Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keepin' the Lebanese Happy

I totally ditched the heat of the Middle East this summer.
{I am sorry I ditched you Blazing Summer Desert.}
{Will you still be my friend when I come back?}

Well, remember this post?

I did something to make amends to the Middle East that I so quickly ditched...

Do you see any gray hair?

Isn't it great?

Seriously, what will my Lebanese hairdresser and I talk about the next time I go get my hair cut?


Post-Script Confession: I was not going to announce to the blog world the minor detail of finally dying my hair. But, I begged my sister to help me pick the color and do the duty. She said she would on one condition: That I confessed.

There. I confessed. I conformed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


You know I love celebrating culture. One aspect of culture I love to observe is the differences in how people live from one part of the world to another. Now that I am nearly over jet lag {I am now able to at least talk in complete sentences} I made a little list-y of what I have observed these past few days.

1. There is a lot of water in the toilets. My kids were very loud in announcing this fact in the airport bathroom when we arrived in Chicago. So, now a lot of people know that there is a lot of water in the toilets in America!

2. My son noticed this one...and I quote: "Why does that little man just sit in the gas station store? Why won't he come out and put gas in our car for us? What is wrong with him?" My son was feeling very offended for my poor husband who actually had to get out of the car and pump his own gas.

3. The grocery stores are the size of a small village. Literally. My family could live in a grocery store and we would have more amenities there then we would in the small villages I am referring to. We could sleep in the bedding section. Enjoy Starbucks for breakfast. Visit our pets in the aquarium section. Enjoy entertainment in the electronics section. Send the kids to school in the book section. Visit the doctor in the pharmacy. And get some fresh air in the garden section. Oh, and there is so much food too.

4.Speaking of food. When you buy a dozen eggs get a dozen eggs. No poop. No feathers. No rotten eggs. No cracked eggs laced with salmonella. Just eggs. Kind of shocking.

5. I don't have to say a little prayer every time I plug something in.

6. The water that comes out of the faucet. It's clean! AND...the cold water is cold and the hot water is hot.

7. People obey the traffic laws. And they even use turn signals!

We are enjoying the differences! Especially the fact that last night the weather was 50 degrees cooler than the average temperature we were used to. I need a snow suit. Gotta run out to the small village {I mean grocery store} to grab one.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Official Apricot Lady Shirt

There is a great little company here called Jo Bedu.

They make fun of themselves. I am a strong believer in making fun of oneself. They have brilliantly combined the West and the East by making t-shirts and bumper stickers with funny Arabic slang and hilarious Arabeezie {Arabi (Arabic) and Engeleezi (English) put together} sayings/spoofs.

You can buy a t-shirt that says: Wanna get Freekah? {Freekah is the name of a popular meal.}
Or these:

{Jameed is the goat milk they use on their national dish - mansef.}
Speaking of mansef...
Check out this one:

A spoof on this:
Well, look what I found!
In Arabic it says "Bil Mish Mish"
Translated: "In your dreams". It comes from this old Arabic proverb.
Apricot Lady is famous! {on a shirt}
**All the photos {except my new shirt!} were taken from the Jo Bedu Facebook page.**

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Airport Security

We are ten days out from our long journey back home. Another 13 hour trans-Atlantic flight to look forward to! I always wonder why I can't get my kids to sit still for more than 10 minutes at home, yet when we fly, they manage to stay in their seats pretty well. It could be the drugs I lace into their juice boxes. Oh, just kidding, I would never do that.
{Well, maybe I do.}
You will never know.

Memories of airports flash through my mind. And many adventures with airport security. Every traveler has their war stories. Ours involves a very innocent baby named See-Saw.

If you had the privilege of knowing my boy when he was a small one, you probably got to meet Baby See-Saw. Instead of a fuzzy blanket or stuffed bear, my small boy choose a small baby as his security item. We bought it at the grocery store. He picked it out that day - before he could even talk - he communicated to me so clearly as he saw the baby on the shelf that THAT was the item he wanted. We brought it home and as he learned to talk, he would always tell me adventures about See-Saw. I finally figured out this was the baby's name. Baby See-Saw. Here is a very fuzzy pre-digital camera shot of the sweet baby with his baby.

Fast forward a few years and little sister came on the scene. Our little boy insisted that his little sister have a baby See-Saw as well. This photo may explain why...the same woman who lets her babies play with guns may or may not be the same one that drugs them on airplanes.

So, then Baby See-Saw Sister came to join our family. We call her Sista' for short because we like to sound like gangsta's.

It was the Christmas of 2005 and we were travelling to the States for vacation. Airport security was tight. The hotel bombings had just happened and things were still a bit tense. We all shuffled through and to the total shock and dismay of our children, our daughters small pink backpack was tagged a pulled aside. It was hand searched. To the complete shock and dismay of our children Baby See-Saw Sister was pulled from the bag. She was handled by the security guard very cautiously. She was set carefully in a box and to the indescribable shock and dismay of our children, she was carried into a small room near the security post. That got the mama mad. Why were they torturing my children? Why Sista'? What did she ever do?
We waited.

And waited.
Many thoughts and questions swirled through my head.

How do I explain 'confiscation' to my daughter?
What was hidden in that thing?
Was my daughter going to forever be bitter toward the Arab world?
Are we going to miss our flight?
Will we get taken in and questioned?
Will I ever get to shop at Target again?

Then, Baby See-Saw Sister was carried back out of the room.
A very nice man handed her back to my small teary eyed daughter. He explained quietly to my husband that the baby was full of small beads. Apparently, the recent suicide bombers had been filling their vests with similar looking small beads that explode everywhere upon detonation. Who would have known? But Sista' was in the clear. All was well.

It was not until we traveled through two more airports and I was unpacking our bags at home that I discovered I had carried my Swiss-Army knife in my purse with me the entire way home.

Poetic Justice.

Picture for Today: June 30 - July 5

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Things We Miss

We recently took a weekend trip up to the capital city. It was time to go to the dentist, visit some old friends, and get a little work done. The hotel that we stayed at had a fabulous continental breakfast. There were omelets, waffles, fresh fruit, oatmeal - tables and tables of delicious-ness. What did my kids eat EVERY morning we were there?

Plain White American Toast.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Two Simple Questions

We live in a pork free country. It's not halal and all.
1. So who brought a Piggly Wiggly grocery store here?
2. And by changing the 'p' to a 'b'...does that make it all better?
{We have discussed this problem here before...and here.}

Picture for Today: June 24 - 29