Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I have not posted for awhile - life just keeps tossing me curve balls - not that a lot has been happening - more like things that should happen are not happening and it throws me off my game - like I have a game.

Last Friday Sharon and I headed to Manshaya - was to pick up my February's 'allowance' in manshaya - I do not like driving to manshaya or trying to find parking. But we left early - tried to miss most of the traffic by heading out before Friday prayers. Drive along the corniche and men abandon their cars on the corniche - which has a usually very strict no parking rule - to head to the mosque for prayers - like it is a surprise that the prayers happen at that moment. My mother in law had said she wanted to go to manshaya to look for a wall clock - figured we would do it on Friday - but she and Suzanne and Gehan bowed out because the shops in manshaya would not be open on a Friday - HUH. Left at 12:30 - was to pick up the money by 1:00 - got to the place where I was supposed to get the money and got a message from Aymn - could I go shopping until after 2 when the guy would be back from prayers. So we found a parking spot and spent a couple of hours drooling over gold at the gold shops - have included a few pics. Sharon sold a couple of her gold bangles and bought a couple of rings - a puzzle ring - would love to get one for myself - and a couple of pendants - plus she got over 1000 LE in change. Wish I had been smarter and spent my money on gold - then I would have some easily liquidated assets. At 3:00 I sent Aymn a missed call - he finally called back - he could not make contact with his contact - so I should just go home - I was fit to be tied - 2nd time this month I have ended up in tears because of no money - at the end of my rope - skin of my teeth is starting to complain loudly.

Just one of the many shop windows in the 'gold' street.
This is a picture of a shopka - what is given to a woman when she gets engaged.
Gorgeous bracelet.
Lots of very nice bracelets.
Another picture of a shopka.
Some very ornate necklaces.
Some every day wear bangles.
Dressier bracelets - reserved for special occasions.
Another store front window.
A couple of bangles for special occasion.
While we were browsing in Manshaya we stopped in a hole in the wall - quite literally - store that sold things other than gold. I have included a few pics of what there was to see.
This is a hand painted picture on copper. Very nice - there was a smaller one that was nice as well.
And then of course there are the blown glass perfume bottles.
More perfume bottles.
These are the bottles that Sharon purchased - the one in the front - with the purple top - the elephant - she gifted to me for my birthday.
Want to go back to Manshaya and get some more bottles - I really like them - they are so unique - and not very expensive - between 15-25 LE a bottle. Then I want to get some perfume made up - have always wanted to get something that was uniquely mine. Not that I wear perfume a lot - but I like the idea and it is relatively inexpensive - and it lasts as it is the oils - no alcohol put into it.

Weather has been ugly over the last bit. Last Friday was not bad, then it got quite ugly - rain, wind and cold - well for here it was cold - okay?? Wind was so bad that I closed the shutters on the windows and doors before I headed to bed to stop the banging that occurs when it gets windy. Must admit that snuggling under the covers for the duration sure held a lot of appeal. But I did not - got up and did not much.

Saturday I got busy and baked some boiled raisin cookies - Sharon's favourite - and she came over to relieve me of all the burned or broken cookies - she is such a food friend. I made up some potato things - no idea what to call them - they look like pasta - but you deep fry them and they puff up a lot - then you put seasoning on them or not - they are quite tasty - my thanks to Suzanne for telling me what they were when I was at Fathalla with her - I always thought it was just pasta. Then I made popcorn - really wonderful diet for the day. But hey every once in awhile one needs some 'comfort' food. Sunday finally got my money for February - not quite all of it - but most of it. Took most of the day and a lot of phone calls from Aymn. But Mahmood went and got it - had been sent with a van driver who lives not far from us. Aymn did not send it this way- he had given the money to someone with the understanding that it would be transferred to the 'travel agency' in Manshaya. But someone decided to do it this way - so of course nothing truly added up - and many phone calls were made to ensure that the money was given to the right person - like how many people would know to call and ask for a specific amount from Libya. But anyway - Mahmood went and got the money for me - and phoned the other family to tell them to come and get their money.
Monday as soon as I woke up I sent a Birthday Greeting to Aymn's eldest son - had been told to - grrr - but I guess in the scheme of things it is a small thing - and surprise surprise Ahmed even acknowledged the greeting and thanked me for remembering his birth date. I then went to club - I am now 'flush' with money - not really - but .... Had an enjoyable time - was not a bad day - lots of sun. After the meeting was over Sharon and I headed to Carrefour and Fathalla - I needed a few things. We had a bite to eat at the food court at Carrefour. Shopped then headed over to Fathalla - must admit I much prefer hitting the stores earlier in the day - not nearly as many people.
Although there were not nearly the crowds that we ran into last week when we went - we got to Carrefour early - but the place was a zoo - they had rice on sale for a good price - people were fighting to get it - and of course Egyptians are such an orderly bunch - NOT - what a mess - the manager of the store was fighting with people - telling them they could only have one sack - but there were people with five and six sacks - and you see them out in the parking lot - the women carry them on their heads - wish I had taken a pic.

Monday evening I spent some time with Suzanne and her family. Tuesday was Mawada's birthday and I had planned to have everyone over for supper - but the two younger kids go to school from 12:30 to 7 and then Mawada had tutoring after so she would not be home until after 8. Suzanne was saying she would make a cake for Mawada to take to school to share with her friends - asked if I could make cupcakes or something - she said anything - told her that as it was Mawada's birthday - it was up to Mawada - she asked for rice krispie squares.
So Tuesday morning saw me making rice krispie squares with marshmallows that have not fared well here. Storing marshmallows in this place is impossible. They are terrible - they do not melt at all well - making it difficult to do something that is usually so easy. I have learned my lesson though - will not do it again. Although it is frustrating as I do like to keep a package of marshmallows on hand just in case I need to make rice krispie squares - and there is no way that there is room in either my fridge or my freezer. Oh well - I did manage to get them made and Mawada came and got them just before heading to school - along with a bottle of water - she just wanted the bottle - but it was full of store bought water - gather the water at school is not very good.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day - spent a couple of hours basking in the sun - working on my tan - best time of the year - do not bask much in the summer because it is too hot and humid - and I leave a puddle wherever I sit - unless of course I am at the beach - but then I am under an umbrella in the shade hiding from the sun because it is too hot. Never thought I would be tanning in February. Also got brave and fired up the barbecue. My friend Margaret barbecues and has a technique that is quite clever. Her brother in law purchased a charcoal holder that they use at coffee shops to light the charcoal for the water pipes - I do not have one of those - but I do have a rack that we put the meat in when we barbecue - so I put the charcoal in that and then put it on the stove top with the burner going - worked like a charm - 5 minutes and I had the coal going - put it outside in the barbecue and did not even have to tend to it - when Aymn barbecues he spends all his time fanning the fire - and he uses gasoline to start it - and I do not like doing that - a) because of the danger and b) because I do not like gasoline flavoured food. I had taken some steaks out of the freezer the day before and marinaded them - so I barbecued all of them - now I do not have to cook for a few more days. Although I must admit it was hard to stop myself at one steak - it was soooo good. But I did manage to stop myself from eating all of them. Now I have steak for supper tonight and tomorrow night - without having to cook it - yummy.
A picture of my oh so fancy barbecue that Aymn had made for me. Nothing really fancy but it works.
Picture of one of my planters with sweet peas coming and geraniums blooming- sure do like the geraniums - they bloom all year.

A picture of my volunteer sweet pea - going great guns - amongst the roses.

And here we have the final product - yummy steak.

Today I have so far managed to clean the bathroom and strip the bed and it is in the washer now being washed. YAY. Being a good little hausfrau.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This was initiated by my friend Lynn who got it from a friend who likely got it from a friend. It is called PAY IT FORWARD and this is how it works....The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive, at some point during the year, a handmade gift from me. What it will be and when it will arrive is a total surprise! The catch is that you must participate as well. Before you leave your comment, write up a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going . Then come back, let me know you're going to play and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your gift!Leave me a comment and then send me an e-mail with your name and address at Can't wait to surprise someone, sometime this year. Don't you just LOVE surprises?? I DO!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thursday was another quiet day. Did not go out at all. Spent my time at home - not doing much of anything. Did go outside and sit and read and get a few more rays of sun - also actually went and weeded a bit in the rose garden - have the scratches to prove it.

Friday woke up with lots of energy - did a load of laundry - had breakfast - did dishes - tidied up the kitchen - made banana bread - was going to eat two bananas for my fruit first thing in the morning and could only gag one of them down - they were over ripe for me to eat - so banana bread they became. On Thursday while vegging in front of the TV I watched a Nigella Lawson show and she made chocolate chocolate chip cookies - so I made them as well. They did not turn out all that well - kind of dry - not sure what the problem was - but man they sure do cure your craving for chocolate - not only are there chocolate chips - but in the dough you put 1/2 cup or so of melted dark chocolate and 1/3 of a cup of cocoa - next time I may add more butter. I also managed to vacuum the whole place - did not do it all at once - go most of it done before Sharon came over for a visit - and then finished my bedroom before I hit the hay - left the vacuum in the bedroom so I was tripping over it. Also managed to get the clothes put away that I had washed on Wednesday. While Sharon was here I even figured out why my speakers for the computer did not work - helps to have the volume turned up - DUH. Am having issues with my iPod though - last week it worked like a charm - got some music on it - and after spending hours putting music on iTunes I wanted to 'sync' it with my iPod - but for some strange reason my computer is not 'recognizing' my iPod - will take it with me to Sharon's today and see if her computer will recognize it - then I will know if it is the computer or the iPod - what a hassle. But at least I can now get lots of music for in the house - one reason I spend too much time in front of the TV is because I like to have 'noise' and my CD player will only play 3 CD's at a time - now I can play my music from iTunes - there are 469 songs - enough to last for 1.4 days - so it will be like listening to the radio - quite a collection - thanks to Sharon. I need to get busy and put more of my CD's on - and then at least I do not have to use the CD's and they will not get 'scratched'. Sharon arrived around 1:00 or so - and we sat outside for a couple of hours - sure is nice that the weather cooperates - although today we are back to winter - overcast and windy - shutters are banging around in the wind. Aymn called me - wanted me to get online - told him I was busy and made a date for around 7. Sharon and I had 'lunch' around 4 - had cream of broccoli soup and eggplant parmesan. We had a good visit and then Aymn showed up at around 6 - he got on early to visit with Ahmed (his son) but the kid did not show up - so I was next on his hit list - oh well - Sharon went home and we managed to 'visit' for about 1.75 hours before I lost the internet. He is upset with me because when I chatted with him on Thursday I told him that I would no longer contact him - because I felt that I was bothering him - as every time I made contact with him he could only chat for a bit before he had to leave for this or that. I then played solitaire for a bit and then the internet came back - had tried to call the guy but he is still not taking my calls - go figure - anyhow - when it came back I was able to chat with my mom for a bit before she had to head off to make lunch for dad. I finally got off the computer around 10:30 - solitaire is so addictive - keep playing hoping I will win a game - and then I did up the lunch dishes - I am so proud of myself - I even managed to get all the dishes put away - they usually reside in the sink draining - until I need to use them again - but yesterday I got them all put away - the only lunch dishes that need to be put away are the utensils and the loaf pan from the banana bread. I have an over the sink dish drainer where the dishes are put to dry - and they live there until I need them again - I do like that 'technology' - although it does eliminate a window - and at first I was quite frequently bonking my head as I was not used to having a cupboard above the sink and it sticks out quite far. After that I put the laundry away - had taken it to the bedroom and dumped it on the bed - surefire way of getting it put away - and then I vacuumed and put the vacuum away - such a good housewife - LOL. Am reading a book called "Three cups of Tea" - it is about a man from the states that is building schools in Afghanistan three cups of tea at a time - he is not wealthy - he is a nurse - while trying to climb K2 he got 'lost' on his way back and found this village where there was no school - they had to share a teacher with the nearest village and when the teacher was not there the kids would be working hard on the work that was left them - no school - sitting outside - using sticks and the dirt to do their math work - it really made an impression - I am just at the beginning - so after my shower I curled up and read for a bit. Am hoping now that I have the computer working for music that I will spend less time watching TV and more time reading or doing other things. Yesterday I had the TV on for maybe 10 minutes. Was great.

Today my plan is to head to Sharon's for another 'Goddess' workout - actually more like a klutz of the year workout - sure is chagrining to find out how uncoordinated I am - although I am hoping that with practice I will become more coordinated. Then I may go for a walk - depending on how things go an the time - although time should not be a factor as I am a lady of leisure - have found that being a lady of leisure means that I do less and less - because there is always tomorrow. And there is really no reason that I could not go for a walk at any time of the day - I do not HAVE to do it first thing in the morning - just used to getting my exercise before the day really gets started.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

As I sit here listening to all the music I just uploaded onto iTunes I figured I might as well post my busy day.

I went over to Sharon's today and we did the 'Goddess' workout - a belly dancing workout - figured I had the belly - but what a humbling experience - talk about not being coordinated - this is going to be a challenge - wonder how sore I will be tomorrow or the day after. Had a good visit - had a cup of tea and then headed home.

Got home and went to sit outside - it was a bit overcast so the sun was not all that hot so I busied myself with sweeping part of the balcony - the part that is nearest the door - the sand and garbage really pile up in that corner. After that I decided to get busy and weed one of my potted plants - so much grass was growing in it that it looked like a lawn - that needed mowing - so I got the grass out - soil is still wet from the rain. Then I was so ambitious that I did two more - at least I was moving around and getting a bit of sun at the same time.

Had supper then got on the computer. While I was at Sharon's I went through her CD library and brought 15 or so CD's back home to upload onto my iTunes so that I can put them on my Ipod. Now I am listening to the music. Have 454 songs - 1.2 days worth of music. Now I need to get my speakers hooked up to the computer so I can just play music all day long - like having a radio station without any of the talking. Still have lots of my own music to put on my iTunes - and then I can get busy and weed through the music and organize it - I have a folder for workout music - good beat so that it motivates me to MOVE.

It is now after 11 p.m. - past my bedtime - so I best head for some much needed beauty sleep - like there is enough time for me to get beautiful - but hey I keep on trying.

Thought I would report on my new adventure of making whole wheat pita bread. While I was kneading it - did not add all the flour as I thought it was stiff enough - but once it rose it was not stiff enough - so it was a pain to work with - stuck to everything - but I persevered - I did not get a very good puff rate - but the bread sure does taste good - very nutty. This time I added toasted sesame seeds as well as black sesame seeds - wow do the black sesame seeds ever add a lot of flavour -always thought sesame seeds added flavour - well the black ones pack a really big punch - will be buying more of them puppies next time I go shopping. They are even good for you - according to Dr. Oz on Oprah or was it somebody on Rachel Ray - who knows - I can't keep track of all these doctors on TV telling us what to eat, what not to eat, what to do. But I sure do like the flavour of the black sesame seeds - do not remember seeing them in Canada - although I am sure if I went to a health food store I could find them- and pay a very fancy price. Here they are 20 LE a kg - which is around $4.00 a kg. Should find out how much they are in Canada - and if they are cheaper here - import some - so bad.

Today looks like another beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Not much for clouds -lots of sun - may have to check out a few rays later in the day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is for Lynn - this is my Grade 12 Grad picture. Where has the time gone? I want to thank Teri Jones for starting this trek down memory lane - not really sure that I appreciate it but it has been kind of fun. My mom made my dress - I moved it around with me for a lot of years. I did not go to the dinner or the dance - as I had too many guests for the dinner and the dance did not really hold much interest - had spent too many dances as a wallflower. Had a small gathering at home instead.
I have been having internet issues - so posting has been nearly impossible. Figured I would give it a go this morning.

Last Thursday Suzanne and I went to the souk for our weekly vegetable and fruit stock up - although I am sure for her it does not last a week - with 3 kids at home all day as they are on mid term break and they seem to spend most of their time sleeping and when they are not sleeping they are eating - she is having trouble keeping food in the house. Got some wonderful strawberries - for relatively cheap - most of the strawberry sellers are outside on the street - but this guy had some inside the souk - and the smelled wonderful - knew that if I could smell them above all the other odours then they would be good and they are - I am eating the last of them this morning. Took a few pictures for your enjoyment. And of course got to visit my Egyptian mom - as Suzanne always buys things for her and we drop them off before we head home.
Took this picture so you could see the souk grew up around this tree.
Could not resist taking this pic - this little guy was with his grandma - and he was very anxious to get a tomato - once she paid for them he took one and just started chomping like we would an apple.

These two pictures show a dry goods shop in the souk - notice the oil hanging from the 'roof' and the jars of spices up on shelves with treasures hanging underneath.

Buy a 'chick' and grow it for Sunday supper. The fellow who is behind them was quite upset when I was going to take this pic - so I made sure he was not in the shot - showed him the picture - love the digital camera for that feature - to show I just took the birds.

Friday I did laundry and then went out for supper - Angela invited me over to her place for a meal - had a great time. She will be missed - by me at least - I quite enjoy her company - and seeing as how she is 'from' Calgary - she left from there - and she lives not far from Miles and Shani there is a connection. We had a lot of good laughs - there was another woman there - Jeanette - from New Zealand - she has been teaching and living in Egypt for 25 years - a long timer - would like to get to know her better. She just recently moved to Alex - six months ago. Nice enough day that I spent a bit of time working on my 'tan' - feels so good to be able to sit out in the sun for a bit and feel it's warmth. Sad state of affairs when it is warmer outside than inside.

Saturday was a do nothing day - my get up and go deserted me - although I did spend a bit more time sitting outside enjoying the warmth.

Sunday we headed back to Mohmadaya - Suzanne and Gehan - to get some of my new outfits. Ibrahim had about half of the fabric made up - most of the things needed altering - although he did not do all of the altering I wanted - he has a hang up about hemming to the length I want - so I end up tripping on the things - so I am going to have to do some hemming - gives me something to do. Unfortunately I do not like having my hem dragging on the ground so my feet are hidden - I want the hem around my ankles to keep it clean and to keep my from tripping on the thing - even my SIL took issue with my wanting the things shorter - so a hemming I will go. Sharon has offered the use of her sewing machine - may take her up on it. It was another nice day - not great - a bit overcast - but still quite warm - had the a/c on in the car. When we went to get the car they had been digging up the street right by the curb of the sidewalk and my passengers could not get in. I was told that I could no park on that street any more as tomorrow - being Monday - they were going to be demolishing the two villas that are there - SIGH. Wonder how tall they will be building the new building - hope the governor keeps them to the 11 floor maximum or I may lose my 'view' and the breeze from the sea. Keep your fingers crossed. We picked up Mr. Sadee - Suzanne's hubby - while in Mohmadaya - he was working out there - guess he has a few projects that are keeping him there - and he brought me some whole wheat - have not looked at it - am going to make whole wheat pitas - or at least mostly whole wheat. I dropped Gehan and Mr. Sadee off at my SIL Shereen's place - they were meeting at her place for supper - I was invited - but I gracefully declined - had had enough of being the fifth wheel. I had a 'date' with my mom online and I did not want to miss it - after a few phone calls even managed to get internet access.

This is the final step in purchasing 'fresh' milk here in Egypt. You buy it in bags.

Not a great shot - but you can see the bags of milk sitting on the 'cooler'.

Monday the weather turned a bit nasty - got a bit windy at times and not much sun. Did not do a lot on Monday - my internet issues continue - and unfortunately it pisses me off. I did manage to water the garden.

Tuesday - Suzanne got her wish - on Thursday she had been complaining because we had not had any winter weather yet - it was windy and miserable - enough rain that I had to go and ream out the one drainage pipe that works so the water would drain - and what a mess - lots of very dirty water. I walked over to Sharon's because I did not have internet - well I did early in the morning - had a date with Aymn at 10 - and he came online and asked if he could postpone until 11:30 - and 10 minutes later I lost the internet - ARGH - and while I was walking over there it was thundering and raining a bit - not a lot. Managed to time it between the deluges. Chatted with Aymn and then came home - Sharon came shortly after me - and I was outside cleaning out the drain pipe and did not hear her knocking - finally came in and heard her - she could not use her key as I had put my key in the lock. I made cream of broccoli soup and bologna sandwiches - a real gourmet meal. The soup was great - anything warm was appreciated - although my place was warmer than her place had been - because of my new windows the wind inside the apartment does get cut down considerably. She brought over a copy of the movie Mama Mia - was a good show - but the best part was that when it was copied it was a disaster. We watched the middle of the movie - then the end of the movie and then finally the beginning of the movie and then the end again. Welcome to Egypt - even though we got to watch it piece meal it was a fun movie to watch - loved the music - but then I have always been an ABBA fan. While we were sitting in the recliners there was lightning and thunder - LOVE it - unfortunately Sharon does not. I even managed to get some laundry done - and because of the placement of my clothes line - they even dried off - was a great day - lots of wind - although I am sure that they got rinsed a couple of times - but they did dry and I was able to make my bed - YEAH - nice clean sheets. After Sharon left I tried to get online - phoned the internet guy and he said 5 minutes - 30 minutes later I called back and he was pissed off - said okay okay - and voila I had internet for about 1.25 hours - then it went off - phoned him again - and he hung up on me and turned off his cell phone. Sure do wish my Arabic was good enough to go and tear strips off of him.

I think that is it for me - not a lot else to say - will keep you posted as I can.

Today my goal is to make bread - wish me luck. Day is looking promising - so far we have blue sky and sunshine - winter was very shortlived.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Woo hoo - today I finally got the money that was sent to me on Monday. I waited until after 12:30 on Monday to arrive at the bank - decided to walk there as it was a nice day - and I could use the exercise - it is about 5 km away - took me 45 minutes to walk. Got there and after being sent on a wild goose chase was finally told the money was not there - needless to say I lost it - was in tears - got out of the bank - phoned Aymn and he told me to go back and wait as it would arrive before closing time. I walked home instead. After a few phone calls from Aymn and chatting with him online where I was told that he did not need any more stress in his life this week until things got sorted out - I turned the cell phone off and did not answer the house phone - he called a lot of times. But I figured the best way to not add any more stress to his life was to not talk to him. He sent me an offline message to the effect that he could not understand why I was not answering the phone - yeah right.

The sea was beautiful today.

See that 'yacht' in the distance - imagine cruising the Mediterranean on a day like this. And the kids playing in the sand - to be so carefree again.

Dont'cha just wish you were sitting on the beach enjoying the water and the sun - I know I do.

Tuesday I got up and was at the bank by 8:30 - nobody around - well I guess there were four customers in the place - but no long lineups - so asked and was told after 5 minutes of searching on the computer that there was no money - suggested that I get the transfer number. Phoned Aymn again - and told him no money - told me go to back and wait - told him I was not going back again - as I had started to make bread - and I could not leave it. I had been craving peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches for three days - and did not think raisin bread would do as the bread. The bread turned out really well - made 25 'pieces' of which 21 puffed up like they are supposed to. Promptly had two peanut butter and dill pickle 'sandwiches'. Took 10 pieces down to Suzanne as I did not need that much bread - plus I did not have room to store that much in the freezer. She wanted to know how I knew that she needed bread. Her kids are on mid term break and all they do is play and eat - she usually gets 10 breads a day and that lasts - but the kids are devouring it before the afternoon meal. Had a nice visit with her. Got home around 4:30 - went down around 2:00 - there were 7 missed calls on my cell phone and 1 call on the land line - all from Aymn. Gave him a call and he called back - wanting to know where I had been - told him that I had gone down to Suzanne to take her some bread - asked my why I did not take my cell phone - told him I did not think of it - asked me if it was so heavy to carry with me. Unfortunately for him I do not think of it as an appendage that I cannot live without - if I go to visit Suzanne I rarely take it with me as I am busy visiting. I am not SO important that I have to be at the phone's beck and call 24/7.

Today I went to the bank again early - and lo and behold the money had arrived. Asked when it had arrived - was told it arrived yesterday just before closing - so much for sitting around and waiting for it to arrive. The woman told me it usually only takes 5 minutes - but there was a problem with their system. Next time should only take 5 minutes - not going to hold my breath for that one. After she took a p/c of my passport and printed out the transfer sheet I was taken to a window where I had to print my name and sign 3 times - told the guy that I should get paid every time I had to sign - not good enough to sign on the front of the document - also had to sign on the back of the thing. Also wanted my number and my address once he ascertained that I was a resident of Alex. Finally got the money - woo hoo. Phoned Sharon and went to pick her up - got some gas - and headed off to Carrefour - got a few groceries then went out for lunch - figured I 'deserved' a treat and then we went to see a movie - they were showing Madagascar 2 - and I needed a bit of levity - has been a stressful week - so we went and watched it. Aymn called - wanted to know if I was home yet - told him no - I was in a movie theatre going to watch a movie - told him I would call him when I was home and then we could chat. Called him when I got home - 3.5 hours ago - still no word from him - he is not happy that I had the nerve to waste money - at least that is the attitude I got from him on the phone - but tough noogies - I 'deserved' a treat - it has been a cruddy week.

This is how parking is done - hate to be the first one in.

As I was parked the milk truck arrived to deliver milk to the 'corner' store.

A clearer shot of the milk cans - notice the wonderful refrigeration - and the milk has not been pasteurized.

Please notice the eggs and the 'cooler' they are kept in.

And last but not least - an Egyptian 'street cleaner'. This is how the streets are kept clean. At least the workers are guaranteed work as the people here are real pigs - they throw everything on the ground - people even dump stuff off their balcony - one has to be careful walking the streets - you can be hit by flying dirty diapers - LOVE IT.

Tomorrow I need to stay home and get some cooking done - need to get back to eating better. Must admit that when I am not in a good frame of mind my eating habits bite big time - would be so nice to have someone here doing the cooking - or even to have to cook for someone - but just for myself - sucks big time to cook.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Yesterday we went to Mohmodaya (no idea how to spell it - so it is spelled various ways in my blog) to finally meet with the 'tailor'. Suzanne and Gehan came along as well. Suzanne had left fabric for her daughter's trousseau (daughter is going to be 12) - she was not happy with what was done with the fabric - not sure exactly what is going to go on with that - but..... Gehan had a dress that needed some repair work done to it - there was a lace inset and the lace had disentegrated - so Ibrahim fixed it for her. I can go next week and pick up a couple of dresses - will be nice to have more than one 'wrap' dress - I do love wearing them - much easier just to throw it on over my indoor clothes and go out rather than having to change everything every time I want to go out. Since I got my two 'wrap dresses - I just about live in them when I head out - and of course I left one of them in Canada - cutting down on what I was bringing back so I could bring back more of the goodies I had purchased - so while I am here and when Aymn is around he is complaining because I wear only the one thing - don't I have any more clothes - and I do - but I am spoiled - much prefer just throwing it on over whatever I am wearing and heading out - rather than taking off what I am wearing and then putting on something else.
After we finished at Ibrahim's we did some shopping for produce - what an experience that was - if one could only record the smells - the town is basically a farming town - and the most common mode of moving their produce is by donkey or horse cart - so ..... Prices have increased there as well as here - Suzanne wanted to stock up on olives - when she lived there the kg was for 4 or 5 LE - now it is 8 to 10 LE - so she did not buy any - as it is the same price here. And another wonderful thing there - are the flies - they were just swarming all over the produce - now I do not mind that when I can really scrub at the stuff - but the strawberries and dates - no way - did not buy any even though they looked delish - the flies turned me off. The strawberries were the same price as in Alex - the dates were cheaper - but no thanks - I will buy my dates in a package - likely twice the price - but at least the flies have not been tracking around them - at least to my knowledge - and what I don't know doesn't bother me - I just do not think too deeply or I would starve to death the way things are in this country - hmmm - that might be a good thing.
I recorded the road outside of Ibrahim's place - as well as took photos of the steps up to his place. Hope to be able to upload them. Tried to upload the video - did not work - oh well - at least I tried.

These stairs are very daunting. Do not like the fact that there is no handrail.

And then the last steps have 'treasures' stored on them - making it even more of a danger.

Lynn requested that I 'show' where I was in the high school pictures because she could not see me - a good thing in my book - but I cropped them and these are for you Lynn. The grad pic is really bad because I was hidden quite well - a good thing. Will ask my dad if he can scan my grad individual grad pic and send it to me and then we can have another good laugh.

OMG - Grade 10 - gotta love the hair. Had not been allowed to grow my hair until I was in Grade 8 - what a mess.

Grade 11 - hair is getting shorter.

I am well hidden in this pic. My hair was about the same length as in Grade 11 - I had slept in big rollers so my hair would be curly - but had to pull it back because it was so humid the hair did not dry. What a day.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Has been a 'busy' few days - Thursday I had the dinner party - which turned out to be a very intimate gathering - only 1 guest showed - but we had a good time. Angela and her family are from Calgary - they have a house in Marda Loop - they have been working in this neck of the woods - Qatar - for the past 3 years - and stayed in Alex for 4 months trying to decide what their next move was to be - they had planned on continuing to work in this part of the world - but Rod - her husband - has been unable to find anything - he went back to Qatar for a job - but for a multitude of reasons found the position to be untenable so he and their daughter headed back to Calgary yesterday (Saturday) and Angela and Ben (their 15 year old son) will be heading back on February 15. We had a really enjoyable evening - the food was good and the company was even better. You should have seen the look on my 'neighbour's' faces as we walked to the main street so Angela could get a taxi to head home - she was wearing my funky Christmas hat and I was wearing my moose hat - thought people were going to fall off their chairs - or at least strain their necks - LOL.

Unfortunately Friday I crashed and burned - was really bummed out - major effort to get out of bed. Did not do much of anything - did manage to do two loads of laundry and that was about it. Went to lay down in the afternoon and there was knocking at my door - went to answer it and it was the fellow wanting money for the electric bill - 84 LE - and I could not pay it as I do not have any money. Aymn has been promising to send me the rest of my household allowance for 3 weeks - still have not collected it. Was supposed to go to manshaya on Thursday morning and get it - I finally agreed and then all of a sudden he is making other arrangements - he is going to borrow the money from his baby sister Shereen - so after riding my @$$ for 3 days about going to Manshaya - me thinking the money was there all I had to do was gird my loins and suck it up and go get it - it was never there - so still no money - I have 28 LE to my name - I really do HATE this situation. I do not like asking for money - never having had to do it before the last year - and I really do not like having to continually ask for what is supposed to be due me.

Got up yesterday and checked my email - as is my routine - and in my email a 'friend' had kindly sent a picture of our grad class - such a sweety - I emailed her and thanked her profusely for 'making' my day - she in turn proved she has a mean streak a mile wide - she sent me our Grade 10 group shot - OUCH. What a hoot. Margaret came over for a visit a bit after noon so I had to get up and do dishes and clean the kitchen and dining room. First thing was she had some fresh brewed coffee (I am so bad - I keep haram things in my home) and a piece of carrot cake - the cake turned out really well - bu the cream cheese icing is way to sweet - need to find another recipe - the main reason she came was for the carrot cake - see I have to bribe people with food for them to come visit me - SIGH. We ate the last of the Bruschetta - a definite keeper as a recipe. Sharon came over around 4 or so and around 6 - after Mustafa phoned and said he was on his way to pick Margaret and cat up - we had supper. Thank goodness it was just leftovers - made another batch of alfredo sauce and cooked up the pasta and warmed up some of the leftover chicken - did not take long. After we finished eating Mustafa called and Margaret and I headed downstairs to Suzanne's place to pick up the cat and they were on their way. Came back upstairs and Sharon and I visited until a bit after nine. During dinner Aymn had given me a missed call - which meant he was online and I was supposed to get online to chat with him - needless to say I did not promptly go and get online.

After Sharon left I got online and Aymn was still there - not that we could chat as there was something funky with the network - so he asked me to wait so he could go to a cybernet and we could chat - I had planned on going to bed early - so much for that one. Things are not going well for him in Libya - and of course I sit back and look at what is going on with him and I think KARMA. I am not surprised that his business is having major problems - but of course he does not see that his past actions are the cause of his problems now.

So I am up and about this morning - we are heading to Mohmodaya - Suzanne, Gehan and I - finally going to see the tailor to get the fabric made up into something to wear - not really sure I should bother as I am not sure how much longer I will be here - but may as well get them made up - so I have something to wear for as long as I am here. Need to get some dishes done - man I do hate the fact that when you eat there are always dishes. And my day was started in a wonderful way again - my 'buddy' managed to dig up the class photo from Grade 11 and sent it - THANKS so much.

Grade 10 - Pinawa Secondary School - 1973

Grade 11 - Pinawa Secondary School - 1974

Grade 12 Grad - Pinawa Secondary School - 1975