Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dad Came and Went

Just for a second, I missed the English cold a moment ago.

My dad came to visit last week, a couple days after my birthday. His visit went pretty well. The only time he got close to being angry at me was when he wanted me to switch the channel whilst I was eating my dinner and watching Scrubs. Overall, he was suprisingly happy to see my change attitude towards the plantation.

He did my head in with all the things he had to tell me about the plantation and my future. He was trying to make the most of his time with me I guess. There's so much for me to learn and he's the only one that can point everything out for me. Despite having spent several years on the plantation himself, he understands the business so much more than others who have spent their whole lives in the business.

He also brought up the marriage issue and the suitable cousin of mine in Canada. He told me that I ought to e-mail her dad, and ask him for her e-mail address, and then go on and chat with her online on the premise that I want to get to know family. I didn't feel comfortable with e-mailing some guy and asking him for his daughter's e-mail address. At the time we agreed that he'd help me write the e-mail with him Monday, the next day.

I went to college on Monday hoping that it'd be the day we start taking lectures. The day before I got told off by one teacher after I persistently asked her to give us a lecture. She gave me some deal about how I 'the student' should not be ordering her around, I in return pleaded that I was just trying to encourage her without bringing things like my father's paid one million dinars or that I have to go through one hour of traffic to get to college or that I as a student expect to learn something.

The lecturer of Monday's first class had been on leave and the head of department told us to nevermind taking a class with him. So wound up moping about college yet again waiting for the next class. The teacher had yesterday sat in class with just one student yesterday and he seemed eager to get started. A couple of classmates of mine and I went over to his office just before our class was about to start and my punk classmate friend got the teacher to agree to not give us class till Sunday.

I did not stop whining at my classmates that day. Whilst I was there Nahida's sister called me telling me that she's at the airport and that they're telling her that there's no flight to Beirut tomorrow as had thought my dad, but that there was one today. I explained to her that I wasn't home and that she should call Nahida to get through to my dad. Nahida and my dad were supposed to call me earlier that day to go visit the bank with them. That was another thing that was pissing me off that day.

I was pissed off and hungry. I went over to the nearest decent restaurant that also happens to be quite expensive at $20 a meal. The turkish-coffee guy at the door greeted me very warmly. I hadn't been there since the summer started. He assumed that I had a summer vacation abroad, I wish it were true. I wondered if I had ever tipped him, and if he was being extra nice to me for another tip.

It's always a bit weird going to that restaurant because I'm always the only one that's eating alone and leave as soon as I've finished eating. I've even got a little routine. They bring a bunch of mezzas to my table and I always the little plates that I finish. Whilst I was eating my dad called to tell me that he's leaving to the airport. Which of course sucked because I did want to greet him off, get him to write that e-mail with me so that he could stop badgering me about that girl in Canada and to listen and ask him more stuff about the farm.

When I got home tired and disappointed, I called up Miz and Mos told them to come over and sleep over.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Silences In Between

Riding in a taxi on my way back from college today, I passed the one street where booze is sold abundantly regretting that I hadn't made any provisions for booze today. Today's my birthday and I'm spending it sober (Yes Tomas, I screwed big time). I'm handling it well, despite feeling a silent resentment for all the twists and turns that have led me up to this point and ending up the way I am. I'm not feeling as hungry as usual, haven't eaten much today.

Shady was the first to wish me happy birthday. It was four in the morning, and so she was the first. She surprised me because I had refused to tell her when my birthday was previously but she dug it out on a social networking site. At college, only four guys from my class showed up including me. Two of them bought me lunch as a birthday gift which was very nice of them. Whilst i was at college Zaif called me to wish me happy birthday as well as my mum. My dad's wife called too, but I had my phone on silent.

Dad just called me now, told me to save some of my birthday cake. Didn't make one yet. Told him that we're waiting for him to arrive. Which he is tomorrow. Despite my better judgment, I'm still not quite sure if it's worth asking for a new laptop. With my taking over the farm, I could just buy one and charge it as a farm expense. A new car perhaps? I'd rather wait till I graduate, but I'll throw the idea at him anyway.

Something odd has been happening recently. Men, grown up men, have been coming up to me to beg. Usually, it's just kids, old women, or the two combined. Yesterday morning, Miz dropped Mos and me off near the Sinak bridge on his way to college. After getting off the car, some really scruffy guy came up to me with his hand out to shake mine. And as it is a habit, I began to reach out but then realised that I don't know this guy and he's just going to waste my time to beg for some money, so I just ignored the guy and walked past him. The same thing happened with a much less scruffier guy the last time I was there a week ago.

Mos and I then hitched another cab, and I got off near my college on his way to work. After crossing the street some guy asked me for some money so he could get himself home. I lied and told him that I didn't have any change to give him and walked off.

And today it got even creepier, whilst the guys and I were at the restaurant I left to get some farm accounts photocopied. At the photocopying shop a dirty looking dumb (the kind that doesn't speak) guy with a large cloth sack slung over his shoulder comes in and begins to gesture for money. The shop owner refused to hand the man any cash, said that he hadn't had any work yet. But this beggar was persistent and began poking me and gesturing at me too. I refused to give him money too. And then he made a throat slitting gesture and pointed at the army check point, I think he was suggesting that I should give him some money otherwise I'd have trouble with the army guys. The shop owner and I were both surprised for a second, but didn't bother talking about it after the beggar shortly left. But then the beggar came back, and again began poking and gesturing for cash. I gave him a long slow look into his eyes, he held out his hand for a handshake, I took it and then we kissed each other on the cheek (nothing gay about that here, it's just how men say hi to each other over here). He gestured one last time for some cash, I again refused and he left.

I wonder if this is going to get even creepier tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dehydrated Thoughts

Dehydrated... just a little drunk really. Electricity has been good of late, could it be the state's Eid present or is it because the weather has cooled down? Maybe, in my neighbourhood it's good and in some other neighbourhood people are cursing because they hadn't had any for a week. Because wouldn't it be a cunning trick to not have everyone complain at the same time.

I've got trouble adapting. The shift from the farm back to the city, I'm not too good at it. I hate moving. It's why I hate traveling. It takes me about a week to settle in and for my grumpiness to subside.

I know there's some soft drink in the fridge to drink. It would be so good right now. I'm looking forward to beginning college. I met another girl online this summer, and she tells me she attends the same college and knows who I am. She's not revealing who she is to me. Which does make for a fun situation for a bit. She says she's even talked about me with her friends last year, telling her friends that I look like her uncle.

Nahida's been re-arranging the house. She's had all the rugs put in. It's the kind of thing that's done once summer is over. She says some of these rugs are worth thousands of dollars. I dropped a cigarette on one of them yesterday.

Last night, I slept in my bedroom instead of the living room for the first time since the heat began. The trouble with sleeping in my bedroom is that the generator is right outside of it, making it even more impossible to sleep. But the climate is much better now and I don't need to run the generator to run the fan to go to sleep anymore.

It's nearly two in the morning now and that juice in the fridge is waiting for me, and I don't want to sleep too late either.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Another Ramadhan Is Over

I'm not entirely sure why I haven't been bothered to post lately. Maybe there are so many little mundane details in my life these days that to write them all down or filter them down. And then it seems as I was talking to Remy over the phone a few days ago that drinking is the key. So I've got myself of some of that gin that my uncle left me mixed with two squeezed limes, some and salt. I've discovered that salt makes the gin a lot more bearable.

I got back from a week long stay at my farm two days ago. And when I got back I had the best sleep I've had for months. Went to sleep at around six in the afternoon and woke up at quarter to six in the morning. The weather has finally cooled down enough so that I don't wake up in a pool of my own sweat.

The farm trip was good. I've finally began processing the transfer of ownership of the three plots from my dad to me. It was the first time I had to deal with government bureaucracy on my own. And it went surprisingly well. Whenever it seemed I was stuck I just had to mention that I was my father's son and a 'come back tomorrow' would change to a 'have a seat'. But so far I've had one woman mention that she has a boy or nephew that has fluid in his spine and needs medical attention abroad (it takes the piss that government can spend three billion dollars on importing weapons but can't provide the money for health care) and another that asked me to contact a relative of mine in the government so that he can provide a hajj permit. Saudi Arabia allots quotas of how many people may be sent to the hajj to each state. The relative of mine has the power to grant such a permit but I don't have any contact with him and I don't want to create one. Fozzy told the woman that Nahida who does have contact will do it. I just don't want to be the one making any promises.

I also got to meet some relatives of mine that are my age. They're cool guys and it's great to know someone that it's in the same business as me and with whom I could chill out with. One of them works in a micro-financing company, which is interesting. They provide loans of up to a thousand or two thousand dollars I think to anyone that can bring along a government employee to guarantee re-payment. The lender receives the loan minus one year's interest at the beginning and pays the rest in monthly installments for 12 months.

Kiki is in Malaysia now, he finally got his foot in the UNHCR's door, he had to stand outside the door five hours or so and fight for his place as others arrived so that he could get in when they opened the door for him. He was given an appointment for an interview to seek asylum, the appointment is in a year. India in Sweden got granted asylum and is now beginning to settle in with forty four year old Russian flatmate and now girlfriend.

I met a girl online, meet quite a few of those, this one gave me her number and we have been talking for about an hour or two every night. Last night, We fell asleep together whilst talking to each other on the phone. Shady's got a sexy voice and makes lots of tiny moans when she's talking to me from her bed that give me a hard on all the time. She's very affectionate, she helps me out with my Arabic, always pointing out whatever mistake I make and taking the time to explain things that I don't understand. Two weeks ago I downloaded a great book to study Arabic with and she'd encourage me to study, but she hasn't lately, and I haven't touched the book ever since I went to the farm. I should study a bit today and get back in the routine.

Last week at the farm I couldn't help myself and had to beat one off whilst talking to Shady, she didn't believe that I was actually did it until I was done. And then as revenge she got very serious and told me I should be punished and that she would have one of my nails ripped out which grossed me out. The next day she explained that when I do such stuff I should do it with a special someone and she threatened that if I don't get a girlfriend a in a month or two that she would start loving me. But I made her promise that she would never love me when we first began chatting.

Next week classes start as decided by the students, classes should have officially started at the beginning of October. There's another girl that I've met online during the summer who hasn't revealed to me who she is but tells me she's in college with me and knows who I am. It might make for a fun situation.