This was a favorite of the boys!
Hinley just snacked instead of riding
I think this color looks like a "Party Purple", and yesterday was a party kind of day. We started with a big time play date at the mall, and I know you're thinking "oh, boring, kiddie area in the mall with germs and anti-social moms". Nooooo, it's not that AT ALL! This play area is a huge arcade in the upper level of Rashid Mall with carnival rides. Think Chuck E. Cheese, but better....with pets for sale. Say WHAT???? Yes, pets.for.sale! The guy doesn't speak English, though, so that's always my excuse. "Sorry, kids, I was gonna buy that rabbit today, but he doesn't understand me." Yep, gets me points every time. I mean, of course I change up which animal we were going to buy that day, and I DO ACTUALLY TRY to buy the animal. Sadly, I have now learned how to ask "how much is that?" in Arabic then say "that's too much". This excuse won't work. I really am brushing up on my Arabic! Back to yesterday...man, I am bad about getting away from the topic!
The kids were super cute, especially Nugget, who just stared at the boys riding everything. She was the only girl in a group of 5 old enough to ride the rides. We also had 2 in infant carriers. My favorite part of the day was watching the Arab men ride the elevator up and down...again and again. My friend and I were waiting, with our 5 kids, and we see the elevator come to us and open. Of course, the man gets on, pushes the button and lets the door close in our face. This is very typical. Women our not highly esteemed. That doesn't bother me. It just makes me laugh at their ignorance. (I silently chant "I am a Proverbs 31 Woman") Anyway, the elevator goes up, and I am thinking "the only thing up there is the play land, have fun". It is THREE GROWN MEN, mind you. Then, the elevator comes back down. The SAME men are still in it, and they go to the floor below us. A few seconds pass, and it comes to us again...SAME DARN MEN!!!! THIS IS SO FUNNY, but also ridiculous. These guys aren't together!! Really, none of them know how to operate an elevator? The door opens, and the man who piled on in front of us speaks out the door, "don't touch the buttons". My friend, the Canadian Elaine, says "you don't touch the buttons, it's not our fault you don't know how to operate a lift. You can ride it all (expletive) day for all I care." I simply said, "We are women with children, and you should be ashamed to speak to us that way, in the first place. We haven't touched the buttons, and you've been riding the same elevator for 10 minutes without going anywhere. Floor 3, Shukran"! Elaine looked at me pale as a ghost, apologized after realizing what she had said and laughed. We got out at floor 3 and let them enjoy their "ride". We spent an hour at the mall then piled in the taxi like sardines. I am trying to adjust to my babies not being in car seats at all times, and it is killing me. This country has the highest death rate from MVA's of ANYWHERE, and I have my kids in a taxi at least once a week. This will be a big adjustment when we are back in Texas, I bet. Thankfully, they are in Daddy's car a lot too, and a car seat is a MUST!
PARTY, PARTY, PARTY!!! Miss Elaine has become a dear friend, and her husband is whisking her away to Denmark for her birthday, which is also NYE. I had a wonderful night planned to celebrate her, but that all got foiled by the last minute arrival of their new baby boy's iqama. So, I threw a little dinner party at our house last night. I loved feeling like I was able to host people again. I am truly happy when I am in the kitchen, flour flying, with too many things on the stove. Thank GOD for my amazing 9 year old that is better without a recipe and with a wooden spoon that I. The boy is gifted in the art of cuisine! He made sauteed mushrooms that were a hit. Our menu consisted of:
Honey lime chicken on the grill
Fajita chicken for the kids
Stuffed Red and Orange peppers with rice, black beans, jalapenos, red onion and topped with cheddar
Refried beans for the kiddos
various dips with chips for appetizers
Homemade Beer and Wine
Homemade White chocolate cake with Buttercream icing topped with sugar pearls
NOW, that was a wonderful meal with our newest friends! We had 8 adults and 6 kids. I loved having our home full of food, friends laughter and chaos. We are looking forward to many more nights similar to that and adjusting to this new Friday we call Wednesday.
Arabic for the day:
Keep in mind, these are all written totally different...in ARABIC, of course. I am writing them as they are pronounced in English.
Here is your list, and this one is for the LADIES!!!
1. It is nice easy to make friends here and find ladies that you can really be yourself around.
2. Nobody cares who has the BETTER abaya....haha!
3. You can only go to a "ladies center" to get any type of salon service (nails, hair, waxing, etc.) These are one of the few places open from 10-10 instead of closing from noon till 4.
4. There is a lady that comes to my house for a 2 hour massage, with her own table, for 2 hours, for 200 SAR. Remember the conversion 1 USD=3.75 SAR
5. There are also ladies that will come to your home for mani/pedi, waxing, facials, threading...probably anything. I have only used the massage lady and LOVE her!
6. Her husband does the massages for men, remember everything is separated by gender here.
7. My neighbor across the street is Chinese, gorgeous and does facials for 90 minutes, in her home for 150 SAR. Talk about personal service!
8. The covered women here will come out of a public restroom and touch up their eye makeup every.single.time!!! Think about how often we apply lipgloss or chap stick, that is eyeliner and mascara to them. It was strange for me at first, but then I realized it IS their "gloss".
9. Okay, craziest thing is, the shortest, tightest dresses you might see are on the ladies that are covered from head to toe! When no men are around, the abayas and hijab come off, and the high fashion is what's underneath. I was shocked.
10. We are having a party on 1/25 with ladies only, so they can wear what they want and dance. The ladies are so excited to have awards for best make-up and hair. I think that is something we really take for granted, the opportunity to just fix our hair.
Anyway, pick up your mouth from the floor....haha!!!
Blessed be your day!