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I blog, therefore I wonder.. March 27, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Beirut, Culture, Dubai, Israel, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden.
23 comments

What should one care about when blogging?
Should we review our texts again and again in order not to offend anyone that might come across it (I don’t do that)? Should we have to worry if someone misunderstands us? Doesn’t these things take the joy out of blogging?

I think it is unacceptable to spread lies or insult people naming and shaming them (unless it’s an official person – well no need to lie about them anyway) but should we really have to sit and worry our asses off if people dislikes or misunderstands our opinions? And how far can you go in this part of the world without actually crossing any lines? And should we care if a line is crossed? What is allowed to be expressed and what isn’t? And should we really care?

I don’t know really, but I feel I am restricted in expressing my opinions cus I do not actually want to offend anyone (but Israelis I’m afraid) and somtimes I wonder what can be said without having the blog blocked by our friends in Riyadh (Salam guys) but they seem more open minded than I expected anyway.

Talk about taking things too serious huh? I will just stop thinking about it and get on with things.

Saudi news and dreams March 23, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.
9 comments

This morning I read the following in the Saudi Gazette;

African Man Held For Sorcery

“A team of inspectors from the Commision of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Madina arrested an African man who wore a rabbits’ foot around his neck. Inside the talisman he had written the name of his employer. He claimed that he had used the talisman to make his employer pay him his salary on time.
Also, the inspectors arrested a group of African overstayers who were caught selling chips for decoding pornographic satellite TV channels.”

 I didn’t know people here needed chips for that. I have heard several times that it’s quite easy to get these channels without any problems (and noo I am not looking to get them ). And by the way, how do you manage to write someone name on a rabbits’ foot?

Last night I dreamt that I was living outside the compound in neighbourhood with only Saudis. I was going to a nearby minimarket and decided to wear a thob (!). As soon as I stepped out on the street a boy shouted -Look, look she is wearing a thob! I kept walking straight ahead and then I heard another boy going -A girl in a thob! Let’s get the camera!
All of a sudden, to my horror, I was surrounded by Saudi men of all ages in thobs shouting at me and cursing me. Some were throwing rocks and waterballoons on me. It hit me as I walked that perhaps I should turn back and go home but stubborn as I am once I have started something I didn’t turn back. I had to pass by a mosque and outside were about 200 men waiting to go in and pray. All cursing and shouting at me 😦 . When I finally reached the minimarket the Pakistani owner told me to take another street back home offering me something else to wear (but I refused). A really freaky dream indeed. Maybe I dreamt it cus I like the thobs so much. But no I have never of thought wearing one. Maybe I should now 😉 (oh gosh I feel an urge to go and buy one now, seriously) .

Happy Mothers Day March 21, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Culture, Music.
2 comments

Happy mothers day to all loving, hardworking mothers out there! We deserve a day like this. Shame we don’t know it’s mothers day until it’s over though 😛 .

I have had the music channel VH1 on all day and Amy Winehouses’ “Rehab” is without a doubt the coolest video and song on at the moment. They tried to make me go to rehab, I say no, noo,noooo! She does look like she could need it though. If you watch the video you must check out the cool black guy in the blue bathrobe. He is just tooo cool aaaah. I need more of diiizz stuff.

What ever happened to hot, redhead Mick Hucknall of Simply Red? Saw their video “So not over you” and buhuhuhuuh he looks like a dandelion fuzzball. Or a permed, bearded marshmallow about to melt. Just makes me cry aah! I’m not talking about ageing here. The guy just just looks crap these days 😦 .  The proof is here,

Eeeew, just watched the video again and eeeew! Thank God he still has his beautiful voice. Great song and video though.

Darling Georgie March 18, 2007

Posted by Aella in Uncategorized.
4 comments

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli”

George Bush

 Aah I just love that one! He is da man!
The world is safe in his hands!

Driving in Saudi March 17, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Beirut, Culture, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia.
10 comments

The traffic situation in this country is really terrible from what I hear and see. The accident rates are really high and people die on a daily basis on the road. The first impression when you get here coming from Beirut as I did, is that the roads are nicer and the traffic less. Therefore I assumed the traffic would be better here than in Lebanon. Wrong. The Lebanese drivers might seem like kamikazes but they are much more skilled than the average driver here in Khobar. And I am not saying the average Saudi driver since this country is full of people of other nationalities (Pakistanis, Europeans,Bangladeshis,Indians, Americans, South Africans and so on).
There doesn’t seem to be any common rules or standars when driving here. If the motto in Beirut is “Drive it like it’s stolen” then the motto here is “Drive it ’til you kill someone”. Add to that the fact that no one seems to wear seatbelts and that people let their kids jump up and down in the car, cars are often overloaded with people, everyone has to drive as fast as they can and that even guys in tiny old cars think they are the king of the road.

What really annoys me is their carelessness for other people lives. Even their own childrens. I really can’t understand how they can let their kids sit in their laps in the front of the car or stand up in the back. Put seatbelts on them for Gods sake! And slow down grrrrrrrrrrr!

Israel in Europe? March 11, 2007

Posted by Aella in Israel, Lebanon.
18 comments

It is totally  unacceptable in any shape, way or form that Israel is seen as a part of Europe. I known it for some time but how the hell is it possible? As I was surfing for holidays from Sweden to Southern Europe yesterday I found on www.vingresor.se that Israel is under the category of Europe! Why the hell is that?? And why is Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest and many other European events? Why isn’t Lebanon part of Europe then? Or Syria (aah how would you like that Bashar?) Or Palestine? Is it so the damn Europeans can say that oh yeah we do have Jews in Europe, n a lot of them as well (well since they managed to kill so many in the past). Or what?
Can anyone explain this to me? And you might wonder why the upset. Well I simple don’t want to be associated with such a murder state as a European or shall I say a Swede (nooot saying we have a non-violent past in Europe – but I do).
Like fuck, this has to change!

Shopping blindly March 9, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Culture, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.
4 comments

-You free lucky bastard, I said out loud as I saw a Filipino man standing in t-shirt and jeans outside the Dhahran Mall yesterday. We drove into the parking lot and I felt I dreaded to walk around in my abaya for some reason. Mainly because it was such a beautiful day and I wanted the sun kissing my winter pale skin. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have liked being in the mall without it.. (and no I’m not looking for a discussion where I am assumed to think freedom is to prance around in a bikini on the high street)

What followed after that was indeed my strangest shopping experience ever. Since I have been pregnant most of the time since I came here I have not bothered buying clothes here in Khobar (bought some in Bahrain though). Anyway, yesterday as I went to buy clothes it was just…..weird. To go into a shop, look at the clothes and then decide to buy them. Khallas. No taking a few sizes or this and that and try them on, just buy them. Felt really odd. I must say I probably bought more that I would have on a “normal” shopping trip since I could flatter myself with the idea that I would look good in the clothes without having a mirror ruining that idea hehe. The whole experience put me in a strange mood, where I would go into a shop, take my time, pick something up, put it back, pick something else up, put it back, pick up the first item again…and so on. In one shop I was told by a guy working there that people buy the clothes and then try them on in the ladies room so they can return them in case they aren’t to the customers satisfaction… I couldn’t really get myself to do that.

Later back home I tried the clothes on and somehow I had managed to pick the right sizes on all items except a t-shirt. Will save it for my slimmer days 😛 . In any case, it was a backward proccess (as in buying the clothes first and then trying them).
I really cannot for my life understand why there are no changing rooms and why there are guys in all the shops. Are there no changing rooms cus people are worried others will peep on them or what? Are the society here really that full of perverts?

We went to the mall just after the midday prayer and there were hardly any people. A great time to do shopping since the malls are jammed with people the rest of the weekends.

Shopping made me a cheer up a little while doing it but I cannot say anything other than my heart is heavy today.

March madness March 5, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Culture, Pictures, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture.
13 comments

 “Most people are other people. 
  Their thoughts are someone elses opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”

Oscar Wilde

Things are kinda crap right now. Not enough sleep and dead bored. Really damn bored. I guess it will pass. Have been at home too much lately. Our compound is so damn small it feels sick to walk around here. Like a bee buzzing around in a circle.  I need to get out of here…

Arab News

Great picture.

Read the following in Arab News:
WAMY Program to Benefit the Young

“JEDDAH, 5 March 2007 — Dr. Mohammad Badahdah, assistant secretary-general of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), yesterday emphasized the significance of WAMY’s youth development program for young Saudi men and women, saying it would help tap their capabilities for community services and other constructive activities.

Badahdah, who assumed the post last month, made the comment while receiving Prince Amr Mohammed Al-Faisal in his office. He briefed the prince on WAMY’s various activities, especially on the youth development program, which will be implemented in association with relevant government agencies including the Education Ministry and universities.

“The program is aimed at building a new generation of young men and women who can make positive contributions to society and to the Ummah at large,” said Badahdah, who is a consultant surgeon at King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah. The program aims at providing training, employment and guidance to young Saudi men and women and protecting them from deviant groups.”

(more…)

Khobar now and then March 1, 2007

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Pictures, Saudi Arabia.
6 comments

          This is hotel Le Meridien in Khobar back in 1982.
Le Meridien

Khobar sure has changed a lot since then.

Le Meridien

And this is Le Meridien today.

Le Meridien today

I do prefer the 1982 look.