Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Lazarus Roach

As I entered the bathroom to give Buddy a bath yesterday, I was greeted by the site of this, icky bug, triumphantly crawling out of the bathtub's drain.

So far, I've been blessed in this house when it comes to roaches or rather, the lack thereof. In the two and a half years that we've lived here, I've only come across less than a dozen in total. Most of the time, they waltz in through one of the downstairs bathrooms and don't make it into the house much further than that before they're....eliminated.

This is a far cry from the "old neighborhood" where roaches were walking in under the door from outside with impunity, as if they'd been invited for tea. Thank God my cats were roach detectors back in those days. They're worthless when it came to killing them, they're too well fed for that messy business, but at least they stared unflinchingly for several minutes at a time which told me, there's a creepy crawly in the house. Just to make sure you understand the scale of these bugs, this one was at least as long as my pinkie finger.

So there I am, a naked Buddy in one hand and the spray hose in the other. I set Buddy down to pick up the toilet brush, the only thing I'm not worried about messing up with roach guts, and start bashing the roach back down the drain as it's trying to emerge. I combined beating it with spraying it until it gave up clinging to the sides of the drain and washed down the two floors to the sewer pipes below. Just to make sure it wasn't clinging, I made sure to flush down plenty of water during Buddy's bath then later when I took a shower.

Bath-time comes again in our home, always around Isha prayer when I'm getting the kids ready for bed. Again, I enter the bathroom and turn on the light and there, in a triumphantly brazen pose, is that damned roach. There's no way it could be a different one considering this is the first roach in all these years to express an obsession with my second floor bedroom's bathtub. My bathtub is this roach's Mt. Everest. It had to climb up two floors of pipes to make it all the way up to my room, no wonder it wasn't worried about scattering after I'd turned on the light, it had lived a full made it to the bathtub.

Armed with a camera and a shoe, I made sure to capture this roach's accomplishment for posterity before bashing it repeatedly to death. Since these roach's are so big, just one smack, or even two, can't do the job.

Crrrrunch.....Fluuuuuush......try coming back after that beeeeyach!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Buying Makeup

Cousin1: (in the midst of bickering with her uncle's wife) Daisy, is MAC the same as Makeup4Ever?

Daisy: No, there two different companies. MAC is only 3 letter's, M-A-C..nothing else, that's how you can remember the difference.

Uncle's wife: nuh uh, when I went shopping the last time, the guy called it "mac for ever".

Daisy: then then the guy's just dumb...they are two, completely separate companies and their make-up's totally different too. MAC's made in Canada, I used to love their makeup.

Cousin1: I went to that MAC store at Dhahran Mall, they didn't have any Makeup for Ever there, Daisy's right. MAC makeup is fantastic isn't it.

Daisy: I drove 3 hours all the way to Toronto once just to buy MAC lipsticks (as well as to change scenery a bit). They didn't have MAC in the States yet at that time. That's where I got my nose pierced on my 20th birthday (affirmation of my one-time coolness and freedom to up and go to Toronto on a whim, unlike these days when I have to beg and plead just to get to the grocery store). Ah, those were the days, before marriage + kids.

Uncle's wife: I don't like their foundation though. In fact, I don't like most American foundation.
Daisy: Don't buy American/western foundation, remember, Americans like the "tanned" look so even the lightest shades won't get you the smooth porcelain look your going for.

Cousin1: Amani just bought 500 riyals of MAC make-up then ended up having to toss it all out. After she got home and put it on, it looked like baby crap had been smeared all over her face and since it had been opened, she couldn't return it. She could only test it on her hand at the store and that's not the same as on her face. Do you remember how a long time ago, the MAC store in Rashid mall used to be closed off and have women employees.

Daisy: Yeah, I remember that. That was ages ago though, 8+years maybe. I was so mad when I went there after they did away with the female employees and there was all men there. The first time I went I took off my veil and tried all the make-up on before I bought it. I mean, look (I held my hand up to my jawline) my hand's a completely different shade from my face. Especially these days since all winter I've been taking Buddy outside to the roof everyday so he doesn't get rickets and now I've gotten a tan mainly on my arms since my face moisturizer has sunscreen in it.

Cousin2: you look good darker.

Daisy: Seriously? (really confused...did I just here that come out of a Saudi woman's mouth?!? darker=prettier?!?)

Daisy cont'd: besides, if you want that smooth, white look you should go for that Japanese company Shiseido. Japanese like white complexions where Americans think you look sickly when your too white. (I know, I'm an enabler)

Uncle's wife: Yeah, geisha's.

(everyone's eyes twinkle a bit as they think of themselves donning the "geisha look" for an upcoming wedding in the family...some have come really close with the amount of powder/light make-up they use!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Technicolor Streak

My MIL finished her mourning period of four months and ten days, as is the Sunnah. During these months she only wore plain, undecorated clothes, didn't apply perfume or make-up, and didn't leave the house. On the evening her mourning period was finished, she donned a garb which clearly stated exactly how finished she was.

Now, if only one out of her 5 adult sons that she was "blessed" with, mashallah, would get off of their ungrateful butt and take the woman somewhere. All of the meals that were cooked in a blazing hot kitchen, all of the clothes that were laundered for them, all of the love and attention that was paid to them over the years went seemingly unremembered after her mourning period was done.

While all of her old-lady friends have been taken to Dubai, Syria, Egypt as well as other exciting places, the only place this poor unappreciated woman has been taken in her life is to Mecca and once to Bahrain.

Words cannot express my disappointment in all of her "loving" sons, who are now her legal guardians since her widowhood. The woman's been widowed for God's sake and had to stay in the house for 4 straight months. She deserves a well-earned trip replete with pampering, just for her.

The Source of Sleeplessness

How I've struggled these last few months to get some sleep. I find myself unable to turn "off" at 11pm, 1am, 3am...then hell, I might as well keep myself awake because there's fajr prayer and the kids get up by 6 am. I've been managing to get a "nap" in around 9-10am when Buddy takes his nap until the girls get home from school after 12:30 pm. I'm exhausted!!! Human beings can't go on like this for very long.

Last week during a school break, we had a family get together which kept us up till dawn. As a result, my kids slept until 2:30 pm and....SO DID I!!! And then it hit me, I can sleep! The problem has been all along WHEN I'm sleeping. My circadian rhythms are all off causing me to feel sleepy between 8am-5 pm, times when I have to force myself to be awake and take care of my kids and home. I'm not exactly sure how they got that way considering I never slept at those times to establish a weirdo pattern like that. That's more typical of....

hold the phone- those are Saudi summer/Ramadan sleeping hours!

Yes siree Bob! This country has once again managed to screw up my sleep! Even though my kids are sleeping at night, just BEING in this country apparently is enough to mess up my sleep. So having discovered the source of my misery I'm left with a choice:

Do I-

A) go ahead and give in to my screwy sleep patterns, turning myself and kids into nocturnal creatures, completely worthless/unconscious during daylight hours? I'd finally fit in with my in-laws schedule but this type of schedule has many drawbacks in my past experience.
  1. I end up being late/missing several prayers such as Thuhr and 'Asr in order to get enough hours of uninterrupted sleep.

  2. Sleeping during the day has never been refreshing and I wake up feeling zonked and unmotivated despite filling my necessary sleeping quota.

  3. If I sleep during the day, my kids have to come along for the ride because they're still young and I must be awake when they are. My kids behaviour becomes ridiculously bad when turned around (remember, I've followed this type of schedule off and on for several years because of living in my in-laws house).

B) wait until school lets out at the end of May when I no longer have to worry about school hours and try to adjust my sleeping schedule a little every day/week until it corresponds with normal human hours, not Saudi hours. I wouldn't be able to do it before then because I'd always have to worry about waking up to get my kids ready for school and to open the door for them and take care of them once they get home. Although this sounds logical, this also has its drawbacks.
  1. MAY!!! I'm tired and want sleep NOW!

  2. I'll be managing to fix my sleep the exact time that the rest of the country will be switching to night mode and I'll once again be out of sync with everyone and everything else here.

I'll be honest, I'm leaning towards option B and I'll just try to fit in as many "naps" as I can till then. The times that I've had to sleep "Saudi" hours during the daytime have been some of the worst in my life. I've never felt so lethargic, depressed, and out of tune as those seemingly endless summers at my in-laws house when I prayed for school to start again just to be able to resume a normal schedule of night sleeping. Even if I slept for 12 hours, I never felt refreshed.

After trying EVERY herbal/natural remedy known, trying proven behavioral modifications and even calling Peaceful Muslimah in Qatar and Nzingha who goes to Bahrain to see what sleep medicines are available there, I'd be ready to pay someone to hit me over the head with a sledge-hammer if it were guaranteed I'd have a good nights sleep. There are no sleeping pills available here in the country so these are my only options.