The Mr.’s journey to the butcher

Here we go again, after the attention he got from his last contribution to my blog here, the Mr. chooses to do more of it again. I don’t mind, it’s healthy for him to vent out on someone other than me and something other than FarmVille (his annoying current addiction!)… Enjoy: 

There is a joke in Egyptian about the barber who used to work as a butcher. Well, yesterday this was a reality for me!

I do not shave in barber shops usually, due to personal preservation on the cleanliness of such places. I have invested the money in buying all the shaving tools that I need to carry out the job professionally at home. And yes, that includes the barber “L” shaped razor blade (call me old fashioned, but I don’t use the fancy Gillette razors as they do not give the precision they claim to give !!).

Unfortunately , I had a bad shoulder muscle for a month and couldn’t shave. I was starting to look like a cave man so I had to give in to my wife’s nagging and settle for the local barber shop (though my cave man look “should” work to her delight because I attract less attention :p).

I stepped into the barbershop, the barber stands up with a big smile on his face, I could clearly see that he is stoned, either due to chewing paan (Indian cannabis) or just watching long Indian movies on the salon TV. As a side story, I once went to a barbershop with my dad. Dad was disturbed by the Indian movie on show, so I took the initiative to flick the channels hoping that I would find something of interest, to my surprise all the channels were Indian !!… and I thought the TV was installed for the guest’s entertainment !!

Anyhow, back to my story, the barber wrapped me in a “yellow stained” towel, smeared my face with shaving gel in an unfashionable manner, while looking away and chatting with the other barber. I could literally taste the gel and could hardly breath without sucking in some of the gel covering my nostrils.

As he shaves my moustache, he takes more from one side in an obvious way. I can only do very little when under the knife, so I sit silent and obedient, hoping he knows what he is doing. He then goes into shaving my neck and hiding every blood drop with a small piece of tissue.

Now my face looks like it has been bashed with a shovel taking part of my moustache away, or like I have a hemi-paralysed face. To fix this, he goes on shaving, with an attempt to move my face centre line half an inch to one side compensating for his mistake (if he was a plastic surgeon he would have probably made an attempt to move my nose too !!)

After finishing his master piece he looks at me with a smile asking if everything looks fine !! whatever I say would not change a thing, I just smile back and leave with plenty of tissue papers to wipe off the blood and an explanation to my wife when she sees me with barely any mustache left.

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Two generations on facebook!

Where do we draw the line? When do we hang the “STOP” poster up?

Facebook (fb) is a social network, it’s also an eye-opener! Through it we’ve seen images of relatives and friends in many forms, whether normal, good or bad. My colleague came to me yesterday, tears filling up her eyes, after she’d discovered (from a family member of hers) the “other” side of her teenage daughter in facebook. Her daughter happens to be in my friends’ list in fb and I sort of knew what she was up to all along. Honestly speaking, I assumed her parents approved of her acts, there were no signs that told me otherwise.

Teens of this era are difficult to understand, they know we’re watching, they know we have a “mouth”, but to draw that connection from A to B, nope?!  The daughter knows I have access to her profile and she knows I have a mouth, wouldn’t she suspect that I may use my mouth to tell her mother of her “hidden” identity? Of course it wasn’t me who exposed the daughter this time, it was someone else, but you get my point?

The world wide web has allowed us to wear masks and hide behind those masks to portray more of our “covert” selves. Either an image of what we really are deep inside but fear to show the world, or more of how we want to be perceived by others. Well, that was achievable to us on some level 10 years ago, because we were the pioneers of Internet users, we had no parent/aunt/uncle watching over us when we’re in our discreet life on line. Youth of this era on the other hand, have us as an older generation watching what they say and do, observing their hidden or “covert” selves unfold, and also view “how” they like to be perceived on the digital world. What happens is that they, unlike us, do not have the privilege of hiding. They cannot maintain that double identity,  they are forced to maintain a mono-identity in the presence of both (1) “us” – those who know the teen within his/her family surroundings (2) plus their social network of friends, to those who they strive to portray a different image in front of!  If the teenager is usually the rebellious character among friends, they’re left with no choice but to continue portraying that image in facebook. The twist is that if an adult in the family or a family friend is part of facebook, the youngster is exposed, we suddenly see their other or rather “hidden” side.

What’s really interesting from what I’ve noticed, is that teens albeit showing off their “cooler” side  to satisfy their friends, do not really care how they’re perceived by the older generation, it does not matter anymore. I’ve seen images that left me dumbfounded and others that shattered my nerves for days! That in itself is another question, why and how do they have the courage to ignore what “we” ( us who can contact their parents if we wish) think of them?    

Now this colleague of mine is blaming me for not telling her long ago, and is now expecting me to spill the beans whenever I see anything again. I would like to deal with matters in my own way if something like this is to ever come up again, because I wouldn’t like to break trust with the daughter or any other. I have youngsters in my list, with pictures of actions that would not please their parents much, but so far I’ve resorted to disapproval within myself or in certain circumstances discuss it with my significant others.

What do you usually do in situations as such? Do you approach the teen or their parent?

When do you usually take action? When they’ve crossed certain boundaries or do you issue warnings before?

Blog – behind the scenes!

Teeth whitening? Weight loss? Money making? Baby making, and many other immoral ones! What’s up with this new outbreak of SPAM in my blog?

You don’t see them among other comments because every single day I’ve got to delete at least 2 spam comments. Annoying!

Do you get them too?

I chickened out

Oh yes I did. I feel like a failure. I feel betrayed and defeated by my own self. I’m still in denial and I like to blame the circumstances for this withdrawal from such a courageous act. How I wish I could just go back and … do it!
 

Let me explain. On my trip back to Muscat from England, I felt the urge to write, to fill a piece of paper with the most powerful tool in the world, with words. The Mr. was sitting beside me, his eyes fixated on a tiny screen in front of him, indulged in what appeared to be the “monsters against aliens” movie. I asked him to bring me the notebook from the overhead locker, he laughed hysterically to what I thought was on my request, apparently it was on something he’d seen on the screen, a monster fell down or something close to that. I politely asked again if he could get me my notebook from the overhead locker, another laughter, a very deep one this time. My compassionate self chose to let go of my urge to write and let the Mr. focus. There must be something more important after all, the monster again ready to take a serious step forward, maybe?

It’s difficult to suppress an urge, I’ve never thought it would that difficult. Alas, you learn a lot when the one and only person you know among some 200 others, on a place above ground, on air,  chooses a monster over you!

I felt lonely and I seriously needed to vent out. I saw nothing but a pile of magazines hidden inside a pocket in the seat in front of me. There, my eye glittered, I produced a gentle squeak of laughter that only echoed back to me, because again the Mr. was deeply entertained with monsters and aliens! I picked the “duty free” magazine, and started searching like a nurse trying to look for a good vain in a fleshy area for a prick. I found it!! Spacious, colourful and inviting… and I wrote……

words..

words..

 

I spilled those words out, put the magazine back in it’s pocket to rest in peace, covered myself with the blanket provided and sighed in relief. I’ve always imagined I’ll write something in a bottle and drop it at the sea to see where it goes. That was kinda unrealistic, this thing I did was very realistic. It could easily reach a reader’s hand, I was really eager to see what happens next. If you notice, my blog link was there, so the reader could and hopefully would get back to me, sometime!

Just after this courageous act, I knocked gently on the Mr.’s shoulder, told him what I intend to do, he laughed, looked at me and said “I like the idea, but you can’t do it!… you simply won’t”, I said “WHAT?! Why not? you’ll see…”

The captain announced that we have started descending. My mind was on auto-pilot at the moment, driven by innate powers, I took the magazine and had it resting on my lap. The last thing I remember was this piece of paper (the picture above), with my words on, on my lap. We arrived safely, came home, I opened my handbag to take my contact lens solution out, and………. the paper was  in my handbag! My courageous act was……..in my handbag!

I know…. I feel like such a coward! I’ve turned one of my fantasies down, I feel hopeless. I came back from this experience, with 3 words, “I chickened out…”!

 

I: on London

Somewhere over the rainbow!
Somewhere over the rainbow!
Where we stayed. Just outside our building
Where we stayed. Just outside our building
Home away from home
Home away from home

 

It was Ramadhan, we broke our fast with strawberries :)
It was Ramadhan, we broke our fast with strawberries 🙂

 

Exploratory walks around London:

Random alley, close to our area in Borough
Random alley, close to our area in Borough

 

Supposedly, the biggest in the world and the finest in London. (We should start marketing Souq Mawaleh in Oman, dont you think?)
Supposedly, the biggest market in the world and the finest in Uk. (We should start marketing Souq Mawaleh in Oman, don’t you think?)

 

Policewomen on duty!
I asked if I can go on their horses, pretending to be a naive tourist, no.. just kidding 😉

 

London...
London…

 

Some Muslim lost his hat in London! I really hope there was nothing under it :O
Some Muslim lost his hat in London! I really hope there was nothing under it :O

 

 

A small garden within a church, Maybe??
A small garden within a church, Maybe??

 

Colourful London
Peeking at the crowd from over a bridge. Colourful London..

 

Just walking and snapping..
Just walking and snapping..

 

River Thames
Walking by River Thames
Sitting by the river, enjoying the breeze
Sitting by the river, enjoying the breeze
Sipping my last cuppa coffee in London, from somewhere over the rainbows again!
Sipping my last cuppa’ coffee in London, from somewhere over the rainbow again!

Back. Wolverhampton. London. Courses. Eid

I had a good break, fully rejuvenated and fresh to start blogging again. Also, packed with great knowledge and a good boost of confidence to go back to work next week!

This is what my journey looked like, I’ll try to make it short and simple for you readers, so respect that and read on 😉

Have you ever used all modes of transportation in one single day, I proudly did for my trip from Muscat to Wolverhampton! Do I recommend it, a clear cut “NO”, it’s exhausting… but was great fun I must admit. We (the Mr. and I) were dropped off by car to the airport early morning, the 8th of September, took a comfortable flight to Birmingham airport, the tram to the train station, the train to Wolverhampton and our legs on a rainy evening to the hotel.

Wolverhampton:I expected a small town, I was mistaken it was a lively city just outside Birmingham. Fairly new, with shiny buildings, very different from those of old cities in the UK. The course was a 15-min walk from the hotel, not too bad, quite refreshing to start your day walking, considering the good weather of course. We’ve been quite lucky with the weather during our two week stay in UK this time, it doesn’t usually go that way!

The 2-day “Adult Stammering Intervention” course by two respected and well-known professionals in the field was phenomenal, in fact they declared that this was the last course they do together as one of them had already retired, call me “lucky”.

On the 12th, 4 days post-arrival, we took the train to London.

London:the city of diversity I’ll happily name it. You walk and hear 101 languages echoing back and forth, you do not feel outcast, you just fit in wherever you go. I remember hating London so much when I was younger, the last time I was there was with family, I was say 15 at the time. My father is not exactly calm, just imagine what he’d be like in an underground station trying to catch the next tube, with children roaming around fascinated by things they’d never seen before. His temper evaporates, then condensates on me to give me a tainted image of London for some 11 years, an image of rush and fury that is. London has definitely managed to erase that old image, I actually now understand why people go head over heels in London. I cannot imagine myself living in London, it’s too “hype” for my liking, but I totally understand those who love it. The city has changed drastically, it’s become exceptionally diverse.  Walking and staring that’s what you do when you’re going around. You just enjoy looking at people rushing, hugging their plastic cups of coffee in one hand (here we go with the love of coffee again!) and a bagful of papers or a laptop in the other! All minding their own business. I particularly liked the formal looks on people from head to toe, actually from head to ankles (in suits), their foots in casual trainers for a comfortable run to and from work place! What a sight. Love life, love London! 

Why was I in London again? Oh the course! The second course was the Palin PCI (Parent Child Interaction) for early childhood stammering, in simple language, Stammering therapy for preschoolers. The course was top notch, well structured and beautifully presented.

Practical for Omani culture? I don’t know! From the title you can tell what it’s all about; the aim of this therapy is to promote parent-child interaction, it’s achieved by recording video tapes of each parent playing with the child. Mother playing with her child (acceptable, but video recording this interaction, typically not!). Father playing with the child (not culturally acceptable, recording it, no problem). Go figure! I’ll have a hard time applying this exact strategy, I’ll have to make a few adaptions, until we’re more open to this notion of video recording the Ma’s and convincing the Fa’s that going down to your child’s level and actually playing can help in stammering. We’re a practical nation, the first thing parents usually ask in clinic after my long session of reassuring, explaining and choosing a therapy method is: “shai duyaat?” (Any medicine?). You just love them, so simple, get the medicine and go home!   

On the 20th of Sept, Eid was announced in London, we broke our fast one day earlier than family in Oman! I could’ve made it to Oman for eid, but it would have been extremely tiring to celebrate eid right after an 8-hour travel. Another reason or the “hidden agenda” to be more precise is because I had made plans to meet some special cousins namely; Miss.W, the well-known Kamakazy and Soulmate -yes, she’s behind the comments around this blog-!

This may sound harsh for some or illogical to many, but I enjoy Eid abroad just as much as I enjoy it at home. Eid has its special scent that follows you wherever you go! As long as I’ve got some family members around, I do not mind it one bit. We’ve had waffles and coffee for breakfast, instead of the meat and rice ( Arsiya- usually served on breakfast, day one of eid). Then, had the best shawarma anyone can ever dream of, in fact I’ve read reviews on the internet suggesting that it is the best Shawarma in the whole world. HEAVEN… Shahrayar can tell you all about it, he secretly got himself another bite of that heaven the next day (while I was shopping with Soulmate)!  

Not to bore you and prolong this post longer than it is now, I’ll leave you with the taste of shawarma in your mouth. Don’t bother getting one from wherever you are, that London shawarma was exceptional!

I’ll get back with more stories about this trip, oh and pictures also coming soon. No not of the shawarma unfortunately, I wouldn’t share the mouth-watering Tehini with my camera 😉

Posting from England

GoodBye

Goodbye

 

Goodbye…. wait, I’m still blogging, I just won’t be posting much for the next couple of weeks! I’m in the UK for a course, guessed it? Yup a stuttering course, thinking about it makes me freak out, because I’ve travelled an 8-hour flight for stuttering and it’s becoming the last thing I think about late at night. I seriously need help, I think I’ve gone beyond the “crush” or “infatuation” stage, I’m in a serious relationship with stuttering!!! I know I know I’m married, I feel bad but rest assured I’m now working on a strategy to open-up to my husband, I should really tell him about this new love, don’t you think?

Ouch.. my speech hurts!

I’m on cloud 9, a package I’ve ordered from the States a month ago has FINALLY arrived! I was eagerly waiting for it all month, literally counting the minutes. I’ve actually sent the company 2 emails requesting an explanation for the delay! Well, I’m sure you ALL (without exceptions) start counting down the minute you press the “order” button for an online purchase. It takes your patience to the limits, to the point of mental breakdown for some people, really! Don’t we all LOVE packages?

Anyway, the package is from “The Stuttering Foundation“, they have amazing stuff, ones that make your mouth drool and your eyes glitter. I hope you never need such material, ever Inshallah… I do need them, because I’m in love with speech disorders, I actually have a crush on stuttering! The knowledge of it and the therapy of it. If you’ve been surfing my blog long enough, you’d notice that I’m a Speech therapist, I may not be the best I admit but I work with passion, it makes me happy….and satisfied.  

Just imagine the two scenarios (in an attempt to give you a taste of how parents end up in my clinic) :

A new baby is born, physical abnormalities (a health condition like a heart defect, or more obvious like a missing limb) are noticed on-spot by specialists and treated accordingly. Right away, parents start their grieving process from denial to acceptance.  The child receives medical attention instantly and intervention pathway is all set, it’s all standard. In developed/ing countries parents may have all the counselling they need even before they actually care to memorise the “medical term” of that physical disability.

On the other hand, when the problem is “invisible” or rather “gradually inclining” like speech, it’s a totally different story. Take “stuttering” for example, the developing child will never come to say: “Mama, ouch.. my speech hurts”, a parent has to have speech detecting capabilities to notice that her child speaks somewhat different than his peers. Next, with all the reassurance a parent gets from the grandparent, the uncle, the housemaid, the neighbour and also the random lady who happened to observe the child speak and generously gave a healing recipe of garlic, some cardamom and a dash of fresh turmeric powder for the definite cure. The child either lives with his speech impediment until something more dramatic happens for the parent to pursue their investigations. Or maybe the more “active” parent chooses to ignore the reassurance received and makes it to the Paediatrician. Now if the parent has met a too-much-know Dr. (there are a lot of them by the way), the parent gets even more reassurance and heads back home, thanks God and sleeps, the child is left to suffer for the rest of his life. Or the Dr. happens to be the down-to-earth type, realises his limitations and refers the child to a speech therapist, and that’s where the rescue comes in!

This is just a perfect scenario, the stories of how the parent ends up knocking my door are intriguing, to say the least. I guess you’ve realised by now the choices a parent has to make  or the chances a parent has to encounter before they start knocking my door. It’s not a straight forward nor a standard journey.  

Whatever pathway the parent has chosen to take, he/she are not to be blamed. With an “invisible” handicap, by that I mean not physical, or one that is not necessarily perceived as a disorder by everyone, the parent is left to discover, evaluate and sometimes even attempt to treat on their own, of course only to grieve their failures when their humbly chosen methods do not work. It’s traumatising for the parent and for the child alike.

صوما مقبولا… و افطارا شهيا

صوما مقبولا... و افطارا شهيا

صوما مقبولا... و افطارا شهيا

May you have your fasting accepted..

May you have a scrumptious break-fast (Iftar)!

Coexist

Dear media, leaders and terrorists,

Other nations throughout history have coexisted, why can’t we! Our ideologies may differ greatly, but our common grounds are much much greater.  We’re physically, emotionally and psychologically “human”. It all goes down to two simple words: Recognise + Accept.

I came across this video below, it’s quite old, but I couldn’t hold it back for myself to enjoy only, so there you go… enjoy his simple yet powerful message:

Kudos to you Moez Masoud, very well said… Mashallah!

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