"Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May" is a poem by Robert Herrick. This poem portrays our existence on earth, and that people age as life goes on, and everything becomes boundless. Herrick here urges people to take advantage of youth and energy while they may! The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, to seize the day.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
OK, Cairo was fun at some points and very disappointing at some other points! I have lots and lots to tell and talk about, but will try to make it short for each part! In this post, I will talk about my first day... and since I haven't been to Cairo since the 1980s when I was little... This trip was like my first time there :-)
Day I - March 26th
We arrived at the airport and were received by two assistance (we arranged that from Kuwait). They basically did the whole going into immigrations and baggage claim thing.... very useful and highly recommended. They were two young men, very polite, very proper, and very helpful. The whole process was a breeze! We also hired a driver for the three days we were gonna be there for EGP 500 per day (everyone told us it was WAY TOO MUCH/over charged) . One of those young men told us we were supposed to be picked up by another driver, but he got caught up in something and will meet with us tomorrow. Meanwhile, they arranged for us another driver for the day.... Both drivers' names were Ahmed. So Ahmed I substitued for Ahmed II.....
I tipped those two gents for EGP50.... he hesitated to take the money, but I insisted! He smiled and said thanks!
It took us around an hour to get to our hotel, Sofitel El Gezirah. As soon as we reached our room, we quickly showered and changed to meet my friend from the States at Buddha Bar in our hotel... whom I have not seen in over 10 years! She came with her hubby and his friend. We had dinner at the Buddha Bar restaurant and then went outside and sat by the Nile for a while to catch up. It was nice to see her after those long years....
First day was super nice! All the people I met were friendly, the service was great, my food was amazing, the hotel was nice and the staff were great.... and I had good company!
Two more days to come!!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I have mixed feelings about my trip to Egypt. Overall it was a bit of many things; fun, laughs, thrill, shock, anger, and disappointment!
This was one short eventful 53 hours trip! I have so many pictures to show, so many stories to tell, and so many experiences to share!
My camera broke down Friday afternoon after my trip to the pyramids... it could be due to the sand/windy weather :-( Any suggestion for a new nice camera?
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I had dinner with my sister and friend earlier today at Rice and I just wanted to share my experience with you :-) I heard so much about Rice on facebook (Kuwait & Food group) and wanted to give it a shot.
The restaurant is situated in The Avenues Phase II food court right after The Butcher Shop. We got there and chose to sit in the outside area. The place is very inviting, and I loved the rice looking chandeliers, the mix of the so modern looking restaurant with French Country-esque chairs/tables, and very unique way of serving the food in a metal tray... There you have your little metal pot for the rice, a side of yogurt dip or salad, a bowl for your main course, a small bowl for the pickles, and an empty plate for you to eat (well the plate.... not very practical, I hated it). The staff were so quick and so friendly. Bravo!
I ordered the Baby Chicken (I asked them to serve it boneless and they did). My friend ordered Chicken Biryani, while my sister opted for Dawood Basha. My order came with a mixed rice (nuts, ground beef, and rice), yogurt dip, pickles. I got full half way through... their servings are huge and may be enough for two! Non of us could finish it, but all agreed that they were some yummy dishes! I am going again for sure since there were other dishes that I was drooling over (like the okra/bamya stew). I am so looking for my next visit.
Towards the end, they served dessert (fruit salad and Muhalabiya) and Tea. Our bill came close to KD21 which isnt bad at all when you think of the food and portions!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
OK :-) Interesting feedback I got by comments here, facebook, and email or text msgs LOL! I am so excited and everyone is telling me not to have high hopes, but I cant help it!
The pyramids (along with the horseback riding) and the museums are a MUST for me, but to sum up all the suggestions I got by a considerable amount of peeps, I picked the following...
- Buddha Bar - Sangria - La Bodega (If I get the chance to pass by all three but I dont think so, so I am gonna go for Buddha Bar as a first choice out of the three)
- Abu El Sid was also highly recommended
- I am definitely gonna pass by AlHussein and Khan AlKhalili and most likley will go to Najeeb Mahfouz Cafe au contrair to ElFishawi Cafe
- Four Seasons - Nile (for all kind of food and shopping) my friend also suggested the Thai restaurant at El Dokki Four Seasons, so will see how it goes :-)
- Anyone heard of Thomas Pizza? My half Egyptian friend said its "Egyptian Style".. interesting :-)
- Ghash is the best place to try foul (fava beans) and falafel. Its dirty but yummy, thats what I keep hearing. Its in Sayyeda Zeinab and I am up for the risk! I dont think my friend/coworker will try it though LOL
- Ohhh and I hear a lot about Abu Tarek's Kushari (SO MANY SUGGESTIONS!) hehehehe
- City Star Mall
- The Felucca Ride in the Nile at sunset was also highly recommended!
- Fatimid Cairo, where I can see Darweesh (Sufism, and men dancing in skirts)
Thats a long to-do list for my short stay! I typed them down in no specific order of preference! I wish I get to do all of the above but I doubt it... ohhh and I'm also gonna meet my friend Kelly whom I have not seen in over 10 years!
UPDATE: I added some picture plans (Thanks Dalia :-*)... Sorry I stole your Bayt Al Kiritliyya picture hehehe
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I'm going to Cairo for a couple of days soon.... I have been there a couple of times, last time of which was at the age of 7! So, yeah... it is kinda my first trip to Egypt.
I'm taking your recommendations! Be it museums, restaurants, sites, old markets...etc.
Monday, March 23, 2009
A conversation between my sister and her 7 year old son...
Mom: Yes honey
Ahmed: I don't want to go to school tomorrow! I don't want to go to school... period.
Mom: That's fine by me... but why?
Ahmed: I know how to speak both English and Arabic just fine, and I also have some basics in French. I think I am covered
Mom: OK! No worries, but just answer one question for me, Okay?
Ahmed: Yes mommy
Mom: What does globalization mean?
Ahmed: I mean I am Arabic, and such word in English is no big deal to me
Mom: Fine, then tell me what is عولمه (which is a translation of the same word in Arabic)
Ahmed: Well, what I really meant is that I am Kuwaiti.
Mom: Fine. Then don't go to school
At the gas station
Mom: See that guy filling our car with gas? The poor man did not get the chance to finish school
Mom: So Ahmed... .when you grow up, just tell me which gas station you like and I will work all kind of "wasta" (connections) for you
At night, before Ahmed went to bed
Mom: Yes honey?
Ahmed: Please wake me up for school tomorrow
Mom: Sure :-) Good night baby :-*
Ahmed: Good night mom
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I decided to go back online and check my bank account(s), and one of which is an account with CBK. I remember opening that account for one purpose only, which was buying Tijari Funds. Its been a while since I checked that account... and when I logged in I saw that they have been deducting KD2 each month since August!!
It states that when your balance falls below KD100 they start deducting KD2 as a fee. I always kept it at, at least, that minimum. So get this...
August 5th '08, my balance was around KD100
August 6th '08, I withdrew KD50 and my balance was around KD50
August 7th '08, I transfer KD51 to have a new balance of around KD101...
Then my account started to drop KD2/month totaling to KD16 with a credit of KD2 in January.. so they added KD2 for some reason and deducted KD16 in the course of eight months! I called the call center and he said this was done because at one point in time it got to less than KD100, so they decided to do so... I am redeeming my fund on Monday and closing the account too on the same day!
I still can't go to sleep! Ughhhhhhh!
Its now 5:30, I am still awake... Gonna watch Grey's Anatomy S5E17
And I arrived to work LATE! How is that possible when I woke up around 4 hours prior to my actual wake up time...
AlTabtabaie was interviewed on BBC - Arabic FM while I was driving to work, and he used a hadith to describing the parliament dissolving...
He said: أبغض الحلال عند الله حصل وهو حل المجلس
Isn't that HARAM?!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
So Yeah... you all (almost all) know by know that the main purpose of my Dubai's visit was to see Cirque Du Soleil's Alegría... It was AMAZING! It kinda felt that it was a mini version of the real thing, nevertheless I enjoyed it so much. I also enjoyed the company. The people I went with (some family, some friends) all enjoyed it so much. I highly recommend you go if you get the chance to, it will end on April 5th. Too bad they wont allow photography, so my pictures are all taken using my phone... and even with that they wont allow you to take pictures till the end performance and then you are free to take as much pictures as you can.
We got the VIP ticket (highly recommended) and were guided to a special VIP lounge with snacks before the show. Too bad I could not eat much due to the fact that I had lunch earlier in Ibn Battuta mall next to the Cirque. So I snapped some pics for you :-)
The show started at 8:30PM and ended at 11:00PM with half an hour intermission. Dont miss it!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
While in Dubai, I made sure to swing by some of my favorite spots to dine in... and two of which were The Meat Co at Madinat Jumaira and Nobu at Atlantis Hotel....
Since it was a short trip the day turned out CRAZY! I wish my break was a day (or two) longer, I also ran into some family and friends here and there. Apparently a lot of Kuwaitis were there during that weekend, some even texted me that they saw me from far away and couldn't say hello! It was funny!!
After breakfast and shopping at the Mall of Emirates, we went to Madinat Jumairah to have lunch and walk around. We had lunch at The Meat Co. We ordered Red Chili Prawns and Rocket & Artichoke Salad for appetizers. I ordered The Petite (USA) Fillets2 X100 gm with a side of baked potato while my friend ordered a cheeseburger! It was so yummy, although I wanted my fillets without the mushroom sauce because it ruins the natural juices of the meat itself, and that is why I ordered it cooked medium (which also was a bit overcooked for my taste LOL I know I am bloody scary!)... but oh well, I was hungry as hell and ate the whole thing! We walked around Madinat Jumaira in the afternoon and headed to Mall of Dubai for some more shopping :-P
At night we were exhausted and hungry again... but did not want to rest and order room service! Instead, we headed to Atlantis for dinner at Nobu! The place is amazing and the food is so good! The pictures look like painting because I could not really take flash photos and disturb everyone there near by every time a new dish is at the table!! LOL! I actually love how they turned out with my editing and enhancing! We ordered Edamame and Mixed Seaweed Salad for Appetizer, Unagi for me and California for my friend. We also tried the New Age Salmon Sashimi *which I highly recommend* and shared a lobster. For dessert we ordered Benta Box Chocolate Souffle with a scoop of green tea ice cream! I loved everything about that place. The atmosphere, the service, and the food :-)
Enjoy the pictures... sometimes I forget to snap right away, so you may notice some missing pieces... ;-)
Monday, March 16, 2009
For my last trip to Dubai, I flew Wataniya Airways. Overall, it was good experience. The staff are very friendly (although some are not trained well yet) but at least they try and smile. My flight was at 8:15 in the morning, so I left home at around 6:00ish with Isaac. It was my first time to go to the new Sheikh Saad Terminal, but I was told to follow the Wataniya Airways all the way to the airport, which I did and it was very helpful... Isaac on the other hand was so nervous! Every time he goes to a new place he drives so slow and asks so many questions. I kept telling him to follow the signs all the way, which I recommend you do... even if you feel that its taking forever, and even when you see the airport on your right... just follow the sign and do not take turns because you wont get in due to the fences... Yes, you have to take the longer way ;-)
As soon as I stepped out of the car a porter asked if I needed help, and before even reaching the entrance I was received with a big smile of Wataniya Airways employee;
"Good morning maam :-) How are you today?"
And she guided me through to the check-in counters. It was semi crowded but chaotic! It was my first negative impression! An employee came and asked me...
WA (A): "Dubai or Bahrain?"
WA (A): Can you please step out of the line and wait for us to call you?
Me: hmmm, sure why?
WA (A): It will only take a couple of minutes
Me: OK!! Sure!!
WA (A): Thanks
I was upset because I had to wait like in the middle of the hall without any explanation! Another employee came and asked
WA (B): Can I help you? Are you flying to Bahrain?
Me: No Dubai
WA (B): Why arent you waiting in line?
Me: I was told to step out and wait here
WA (B): No you can go maam
I had one medium size duffel bag to check in... so I had to move it along with me back and forth...
Me: No please... make sure before you move me around... Do I go back in line or do I wait here! Please make sure because I dont want to move around with my stuff back and forth...
She immediately called a porter to help me... After a while
WA (A): Bahrain? Right? (I think she was asking me politely to step out again)
Me: No Dubai
WA (A): Can you please wait there until we.....
WA (B): No no.. (and she whispered something to her)
At this point I was so upset cuz the line wasnt moving and it was 7:30am... I guess I looked upset cuz one of the supervisor immediately took me to an empty counter to check in... and guess what? My bag was labeled with "LATE" friggin check-in!
The flight went in smoothly, the staff were amazing onboard... I was in the premium economy and the seats are roomy and comfy. You get to use your mobile phones via OnAir service in flight. The food was served like 40 mins before arrival so they literally placed the trays and removed them within 10-15 mins... I did not even finish my breakfast... which was awful and tasteless! But I kept wondering why did they serve it so late!
At Dubai Airport, I was not received by "Mar7aba" Service as promised which kinda pissed me off! I did everything on my own, which is no problem, but when you are promised such services... you expect to get them! Right!?
The trip back to Kuwait was much much better... I was assisted by "Mar7aba" personnel and the food was better, staff took time to talk to us about our experience and they also took the details of my flight to Dubai... But I dont really know if they will investigate about it or not.
I would definitely fly Wataniya again :-) I only think they need more training and more organizing :-) I highly recommend you give it a try.
Hasan B... that's my mini review!
PS: The last pic is of the intruder behind me! LOL... Don't ask :-P
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Yes! I am back... and will update you with the trip (and pictures too). It was a very much needed break and I had fun. I went to Dubai to see Cirque Du Soleil - Allegria among shopping and dinning out too of course... ended up with some bank account damages hehehe but it was worth it! I loved that trip, the company... I just wished there were more hours in the day to see some family and friends there! Stay tuned for updates... until then ;-)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out!"*
I am up for trying to make the best of the way things turn!
Let me tell you this: It was a BAD week! Something was brought to my attention "very publicly" when I am the kind of person that like to sort out things smoothly and I appreciate it more if it was on a scale of "one on one" (people who are really involved) without involving a third party who have no say about it to begin with! Did that make sense?
Oh but the highlight of my week was participating in a focus group for an ad agency, and it was chocolate related :-D I had so much fun!
Oh, and I am going to Cirque De Soleil - Alegria tomorrow! YAY!
That should put me in a better "state of mind" (how ironic is that? - click the link above to know what I mean)... I really really REALLY wanted to see "Ka" for Cirque De Soleil... but I guess Alegria will work for now :-)
*I got this from a motivational quote calendar on my coworker's desk!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Earlier this morning, as I was applying makeup before going to work... I wanted to check the eyelash I had in the corner of my eye (If you don't know/recall this, read here)... and guess what? ITS GONE! I am cured! I think I have the power to heal mentally :-P
This post is for Marzouq!
Will the real Adriana Lima please stand up?
I don't think I have ever seen Adriana look so plain and reserved. Normally she's wearing an ultra short mini, her hair has that 'just got out of bed' look, and she's giving us that signature pout.
If you are wondering what happen, she got married.
Why do these chicks get married, or start dating someone, and lose their identity?
Source: Red Carpet Fashion Awards!
Monday, March 9, 2009
The term “Chicken Nuggets” refers to a group of Kuwaiti people who uses English as their mother language. Those people cannot say a full sentence in Arabic without having to switch to English at least once per sentence. In most cases those Chicken Nuggets went to private schools and/or studied abroad in the States/Europe. In rare cases there are those who would just adapt to the group by the surroundings or for the sake of being “in”. Some see it as a phenomena, others see it as an evolution.
OK... picture this; the first time she see me at any given day, she would go .....
"YAAAAY Ansaaaaaam... hiiii, how are you dear??" Muwaaah X 2... so yeah she greet me with kisses, sometimes hugs, and some tapping on my shoulder and touching of my arms...
On the same day... I ran into her *lucky me* and she goes again...
"YAAAY Ansaam Ansaam, I see you again" with some more tapping and touching :-S
Yeah, she would go out of her way to come and do it all over again.. crossing people and waving while doing so until she reaches me and asking me how am I doing? and some other "advice" questions she needs help with in her personal life! Keeping in mind that I just met her last January! I am not even close to that lady!
She would do this every time she sees me... every single time, and I am starting to freak out specially when she once ran into me and said...
Her: I miss you :-(
Me: How come? I see you "a lot"
Her: I am traveling soon for six weeks
Me: This weekend? *Thank God*
Her: No next month
Me: ?!?!?!??!?! uh ha ha ha?
Her: I already miss you! I will miss you for six long weeks
She misses me already! She is leaving after three damn weeks!
The more hugging, kissing, and touching involved in greeting me... the more I freak out. I am not the touch-y.. feel-y type of person... specially with people I dont really know!!!!
Few pictures to share with you of the APPLES Exhibition I went to yesterday... My little helper in taking these snaps was cute lil miss Nujood (Shurooq Amin's daughter) who also volunteered to model for me holding the red apple :-)
PS: The exhibition is still ongoing until Saturday, March 14, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
You are cordially invited to APPLES Art Exhibition on Sunday March 8th in Marina Hotel at 7:00PM. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and installation by five Arab artists, including my amazing friend Shurooq Amin :-)
It is organized to celebrate womens day.
You can check the event on facebook...
"The 8th of March is Women's Day, and what better way to celebrate and honor it than by organizing a wonderful art exhibition, as Ms Fatina Al-Sayed from Fine Arts has done. She has gathered five talented Arab artists, each of whom will contribute their own style and technique of talent to the show, by paintings, sculpture, and installation to express what it means to be a woman, how it affects their artistic vision, their craft and their philosophy. Don't miss this fine unique experience"
Hope to see you there ;-)
You can join Shurooq Amin's Art Consultancy Group on facebook by clicking here :-)
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"Isaac, dont make any plans today at around 10:00am. I am dropping my car at the bodyshop in Shuwaikh... So I want you to pick me up from there and drop me to work"
He said ok!
So I went to work and left at around 90:00AM heading to Shuwaikh. I get all the paper work done and call Isaac.
Ansam: Can you please pick me up now.. I am in Shuwaikh?
Isaac: I am in the Coop with your mom
Ansam: WHAT! I told you that I needed you today! I will be late to work!
Isaac: Talk to madam
Ansam: Mom... can you please tell him to pick me up? I dont want to be late for work... Dad can come and get you?
Mom: Sure... we just got in, I will be done by the time hes done with you
Ansam: Thanks :-* OK so let me talk to him please
Mom: OK dear
Ansam: I am not at the dealership.. I am in the Shuwaikh garage.. OK?
Isaac: Yeah.. I know the place, been there with Sir
Ansam: Perfect.. Thanks
Isaac: You're welcome
15 minutes later... phone rings
Ansam: Are you out?
Isaac: Yeah I am home
Isaac: Yes.. where are you?
Ansam: I told you to pick me up from the garage... THE GARAGE ISAAC
Isaac: I did not hear you well I guess
Ansam: I DONT WANT TO BE LATE TO WORK... Come to Shuwaikh NOW!
15 minutes later... phone rings
Ansam: Are you out
Isaac: Yes, outside garage #7
I did not pay attention to the numbers, but THANK GOD he came to the right place
Isaac: So you want to go to work?
Ansam: Yes please
Isaac: Which road should I take
Ansam: Any road that leads to Kuwait City
Isaac: Rd 45 or 40?
Ansam: I dont care
*I was not in the mood to talk to him cuz all I was thinking is I wanna choke him*
Now I am at work, and the minute I got to my floor...... I threw up :-S
Monday, March 2, 2009
On Oqsim blog they mention that they got inspired by "I Pledge" Campaign!
Thank you Aurous.
I left home around 7:40ishAM and went to work... stayed there till around 4:10PM. I called a few guy friends to ask them about the procedure to take when I need to get my car fixed, specially when its a case against an unknown person....
So I went to the police station at around 4:30PM to report the hit-and-run and the investigator wasnt there. I was asked to come after an hour or so. I called a friend of mine and we decided to meet for coffee... I went to Soug Sharg -the closest to where I was- to kill that hour. I first went to Debenhams, got to the makeup section and an older man (in his late 50s-early 60s maybe) wispered something to me... something like "follow me... " and I could not understand a word he said. I figured maybe he talked to me by mistake thinking I am his daughter or something.. The guy started to follow me, as I was holding a couple of pieces of clothes he would stand few meters away from me and wait! I decided to leave immediately.
At the cashier my friend called and asked me to meet at the cafe. The cashiers started to whisper things about that freaky man who was follwing me and asked if I knew him cuz he was waiting for me AGAIN! I told them that I did not know the guy! So an employee of Debenhams walked me to my car (WTG Al Shaya) *phew*
At the cafe, I ordered something to drink till it was time to go to the police station again... I went in and there were few cases ahead of me... Many of you are propably wondering why I went alone without a male relative! Well, its because I dont have brothers and we have some sort of family health issue and I felt it was selfish for me to ask someone to come with me while they have something more important to worry about....
When it was my turn to go in the investigator's office, he wasnt really paying attention... his eyes were locked up the TV screen hanged on the wall! It pissed me off! Apparently some important match/scores were on and he was more interested in that than in listening to me! He even asked if I was parked far away, which I was, so he was like "hmmm did you take a picture of it?" and "Can I just trust your description of the accident!?" And thats what he did! He did not even bother to look at the damaged part!! VIVA LA SYSTEM! LOL
By the time I got back home it was around 7:30PM... which is almost exactly 12 hours later... and thats when I had time to eat "lunch"!
What do you guys think! "Oqsim" copied it!!
and our version...
Sunday, March 1, 2009
You can watch the rerun at around 2:50pm-3:00pm this afternoon on Al Watan Plus :-)