Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Major Busy with my new Space Shuttle

And ready to pull my hair out. What's left of it. What the heck was I thinking?!? I bought a serger. Spent no less than four hours today just trying to thread the dayum thing. It is that complicated even with colored charts and diagrams. It is a sewing machine for goodness sake - not a piece of scientific equipment. I'm calling it the Space Shuttle though. No offense to our brave astronauts, but honestly I think flying the Space Shuttle has got to be easier than getting a stupid serger to operate. And it is still not working. I think am sure it is defective. The sewing guru is coming tomorrow morning at 8:30. If it doesn't work for her - it is going straight back to the store. Not screwing with it for an entire day, again tomorrow. I was so excited about it. Like a child opening at toy on her birthday. Party hat is in the trash at this point. Not excited anymore. Frustrated beyond belief. Is it just me?!?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Busy [and Maybe Feeling a Little Lazy, Too]

Trying to finish Atlas Shrugged in the next few days... Went downtown this morning with a friend and bought a serger. Have a few sewing projects to attend to. Also, "back to work." Finally. I am genius. I'll let you know why - and how - later. Not today. Rained this morning, and now it is cold and windy outside. Must have been the change in the universe when everyone left their lights off for Earth Hour - except for Al Gore* [who, by the way is nothing more than a large (figuratively speaking) bloviating political hypocrite; big surprise].

Goings on in The Sandbox...

A funny. "When daddy's knot is naughty." [Knot really that funny, actually.] "A Saudi father in his mid-sixties brought a sharp end to his son's happiness when he took as a wife the sister of the girl who his son coveted to marry." Had to glance at it twice to make sure the father [read: pedophile] didn't marry the girl [read: child] his son wanted to marry. Either way. Only in The Sandbox...

How is it that the majority of the crimes in The Sandbox are solved because someone "confesses?" Hmmm. Ponder that... The man who was left dead in a pool of blood in his apartment last week was murdered by three Bangladeshis. "The primary motive behind the murder was a sum of SR7,500 which the victim had in his apartment. The three men broke into the apartment stabbed the Pakistani man and then fled. ...the men have confessed to the crime and have been charged with murder." Probably just super-duper, top notch detective skills and not forced confessions, right?

An Asian expatriate has been sentenced to 40 lashes for using a cloth that he shouldn't have. The Asian man has said he won't do it again.

How is it that stealing a sheep or a couple of sheep deserves a much, much stronger punishment than stealing guns? A couple of sheep thieves - two of them are being lashed like 400 times and spending four years in jail, the other one - being lashed 200 times and spending two months in jail - something like that [the two reports are somewhere in my archives]. Stealing sheep is not nearly as dangerous to the general public as stealing a gun is, right? [Oh, my gosh, there IS a joke in there somewhere, for sure!] Yet the four charged with stealing three rifles are all going to jail for a month. [Care to guess the nationality? Perhaps that has something to do with the difference in sentencing guidelines. 'Ya think?] A man had four men come for lunch and three rifles disappeared. "One of the accused later confessed to hiding the weapons in his clothes..." You can't hide THREE rifles in your clothes if you are wearing jeans and a t-shirt. A thobe? Guess you can hide quite a bit under one of those, though.

*Read it at WZ's place, first.

What the He11 is Wrong With People

I don't mean here. Which, of course, isn't to say that The Sandbox doesn't have its share of deviants. It does. But I mean in the States. Last week there was piece of sh!t lovelle mixon killing four police officers and wounding another because he was a yellow-bellied somethingorother that didn't want to have to go back to prison - for the rape of a TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRL.

Yesterday morning Robert Stewart killed seven residents of a nursing home and a nurse - for no particular, yet known, reason - and injured others, including a police officer. According to this, "Stewart was not a patient or an employee at the nursing home and isn't believed to be related to any of the victims." Just another piece of sh!t who believes it is alright for him to terrorize innocent [mostly elderly!] men and women and take their lives on a whim.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lovelle Mixon - Piece of Sh!t

As usual, late to the party, but...

Wanna make your blood boil? Watch this:

The man is solely responsible for the deaths of four brave police officers who left families and friends because he didn't want to go back to prison after violating his parole. His DNA provides positive proof that he raped a 12-year-old girl in January. Somewhere I read that he may have raped more than one young girl. [He was married.] Sounds like he had quite the background of crime, if you ask me, starting off as a juvenile delinquent and continuing until just recently, minus the six years he spent in prison. Psst. Here's a little tidbit of advice for anyone that aspires to be just like this POS: If you don't commit a crime then you won't have to worry about doing any time.

The YouTube video has probably already given the rest of those Oakland street thugs more than their deserved amount of attention. I did not read all 1,603 comments that have been left, but of the many that I did read - only a couple - just a couple - are supportive of the POS and his lifestyle. Yeah. He was trying so hard to be good and get a job and lead the life of a fine upstanding young man. Gimme a break.

Watch the video. I saw it at Nice Deb's place first, and then again at Moonbattery. Had to watch it twice. Just couldn't quite get over the sheer and utter gall!

It starts with a couple of Oakland street thugs accusations that the police "always wanna shoot somebody." Bullshit. Get real. I am not going to say that there are not a few bad police officers - there are, no doubt - but for the majority of them, they are fine men and women who are willing to do a dangerous job because they believe that what they are doing is right and they are willing to do it for far less pay than most of us would be willing to settle for. God bless them all - our officers in uniform. Not for one skinny minute do I believe that police officers "always wanna shoot somebody." Then another guy says, "We're here today to do no different than what you saw yesterday..." He's referring to the massive services that took place to honor the four MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD police officers and he has the audacity to compare THAT to honoring "a young brother who we felt symbolized the resistance of African people who are terrorized daily by the police force which are an occupying army in an African community."
He said what??? WHAT THE F_CK!?!

First of all - you are a long way off from any "African" community. You live in an "American" community. Your long-deceased relatives may have come from Africa, but that does not make you "African." My relatives came from Sweden and England; I don't refer to myself as a "Swedish-English-American." Just stop it. You can be a color if you so choose but you are NOT at this point, some five, six or seven generations later, an "African," unless of course you just arrived on the boat. Most of you didn't. You've been here a long time.

Anyone care to venture a guess as to why the police need to be in THEIR community to begin with? Any community, forget just their "African" community. Because there is trouble OR because they have been summoned. Police officers, as a general rule, really aren't out in their patrol cars looking to "shoot somebody."

The ridiculous march was to let people know that there is another side to the coin - that there's a voice out there. You're right and that voice is almost as sick, twisted and deranged as the POS who killed four police officers. The "narrator" says, "this is the voice of the slaves." What are you talking about? Slavery has been dead in America for more than 140 years. You want to see slavery? Move to the Middle East. You can have your chance, here. New slaves domestic workers are always needed. You want economic development? Get a job. You want social justice? Try assimilating.

His cousin says, "he was a real black man, not scared." What kind of drugs are YOU on lady?!! He was a low-life criminal who shot FOUR INNOCENT MEN. If that is a "real" black man [and I don't think he was one - a man, that is - black maybe, but not a man - face it he was a wuss!] then I'd hate to see what you consider to be the opposite of your hero cousin. And, if he wasn't scared, then what the heck was he doing hiding out in a closet in his sister's apartment with a gun.

There are a gazillion comments about this all over the web. Many are articulated in a much more apropos manner than what I have spouted out, here. Check out the comments at Debbie Schlussel's site, and Moonbattery's, and of course, the site of the renown Michelle Malkin. Flopping Aces has a nice post on the tribute of the four slain officers.

A little interesting to note that the video has been removed from YouTube, already. Didn't like the flavor of the comments, perhaps? The truth hurts.

[I can't get the link to work for the post at Moonbattery. As soon as I can "fix" it and get it working, I put it where it goes.]

I Knew This

...but didn't want to admit it. Lobsters and crabs feel pain. Well, duh! Of course they do. I've seen "Deadliest Catch," and "Dirty Jobs." Very much aware of how crabs are treated, thank you very much. Not pretty. In my entire life I think I have only cooked lobster one time. There is no way, at this point, I could put a living creature in a huge pot of boiling water. Now, I am going to have to rethink my crab habit. Probably one of my favorite foods.

I don't eat red meat, I don't eat anything with feathers [no poultry], I will eat a little pork here and there - selectively - I just can't think about it being anything other than nice, neat, clean little styrofoam packages if I am going to eat it. Poor little Wilbur... I eat very little fish [mostly I just don't like it - and then there is the issue of sea lice in farmed fish - and fish that - oh my gosh - can't even be called fish!].

Looks as though I will be living on cheese bread and chocolate for the rest of my life.

Death Penalty

Yes. I am all for it. I believe that it keeps crime from happening. Actions deserve consequences. The U.S. is namby-pamby when it comes to punishing criminals. Wimps. But is really isn't the fault of most Americans. It is the fault of lawyers, street activists and the ACLU. Mostly the ACLU. I believe that many Americans, given the opportunity for a voice, want criminals punished and do not want to pay for them to languish away in cushy jails and prisons for decades on end at enormous cost to taxpayers. Sheriff Joe Arpaio is an exception. He gets it.

They get it here, in The Sandbox, too. No monkeying around. You did a crime. You are found guilty. You are punished. That is all. Two more beheadings yesterday. I do not necessarily agree with a lot of what happens in this country, but have said time and time again that the United States would be doing itself a favor if it learned by example how to deal with criminals.

What? Was that burger too overcooked, or something? An Asian restaurant worker was stabbed and killed in a dispute over a meal with a customer on Thursday. The alleged murder [alleged? he killed someone! he is not "alleged"], a 27-year-old customer [care to guess the nationality?] turned himself in to the police.

Interesting that a "dowry cap" can be set and established, but a minimum age for brides still cannot be agreed upon.

PCRC kind of sort of. A man was run over on Thursday. No information given about who ran him over and whether or not speed was a factor. Of course, in my humble opinion, had the car that ran him over been driving at a reasonable speed then the driver might have been able to stop in time to avoid running the man down.

Five Asians have been busted for making booze. Still nothing on the five, six or twenty-one "locals" who were busted at a small local airport with drugs that they were taking to friends only a short plane ride away at another small airport. Why is it that we've not read about it in the news, as yet?

This is just another one of "those stories" that makes you shake your head in bewilderment as to why and how it can happen. An Indian pharmacists is owed $19,390.34 by his employer. The pharmacist, fully identified by nationality AND name, "has been engaged in a legal battle with his employer for two years. ...The pharmacist has accused his employer of applying delaying tactics to deny him his rights." Ya think? Nah. That couldn't possibly happen. Hmmph. Apparently it is. The Court issued its verdict last June "asking" his employer to pay the compensation owed within a month. The Court asked? So much for what I said about the U.S. taking some lessons on its justice system from here, earlier. At least the courts in the U.S. don't "ask." They "order." Big difference. G'normous discrepancy in the judicial systems here with regard to criminal versus labor issues, though. And what would appear to be quite a bit of bias in favor of the employer, as well. Always. This case has been lingering in the Labor Court since August 2007. Part of the reason that it is still hanging around is because the sponsor, or employer, has not been "ordered" to appear for hearings. He was probably "asked" to appear. Guess he declined the invite. This unfortunate pharmacist and his family are going to be hanging out a while longer; the next hearing is scheduled for June 2010. The employer - who, of course, is NOT identified either by nationality OR name - has turned the table and accuses the pharmacist of wrongdoings... There is just as much unbiased, fair and balanced reporting done here as in the States.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Panties All In A Wad

Actually, I don't blame these women. Not one single little bit. I, too, boycott the lingerie shops, here. No point in buying any under "things" in The Sandbox. Every woman knows that there are certain, ah-hem, items that absolutely must be tried on prior to purchasing them. Bras. If there was some universal way to make sure that a 32AA was the same 32AA all over, then it wouldn't be an issue. But a 32AA by one brand may be and is very likely completely different than a 32AA in another brand. [Although, in all seriousness if you are wearing a 32AA you don't need a bra; you need nothing more than an undershirt.] A 36C, for instance, is NOT the same as a 38B. Even if the salesMAN insists that it is. Ah, no. It is not. And, if you are purchasing bras from a shop, here, and a salesMAN tells you that one is the same as the other... or that you should be wearing "this" size instead of "that" size then you are dealing with a man who has completely undressed you with his eyes and managed to see you in your birthday suit under your abeya and your clothing. There is quite enough perversion, here, thank you very much, without having some strange man picturing you naked.

A small group of women have launched a campaign to "push for implementation of a law that has been on the books since 2006 which says only female staff can be employed in women's apparel stores." Small group, indeed. Unfortunately, until ALL women here band together and start boycotting the lingerie stores completely and the bottom line is affected [$$$] absolutely nothing is going to change. It is 2009. I don't know the exact month the law was put "on the books" but I recall reading about it. Here we are, three years later. Men are still selling bras and other under garments. We have some nice lingerie shops, here. La Perla, La Senza, a few others. I'd link to them but they are, of course, blocked. Trying to view something like bras and thongs on-line is considered to be p0rn0graphic and we can't have that!

I've not been to one of the "stand-alone boutiques" that are in some of the malls that have "women-only sections." Can't say one way or another what they have to offer. Very, very little of my shopping for anything but groceries or paint is done in The Sandbox. Supposedly those "shops have no windows to ensure passing men cannot look in - and giving women the freedom to actually try things on." Call me untrusting, but I'm not going to be trying something on in The Sandbox - and especially bras or underwear - where I have to undress. Not to say that I haven't. I did. Once. In a broom closet, because I was not going to pay a small fortune for a bathing suit that could NOT be returned without trying it on first. I left both my bra and panties on when I tried it on - because, well, come on - you're in a dayum broom closet! Who's to say that there aren't others that might have a "view" to that broom closet. I did not buy the bathing suit. It was 700 riyals. $188.00 for a bathing suit? No way! Ever.

Which is why I say "untrusting." How can you be so sure that even in those "women-only" shops and dressing rooms that someone hasn't hooked up some sort of camera or telescope or what have you? A closed society does that kind of thing to your psyche. Of course, I know it has happened in other parts of the world, too, but I just think I, personally, feel a little more secure about the issue shopping at say Victoria's Secret and taking my clothes off to try something on in the States, as to ANY dressing room here. When men do not have the opportunity to see what is quite natural then they are going to go to any extreme possible to get their chance. No. Not all men. But I will have to opine that just with the few instances where young men have gone out of their way to "tsk tsk" or "click click" with their tongues because my head is uncovered and that is NOT the norm, here, is enough to spook me into believing that there can't possibly be a safe enough place to be undressing anywhere outside of my own home, here in The Sandbox.

Oh, and for the record - I think I have mentioned this before - JC Penney does ship internationally and you can try whatever you want on in the privacy of your own home and return it if it doesn't fit. Yeah. Shipping is expensive. It is just part of the cost of living in The Sandbox. Victoria's Secret does, as well, provided you can get to the site. For most of us, however, that site is blocked. The "powers that be," hard at work protecting us from deviant thoughts. Whatever.


I do not know what to do. The pictures are all on our computer under a file called "PMB" for Picture Motion Browser. Videos... Lots of videos from the last year and a half. And pictures. I've typed a couple of posts and tried to get there through this program, Blogger, to put pictures in. I "click" on the "picture icon," and then go to "Browse." When I get to PMB there is ONE file in it called "Filter Tree." But I know they are there. I know I have pictures. I have seen them. I have watched some of our videos. This is my fault for not standing next to DH when he put all the pictures and videos on and not saying, "What are you doing? No. You have to put them in the HP program that I use ALL the time!" DH is playing golf this morning [today is different than any other day? no], and when he gets home I will ask him for some help. I have tried. This kind of thing frustrates me to no end. I just want it to be so simple. I want to move the mouse and click and have it done. And it just isn't. If I have learned any lesson in all of this, it is that when we go to Greece in June I will use MY camera for everything!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rumor Running Rampant

Happens in a "small town community." Didn't see it in either of the papers. It happened while we were gone. Drug bust at a very small local airport... All arrested - how many? Depends on who you talk to. Between a small handful to twenty-one. Not a single man of the bunch was an ex-pat. How come it hasn't been reported?!? Supposedly they were all getting ready to board a plane to deliver their goods to friends at another small local airport. The authorities were tipped off and none of them got on the flight. Heh. Are they all still in jail? How big was this bust, anyway? Rumor has it that a few of them had more than just a little of the hard-pressed wacky smoke stuff for personal consumption. You know what that means, here. How come if it would have been a non-local it would be in both of our newspapers? Just curious. Inquiring minds want to know.

And, again, my thoughts race to justice in the States. Or non-justice as the case may be. Take a few lessons on how justice is served and punishments doled out in this part of the world. The United States is too chicken-shit of its own shadow to do anything but cater to the criminals. [And, that, by the way, includes those in the current administration - and a select handful of individuals who were in prior administrations, as well - who are raping the American public on a daily basis.] That POS that shot and killed three [four? did he die, the fourth, or is he still on life-support?] police officers in California would never have had the opportunity to pull such an atrocity if the United States had any balls and handled the justice system in a similar fashion as to how it is taken care of, here. Of course, the United States hasn't got any [balls, that is] at all, especially now that we have a president in training pants.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those brave officers' families.

The family of the POS that shot them? My thoughts are that your son enters a place that no one wants to go... The world is a much better place without him consuming the air and taking up the space meant for the rest of us.

A little more information than I had previously seen on the POS, here. [Thanks, Vermindust.] It will make your blood boil if you haven't already read it! But Michael Savage is spot on target and only confirms and validates what I've been saying, here, and for years prior:

"So once again we see what the lawyers, the street activists, and the ACLU have done to this country. In my opinion, they should be charged with accessory to murder. A society in which women can be raped, people can be carjacked, police officers can be murdered while leftists help those who do it cannot long endure. When the vultures of our country outnumber the lions, the country is in serious trouble. It doesn't matter whether they live on Wall Street or in East Oakland."

Tell it, Michael Savage. Amen, Brother!


So what that we just left Singapore where it rained every day but one. The Sandbox gets so little rain that it is worth getting excited over. It has been a steady rain for the last half hour. Yay!!!

DH is playing golf. He debated this morning whether to wear pants or shorts. He chose shorts. He also debated whether he should wear his short-sleeve pullover windbreaker or a long-sleeved one. He chose the short-sleeved one. It is cold out [okay, cold is relative], but it is only about 60 degrees out there right now. Cold as far as I am concerned.

Perfect day to curl up on the couch and read another couple hundred pages of Atlas Shrugged. I think I'm going to go do just that.

Oh. Pictures finally made it to the computer. Thank you thank you thank you, DH. I just need to figure out how to get them here. They are on a different program than what I've been using and don't seem to want to "pull up." I'll play with "PMB" again, later this afternoon.

Maid in Coma

After banging her own head against a wall. Umm hmm. Sure. What is the point of even reporting crap like this? Does someone honestly think that a report that says, "The housemaid of Asian nationality reportedly did not wish to return to her homeland, and resorted to banging her head against a wall, resulting in being admitted to hospital [sic] in a coma" is going to be believed? Someone must or it wouldn't be taking up a single paragraph in the paper. But come one. Really. Seriously. WHO bangs their own head against a wall so hard that they put themself into a coma?!? Never mind. It is just another disposable maid. Move along folks. Nothing to see here...

Nothing to see, here, either. Just another India worker who plunged to his death from a high-rise building. Disposable. Get another worker.

A young man [nationality? guess!] has been sentenced to 15 years and 40,000 lashes for having an illicit relationship with a "non-Saudi" girl which resulted in her "accidental" death when she jumped out of the vehicle she was in with him and was run over by a truck. 40,000 lashes. Not a typo, on my part. 15 years in prison. Quick math. 40,000 lashes, divided by 15 years, equals 2,666.66 lashes per year. How will they be doled out? Monthly? That's 222.22 a month. Weekly? That's 52.28 a week. Daily? 7.30 per day. How can that even be possible? The death penalty was being sought by the prosecution. I'm guessing the young man, whoever he is, might be wishing for the death penalty. [If there is a typographical error in the paper's article, and it is corrected, I'll make sure to post it.] The young man is appealing the sentence [if it is reported, you'll read it here]. Must have been some super-duper really, really prominent and important non-Saudi girl for the sentence to have been this severe.

You know, for all the times I make light of PCRC, truly I do feel some compassion when a child is killed. It is not the innocent child's fault. It is the parents' fault. Parents who do not put their little children in safety seats and who do not stop to consider what the consequences of their actions might be. Like in this instance, where a father left his three-year-old daughter [unattended?] in a vehicle with the motor running so that he could run into a restaurant to pick up lunch. Dumbass. Yes, it was an accident. But that should not absolve you - the dumbass father - from blame. You left your little girl in a car with the motor running. Who does this?!? [Happens in America, too, so not directing this at any particular nationality. Stupidity is endemic world-wide.] If she was in a child-safety seat, chances are pretty good that she would have remained in the seat while you ran to get your lunch and she wouldn't have been hanging out the window and able to somehow operate the electrical function that allowed the window to be raised to the point where she suffocated. I remember struggling with the fasteners of child safety seats. They are not manufactured to be operated by little three-year-old hands. Child safety seat? Here? They are a rare sight - and I do mean rare! You'd be more likely to see flying pigs in this part of the world than child safety seats. Was your little girl in the front seat of the vehicle - hanging out the window - when she was somehow able to operate the electric window that caused her suffocation? If she was in the back seat, why didn't you have the "child safety" mechanism turned ON that prevents children from being able to "play with the buttons?" It is sad when any child dies. But this is an accident that could have been prevented with just a teeny tiny iota of common sense. Never mind...

Shocking. Just shocking. "Religious police accused of torture." Hmmm... Whodathunkit? A report by the Saudi Society for Human Rights "has presented a long and detailed list of accusations against the religious police in its 100-page report to the Shoura Council, the highest advisory body in the kingdom." The report "essentially charges the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice... of 'exercising excessive powers that are actually not in its jurisdiction.'" The media is being blamed. Um-hmm. "There were several complaints abou tthe torture and even custodial deaths against the members of the commmission," says the document. "Often these incidents ended up in the newspapers, but 'in such cases, the commission officals have resorted to blaming the media and playing down the reports as exagerated ones.'" Well. Okay, then. Now we know.

Oh. Some good news. That little eight-year-old girl who was married off to a pedophile by her father to "settle his debts" IS going to be allowed a divorce! Well. Kind of. Apparently that the child has won an appeal of the verdict that she would NOT be allowed to "divorce" the pedophile actually means "that the controversial [ya think?] marriage is still in effect, but a challenge to the marriage by the girl's mother is still alive." Huh? "The appeals court action now sends the case back to the earlier judge, who will decide whether to stand by his original decision... If the judge upholds his verdict and refuses to grant the child a divorce annul the marriage, then the case will again go to the appeals court... If the judge changes his decision, then the case is effectively over." Let's hope, for the sake of this child, that the judge clearly sees that NO little EIGHT-YEAR-OLD GIRL should be allowed to marry a pedophile who is 39 YEARS HER SENIOR! Sanity needs to prevail.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Letter to "teh one" a/k/a commander zero

Don't bother critiquing it for typographical errors... I make them, too. The point, imho, eloquently made, is spot on. The Emperor HAS spoken. Pretty clear by now, I think, that even though I mostly avoid politics - there are so many others out there that cover it better than I ever could - sometimes I just have to include a tidbit or two. It should also be pretty clear, by now, that even if "teh one" were able to turn water into Cabernet and Skittles into gold nuggets there will be no praise whatsoever from me.

Playing in heat and humidity

These play pools may well be popular. I only saw them for the first time in Singapore. At the entrance to one of the many, many malls was a small plastic pool with a couple of clear plastic balls floating in it. Not knowing at the time I first saw it what it was, I just figured it was some kind of "art" or something. Not particularly attractive art - being all plastic and covered with big plastic divider-fence-type things [to keep people out]. When we were leaving the mall is when I found out that it was a play pool for kids and not art. Duh. I did not take a picture of the sign - there were too many people milling around it by the time I finally figured out that I should have pictures of the sign, as well as the pool. As I was whipping my camera out here and there, it was not uncommon to see a sign showing a camera with a line through it - no photos. I asked to take some of the pictures I did take out of respect. I was told no on more than one occasion.

The sign said something to the effect tha
t children must be supervised by their parents, no child under three or over twelve was allowed, and that the facility would not be responsible for any injuries sustained. The price was $6 for 8 minutes in a ball for one child, or you could put two children in one ball for $9 for 8 minutes [now, that - two children in one ball - to me sounds like injuries waiting to happen].

What you do is you zip and then velcro your child into one of these clear vinyl balls that are filled with air [they blow them up, like big
balloons] and let them play in a very shallow and fairly small blown-up pool. The pool couldn't have been more than 2" deep. It was hot and humid the day I stopped to watch this - on our way out of the mall - and of course said, "Wait up, I have to get pictures." All of the children I watched were smiles and giggles so it must be fun. Before I read the sign, I said to no one in particular in our little group of DH and two friends, "How long do they stay in there?" DH, with his quick wit, responded "until they run out of air." Funny, DH, very funny.

So, it is hot and humid outside. The shallow pool is sitting on warm tile. I wish I would have stuck my hand in the water to feel the temperature. And you cannot tell me that it is cool being inside a vinyl filled beach-ball outside in the heat. But still, I'm pretty sure if I were a little kid, then I would have wanted to experience this fun, too.

Driver rapes girl

I suspect that drivers - both ex-pat and local - accost and try to rape more women here than we are told about. If this report is true, and supposedly there is proof - it was taped and put on the man's computer, then the driver deserves whatever punishment he receives. The punishment cannot be severe enough. He allegedly raped a little ten-year-old girl on more than one occassion promising her toys and giving her 5 or 10 riyals [$1.34 or $2.68] in return, and raped a couple of other children as well. I don't care what nationality he is - and of course the short little blurb has that information - death penalty is the only acceptable outcome.

Why do I say that I suspect drivers are probably more guilty of this crime than we are made aware of? Because I do know of one case in particular, that happened right here where I live, where a young woman got in a cab one night to go to the airport and her Saudi taxi-cab driver tried to rape her. The young woman resisted and the driver beat the crap out of her with a tire iron. She ended up in the hospital. Rumors run rampant on small compounds and if the nurses who treated the young woman would not have spoken up about the rape then we would all be lead to believe it never happened. Authorities did their best to cover it up and pretend it did not take place. There was never a report in either of our papers about it, either. We will likely never know what happened to the Saudi driver that tried to rape the young woman and then severely beat her. And that is why I suspect it happens more frequently than we are told about. If women were allowed to drive this would not be an issue - not even for the little ten-year-old girl because her mother could drive her to school. But, since women will never be allowed to drive here, getting into a car with a driver requires caution...

And, finally, as to why women will never be able to drive here??? Has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or society. Has to do with control. Men letting women drive their own cars will no longer have control. I don't recall who it was that was telling me, fairly recently, that a couple women were talking about this and a Saudi man interjected and said that the reason women will never be allowed to drive here is because they are afraid the women would leave. Interesting, I think. This control issue.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sri Mariamman Temple, and that's all.

I have been asking DH for two solid days to PLUHEEZE download all the pictures and the video off the "other" camera. I prodded him all day yesterday and as late as nine o'clock last night when he got home from golfing [he only played 18 holes in the afternoon and then 9 more later on for golf league last night]. Then, I started in again this morning. So many more important things for him to do. I am making a "smuggled in" pork roast for dinner. Told him a couple of hours ago he wasn't any getting dinner until the pictures were ON the computer. If I knew how to do it myself, it would already be done!

Earlier today he said he would do it after he washed the truck - it needed it - it sat outside in a parking lot at the Bahrain airport the entire time we were gone. [While we were gone I got a way cool bumper sticker that needs to be applied to a clean truck. Thank you very much, Doug! Look for a photo of that, here, too!] But, before he could wash the truck he had to wash his golf cart. Priorities, people. Priorities. Later on, while I was on the treadmill and he was trying to do his daily and ritual suduku [see? so many more important things to do!], I "gently" reminded him again...

So, a couple of hours ago, he fin
ally decided that I really, really was just going to keep nagging him and nagging him until he did it. After an hour of fighting with the computer he said, "Honey, I told Bob I would stop by his place around five... He's leaving for London at six o'clock tomorrow morning so I need to get over there." Blah, blah, blah. Apparently, we've had our "other" camera - the new "recording" one, for almost TWO YEARS and have NEVER downloaded anything onto the computer. The TV, yes. But not the computer. DH promised as he was walking out the door that he would do it after we go for our morning walk with The Kids tomorrow. Yes. I could probably do this myself. I, too, would have to start from scratch with the manual and the software and the connecty wire. That kind of thing just sends me into fits of anxiety and major frustration! I cook. I do laundry. I take care of The Kids. I pack and unpack bags. I do a lot of things. The computer crap is NOT my thing! [I'm really quite lucky I've been as good at this blogging thing as I have been. It's only taken me three or four years to get this far...]

This is the Sri Mariamman Temple in C

The pictures are awful. But, not really all my fault. First, it is going through its once every twelve years re-consecration "as per the Hindu tradition." Just our luck. So it was covered with scaffolding. I would like to think that when the "re-consecration" is completed it is going to be bright and colorful - it was not - actually, as far as color-wise, it was rather dull. And the poor cows need some brightening up, if you ask me. And the other reason the pictures are not of great quality is because the sun was shining in just the right way that I was having a difficult time - so I asked DH to snap them - and he thinks I am an absolute nut having to have pictures of "stuff" all the time - so he gave me a really difficult time about it. Something about, "What would you like me to do? Walk into traffic and take them from the middle of the street?" "Why, yes, Dear Husband, that is exactly what I would like you do to for me if it is going to get my pictures. Do you have a problem with that?"

The reason why I don't have photos of the inside of the temple is because they wanted us to take our shoes off and I had sandals with no socks on and there was no way I was taking my shoes off and walking over a floor where I can't see Lysol being sprayed there, first. Just can't and won't do it. Anywhere. Ever. [You should
see me at an airport! I have "footy" things just for this - the kind you wear when you go to an open-house to cover your feet so you don't trash the floors. Did I have those with me at the Temple? Of course not.]

One of the Temple's in Mauritius was just so much brighter and perkier. Is perky a word to use for a Temple? I think so. We were there two years ago and I asked the cab-driver, much to the dismay of my DH, if he would stop so I could
get a picture:

I will start, again, tomorrow morning over breakfast with my nagging plea for DH to get the rest of the photos on the computer. I have a bunch more on my camera, but they are personal and have DH or our friends in them and although our dear friends probably wouldn't mind if I posted their pictures if I asked, DH's picture will never be put on this blog. It is a promise I made to him when I started doing this. And, for as long as we are here in The Sandbox, DH's picture will not grace these posts. Ever. I'm quite sure he'd prefer that I wouldn't post pictures at all, but too late for that...

There is one more thing I can post from my camera. The rest will have to wait for the other camera. Give it time. I'm only allowed a certain amount of nagging in a twenty-four hour period. Don't think I didn't push that, today!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Deep Fried Crispy Pig Intestine

Humid humid humid. It was warm, but not particularly hot. We have hot, here. We have hot and NO humidity. Completely different weather and completely different heat. If it wasn't humid when we were outside, then it was raining. Either way you were wet and sticky. Everything you touch there, in Singapore, is sticky. [Went through mad packages of wipes!]

The Singapore airport is beautiful. Absolute
ly beautiful. As far as a terminal goes. We only saw Terminal 3, but from what I understand from talking to a police officer there and from others, Terminals 1 and 2 are just as nice. Incredibly organized and incredibly efficient. And, immaculate. Well of course it is. There is a $1,000 fine for chewing gum. No gum is sold in Singapore. [Medicinal gum, yes, in pharmacies.] There is a $500 fine for being caught smoking outside of a "smoking area." I forget how much the fine is for not flushing a toilet. My gosh there is a fine if you sell durian or eat durians! And, of course, when I saw the sign [no picture of that sign, sorry], I had to ask. What is a durian? Sounds like it should be a cigar, doesn't it? It is a fruit. I did not get an opportunity to try it. I did, however, see them sold in one of the open markets. [Lots of open markets!]

I took eight packages of cigarettes with me. You are allowed one open pack, for which you do not have to pay duty. I had the two open packs. I handed one to DH and said, "Here. These are yours." DH does not smoke. We got to customs and there are two lines. A green line for people that do not have anything to declare and a red line for people that have something to declare. I had already decided that I would be declaring the eight packs of unopened cigarettes I had. Big, hefty fine for NOT doing so. The duty paid would be almost equivalent to purchasing a pack of cigarettes there in Singapore - and I knew they would not have my brand - so I wanted the "tax stamp" which is a certificate they give you that says you are legal and will not be fined. I think the fine is $500. The duty tax we would have had to pay would have only be about $115. [Always trying to save money!] We could see our friends behind the glass wall waiting for us as we were about to go through one of the lines - the green or the red. We were waiving - everyone was all smiles - us and them - and I headed for the red line. I could tell by their faces - went from smiling and happy to - oh no - what is she doing?!? The nice man said, "What do you have to declare?" I said, "cigarettes." Then he said, "Where did you come from?" This always raises eye-brows. "Saudi Arabia." Two, tall, anglo-blonde Americans coming from Saudi Arabia...

He immediately wanted our passports. Th
ey are American passports - navy blue covers. The man started flicking through the pages and then asking questions. DH is ready to leave me there for putting us through this all so I could claim cigarettes, even though I had made it very clear that the duty taxes paid would be a whole lot less than the fine if I got caught. "How many packages do you have? Where did you buy them? How long will you be here?" I answered all the questions. He sent us back to the green line and told us to enjoy our stay. No duty taxes to be paid. Not a bad thing. Being honest. They do inspect your luggage and they would have found the cigarettes. I was not trying to hide them. My mistake, though, was not getting something in writing about this - but I didn't think about it until after the fact. We get through the green line and get outside where Jeff and Jude are waiting for us. Big hugs, hellos, all that, and then, "What the hell were you doing in the declaration line?" I explained... Apparently it would have been a good hour with forms and waits and official signatures, etc. Who knew? I just didn't want to find myself in trouble for NOT declaring something I was supposed to declare. Gave Jeff and Jude a good laugh. "Sorry, but I am not about to be jailed and or caned while I am visiting. Just doesn't sound like a lot of fun for vacation."

Walk outside the terminal and the a
ir hits you. Takes your breath away. It is heavy and oppressive. I had jeans on and a short-sleeved sweater. We jumped into two taxi-cabs to get to Jeff and Jude's apartment. One wasn't big enough for all four of us and the luggage. All of the cabs are little cars - Toyota's and the like. I could not wait to get there to get out of my clothes. Couldn't get to their flat fast enough to get out of them. Once they are wet, they are wet and uncomfortable. How anyone can wear jeans in that humidity is beyond me. Many do, though. Jeff and Jude are Americans and although they have been in Singapore for three years have made the decision not to buy a car. It is prohibitively expensive. The car alone costs much more than anywhere else they have lived - a small five-seater, used Kia costs $43,000 and then you have to have a "license to own and operate" the vehicle and that costs another enormous amount. A Honda Accord costs $85,000. Forget that it is very expensive to buy / have a car. There is NO parking! Public transportation is much less expensive and very easy to use. Everyone takes the bus, the train [subway] or taxi-cabs. Jude had already gone and gotten paid bus cards for us so we were all set.

The view from the terrace at Jeff and Jude's flat:

I should have taken more photos of this from my camera. There are more on the other camera. The "flat" over looks a huge park and a school. As well as the "shipping lane" where there were massive, huge ships coming in and going out.

We spent our first late afternoon and evening cat
ching up with our dear friends and enjoying time together over wine and beer. Jude made dinner that night and when she went to do the dishes I offered to help. What? No dishwasher? They are available and some "flats" have them. It is not however a common kitchen appliance. Most flats do not have them. No biggie. I'll help you do the dishes. Jude says, "No. Sit and relax." Okay. I do. It was not until the next day that I learned that it is also NOT uncommon to NOT have hot running water in the kitchen. Okay. Everyone has electric kettles and you heat water to do dishes. Just an interesting concept. How is it that you can have hot running water in the bathrooms for showering and bathing, but no hot water running to the kitchen? Interesting concept, indeed. We are talking nice "flat" housing. $4,000 a month NOT including utilities. Three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms [with hot water], kitchen, living room, dining room, maid's quarters... Marble floors. No hot water in the kitchen. You learn to deal with it and live with it. [Oh - there is hot water running to the washing machine, as well, which is outside of the flat in a back area which is open from the "inside of the building to the outside."]

These "holes and poles" are the "inside to the outside." It is like a "common" atrium area for the entire building. Open to the fresh air.
This is where everyone hangs laundry - unless, of course, you hang it on your terrace. Jude prefers to use her dryer. I don't blame her. But, again, even electricity is very very expensive so unless you want a massive $800. electric bill, you hang everything.

Jude was not kidding about bringing shoes I didn't care about to walk in. We did a lot of walking and we did quite a bit of walking where it was wet. If it wasn't raining, it had just rained. You WERE going to walk through puddles. Nothing stops for the rain. Everyone just carries on. If you stopped everything for the rain - the outside shops, the outside workers - nothing would get done. We spent our first day wandering around and going to the outdoor shops and I'm pretty sure I had my camera with me at the time but was just awed with ALL that was going on around me and took no pictures. It just didn't occur to me to do so. Just watching the people. There are 4.2 million people in Singapore. All confined on a teeny, tiny little island. High-rises abound. Shopping malls and not spread out and sprawling. They are six and eight stories tall. Huge tall beautiful modern glass and crome buildings interspersed with "art deco" buildings. It is very attractive. And, again, incredibly clean.

Wandering through the indoor food court - I saw these signs:

No. I was not brave enough to try any of this. And although I don't eat red meat or any poultry I will eat pork. But not "Deep Fried Crispy Pig Intestine." They may well be quite delicious. I will never know. Ditto for the "Pig's Liver and Stomach Soup," and the "Braised Pig Trotter and Egg." [Trotter? Feet.]

We finally headed back to the "flat" for cocktails and to go to dinner. We went to the hawker stands in the park for dinner. A MUST DO experience. It was wonderful! The photos for this are on the "other" camera and I don't know how to download them from that. Next post. Tomorrow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Because if I'm going to read the papers, I may as well blog on what I've read.

From the "you just can't make this stuff up" file we have this. "Make sure your wife is not your sister!" Not kidding. Has to do with wet-nurses who have breast-fed children, other than their own, who become "brother and sister." Yeah. Okay. Honestly I had no idea that wet-nurses were something so common. But then, I'm beyond my baby-making years, so it really isn't something I've even had to give a nanosecond of thought to. Apparently the problem is that "there is no official system of documenting the names and identities of children who have been breast-fed by a woman" so "some young men and women end up accidentally marrying someone suckled by their own wet nurse." For the love of Pete, HOW CAN YOU NOT remember WHO you breast-fed for goodness sake?!? And, if you've breast-fed that many children, that are not your own... Seriously? "This can cause difficulties when couples find out later in life. If they have children, then things can be an even bigger problem." I do not pretend to understand all the nuances and I am quite certain that I never will. You know. Things like it is perfectly fine to marry your first-cousin and such, but not your "sister" or "brother" who even though they are of no blood relation to you becomes your sibling because you both had the same wet-nurse. Whatever.

An Indian man has been beaten by his sponsor [employer] with an iron rod for not getting his work done on time. The man is still in the hospital recovering. There is another employee who had been abused as well. Both of the employees are identified by first-name and nationality. The employer? He's anonymous. Someone needs to give the sponsor / employer an attitude adjustment with an iron rod, if you ask me. How about a little jail time and a hefty fine? Oh, and by all means, do identify him by name and nationality and put his picture on the front page of the paper.

Death by natural causes? Calling B.S. on this. You do NOT die of natural causes and end up in a suitcase. Nope. That just is NOT natural. "Today is going to be my last day in this world. I think I'll curl up in a suitcase and put myself outside where someone will find me." The article says, "the body seems to be of an illegal woman who died of natural causes. Her family, or acquaintances, feared questioning and discarded the body. It has happened several times in Jeddah." I stand corrected. Apparently this is just natural. Certainly no more unusual than a body being found in a pool of blood in an apartment, or on the side of the road covered with tire tracks. Nothing unnatural, there.

I could add more. There is really nothing earth-shattering. Blackmailers using pictures on mobiles and pcrc. Same old, same old. Back to life in The Sandbox.


Am home, again. Suitcases FULL of dirty laundry! Full. Kids very very happy to see Mommy - and Mommy to see them. I am exhausted. Left for the airport in Singapore last night at midnight for a 2A flight. Only four hours of sleep. Wah wah wah. Will be back into the swing of things again, though, tomorrow, and will start posting stories and download pictures and maybe even videos if I can somehow figure that out...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Real Computer

Sitting at a "real" computer versus a laptop.  Have had it available but was scared of it because it is a Mac.  Whoa.  Is it nice!  Enjoying Singapore.  Hot and humid.  Sticky all the time.  Lush and green.  Two more full days - then back to life in The Sandbox.  Loads of photos.  Lots of video, too.  Missing my Kids.  I always do.  Home soon...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Headed to Singapore

Leaving. In three hours. Not taking DH's laptop. I'll have some computer access at our friend's house, but plan on being far too busy doing "touristy" things [I'll be the blonde American woman with the camera NOT dressed in a black bag!], and doing "normal" things. For 11 days. Oh, joy! I will miss The Kids. They will be fine... I've left lists and notes and all the food is measured and bagged individually for each Kid - all clearly marked and labeled, of course. Hopefully I can find a great toy story in Singapore and will bring them both presents when I return.

I would like to extend a big welcome to all of the new visitors that have arrived here, in the last 24 hours, all 350 of you!, via View From The Porch. I regret I am leaving just as you have discovered me, but I will be returning and will continue to post. Please enjoy my archives. Pictures and all sorts of good stuff there. Two good, recent posts, with a sampling of my life here in The Sandbox are my visit to the delicious cheese bread bakery and pictures of "Meat Street." Please do come back and visit when I return.

And to the rest of you - the friends I have made that visit me often - see y'all in less than two weeks! [If you shoot me an e-mail - I will be checking it - and if you would like a post card from Singapore, just give me the information I need and you WILL get one...]

Oh, and thanks to everybody who responded to my first ever "poll" about what to do with our old truck and 3L. I do believe DH has been influenced by the results.

I'm off and I promise to have a WONDERFUL TIME!

Lashing Old Ladies

Causing a bit of a stir in The Sandbox - the verdict issued against the 75-year-old woman who was "caught" in the presence of two unrelated men. There is an article about the issue in today's Arab News.

Someone tell me why it is that a 75-year-old woman who was having bread delivered to her is being identified by name AND nationality in the paper when a pedophile who has raped and killed little boys - toddlers! - is NOT identified by even his nationality. [I am not going to use her name here; she more than deserves a little respect and privacy as far as I'm concerned. The pedophile killer on the other hand - I want to know his name, his nationality and I want to see his picture. I want "Bubba" in the jail to which the pedophile ends up in to know who he is, too. I digress...] For the sake of identifying her, here, I'm going to call her Mrs. VWBS [as in Mrs. Very Wronged By Society].

Mrs. VWBS's lawyer says "he plans to appeal the verdict, which also demands that Mrs. VWBS be deported after serving her prison term. ...his client has not served her sentence yet." Kudos to Arab News for contacting police and commission officials; they both "refused to give further details about the case." You don't say.

A legal specialist, Fariyal King, said "...police had a responsibility to explain the case as they detained the two men on the request of officials from the commission. The Hail police spokesman's refusal to give a statement shows that there is some sort of obscurity." No!

Mrs. VWBS "met the men last June after she asked one of them to bring her five loaves of bread." She couldn't, after all, just hop in her car and scoot off to the market to get it herself. The two men - also identified - went to her house to do so. "As they came out after delivering the bread, the two men were arrested by commission officials." Are there not enough other and more pressing matters to be concerned about? Apparently not.

"The court said it based its March 3 ruling on information from citizens and ... testimony [one of the men's father]." That father has "accused [Mrs. VWBS] of corruption." Huh? Mrs. VWBS told the court "that she considered [one of the men] as her son, because she breast-fed him when he was a baby." That claim has been denied by the court on the grounds that "she had no evidence." [No one used a mobile to take pictures? That's a first.] A commission director says that "his officials detained the woman after receiving a written message that two men had entered her house." Is there ANY rule or law, here, that allows the accused to find out who their accuser is? WHO sent the written message - and how was it sent - via carrier pigeon, Federal Express, text message? Seems to me that the "written message" had to have gotten to the intended recipient faster than the speed of light for the events to have unfolded as they did. It is reported "that police had arrested the woman on two previous occasions." For what?

Anyone smelling something funny yet? Read this: "After I gave her the bread two commission officials came. They first said they belonged to a charity and wanted to know the living condition of the woman. While we were going out they caught us and handed us over to the police," reports one of the two men. A set-up. Entrapment? Something. The other man says, "There were six commission members who all had their faces covered."

A lawyer, Ibrahim Zamzami says, "[I]f it was proved that the old woman is [one of the men's] foster mother through breast-feeding, then the charge of khulwa (illegal seclusion) would be nullified. But if his reIation to her is only as his uncle's wife then the charge would stand as she is eligible to marry him." [You cannot make this stuff up.] Mr. Zamzami says "the matter of illegal seclusion with an unrelated woman was difficult to prove. 'This depends on the circumstances... The shorter the time spent together, the more likelihood of illegal seclusion.'" Am I the ONLY ONE who doesn't understand THAT concept? "The shorter the time... the more likelihood..." He says, "[A] 75-year-old woman is usually not considered seductive yet she is a woman and unrelated men should not be alone with her." Cougar!

When I posted on this yesterday, I said I would see what reaction the Saudi Gazette would garner. Four comments have been submitted. There are here. Not a single one of the four supports the sentence that Mrs. VWBS has been given!

Looks Like A Fire, It's Just Dust

It isn't. It is another dust / sand storm. Rolled in quickly late yesterday afternoon. Closed airports... Click here to see a picture. Remember our storm a couple of weeks ago? One paper reported NO accidents because of the effectiveness of awareness programs [um-hmm, really] and the other reported 47 accidents. Yesterday, according to one paper, there were "30 road accidents across the city by around 4 P.M. ...no serious injuries though." According to the other paper - the same one that reported NO accidents during the last storm - there were "over 70 road accidents."

It is still dark outside so I can't tell whether we are being hit by the sand storm as hard as has been reported, in the Eastern Province. If we are and it is that nasty out, there will be no walk for The Kids today. The Boy has dust allergies. Man-o-man, is he gonna suffer. Poor little guy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some More "Stuff" You Just Can't Make Up


A Saudi woman, who, by the way, is fully identified by her real name, gave birth to a baby boy [also named] at the airport in Bahrain. She is "married" to an Ethiopian man who works in Qatar. The Saudi woman "was with her father waiting for a flight" when oopsie - baby's coming! [Aren't women in late stages of pregnancy supposed to NOT fly?] The woman's marriage, because she is a Saudi, has been declared "illegal and the baby a foreigner." Health officials, contacted yesterday, according to this report in today's Arab News "refused to confirm whether the Saudi mother had been issued a birth certificate" for her new baby boy. "Saudis wanting to marry non-Saudis must first obtain marriage permits... but this can take months to years." Apparently certain marriages are legal, "but not acceptable under Saudi rules." Anyone care to guess how long it takes for this Saudi woman to get a birth certificate for the baby?

6,000 "criminals" have been arrested in Jeddah. Overstayers. They are criminals. If this country can keep track of who is here illegally, why can't the United States? Officials here do not fool around with these people. You are here illegally? You get put in jail until you can be sent home. No such thing as the ACLU, here, working and fighting on behalf of criminals and their rights. Best thing that could happen in the States would be for the ACLU to be abolished and for authorities and courts to take a few lessons on how justice is best served. Saudi is a prime example and would be a most excellent model to follow in many regards. Just my opinion.

I find it more than a little interesting that the newspapers do not hesitate to fully name a Saudi woman who is married to an Ethiopian, but will NOT name a "youth" who has kidnapped and raped several little boys. The "youth's" nationality isn't even given - which means you can guess with 100% certainty... The "youth" - let's not mince words - he is a pedophile - who raped a little 3-year-old boy and left him in the desert has been implicated in a couple more abductions and rapes of little boys. Oh, and it is okay to give the name of the little 3-year-old boy who was raped! What is wrong with this picture?!? Beside the obvious... One report states that the "suspect reportedly snatched children and raped them before leaving them to their fate in remote areas. Police said a recent victim, a child who died... had caused him to cease his activities for a month." Does this mean that if the little 3-year-old wouldn't have died that the pedophile would still be out there working the neighborhoods looking for more little boys? Another report says, "an eight-year-old boy was found walking on the side of the road with his school backpack. The boy said a man took him in his car but later dropped him off unharmed." Yeah. You were one of the lucky ones. Probably too old for the pedophile. It is pretty obvious he likes them really young. Please let there be justice served to the pedophile, appropriately, somewhere. [I'm thinking Bubba and all his buddies in prison while the guards are too busy having tea to notice...]

The verdict that CNN reported yesterday, about the 75-year-old woman who has been sentenced to 40 lashes and 4 months in jail did get reported in one of our newspapers today. It will be interesting to see the reaction which readers can submit directly to the Saudi Gazette. I'll keep and eye on it for the next day or so and see what gets said and make sure that the outrage gets posted. Of course, provided there is outrage. Oh, there's gotta be. Right?

Monday, March 09, 2009

How'd I Miss This?!?

Wasn't in either of our papers. No. But of course it wouldn't be. No country wants its own people to wake up in the morning and be a laughing-stock. But, seriously! A 75-year-old woman is going to be given 40 lashes AND four months in jail because two unrelated men delivered bread to her house. You just CAN'T make this stuff up.

"The case has sparked anger in Saudi Arabia." Ya' think? Just wait until this hits the interwebs full force. There are going to be a lot of other residents in plenty of other countries who are gonna be a lot angrier about this than the residents of Saudi Arabia, but not nearly as embarrassed. Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi women's rights activist told CNN, "It's made everybody angry because this is like a grandmother... Forty lashes -- how can she handle that pain? You cannot justify it." Apparently someone did.

Al-Huwaider says, "This is the problem with the religious police... watching people and thinking they're bad all the time. It has nothing to do with religion. It's all about control. And the more you spread fear among people, the more you control them. It's giving a bad reputation to the country."

Try not to feel too bad bad about a group or entity spreading fear and controling your the population of your country Ms. Al-Huwaider. The same thing other places, as well. Like for example, what is happening in the United States with Barry and his smitten minions - they are going all out to spread fear and so want control. People in the States are beginning to see what has happened though, and they are fighting back. It will happen, here, too. Just you wait.

Saw this at the site of The Man who scours the bowels of the internet so we don't have to. Thanks WZ!

What Would You Do?

Just curious. I need to learn how to put one of those "poll" thingys, here. [I just signed up for a free one. I'll put it here, at the bottom and see if it works.]

Here's the thing... A couple of years ago when we bought our new truck, DH sold our old truck to a "friend" who he worked with at the time. For simplicity, I'll call the friend 3L [as in "triple L" for lying low life]. When DH sold the truck, a 1992 or '94 Land Rover, to 3L, 3L was working at the same company that DH works for but not as an employee - 3L was a contractor. As a contractor, you are not allowed to purchase your own vehicle [just one of many, many "rules"]. When the transaction took place, DH was under the impression that 3L would be hired as a "full-time" employee in the short term, and thus would be able to transfer title and ownership of our truck to 3L's name. DH, being the nice guy that he is, agreed to letting 3L keep the truck in DH's name until such time as 3L could change the paperwork. DH sold the Land Rover to 3L TWO years ago and the truck paperwork remains, to this day, in DH's name.

As it happens, 3L did not get hired as a full-time employee and was fired while he was still a contractor because he lied on his application - something about having a college degree when he didn't really have one. DH assumed that 3L would be leaving the country and would either return the truck to us - it is still in DH's name - or that 3L would sell the truck to someone else, which would mean DH would have to be involved in the transaction to be able to change ownership. No biggie. Instead, 3L took a job with another company in Saudi. I think he is working somewhere in Riyadh. 3L's girlfriend works for the same company that 3L was a contractor for - the company where DH still works. 3L is still around and comes to Dhahran at every possible opportunity to visit his girlfriend. Could care less about that. Don't like the girlfriend, though, because when 3L and she came to our house for some social thing she refused to come in unless we put The Kids in their kennels. You KNEW before you came over that we have two Kids. If you are that bothered by a Great Dane and a Standard Poodle, do us all a favor - stay home! Whatever.

DH has been calling 3L and sending him e-mails and text messages for the last year and a half asking him when he is going to do something about the truck - insofar as getting DH off the paperwork. 3L says, "I'm looking into it." "As soon as I get my iqama [official residence / working papers which would allow him to purchase a vehicle in his name], I'll take care of it." All sorts of excuses. One after another. Basically he has paid for a vehicle - DH sold it to him pretty cheap - the truck was fifteen years old! - but the truck "officially" is still ours. Where it gets kind of sticky is that if 3L gets a traffic violation [a possibility since ex-pats are targets], or gets into an accident, DH is going to be responsible because it is "his" truck as far as the authorities are concerned. That is how it works. The owner of the vehicle is the responsible party. DH found out that 3L was here a few days ago and DH called him and said, "Look, you need to take care of this." 3L said, "Sure thing buddy. That's why I'm here this time, to take care of the truck." Yeah. Right. Not a chance of that happening. 3L has been avoiding DH at all possible costs since that phone conversation.

There is a sticker on the truck which allows 3L to come and go off of our compound at will. You must have a particular sticker on your vehicle to enter the compound - if you don't have one - there are security procedures that you have to go through to enter. They aren't a big deal. You have to sign in and you have to have someone that is a resident on the compound "sponsor" you. So, in essence, since 3L was fired and left and moved to Riyadh he has been able to come back, at will, and just drive onto the compound because there is a sticker on the truck that says the truck belongs to a resident.

I have no idea how it worked out that we just happened to have a couple of extra keys to the truck in out kitchen "junk" drawer. The day before yesterday I suggested to DH that we go over and take the truck back. We know it is here [just so happens that one of 3L's arch-enemies lives in the same building as 3L's girlfriend, so he lets us know every time he sees the truck here]. DH is too nice. And DH is not confrontational. [I am.] So, DH continues to let 3L take advantage of DH's friendship. DH said, "No. I already called him. He is going to take care of things." Yeah, Honey, but he's been telling you that for the last year and a half and he hasn't taken care of things because it is so much easier to leave it alone and let you have the headache.

...am I rambling on and getting to no particular point? Probably.

After numerous attempts, DH finally realized he had had enough and yesterday he took the old key we have and went over and removed the sticker from the truck which now makes it only a slight inconvenience to 3L as far as coming and going. I think DH made a mistake by not removing the license plates. They are still ours as far as I'm concerned. DH said last night that if 3L doesn't do something about this soon then he is just going to report the truck as stolen. What is "soon?" You've already given 3L a year and a half.

3L has had ample opportunity and time to rectify the matter and get the truck taken out of DH's name and put into his. Why bother, though, when DH is still fully responsible for everything and doing the transfer of a vehicle from one owner to another is such a hassle? Lots of paperwork involved, several different offices and authorities to have to deal with. [There are men who you can hire to do all of the running around and waiting in various lines to accomplish these tasks for you and they are relatively inexpensive.] 3L, as far as I am concerned, has abused DH's friendship and taken advantage of him. I will say that when I was talking to DH about this yesterday I said something to the effect of, "I find it hard to believe that you are going to continue to let him walk all over you like this," to which DH responded, "Why? You do it all the time." WHAT?!? I don't think so! Anyway, it was my saying that to DH that spurred him into taking some action as opposed to no action - and that's when he went over and took the sticker off the truck.

Something I failed to mention to DH yesterday is the fact that the truck probably isn't even insured at this point and if 3L does get into an accident DH is going to have to pay for the damages... I'll mention it over coffee this morning and see if that gets DH to do something more drastic. I just hate to see someone take advantage of DH. It is one thing for DH to say that I take advantage of him - I'm his wife! And that isn't even remotely true. DH definitely wears the pants in our family... Sure, maybe I do a little manipulating here and there to get my own way sometimes, but I hardly call that taking advantage of him. What wife doesn't have her own "little ways" when it comes to being able to get whatever it is she wants?

So, what I want to know is, what would you do in this situation?

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