Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Well today I finally found my get up and go before it got up and left me in the dust. Last night I crashed around 8:30 - had a headache so opted to head to bed. Tried to call Aymn - he had asked me to call him around 10 to know if he was coming back - did try to call him before I crashed and got a message in Arabic - woke up around 11 and called again - same message - just after 1 a.m. I woke up yet again and called him - and actually got him. He had just turned his phone on - he has a new phone - ARGH - and he had forgotten the pin number or some such thing - so had to go to a cybernet and get online to find out what it was - now please can someone tell me why he spends so much money on a phone that he cannot even operate without getting online - he had been unable to use the phone for quite awhile - from at least 8 - 1 a.m. - I just do not get it. I found out about his purchase of the cell phone from my nephew Mahmoud - when I congratulated Aymn on it he wanted to know who told me - my response was, "Well it wasn't you." To which he responded, "I wanted to surprise you." Yeah right - he knows I was against his spending that kind of money on a cell phone - there is always money for his new toys and for toys for his kids - each of his kids have really nice cell phones - and at last count he had purchased 3 phones for Amel - while he has not purchased even one for me. The cell phone I have I had to purchase myself because he did not have the money to buy one for me - and it is like my car - no bells and whistles - does not have a camera, cannot download music on to it, no GPS locator in it - all it does is make phone calls and receive them - oh yes it does also receive and send messages. I still do not have dining room furniture - deal was when I bought the apartment he would pay for half the furniture - yeah right - then he changed it to he would buy the dining room suite - hmmmm - so far nothing. And of course I am not going to buy a dining room suite - last I heard he wanted to pick it out and pay for it - he knows what I like - no way - even Suzanne was aghast that he would pick out the furniture - that is the woman's job - to pick it out and then it is up to the man to pay for it. Just seems to me that things are very lopsided - there is always money for his family - his eldest son goes to private school, there is money to pay for private tutoring for the kids, he always buys the kids clothes and shoes, etc. when he is in Libya, he paid for the trip to Hajj, but yet there is never any money for things I would like. Must remember my mantra - cannot change him can just change how I react. But it is very galling that he never contributes one red piestra to my trips back to Canada - and he can afford to - but he does not see that that is his obligation. Only thing I get is money for groceries. Guess I should be thankful that at least I get that.

I manged to get out of bed around 7:00 - had been dozing on and off for a bit - had a shower, made my bed, hung up my clothes, started laundry, dust mopped the floors, had breakfast, did dishes - then washed the kitchen floor. I even washed the hooked rug that I have on the floor on my side of the bed - my grandmother made it for me a very long time ago - likely about 38 years ago. It is now hanging up on the line. Today is a great day for laundry - sunny with just enough of a breeze to dry things quickly. I was even a very good girl and I watered the garden. Last week I planted some seeds and it looks as if something is growing - hoping it is not weeds.

Friday I spent the day with the family at my mil's place. Unfortunately, Aymn's kids were in attendance and they were very resolute in their stand to ignore me. When they came in they did not acknowledge my presence. When I went to leave Mom and Mawada, Little Mohammed and Islam (Aymn's youngest) were in the bedroom, and I went to say good bye to mom and the kids. Islam was laying down on the bed - after I kissed Mom good bye and went to say good bye to the kids Islam rolled over so his back was to me - such a rude and ignorant child - but then all of Aymn's kids are the same - such a surprise - not - despite Aymn telling me time and time again that they do not hate me - yeah - tell me another one. Amal has done a good job on them. Such is life. I try really hard not to let it get to me - but sometimes it is really hard not to let them get under my skin.

Saturday saw Sharon and I at Fathalla - wanted to get a key cut for the car - but they wanted 9.5 LE for the key and then 9.5 LE to cut it - they are nuts - will ask Mahmoud to go out and get one cut for me - was told there is a shop in the neighbourhood - so will see if he can get another key cut for the car.

Yesterday was Club - AWA - had an enjoyable time - must admit taking the car is sometimes a drag because it is tough to find parking sometimes - last week was a breeze - this week took me about 20 minutes of driving around and around to find a spot - and then had the fun of parallel parking in a very small space - some guy finally took pity on me and directed me - took no time at all then. Really do need to bone up on parallel parking - not one of my strong suits - never had to do a lot of it.

Do not have a lot planned for this week - no idea when Aymn will be returning - he is waiting for a truck to come back with - he figures he will be heading out tonight - I am not holding my breath as I would pass out from lack of oxygen and then hit my head on the floor when I went down - sounds quite painful so I will just pass. His travel plans are very elastic - when he left 10 days ago he was only going to be gone for 3 or 4 days.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Well here it is Thursday - have not been doing a lot - yesterday saw Sharon and I hopping into a taxi to head downtown - not wanting to try to find parking with the car - to get my ticket to Canada - and wouldn't you know it there was plenty of parking by the travel agency. Then we decided to head to Ibrahamiah to check out the Chinese Bazaar - got there before it opened so checked out a few other shops - managed to spend time and money - of course - I actually found a 'bathing suit' that covers me appropriately - only drawback is that it is skin tight - but no matter what I wear when I get out of the water it is sticking to me - also managed to get a few scarves to go along with the new 'dresses' I have purchased - need to quit buying them - have lots - but they are so inexpensive and change the look of the outfit with minimal fuss and expense - and of course Sharon is not much help - she is just like Maurine - my cousin - egging me on to buy more - I bought quite a few things - it was a lot of fun - looking forward to going back with my mom when she is in town. So be warned - bring your shopping shoes - lol.

Today we went to Fathalla - I wanted to go and get a key cut - got home and realized I had not remembered to get the key - dang it - oh well - Suzanne tells me there is a place not far from here where I can get a key cut - want an extra key for the car. When I went to get the car - it was parked in a corner and well and truly boxed in - should have taken a video of the guy trying to get it out of the corner - they eventually moved it sideways by bouncing it and pulling/pushing it - but in the course of events they managed to bank up my front bumper - scraped the paint off and put a dent in the side panel - ARGH - oh well - such is life. Need to go and park the car - just left it on the street in front of the flat - but really do need to take it back to the parking area - hard to believe - but it is relatively 'safe' there - at least no one will rip off the Toyota symbol or anything like that - in shaa allah - fingers and eyes crossed as well.

Heard briefly from Aymn - he is finally in Tripoli - not sure when he will be heading back - but whatever happens, happens. I am no longer counting on his arrival when he says he will be back - after just about 4 years of marriage I have figured out that his eta is very elastic - in fact I think he has only made it back 'on time' 3 times in four years - and that is travelling on average twice a month - so.....

Tomorrow I am booked to spend some time with my family here - we will meet at my 'mom's' place and go from there - at least that is the plan for now - could change momentarily - one never really knows what is going on until it happens. The joys of living in this part of the world.

Today before I went out I stripped my bed and washed it and got it hung up on the line. Was a great day for drying clothes outside - a nice breeze - nice blue sky and lots of sun. The sea was beautiful - gorgeous colour - not really still as it was a bit breezy - but just awesome. Lots of local boys in the water and more playing on the beach.

All in all it has been a good couple of days. So no more to say - such an exciting life I lead - but at least I am still alive and kicking.

I would like to comment on something that was said on my last entry. My co-wife is certainly hoping against hope that I will pack up my bags and go from whence I came - but little does she know me - I can be very stubborn and pig headed - just ask my family. I am here for the long haul - after adjusting my attitude and my expectations I am quite enjoying being here - I love the country, the people are great - my 'family' - all right it is his family - but I consider them mine and they consider me a part of them - is fantastic - so I am set to stay for a very long time. She can do her best and I will still be here - she is just showing her own true colours and she will be judged accordingly. I have no malice towards the lady - or the kids - I am just glad that there is a great deal of distance between us - not geographically - but in every other way we are world's apart. Aymn has made our home his refuge - a place he can come for peace and tranquility - I admit he does not get it 100% of the time - but he does get it 95% of the time. After all I am a Gemini and a westerner - so no way is he going to have peace and quite 100% of the time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It has been a fairly uneventful week - not a lot of action - although I am out and about a lot - even more so now that Aymn is not around - he left for Libya on Saturday. Even when it is not my day he comes over for the morning because everyone is at school or work and he cannot be on his own - such a strange phenomenon - but then of course he thinks I am crazy because I quite enjoy some time on my own - not that I want to be on my own all the time - but I do enjoy some me time - when I can do what I want when I want and not have to worry that anyone is going to make demands on me. Like if I do not want to cook I don't cook - love that one. And if I want to laze around in bed for an hour or so after I wake up - I can - this one is also a favourite. Last Friday was my day but Amal and the kids were upset so he spent the day with them - and I had a quiet day - actually Aymn was quite miffed when he left - he wanted to take the car to help a truck driver who had been pulled over and lost his license - not sure why - and I dug in my heels and said no - then he dug himself a really deep hole - telling me that he worried about my car more then I do - that he looks after my car better than I do - and that after driving with me he drives better than I do - like he thinks I am going to let him ever use my car after that - I felt kind of bad - because it really is not like me to be like that - but after he would not allow me to drive his car - and on top of that I have only had the car for a few weeks - and I want to be the one that gets the first ding or dent in it - then he can drive it - maybe - but as I said after the comments - I am not sure he will ever drive it again. Then he leaves me to go and do whatever with the driver - and phones me - we had made plans to head to Tanta on Friday - to look at a smelter of some sort or other - using the car - and he tells me that he has decided to go to Tanta on his own on Saturday via taxi - but he was not upset - YEAH RIGHT - and I have some prime real estate in Florida for sale. He came over Saturday morning - told me he was going to the bank - counted his money and left - went to the fish market to get fish for his mother - phoned me and asked if I wanted any - told him no thanks - so spent most of the day out and about - came back in time for lunch - I made tacos - he commented he had never had them before - he ate lots of them - so I guess they are acceptable - then we spent a bit of time together - when he told me that he was not upset only hurt - could someone please explain the difference - and then he packed his bags and took off. Not sure how long he will be gone as he is planning on going to Tripoli. Sunday saw Sharon and I out and about. We stopped at the telephone company and paid our respective phone bills - mine was 814.75 LE - quite high - had a lot of international calls - actually most of them were Aymn's - we need to go to the main phone company and get a print out so that Aymn can pay for all his calls - then we headed to Carrefour - I wanted mushrooms - and of course spent way more money than that - but such is life - then we headed to the 'garden centre' to get a few plants - a few of the plants I had purchased had died - so I was sent to replace them - and I bought a couple more - that I thought were cute - now I need to make the time to plant them. Was going to do it today - but did not feel like facing the sand storm that was going on around here - YUCK. So am hoping I can get them done tomorrow. Bought some soil at Carrefour and planted some seeds - second try - hope they grow this time - if not I am going to give up on growing things from seed. Today I actually got some of the seeds planted - lots of herbs and a variety of cherry tomato. Today I also tried a new recipe and it did not work out well - threw most of it out - such a waste - but there was no way I was going to eat it - if I am going to gain weight from eating treats I want to at least like them.

As I said not much going on in my boring little life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Well here it is Tuesday - we had a very busy weekend. Friday night - actually early Saturday morning saw us - Aymn and I - catching a bus to take us to Taba. The Engineering Syndicate that Aymn belongs to had organized this trip. We left at 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning and arrived at Taba at 11:30 a.m. The picture to the right is a sample of the scenery as we approached Taba. Prior to this the scenery was miles and miles of desert - kind of reminded me of driving through Saskatchewan - miles and miles and miles of brown - and flat - really flat. So this 'mountain' range was very interesting to see - and the mountains were quite large - nothing compared to the Rockies - but still quite impressive - the colours are hard to see - but there was lots of red granite and some grey granite as well.

The second picture is a picture of a fort that is found in the area of Taba - it was built shortly after Islam started to spread - to protect the area from the 'infidels' that were determined to put the run on this new religion. We did not get to see the fort up close - as time was at a premium - next time I want to be able to take a boat out and see it - if that is possible - would be nice to see it.

Taba is a very famous or 'infamous' area in Egypt. The third picture shows the border between Egypt and Israel. The hotel we stayed at - the Taba Hilton - was a very large court case - going all the way to the World Court - as it had been built by Israel during the time they occupied this area and in 1976 when Egypt took the area back - Israel wanted to keep the hotel - but Egypt insisted that it be returned to Egypt's jurisdiction - so after much legal maneuvering it was returned to Egypt and the border is within easy walking distance of the hotel. People from Israel walk over to stay at the hotel.

The next picture is a picture of the actual hotel - which is also quite famous as it was involved in a bombing incident four or five years ago - makes one really confident to stay in this area - but we were very fortunate and it was a very quiet weekend. On the way to Taba we drove through the tunnel that goes under the Suez Canal - as we passed through it at night - was not really all that impressive - would be nice to be able to see what you are going under - but maybe next time. It was Easter weekend - quite busy - we had to wait for 4.5 hours to get checked into our rooms as people who had booked in and were scheduled to leave on Saturday - decided to spend another time - putting a real cat amongst the pigeons - meaning that we could not get into rooms that were supposed to be available but all of a sudden were not.

The next picture is a picture taken from our balcony - fantastic view - there were two pools - one for kids - along with a hot tub and one for the adults - no hot tub - just a bar - go figure.

The following picture is one of the scenery - there were beautiful garden areas - lots of nicodemus - so it was very fragrant. The beaches were wonderful - there is lots of coral reefs to dive and see and if you had the time and the money you could go scuba diving - lots of people were snorkelling - we just spent Saturday lounging on the beach. I dragged Aymn into the water and of course he complained bitterly that it was toooooo cold - would love to get him into Kootenay Lake in BC during the summer - now there is cold - I found the water to be refreshing when you first walked in - but I got used to it within a few minutes. I have included a picture of me in the water - as well as a picture of Aymn enjoying a hammock. It was a quiet weekend - most of the people gathered around the pools as it was deemed by the locals to be much to cold to enter the water - a few hardy souls spent a bit of time in the water. Sunday we spent a few hours by the water - I got wet - but Aymn passed on the opportunity - then we headed back to the hotel to pack and get ready to check out - we were to check out at 1:00 p.m. and then the bus would be ready by 2:00 p.m. The next pictures are just pictures around the area. Taba is a very interesting area - from the shore you can see four countries - you are standing in Egypt and a hop skip and a jump to the north is Israel - across the water are Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We could see the ships going into the port in Jordan - we could also see a cement plant in Saudi. All in all it was a good weekend - much too short - but long enough to know that I want to go back and spend more time. We arrived back in Alex around 1:00 a.m. - getting home around 1:30 a.m. Aymn's phone rang at 6:00 a.m. this morning and he headed out - he will be spending the next few days with his family - after all must not shortchange them in their time allotment - that is for me only - mmmm - do I sound a tad bit bitter - you betcha - but that is another story for another day. It is 9 p.m. and I am fading fast - managed to get the garden watered - got out to get a few fruits and veggies and did three loads of laundry. Aymn very kindly informed me 'that when I have time' the balcony needs cleaning - will be getting right on that one - not likely.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This recipe is for Cairogal - who asked for the recipe for Boiled Raisin Cookies:

2 cups raisins
1 cup water

1 cup soft butter or margarine
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 chopped nuts

Bring raisins and water to a boil in small saucepan. Boil 5 minutes. Cool.

Cream butter and both sugars together. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.

Stir remaining ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Pour in raisins and juice. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 12 - 15 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.

Today Sharon and I went to see Dream Girls - but it was no longer being shown in the theater that we went to - so we went to Charlotte's Web - really good movie - there were only three people in the theater - so it was nice - not noisy and roudy. Although I must admit - I was quite roudy - I do laugh quite loudly - used to embarrass Miles all the time - Sharon did not seem to mind - although maybe she was just being nice as I had the keys to the car - LOL. Got home and Aymn came over for a few hours - he misses me - I must admit I enjoy seeing him - but I feel badly that he comes over when his family is around - when he comes over in the morning after everyone has left for work or school I do not mind as much - must try to talk to him - but he does get offended quite easily - he takes it to mean that I do not want to see him - which is not the case - but I do not feel it is fair to his family for him to spend time with me when he should be with them. Although most of the time they are sleeping after lunch - but still - they are there - and I think he should be there - if they choose to spend their time sleeping - that is their choice.

I am going to go now and make some pastry - am planning on making a brocolli, mushroom quiche for breakfast tomorrow - got some really nice brocolli from a vendor outside of club on Monday - so need to eat it now. Last night I made up some of the salad dressing that I asked my mom to send to me - dill dressing - I get tired of oil and vinegar dressing all the time - do not mind it on a tomato and cucumber salad - but when you put lettuce in it I much prefer a creamy dressing - so made it up - called for buttermilk and mayo - I substituted yogurt for the buttermilk - made lots of it - 2 cups of yogurt and 2 cups of mayo - so now I need to make lots of salads and eat them. So will have salad as well - that is the norm here for breakfast, lunch and supper to have salads - Aymn likes to eat salad - and so do I. Must admit I do better when I am feeding someone else besides me.

So I best be off and get that pastry made before my get up and go deserts me once again.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

YEAH - at last all the hoops have been jumped through - the car is now licensed and insured. Yesterday we went and got the license plate - was supposed to be a slam dunk - but thankfully Mohammed was with us - as a few more hoops had to be jumped through - ARGH. Then we had to wait for them to find a new (old) plate for me - then it was attached. We were then off to Toyota to turn in the temporary plates and to get the insurance. The fellow from the insurance company had us wait for over an hour - I was less than impressed - and then when he finally deigned to show up I was informed that I would have to come back today to get the paperwork - gotta love that good old fashioned Egyptian bureaucracy - one can hardly imagine that they built the pyramids - I am beginning more and more to subscribe to the alien theory. So today Sharon and I drove out to that end of town - and we hit Carrefour and Fathalla then went to the Toyota dealer and waited 30 minutes for the insurance guy to come - he was supposed to be there at 4 but showed up at 5 - very frustrating - but at last the car is insured - YES. You do not get a pink slip like in Canada - you get a letter - as 97% of the drivers do not have insurance - but I am glad that I do. Now I think - I hope - I PRAY - that I do not have to deal with Egyptian bureaucracy again for a very long time - although I guess I will have to when I go for my citizenship - maybe I won't bother- just keep extending my residency permit - I think that is easier.

Aymn returned from Libya yesterday - much to my surprise - although I had figured he was in Egypt as he was unavailable on either one of his phones - he managed to call Mohammed and find out what was going on - then his phone died - it needed to be charged. He has a 'new' phone - guess the old one was giving him grief - lucky Ahmed as it was Ahmed's phone - so he bought a second hand one in Libya - cost him 100 LD (Libyan Dinars) which is how much my phone cost me and it is coming up two years old and it works just fine - but it does not have any bells and whistles - just a phone - no camera, cannot download anything - but amazingly it works. Must admit it does tick me off the amount of money he spends on cell phones for his family and he has yet to buy me one phone - simple or fancy. I had to pay for my own phone and my lines both in Libya and here in Egypt and yet he has bought Amel at least 3 cell phones - but then I know where I fit into the scheme of things. Ah well - the joys of ....

Tomorrow we are planning (Sharon and I) on going to see Dream Girls - it is showing at San Stefano Mall - so we are going to go see it and get a few things at the grocery store that is there - actually I do not need anything - but I like prowling around Metro as they have a very large selection of western goodies. Great place not to go when you are feeling homesick.

Well that is all for today - I need to finish my emails and finish putting my groceries away. Such a thrilling life. LOL.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Here it is Sunday and I still do not have my new plates or insurance on the car. When we went to the police station on Saturday it was to find out that the officer was not in - would not be in until today - ARGH. So that meant I could not get anything done. Went today to get the investigation report today and surprise surprise the officer was there and the report was ready - Suzanne came along with me - and the officer asked why I did not show up on Thursday - if he only knew. And of course today is a holiday so the license office is not open - so will go down tomorrow after my meeting and get it done - in shaa allah. Must admit I do not like driving around with no insurance - and I doubt I will be getting insurance tomorrow - just a feeling I have - but at least I will have the plates and I can look after the insurance on my own - I hope - that the person has enough English so we can muddle through it.

Today I got busy and baked - yep - just what I need - Sharon came over and I made brownies and boiled raisin oatmeal cookies. Also barbecued - had bought a couple of rib eye steaks - they were not really great - next time will go to the butcher down the street and buy some filet - same price as ground beef - does not matter what cut you want - it is all the same price 43LE per kg - which is about 8.60 CDN per kg - not bad. Must admit I do miss my gas barbecue - they have them here - at least I have seen some - but they are quite expensive - so will bide my time and see what we can figure out.

Sharon took the rest of her pets home with her tonight so I am on my own again - does seem kind of quiet - although I do not miss tripping over the cat - and the parrot got on my nerves a bit - she is ready to give the parrot back to me - he has been really bad since he got home. He has been shredding the newspaper in the bottom of his cage - something he never did while at my place.

Anyway - that is all the news for now.