The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.
In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.
Yes, I've been tagged. It's a Blogger Thing. When you tag someone, you ask them to answer this list of personal questions. Dotsson
tagged me. He thinks I ought to lighten up for a bit. He's probably right.
I may be a bit vague with some of these answers, in case they could help identify me. Apart from that, I'll be as candid as I can. Here goes.10 FAVORITESFavorite Color:
Dark GreenFavorite Food:
Kharoof (A whole lamb carcase on an enormous dish of rice with embedded nuts and raisins. Best eaten with the fingers. Scratch me, you find a Bedu.)Favorite Month:
My taste is all Western classical. "Fr. Jim" might appreciate this one. The words are by the Catholic Cardinal Newman. The composer is the Catholic Edward Elgar. It's all about a man, called Gerontius, dying and going to Heaven via Catholic purgatory. The whole piece is 2 hrs long, but this is the climactic chorus. When I first saw it in London, with a full orchestra and chorus, I came away feeling completely drained, and it still moves me enormously. It's called "Praise to the Holiest
", on Disc 2, Track 14, and is, appropriately, praising God, or Allah, whatever we call Him. Who says the Devil has all the best tunes?Favorite Movie: "Dr Zhivago"
Great book, even better movie.Favorite Sport:
Soccer. I used to be an enthusiastic but unskilled left defender. I once succeeded in sending both winger and ball over the sideline with a sliding tackle, but usually they ran round me. Now I can only watch and dispense invaluable advice from the crowd.Favorite Season:
Saudi WinterFavorite Day Of the week:
Friday in Saudi, Sunday in the UKFavorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Ben and Jerry's Heath Bar CrunchFavorite Time of Day:
Well, that was OK. Oh, hang on, there are more.9 CURRENTSCurrent Mood:
Melancholy (see Last CD)Current Taste:
Cardamom coffeeCurrent Clothes:
Evening wear. Ralph Lauren shirt, Van Heusen chinos (bought very cheap at an outlet mall on last trip to USA). Sandals, no socks (Scratch me, you find a Bedu)Current Desktop:
Mount Rushmore, from another trip to USACurrent Toenail:
???? I presume this question is for those who blog and varnish their toenails at the same time. Personally, I don't. I always wait for the varnish to dry first.Current Time:
Late eveningCurrent Surroundings:
Study / homework room. Surrounded by knick-knacks from home; Dallah (Coffee pot), Sheesha pipe (never smoked), Incense burner (which occasionally burns incense when I can get hold of some)Current Thoughts:
How many more questions?8 FIRSTSFirst Best Friend:
Well, we all remember our first kiss, don't we? I was about four and my family had taken me to see my uncle and his camels in a stockade on the outskirts of the city. One of the camels took an interest in me, and before I knew what was happening, I found this set of teeth and two fleshy lips in my face. I fell back on my bottom, but still the lips advanced on me. I fell all the way back, banging my head on the ground, but still they came, and then a tongue protruded and licked me. Naturally I howled, but thankfully was rescued. It's taken me quite a while to trust camels after that, although I like them now. But imagine using its tongue on a first kiss!First Screen Name:
A rabbit. It lived an amazingly long time.First Piercing:
Not an advisable fashion for men in Saudi Arabia.First Crush:
Discretion requires me to preserve the anonymity of the other party. However it wasn't that camel.First Album:
Tchaikovsky. Nutcracker Suite.7 LASTSLast Cigarette:
June 1998Last Drink:
Cardamom coffeeLast Car Ride:
When the young A's went to bedLast Movie Seen:
Wallace and Grommit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
. Completely silly. Great fun.Last Phone Call:
Mother in RiyadhLast CD Played:
Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Jewish composer, converted to Christianity. The 4th movement, Adagietto
, can tear your heart out. Hence the Current Mood.6 HAVE YOU EVERSHave You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends:
Never had a date as such. We do things differently.Have You Ever Broken the Law:
In the West, not really. Shariah Law in Saudi? You bet!Have You Ever Been Arrested:
No, although several close encounters with the Muttawa
.Have You Ever Skinny Dipped:
Not much opportunity in the desert.Have You Ever Been on TV:
NoHave You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know:
Apart from that camel, no.5 THINGSThing You're Wearing:
see above.Thing You've Done Today:
Bought flowers for Mrs A. What a mad impulsive fool I am.Thing You Can Hear Right Now:
Late night city noisesThing You Can't Live Without:
Love. Humor. Conversation. Thing You Do When You're Bored:
Switch off Saudi TV.4 PLACES YOU'VE BEEN TODAY
Work, somewhere for lunch, florist, home.3 PEOPLE YOU CAN TELL ANYTHING TO
1. Mrs A. My best friend.
2. Mrs A Senior, i.e. The Matriarch. And telling her everything is not optional, it's mandatory. Within the family, she rules the roost.
3. Mr A Senior, just so he doesn't feel left out2 CHOICES1. Black or White:
Let me see. When it's 46 degrees Celsius out there, do I wear my white cotton thobe, or a black polyester abaya? Tricky one, that. I'll have to think about it.2. Hot or Cold:
Hot. But not too hot. Especially in a black abaya.1 THING YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
Read the headline that says "Arabian Republic General Election: Moderates Win"