Thoughts

Free Rift: Planes of Telara Game Trial

I just want to share a link for an Ascend-A-Friend event with people who would like to enjoy their 7 days of free trial to this new MMORPG on the market.
If you fancy a new generation multiplayer game and always liked WoW, the chances are you will like this game too.
Enjoy your free trial days and if you purchase, enjoy the benefits as well!

For your free trail week: CLICK HERE and follow the instructions.

More about Rift: Planes of Telara on their website.

Springlicious

Well, this is about to be the end of my visit of Czech, I managed – under a handful of stress – to get the stamping done with the last one happening like in an American movie, in the last minutes possible. But done, nevertheless. I have prayed, for the first time in my life, for the taxi driver I’ve picked up on Wenceslas Square to actually behave like a taxi driver – cut in front of others, run over slow walking people, go against the flow so to say, because I was in a dire hurry to get to the embassy before the counsellor casually walks out for the Friday night and leaves me with desperation and things undone standing in front of the closed building. I assume he understood my time limits from me nervously checking my Blackberry every 30 seconds for time, especially when we got stuck in a traffic jam (all right, he didn’t go over the walk path in that case), but he cut the road to the embassy building and went in wrong direction and over red lights just to get there. I swallowed my heart by then, but hey – the stamp is there, on the list. He also made me say “Sweet Jesus” after asking for the fare money ’cause he honestly and completely truly ripped the feathers of my chicken butt (almost 2 KWD a kilometre). He laughed, probably didn’t think a Muslim girl would say that.
Today I’ve finally got some time to get out on the well known clear and fresh air of the region I’m residing in, and snap some very quick pictures on the walk.
It’s right after winter so the nature is defrosting with occasional frost over the night still and some hoarfrost over here and there, but the smell indicates the spring coming, unstoppably.
Me and my mum strolled over the routes we used to take when I was younger, and reminisced a little, and wondered how much things changed in the past few years I haven’t been around the Czech Highlands much. Trees torn down for wood and not replaced, fields widened, roads disappeared, water gone dark and dirty from seasoning tourists swimming all pickled in creams and factors and perfumes, letting the water wash it off and keep it. From azure blue, transparent water in a past quarry I used to swim almost alone years ago, to dark blue, petroleum reminding liquid I wouldn’t touch with my bare foot now. God knows, it might dissolve me. Tax for civilization (read: city people and their trendy magazines) discovering the odds and ends only few kids and villagers used to know about in here.


The castle and museum in Kamenice nad Lipou, Czech Republic

In the fields beyond the little town

The long abandoned (and tourist found) flooded granite quarry

Tomorrow by afternoon I’ll be boarding a plane to Dubai again and hopefully arrive safely, as well on the second flight to Kuwait City. It’s spring there too, all right, with about 20 degrees difference between here and there, so lets see – it took me just a bit to get accustomed to the cold breeze in here again; but I’m afraid that as a winter lover I’ll have it harder getting back to the heat rails.
But hubby mentioned some trip to the sea so maybe I’ll just drop the heats behind my back and enjoy the endless blue amounts of salty water. We’ll see.


Also, I would like to thank to Míša a.k.a. Velchi for her superb hospitality and food and roof she’d share with me during my struggles in the stamp war, Prague fighting line. Delicious soup and scones and fun chat, thanks a lot! Hope to meet you again :)

A Year After

Dramatic heading, isn’t it? :) Not so dramatic content of it, however; it’s just been over a year I’ve been in Czech. Nothing much seems to be changed; Islam still lifts newspapers’ popularity with deeply suggestive content (I’m now referring to a magazine made by a newspaper claiming to be the most serious news oracle in the whole country, which put in sale a very blatant article pretending to be neutral interview with Muslim women, but ending being simply awful and once again damaging the fame of the small and already torn apart Islamic community of Czech Republic).
People still do stare on hijab, at least in the small towns, and officialities are still pain in butt to get done. I’ve, however, managed to get half of my work done already, which is positive – my criminal record didn’t require any waiting time anymore as it used to be, and I got it instantly after asking for it. Yay me!
Now the harder part, but inshallah even that will get through.
My travel wasn’t unpleasant, neither jolly, as I hate the murmur of airports and looking for the gates (Dubai airport has got around 300 departure gates, it indeed is very big and somewhat confusing place; Heathrow still leads in confusion, nevertheless.)
As I departed from Kuwait during the night, before fajr prayer came into the play, I’ve had the possibility to enjoy a great show on my second flight from Dubai, when we were crossing over Iran; Shiraz is a very mountainous area and offers a great deal of amazing aerial views. Early morning, clear sky, precious land under us, with tiny dots of housings and villages scattered throughout the mountains.




I’ve slept more than half of the flight and usually started to nap when clouds came into the picture, as that is rather boring (and quite painful for my eyes as well) to watch; woke up over Romania and enjoyed another bunch of hilly, snowy views, than woke up after Wien, which is almost at home, so I stayed up, read up a book from duty free shop I bought in Dubai, and enjoyed juices and chocolate a flight attendant kept on bringing to me, obviously fond of me, but without any signs of any kind of interest from my side – a little more tucked in the hijab and abaya, perhaps, after I realized it.
I miss my husband and little daughetr already, but things have to be done and they’re not gonna be done without me being here; so – let’s roll.

PS.: Excuse the quality of the pictures in this entry; they’re taken on iPod, as my camera was having a lift in my luggage so I won’t be dragging too many bags with me, and iPod was the only device I could use to get a snap of at least a little of what I liked so much. Plus, small area of economy class seating doesn’t allow much space to position myself, either.

Whee…

Winter froze my posting, I see. Nothing much new in here, I found out that Kuwait can have somewhat of a winter (around ten degrees of Celsius), which can be more annoying than it was in England as we have got no heaters in here, only ACs. But survivable and yeah, I can finally can keep the windows open (given it’s not a sandstorm) and feel and smell the fresh air; I love it especially when the wind comes from coast and brings that salty, fresh scent of the sea, which during winter turns into powder blue. And even the beaches are possibly clean, unlike during the heats.
I don’t have many news, perhaps the fact I have a third angel in heaven waiting for me, but the hope dies last and we shall try to get me through the whole pregnancy once again; I did it once, failed thrice, maybe now is the time to succeed again…?
It’s very painful experience and makes me rather radical towards these women which go to abortion because they can’t keep their legs closed or the child just isn’t convenient for them, while I try hard and hard and in my rather young age already went through four pregnancies; with Dori being the only kiddo alive…
From felting I went to playing World of Warcraft, which with it’s immense and colourful world lets me forget on many problems of daily life.
Dori’s still an illegal immigrant and we can’t travel out of country, because we won’t be able to get her back in. And, not so surprisingly, Czech neither Kuwait officers are cooperative nor helpful and let us eat the sour end, trying to figure out how to make each other’s country persuaded that things just sometimes don’t go their way. Kuwait demands paper that states I’m the sole guardian of my daughter; Czech sends her birth certificate. Kuwait doesn’t recognise BC without biological fathers, and Czech doesn’t give statements about guardianships when they got their BC which says it clear.
Now, help us God.

(Not so) White Christmas

As the traditional Czech celebration time is rather near (or better yet already here, as the Advent – 4 Sundays before the Christmas Eve – already started), I’ve begun to remember the atmosphere I liked; the baking during evenings when outside is blanketed by heavy layer of snow, the walks during the freezing days tugged in warm clothes, the hot chocolate milk after we arrived with our noses red and about to fall off (or melt), the traditional denying of my family that there’s something like a fish or carp and stubbornly having a chicken feast; and so on.
The smells of the tree at home mixed with the peeled off clementine or orange and a gingerbread. The going crazy after a cat breaks that extremely fragile glass decoration hanging deliciously swinging from the fir branches.
While being in Briatin wasn’t quite the real thing for me, it still had some hints of our Highlands winter, cold air and decorations and the spirit; being in Kuwait is something diametrically different. No snow, no winter, unless I count the recent drop by 30 degrees down compared to summer, but still clear sky, salty sea breeze and around 20 degrees of Celsia in the shadow. The real picnic time of Kuwait, we might say, same thing which was happening in Newcastle during the very rare sunny summer days.
So I’m safe to say this year won’t be white for Christmas. Actually, the last two days it’s mostly yellow; a sandstorm came and for my luck this time our neighbourhood got hit straight and we were not really burried in velvety veil of white-yellow-brown dust for several days, with today fading but still ubiquitous crunchy taste of tiny rocks in your mouth, but very close to that.
Two of our bathrooms have broken fan lids so the fans keep on going day and night, which is fine during the normal days (understand, with bearable amount of sand dust in the air), but a misfortune for me as a housekeeper during such a sand disaster outside.
It really took only few hours of the night to bury the whole flat in a silky layer of golden sand. It was and still is everywhere you can imagine; on the sofas, carpets, floors, shelves, cats, freshly washed clothes, newly washed dishes, washing mashine, stove, your coffee and even your underwear. Hard to get rid of and leaving me with a lot of work in the following days trying to smudge it away with a mop and dust it away with a vacuum cleaner. Swipe, clean, desinfect. And hope it won’t come back for some time.


One lovely morning.

One of many sinks… I clean everyday, this came overnight.

Food? Oh no, just more sand.

Note to self: Do not leave dishes from the night till the morning. They’ll need a wash again.

Mirror, mirror, who brought all the sand? Mother-in-law says Lebanon.

Bored, all the windows are closed and all the birds are hidden.

Because yes, white Christmas are romantic, although limb-breaking; but you can stay at home with your warm mug of cocoa and laugh. Yellow Christmas suck, because they reside in your home and transform you fir tree and presents in a bunch of dunes.
PS.: The exquisite white signs of our cat Daniel changed to match the rest of his orange coat. He looks, however, very displeased.

Ramadan, Moving and Such

The month of Ramadan is in the middle, we’ve finally got used to its own specific rhythm in Kuwait, full of not doing much things (unless really very utterly necessarily needed) during the light time and trying to get everything done after iftaar. Iftaar or fatoor is a special dinner during the fasting month of Ramadan, made usually big and stuffing, it’s a first meal of the day during this time and whole families are gathering for it’s occasion, day by day, the whole month; to wait for the adhan – and in case of Shias wait another few minutes after the muezzin announces the prayer time – and with that break the fasting and enjoy the noisy, vivid meeting of parents, children, grandchildren, spouses and relatives. Needless to say that already crazy people get much crazier, especially drivers, trying to speed up as much as possible to get the first bite; blinkers not working, lights not being valid for them and speed bumps serving as launching pads for shooting the cars to the moon, as many people plainly ignore them and literally fly over them. Kuwaiti speed bumps are big, and the cars suffer.
Than all the cacophony leaves to pray and get again together at a tea, desserts and tons and tons and tons of traditional sweets, watching TV, chit chatting and being really loud once again. People come and leave till the time of suhur, which could be best described as a Ramadan late-dinner-early-breakfast, small meal and drink before the morning prayer comes and starts the whole fasting round again.
All that is happening in a pretty narrow time period, iftaar in Kuwait starts roughly quarter to seven in the evening, and my husband’s family gets suhur between the midnight and two o’clock in the morning, with fajr being shortly after 4 am. I’m not personally sure about till when Sunni sisters and brothers drink or eat, but we’ve got into the custom to end all the meals about half an hour before the adhan sounds, to be sure we didn’t invalidate our fasting.
Sometimes I just feel like Alice in Wonderland, this being my first Ramadan in an Islamic country and getting around this many members of family is exhausting – I’m quite a lone wolf and these meetings get really big and loud. But it’s interesting and fun experience, so different from our very quite, starving days in Britain, where the day is impossibly long and the country doesn’t change it’s tempo for the month unlike here; here the shops and malls and offices change their working hours to much shorter during the forenoon, noon or very early afternoon, and than re-open again after the evening prayer and keep open much longer till the night, ten, eleven, even longer. It makes it possible to make the fasting more pleasant for most of the people, and especially now when the Holy Month comes during the summer time, which is really hot, makes the thirst manageable even if you got some of the errands running.

iftaar
hubby
playing
iftaar
playing
iftaar
iftaar

We’ve finally moved to our new flat in Rumaithiya, painted and mostly furnished, with only small things left to bring and hang and sort. As we’re still in the struggle with officers and judges regarding some officialities, we’re not entitled to a house helper yet, so it’s up to me to run through the flat and clean till I think that I won’t ever need a treadmill because I burn so much fat just sweeping, wiping, vacuuming and polishing the seven rooms and five bathrooms, taking about four hours a day to do it (and I feel partially sorry for the house keeper, because our high fibre carpets are damn resisting all the good intentions, as well as our uber-comfortable soft and fluffy sofas, which have that kind of material that not only catches all the dust and dirt and hairs, it attracts them and gathers them on purpose, I firmly believe). But, eventually, she gets paid for that.
Our two cute tomcats from Beyrouth breeding station are on the way as I’m typing this entry, flying from Prague to Frankfurt and than from there to Kuwait, and I keep on thinking of them and wishing and praying that they survive their very long and exhausting route in tact, safe and sound, and we’ll welcome them either during this night or by tomorrow morning. Inshallah they will be all right, keep them in your minds, please!

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