Sunday, May 30, 2010

Random Pics

some random thoughts and pics from this last week:

I found this at the Dollar Store today. I have not seen one like this in the States with interchangeable cutters. I bought if for $2.

Just in case you buy one, oneday, I thought I would share the instructions and warnings with you (also because the English is horrible!)
“Multi-use Strip-Cutter: The main body mixes theresin metal stainless steel”
1. This product specialized uses for to cut the fruits and melons class vegetables and the fruit, for example: the potato, the apple, the advantage, the cucumber, and so on, cause it to become the strip shape or the laminated shape.
2. This product makes for the high quality material and the staibless steel, environmental protection product, clean health, durable.
3. Easy to clean, disassembles and assembles conveniently.
4. Is the modern family essential good helper.

1. For the health in order to, please first cleans this product before the use.
2. After the use please clean this product, in order to avoid multiplies the bacterium, and lays aside in the suitable position
3. Cannot let the child independent employment
4. When use please note, do not have to use the finger to push the bit directly, in order to avoid cuts the finger

Also it is cherry season! I love cherries!

I just bought some HUGE cherries for $1 a pound! I also bought some plums. But look these cherries are huge (the plums are a little small) but still the cherries are almost as big as the plums!

And since cherries, plums and peaches are in season, I got all these below for $3.60! Yep that is 9 plums, 6 peaches and 2.5 pounds of cherries, 1 pound of plums, and ½ pound of peaches.

OH and while I am sharing pics. I came home late on night this week and found a visitor in my living room. I leave all my windows open, because I live on the 10th floor and can get a nice breeze through the apt with the windows open. Being on the 10th floor, I hardly ever get any bugs or mosquitoes, but this huge cockroach made all the to the 10th floor! 10 cm-really! This is after I stepped on it. Look at the hairs on its legs!


Monday, May 24, 2010

touring the country

Last week, I got to travel around the country to places I have never been before with some other Americans.

Here are some pics from the week:

We had the rare privilege of seeing how clay is made, molded into jars and water pictures, fired, and then painted by a man who has been doing it for over 50 years!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I went shopping with a friend for a baby swimming suit. I was not looking for anything for myself, but you know how sometimes dresses jump out into your hands and say “BUY ME!” So, I ended up buying a dress and a pair of flip flop sandals too. I needed a good pair of shoes for summer. I walk so much here I have worn out the soles of my sandals from last year-except my Chaco’s-but those are not always good when I need to dress up. Anyways, I found a good pair of sandals that will be dressy with nice soles, which are comfortable and all at a reasonable price—which is just about a miracle.

I really did not need the dress, but at this store, which is similar to a Ross, I found this dress that I am pretty sure is from Ann Taylor Loft! (they mark out the brands so you can’t tell) Like I have said before quality clothing is rare here, so I tried it on. It is a simple black dress that is long enough and has sleeves so I won’t have to layer-and it will be cool in the summer time. The dress was actually 1-2 sizes bigger than I am, but I tried it on anyways, and it didn’t look too bad. A national definitely would have worn it tighter, but I am not into tight clothing so much. Haha

My friend talked me into getting it, affirming me that it looked good on me. OH and my dad would be disappointed in me if I do not include that everything was on sale, so I got both my items 25% off! Lol. So when I go to check out, the lady at the counter looks at the dress and then at me and tells me that the dress is too big for me. She sees that the size in the dress is an American size so she converts it to metric sizing and asked me if I realized the dress was a 44-48 or something. I smiled and said yes I know. But still she held out the dress and was not bagging it for me. I explained that I did, in fact, try the dress on and I liked it big. For a moment there, I actually thought that she may not let me actually buy the dress. I would have to either lie and say I was buying it for someone else, or just not buy the dress at all. And then she decided to let me buy the dress. I thought she said that it was okay, because really she likes bigger clothes too. My friend thought she said it was okay, because bigger clothes liked her too. Either way it was funny! We both left the store laughing that only here would the sales clerk tell someone that the clothes they were buying were too big for them!

You have to love living here because you can never predict what will happen or what someone will say.

Oh, and my friend did find her baby swimming suit, so it was a successful venture for everyone. She got the swimsuit for $6 too-can’t beat that!

PS-I have not forgotten about Joha, but like a girl, I wanted to share this shopping story with you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Joha and his sheep

I thought I would share with you some of the stories I have been reading in language class the last few weeks. I think you could classify them as Arabic fables—but I could be wrong. Unlike the ones you and I grew up with, these don’t really have a moral to the story, except to connive and trick people-which makes the stories even more interesting. I was sharing the stories last night with a friend and that is when I realized that they would encourage kids to lie and cheat. They definitely illustrate how this is a shame culture and you never do something wrong unless you get caught doing something wrong.

In class, my teacher reads the short story and then I butcher the story trying to read it as fast I as I can just to get through it. And then we go through and translate sentence by sentence. A lot of times I know the words, but the sentences don’t make any sense until we translate them. It is a good sign for the teacher then that on the third time around, I understand and laugh in all the appropriate places! I am not blonde, I am just an Arabic student! Lol. And then after reading the story, I have to answer questions about the story do excercises using putting new vocabulary words in correct forms in sentences. And conjugate the new verbs in past, present, and command forms for I, we, you (masc.), you (fem.), you (plural), he, she, they.

Here are the stories in my rough English translation. I think they are funnier (and of course less time consuming) if I don’t clean up the stories and translate literally.

Story #1: Joha and his sheep.

Joha cared for a sheep very pretty that he loved. His friends wanted to mock him because they wanted Joha to kill his donkey for them (“him to slaughter for them”=all one word (6 letters) in Arabic---let’s just say verbs are complicated in Arabic) to eat the meat from the sheep. So one of them told Joha: “what are you going to do with your sheep?” Joha answered: “I am going to hide it for my winter supply.” (meaning: care for my sheep and save him to eat in winter). His friend said: “What? Are you crazy? Do you not know that judgment day is coming tomorrow or the day after tomorrow? Bring your sheep here that we may eat of him.”

Joha didn’t care about what his friend said, but his friends came one after another and gave the same speech, until Joha was bored. So Joha promised them he would slaughter the sheep the next day and would invite them with a special invitation to the countryside to slaughter and eat the sheep. So Joha started a fire and began roasting the lamb on the fire. But his friends left him alone with their clothes while they went skinny-dipping in the river while Joha worked on the fire. Joha became angry that they left him and did not help him, so he gathered all their clothes and threw them in the fire, until they burned. And when they returned to him, they looked for their clothes, and saw that they had burned. They wanted to attack Joha, but Joha told them: “What benefit do you have from your clothes if you are sure judgment day is coming today or tomorrow?”

Joha always wins! Here the “phrase tomorrow or the next day” is very common. Nothing is ever for sure, but I have learned that if a repairman says tomorrow or the next day that maybe he will come the next week. The phrase is used to get out of a lot of things. Originally when we read this story his friends went on a stroll leaving their clothes with Joha, and this didn’t make sense to me, so my teacher and I both agreed that skinny dipping made more sense so we changed it!

Okay, this is a long post and it’s dinner time, so I gotta run, but I will post more stories of Joha soon!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sandwich Etiquette

So a friend and I walked downtown to go to H&M at a new outdoor mall yesterday. After H&M we went grocery shopping at a brand new special gourmet “signature” grocery store. It has lots of special imports, sushi, live lobster, and veggies I have never even seen before. My friend and her family don’t like taking taxis though, so as we were leaving, she called her mom to pick us up. She didn’t want to walk up hill with our groceries.

Anyways, so her mom picked us up. My friend asked her mom, what we she wanted to do with her evening and her mom, “have dinner with Laura.” So I accepted the dinner invitation on the first offer, which maybe I should have waited till the second one. I did want to eat with them, but you only know if they are seriously offering if they offer more than 3 times. I feel close enough to this family though, I didn’t think I had to go through all that. Mom said we were going to just have yogurt sandwiches. My heart sank a little. I am not a big dairy person. I don’t even drink milk. On the occasion that I have cereal, I just “wet” it with milk, and drain the milk from my spoon before each bite. I know, I know, I need to drink milk, but moving on…..

So I was discouraged that I would be having yogurt on bread for dinner, but I really wanted to hang out with her family, so I was going to do it. Then my friend spoke up and remembered that I don’t like milk products that much, because she didn’t think I would want the squeaky chewy cheese on my sandwich. Testing the honesty bounds of our relationship, I said that I would rather have the squeaky chewy cheese than the yogurt. And I got my wish! They offered me the turkey that they had left instead!

Okay so that was all in the car ride home. Once we got home, mom started washing up veggies for the sandwiches. We had cucumber, tomatoes, and then fresh mint, and 2 kinds of fresh thyme. She set out the yogurt, cheese, and turkey. And then she set out an assortment of jellies: fig, walnut, pumpkin, and strawberry. Oh and before we could eat our sandwiches, we each had a cup of lentil soup. Then it was sandwich time.

I should interject here, that Mom had her stomach stapled last summer. She was not large, but the people here are VERY conscience of their appearance. My friend and her mom are very health conscious and eat only health food. I had New Years Dinner with them, so I had seen that she eats in a very unique way. So I followed her lead in how she made her sandwich to know how I should eat mine….bet you never considered eating a sandwich this way.

She gave us each a sliced multigrain baguette. She took out the center of the bread and ate it separately, then she would tear a piece of the bottom, piece by piece and make mini sandwiches out of it by putting a spoonful of yogurt and then a piece of cheese and then top it with a tomato and either thyme or mint. When it was my time, they realized that I would need something to wet my sandwich so they offered me some fat free mayonnaise that they had just bought but never tried. So I had mayo, turkey, tomato, iceberg lettuce, cucumber and mint on my sandwich. When I put the top of the bread on my sandwich, I was asked what I was doing. Mom informed me that I was to only make a sandwich out of the bottom of my bread, and was supposed to save the top of the bread for the jellies later! (this is not the national way---this is just her way) According to Mom, it is better to separate your bread out and make 2 sandwiches so that you are not eating so many empty calories. So I took the top of the bread off and ate my half sandwich. Then when she noticed that I had put mint on my sandwich, she told me that was not good, and thyme would be better, so I had to add that to my sandwich. Evidently mint is best with dairy and not with turkey, in case you ever need to know. The thyme was good, but I thought the mint was good too. What little did I know! ;)

When I finished the bottom half of my sandwich, I was then permitted to try out the jellies. Actually, I should say force, I was not too keen on trying fig, pumpkin, or walnut jelly, but they were not bad so I did not mind. The pumpkin was actually chunks of dried pumpkin that were then jellied. So I broke apart the top of the bread and ate it with the 4 different kinds of jelly. They ate their jelly with cheese. Mom says there is nothing better than jelly and cheese; they are just so perfect for each other!

Anyways so that was dinner! That is their common dinner, but they usually did not set it all out on the table this way. So now, you know how to properly eat a sandwich!