Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Also Available in Lemon Fresh Scent!

Hello all, and welcome to the new and improved Bedouin Project, a kind courtesy of Omar Chatriwalla who, I think, did a fantastic job turning my crackpot conception into feesible reality. Many, many thanks Omar.

Well, I'm presently writing to you from the Great White North, and I don't just mean the snow, though there is copious amounts of that. I really had forgotten just is around here. Now, those of you who know me, know that I've often griped about North America in general, and Waterloo, Ontario in particular, but having said that, I present to you the top 5 things I've missed about being here:<>

  1. My family, of course. God love 'em, they're a handful sometimes, but I love 'em just the same.
  2. My dog. He technically falls under the category of "family" but I think he deserves his own mention. Who can resist those eyes, barely visible under his fringe, and that crooked-toothed overbite, in desperate need of some radical orthodontic work?
  3. Friends. Again, I like to include my friends (actual friends, not "I just met him twice at a couple parties and now we're best friends!") under the category of family, but they too deserve their own special mention. I shan't name names, but you know who you are and I love you all dearly.
  4. BEER! After extensive (and I mean EXTENSIVE) sampling of the various ales and lagers London has to offer, I have come to the conclusion that English beer is actually monkey urine. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a dirty, no-good liar. Canadian beer is fantastic, and for anyone who hasn't tried it, go do so now....NOW! what're you waiting for?!
  5. Hot and cold water coming out of the same faucet. England, home of the industrial revolution, England, which once colonized the better part of the world, has separate faucets for hot and cold water, leaving you with the uncomfortable choice of either freezing your hands off, or scalding them. At no point did anyone think of combining them?!
Well, since getting back to Canada I've been running the family/family friends gamut, visiting here, there and everywhere. Anyone who's ever seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding will understand what Egyptian family get-togethers are like. I also have a couple papers which I should be working on. "Should" being the operative term.

Also, weird thing happened one of my first days here. I was driving around town with my mother, and she asked me when I thought I'd be ready to settle down, get married, start a family etc. I almost swerved off the road! Now, knowing my mom, the question was asked more out of genuine curiosity than a typical Egyptian mother "...Because I know a nice girl..." type of sentiment, but still, it's not something that had ever come up before! Anyways, I told her that I couldn't even start to think of doing so until I had completed my education, so that should keep her off my back for another 10 years or so.

Alright, well, that's all for now. Remember, the best motivation to keep me updating regularly is regular comments, so keep 'em coming!


Friday, December 02, 2005

Almost forgot...

Omar, who has been kind enough to work on designing my blog template has shown me a sneak preview of what it'll look like. It's something of a departure from my original design, I'd call it a vast improvement upon it. So watch this space for new and improved Bedouin Project coming soon!

These stories are true...

...only the names have been changed to protect the innocent and embarrassed.

Like I said before, I've decided to include some anecdotes to give you all a flavour of what life is like here. I'm not sure how entertaining you'll find them, it might be a matter of "you had to be there" with some of them. Also, alcohol will probably figure quite prominently in most of these stories, but I assure you, we're not just perpetually drunk here. Sometimes we're asleep.

So, to start with, a mutual friend of Nesma and I, Mo, went to university in Scotland and now lives in London. He had often regaled us with tales of the drinking escapades of his Scottish friends, so it was therefore with much eager anticipation that we received news that a few of them were coming to London to visit. It was agreed that we'd all go out on a Sunday evening, Nes and I advertised in our residence, but only two people decided to come, my Turkish flatmate and an Indian guy. I mention their nationality only because it comes into play later. So we all go out to a club in Leicester Square called Metra, which was pretty expensive. So one of Mo's friends makes a calculation and finds that it'd be cheaper to order alcohol by the bottle than buy individual drinks. So he orders a bottle of vodka for 65 pounds (approximately $130 cdn). He offers all of us drinks until it's finished, and then he orders another! Not to be outdone, another one of the Scottish guys orders two bottles of champagne simultaneously. I should add that we were all fairly inebriated before this. This puts my Turkish flatmate over the top, and we decide she's ready to go home, so the Indian guy from residence volunteers to go home with her.

This is where the story gets interesting. Apparently, as they're going home, they get stopped by two police officers, who are concerned about what this Indian guy is doing with this obviously drunk girl. So they start asking my Turkish flatmate "Do you know him? Are you alright?" etc. The Indian guy attempts to reassure the officers that he indeed does know her, that he's trying to get her home safely, etc. whereupon my Turkish flatmate starts talking in Turkish. It went something like this:

Turkish girl: "*rambles in Turkish*"
Indian guy: "I don't understand what you're saying"
Cops: "Are you okay miss?"
Indian guy: "Yes, she's fine, tell them you're fine"
Turkish girl: "*rambles in Turkish*"
Indian guy: "I don't understand anything you're saying!"
Turkish girl: "*rambles in Turkish*"
Indian guy: "*rambles in Hindi*"
Turkish Girl: "What? I don't understand you"
Indian Guy: "Now you know how I feel!"

So, somehow they made it home. Meanwhile, at the bar, we're all pretty loaded, particularly Mo's friend that ordered the two bottles of vodka. The bouncers come in to kick us out when Mo is like "whoa, hang on guys, he's the only one that's drunk, take him out, we'll stay." So...that's what they did! This all happened unbknownst to me. So, a couple hours later, when we all decide to leave, we walk out, and there's the vodka boy slumped against a wall waiting for us! I should also include this: when this guy gets drunk, he'll randomly and without reason just, mid-sentence. He'll be like "I think I went to this bar last...AAAAAHHHHHH...time I was in London!" It's really quite amusing.

Okay, well, that's story-time for today, I'll try to think of some amusing incidents and share them on here, let me know if I'm boring you or anything.