Archive | January, 2010

Who Moved My Cheese??!!

31 Jan

lol, another example of some people’s incapability to THINK.

so I’m driving to my friend’s house last week (or rather being driven to) only to discover that the route we usually take has been blocked by one of the many and never-ending pipe-laying projects in the city. (this has been going on for as long as I can remember, with the roads split in half and dug up for months and months, yet with no result, only to be dug up again for electricity maintenance 2 weeks after its been finally closed up… but I’m getting off track here)

anyhow, road is blocked for maintainance, so my driver goes over this empty lot-turned-parking for a compound with a Lexus (not the jeep). ok, bumpy lot full of rocks, I can make an exception for this one time…. just to see what’s going to happen. He drives over the lot, around the road maintenance, and back on the road to my friends house.

now, fast forward to last night… I ask him to take me to the same friend’s house again… and there I am in my own little world playing my music and bbming non-stop when I look up as he hits the breaks… he took the same route to the same are with the road blocked??!!! dis he think this was going to become a habit? he can always drive over empty lots full of rocks and bumps and holes to drive around a road block? That my car was an off-road four-wheel drive? or that i have i have no problem checking it into repairs every month? couldn’t he just take the next street? a different path??! but nooo… he goes right up to the same side street that’s blocked.

naturally, i made him make a u-turn and take the next street. If a road is blocked, you take the next one. not continue trying to take the same one when you knowww it will be blocked.

I was dumbfounded. I felt like I was a scientist experimenting with mice,cheese and a maze. changing the maze to see if they’ll go the same way every time. haha.

maybe we should do research….

A well-written article

30 Jan

First, the entertaining bit….

SO true

lol, that's pretty much me everyday

Second: I got this in my email, apparently it was published in al-watan newspaper.Finally someone who makes sense!

For those of you who don’t read Arabic, Its an article written by Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Ibin Baz, (the son of a famous religious scholar), stating that women’s driving is an issue of rights, not priorities. He’s saying that people who have the luxury of palaces and drivers think that we have more important issues to address than women driving, but tell that to the women who are harassed on the streets looking for a taxi or who need to collect half their salary to pay for the driver that takes them to work. (it would make a lot more sense if those payments went towards owning their own car, don’t you think?? paying 1,700 sr per month for a driver is like flushing it down the toilet, in my opinion.) And to those who say its not safe for women to drive, well that’s a social and security issue, and women shouldn’t have to pay for it.

So he wraps it up by saying that this isn’t a call to let women drive,Whoever chooses not to drive, it’s their right not to, but a call for restoring her human dignity and right to freedom of movement, as Islam has given both man and woman.

simple, short, to the point. gotta love him.

p.s. i didn’t give a literal translation, just an overview of what’s in the article.

الجمعه 29 محرم 1431 ـ 15 يناير 2010 العدد 3395 ـ السنة العاشرة
كتاب اليوم جريدة الوطن
أحمد بن عبدالعزيز ابن باز
قيادة المرأة للسيارة قضية حقوق لا قضية أولوية
حينما نتحدث عن قيادة المرأة للسيارة كحق آدمي أو بشري فنحن لا نتحدث عنه كأولوية فالأولويات تختلف باختلاف الناس وإمكاناتهم وقدراتهم المالية وعاداتهم واعتباراتهم الاجتماعية، فما هو أولوية لدى بعض الناس هو ترف لدى آخرين ومضيعة وقت لدى غيرهم، وهذا ليس في قيادة المرأة للسيارة فحسب بل في كل شيء في هذه الحياة، فالحديث عن قيادة المرأة للسيارة هل هو أولوية أم لا؟ أو كما يقولون: لدينا من المشاكل والأزمات ماهو أهم من هذا الموضوع ! هذا الطرح طرح غير عقلاني ويفتقر إلى البعد الديني والنظر العقلي والمنطقي، فقضية القيادة هي قضية حقوقية بالدرجة الأولى تُشبه الكثير من قضايا المرأة لدينا والحديث فيها ينطلق من حقوق الإنسان التي أعطاه إياها الإسلام كحق التملك وحرية التنقل وهي مبدأ من مبادئ الحرية الأصلية ـ غير المكتسبة ـ والتي هي موجودة في أصل الديانة فضلا عما هو دونها “أفأنت تكره الناس حتى يكونوا مؤمنين” “لا إكراه في الدين” وهي تقوم أيضا على أصل الإباحة والبراءة الأصلية فيما لانص فيه.
إن من يملك الملايين ويسكن القصور ولديه من الخدم والحشم و(السواويق) قد تكون هذه القضية آخر همِّه فهي من سواليف السَمَر وحلا المجالس والصالونات الثقافية والأدبية أما من تُراق كرامتهن على أرصفة الشوارع يستجدين سيارات الأجرة و(يفاصِلن) أصحابها في قيمة (التوصيلة) لتذهب إحداهن لمدرستها أو لعملها المصدر الباقي لكرامتها أو للمستشفى للعلاج أو لحاجاتها أو لغير ذلك فليست ترفاً، ومن تعاني الذلَّ والمهانة والمطاردة من الشباب المستهتر اللامبالي الذين لايألون فيمن يركبن التاكسي إلا ولا ذمة ولا كرامة ويعتبرونهن حمىً مستباحا ومِن سقط المتاع فهي ليست ترفاً، ومن تجمع الريـال على الريـال لتوفر رواتب السواق وتبني له ملحقا خارجيا و(تتمرمط) للحصول على تأشيرة قبل ذلك أصلا فليست ترفا، إنه حق المرأة في الإسلام في العيش بكرامة وحقها في حفظ نفسها وعرضها ومالها فهي صنو الرجل. إن الحقوق ليست ترفا ولا تمنح ولا يمكن التصويت عليها، فهل يمكن أن يطرح موضوع الرقيق للتصويت وهل يمكن أن يطرح موضوع الملكية الفردية ـ مثلا ـ للتصويت ليكون بقرار جماعي أو أغلبي، لا يمكن ذلك فالملكية والحرية حقوق للإنسان بمجرد ولادته، والخوف على النساء من أن يعتدي عليهن أحد ليس مبررا كافيا لمنعهن من القيادة فهذه مشكلة أمنية وتربوية بالدرجة الأولى وليست مشكلتهن. أما من منع من قيادة المرأة للسيارة من مشائخنا الفضلاء في السابق فهو لاعتبارات لا أظنها موجودة الآن أو يمكن مناقشتها وإعادة النظر فيها، ختاما هذه ليست دعوة للمرأة لقيادة السيارة ـ فمن لا يريد فمن حقه ـ وإنما هو دعوة لإعطائها كرامتها وحقوقها الإنسانية والشرعية التي أعطاها الإسلام.

My driver has been oddly well-mannered lately….

23 Jan

usually when this happens, it sets off alarm bells. Like when you’re a mother and your kids are unusually quiet, you KNOW they’re up to no good.

Then again, it could be caused by the last blow-up I had with him… the reason I decided to start this blog in the first place.

Technically, it wasnt a full-blown fight. More like an internal meltdown. I was very careful not to let any of it out.

It all started the night before, when I had him drop me off at the mall to meet my mom and brother. and hour later when I wanted to leave, he wouldn’t pick up his phone. 4 missed calls. Luckily I went back with my brother, but the driver didn’t know who was at the mall with me, if anyone. So for all practical purposes, I could have been stranded there with no ride out. My mom called him, my dad called him… no answer.

And hour and a half later (11:3- pm) , I get a 1-ring from him (the signal that he’s outside and waiting). I’ll be damned if I call him back. Another 1-ring five minutes later… and another in another 5. The 4th call was a full-ringing one. I ignored that too. I figured he could wait there all night for all I cared. I’m not sure when he went back home, but the next morning, he was there, ready to take me to work as usual.

I get in the car, say good morning like nothing happened, and tell him to go to work. As he drove out of out neighborhood, the following semi-monologue took place:

Me (very calmly) : What happened to you last night?

Him: uuhh… I left phone in car.

Me: Okay, why did you do that? How was I supposed to find you? look for you in the parking lot?

him: …..

Me: I’d like an answer, Why did you leave your phone in the car?

him:…..

Me: Do you understand my question? yes or no?

Him: …….

At this point I was struggling to keep my voice even: *Driver*, Are you ignoring me?

Him: …..

(he totally ignored me. had the review mirror twisted at a weird angle so I couldn’t catch his eye)

Me: Answer me.

Him: …..

By now, I was expanding a Herculean effort not to tell him to pull the f*** over, get out of the F***ing car, and drive myself to work.

I could feel the rage fighting against the seams of my control. So I leashed it in, decided I’d get back at him for this later, and said in a deadly calm voice: You are the Rudest Person I have ever met.

I then turned on the CD player and blasted some house track on a level that was loud enough to bother him that time of the morning. small comfort. Was it too much to mumble out a “I’m sorry , i forgot it” ??

what a jerk.

ffft! I’m all angry again now. I’m on the lookout for a new driver. As soon as I find one I will enjoy every moment of telling him to go back where he came from and learn some manners (plus how to drive) before looking for another job. He has this habit of hitting curbs while making left turns. its crazy my poor car is suffering all kinds of abuse on his hands.

And that situation lead me to wonder, How many of you out there were forced to eat humble pie for the same reason. forced to bite their tongues and control their tempers because if they kicked the jerk out they’d be stuck without a ride??

How many on the other hand said F*** it and gave him what he deserved regardless??

lol. I’d be interested to know.

A riddle

18 Jan

A riddle to make you think…

Who knows what your favorite coffee is?

Who knows where your office is…?

Who knows who all your friends are, and where they live?

Who has is privy to listening in on countless phone conversations you make, day in and day out?

Who is sometimes the first person you see in the morning, the last person you see at night?

Who knows where you are at almost all times?

who do your parents / husband call when you dont answer your phone?

Who knows what size you are in clothes and shoes? and knows all the places you shop at?

yep… u got it.

your Driver

kinda creepy, eh?

keep or lose?

17 Jan

I think I was Cursed

17 Jan

U know this forward that has been going around via bbms? the one that says

“If you saw me in the back of a police car, what is the crime that you’d think i got arrested for?”

well, guess what my no.1 reply was??

Yep, killing my driver.

no.2 was driving (in Saudi, obviously)

*sigh* I guess my friends know me by now. Though believe it or not I do not fantasize about killing my driver, just kicking him out of the car and taking over the wheel…. ahhhhhh *eyes glaze over dreamily*

back to reality,

A couple of years back, when my baby brother was around 7 , we got into some sort of squabble. I hardly remember what. I think I wouldn’t let the driver drop him off to buy DVDs or something. we were late. anyhow, even at his age, he knew EXACTLY what to say to piss me off the most. He said ” Yaaaa rab asoog hena gabl ma tsoogi!” (I pray to God I drive here before you ever do) !!!

!!!???!!!!

I was shocked, heartbroken and enraged !

WHHYYYYyyyyyy would he say something so mean??!!!

so I told him that, (more like wailed) but he just laughed maliciously.

Too late, I felt like a curse has been placed upon me, and I feared he might be right. After all, he’s a kid, with a clean plate (no sins), so his prayers should be answered. I could almost feel this dark cloud hanging above my head.

Fast forward to 2010, he’s 17 now, and yep, you guessed it: Driving. He actually drops me off when the diver is off or busy. How humbling. Thank God he’s pretty cool about it. We compare our latest music collections and all.I do make up for it by driving as much as i can when I’m on vacation (hogging up the wheel, even). My excuse for not letting him drive?? He’s too young to be covered by rental insurance 😉 hehehehe (I’ll use it for as long as I can).

And I don’t hold his curse/prayer those many years ago against him. He was a kid, after all… and things would’ve probably turned out this way anyways, right? …. right??!

Hostage situation

14 Jan

Ever felt like it was your driver running the show, not you?? 

That he acted like you were lucky that he took time off his busy and successful career to come work for you, and you should be thankful to him for doing so? 

The funniest, or should I say saddest part in all this is that though I don’t really have a curfew, its my driver that makes me go home by 11 one weekdays, by 12:30 or one on weekends. NOT my parents. I actually go home because I’m afraid he’ll “go to sleep” and “not hear the phone” when I call for him to pick me up. Not that i blame him. no job should be 24/7. but what am I supposed to do? walk home? take the bus? a taxi maybe? uuhh… I don’t think so. My only remaining options are either finding a ride with a friend travelling in the same direction or calling a car for hire. funny how those don’t mind working whatever hour of day or night. 

That reminds me of a little situation that happened to me related to this topic:

I was once at a friend’s house for a dinner celebrating her PhD. It was a lovely event where I saw girls i haven’t seen since college. But in typical Saudi fashion, dinner wasn’t served till 11pm. On a Wednesday night. I went to work that morning at 8:30, but thats fine. The problem lies in the fact that I asked my driver to pick me up at 11. So, he gives me a “missed call” (code for “I’m here”) right when they announce that dinner is served. and I, being the nice person that I am, instead of ignoring him, called to let him know that I’ll be another 20-30 min. Most girls I know wouldn’t bother calling. Dont know why I did. but I did, and he told me that he was tired and didn’t want to wait.

aha. 

I told him to take a nap in the car.

he said if I’m not out in 5 minutes he’s leaving me.

am I the only one thats shocked here?

..

.

yeah, didnt think so.

anyhow, i started to feel my blood boil, so i told him to wait and stop arguing, hung up the phone in his face and headed to the buffet. (i forgot to mention that i tried to leave before all this, but the hostess insisted i stayed for dinner.

20 min later (i really rushed myself) I said my good byes (no dessert), grabbed my Abaya and headed out. I couldnt see him standing with the drivers outside, so i called him. 

his phone was off. 

OFF

I was so angry I thought I was going to have an apoplectic fit right there. what was I supposed to do?

I saw a friend headed out, so I had her drop me off at a close friend’s house nearby. thank god she had a driver that took me home. but I was so angry at the SOB I avoided him like the plague for the next week because I was afraid I’d kill him. then my parents would kill ME because I had a mom and 3 sisters and only one other driver and it’s too hard to find a replacement so fast.

I did wind up yelling at him a week later. when i finally had to get in the car with him to take me to a restaurant. He had the nerve to tell me not to be late. I told him if he ever repeated that episode again he’d live to regret it. He told me I should be careful, that I don’t know what he does in the Philippines (!!???!!). I told him i don’t give a sh* what he does there if he messes with me I’ll mess him up. walked outta the car and slammed the door with a satisfying bang. 

Thank God when I’m angry I have no room for fear.  I’ve never responded well to threats.

anyhow. he’s gone now. good riddance. 

now I’m stuck w a passive-aggressive Neanderthal. But that’s for another day.

Cheerio.xx

(If you’ve had a similar situation, I’d love to read about it!)

p.s. i might sound like a Queen B to some of you (especially if you don’t know me) but I’m really not. honest.