Monday, June 01, 2009

You ARE NOT really sorry... You are just sorry because I threatened to report you!

Car GMC or Suburban No. DH 8933 at 11:47AM, today. In the parking lot up at the recreation area. Ooooh! Stuff like this - I just do NOT have the patience for it anymore. I never had a lot of patience to begin with, and now that I'm seeing how other parts of the world function and what goes on in this part of the world I have even less for it.

Had to go to the mall today. I've made it pretty clear about how thrilled I am to have to go shopping, here. Shopping, anywhere, in The Sandbox. Do. Not. Like. To. Do. It. DH decided a couple of days ago that he could really use some new sneakers. [While we were in the States, in November, I SPECIFICALLY asked him if we shouldn't be
shopping for some new sneakers for him. He said, "No. These will be fine until next year." And, now... Now he decides that he needs new sneakers. Whatever.] Yesterday I asked him if he wanted to run downtown this morning and see if we couldn't find him a pair - he said, "Okay." This morning? Does he want to go and get sneakers? No. He wants me to go and get them for him because he wants to go play golf and it is just so much more convenient for him to have me take the bus, shop to find sneakers, and then go back again tomorrow if they don't fit so I can return them. Thanks, Honey! I'm so happy to be able to do this for you. [The things we do for love...]

My choice of malls, when I need
to go, is Dhahran Mall over Rashid Mall. However, Rashid Mall has Footlocker, so I thought that would be the better place to start. [Thanks, Carol, for telling me that Rashid has a Foot Locker, now.] So, I put my black bag on and went to catch the compound bus that will take me to Rashid at 9:00 this morning. Oh, joy. I have never learned my way around Rashid Mall and just dread going, but I went. Got lucky. Found a pair of sneakers for DH in his size. Finding sneakers isn't usually the problem. Finding his size is. Big foot. DH better like them; and let's hope they fit.

I figured that since I was at Rashid, I'd go to the sock store. Of, course, since it has been two, perhaps three years since I've been to Rashid Mall, I have no idea where the sock store is - and do not even know if it is still there. Foot Locker is in the new section of the mall, on one of the upper floors. Where the sock store is in relation, I have no clue. So I took the escalator down a flight, walked one direction thinking perhaps I was at least headed to where it might be [and it wasn't] and then turned around and went to go the other direction - but looked across the open area - and voila! There is the sock store! It is, appropriately, called "Socks Shop."

Just as I was about to reach the little shop, a man in his thobe was exiting and started to lock the door as if he was closing. NO! I actually started yelling, "No. You can't close. Wait! Wait! Please. Please wait!!!" Did he? Oh, thank goodness, yes. He opened his little shop back up and I profusely thanked him and went in to find the little footies I need to wear with my sneakers on our upcoming trip. Sixty riyals later [$16.00 +/-] I had twelve pairs of footies.

Life is good. I've got sneakers for DH. Big sneakers. And I have four packs of white footies [the low cut ones that do not show] - three to a pack - to wear. Now what... It has been so long since I've been to Rashid, I took the time to wander around and check out some of the new stores and go into some of the old stores. The perfume / cologne store. I decide to go in and get the cologne that DH is out of. Do I know the name of it? Nope. I just know what the bottle looks like. I am the only customer in this humongous "Faces" store. A man immediately presents himself to assist me. "I need some cologne that comes in a green bottle that is triangular shaped with a black top." He doesn't understand me. I am trying to make a triangle shape with my hands to show him, and repeat that it comes in a green bottle. He starts yelling to his co-workers, in Arabic, and out of nowhere a man comes up and hands me the bottle I am looking for. How's that for service! Most excellent. So we go to the Givenchy counter - which is the cologne brand - and I spray some on me from the tester. Umm hmmm. Smells soooo good. That's it, alright. And then I start testing a bunch of others on my sleeve. [My black bag is going to smell hideous for sometime, I'm sure.] Nah. Don't like any of the new ones. DH wears two different Givency scents, "Very Irresistible" and "Pi." I want something new. Something different. I tried so many different testers - spraying them on the test cards, instead of my sleeve, that by the time I left they all smelled the same. But I did get DH a new fragrance, a Dior, "Higher." And, of course, no sense being in Faces and not getting a little something for myself, too, right? "Amour," by Kenzo. Smells so soft, so summery. Walked out of Faces with a bag full of various samples, too. [Samples would be great to pack - but don't do it. Do not do it. Having learned a couple of times that the "sample" I've packed is not one I would ever wear - a Burberry fragence smelled like celery! This one. Better to know ahead of time what it is that you're going to smell like than after the fact.]

Done shopping. Have everything I need. Still have twenty minutes to kill, but nothing I need to buy. Nothing that I want to buy. So I head to the entrance where the bus drops everyone off to wait. I'll just sit on the bench and "people watch." Not a lot going on, people-wise. Nothing exciting, anyway. Saw an awful lot of men smoking as they were milling about. Do not know how they are going to prevent men from smoking at the malls - like they are going to do in Riyadh at one particular mall - good luck with that. Here, in The Sandbox, that is going to meet an awful lot of resistance. I can just see it. I just quietly wait. Running through lists and lists of things I need to do in the next two weeks before we leave. Do we have this - do we have that - how many hangers are going to be in our room - have to order more beef at the Commissary to cook for The Kids - need to make sure I take everything in to be dry-cleaned, blah, blah, blah.

At the designated time I go outside to wait at the bus stop for the bus. I had the camera with me to take pictures of the horrendous parking jobs that take place at the Rashid Mall parking lot. It was so dusty and windy out that I just didn't bother. Nor, did I bother taking photos of the ladies' rooms to see if they had toilet paper. Dayum. That is something I could have done to kill some time - and it was at Rashid Mall that I first encountered porcelain holes in the floor instead of toilets. Next time.

Finally the bus comes. I've been waiting outside for five minutes. Several other women were there before me. Now - as the bus is pulling up - a couple dozen are headed to get on it. Don't you know that someone tries to cut in front of me getting on the bus. No, not a local woman. An Asian. I said "excuse me," and refused to let her cut in front of me. Not going to happen. First in line, first on the bus. That is how it works. The women that got on the bus in front of me? They were out here, waiting, before me. You - lady with the Burberry [yes, it was Burberry - not a fan of Burberry, and certainly not a fan of their perfume - the one kind, anyway, that smells like celery] bag. No. You are not getting on before the rest of us. To the back of the line. Queue ettiquette. Does NO ONE understand how queue ettiquette works? Apparently not. Anyway. Get on the bus for the ride back to our compound. Uneventful. Exactly what you want the bus ride back to the compound to be.

Here's where things went horribly bad...

The bus pulled into the parking lot and cannot get through. Why? Because two assholes in GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933 were blocking the entire pathway because they are too damn lazy to park in one of the open spaces and they want the closest possible space to the walkway which leads to the cafe. Our bus sat there. Probably no longer than three or four minutes. I stood up. Let us out here. I can assure you that the bus driver, poor [in the literal sense] little Filipino guy wouldn't have blared his horn to get the GMC / Suburban to move if his life depended on it. He can't. His hands are tied, proverbially speaking. He would be the one to get in trouble for tooting his horn at the assholes blocking the parking lot driving lane.

Me? Oh. No. I got off that bus and went straight at the GMC / Suburban. I loudly rapped on the window. "You need to move this vehicle." The driver says, "We are waiting" and he is gesturing at the spot he wants - with a mini-van in it and a family of twelve all trying to fit in and get buckled up and ready to go. I tell him he has to move. There are plenty of other spots available and he cannot just sit there and block the entire parking lot. The driver and I exchange a few "pleasantries" and I end our conversation - which is going nowhere, and neither is he - by saying, "I am going straight to Security, right now, to report you, Number 8933." I leave in a huff. He remains - glued to the center of the driving area of the parking lot - as he waits for mini-van with twelve people to get in. [Take those damn black bags off - and uncover your faces and you could effectuate these tricky maneuvers a heck of a lot faster. I digress.]

I storm across the parking lot to get in our truck [it is an SUV, not a truck - I call it a truck]. Don't you know that a big black Mercedes is blocking me from getting out - because he too is waiting for a spot. I throw DH's sneakers, my socks, the bag with three bottles of perfume and cologne and a dozen samples of stuff in the back of the truck, along with my pocket book, and go over to the driver's side of the big black Mercedes - who rolls his window down for me - and I tell him to move his car right now or I will back out over him. I want to leave. I am not going to wait. We're talking about a parking lot that has forty or fifty empty spaces - but they are not the front spaces and everyone wants / needs/ deserves / is entitled to the front space! Twice we / I am blocked in one BIG parking lot in a matter of ten minutes. This is ridiculous. It is not enough that I am livid at the GMC / Suburban No. 8933 for blocking a bus FULL of women who want to get in their cars and go home - but now, I'm blocked again, personally, by a big black Mercedes. My truck is bigger than your Mercedes. Want to play chicken? I'm ready. Big black Mercedes heeds my warning and he backs up. Next to me, is a woman in a white Pravada [?] [Prodo. Close.] She, too, has been blocked in by the big black Mercedes - her car is still bigger, but she was willing to be more patient than me. Good for her. White Prado pulls out and leaves. I am ready to leave.

The man in the passenger seat from GMC / Surburban No. DH 8933 comes running up to my window. I put the window down. He wants to apologize. "I am very sorry. I apologize." I tell him that I don't care that he is sorry, that I don't accept his apology and that I am still going to report the driver of GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933. "I am his boss, and I assure you it will not happen again. I will not allow him to drive if he is going to be blocking traffic and inconveniencing you. I am sorry." I tell him that I do not believe he is sorry, he is just sorry because I am going to report him. I tell him that he does not have a right to hold up traffic and inconvenience forty or fifty people because he is too lazy to walk from an open parking space. I tell him that not everyone is entitled to the very first space and that I am sick and tired of it. The man tells me that it will not happen again, and he wants to give me his business card and his e-mail address. [Good. I'll have it to give to Security when I report the driver of GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933.] We have words. "Please do not report this incident, I have told you that I am very sorry for inconveniencing you and that I will not allow my employee to do so again." Again, I tell him that his words mean nothing, that he isn't sorry, and the only reason he is upset is because I AM GOING TO REPORT the driver. He is practically begging and pleading with me, he has now missed ten minutes of his lunch hour because of this incident. I tell him that I do not accept his apology and that the only way "people here" are going to learn is if they are reprimanded, punished and humiliated... He and I go round-and-round for a few minutes. I start to drive off. "Please," he says. "I give you my word."

I did not go straight to Security and report the driver of GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933. I came home, instead. I was seething. I probably should have gone to Security. Who knows what would have happened. Quite frankly, I'm still a little bit surprised that the passenger - the man who came to my truck to talk to me - to beg and plead with me not to go to Security - went to the lenghts that he did. Surely he did NOT expect a middle-aged, blonde haired woman in a wrinkled and utterly odiferous [all those men's cologne samples] black bag to be throwing the little hissy fit she threw. He just did not know who he was dealing with. Anyway. Like I said. I didn't go to Security. I probably should have. If whoever has vehicle number DH 8933 assigned to him EVER does anything so much as cross a stop sign path after the line, I can promise you I am going straight to Security. Oh, I'll be watching. But for today, I didn't go to Security. And that is ONLY because your passenger - supposedly your boss - came and humbled himself. Otherwise, I can assure you, I'd have driven straight to Industrial Security - would not have passed "go," would not have gone home. Next time....

And for the rest of the men out there that don't want to park in empty spaces up at the recreation area parking lot? Let this serve as a warning. I've now had two speeding tickets on this compound. DH did not get a "service award" this year, because of MY speeding ticket last year. Do you think for one single solitary skinny second that I'm going to let YOU get away with something that I cannot get away with! Not a chance, Pal. Not a chance in...

That is my rant, for today.

Steve - I know I owe you the "tag" thing. I'm working on it. If it is not up tonight, it will be by tomorrow. I got side-tracked. Had a bad day. Grape-juice glass is empty. Something...

P.S. DH does NOT like the sneakers. I told him about my morning and he actually said, after I ranted and raved, "They look like girls shoes." Can you even believe it!?! You have got to be kidding me, right? I'm thinking that DH might like to think that the couch looks more comfortable than the bed tonight, too, and a whole lot more like a "guys bed" than the king-sized bed in OUR room.


  1. please, please, please tell me you have flowers or pink or something girly on the bed in your room. please?

  2. Bravo Zulu Sabra, let 'em have it! You may have started a movement.

    If we could only harness road rage into some kind of weapon. Totally renewable, environmentaly "friendly", and strong as a good old fashioned 20Mton city buster.

    As for your DH, may G_d have mercy on his soul.

  3. You thinking that there is just a tad too much testosterone happening or something, heidianne? Not to worry. The bedroom is various shades of purple and lavender and plenty girly. There are pictures of it somewhere back in the archives... I did all the sewing for the bedroom - dust ruffle, bedspread, pillow shams, Roman shades...

  4. They do NOT look like "girl's shoes," Tim. His new sneakers. I would never, ever let him wear something that wasn't appropriate - like girl's shoes... He still doesn't like them. I'll head back to the mall, tomorrow morning. I just can't face it two days in a row. Fun, fun.

    And, for the record, he did not sleep on the couch last night.

  5. Okay, so I am slightly confused. Is the bus you take from your compound a large SUV? Or a bus? I get that you had two vehicles blocking your exit from the mall, but did it block the bus you and all the women were on? Or your own private car?

    Being a woman, and having words with the men over there, are you ever scared?

  6. I bought my DH a pair of sneakers in his size. He said they were 'tight'. Okay, I took them back. Second pair, the color wasn't 'right'. I took them back, did NOT exchange them. Came home with my money instead. Guess who does his own sneaker shopping now?

  7. Don't be confused, Kate. I'm sure that I wasn't specific enough with my description - so it really is me, and not you.

    I drove up to the parking lot at the recreation area - there are buses that will take us - the residents of this compound - to various places every morning - several choices - different malls and grocery stores, etc. So I parked at the parking lot and then got on the bus to go to the mall. Got on the bus again, from the mall, that takes us back to the parking lot at the recreation area. The GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933 was blocking the bus from being able to get through. The bus driver opened the door to let us off at a different spot than where he normally lets us off because he couldn't get through the parking lot all because of one inconsiderate and selfish driver - in GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933...

    I got off the bus and went straight to the driver's side of GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933 and told him that he had to move. Then, I walked across the parking lot to get in my truck - our SUV - and that's when the big black Mercedes was parked - waiting - directly behind me and the woman in the white Prado next to me - he was waiting for a spot to open up because he couldn't be bothered to park in one of the forty or fifty open spots that would have required him to have to walk another ten or twenty feet. I told him he had to move, too, and he did. Of course - then the passenger from GMC / Suburban No. DH 8933 held me up... and the rest of the story is all in the blog post.

  8. You are one helluva woman.I would not want to commit a mistake and be caught in your cross-hairs :-)

  9. My bark is a lot worse than my bite, Rasputin...

  10. Show him THESE shoes then. I am buying these today:

    Of course some of the guys at work think they're "odd" or "they look gay" but hey, if you're swinging right and you know your male all the way and you can wear those, then you're totally secure.

  11. I was wondering, since Kate asked the question, are you ever afraid of the men over there?


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