Friday, November 16, 2007
As cold as it may be, snow fills my heart with warmth. When the flakes dance on their way to touch the ground, they tell a story, they sing it. If we listen closely, we can hear it. A song about a new day, a new time, a new life. Those flakes descend from heaven every year but they always start the season with that happy song of hope. That song is what I have had. If I could only be a flake of snow or act like one, excited to arrive to my destination, knowing what my destination is, and dance my way there, I would have become a better me. A me that still believes in something, still believes in many things that I have lost my faith in; starting with me.
I love the first snow....I will hold on to loving it until I find my new "first"...or at least start believing that I will ever have a new "first".....
Sunday, October 21, 2007
My younger brother has just become a CMA and started his path towards becoming a CFA. In order to make his life easier, he needed a specific financial calculator that he couldn't find anywhere in Damascus. He called and asked for my help. Five minutes later I was checking amazon.com and 4 days later the FedEx guy knocked on my door and handed it to me. It looks very primitive, probably like the calculators that were used to do the calculations needed to build the pyramids few billions of years ago! Anyway, I contacted DHL and their guy come and picked it up after I filled the form with my family's home address in Damascus. "To this destination, it'll takes five business days" he said.
Five days passed and nothing happened. I didn't bother to track it online...I was just expecting a call from my brother to thank me. 8 days
and that ungrateful nerd hasn't called yet! I decided to see the DHL tracker before I call and teach him some manners, of which he has much more than I do in fact. Apparently, the calculator never left the USA! I was told that it was deemed as an unacceptable commodity to be sent to Syria by the US customs!
I'm not an expert in making nuclear bombs but my common sense tells me that this type of calculators, or any other type for that matter, is not essential to the process! Unless it's needed to calculate the depletion rate of the uranium or maybe the amortization expenses of the trucks that will be used to carry the bomb! This was the most ridiculous thing I have heard since an American border control officer in JFK airport in New York asked me upon my arrival from Damascus, after looking at my SYRIAN passport, why I had been to Syria!
Probably that customs officer who made the decision of holding that "unacceptable commodity" is the blood brother of the border
control officer, I wouldn't be surprised! At the end of a long business day at the US customs, he goes home to his wife and kids
and tells them how he has prevented the bad people from acquiring "tools" that would have been used in evil matters! He will be
a hero....but no one will stop for a second and think...ummm...a calculator!
Come on Americans! Think before you say things of act on things!
On a different perspective.... Why did we have to go through the US customs in the first place? Oh yeah, because we couldn't get that stupid calculator in Syria!
Here is the "unacceptable commodity"
Friday, October 05, 2007
It took me a bit to absorb it and realize it...... before it hit me. I was speechless.
He went back home to see his parents, they were driving back from Saudi Arabia to see him, but the meeting never took place, the destiny played its death card.
May they rest in peace and Allah yerhamhon. We are all here for you Yazan.
Friday, September 14, 2007
If it happens that you visit Canada and happens that you don't read English or French and it's Ramadan and you feel like eating some Hummus (msabaha)...what can you do?
P.S.: Hummus is NOT even a part of the Arabian cuisin! It's a Syrian/Lebanese food and those two countries are not identified by such tradmarkes!!
Monday, September 10, 2007
I had always wanted to do so….. to be far away…and then come unannounced and surprise everybody….nobody back home knew about my visit!
Then the word spread and I got swamped with friends and family members…members that I don't even remember knowing before…but after all this is part of the social life in Syria…. It comes in one package….no picking or choosing of what we want in that package.
During my short stay…..I celebrated my 30th birthday…. I'm not happy with how old I have grown to be…. knowing that I still have lots of checkboxes yet to fill…. A new era has begun in my life. The 30s are usually the mental scapegoat for the 20s…whatever we fail to achieve in our 20s…we convince ourselves that we still have the 30s to make everything come true…. I no longer have that luxury, alas!
So here is a brief summary of my empty life checkboxes:
Education: I still need 8 months to obtain my first Canadian Business degree. Add two years to that to finish my studies as a whole!
Family: I live alone… I have no special one and the environment that I live in doesn't help at all…. Short visits back home aren't enough to meet that one…. I'm tired with dating in here as well….for one I know that nothing serious would come out of dating a local girl or a peer international student in here. I know for a fact that I want my life partner to be Syrian and being aware of how old I'm…I just don't enjoy relationships that are doomed the moments they start!
Work: I have a job…but yet to start a career as without a Canadian degree there is nothing to be done in here!
Social life: It sucks big time…. I'm too old to go out partying….and partying is all what there is in here!
Friends: All are either back home or scattered around the globe….as for her…I do have many friends…or better say acquaintances but not enough cultural bases to start up something that would last….just things that fulfill the little of social needs that I have.
Health: Nothing has changed hamdillah….but I'm smoking more cigars these days. Cigars and Argileh are two bad habits that I have picked up here in Canada…
Despite all this....my 30th birthday remained a special day as I got to spend it with family and friends...not alone in Canada!
I'm going to post about Syria, they way I saw it during my visit, but I will do that soon on my Bits & Bites blog!
Monday, July 09, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Here it goes, summer has softly hit the island. Beautiful scenery and great weather, well most of the time, fresh and clean air fills the lungs a lot of beaches on the Atlantic ocean.....yet, here I'm....spending my time in my cubical for 9 hours per day and the rest of the day on my chaise-longe, watching tv, smoking a cigar/argileh or just....thinking...
I have been wanting to blog for some time, but I'm just blocked from everything! I don't feel like doing a thing, weird, eh? I have abandoned my camera, the close friend that I have had ever since I left home, it's setting there in my room, dusty and neglected.
This day last summer, I was in New York, and was getting ready to fly to Dubai and home, eventually. My summer was full of energy that I got from the positive thoughts of going home and spending 2 months among my beloved ones.
I was going over my previous posts, gosh what a whining pathetic loser I have been for the last....well..few years...gosh, what has gotten into me?!
I haven't been able to establish a decent relationship in here, at all levels. When I gather my strength and energy and go on a date, I turn into Chandler of "Friends", so shallowly picky. If I get into a physical encounter, I just miss the hugs and the kisses and the heat of being with someone I love....If I go out with a group of people, I don't try to mingle, I just don't find any interest in making any effort. They talk about hockey, beer, video games and a great party they had in Halifax....I'm just not there, so distant and not interested in being a part of the conversation, mainly because I'm not into that. Someone speaks about politics....I start judging how ignorant they are in what they are talking about. How unbearable I am!
I do go to the movies a lot though, but end up going alone most of the time because most of the people I know cannot afford watching all those movies in theatre, yet, they spend 3 times in a night out in a bar...getting wasted!
I used to bike a lot a while ago, I used to bike downtown to a park on the water front "Victoria"....sit there on the rocks, stare at the calm ocean and puff smokes into the air. I haven't done that in a while now.
My brother finally got engaged.....it's good news, I guess, but I'm not feeling great about this. I donno why, it's just a feeling. I spoke to his fiance, I didn't like her voice on the phone. I have nothing against her, I just feel this way. And yeah, now one more gift to buy whenever I'm going home....
I'm going camping next weekend, flying to Toronto for 4 days, meeting with 3 other Syrian guys, Omar of Earth to Omar, Ghassan of Homs/Ottawa, and Bassel of Lattakia/Toronto. They are good guys, fun to be with. I can relate to them and there are actually things that we can talk about. It should be fun.
I'm so much in need to be in a relationship, emotional, loving, intellectually stimulating one. There is no chance on planet earth that I can find someone here who can give me that.....I live on an island with a bridge for god sake! I have to meet a Syrian girl, Syrian girls rock! well, some of them at least.....but they are scarcity in here, actually the only one that I met here is pretty much the worst girl I have seen in my whole life at all levels! so I'm stuck.....
That was a lot of blabbing....oh, my bad!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
This has been my summery for May and June…so far…..
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
A half an hour ago….. I was extremely bored…but still no plans…
Ten minutes ago… I decided that I should have a plan to kill my boredom…
Two minutes ago….I bought my plane ticket to Ottawa….
Now…I have a plan….
One hour later....I will be packing my handbag….
Two hours later..... I have to be at the airport…..
Three hours later...... I will be connecting flights in Trudeau Airport, Montreal.
Four hours later…I will be in Ottawa….and that would be the end of my current plan….
Then what? Just me in a new city with no plan beyond arrival to that city…
It's crazy….but should be fun….
Monday, April 09, 2007
A gathering of four people, beers, wine, pot and tabacco is all what it takes to join the North American socio-culture.
On the left window, you can see the accumulating snow during 20 CM snowstorm that was hitting Charlottetown that night, two days ago!
The argileh is, of course, my hamble contribution to this culture....
Still, when you do these "pre-party" rituals with mature people is so different than when with university kids.
Fun? I don't remember!
Met new people? I don't remember!
Danced? I don't remember!
Paid any money? I don't remember!
All what I really remember was a huge tattoo on somebody's back....and hearing Michael Jackson singing in Arabic and my head getting heavy that I had to hold it with my hands!
Miss home even more..... :(
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I first watched it 4 years ago. I was going through some "rough" time with the lady at that time and the movie was all what a person in my shoes would need. It has, ever since, become my life-is-a-good-place movie. It's so full of hope that charges me with it whenever my reservoir of hope runs out... and oh boy doesn't it run out so quickly and often these days?
That movie, was the main reason for my first visit to New York city, where the "serendipitous" events take place. When I was at the American embassy in Damascus applying for a visa, the counsellor lady asked me why I wanted to go to New York, my answer was: "Have you seen a movie called Serendipity?" She was like "huh?"...nevermind, I replied.
I always feel happy and sad at the same time after watching it. I feel happy for the Jonathan (John Cusack) and feel sad for myself. He is, at the beginning, far from being a"hopeless romantic" type of guy...yet...as the movie progresses, he is so into that type. I, myself, don't admit being like that...but deep inside, I'm so fucked up like that. As I grow older, I get more rigid from the outside and softener from the inside with my head controlling what I say/see/or convince myself or others with. It's crap, I know it somewhere deep inside me. I tend to appear like that fucking careless emotionless guy just to protect myself. I have no idea what I'm protecting myself from though! Maybe the loneliness I have been in for the last few years, the emotional vacuum I have had inside me for all those years.
I just watched it one more time, I still felt the same, but this time I felt so distant from any emotional encounter I have even had. I felt alienated from any feeling. I'm forgetting how it really feels. My last closeness with the counterparts from the other sex has been, and for the last 2 years, merely physical and emotionless. I do know that I miss it and I certainly need it so much now more than ever, but I don't see myself being there again. Although I'd die for it, but it's becoming a part of a movie, something that I watch on tv and I know that it ends with the movie or tv show and everybody goes back home and none of that really exists anymore, to me at least.
It's pretty serious feeling that I hate to have, but I do...there is nothing that I can do about it...so until someone swips off my feet and takes my breath away, if ever...Serendipity will be my only dose of emotion or my emotional stimulation that I have to live through every once in a while.....
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I haven't been getting a lot of good news recently; finding a grocery shop that sells grape leaves was one of the very few exceptions.
Called my mom, she e-mailed me the "how" to make, checked Abu-Fare's blog for "how to wrap" and I was ready to rock "n" roll...
What looked like this:
Merged later forming the "king"....
The wrapping was not an easy task, it took me forever. My back was in pain by the end of the operation. I had no other choice but to carry on… the temptations were strong…the image of me nibbling the Yalangi was all over my head. It had haunted me for few months now…
Of course, just like most of my "firsts" I had to video-tape it. I think I had many flows in wrapping the leaves, so if you are a person that can spot my mistakes, please highlight them for me!
Hours later on that day, the table was ready and I was about to start my lustful journey in eating my "treats".
Yallangi, although known to be a local appetizer in Syria and Lebanon, it's considered of Turkish origins. However, my theory says Yallangi is too good to be Turkish, therefore, the recipe was stolen among many other things from Syria during the Ottoman occupation, renamed and re-introduced as a part of the Turkish cuisine. This theory remains un-refutable and un-testable, however it will always be true to me. Ameen!
Monday, April 02, 2007
Anyway, this is not what I want to talk about. A while ago, I was close to run out of tobacco, and being on this shit hole called PEI, there is no chance to find any, although it's easily available in the rest of Canada. I had to look for online stores and I did. I found this site smooking-hookah. Very decent prices and they have almost everything I would need. I checked the company's whereabouts and found out it was based in New Jersey. I placed an order and waited to get my new stack of tobacco that will help me burn my lungs even more.
Yesterday, I got the postman knocking on my door. He handed me a box which I instantly knew had the "stuff".
I was looking at the box, on one side was written that it was sent to me….but on the other side, the sender's address was a big surprise for me…a fucking big surprise….it was sent to me from Herzelia, Israel!
I was not keen on the campaigns some people do against some American companies claiming that when you buy a can of Pepsi for instance, 10% will go to support Israel. Up till this moment, I don't but these stories. But this is different; this time my money went to Israel straight forward, with not even a mediator! I feel bad.
I guess next time someone wants to buy "oriental" things off the internet, we should contact the company and ask where they ship their merchandise from.
A friend of mine told me to through them away, well that's bullshit, they already got my money and now I should just be throwing my stuff!!! Not so clever I'd day! Another friend told me that since I paid and there is no return policy, I should smoke my ass off to the fullest since what's done is done.
The point from this post is to be careful to whom you are paying your money to online!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I have never hated a place as much as I hate this place. But I'm not gonna be writing about it… not because many people from PEI read my blog…because honestly I don't give a dead rat's ass about many…well..most….hmm..all of them…just I don't want to ruin the moment of enlightenment that I'm having now… sitting in my living room…sipping tea, smoking my last Davidoff cigar and listening to the great Syrian singer Lena Chamamian….candles on and cell phone off.
The school term is about to end, my family has been nagging to go home for a visit this summer but I have made a decision that the next time I pack my stuff in PEI…it should be with no return that means, a year from now. The plan was to finish by the end of this year; however, a slight unanticipated change caused me an extra 4 months of stay on the island.
I'm looking for a job, because I'm not taking many summer courses and I fear that having some extra free time in here with nothing to do might drive me crazy, so I want to make sure I stay sane. Plus, some extra cash is always good to have especially that I might be going to Miami later on this summer on a road trip from Montreal.
The weather is getting nicer and today was one of the warmest this year. It looks like it's gonna be a hell of a summer in here. Humidity is worse than snow for me. All that thanks to global warming, the topic that I have to write a report on, submit and present on Thursday. I still have the ideas but no writing whatsoever. I'm gonna be swamped tomorrow with work. I've come to discover that time management is not one of my traits. I can only work under pressure. I had 2 month to write this report and I will be writing in one day, the very last day! It's not a good thing but I have to feel that I'm pressured so I can get myself together and do some serious work, as long as I have the ideas.
For a while on this island, I never met any Syrians, and then I met the money-worshipper/cheap landlord who happens to be of Syrian origins. But that was it, I had met no more Syrians…However, just very recently, I have met so many of them, all at once, and the weird thing is that all of them are from one part of Syria…while they say they are from Damascus, but they are from a town 40 minutes far from Damascus called Qatana…there is literally no Syrians that I've met in here who are not from Qatana. Of course the weird thing is that they are not relatives, I would understand if they were have blood relation of some kind cuz that would explain why they migrated from the same town. Anyway, a friend of mine who lives in Montreal told me, when I first told her that I would be going to PEI, that it was like Qatana. At that time, I thought she meant size and population wise…but apparently…she meant demographic wise.
One of my very best friends that I once had was from Qatana, but she was born and raised in Cyprus. I'm starting to think that Qatana has been left empty and nobody lives in there!
I salute whoever reached this far in reading. I wouldn't read what I wrote, simply because it has no sense, no idea, no nothing….just words from here and there. I just felt like talking and I'd already visited most of the blogs that I read and left irrelevant comments but that didn't quench my desire for blabbing…. So I ended up writing this nonsense that you just enjoyed.
T3eesho w taklo ghairha…please visit more often ;p
Ok...I'm editing the post because i felt sorry for you guys...I want to compensate you...and the best I could offer is a photo I took an hour ago in my living room....maybe it will help you get a sense of the settings I have in the room:
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Few years ago, my best friend, Wael, a 30 year-old civil pilot at the Syrian Airlines and a father of a beautiful girl, went to a hospital in Damascus to have his appendix removed, he ended up in the ICU for few days and several emergency surgeries were done on him because of a doctor's fault. All the surgeries came with even worse results. Few days later, the doctors announced that he was a hopeless case and that they would be surprised if he lived until the morning after. His father, younger brother Alaa, mother, and sisters couldn't accept that news. They got hysterical; how come one of the simplest surgeries ever results in death. They made few calls and in a couple of hours, an ambulance that carried Wael was speeding on the way to Beirut. More hours later, Wael was resurrected at the AUB hospital. At the time that he should be dead as per the doctors who operated on him in Damascus, he was stable and started to get better.
Wael has almost been back to normal ever since. With the exceptions of some minor issues and set backs, he is very good for someone who has been through all that. His family was saved from a tremendous grief. With their persistence and faith, they cheated death.
Just few minutes ago, I got this message from a friend of mine :
"j'ai la tristess pour t' nnouncer le mourir du frere de Wael Sasa ;Alaa le 13 mars en raison d'operation de son nez"
"I'm saddened to announce the death of Wael's brother, Alaa, on the 13th of March during a nasal surgery"
I had to read it over and over…I couldn't believe it. I called Wael, nobody answered. I called the friend who e-mailed me. He told me what had happened, he told me the story of Alaa:
2 months ago, Alaa, a 22 years-old super nice youngman that I know so well, finished his military service and was about to start his life.
2 weeks ago, he started working in some company and was very happy….his life started to have a meaning.
2 days ago, he went to the hospital to have a minor surgery that is done millions of times a day; a Nasal Septal Deviation (in7eeraf wateera). He never left the hospital alive! He died after a multiplications caused by the anesthesia.
He left home…kissed his mom and dad and told them that he would be back for dinner, he asked his mom to cook his favorite dish. He left ...... but never returned. They never saw him alive again, never heard his voice and never saw his smile.
That family never cheated the death. The death was playing with them and caught them off guarded at a moment when everything seemed to be working out just fine for everybody in this family. The death claimed the life of the youngest member in this family reminding them and everyone else that no matter how young or old, no matter how healthy or sick…there is no guarantee that we will return once we leave our home in the morning.
I feel so angry…and very sad. Alaa is gone, now he feels and sees nothing; he is now resting in peace and calmness….so much unlike his family!
Friday, March 16, 2007
I always thought that sex completely occupies the heads of the people from the east because of the social/religious restrictions. Well, I guess that had nothing to do with any restrictions, as having lived in a different culture where getting sex is as easy sometimes as getting a drink I could see that it still occupies and drives the behavior of people, just in a different way. It's not the restrictions that empower and magnify it…
It's all about the instinct.
I always said that having sex is just like drinking sea water when we are thirsty, it just gets us more thirsty and in need to more water. Now, we have the instinct…and god gave us hands…so why the hassle about sex? If we wanna go through the headache, problems, and concerns regarding sexual intercourse; we will definitely stop thinking about sex….for few minutes at least, before we shift back to our horny nature as males…
I'm writing a list to compare between sex and masturbation ….notable that by sex I mean meaningless sex, not with the loved one…just random sex with a sex partner, one night stands, casual sex or "friend with benefit"….
- Unlike sex, you don't have to invite yourself over dinner or even to the movies when you want to pleasure yourself.
- When you pleasure yourself, you don't need to buy contraceptive materials including emergency pills in case she forgets hers and things get out of hand….
- A man needs an average of 2 minutes or 3 top to climax while a woman needs a minimum average of 10 to 15 minutes to climax (if she ever will)... So basically, when sex, you have to spend an extra 12 minutes of physical action just to return the favor for a pleasure that you only need 2 minutes to reach when you are alone.
- You don't need foreplay if you are doing your homework alone, foreplay helps women orgasm. We don't need it, we are easy to satisfy!
- When you are alone, you can go do whatever you were doing the moment you finish, you don't have to lie down next to anybody, cuddle, or snuggle or just stay there….women are so demanding.
- When you are working on your own, it's ok to fantasize that it's Nicole Kidman that you are with, while that is really not ok when you actually have someone with you.
- When masturbating, you don't even have to be in shape, worry about your physique or pay a gym membership to workout (should go to the economic aspects as well)…cuz the only one who is seeing you naked…is YOU!
- With masturbation, no worries about STDs. You won't catch anything that you don't already have
After all what I have listed and plenty more, do you still think that sex is driving you crazy? Wake up buddy! If you are not in a loving relationship….don't over-rate sex...and you might wanna consider using the power of your hands.
Why I'm writing this post…I have no fucking idea….I just watched a movie called Shortbus and it triggered me....among other things!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I just got back to school after the spring break; I have loads of school work and projects, I'm gonna have pretty hectic time ahead of me….I should work hard and get things done so I feel better about myself…
I'm back on the dating world as well…. Nothing serious…just dating…when I first came to Canada, I dated few girls, most of them were International students…but now, I'm just dating Canadians. It's part of experiencing the Canadian style of life… I'm sure being in the Potato land is not giving me the fullest chance of experiencing it…but I'm doing what I can do that suits my picky nature and busy schedule…
I love my new place… it has a bedroom and a spacious living room, a small kitchen that has an opening to this living room. I only have the stuff that goes in a bedroom…and I don't have much money to spend…so I did some cheap shopping, got some cushions and an indoor chaise-longue and a small coffee table…they all went together perfectly and created a cozy semi-oriental setting… I got lots of candles…so now as I write… I'm laying on the chaise-longue…a cup of tea …and my favorite cigar are next to me…lights off…all candles are lit up… Naseer Shamma Oud music is playing… I'm having a good relaxing time….
I'm still waiting for the summer courses schedule so that I can know exactly when I will be getting my BBA and leaving this place for good….then I will have to start chasing after my old dream…the MBA...I have few MBA schools in mind in Toronto and Montreal…. But I also wanna apply to some fancy MBA schools in the US…not that I can make it as my GPA is not that impressive thanks to my transferred courses from Damascus University…nor that I can afford it…but still, I'm applying…
Once I have my MBA started…I could say that I'm on the right track for my career…or at least I could say that things are going as planned….
Nothing new has happened to cheer me up….all the same..I have enough worries and concerns that can burry me alive….I'm just trying to look at the bright side of the tunnel…A great person used to tell me "when life gives you lemon, make lemonade".
Friday, January 05, 2007
A year later, I now longer don't know where to go or who to talk to, I know everything around you, I know where to go and what to do, but I'm still lost…I still feel that I don't belong, never will!
When I was lost year, I was disoriented as I had just arrived to a new country! But my feeling of being lost this year is different than that feeling. I feel I'm lost inside, in my head and my spirit….
I came chasing an old dream….and maybe escaping reality that I had created by my misjudgments….
Earlier this week, I got some blows to some plans I have been working on. Had things work out; I would have a great year on many levels, school, and career, financial and personal. All gone now…!
I was on the phone with mom today, her voice sounded distant, or maybe I was distant….the conversation went as usual, her expressing her hopes and worries, me on the other hand, comforting her that I'm ok and that everything is perfectly alright. I wanted to tell her that I don't feel alright, I wanted to tell her that I hate my life, but the only words that came out were: I'm fine, mom!
Here I'm, virtually, complaining once again with the absence of somebody to talk to, who would understand and relate to me! I feel like I have lost my social skills. I have lost the warmth in me. I feel like I'm lost….well, I am!