Saturday, October 18, 2014

UAE Day 63: and even the kitchen sink.

Decided to wash my new pots and pans from ikea in the sink. Was happy to get the greasy coating off but then I noticed something. All the dirty water from sink is coming out the floor drain. 

My laptop is acting possessed. It opens and closes things and invents many file folders all of its own accord.  I backed up my photos and documents and will try to wipe it and reinstall everything.  Today is not my favorite. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

UAE Day 58: bed

After 57 days in this country, I finally slept in my own bed I my own apt for the first time last night. To be fair, the first 26 days were in a hotel, so I wasn't sleeping on floors/couches the duration. Still, weeks of floor- dwelling has happily come to an end. Sweet slumber! 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

UAE Day 45: everything but the kitchen sink

Yesterday the bed people were supposed to come again. They failed to show. I sat on hold on the phone (I pay per min) for 2.5 hours and when they finally answered the delivery department was closed. Dishwasher connection began leaking again. Still don't know where to find epoxy glue. Then my ceiling began raining, like a rain forest. Thought it might be related to the air con so turned that all off. That made it an oven. I slept on the mat on the floor. Air bed was too hot, the plastic just radiated the humid hot like cooking in a tagine. Slept badly. Woke up congested. Got to work. Someone stole the chocolate bar off my desk that I had brought as a gift for my coworker. I worked late so someone had to have come very late to steal it.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

120 Books

97 down,  23 to go!

1.  Lipstick Jihad:  A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America by Azadeh Moaveni (Recommend- great exploration of being bi-cultural, not quite fitting in anywhere, and all the issues that plague Iran.)
5.   The Things They Cannot Say by Kevin Sites (Thanks Paul)
6.   The Hiding Place by Elizabeth & John Sherrill (highly recommend)
8.  Sweden- Culture Smart! by Charlotte DeWitt
9.  The Swedish Secret: What the United States Can Learn from Sweden's Story by Earl Gustafson
10.  Culture Shock! Sweden by Charlotte Svensson
11.  Christina, Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric by Veronica Buckley (good info, but painfully slow-moving.  First 50 pages were not easy to push through, but it picks up now and again the further along I read.)
12.  What Happened to Sweden?  While American Became the Only Superpower by Ulf Nilson (highly recommend.  honest commentary, great voice- really a pleasant read in terms of a history book.  short, sweet, and informative).
13.  Swedish Lessons:  A Memoir of Sects, Love, and Indentured Servitude. Sort of.  by Natalie Burg (a bit crass, but a funny story)
14.  In Honor of Fadime: Murder and Shame by Unni Wikan (HIGHLY recommend.  Very nice compliment to this book).
15.  Of Swedish Ways by Lily Lorenzen (includes some folk songs and proverbs- nice)
16.  Drinking Camel's Milk in the Yurt: Expat Stories from Kazakhstan by Monica Neboli
17.  Kids of Kabul by Deborah Ellis  (I didn't like this compilation of stories as much as the volume she did for Iraqi children, but still worth reading).
18.  Untold:  A History of the Wives of the Prophet Mohammed by Tamam Kahn (interesting, but a little annoying- includes poetry the author wrote in addition to the biographies of the women)
19.  Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy by Susan Ray Schmidt
22.  100 Letters Home: My Two Years in Kyrgystan by Emily Ross
23.  Cannibals and Kings: The Origins of Cultures by Marvin Harris (feels a bit preachy- some interesting ideas but feels very much like an agenda and not so much an honest discussion- Harris is a cultural determinist and makes little effort to balance perspectives)
24.  The Crisis of Zionism by Peter Beinart  (Thanks Yvonne!- Recommend- very clear and thoughtful)
27.  The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History by John S. Major (Thanks Susan & Bri)
28.  Culture Shock!  Belgium by Mark Elliott
29.  Stories from the Silk Road by Cherry Gilcrest (really lovely illustrations, recommend for children)
30.  I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity by Izzeldin Abuelaish (highly recommend for all people)
31.  Quran and Woman: Rereading the Scared Text from a Woman's Perspective by  Amina Wadud (highly recommend for all Mulisms)
32.  Religions of the Silk Road by Richard Foltz (HIGHLY recommend for those interested in the ebb and flow of various religious traditions- Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity)
34.  Strong was her Faith! Women of the New Testament by J. E. Kalas (recommend)
35.  Women in Islam by Nicholas Awade (highly recommend- nicely organized by topic)
36.  The Alevis in Turkey by David Shankland (academic reading,  very  information dense)
38.  The Road From Morocco by Wafa Faith Hallam
39.  Stolen Lives: 20 Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir (recommend)
40.  Journey to Freedom: Moroccan Stories by Sascha von Bornhiem (do not recommend)
41.  Paradise Beneath Her Feet: How Women are Transforming the Middle East by Isobel Coleman (Thanks Amy!- HIGHLY recommend, very informative and compelling)
42.  Culture Shock!  Morocco by Orin Hargraves
43.  Moon Over Marrekech: A Memoir of Loving Too Deeply in a Foreign Land by  Nazneen Shiekh
44.  Hussein & The Nomad by Rahal Eks (very interesting story- slightly graphic- about the gay male experience in Morocco).  
48.  A Year in Marrakesh by Peter Mayne
50.  In Arabian Nights:  A Caravan of Moroccan Dreams by Tahir Shah (recommend- i love both of his books they include pen-sketches he does.  great story teller and amazing life- survived torture in a Pakistani prison and bought/renovated a villa in Morocco.)
51.  Culture Smart! Morocco: The Essential Guide to Customs and Culture by Jillian York
53.  Nobel Laureates in Search of Identity & Integrity by Hallengren  (nice overview of this selection of Laureates I mostly knew nothing about, but a bit dry)
54.  Five Chimneys: The Story of Auschwitz by Olga Lengyel  (very highly recommend)
55.  American Sniper by Chris Kyle (recommend)
56.  The Couscous Genie: 3 Tunisian Stories by Mohamed Bacha (interesting folk tales, but poorly translated)
57.  Four Fantastic Tales from Tunisia by Mohamed Bacha (similar to his other book, including some errors-it is a shame, these would make lovely children's books).
58.  Silencing the Past:  The Arab Spring , Israel, & the Tunisian Jews by Rob Boublil (recommend.  informative)
59.  Dreaming of a Mail-Order Husband by Ericka Johnson (recommend- compelling perspectives)
63.  Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune (Highly recommend-insightful)
65. 3.096 Days in Captivity: The True Story of my Abduction, Eight Years of Enslavement, and Escape by Natascha Kampusch
68.  Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera (highly recommend)
70. The Wisdom of Big Bird by Caroll Spinney (thanks mom!)
71.  Sesame Street Unpaved: Scripts, Stories, Secrets, & Songs by David Borgenicht (thanks Mom!)
72.  Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis (thanks mom!)
76.  The Six Great Ideas by Mortimer Adler (layman's philosophy)
77. Night Draws Near:  Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War by Anthony Shadid (recommend- valuable insight into the Iraqi experience of the war)
78.  Eleni by Nicholas Gage (highly recommend- wartime account in the modern history of Greece)
79.  Culture Shock! Greece by Clive L. Rawlins
80.  Bones Washed in Water and Wine by Sydney 
Marangou-White (recommend, short read)
81.  Falling in Honey by Jennifer Barclay (ok, nothing special BUT recipes in the back! )
82.  The Feasts of Memory by Elias Kulikundis
83.  I Was a Child Spy by constantine bouboulis
84.  Culture Smart!  Greece by Constantine Buhayer
85.  After the Rosy-Fingered Dawn: A Memoir of Greece by John Walters (A bit chatty)
86.  Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd (very boring)
87.  Only the Birds are Free: The Story of a War Child in Greeceby Anna Christake Cornwell (worth reading)
88.  North of Ithaka by Eleni Gage
89.  Harlot's Sauce: A Memior of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece by Patricia Volonakis (also worth reading)
90.  Things of the Hidden God by Christopher Merrill
91.  Culture Smart! UAE by John Walsh
97.  Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas (highly recommend- funny and fun)
100.  Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russel Hochschild
101.   Imagining Arab Womanhood: The Cultural Mythology of Veils, Harems, and Belly Dancers in the Amira Karmakni
102.   The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists by  Gregory Curtis (highly recommend.  Very pleasant and engaging presentation, builds anticipation of seeing the caves).  
103.  Xenophobe's Guide to the French by Nick Yapp & Michel Syrett
104. Dubai Dreams: Inside the Kingdom of Bling by Raymond Barrett
106.   Sectarian Gulf by Toby Matthiesen (highly recommend for those interested in understanding straightforward Gulf dynamics post Arab Spring).  
107.  Burqalicious: The Dubai Dairies, A True Story of Sun, Sand, Sex, and Secrecy by Becky Wicks
110.  Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea
112.  The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy by Auxier & Seng (recommend)
113.  Church of Lies by Flora Jessop
114.  No Touch Monkey!  And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late by Ayun  Halliday
115.   The Xenophobe's Guide to the Greeks by Alexandra Fiada
116.   Point Your Face at This by Demetri Martin
117. Playing with Words (Greek Idioms) by AIOLOS
118. Greek Proverbs By AIOLOS
119.  Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis & Larry Sloman (honest, raw, but mostly about drugs)
120.  The Holy Quran (in support of my friends during the holy month of Ramadan/fasting)
121.  The Caliphs of Prophet Muhammad by Dr. Muhammad Ali Kossaibati (Thanks Youssra!)
122. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen (Recommend.  Includes recipes and a section after the memoir about the history of Mennonites)
123.  Farewell to Dejla: Stories of Iraqi Jews at Home and in Exile by Tova Murad Sadka
124.  Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katharine Boo (very highly recommend!)
125.  Disgraced by Saira Ahmed (recommend)
126.   Stalked by Alison Hewitt (only available via
127.  Princess: More Tears to Cry By Jean Sasson

3.   A-Z Guide to the Hadith by Mokhtar Stork (Thanks Faisal!! informative, but so hard to stay awake!)
26.  The Old Testament - KJV
49.  An Introduction to Moroccan Arabic & Culture by Abdellah Chekayri
52.  Moroccan Arabic by Aaron Sakulich
128. House of Stone by Anthony Shadid

2.   The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin
4.   The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett (fiction)
7.   The Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski (Thanks Mom)
21.  Kazakhstan: Surprises and Stereotypes 20 Years After Independence by Jonathan Aitken
25.  Polish Customs, Traditions, & Folklore by Knab (Thanks Paul!)
60.  The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M. L. Stedman (thanks mom!)
61.  Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed by Ahdaf Soueif
62.  State of Failure by Jonathan Schanzer
66.  Bush Wives and Girl Soldiers by Chris Coulter
69. Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About  the Jewish Religion, its People, and its History by Telushkin (Thanks Donna!)

Friday, October 3, 2014

UAE Day 47: things you see at Dragonmart

Always wondered where you buy movie theater seats...

romantic giraffes