Friday, October 21, 2011

Trashy Cats...We Can't Get Enough!

My daughter has spent 5 of her 7 years living in the Middle East.
She has done her schooling in the Middle East up to this point.
She always responds to us with a smile on her face if we talk to her in Arabic.
She will eat seconds and thirds at dinner ONLY on the nights I cook Middle Eastern food.

So, she had some adjusting to do when we moved back to the States.
Her comments after her first day of school here were just so funny.

Mom, everything is organized. You have to raise your hand. Kids stay in their seats at lunch! There is a police man {playground safety person} on the playground. When he blows his whistle...everyone stops and listens to what he says!
Well, after a few weeks I would say she is adjusting just fine. I am so proud of her. Last week she was so excited to take her first trip to the school library. She got to pick any book out of the thousands of books our well stocked school library has. And I just could not contain my laughter when she came running off the bus last week and showed me her prized library book:


Yup. An entire children's book about a trashy cat {eats felafel scraps, sleeps on a torn off piece of Persian rug, lives in the veggie market...this trashy cat is legit!} living in Cairo who tries to sneak into the museum to see the famous Egyptian cats. {Here is a look at our visit to the cats at the British Museum}

I was frankly appalled that someone would write an entire children's book about a trashy cat, but I may have to put this one on her Christmas list.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And...We're Back...Again

Well Apricots Today followers...
I have some news.

I just love packing. Sometimes on boring days I just fill suitcases with clothes. {NOT!}

We are back in the boring ole USA for a while. We transferred back to the States just a few weeks ago and since then I have been mulling many options over in my head about what to do with this very fun blog. At this point, I have decided to end it on a high note. I will do a few more posts that will wrap up my thoughts on our recent life in Jordan...but stay tuned. We may have many adventures ahead that will spark another blog.

We have enjoyed settling back in the States and seeing family and friends. Culture re-adjustment has not been too bad this time around {so far!}, however...
  1. I am continually shocked at how much food is available EVERYWHERE and have had to ramp up my yoga efforts a bit because I won't fit into any of my clothes if I don't do something drastic! {because I, of course, can't NOT partake in the food available EVERYWHERE!}
  2. We have done a ton of driving and I find the driving very mundane and non-exhausting. I always know where we are. I always know where we are going. I always know what side of the road to be on. I can always count on everyone around me to know what side of the road to be on. I stop at stop signs. I use blinkers. And people around me do the same. It really is a nice system {but boring}!
  3. I was forced to taste test all the new flavors of M&M's {see point one}. So far I have tried coconut, peanut butter, dark chocolate and pretzel. I also found that if you consume a large amount of the different flavors {all at the same time}...you will get a stomach ache. You should try it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our Neighbors

There is an old Arab proverb that has given us some food for thought...


We have some 'interesting' neighbors in our building.

I'll just list the highlights:
It started at 5:32 am one morning.
Gunshots.
Outside our bedroom window.
Upon further investigation {after I was revived from my heart attack}, we discovered that the city came by and shot the neighbors dog.
At 5:32 in the morning. With a high powered rifle.
In front of our bedroom window.  Left a blood trail on the front walk.
Here are the facts we collected:
  • their dog got pregnant
  • their dog had a puppy
  • the puppy ran loose and started snapping at people
  • the puppy got shot {in front of our bedroom window}
  • the mom dog got pregnant again
  • the mom dog had puppies
  • the mom dog got poisoned
  • the mom dog died
  • the new puppy tried to eat our daughter on our front porch
  • I was tempted to report the puppy to the city {but was worried about the gunshots}
  • meanwhile, during all the puppy drama, the guy next door got married again {a second wife who interestingly, his son who was at university in Russia, brought his father a second wife as a gift upon returning for a visit}
  • the guy got divorced {from the second wife, she couldn't learn Arabic fast enough}
  • they crashed a taxi from their taxi company
  • they made the crashed taxi into a yard ornament
  • his poor first wife walks everywhere, even though they own a taxi company
  • and his son travels via roller blades everywhere
  • they own 15 cars
And this was all in a three month time period.  We should have interviewed the neighbor prior to renting our apartment.

Note to self: memorize more Arab proverbs

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Out and About: Road Signs







* These fine photos are brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. These photos were not selected for their composition and/or artistic quality. They was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and street signs in foreign countries make me laugh. What did you see crossing the road out and about today?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11: A Repost

The memories I have of 9/11/2001 reside in the same place as the memories I have of 9/11/2005. The following post I wrote a few years back in memory of 9/11/2005 and am re-posting on this 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001. Terrorism is a world-wide tragedy!

******************************************************************************************************* 
Original post date: November 12, 2009
A day full of emotions and memories recently went by:

9/11 means something to most Americans.

9/11 also means something to most Jordanians.

November 9th, 2005
{In most of the world dates are recorded day/month/year}

We were living in Jordan four years ago.

We heard the noises, the screams, and the sirens as simultaneous terrorist attacks bombed three local hotels. The three hotels formed a triangle around the neighborhood we lived in. Many of our local friends called to see if we were OK. One bomb killed much of the bride and groom's family where a wedding reception party was just underway... almost all Jordanian.

There were many 'firsts' with this attack.
This was the first of its kind in Jordan
The master-mind behind the attacks was a Jordanian.
One of the suicide bombers was a woman.

A sad day. A sad memory.

I took a drive around the city the next day. I had to see. I felt so sad for the people of Jordan. Thousands were out driving and walking despite the warnings to stay home. The streets were full. Flags were everywhere. National colors and pictures of the King were displayed proudly.

The human experience I was a part of that day was the same one I had years before on 9/11/01.

The losses were mourned.
The act was denounced.
The nation was declared strong.
The flag was honored.
The leader was respected.

There was strength and unity in the suffering.

*photos from inside the hotels were from the Jordan Times

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hamburger or Cheeseburger?

This is an actual conversation we had at Burger King. {I could not make this stuff up!}



BK man boy: Welcome to Burger King. Can I take your order?

Hubby: Yes, I'd like two kids meals.

BK man boy: Do you want hamburgers or cheeseburgers?

Hubby: Hamburgers, please.

BK man boy: We don't have hamburgers.

Hubby: Oh, can I have cheeseburgers then?

BK man boy: No, we have no hamburgers. At all.

Hubby: Oh, then why did you ask if I want hamburgers or cheeseburgers?

BK man boy: {annoyed look}

Hubby: Ok. Do you have chicken?

BK man boy: {annoyed look} Yes, we have chicken. {duh, we are Burger King, of course we have chicken}

Hubby: Then I will have two chicken kids meals.

BK man boy: {annoyed look} Fine.

I guess the next time we want burgers, we'll have to go to KFC.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We're Ba-ack

These were my observations traveling back to Jordan this week:

Walking through the Detroit airport, my roll-y suitcase and I stopped in our tracks when I saw some bright lights flickering down a small hallway. This is what I saw:

iPod vending machine? Yes. It is.


14 hours later, I was enjoying the cool desert air in our early morning drive from the airport to the city. And this is what I saw:

Making adjustments on the satellite to get the Disney Channel?

{So, I had to borrow this photo from the internet because my camera was packed away}
But, along the airport road next to some of the wealthiest houses in Jordan are Bedouin tents interspersed through the desert. And outside most the tents were propped up satellite dishes.

Conclusion: Each society has its own way of dealing with technology addictions!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blog-A-Versary & Give Away

Congrats to the three winners!

*********************************************************************************************************

Still on family vacation! Still on a blogging vacation too!
BUT...I can't let Apricots Today TWO YEAR anniversary go by without a GIVE-A-WAY!

Thanks for reading Apricots Today! There will be three winners and each will receive one of these items.

A beautiful hand carved olive wood bowl from Holy Land Designs.

A unique hand made necklace from Green Creations. Rolled from recycled magazine paper.

100% all natural olive oil soap. Made in Jordan.


Here is how to enter...
  • You must leave a comment on either the blog or the Apricots Today Facebook page.
  • In the comment, tell me an observation you've made about the culture you live in that has made you giggle recently.
  • I will pick the three winners that made me laugh the most-est.
  • I will send to anywhere in USA or Europe and will hand-deliver to any Jordan readers when I am back in September.
Contest Rules:
  • Enter once, so pick your funniest story.
  • Any derogatory, mean, or racist comments will be deleted and will not be eligible for the contest! And if you dare do that, I may box up a wild trashy cat and send it to you.
  • Contest ends August 31st.

Here is my recent culture giggle to get it started:
We were driving through a small town in Northern Michigan and a small convenience store had this sign posted out front: "NOW SELLING ALCOHOL STARTING 8AM ON SUNDAY" {Wow, am I the only one that finds this mildly disturbing?}

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Favorite Cross-Culture Movies

Because I love crossing cultures and I make fun of myself for all the messes I find myself in doing so...it is nice to laugh at someone else from time to time.
Here are my top 5 movies that will give you the giggles about crossing cultures:



5. New In Town (2009)
A high-powered consultant in love with her upscale Miami lifestyle is sent to a middle of nowhere town in Minnesota to oversee the restructuring of a blue collar manufacturing plant. After enduring a frosty reception from the locals, icy roads and freezing weather, she warms up to the small town's charm, and eventually finds herself being accepted by the community.

4. Dances with Wolves (1990)
Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways.


3. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Toula Portokalos is 30, Greek, and works in her family's restaurant, Dancing Zorba's, in Chicago. All her father Gus wants is for her to get married to a nice Greek boy. But Toula is looking for more in life. She meets Ian Miller, a high school English teacher, they date secretly for a while before her family finds out. Her father is livid over her dating a non-Greek. He has to learn to accept Ian; Ian has to learn to accept Toula's huge family, and Toula has to learn to accept herself.

2. Outsourced (2006)
When the call center he manages in Seattle is outsourced to India, Todd travels there to train his replacement. Housed in a new building that looks like an above-ground bunker, the call center is staffed by willing novices whom Todd trains to sound American. One star on the staff is Asha, who teaches Todd that he should learn about India, and proceeds to do just that.



1. West Bank Story (2005)
A musical comedy set in the fast-paced, fast-food world of competing falafel stands on the West Bank. David, an Israeli soldier, falls in love with Fatima, a beautiful Palestinian cashier, despite the animosity between their families' dueling restaurants. Can the couple's love withstand a 58-year-old conflict and their families' desire to control the future of the chick pea in the Middle East?







Check them out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independance Day East and West

We happened to celebrate two Independence Days this year. We were in Jordan on May 25th and in the States on July 4th. You know what I noticed? They were pretty much the same. I guess patriotism is a universal value and a good excuse to blow up things and watch very fast airplanes. Our pictures are proof that even 6000 miles apart...the world really is a small place.

May 25th - geraniums and flags
July 4th - geraniums and flags


May 25th - bombs bursting in air
July 4th - bombs bursting in air

video
We shot this video from the 8th floor of our hotel room. We had gone to the capital for the holiday weekend and were a bit surprised by the fabulous air show we found ourselves in the middle of.

July 4th - Blue Angels @ Battle Creek, Mi Air Show (photo credit goes to my cousin Sarah!)

Independence is a wonderful thing!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Similarities

Last summer, I posted some obvious differences between the two cultures we live in that I observed right away upon arriving to the States. This summer I took note of the many things that just seem to be the same all around the world:

1. After a very long and involved battle with a cockroach invasion in our house in the Middle East, we came 6,000 miles to the West and had a very long and involved battle with horse flies. Life has troubles wherever you may find yourself.

2. From the pick up games of football {soccer} that happen in the street in front of our house in the Middle East to the pick up games of basketball that happen in the driveway in front of our house in the States. No matter the language, age, or family background, if there are kids playing, other kids will join. Don't you wish adults would learn more lessons from kids?

3. Around dusk {cue the creepy music}, anywhere around the world, you must be very careful while driving. Did you know there are 60,000 deer/car crashes in our State every year? Did you know that there are 60,000 trashy cats that live by our dumpster in the Middle East? Watch out. I'm not really sure {and don't want to find out} which would cause more damage on a car - a deer or a trashy cat. I do believe the trashy cat would cause more psychological damage.

4. McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut - Why, oh why have these places invaded the entire known world?

5. Of all the places we have traveled in the world, I have observed that for the majority of the population, life is very much about family. A job that provides. Health. Peace. Love. When looking at these factors, the world really does become a small place.

Here's to enjoying your small slice of life in the world today!

Horse flies and all. {swat}

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Diary of a Jet Lagged Family

Sorry. I was too jet lagged to get this photo in focus.


There is nothing funnier than the strange things that happen while one experiences jet lag. I documented our experience the last time we traveled from the States to the Middle East.

This is a story about a family who traveled ahead of time and lost almost a day and most of our sanity too.
  • We ate dinner at 4:30 pm
  • Boarded plane at 9 pm
  • Ate dinner (again) at 10:30 pm
  • Slept on and off and watched movies until 6 am
  • Ate breakfast at 7 am
  • Had a cup of coffee with my breakfast, which I realized was about 3 pm at our destinations local time {that could cause trouble}.
  • Arrived at first destination at 10 am body time {BT}, 6 pm local time {LT}.
  • Drove to guest house, showered, watched a bit of TV, ate candy bars.
  • Kids requested food, I fed them oatmeal at 8 pm LT, 12 pm BT .
  • I went to bed and 8:30 pm LT, 12:30 pm BT and slept until 1 am LT, 5 pm BT.
  • Hubby went to bed at 9 pm LT, 1 pm BT and slept until 1 am LT, 5 pm BT.
  • Son went to bed at 8:30 pm LT, 12:30 pm BT and slept until mid-night LT, 4 pm BT. Played.
  • Daughter colored until 10 pm LT 2 pm BT and then slept until 2 am LT, 6 pm BT.
  • 2 am LT, 8 pm BT we all ate Cocoa Pops.
  • I read. Hubby read. Kids watched another movie.
  • I went back to sleep at 3 am and slept until 5 am.
  • Hubby and kids went back to sleep at 4 am and slept until 5 am.
  • We all got in a taxi and headed back to the airport at 6 am.
  • Had coffee and breakfast.
  • Flew home.
  • Cleaned house {loads of desert dust!} and unpacked.
  • By 10:30 am, I was starving, so I started making lunch. My hubby told me I was crazy and sent me to bed.
  • Kids watched another movie {that was probably #10 in the last 24 hours!} and both fell asleep.
  • I woke up at 1 pm and we all ate lunch. The kids cried multiple times they were so tired.
  • We perked up a bit and went swimming to help us stay awake.
  • We all headed to bed at 8 pm and slept 15 hours straight!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Another Year: In List Format

In 24 hours we will be on a plane headed back to the States for our summer vacation! I took these fun comparison shots from the airplane window on our trip home last summer.

Taking off from the Middle Eastern desert.

Landing 13 hours later in the green Midwest.

All that keeps going through my head is: we survived another year!
{I celebrate that no matter what country we live in.}

Our year in review:
  • I didn't accidentally say any racial slurs. {At least that I was aware of}
  • I didn't make any obscene hand gestures that started a riot. {At least that I saw.}
  • I only walked into one men's restroom {and that was in London...where all the signs were in English!}
  • I survived all my driving adventures and mis-adventures. If I got paid a dinar for every time someone turned left from the right lane in front of me, I would have made a lot of money this last year.
  • I traveled thousands of miles without getting patted down in too many uncomfortable places. {and I didn't loose any luggage...or kids}
  • I had the privilege of experiencing many different cultures.
  • I kept my blog rolling.
  • I enjoyed working with all the amazing ladies at Green Creations.
  • My baby girl learned how to read!
  • I got to see Queen Rania with my own eyes!
  • I got rid of all my gray hair.
  • I learned more Arabic.
  • I got to live in a house with a sea view!!
  • I survived a few rocket attacks on my city.
  • I didn't conquer my fear of scuba diving.
  • I was not abducted by trashy cats.
  • I survived a near deadly amoeba.
  • I made friends with great people from all corners of the earth.
  • I fell in love with London.
  • I laughed a lot.
It was a good year.

Now I'm ready to go experience some reverse culture shock for a bit.
{and eat lots of ice cream, go to Target, and speak some English}

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Police Here and There

Police in the States: I don't mess with them.
Police here: I may mess with them a bit. {In a respectful way, of course.}
Why? Because there is a lot of room for negotiation here. I adapt well to this part of Eastern culture.

The other day, I could not find a parking spot. I had to run into a shop to buy two items. So, I decided to park right in front of the police hut on a major intersection in town. Of course, the police guy came out and said I couldn't park there. I smiled and said:
"Ya know what? I just have to run into that grocery store right there and grab two things. Can you be so kind and watch my car for me while I'm in there? Come and get me if you need me to move my car. And, while I'm in there can I get something for you?"

He smiled big and away I went to get my shopping done.

And these friendly military police are always happy to pose with a cute little boy who finds them fascinating.



Car accidents are another 'flexible' area. A friend wrote about our most memorable car accident here. I recently hit another non-moving vehicle. {moving vehicles are too hard to hit!}

Poor Prius
Right after I hit the guy {just so you know, I was driving under the influence of 'I have not had my morning coffee yet', it was just too early} he jumped out and exclaimed:
Praise God, You Arrived Safely
I gave him the same response and said I was so sorry. He replied that it was no big deal because nothing really happened to his car. {it was my car that got junked up}
I asked him if he wanted me to call the police.
He looked at me like I was on drugs and said:
What will they do?

I don't know. I could have asked them to bring me some coffee...and I think they would have!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Out and About: Seven Eleven

* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I went in to this Seven Eleven looking for a big Slurpee machine in the back. All I found was a guy praying with a sticker pointing to Mecca on the freezer door. I figured for some, that adds a new level of convenience to this convenience store. What did you do out and about today?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nobel Peace Prize Candidate?

I was recently downtown in a tourist shop looking for some gifts. Since this area of the world is full of olive groves, there is a vast assortment of items carved from olive wood. I glanced up on the shelf and saw this display:


Yup, there's:
David with his junk hanging out
Mary {a very man-looking virgin} with Jesus
Salahadin with dagger in tow (or perhaps Lawrence of Arabia, since that film was shot near here)
Some crusader guy with cross in tow
and...
Batman

I think this shop owner should get points for promoting peace in the Middle East. He just goes to show us that there truly is something for everyone!

And really, if there were any problems, Batman would take care of it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Out and About: Roadkill



* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content. Photo credit goes to my good friend Jason on this one...someone who I admire for making my husband pull the car over in the middle of the night on the desert highway to 'get the shot'. {no, we were not the unfortunate souls who hit this thing}

I am the Apricot Lady and being from Michigan have seen many different kinds of roadkill in my day...but was a bit disturbed by this one. What did you hit out and about today?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Made in China: It Just Might Make You Curse

I have discussed before the severe lack of shopping in my cute little city. {Which works out great for saving for our kids college funds!} But, at times get a bit frustrating. AND when you do stop into a store, hoping to find what you need, MOST items available are made in China. There are apparently many different grades of made in China quality...and we definitely receive the bottom of the barrel.

Below are the instructions that were printed on the back of a vegetable peeler that one of my friends purchased. This entire essay seems to explain the problem we find with made in China products...including the major F bomb you will find toward the bottom. What in the name of all things to do with vegetable peeling are they trying to explain?


Peeler Usage Manual

With gratitude meaning you use the product of the my firm, very much from the bottom of the heart. Please must take a look first this manual before using, in order to use in the exactitude. Pleasing furthermore must keep this manual.

Attention: Please at the time of dismantling wrappingly, be carful and do not run into the knife blade, because of for mow the wound hand easily.

The attention that use the top orders:

  • Please at before using have a meal first rinse liquid that having and using cleaning empress use again.
  • Divided by the vegetable, fruit exluding, cannot used for the other. It is in view of the fact fo fake the thing of the blade, so while using please watch for the safety.
  • The handle is placed in to slip away the slippery appearance descend (oil, water, wash away dirt etc) to please do not use.
  • Were sliced the object accumulate the small time, pleasing watch for the finger do not want to touch with blade, because incaution cut the hand easily.
  • The absolute prehibition against child uses alone. While using must adult together, teach to the right operation method in chile, in well carefully of foundation, send greeting the whole usage.
  • Descend to please do not use at the appearance that transformed.
  • Under the heavy circumstance in burthen please avoid usage, for cause like this and easily the product transforms.
  • Please do not used for the strong and tough material, cause razor blade indentation, mistake an etc. easily.
  • Please do not put by the side of fiety and near. Because the resin may take place to melt, burn, transform the excrescent circumstance in etc.
  • Please wash, clearly wipe using to fuck, make it kept to the best dry, whereas, cause easily the rust, germs breeds.
  • Such as usage the metals brush, grinds the powder, etc. wash away dirt, cause the wear and tear easily.
  • Please place the place that can not take in the child takes care of.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Out and About: Rough Day in the Desert



* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I have many theories about what happened to this poor ram. What conspiracy theories did you come up with out and about today?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out and About: Too Bad if You Want It


* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I WAS in the market for a 25+ year old poop brown colored Mercedes...but I guess this one was not meant to be. What did you find disappointing out and about today?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Night with Her Majesty Queen Rania

After my major 'royal fever' disappointment last month: Will and Kate went to Figi or something like that for their honeymoon...B.O.R.I.N.G. {I think it had something to do with the 'minor' world event that played out in Afghanistan the day after their wedding. World events never have good timing.}

Anyway, It was all redeemed last night!
We had the privilege of attending the graduation of the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts {RSICA} at a beautiful resort here in town.
AND.

Fun Facts about RSICA: In 1989 Steven Spielberg was directing "Indiana Jones 3" in Petra. He became friends with Prince Abdullah {who became King in 1999}. Later His Majesty sought Spielberg's advice on setting up the first MFA program in Cinematic Arts for the MENA region. In 2006 a partnership was established with the University of Southern California of Cinematic Arts and in 2008 the school was started in Aqaba, Jordan.

Here are my observations after reflecting upon this delightful experience:

1. Security was not that tight. I actually had major doubts that she would be attending because of the low security. I mean, there were a few secret police sitting in the audience. {nice looking men sitting in the audience, nicely dressed...alone...with no date...too obvious}. We had to go through the normal hotel security to get in. And she, of course, showed up with her security entourage {which were just more nicely dressed men...who could probably bench press me a few times}. But, hey! She is the Queen of an Arab country. I found it endearing that security was not nuts.

She was sitting in the front row next to the balding guy, in front of the priest with the big hat and long hair.

2. She was not the main speaker. In fact she did not speak publicly at all. She sat in the audience. She walked up on stage at the end to hand the graduates their diplomas. She shook some hands and squeezed the cheeks of some babies and then was off. She did not make herself the main attraction. The ceremony was full of the personality of the film school and the creative, accomplished graduates. She is the Queen of an Arab country! And it was not about her. It was about her honoring the graduates.

The beautiful Queen Rania is standing in the middle in the white dress

3. She spent a few minutes talking to the graduates. Can you imagine what this must have meant to them? After the photo that was snapped above, she turned and quietly talked to many of the graduates. The ceremony was still going on and we all just waited as she personally took time to do this. That was classy to me. She did not just show up to shake hands. She showed up and made an effort to personally congratulate them.

4. She was elegantly simple.
This came across to me in the low security and the way she honored the graduates. She just did not make a big deal of herself. She was dressed in a simple summer dress. Her hair was down. She came, she watched, she left. Simple said a lot about her.

Image by Nasser Ayoub from jordantimes.com

5. What a country! Since we moved here years ago, I had a goal of actually meeting the Queen some day. This country in the size of Indiana! And I didn't think my goal was too unreasonable. Last night I got a step closer. I still would love to meet her and speak with her. In fact, during the ceremony I ran through some ideas of what I would say if I had the chance to meet her. I figured I would have time for 7 words max. This is what I came up with:
You are just so cute. {lame}
Will you introduce me to Will and Kate? {too selfish}
I watch you all the time on youtube. {sounds too creepy stalker-ish}
Thank you for what you do for arab women. {too obvious}
God give you and your family strength as you lead this country. {true, but she probably hears that all the time}

So, this is what I settled on:
Queen Rania. You rock. {I figured this may be the perfect opener for a great conversation!}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Would You Run 242 km All Night Long?

Well, I have neglected my blog these last few weeks. No good excuse...just living life!


Dead 2 Red from Joe Thomas on Vimeo.

My husband ran in a race at the beginning of March called the Dead to Red. Yup, that means they run from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea...that is 242 km {150 miles!} ALL. NIGHT. LONG. through the desert. The teams can have up to 10 runners and they are able to choose how the race is divided among the team. The video above documents how his team ran the race.

He did this race in 2005 as well. He says it took him 6 years to recover before attempting it again. INSANE.
Scott running in 2005 Sunset @ the Dead Sea

After the race this year, he submitted an article to a national magazine and they published his story.



2011...still running.

So, would you run 242 km all night long?
Not me.
I'm boring.
I usually just sleep all night long.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Out and About: The Pharmacy


* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I run down to the corner to get my drugs. What did you do out and about today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Back Window Wisdom

I gather a wealth of wisdom off the back windows of pimped out cars. Most of them are Kias or Lancers {yes, those really fast ones}. There seems to be this trend among young men to put inspiring quotes in their back car windows using big window cling stickers. Usually in flowery writing. Some in Arabic. Some venture out in English. These are the ones that really changed my life this week:

Dream Nice. Hit Your Target.

King of the Rood

Oh Brother, You Are My Heart

Lovely Heart. What Dreams Are From. 


But the one that wins it all this week:

Looks like we all have two options...

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Love/Hate This Place

Well, here we are again...with major world news unfolding before our eyes.
And here I sit again.
Wondering why I decided to write a blog about humorous things I find in the Middle East when the last few months have been a little less than humorous around here.

The other day {it had been one of those days!} I had to force myself to make a list of all the things I love about living here. {Anyone ever have those days?} I'll share some highlights:
  • school uniforms {never any clothes drama in the morning!!}
  • fresh squeezed lemon with mint drink
  • seeing religion play an important role in everyday lives
  • sea side living - slow pace
  • sun almost every day of the year
  • the people I work with whose lives are being changed
  • friends from around the world {our gatherings look like a session of the U.N.}
  • the lack of temptation for consumerism  {because there is not a whole lot to buy here!}
  • nutella {it literally tastes good on anything}

okay - so a lot of my list has to do with food
but there are many more things...trust me!

Now unlike the picture my happy happy funny funny blog portrays, I also hate living here in many ways. You wanna hear them? {tell Pollyanna to go in another room for a minute}

  • we live under constant stress and anxiety because of language, and culture, and raising kids in a foreign land, and driving, and working, and terrorists, and...
  • recent world events have torn our hearts out, infuriated us, built up compassion, and made us want to puke all at the same time
  • we will never understand all the nuances of the culture we live in
  • we always miss our friends and family
  • cryptic warning messages from the State Department {which all became clear last night}
  • we have suitcases and stuff and houses all around the world {I must be part sheepdog as I exhaust myself trying to herd everything all the time}
  • and the biggest one this week: Will and Kate postponed their honeymoon! Is there no end to the bad news on BBC? She was going to be my best friend. Boo.


Well, this has been a long ramble. And if you are still with me, you probably expect me to end this with some great quote about how trials and struggles build character and wisdom {which they do and I know they will}.

But I have no such quote.

My only solution right now is to try to find the best thing in my pantry to spread nutella on and have a little feast. Gotta run!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Out and About: Cats



* This fine photo is brought to you from the Apricot Lady Collection of Random Funniness. This photo was not selected for its composition and/or artistic quality. It was selected purely because of its bizarre content.

I am the Apricot Lady and I laughed an evil laugh when I saw this little kitty stuck in this big palm tree. {I know, I am just wicked.} What did you laugh at out and about today?