Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out and About [Yesterday]

Also known as an hour in the day of...

Went to go do errands. Waited until pest control came to spray some humongous green caterpillars that are eating and killing my little lime tree. Appuk pointed them out to me a couple of days ago. They were the same color as the tree - bright green - and looked like a rolled up leaf - they blended so well you would never even notice them unless you were closely inspecting. I didn't take pictures. Should have. So, pest control got here right on time - five minutes early, actually - and when they left I knew I wanted to go to the post office and the commissary. Which, of course, meant getting dressed. Dressed in something other than bike shorts and a tank top - my standard uniform. Having already had the unique opportunity of being asked to leave the building that the post office is in for not dressing appropriately, I put a pair of yoga pants on and a sweatshirt. Hey. It was only 92 degrees out yesterday. Perfect sweatshirt weather, right? Off I went...

A week or so ago I ordered sixteen yards of pink poodle flannel from Fabric Paradise and it is here, already! How do I know it is here?
DH got an e-mail notice from his company that HE had a package waiting for him. [I am nobody, here. Everything is done under DH. Even my medical records are his medical reference identification number with an additional "-1" annexed. Just a woman. The mentality of that runs deep in The Sandbox.*] I had to go pick it up. The Baby needs new pillow covers and bumper pads for her crate. Oh my gosh. They are going to be soooo cute!!! So that was my first stop.

Miss Pretty was working at the post office when I got there. There were two men in line in front of me. I swear both of them kept coming up with more and more for her to have to do for them than was actually necessary just so that they could be in her company. Do I blame them? Heck no. Not only is she a beautiful young woman from the "outside" [that is, what can be seen of her], but she is incredibly sweet from the "inside." She has an absurd and totally heretofore unknown attitude [in this part of the world] way of actually, genuinely WANTING to help. "Yes. I can help you." "How are you today?" "You're most welcome." Stop it. Just stop it. You're NOT doing it right. [Oh, and by the way Miss Pretty - your figure is almost too perfect under that fairly revealing abeya. All of the women here are going to hate you. Is that what you want?]

Of course, as I was standing in line waiting my turn, as is par for the course, my olfactory senses had to be assaulted. There has got to be some spray out there that I can purchase on the internet or somewhere that I can whip out of my pocketbook and douse these women [and some men, too!] with. They are bound and determined that the ONLY smell that ANYONE should smell in a ten kilometer radius is them. Skunk piss would be better. I think. I've never actually smelled skunk piss but it cannot be nearly as awful as the skin, pore, hair and clothe permeating smell that some many women are wearing here. [Does anyone remember Georgio from the 80's? You could NOT walk into a mall in Florida without some young girl armed with a "tester" spraying that on you. This perfume / cologne - whatever it is - is much, much, much worse than Georgio ever was.] If it is the new "in thing" then I hope you are being robbed blind by buying it. It is not pleasant. You don't smell good. And, you really need to learn how to put it on with just a quick spritz. Truly your body odor - if that is what you are trying to hide - has got to smell better. And, because Miss Pretty was alone at the package counter there was no going to another open window for someone else to help the two men in front of me - or me - to avoid being accosted by Miss Stink. For the luv of Pete...

And speaking of... It is sandal season again. Doesn't EVERYONE know the rules of sandals? I guess it has never been published anywhere over here. The women? It is a fifty-fifty as far as those that have had a pedicure in the last month and those that have never had one. I have yet to see a man that has had one, here, and many of them really, really need to. Your dirty toenails are not pretty to look at. You are wearing sandals with your long white dresses and you need to do something about those feet. Even if you decide that a pedicure isn't for you, what is the thing about washing your feet five times a day? How could your feet be so nasty looking and your toenails carrying enough dirt [?] to start a small garden if you are washing your feet five times a day. Apparently you're not doing that right, either. I had plenty of time standing in a line - waiting - trying to hold my breath - while Miss Pretty was helping two other customers - what else are you going to do but "people watch?"

Off to the commissary. Needed only a few things. Bought more than what was on the list [but of course]. There were some melons there that were big and round and just the right "touch" and they smelled so good... Bought one. [It isn't a cantalope. Looks like one from the outside but on the inside it is more of a white / buttercup color than peachy. Oh my gosh. Absolutely one of the MOST delicious melons I've tasted in a long time.] Water and juice. Milk. Bread. There must have been an awful lot of complaints. Delta Bread is back on the shelf. Thank goodness. That other stuff was just terrible. And the juice - here - is something I will miss when we return to the States. Nada makes it. Kiwi-lime is my favorite. No doubt the stuff is loaded with sugar but it just tastes soooo good! We go through a lot of water and juice here. I make sure that each worker gets a water and a juice every day. They are welcome to more - but especially now that it is getting so warm outside - they have got to have water and I figure that the juice with a little extra sugar and calories can't hurt these guys - they are working hard. I load my cart with the water in cases, first. Balanced perfectly. Then some 30 little bottles of juice all in different flavors - Strawberry, Raspberry, Mango, Kiwi-lime, Mixed Fruit [also very very good - tastes like peach], Pineapple... Milk. Bread...

Go to check out. Get to a totally open check out counter. Lucky day. Hold up one juice and say "There are 30 of these." Some of the checkers just click in 30 @ 2 riyals each - total 60 riyals - and it gets bagged. This guy? Nope. Wants to scan each and every single one of them. Do you think I am trying to scam you and get extra juice? Why would I tell you I have 30 and then try to get away with 32? What if I made a mistake when I was loading them in my cart and I only had 28? I must look like the type that would try to "sneak" extra juice through. I will not believe that you need to scan each one for inventory - if that is the case, then why is it that most days I can just say "30 juices" and get it rung in as 30 juices? All depends on which clerk is manning the cash register. Whatever.

Anyway, I've got these two cases of water set in my cart - one in the cart and one on the bottom where that "rack" is just for cases of things like water or soda. Can this guy just punch in the numbers from his little cheat sheet like the rest of the clerks do? No. He calls another clerk over and asks her what water it is that I have. She says, "Evian. 24." I tell him it is the .50 litre size. She says, "24." Yes. That is correct. There are 24 bottles in the case of the .50 litre size. This causes a problem. He can't find "24" on his cheat sheet and I guess because he didn't believe me with the juice he has to see the carton containing the water in order to believe me that it is the .50 litre size [they DON'T make a "24" size, you jackass!]. So he comes around and then picks up the case and takes it to scan it. Talk about doing things the hard way. He puts that carton of water in my cart and then the young woman who is now bagging my things - the same one that told him I had "Evian '24'" - starts putting everything that is in the bags on top of the case of Evian. I also have a case of Al-Qassim Health Water which comes in .65 litre bottles - he has removed this from my cart and put it on the conveyor belt instead of just punching in the number like all the other clerks do. This case does NOT fit properly on the shelf that is at the bottom of my cart. Which, is precisely why I had the Evian on the shelf and the Al-Qassim in the cart. Rocket science. I should have known better than to try to push the cart as it was loaded after checking out. [Where oh where oh where are the two guys who usually push the carts and unload my groceries for me? Busy with others. Not their fault. Those two guys are hard working and I never ever see them get a day off.]

I am capable of pushing my own cart to the truck and unloading it. I did it for years in the States and have done it here, as well. I've just gotten spoiled about having it done for me. Should have waited for one of the guys. Or better, should have insisted on having the cart repacked before I left the store. Made it all the way to the parking lot with the cart loaded like it was when the case of Al-Qassim went off the front of the bottom of the cart - the box split open - and 24 .65 litre sized bottles of water when rolling everywhere. Under other cars, in front of cars driving through the parking lot. How could it possibly have hit with that much force that water bottles when rolling in every which direction? It isn't like I was racing through the parking lot to get to my truck at break neck speed or anything. To anyone who was there - in the parking lot - including all of the car washers [who all raced to rescue the rolling bottles of water for me - thank you very much!] - it had to be comical. 23 of 24 bottles were recovered. The 24th? "Road kill." Not the driver of the mini-van's fault. He had no idea that water bottles were going to be rolling on the pavement as he slowly turned the corner to park and drove right over it as it headed for his path. Doesn't matter. I knew the water should not have been put in the cart the way it was - the Evian HAS to be on the bottom and the Al-Qassim HAS to be in the cart. I will make whoever packs my cart in the future repack it if it ever happens again. Be sure of that.

The box is ripped, but salvageable. The groceries are now in the back of my truck, and box of Evian is there and the mangled box containing 23 .65 litre bottles of Al-Qassim is there. Part of me wanted to go back into the commissary to complain and get a new box of water - with all 24 bottles - the other part of me was just so frustrated that the male clerk didn't want to believe me about the juice and didn't want to believe me about the Evian being size .50 and not "24." To top things off with male clerk - he and I had to argue over my change. My total was 270.30 riyals. I handed him a 500 riyal bill. He wanted to give me back change of 229.70. The .70 is halalas. They are useless. I said, give me 230 back. He looked at me like I had three heads. I don't want .70 in halalas. Give me back an even riyal. We all know that that is how it works here. If my bill would have been 269.80 - he would have taken 270. You don't get .20 in halalas. You round up and you round down. Or, they'll give you a pack of gum that is worth even less than the halalas. So, between the juice, the water, and then the change, I just couldn't be bothered to go back and quibble over a .65 litre bottle of Al-Qassim water that costs less than a riyal [one riyal is equal to about thirty-seven cents in U.S. dollars]. By that time, I was hot - in my yoga pants and sweatshirt - and I was frustrated that I have to deal with crap like this when all I wanted to do was run up to the post office and run into the commissary. What should have been - tops - thirty minutes - was an hour. Is it any wonder I have so little patience sometimes???

*I'm pretty sure I've posted this before... The mentality of how women are regarded, which anyone who reads this blog occasionally has correctly figured out that their worth is of little value. Years ago when my DH was here as a contractor, before I was allowed to join him, he told me about an incident that had happened when his crew van was late picking him up for work one morning. DH is a pilot; he does not drive back and forth to the airport. He gets picked up in a "crew van," a Suburban, and then dropped off. Find an airline in the States that does that for its pilots! Anyway, the crew van was late picking him up one morning. When it finally got to his little apartment to pick him up the driver was apologizing for being late and said that there had been an accident and that traffic had backed up. DH said, "Oh. That's too bad. Was anyone hurt?" The crew van driver responded, "No. Just some womens."


  1. Oh Sabra, I think it's all male clerks period.

    I'll have 20 Kool-Aid or yogurt and they HAVE to scan each one.

    Or, red and yellow apples are the same price per pound and I put them in the same bag, the male clerks will separate them and then ring them up.

    I've come to believe women are smarter and better stewards of time.

    PS; I love these "day in the life" posts.

  2. Don't think I can agree with you on "male" clerks, Janice. Here? It is almost always the female clerks that HAVE to scan each and every single identical item no matter how many you have. The male clerk was an exception. He was also new... Whatever. 30 juices. Promise. And I'm pretty sure about the water sizes as well - having only bought several hundred cases in the last seven years. There is NO size "24." Dumbass.

    Do not, however, disagree with you about women being smarter and better stewards of time. What is it called? Oh. I know. "Multi-tasking." Women are born to do it. Men? Not so much.

  3. P.S. Glad you so enjoy my life frustrations!


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