn around and say in plain English "Why don't you speak to me in Arabic Ma'am"
I tell him like I told the countless others before him "I don't speak Arabic" and they always seem shocked at this. But you are Somali...But you are here...and such other none sense.
Anyway we get to the shopping centre safely but with my ears hurting (he has been giving me a lecture for the last 10 minutes on how disgraceful it it that I don't speak Arabic). I jump out of the taxi and don't even collect my change. Oh to be away from him. Although I have had other drivers do this I have yet to come across someone who manges to speak the language so well that I wasn't just sat in back seat laughing at him.
I nearly tripped in my haste to get away from the taxi and did something to my shoe. I forgot about it and composed myself and went into this POSH shopping centre. I am the only person not wearing an abaya (the black covering that the women wear here) and ridiculous high heeled shoes. I got a few stares and I gave a few as I saw all around me women in the most awful looking shoes. I even giggled to myself (they must have thought I was sightly khafif).
I went into one of the poshest shops in the centre was collecting something I was asked by my aunt when low and behold my shoe (sandals) fell apart. This is what I had done in trying to get away from the taxi driver.
Wallahi I was the most embarrassed that I have ever been in my life. I walked out of the shop in hysterical laughter at how I must have looked. Here is woman holding her shoes in her hands and walking in the shopping centre. The stares I had previously got were nothing compared to the ones I was getting now. I was laughing so hard that I had to sit down in a cafe and order a cooling drink. I had tears streaming down my face from the laughter. Every time I even thought about how I was going to get home without shoes I had a fresh dose of the giggles. The waitress kept coming back to me and asking me if I was OK. All I could do was nod.

After ten minutes of sitting and trying to compose myself I saw across from the cafe a SHOE SHOP!! All was not lost...
I bought a pair of granny sandals ( beggars can't be choosers right) and headed home before something else happen to me.

I am about to go out for the day. I am picking up an abaya for me and having lunch with friend so I might be safe from over zealous taxi drivers and disintegrating sandals...

IA Ameen

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pictures from Abu Dhabi continued...

This is picture taken while my aunt was driving at 120 miles per hour! What you can see in the distance is Dubai. It was amazingly warm day without being stifling. We drove for about an hour to get the place called Ibn Batuta Mall. The mall is just amazing. It has 4 or 5 different country themes. The is the China section which you can recognise by the Chinese style entrance and hall. There is Persian, Egyptian and Moroccan sections and some sections that I can't remember.

This a picture taken outside the mall yet again showing Dubai in the far of distance. The place was just lovely.

This is the hall of the China section. Here were suppose to be mostly Chinese shops selling Chinese wares. Obviously as people here seem to adore Italian furniture that seem to be a big section of China! Go figure. I had nice fresh mango and avocado juice here in cafe just off the entrance. We were waiting for the desert safari man to come and collect us. He did come to pick us up on time but we had two more people to pick up and it took him another hour and thirty minutes to locate the two people. I could have screamed (not sure if I didn't). We finally set of at 5pm instead of the planned 330pm. I was sat in the front seat so that I could get the best view while dune bashing. We went up and down dudes that were suppose to be tame but were terrifying for me a novice at all this action. I felt positively travel sick and once we had stopped to takes pictures I swapped seats with one of the other passengers only to find out that it's not that much better to sat in the back.

Here is picture I took of the desert. It was a quite green desert and had shrubs and what looked like lemon bushes growing around the place. Check out the camel farm in the background. The people here get an allowance for raining camels. My aunt compared it to the child allowance we get in England!LOL!

This is a picture of the sunset. We had bee driving round the dunes for about an hour. Some drivers got stuck in the sand (one inexperienced driver managed to get stuck twice and had to be rescued by our driver.

This picture of the camp where we were to have dinner and 'entertainment'!!

The meal was wonderful really. I had the vegetarian option as I got so much meat while I have been here. I got questioned by two workers about my being a vegetarian. They seem to think you had to be vegetarian to enjoy the nice food with out meat! People are certainly strange in the country.

This is our driver serving me traditional coffee. Khahwa I think it's called. Boy was it strong hence the tiny cups. I had dates to go with it as it was also quite bitter.

I am sat where the men are suppose to be. I was the twin bride when I noticed them get up and go some place. I obviously had to take advantage and sit in their place if only to take some photos. I did get carried away and forgot to leave so that when I saw them walking towards us the twin was desperately shouting for me to get up and give them their place back and me being me just remaining sitting thinking they might sit further down the tent.

Well it appears it was not to be as they stared at me and walked past to nowhere in particular!! I had scared them off and according to the twin they were too polite to request the seats back. I was doubled over in laughter. I looked around and realised I was the only female sat in this particular tent as the twin had abandoned me and was standing a little away and frowning at me! Oh the joys of pretending to be an ignorant never seize to amaze me.
This is picture that was taken at a place called Global Village just outside of Dubai. Its part of the Shopping Festival that Dubai holds every year. It's a massive place that has representation from all over the world and as its name suggests it is a global village. We travelled from Syria in Jordon and crossed over to China and then went to India via the back door!!! LOL!! Its was hilarious! This is obviously a picture of the entrance of Nepal which I didn't visit actually. Maybe next year IA.

This is a picture inside the India pavilion at Global Village. We just had fleeting glance at it.

Till next time blogger lets me upload pics.

I only have two more days here now so will probably not get a chance to put the rest of pictures up before home time. I can't wait to be back home in the clod and the snow (hope it has snowed in Manchester).

Monday, February 05, 2007

Crazy World

Behead Muslims who join the army, says notorious preacher. The banned group leader calls them 'apostates'.
One of Britain's most notorious Islamist Preachers warned that any Muslim who joins the army should expect to be beheaded.

I have not read the news or watched for the last 3 blissful weeks. I had to of course pick today to read the news for a nice late breakfast at just before mid-day. I had enjoyed my lie in today. I woke up refreshed and full of energy.
I was having my peppermint tea when I got to the UK section of the Gulf News which my Uncle gets delivered every morning.

Actually before this article I had read of an article where 3 16 year old boys had raped and beat a 10 your old boy from their school. This did not happen in the US or the UK. It had happened right here the UAE - in Abu Dhabi to be specific.
I was already regretting reading the news as it wiped off my wonderful glow of being rested and happy. I liked living in that ignorance. My friend teases me that I have a weak soul as I tend to remove those things that I think harm me rather than deal with them as an adult who is control of herself. I, for instance, have no TV in my home as I had a horrid addiction to it and rather than curb myself and say 'I'll only watch certain things' I got rid and have stayed away. If that is weak I am cool with weak as it saves me anyway.

Getting sidelined there...

This article basically said that Omer Bakri who was the leader of a group called Al Muhajiroun had said ' Muslims who join any army that are terrorists killing their brothers and sisters'. He has endorsed the killing of the Muslim soldiers. He seems to think this a fair and just way to deal with something he sees as wrong. He is doing this in the name of Islam and people would believe it and think this is Islam.
I am tired of so called leaders of every group under the sun saying they are doing the will of Allah and following the Quran and following the ways of our beloved Prophet (SAW) when they are doing anything but.
Under neath this article was a two line thing about arrests made in Birmingham regarding a bunch of young Muslim boys who had followed this loons advice and had apparently tried to kidnap a Muslim soldier on leave there and planned to behead him.
Now tell me whats wrong with that picture???? One thousand and one things obviously. The ones that jump to my mind are - how could a group of Muslim young men follow this obviously deluded man and try to kidnap a Muslim soldier and plan on beheading him. How would they justify it? How could they say what they are doing is within the realm of Islam??

The answer to that is simple - they can't.

As a person who has planned on joining the army - this has me worried. Whats wrong with our young people? I still consider myself to be young and I can't even think of any way I would end up in the position these boys are. Where did things go wrong that these boys were left open to this incomprehensible idea. How did this man get inside these boys heads?
As Muslims we tend to be suspicious of news - I at least am so forgive me for generalising. If this crime was like all the other things that British young Muslims had been accused of ( and they have been false and no apology has been forthcoming) then I am even more worried. I have no real faith in my government and certainly on in the newspapers. I think I just believed this cause it touched too close to home. I am worried as it is about the army. Something I will be part of real soon.

This has kinda put a damper on my holidays. We are having sand storms here at the moment.

Today is my first day here that I have stayed indoors and I am feeling confined...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pictures from Abu Dhabi

This is Ikea in a place called Marina Mall. As soon as I saw this I felt right at home!! They have wonderful cafes and shops there and it is only a short walk to the corniche (the beaches). As soon as my Aunt collected me from the Airport, she took me here a bought me a cool and refreshing cocktail. We sat and people watched for a good hour.

This is the house that I have been staying for the last three weeks. I fell in love with the city as soon as we left the Airport. I think that I had imagined as a dry and sandy place that I was just struck mute by the actual place.

This the pet of the house I have been staying at. She is called Tomika and mostly responds to it. She is a cool cat in the day but at night she changes and creeps the hell out of me. She scratches at my door and bangs her head against it to try and open it. She also looks like she is dead when she sleeps at night. I have taken to locking my door at night and putting weights against it!!!

One of my Aunt's friends invited us for breakfast and this is the view from her sitting room. She lives on the 21st floor in a large apartment. She is literally 2 minutes from the beach and gets this lovely sea air breeze from her window. Some people are just blessed.

This is my favourite picture so far in my holidays. It's our local masjid and it proclaims the Adhan ever so loudly. I even hear it at fajr and it wakes me up. I love hearing the Adhan everywhere I go. People turn off music and radio when it comes on. Imagine Trafford Centre and you are shopping - suddenly you can hear the Adhan and shops turn off the music and even close sometimes. It's a wonderful thing.