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.


Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

Oh, I LOVE those boiled raisin cookies!

Lynn said...

WOW! You've been busy! That steak looks SO tempting. I think I will add that to our menu for this week.
Thanks for the gold shop tours. AMAZING! I have never seen anything like that! Oh the shopping one could do with money there, eh? Those bottles are exactly what I would collect too. How unique!

So sorry you've had struggles in getting your money again.....but I am relieved to know that you finally got it.. I worry about you living without food or water or being able to pay your bills. Scary.

on the edge said...

Loved the photos !! You can send the steaks to me next time Ayman comes to Libya , lol ! Isn't the gold here in the " Middle East " Something ? It never ceases to amaze me when we go to the gold market at the seer volume of merchandise that is for sale . A whole lot of money !

Your garden is coming along nicely ! So pretty !You stay so busy all the time , it is no wonder you get tired out !Gald you are posting again . Did you finish that book ?

Rhonda said...

Next time I am there I want to come to Alex and shop with you! I am not sure when it will happen. Enjoyed the pics.