|Sami Bey and Jack-O-Lantern looking positively ghoulish...|
|Angie-baby and I at the pottery shack near Dumistan|
|"What's this", we ask ourselves...|
|'BBQ' near Dumistan 5 minutes later...|
|front row seat...|
|Plan B initiated to drive home|
What I realize is that yesterday was the first day that I have not had the air conditioner on AT ALL in the house! Unbelievable. This is monumental, and worth sharing as I'm not an air con type, but it is absolutely essential here unless you want to fry your eyeballs out... I did, though, have to use the air con in my car driving to work, but that will come to pass as well in due time.
Speaking of work, Angie-baby found a new short-cut through our hood to by-pass the dreaded Riffa Clocktower Roundabout! Since 2 entrances into A`ali from Wali al Ahd Highway have been police barricaded for as long as I've been here, there is no alternative but to get stuck in traffic jam during morning rush hour (lucky I don't have to be commuting at this time this year though). Nevertheless, it is always difficult to just wait it out in traffic while others decide to use the shoulder lane, or drive in the dirt until that is barricaded and then squeeze into traffic as they so think they are important and entitled enough to do here... Another reason I cuss continuously when behind the wheel here. Traffic really is bad, and 3/4 of the drivers on the road really are shitty drivers as well... These 2 elements fused together creates a speedball of frustration that shoots through one's veins and wrecks havoc on my zen space. Not a good trip...
I have to say I've missed writing posts in bed on Friday mornings with coffee. It seems my only moments in time that I am in that 'space' to want to write. First of all, it's been pretty hot until now, which makes it difficult to lay around in bed since the air con needs to be on and that noise... The noise coming out of the cold box is a deterrent to that 'space' that needs to be created. Also, I've been trying to not drink coffee on mornings I don't work... I figure I don't need the kickstart on those days so I'm trying something new- green tea, or just going without any hot beverage. Meh...
My night runs have turned into late evening runs too! Another reason to celebrate the days since fall equinox. Last night was the best yet- 7km. I did 2 km of walking in there, but it felt great. I'm still working on more interesting running music podcasts out there so if anyone has some link for me, please send it my way. This past week I've been listening to some jazz tracks podcast that is pretty great and has no interruptions. Last night's mix was super funky. My fav album of The Supreme Beings of Leisure was mixed into a smooth groove and it brought me to 'that space' where everything was just so fine and I was flying by (probably not 'flying' by, but I was flying high on endorphins)!
The cross-island relay is coming up next weekend (on Halloween morning). I'm not on a team yet as there is always last minute changes and one can find a spot. I'm ready for it, as long as it's not a downhill stretch...
My new running shoes I got in DC this summer (Saucony's- who knew?) have really been essential to my increased pleasure during my runs. I guess I wasn't exactly cut out for minimal shoes and I do need some more support for my lower back. Anyway, I'm happy that I spend the money to have someone look at how I run and access my ability and combine it with my limitations (lower back shit). Haha, the appointment even convinced my dear friend Selin to buy a pair as well :) Selin I hope you are loving your shoes!!!
Today is Diwali festivities inside the Hindu temple in the souk. I've received permission from Mr. Sharad, one of the admin, to attend along with 4 other friends. I'm pretty excited! I've been in the temple before on occasion, but never for a festival evening.
I think I'm also missing the colorful Kathmandu. Yes, I went to Nepal during my blogging hiatus. I had nearly a week off for Eid so hopped on a cheap flight and found myself nestled on the foot of the Himalayas. Now, Kathmandu is a polluted city and nearly all the population wears the requisite fabric face mask in an effort to stamp out some of that pollution from clogging up their nostrils... But the people! The people are so friendly and wear such colorful, beautiful garb- both men and women. I really enjoyed people watching there. I was so enamored with the national garb that I purchased quite a few 'Corta's' or dresses. I will put up a separate post of pictures from Nepal soon.
I generally don't talk a lot about work on my blog for a variety of reasons, but so far the year has been pretty successful. I am doing a study on attitudes of professional development here in the Kingdom so excited to conduct some research again and get into that, other 'space' in academia. I've just heard word that an ELF midyear conference is definitely coming up and likely held again in either Morocco or Jordan so this is good news. TESOL Arabia is also coming up in March, so a bit of work/play is in store for me elsewhere on the globe. Midyear break? Turkey. It's a no-brainer. Miss the shit outta that country, as screwed up as the govt is... I'm hoping for snow and rain- heh heh my friends there are probably recoiling at the thought reading this!
Thinking about work inevitably brings me to thoughts on- what next? I'm plotting as I type for Plan A (yes yes yes yes yes), Plan B (okay), Plan C (solid C), Plan D (decent ), Plan E, (alright), Plan F (jobless). That's about how the ducks are stacking up at this time! All plans involve a move, along with Shaika Spot and Sami Bey. Most all involve sticking 'near the region', yet one involves a short stay in Amerika... Other plans will likely arise. I mean, I don't like to discriminate, and I like the idea of remaining fluid and flexible.
All Hallow's Eve/All Saint's Day/ Day of the Dead!!! Yes, my favorite American pagan holiday, Halloween, is coming around the corner. It's also fixing to be a jam-packed holiday weekend (Ashura is celebrated on Sunday/Monday here) as there is the cross-island run, Halloween night, and then a boat trip to camp out on Hawar Island. I'm hoping for some excellent snorkeling and decent temperatures (not above 85• please).
This is another long weekend as al Hijri is on Sunday (the Islamic New Year). Saturday will mark the new Muslim Hijri year 1436 AH, so Sunday will be a holiday. According to the Hijri calendar, there are 354 days in a year. Traditionally, the first day of each month begins at sunset at the first sighting of the crescent moon- hilal. The first Islamic year was AD 622, in which started the migration of Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina ("the Hijra"). This concludes my basic knowledge of the Islamic calendar.
Okay, it's 11am now and I'm hungry. I can't drink any more coffee. I can't continue to sequester myself away any longer in the sanctuary of my cool, dark bedroom. I'm up...