Tuesday, October 31, 2006

trick or treat!!

Happy Halloween!!!

I love Halloween! It's one of my favorite holidays. This picture shows all the magic of Halloween so well. The sun is about to set (which is the time you go out to trick or treat), the glorious pumpkin (which I LOVE to cut out and only wish they sold pumpkins here in Bahrain!!!!) with its eyes and mouth lit up by candles, the cross from the graveyard and then the trick or treaters. :)

Aaaaahhh, the memories from my childhood. I so looked forward to dressing up and going out to all the neighborhoods to get candy and other treats. My mom used to make our costumes sometimes and I can remember how fun it was trying to decide what we'd be that year. I can remember dressing up as the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and going to a party w/ my sister and niece and nephew, who dressed up as the other characters of the movie - that was a lot of fun. I've been a witch, a hobo, a Raggety Ann doll w/ the red knit wig my mom made and everything, and just so many other things.

Trick or treating was always a blast. My step-dad would take us around to all the neighborhoods and you'd not only get to see your friends and all the great customes of the other children, but you'd also get to go to some scary houses that were decorated to the hilt. I can remember being afraid to go up to some houses because they'd have witches on their porch or zombies and such, and sometimes the adults would dress up and scare the children. This is something my mom LOVES to do. I find it funny now, but as a child, it scares you to death!!! ;)

My aunt had this huge Halloween party at her house when I was a young girl. All my cousins went, friends and such. There was food, cake, candy and ppl dressed up like goblins, ghosts, zombies, just all kinds of creatures. Well, during this party, they'd start playing scary music and when that happened, all of us kids would have to find a place to hide because that's when all the monsters came out from hiding and tried to get us. Yeah, they had a pretty warped sense of fun and it scared the hell out of us kids, but the memories from this will last me a life time. I can remember hiding w/ my cousins under the dining table and ghosts would come and lift it up and try to get us. We'd hide behind pieces of furniture and they'd always find us. Once I sat on my older sister's lap, trying to keep them from getting me and one ghost came up and started pulling me from her lap. Well, I went into hysterics... complete and utter hysterics. Come to find out, the ghost was my MOTHER!!!!!! Can you believe it. I laugh now but gosh, it really scared me then. All the ghosts and monsters that night were our parents and friends of theirs. They loved to scare us as children... no wonder I hate horror movies as an adult!! ;)

I also LOVED going to haunted houses. Ohhhhh, how I loved that -yeah, there was something wrong w/ me!! I can remember the first one I went to. I guess I was in about the 4th grade, I think. We went w/ my girl scout troop. My older sister was one of the leaders so I stood by her all the way through. I was terrified, let me tell ya. At one spot in the house, it was a VERY narrow passageway and when you started walking down it, the wall in front of you slid up and there was this werewolf behind this gate that would try to grab you w/ his long claws. I got so afraid at the sight of this that I started screaming and couldn't stop. I couldn't move past him either. I was dead in my tracks... so afraid that he'd grab me. Finally, they pushed me through and one guy took off his mask so that I wouldn't be afraid and so that they could get me outta there. ;) Yeah, I was a scaredy cat... but I couldn't help it. It was the scariest thing... and... looking back, I loved it!!! I've gone to lots of haunted houses since then but nothing compares to that one.

Altho, once as an adult, I went w/ some friends to a huge haunted houses in Dallas and once you got inside, everything was black, except for lights that would come on and lead the way. So most of the time you spent behind the person in front of you trying to find your way thru the maze inside. At one point, I entered this huge room that had strobe lights. They were going on and off and you couldn't really see anything, but I remember this mummy or a dracula coming up from behind me and I started screaming and trying to run from it. That was pretty crazy.... and it was great in that it got my blood pumping fast that night which is always a fun thing when you're in these places. I miss this so much.

This is the hard thing about being away from the States. Times like these. I miss all the holidays so much. In Bahrain and maybe the other countries around here, they don't really celebrate much except for Eid. Young children get excited about Eid because they're getting money, but that's about it. Most of the things that ppl celebrate here is death. Not like Halloween but the death of certain ppl, so there's a lot of mourning going on... which can be rather depressing. To me, ppl like to be depressed here. I don't like it.

I wonder what it would be like if they started celebrating holidays like in the States. I know the children would love it and maybe even the adults. Adults don't do much here in terms of celebrations... except for weddings. Once you reach adulthood, there isn't much for you. You don't get presents usually for your birthday, you don't get presents or money at Eid.... there is no Halloween, no Easter, no tooth fairy, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas... so no candy and no presents. :(

But I have the memories that will forever live on inside of me. I can think about it and remember it like it was yesterday. Don't get me wrong, there are Halloween parties here. Certain clubs throw adult oriented parties, and last weekend the Ritz Carlton had a big shabang for children and adults where ppl dressed up. A friend of mine told me that in certain areas here in Bahrain you can even take your child trick or treating. I haven't seen this but I'm assuming it's in the American or British areas. I know that stores sell Halloween costumes. Last weekend I was at Geant and I saw lots of Bahraini kids at the area where the costumes were. I felt sad somewhat in that they don't have the joy of truly experiencing the joys of Halloween. Yeah, maybe some of their parents take them out... maybe that's why they were getting the things... but I had the feeling that they were just excited to see the masks, the swords, the fake vampire teeth and such.

Anyway.... Happy Halloween everyone. For all of you in the States and in the UK, I hope you guys have a glorious time, and if you have children, I hope they have a blast going out and trick or treating!!!!


Monday, October 30, 2006

don't ignore this

edit: as of 12:45 p.m. today (new edit: actually it happened much earlier - around 9:00), Mahmood's blog has been blocked by the MOI. I have no idea when and if it'll get back online (he has a mirror up, check out the link below)... but hopefully it will. He's tapped into some serious stuff, btw... this is why it's no longer viewable. This is serious... make note and keep checking. Ppl need to know what's happening in the world today.

edit to my edit: 3:42 p.m. - for all of you outside of bahrain, you'll have no probs in accessing his site. so... go there... take a look at what's happening in this country.

My friend Mahmood who is the Godfather of blogging (Mahmood's Den) had his site blocked yesterday from the Ministry of Information here in Bahrain. The MOI has blocked a good number of sites already and just announced the blocking of 7 more, including his.... but luckily it is back up and running this morning. There's also an article in today's GDN about this by Tariq Khonji... check it out if you're interested.

Mahmood's blog gets over 4 million hits a month... yeah, it's that good! You'll find all types of different topics of interest over there... anything from gardening (and he's a fantastic gardener btw... meaning => I'm terribly envious), and he knows his stuff when it comes to Bahraini politics, and all the ppl that are involved w/ making this tiny island of Bahrain go round and round. He's also a great photographer and has a wicked sense of humor.

So.... this is my shout out to him and for any of you that might be interested, check out his site. It'll give you a GOOD look at what's happening in this far away land... things that a lot of higher ups don't want you to see.... hence the reason his site was blocked by order of the Minister of disInformation.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

pet peeves

do you have any pet peeves? i do. and in saying that, i sit and wonder... does it make me difficult to live w/???? i know a few ppl that could chime in at any moment and give you a whole list of reasons for that answer to be yes, but when i look at it, honestly, i think it makes me more organized or structured in some areas, but w/ some pet peeves, it's just that some ppl don't have the same concerns or desires that i have to keep things a certain way.

i like things a certain way. am i anal retentive because of it?? i wouldn't say that. am i a Type A personality? i wouldn't say that either, but i do like things nice and orderly. now, don't get me wrong, i can let things go and not be a fantatic about cleaning or organization but it isn't a pretty sight! ;) i'm the worst at organizing little things or keeping pictures straight and whatnot. so.... i'm not a freak.... or am i??!!! i'm weird, that's for sure, but i chalk that up to being on the artsy fartsy side.

i'll tell ya some of my pet peeves if you'll tell me yours. :)

1) for some reason, i really dislike it when ppl leave ice trays half empty w/out emptying them and refilling them. i really don't like it when i go to get an ice cube and there's one left in the tray.... now, that really bothers me.

2) i can't stand that the girl that is helping me in the house refuses to keep my cupboard w/ the pots and pans organized the way i do it. i've shown her but she still just keeps throwing them in there w/out any rhyme or reason and i can't stand it. i find that i'm consantly going behind her and redoing the whole thing.

3) it really miffs me when someone uses the last of the toilet paper and doesn't put another roll on. this happens a lot in our house and i find that i'm constantly refilling the toilet paper rolls.

4) i don't like things left or kept in a messy state. in the laundry room for instance.... i like things to be in their rightful place. i have shelves in there and like certain things on certain shelves. i know where things are and it allows me to get to the detergent, bleach, etc. easily. lately, things keep getting put back where ever and it drives me insane. not only are laundry supplies being put on these shelves but also household cleaning supplies, which i keep in the kitchen. i find that i'm constantly searching for items and then putting it back where it belongs.

5) another thing that bugs me is when you show someone how to do something, they say they understand and have no questions but when they start to do it, it's nothing like the way you explained it. what is up w/ this??

6) i also don't like ppl coming and taking things off of my desk w/out asking or coming into my office and opening my drawers or using my computer w/out asking. this really bugs me. one thing in particular is the use of my pens. some of my pens are not from the ofc. and some ppl only want to use those. once i remember this dr. using a pen i got at a christmas fair. it's a beautiful pen and i love it. well, what did he do but started twisting it and playing w/ it and it fell apart. i got mad. i think he was shocked. i took the pen from him, laughed in a devilish way - so he'd know it wasn't funny - and told him he couldn't use the pen any more.

yeah... i have a few peeves.... but i know i'm not the only one. i could prob list several more but i'll spare you all and not put myself into total freakdom. ;)


The Devil Wears Prada

Been waiting and waiting for this movie to hit the Bahrain theatres and, FINALLY, it arrived.

We went the first day of Eid to see it and I was so glad that it was as good as I had hoped. For one, I LOVE Meryl Streep's acting in it and hope she wins an Oscar for her performance - she was THAT good. This woman really knows how to play bitchy.... but you know, there was something about her that touched my heart. Maybe because I've worked w/ women like this and even a guy, so I find the personality a little bit endearing. Yeah, call me crazy... but I understand it.

All the characters were great. I really liked the asst. Emily. I think her attitude combined w/ her British accent and way of behaving made her acting great and she made me laugh. Anne Hathaway was great in her role and it makes me wonder what will happen w/ her career. She's a good actress, so I'm hoping she'll get some substantial roles from this.... altho, her work was nothing in comparison to Meryl Streep, but who can compare to this woman!

It all made me think about my past jobs w/ ppl like this. Women who were super in their jobs and expected nothing less than perfection. They demanded everything from you, but gave very little. You were expected to remember everything, go 100 mph w/out a break, be on call at all hours of the day and night, and be totally dedicated to your job. Oh yeah... your personal life was unimportant, unless it was in direct relation to what you were doing on the job or for the job after working hours.

Funny how women can be called bitches and worse when they are powerful and have a bit of an attitude, and are looked at negatively for what they strive for and obtain, but when it's a man in the same type of position or in any position for that matter, they are looked at in a positive way and are admired for their determination and abilities to do well on the job. But you know... w/ so many obstacles in our way, it's no wonder that we've had to take on bitchy attitudes to get what we want out of life. No man will hand anything to you, so, in order to succeed, we have to work harder and push the envelope in a way that many men can not understand.... just so that we can make a difference, be heard, have a voice and rise above that glass ceiling.

Many think that it's easier for women nowadays, but is it? Do we all have to take on attitudes like Meryl Streep's character in this movie in order to succeed? Will men take us seriously if we don't? Sometimes I think it's a no-win situation. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't. I, for one, applaud women like this, women with an attitude, women who aren't afraid to grab the job by the balls and run w/ it!!!! :)

Happy day to you.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

faraway thoughts

been on vacation for the last week - during the Eid holiday and it's been quite nice. haven't touched the computer until today.... been keeping my days busy w/ things around the house. i've been doing a late spring cleaning of sorts... yeah, ok, i know it's oct., but it's like spring here! ;) why is it that i always have so much more energy to do this stuff when i'm not working during the day??? not that working wears me out by any means but there's just something about being at home that energizes me.

our flowers outside are in bloom, some things i planted last year have spread and sprouted so many flowers... it's just so lovely, and the weather is getting cooler ... soooo... what better way to celebrate than to clean! yeah, i can think of better ways to celebrate too, but the cleaning bug has hit me in a big way and i'm glad for it. today, i went thru the cupboards downstairs and there were sooooooo many things that had expired and needed to be thrown away. believe it or not, i still had things that i brought over from the u.s. three years ago. i thought that a lot of things had been thrown away already but after sitting there this morn. and pulling it all out onto the floor, i realized how much hadn't been done.

now, after organizing and throwing away everything, the cupboards look so much better and are finally organized. i'm sorta a freak about organizing and such - it's that virgo side of me - so you can only imagine how i feel having it all neat and tidy. ;)

before ramadan was up, we went to break the fast at one of the novatel restaurants and me and the hubby found ourselves talking non-stop about how undisciplined the children were that night. honestly, i don't know why parents get chairs for their kids - they aren't made to sit and eat. i would say that over 50% of the parents there that night were allowing their kids to have full run of the place... basically, all the kids were acting like little yard apes. this is something i've never understood. i wasn't allowed to do this as a child and won't allow my child to do this, and know if i were working at one of these places, i WOULD NOT want to watch someone else's kid as they tried their best to tear the place up, all the while the parents are sitting and chatting at their tables - not noticing or pretending not to notice a damn thing that their child/children are doing. not once did i see a parent get up and tend to their child... it was all the wait staff running around trying to make the kids behave themselves, which is an impossible task w/ some kids.

one family even allowed their two boys to go outside and since the pool was right in front of the restaurant, i wondered, when we were leaving, how that family would feel if something happened and one of those boys fell into the pool or something. i wondered how long it would take for one of the adults to get outside and possibly help save that child's life if need be, and i even said something to the children as they were shoving each other next to the pool (when we were leaving), but it went unnoticed.

another little boy even took it upon himself to rearrange all the stemware on some of the unoccupied tables while his parents, who were sitting behind us, looked on and said not a word. some little girls were even playing tag - running up and down the steps, and round and round the tables. FINALLY, their parents made them sit down and behave, but since we left not shortly after that, i wondered how long it would be until they were up and at it again.

the society here is one that has a hard time saying "no" to their children. my SIL has already taught her son this. he gets whatever he wants and he's learned rather quickly that if he screams enough, he'll get whatever he so chooses and he's only one 1/2 yrs old. i notice this all the time w/ ppl. even today i saw a little boy having a fit when his father took something away from him... he sat there and screamed until his father gave it back to him and when the father did, the little boy stopped screaming.

i don't know... but this is something i won't allow. i fully believe in setting limits and
not allowing a child to control the house. too many ppl allow their children to rule them. they do whatever it takes to please the child, but i sit and wonder what happened to the way things used to be?! why are so many kids totally outta control nowadays?? is it because of this instant gratification type of socity that sets endless boundaries for their kids? as i sit here and think about this, i wonder what it'll be like when these kids get older. they'll expect everything to be handed to them on a silver platter but life just doesn't work like that... or it didn't for me. maybe we'll just have large corporations filled w/ adult babies who get down on the floor and have temper tantrums until they get what they want.... hahahahah .... imagine!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

make-up and perfume

yeah, this is a bit of a girly post (and rather pissy)... but, really, in looking at what i'm about to write, i think a lot of guys can relate to it.

first... let's talk about make-up. i love buying make-up, especially eye shadows. when i lived in the States, i'd be one of the first ones at the counters when they were having their free gift w/ purchase, and usually i'd buy eye shadows to get this precious little gift bag. to me, eye shadow says more about a girl than anything else... other than lipstick. i also love lipstick and think a girl can never have too many shades and different varieties of these sweet lil jewels.

guys get into eye shadows too.... or maybe it's just the movie stars, not sure. can't say that i've seen too many arab males walking the streets in eye liner and eye shadow as of late! ;) except for the few from kuwait... and you know who you are! ok ok.. maybe there are a few from bahrain as well, but i think they like to keep it a secret. personally, i think eye liner and shadow on guys looks hot. not too much or anything, but just enough to highlight the eye. in saying this though, i think most in this part of the world think it a very big negative to see a man w/ any sort of make-up on and dismiss it immediately as him being gay, when in all actuality, it doesn't mean that a man is gay if he chooses to wear a little eye liner or shadow now and again, but then again, he could be! and so what if he is. many rockers are sportin' it and most movie stars do too. so to all you arab males and men out there who think it's a bad thing... loosen up!

girls in this part of the world are REALLY into make-up... a little too much for my taste, honestly. i think my first real introduction to this was a few years back when i attended an arab wedding. boy oh boy.... the bride was not to be outdone, that is for sure. i wonder how long it takes to apply so much make-up? i think some girls stay at the salon for hours getting their hair done and make-up applied before attending weddings and for what, i wonder? anyway... another topic for another day.

sometimes when i look at different girls w/ so much make-up on (and i'm talking on an average day, not for a wedding or anything in particular), i wonder why w/ such natural beauty that most arab women have.... why they choose to cover it up w/ so much crap. i guess many think they're highlighting the beauty or something... or i guess they see these arab singers and actresses and such wearing it this way and, just like in the States, they copy it.... altho, i will say that many stars in the U.S. take on a "natural beauty" way of applying make-up instead of applying as much as possible. i don't know - there's a big difference between here and there, i will say that. and another thing... do guys like the arab girls wearing all this make-up?? when do the girls take this stuff off? right before going to bed or do some sleep in it? and it's not just the young girls either.... phew... the older women i see wearing this crap... it amazes me. if my mom wore make-up like that, oh gosh... i can't imagine it. but then... no wonder the daugthers are wearing it like that.

but don't get me wrong, i do like make-up... but not to the degree that i see so many ppl wearing it here. i think a little goes a long way... which brings me to my next point - perfume.

i do love myself some good smellin' perfume. yeah, i like the expensive stuff and the bigger variety the better... altho, i have limited myself as of late and only have about 4 bottles. :(

my mom always taught me that when putting on cologne/perfume, if you can smell yourself, then you're wearing too much. which, honestly, is true. some days, i will have on perfume and not even notice it, but will be some place, near someone and they'll comment on how good i smell. which is always a nice compliment - when someone likes your perfume. BUT.... i don't swim in the stuff before leaving the house and, even still, another person can smell it. the key is **where** you spray it, i think.

it's best to spray it on your pulse points and where you sweat. that way, it will last all day long (if it's a good perfume/cologne) and when you get excited, busy or stressed, then your perfume will do its job.

but you know, ppl don't do this here. both men and women swim or bathe in perfume every chance they get and i don't understand it. the other day, i got some papers from this guy at work and i could smell his cologne on the papers. yeah, it smelled nice, but i wondered what he smelled like if i could smell it all over the papers. when i walk out in the hall, all i smell is cologne and sometimes it's gagging.

ppl spray it all over themselves - from head to toe. and some don't use just one cologne, which is something i don't like to practice. i've seen ppl spray 3 different kinds on themselves.... the thought makes me cringe. maybe the reason is because sometimes cologne makes me sick, especially if it's cheap or these knock off brands, altho some higher priced brands do the same to me if i smell too much of it. when i go shopping, i've never been one to spray one cologne after another onto my wrist because i usually wind up getting a headache or getting sick to my stomach. i find the same happens when i'm out and about w/ my husband or such... i can be standing behind someone in line or walking behind them and will immediately start getting sick to my stomach because of their cologne and even if i don't get sick... there's just something inside of me that doesn't want to smell every joe on the street. smelling someone every now and again is ok but gosh... when does it end???? sometimes i can even smell someone after they've passed me or i'll walk into an area and smell someone after they've gone. now... that's some powerful cologne!

you can't run and you can't hide from it. it's everywhere and i don't get it. why do ppl bathe in cologne??? is it a tradition or the culture? i'm assuming it's the culture, but i also wonder if it's to get attention from the opposite sex. isn't that what cologne is for? attracting someone to you? i know that i like my husband to like my cologne. there's nothing like sweet kisses and the purring sound of "ooooohhhh, you smell good".... to put a smile on my face! :) but how far does one go to get that? why do some ppl want the world to smell them? this is the eye burning question!

one day i was at chili's. i had to make a quick run to the girlie room and when i walked in, i had to take a step back. you could see it in the air. there were prob 4 girls at the counter spraying cologne, doing their make-up and whatnot. after finishing and heading back to my table to sit down, it wasn't any time until i was reminded of the smell because once the girls left their 10 min. make-shift beauty salon and made their way back to their table, which was just a few yards from where we were sitting, i sat there, smelling them. you could smell it everywhere. it was sickening.

i don't know... maybe it's just me and i'm a grinch or something but i really have a problem w/ this. i worked w/ a girl, a while back, that brought her bottles of cologne to the office and sat them next to her. all day, every time the bossy poo would make his appearance, she'd bathe herself in that stuff. we had a small, closed-in office and, on some days, it was more than i could take. i'm not this kind... i spray or dab myself in the mornings and freshen up if going out at night or some place during the day, but i don't spray myself all day long at the office. what's the point? i take baths and i don't stink, so why do it?

i even know ppl who spray it on their hands... maybe that's what that guy did before sending me those papers and that's why they smelled like that. ooohhh... perfume tastes terrible so why put it on your hands. doesn't it get on your food?

smiles and back to that happy place! :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


One of my friends, The Moody Minstrel, has been telling some great stories on his blog about his experiences w/ tarot cards, ouija boards and the likes. If you like this sort of stuff, check out his blog.

It got me to thinking about this stuff and my experience in such... when I was a child as an adult.

First, how many of you have ever had your cards read, tea leaves read, done the whole coffee reading thing that they do here? I had my SIL read the grounds from the turkish coffee, but it was all nonsense, and she thinks she's good at it... made me laugh really... but you wouldn't believe how many ppl sit around her while she pretends to say things that any tom, dick or harry could say.... myself included.

I worked w/ a girl that had her fortune read by some woman that read stuff from the Quran.. which seemed really weird to me. I've also heard all the stories about evil eyes (have some of my own experiences w/ this as well - which I'll talk about later), the spells that the Moroccan girls put on their husbands or boyfriends and such, and the spells that Persians do. Altho, I think some Bahraini's do the same spells but they pretend that they don't... or maybe some do. Anyway... all of this and Moody's blog got me to thinking about my belief in such things.

I believe in tarot cards, the ouija board and having your fortune read - if done by the right person. I've done all of this. Not that I'm a believer in the occult or practice black magic or anything, because I don't, but I have gone to tarot readers, had my palms read in Jamaica and have played w/ the ouija board.... but so have many members of my family.

My mom and aunt used to play the ouija board when my aunt was married to this man that was a mean person. It would tell her how he was cheating on her and it would call her bad names and tell her how stupid she was. My mom said that many times the slider would move by itself. So, after hearing about all the spoooooky stories, me and my cousin, L, decided to play it and see for ourselves. We played that thing for days.... asked it all kinds of questions and watched to see what the answers were. I don't know how much of it was my cousin moving the slider or what, but it did answer everything and it got to a point to where I was terrified of the thing.

We put it in the closet and I got so afraid of it that I would run past the closet and never dare look in that direction. Yeah... but... I had some freaky things happen when I was young and I did, w/ all my heart, believe in spirits and still do.

I had a lady do tarot cards for me once. Me and my girlfriend, Y, went to see her. She let us tape record the session. Back then, which was probably 15 yrs ago, a lot of what she told me didn't make sense... but, EVERYTHING, she told my friend, happened. Later, after meeting my husband, I called my friend, Y, to tell her about him and she started reminding me of what that lady had said w/ the tarot cards. So much of what she said came true for me as well. She told me that I'd meet someone, like my husband, and even described him. I laughed at the time and even later, but now I see how right she was. She also told me that I would move to a far away place..... and indeed, it happened. My friend, Y, well, the lady told her that one of her friends was pregnant and didn't know it but would lose the baby. She told her the sign of this girl, her hair color and color of eyes... and, again, it happened. She also told her that someone very close in her family, that lived far away, was about to pass away. Her great grandmother passed away not long after this.

She also told us about relationships.... about travel, about kids... about so much. I've lost that tape and I'm really mad that I did.

The guy in Jamaica... well, he terrified me. I'll never forget. I signed up for a palm reading... thinking it was innocent enough. Well, I went into the place for my reading and there was this huge man there, dressed in clothes that made me think he was a witch dr. from the hills. He was spooooky looking... but it intrigued me... yes... I'm weird. ;)

He instructed me to sit down and I did. He then told me to hold out my hands as he started making signs over the tops of my palms. As he did this, he started telling me my life's story. It TOTALLY freaked me out because how in the world did this man know all of this stuff about me?!! I hadn't filled out any forms... hadn't talked to anyone on this vacation... nothing. But... he knew it and he just kept going and going... until I guess I finally became frightened and stopped it. He also told me about my endometriosis... which I do have and gave me some liquid stuff in a plastic bottle to rub on my stomach. He said it would go away.... and I'm assuming it did. For I haven't had any major probs w/ it for years and years. Anyway... that could be chalked up to just less stress of worry or something... but still.

Getting back to the ouija board... my ex SIL played w/ it non-stop. She told me how they'd put on music, after it would ask for a particular song and such, then it would slide around on the board, by itself, like it was dancing to the music. It would tell them secrets about other ppl... just all sorts of things.

It makes me wonder where this comes from. I started believing it was the devil and that's why I stopped playing w/ it, but I now wonder if it wasn't spirits. I don't know really ... because I was obsessed w/ the devil and evil powers for a long time in my youth and truly believed that lying or disbelief could send you straight to hell.... so when the ouija moved on its own w/ me, and I had the strange things happen when playing w/ my girlfriend that day in the house and when I thought my bed was moving on its own... well, it scared me into not picking up the ouija board ever again. I've seen it though.. they used to sell it at Toys R Us in the U.S. I looked here to see if they had it, but they didn't. I wonder if I would buy it now???

I remember a few years back when lots of ppl were writing into the GDN about devil worshippers here in Bahrain. I think a lot of the religious types thought that these young kids listening to rock music were worshipping the evil one.... and some guy even wrote into the paper saying that he saw ppl having some type of an occult mtg in the desert. I laughed at this... wondering how he knew.... was he right there.. did he attend!?

So... what are your stories? I know Moody has a LOT.... and a few of you Bahrainis prob have some of your very own stories as well that I'd love to hear about... even if it's about the dreaded evil eyes. My in-laws believe in these. We have some things hanging in our house for this and in our car.... and I had my own incident at work relating to this. Some guy heard me walking down the hall and asked "who is that horse walking down the hall". Maybe I've blogged about this before... if so, sorry. Anyway... I didn't know about this man, his so-called "skills" and only found out about it after I fell down the stairs at our house that weekend. Ppl at work said it was because of him and told me what he said and such. After this, I was pretty freaked out and decided to have nothing to do w/ this guy. But... I guess after a few months, this man stops by my office one day and asks me not to believe what ppl say about him. I decided not to believe ppl and to be friends w/ this man.

I've heard all sorts of stories about evil eyes... but I believe that if you let yourself believe in it, be afraid of it, it will affect your life. That's why I don't. Anyway....

tell me your stories!! It's getting close to Halloween and I'm anxious for some spooooky stuff!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

you tell me

Which is the greatest gift?

Wisdom or Laughter

wanna know a secret?

Are you good at keeping secrets? This part of the world is really bad w/ gossip... don't think I'd trust anyone w/ a secret. I have only a few close ppl that I share things w/ and tell things to and know, if I told them something, that no one would find out. I guess that I should add that I have made the mistake of telling things to a few ppl, only to be shown that, indeed, you can't trust even those that tell you that you can trust them.. in this part of the world. I guess it's a cultural thing. Even in families, secrets aren't kept.

Even the men in this part of the world are like women w/ gossip and telling things to ppl. I wouldn't even trust a man w/ something private... not that I go around telling every joe my little morsels of lusty, mouth watering information... yeah, like I have anything that juicy!! ;) But seriously, guys are really bad here. They sit around and gossip worse than women!!

I have been told secrets though in the past, never to share them w/ anyone, except when I got married, then I shared it w/ my husband. I tell him everything, which is totally different than a lot of women in this part of the world or maybe the world over. I know many women who keep secrets from their husbands... some are little white lies, but some are really big secrets that one shouldn't keep from their spouse... because if the spouse ever found out - well, there could be trouble. But hey... some ppl live their lives like this.

In the States, the secrets I knew were mainly due to shopping... well, and a few others ;) but I'll never tell!! I knew this one girl that would buy clothes and keep them in her trunk until her husband wasn't around and then take the clothes inside, take off all the tags, hang things or put things away, and if her husband commented, she'd say "oh, I've had that for years". Men can be stupid, you know. Or maybe they play dumb because I often wondered if she thought her husband would never find out. What happened when the bills came in? But then again, she probably paid for her own stuff and he paid for his own stuff and it was never shared and such. This happens a lot in American culture.

I personally don't find it wise to keep secrets too often. I don't like being told secrets... ok, unless they're really too delicious to turn away! ;) It always makes me nervous for some reason... I guess for fear that I'll slip and say something. I've been told by girls, "don't tell your husband", but you know... if they don't want him to know, they shouldn't tell me and I always tell them this.

I die inside trying to keep something from him. And... if he later found out that I knew this or that and didn't share it, I think he'd get pissed for the mere fact that I didn't share it sooner! ;) But then again, maybe not... I guess it would depend on the secret!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

adoption in the ME

edit: this is a long ass post! ;) i was in a rambling mood today, obviously. what do you expect when it's ramadan and i'm bored stiff!? hope it makes you think though.

Seems like Madonna is the latest celebrity, as of late, to get on the adoption bandwagon. After reading a few reports, looks like she's adopted a boy from a very poor African village. Some reports are saying that she and her husband, Guy Richie, have had problems because he didn't wan't to adopt, but seeing the way Madonna is, I'm sure nothing would stop her. Ppl are saying that she's done this to look good because Angelina Jolie is so widely popular for adopting children from poor nations and for her humanitarian work, and since Meg Ryan has recently done the same - but I think her child is from an Asian country, if I'm not mistaken - I guess Madonna wants to look like the good samaritan and do her part for humanity.

I've always really liked Madonna - except for that time in her life when she went thru that crazy Sex period - and always thought she was a smart woman, so I'm just hoping she did this for the right reasons. I know she's at the age where it would be risky for her to become pregnant, so I always assumed that that was the reason behind her adopting... but reports are saying otherwise... but ppl love to gossip and create stories, it seems.

Which brings me to the point of adoption. Years ago, I decided to never have kids and thought if the desire ever hit me, I would adopt instead. Plus, there was a part of me that didn't like babies and little kids... so you can see why adopting would be a cool idea, because you could go for an older kid as well, which so many ppl don't want. But as I got older, started working w/ lots of different men and women, I started meeting ppl who had been adopted, and I realized that many of them had major issues surrounding their adoption cases, meeting their birth parents, and just problems in general from being adopted. And, sometimes, on the tube you'd see horror stories of families adopting little kids and the kids would turn out to be truly evil and such. So... this sorta put a damper on my adoption ideas... or at least w/ adopting an older child.

Obviously all of these thoughts and ideas came before I got married. It was after working thru my own issues for years, learning to trust and wanting companionship, meeting someone that finally touched my heart, and being able to trust love... well, that is when getting married and the thoughts, feelings or even the idea of having kids started appearing in my mind.

Really, in looking back at it, I thought I'd never want kids, plus w/ so many kids in orphanages and such, and needing homes, it seemed senseless to have children. But after marrying my husband and moving to Bahrain, my views have changed... but not w/out the enormous, constant, every increasing, pounding pressure from the in-laws, and everyone else who felt the need to get involved in our lives - which seems to be every tom, dick and harry, to have little rugrats... but that's a whole nother story!

Anyway... where was I.... oh yes, adoption.

There are orphanages here in Bahrain... and there are tons of kids that could use a good home, but ppl don't adopt. I've never understood the logic behind it really... there are so many women here, I know a few myself, that can't have children but desperately want children - one woman, in particular, stands out in my mind. She's had 13 miscarriages and her dr. told her that she'd never be able to conceive... so wouldn't adoption be the natural alternative? I think it's a great idea... but it's never been something that I've heard her speak of, nor anyone else for that matter.

You don't hear about adoption in this part of the world.... ppl don't speak of it... or the ppl that I've been around. There are so many issues surrounding this topic, I guess that's why. But you know, what about the women who are older and not married as of yet? What about if they get married later in life and want children... wouldn't that be a natural course of action - to adopt?

This is what I know about adoption in this part of the world. You have kids that would come in the home but not be part of the family, so the females in the family would never be able to be themselves and not cover, if they covered. Then it gets into property and inheritance and such after the father passes... for the orphaned/adopted child is never considered to be a true part of the family here so that child would never be eligible for any inheritance and such from the family, nor would they be allowed to own any property and such that is passed down from this family. Am I right w/ this? I have limited knowledge on such w/ respect to the ME.

In the States, families get on huge waiting lists to adopt children. Many families adopt inter-racial children because of their love and need for a child. And once the child is adopted, the child is a true part of the family. He/she takes on the name of the family and is, from that point forward, a son/daughter, brother/sister, niece/nephew, etc. to all in the family. When the father/mother passes on, that child inherits what any other part of the family would inherit and such... w/ no one ever blinking an eye and saying "oh but he/she was adopted and they don't deserve such".

I know the adoption process entails much more here or so I'm assuming... adoption is probably not done for religious reasons as well... but I don't understand it all, and I don't understand this logic and part of the culture here... when it doesn't allow for children, who are need of loving families, to be adopted. It just doesn't make sense to me. It actually seems quite cruel, to be honest. When there are so many children in need of homes... it just seems somewhat barbaric in that a faith/religion/govt wouldn't push for the children w/ no one, no families to be accepted by the masses.

There's a children's home right around the corner from my office... I sometimes wonder about these kids. I think about what they do, what activities they have, do they long for a mother and father, are they happy, will they succeed in life..... but you know, I never see them outside. Sometimes I see things in the paper about money being given or educations being paid for and such, but that's about it. But in thinking about it, I'm not sure that it's for these orphan kids.

Seems there's somewhat of a stigma attached to these children and even special needs kids in this part of the world. They seem like a group that society has forgotten about or shunned even. Maybe I just don't know enough about this topic, but one thing I do know is that ppl don't adopt here, and I don't understand it.

For instance... there is this child that I read about in the paper recently that has been left in this country by his mother and father. He's 10 yrs. old and has never been to school. He has no papers (passport, etc.) and isn't Bahraini. Actually he is w/out country, from what I read. He has just now been registered for classes and from all accounts, is doing well. He was scared at first but now seems to be adjusting. So basically.. this young boy was left here by his Sri Lankan housemaid mother after she left Bahrain and returned to her native country. The boy's father isn't in Bahrain, I think he's Indian, and the little boy has been raised by an aunt or someone from the family, I think... but they can't really afford the child. And instead of someone stepping in and helping to raise this child or adopting him... he has been made to suffer. He is 10 yrs old and is only now going to school. Why is this child and his plight only now being talked about? What's happened for the past 10 years? Apparently, the family doesn't have enough money for books and such, so there was a plea in the paper to donate funds to help out....

I wonder how many ppl will do this - help out? How many ppl donate time and money to these kids that have nothing? It's Ramadan now... a time to reflect and give... but does anyone think of these kids?

Are other countries in the ME like this? Does adoption take place anywhere else? Is there a stigma attached to it in all countries over here or is just some countries? I'd be interested in hearing your views and knowledge on this topic.

Monday, October 09, 2006

addicted to a new series

As of late, you can catch both me and the sweetness watching the Smallville series.... and, I must admit, we're totally addicted. I was a huge fan of the original Superman movies w/ Christopher Reeve, but I didn't get into the Superman series they did after that - the one w/ the dark haired guy... can't remember his name, but it was the one w/ Terri Hatcher as Louis Lane. I thought it was really lame, so I never watched it.

This Smallville series though... gosh, it's really good. The stories are great, character development is terrific, and the acting is better than I ever expected. I wasn't prepared to be a fan at first, cuz from my past experiences, I've never enjoyed such. But w/ this one, well it starts out w/ Clark Kent as a small child being found by the Kent's after a meteor shower in Smallville, and since they couldn't just give up a small child that had no family to speak of, they adopted him. Only learning later that he wasn't a "real" boy after all and that he didn't come from our planet.

It's after this that everything starts to happen. The next episode takes you to when he's in high school and learning about all of his super powers... each one coming one at a time. No one knows at first about him. His family is afraid of what will happen if others find out, and it sometimes even scares Clark when he learns what he's capable of. But later, as time progresses and things start to happen, he lets a few close pals in on his secrets.

With each new episode, you have a new set of problems arising from the various things that happen because of the meteor shower. Ppl are changed in ways that you would've never imagined, have powers that are unexplainable, and so on and so on.

Are any of you watching this or have you watched it? We get the series here on cable, but I'm not sure where it's at in the series... so we've opted for renting the DVDs.

One of my husband's friends started watching the series first and told us all about it, and pretty much insisted that we watch it. I was hesitant and first and refused to watch it... telling myself that it wouldn't be any good and it would be just like the other one.... I was shocked. It's nothing like the other one... they've taken a whole new direction w/ it, so I applaud the writers!

We've now started Season 3 w/Clark taking on a new persona. Some things happened in Season 2 that upset him, so he's left the farm for Metropolis. He's somewhat evil because of the red stone that he's wearing, so you see a whole new side of Clark. Our friend loves this new side of Clark and thinks all guys should have red stones! HA! What about us girls??? ;)

Anyway... if any of you watch it, what do you think? Are you as addicted or don't like it, or what?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

comfort food

today, Les Horton (GDN), wrote about comfort food in his article. it got me to thinking about this, especially w/ it being Ramadan and so much energy and focus being on food right now, so i started running down the list in my mind of my comfort foods. here goes....

1) mashed potatoes (i have to say that i make really good mashed potatoes... i've had some ppl try to copy them here, but can't! ;) ... tip for good ones - use russet potatoes and don't overcook the potatoes and whip 'em until they're nice and fluffy - add lots of butter, salt & don't forget the milk - whole milk is the best and you can add just a tad of cream, if you'd like)

2) macaroni & cheese casserole (this is a dish that my mom fixes for thanksgiving or christmas. it's not the usual "outta the box" kind, but homemade and i love it!!! i was actually sorta craving this today... might make it tomorrow)

3) potatoe and asparagus casserole (this is another fav of mine. i could prob sit and eat several helpings of this, but since it's topped w/ cheddar cheese, it is rather fattening, but gosh, it's oh so yummy!!)

4) i love bread pudding. my mom makes the absolute best... you serve it w/ pudding after it's made and been in the oven and nice and toasty... oh gosh, this is so good. but i can't remember the pudding name and now it's bugging me ... now, i remember - butterscotch pudding... and they don't sell it here!! :( this isn't the english version of bread pudding, just so you know.

5) i love french fries dipped in gravy or chili cheese fries. they make the best in texas.

6) i love sonic burgers.... gosh, i haven't had one of these in sooooooooo long. too bad.

7) fried green tomatoes. this is something my mom has fixed since i was a young girl. i love to make them but only get green tomatoes sometimes here in bahrain, so it's not often that i get to fix them. but luckily, the hubby loves 'em as much as me. sometimes when i make these, i eat so much that it makes me sick. but... they're so good i can't resist.

8) i also love sweets and some of my favorite comfort deserts are brownies, pineapple upside down cake, german choc. cake, choc. chip cookies, no bake cookies (these are an absolute fav of mine), and pudding. i love choc. pudding.

9) my husband also reminded me that i love to sit around munching on chocolate. i'm sorta particular about choc. though and don't like just every variety of it. i love butterfingers (can't get here), hershey bars w/ nuts, choc. kisses, M&Ms w/ nuts, twix, and a few others that i can only get in the States. needless to say, i love candy. :)

anyway... i love food, if you can't tell... there are so many things that i get cravings for and just have to fix. i love good 'ole fashioned american food. the other day these two young guys came into my office at work and were talking to me about food. they first thought i was british, like a lot of ppl think, altho i don't have a british accent but many don't know the accents here... anyway... when they found out that i was american, they then asked me if my favorite food was hamburgers, when i said "no", they then asked if it was steak. again, i said "no". most of the foods i told them about, they didn't know and since their vocabulary is limited and my arabic is limited, it was hard for me to tell them about all the good down home food that my mom makes and i make too, things that i so dearly love.

my mom is such a great cook. i miss that. my younger sis is so lucky in that my mom lives w/ her and she gets to have whatever she wants, whenever she wants. i'm severely jealous over this! ;)

anyway... what are some of your favorite comfort foods? i'd love to hear yours. :)

have a good saturday everyone and for all of you starting your weekend, have a good one!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Born Into Brothels

Born Into Brothels is an award winning documentary made in 2004 by Zana Briski. I saw it on cable prob 3 wks ago. Been meaning to blog about it, so here goes.

I caught the last part of this documentary one evening and, even though, let me say that it touched my heart in such an extraordinary way.

Zana Briski went to the red light district in Calcutta, India, to photograph the brothels there, and wound up befriending 8 to 9 young children whose parents/mothers were prostitutes. My wish is to see it all the way through one day... hopefully our DVD guy has a copy of it.

I caught the film at a place where Zana was taking the kids to the sea so that they could start using the cameras and photography equipment she had given to them - but from reading a review of the documentary, I realize there's so much more to this story that I didn't get to see - she trains the kids, teaches them how to use the equipment, etc. - I didn't learn until later in the film what the picture taking was all about... it turned out that she was trying to help these kids get an education so that they could get out of the brothels.

The documentary follows these kids into their daily lives. It shows the interaction w/ their parents, which was incredibly troublesome to say the least. The scenes fill you w/ heartache and, in most cases, you feel as though you are right there w/ them. There were no interviews of the parents and such... just silent watching, waiting and encouragement.

Some of the kids seem to handle the pain of their lives through joking and kidding around, while some are very serious, and some are troubled young souls. You can see the pain in their eyes, but when they smile, you smile. To watch these kids and the way their parents treat them, well, it makes you incredibly sad. I found myself crying several times before the end of the film. The mothers treat many of them like slaves and/or worse than animals really. They yell and call them names.... even refusing, at the end, to allow so many of the kids to make anything better of themselves. After watching the footage, it's hard to imagine a life such as this. I can't imagine the pain and difficulty of growing up in such horrible situations, especially not having the love from a parent... it's truly sad.

Like I said, the film carries you through the day-to-day struggles of the kids, and allows them to open up and find a freedom through photography. Their artwork/pictures are eventually shown at a gallery in New York so that money can be raised to help fund their education. Many of the kids' photographs are sold during the gallery showing and worldwide, and they even have a showing in India so that the kids and their families can attend, sadly... none of the mothers/fathers/grandparents attend.

In most cases, the children weren't bothered by this and even make excuses for their mothers... I guess their only want is to feel good and to see how much they are appreciated in a world they know so little about. When they realize their pictures are selling, they are all so excited and filled w/ joy. They are so happy to know that ppl really like the pictures they've taken. You should see the smiles on their faces, and the joy they have for the first time. It lifted their pain and brightened their hearts.

One boy, in particular, had a real knack for taking pictures and the producers were trying diligently to get the boy away from his family so that he could attend school.


It turned out that many of the kids highlighted in this film left their families to attend school, but in the end only a few stayed. Many of the mothers had no desire for their children to learn anything in life and insisted that they stay home to help them, to take care of the babies, and made any excuse to keep the kids w/ them or bring them home after the fact. The little boy who was so popular and made such a mark w/ his photography - well, it took forever to finally convince him to go to school. His mother had passed away during the taping of this film - she was beaten by her pimp and, if I'm not mistaken, was set ablaze by him and died - well, the little boy seemed to totally distance himself after this (understandably) and started missing the get-togethers w/ the others kids, even hid away during some of the tapings, so it took forever to find him and then to convince him that he had potential and to not fear leaving.

Eventually, they were able to get a passport for him so that he could attend an event for photography. It was his first time to leave home and to meet other children and ppl w/ the same interests. After he did this, his mind changed and he realized that he really wanted to go to school. It was such a touching moment.

At the end of the film, this little boy was still in school and doing quite well. I guess only about 3 of the 8 or 9 kids wound up staying in school when so many of them wanted it more than anything. Their parents took them out for various reasons and a few of them left on their own. Living in the brothels and being poor was the only thing they knew, so it was easier to go back to that in most cases.

I can't do this film justice really... one, it was weeks ago when I saw it and was reminded of it only today when I visited a movie review blog and, two, I caught the tail end of the film. In saying this, I truly suggest the film to you. It was such a gripping piece of work and showed what encouragement and persistence can do for a child. So many of these kids will have nothing in their lives... many of the girls will wind up in prostitution like their mothers and grandmothers, and no one seems to care. They are very poor and it's the only thing they know.

If you get a chance, watch this film. It touches your heart in a big way... and honestly, I think there should be so many more made like this one... there needs to be a focus on a world that not many ppl think or know anything about. I know I didn't think about this world or know anything of it prior to seeing this film. It was the first time I had heard of this place or saw the brothels in India. I had heard of prostitution there but knew nothing about it.

Watch it if you have a chance. It's such a touching piece of work.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

happiness, love and simplicity

Sometimes ppl wonder why I moved to Bahrain and my first answer should be obvious - for love and for happiness. My second way of looking at it would be to say that it's more of a simple life.... or can be for those who want it. Things can be at a snail's pace, which can be good at times and very relaxing, but I've had those days where it drives me batty... but mostly, I like it.

I'd say that I'm a simple girl. There was a time in my life when I worked a lot, sometimes pulling all-nighters when I worked on large bankruptcy cases for AA&Co. I made a lot of money, which to some would be heaven... but the thing about making a lot of money is that sometimes you realize that money isn't what life's about or that's how I started feeling. Sure, I was able to buy the finer things in life, had a really nice car, designer clothes, ate at some of the best restaurants... but I wasn't happy. I hated my job, my favorite car turned into a lemon, and there's always the next season and the next season and the next season in fashion. So I decided to make a change. I left that job, later met a man who then, later, became my husband and, eventually, moved to Bahrain.

When I was a young girl, I was pretty much a tomboy. Yeah, I played w/ my barbie dolls and loved them, loved doing girly things to an extent, but I also loved to climb trees, play in the barn in hay stacks, feed the pigs and chickens, go on nature hikes w/ my cousins in the cow pastures, and I loved to go fishing. I even dug up my own worms and put them on the hook w/out batting an eye. I loved it. I used to go fishing all the time w/ my oldest brother. He's a great fisherman. Sometimes I'd go on fishing trips w/ him that would last weeks. And sometimes we'd even sneak into places just to fish their ponds. It was so much fun and I loved it. Once I thought I was catching this HUGE fish, it fought me and it took everything I had to pull it in... well, it turned out to be a turtle. We let him go. The one thing that always bothered me though was seeing the fish as they gasped for air. Their gills would move up and down and they'd stare at you w/ those blank eyes... I couldn't stand it. I'd sit there and feel so sorry for those fish. Just wanting to do something to save them. I always felt happy when he finally skinned them so that they'd be out of their misery. Boy, he made the best fried catfish... ummmmm.... it was so tasty.

This all brings me back to my original point... the simple things in life and happiness. I no longer want, like I used to, for the most expensive clothes, the most expensive shoes, the most expensive anything... I was trying to fill a void in my life w/ these things... to fill an emptiness that existed inside of me, to mask a loneliness... and it does work for a while, but then what? Those feelings come back when you aren't happy. It does give you a rush to buy things... it soothes that ache inside of you for a while... but it doesn't last. The thing that lasts is happiness. Do I still like nice things, yes. Do I still buy expensive things, yes.... but my charge cards aren't maxed out and it no longer gives me the buzz like it used to do.

I've realized, thru my own experiences, that being happy is most important. I know a lot of ppl find what they think to be true happiness when spending money but I never did. Don't get me wrong... if I see a beautiful outfit, yeah, I still sometimes long for it and sometimes even buy the darn thing, but it's nothing like it used to be. Plus, things are different now. I appreciate things in a way that I never did before... I guess some of this comes from a maturity, from growing older, from realizing there are more important things in life.... and from finding an inner peace.

Don't get me wrong, I still get unhappy. I still get sad... but I am able to go back to that happy place inside of me when I feel that way. Yeah, sometimes it takes a day or so, but it does come back to me. I have a happiness now that is able to shine inside of my heart, it soothes my spirit and calms me. Is that love? Does true happiness come from love? I believe so.

A yoga instructor that I admire, Erich Schiffmann, says "love is what's left when you let go of everything you don't need." Now... HOW TRUE IS THAT?!!! This is a favorite quote of mine and I find it to be remarkably true. It has a calming affect when you sit and really think about it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

freedom of choice

What is it about some Arab men and not wanting their wives, fiances or significant others to have any sort of independence or freedom? Right now, I'm thinking about how some make their wives and such wear abayas and hijabs/shaylas. How some insist on it.

For instance, I know a couple and she was very open and free prior to getting married to this guy. He knew this about her or maybe not.. I wasn't around then and I'm not really sure how she presented herself beforehand... but anyway. I know that she dyed her hair, wore regular clothes w/ and w/out an abaya, went to coffee shops, etc... now, he won't allow her to dye her hair, she has been told to wear a shayla and abaya when going out and such and she no longer goes anywhere, unless it's during the day while he's at work. She still does most of what he doesn't wan't, but lies to him about it.

She wanted a tattoo, for instance, and he said "no". She got one anyway and told him that it would come off over time - which is a lie. She goes out while he's at work and doesn't cover her hair, and - like I said - she dyes her hair - and I wonder - how does she get around this w/ him - it's beyond me (not like you can't tell that she's dying her hair - does he not notice??).. maybe he's finally accepted it because it is starting to get considerably lighter... so how could he NOT know that she's dying it!??

I find myself wondering about this. Why is it that he doesn't allow her to be herself... to be modern if she so chooses. She was before and he was attracted to it, but not now?!! Oh.. but I forget one big thing.. she is now married to him and Lord forbid someone, a man, look at her! Ok, ok.. she is a tad bit flirtatious... ok, maybe too much so and has taken the flirtations a bit far, so I can understand his logic, but... doesn't one think that he could also be driving her to these distractions by his controlling ways? Would you call what he's doing love?

This is not the only case.. in one of my other jobs, there was this girl engaged to this guy. He insisted that she wear an abaya when going to work and going out.. but she didn't and he didn't know it because she lied and told him that she did. She wore **very** revealing clothes to the office and even went out to coffee shops afterwards w/out covering, and once when a bunch of us were out, she saw his cousin and almost died because she didn't have an abaya on. She ran out of the coffee shop and insisted on going someplace else. It caused a lot of problems for them and he eventually broke it off w/ her. But, he knew how she was before and even left another g/f to be w/ her.... so what gives? I don't get it really.

What is it about men not wanting or allowing their wives and such to be themselves? Is it that they want these women stupid? Is it control? Is it all in the name of religion? I think many use religion as an excuse! Or is it that girls, some girls, take it too far? Is it that they aren't in love and married because it was arranged and don't like the controlling natures of the men? Do men, in the ME, become much more aggressive or jealous once they get married? Is it like animals or dogs where they feel it's their territory and how dare another man see their goods? Maybe they should pee on the girls.. maybe that would help! ;) That way, another male could smell it and know immediately to stay away.... oh come on, it could work.... ;) ;)

I was told to wear an abaya by a girl at the office not too long ago, but there's no way I would. I dress very conservatively.. in business suits, pants suits, long skirts and such, so it's not like there's a real valid reason. I was also told, when I first came here - by some ppl - to wear an abaya when going out and I did for a while, but I refuse to do that now. If I go to a funeral, I wear one, or if I go to certain villages in Bahrain, I'll wear one, but that's the extent of it for me. But I'm a rebel and won't have anyone trying to control me and feel that this is a form of control. I know there are a LOT of women out there who wear them and want to wear them, but there's also a stigma attached to not wearing them. Not for expatriates so much (but we do get stared at), but for Bahraini/Arab women there is a stigma attached to not covering or in some social circles it exists.

I know this lady, she's a news woman here in Bahrain, and she got a lot of grief from a lot of ppl when she chose not to wear the abaya and not to cover her hair. Why does this happen? The ridicule wasn't only from men, believe me. I've heard the stories and it amazes me. I know the reason behind it... but the question keeps coming to my mind - WHY???!!! Why isn't it up to the woman?

People should be free to choose. Women should be free to choose. Some men wan't their women stupid... that way they don't ask any questions or question their authority. Lord help the girls that study in the States and come back to marry a guy from the Gulf! Ok, ok... not all the guys are back wood's thinkers... and many are open and love free thinking women (alhumdallah!), but... there are many out there that aren't... but then again, when thinking about it, I guess the ones that aren't, aren't marrying the girls coming home from the States either.

Both of the men I talk about above are college graduates... and one even studied abroad... so what gives? Oh yeah, the 2nd guy wouldn't even allow this girl to wear nail polish! He used religious reasons for it....

I'm just thankful that I wear what I want, in reason, and don't feel the need to go out looking for any other attention, other than from my husband. I married for love and feel it's the only way.