Friday, June 30, 2006

oh yes, locust swarms are very s/s 2007

The plan was to holiday with my parents this summer. Two weeks with Mom and Sister in Poland and two weeks with Dad in Syria and Lebanon. I knew I was pushing it with such 'adventurous and dangerous locales', but hey, if I'm going to spend a fortune to get out of Yemen, I want some bang for my buck. Not surprisingly, they were being very American about the whole thing - very non-committal (scared) and not wanting to leave the States for more than a week. They were coming back with 'How about Switzerland, Austria, or Hong Kong?'


I called off the entire thing, so now I'm entirely free to do whatever I want before I SHOULD be home for Christmas.

My Dad replied to my email with something ridiculous, so I replied back and told him what my new, revised, tentative, and ridiculous (in his eyes) plans are for the rest of the year. I mentioned my boat crossing to Djibouti, then going through Eritrea to Ethiopia (pending border regulations given the Somali situation). But was very non-specific about my overland trip to Iran and Pakistan. Sometimes it isn't worth pushing buttons.

I got an email back today that I am pleased to share with the rest of the world. PS. I love how cunty it is. You go, gurl!

On a relative basis, offering a choice between Eritrea & Ethiopia vs Syria & Lebanon - would definitely generate the excitement you would like to see from me regarding Syria & Lebanon ! I know that you weren't inviting me, but I clearly would have no desire to visit E&E and would question why you would want to - other than they are close to Yemen, Arabic is spoken and there probably aren't a lot of tourist cluttering the place (and there is always the chance that you will find the Ark of the Covenant). I have an aversion for locust swarms, infectious diseases, closed borders and land mines .... I don't want to sound too negative, but at least this time I won't leave you uncertain as to how I feel about that region. I fully realize your desire to travel, experience new cultures and see things ... but aren't there other countries with more to offer and less to risk ? Having said all that, believe it or not, I am still up to a travel adventure with you (but as I said definitely not E&E), so just keep me up to date on your plans and maybe we can still hook up somewhere before your return to USA . You mentioned your "overland trip" - what area were you referring to ?

Work it out.

This won't be receiving a reply.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

it's all up for grabs

Seems no matter where I go, I have the amazing ability to give people something to talk about. The news on Azumar Street is that I am a woman because of my long hair. I'm smart enough to know that long hair on men is a fag-i-licious no-no, so I am sure to always keep it tied back in a sensible 'do. But, first of all, the women wear multiple layers of fabric over their eyes. So unless girlfriend is going to try and tease my balls with her tongue as I walk by - she's got no way of knowing if I'm hiding a vag in these ridiculous cargo pants.

As a result of these vicious rumors, I had a heart-to-heart with several of the boys and girls I play football with (read: buy low-quality footballs for because I'm a sucker). Mohammed, age 7, could not understand why I would grow my hair so long. After all, "only girls have long hair, right?" He even offered to pay to get my hair clipped off at the local barber/circumciser. Declined that one. Ahmed and Abdul, ages 11, were wise enough to ask, "In your country, do all men have long hair?" Instead of telling them that that was a very difficult question, given the wide spectrum of hairstyles on offer in America (ie. the mullet - is that short or long? You decide.), I just said, "Many. Yes, many." They were somewhat satisfied with this reply. Khadija and her younger sister, both of whom are perpetually covered in fake cheese powder or cotton candy residue, wanted to know how long it took to grow my hair and what kind of shampoo I use. I gave them a hi-five and proceeded to share my Placenta Mask secrets.

I thought the story would stop there, but no. I got spit on today! Okay, he missed - but he certainly aimed at me - more specifically, my hair! Fucking bitch. If he weren't so old and sporting a kalishnikov (the combination of which makes him a scary motherfucker) I would have spit right back at him, or at least kicked him in the shins.

So the story goes a little something like this >>

I'm strolling the back alleys looking for Shamel Al-Hadi supermarket (nicknamed She-Male Hottie by the other students). Word on the street is that this is THE establishment to stock up on western supplies. And since I'm in desperate need of facial moisturizer - I decided to troll. Just as I was passing the fake Blockbuster video showcasing the latest American releases for just $1, this old man and his burkah-ed wife stop in front of me. (Keep in mind that I did not stop during this 'transaction' - it was a total walk-by) He shows me some distugusting picture of people with their faces melting off. At first, I was like 'Oh, sad. You're family's dead.' But then I was like, 'That's not a fucking picture, you got that out of a magazine, you retard.' And then he asked for money. I promptly said, NO! So his dumb bitch screams from underneath her burkah in a very accusatory tone, 'Are you a boy or a girl?' and then he proceeds to rapid fire spit bullets at me. Naturally, I kept walking and mumbled obscenties under my breath, but WTF?! I used to always want to know what people where saying about me in Arabic as I walked by - now I know - they're just jealous cause they gots nappy hair.

The story has a happy ending though. I found Oil of Olay with SPF 15 for Sensitive Skin!

Friday, June 23, 2006

you're leaving nose-prints on the window

Sitting in the window of an internet cafe just shouldn't be done. I know I'm white, have luscious hair, and that you all want to F me up, down, and sideways. But when you stare at me, you end up walking into cars, burkahs, small children. Would you mind not staring and continue onto whatever business you were wanting to do. I know you're unemployed and were probaby on your way to drink tea, or chew qat, or to jerk-off in an alley, but you're annoying.

I almost forgot what it was like to be a foreigner in Yemen. Ay! But it is good to be back.

When I'm not being ocuarly harassed, I spend my time at class or studying. Actually, studying isn't really happening. Last year, I studied about 3 hours a day on my own. But I'm afraid that last year's work ethic is not going to be recreated any time soon. I find myself dancing to music - alone - in my room, making flashcards for words that I know I'll never learn, and hanging with the other students. I know the other students aren't really all-that, but it is nice speaking English every so often.

Everyday I have a run-in with a crazy, knife-weilding Yemeni. Today's went like this:

"I lived in Tuscon. Where are you from? Oh, New York. They have a lot of Jewish there. Yes, I said Jews. They are good at playing - playing games."

Fierce, gurl. I can't even tell you how sick I am about hearing how Jews are the most evil people on Earth. I used to defend them, but I've realized that I'm not going to change anyone's opinions. I know it's shocking, but I don't actually like speaking to men that have travelled to America, speak a fair amount of English, and feel the need to tell me how good they are, and how bad we are. Now, if you want to talk to me about the French, or the Australians, or the Kiwis, then fuck yeah! I'll buy you a cup of tea and we can rap about that shit. But the Jews, no.

Instead, I have become friends with children (Ahmed, Mohammed, and Mohammed). These boys scream outside my window all day long. We play football everyday. They're nice enough to listen to my retarded Arabic, are only about 10x better than me at football, and I don't have to listen to smack-talk about them Jews.

It's fierceness.

Friday, June 16, 2006

oy vay

EgyptAir pulled through yesterday and managed to book me on a flight that actually existed. But, they did have to attempt a few landings into Sana'a International. I guess their sheesha pipe cord kept getting in the way of the controls.

Needless to say, I made it. I managed to get a visa at the airport, even though the embassy in Cairo told me 'No, it's really not possible.' Hate them.

Everything is the same. The same gormless stares, the little girls wanting to know my name (but when I repeat the same question they just asked me in English, it becomes apparent they don't know what 'What is your name?' actually means), old men pointing their sticks at me because they're old men and like to point their sticks at sinners, men in skirts, men with knives, men with guns, men with grenades, men with copious amounts of qat in the mouths lining the streets waiting for something to happen (I'm that 'something' today), and women fluttering around in shape-less, face-less abiyas. All in all, it's total fierceness overload.

I met a few of the students today - but they're leaving shortly, so I'm not going to waste too much energy getting to know them. But what I am going to waste my energy on is getting moved into the building I lived in last year - the building with satellite TV and DVD. I don't know what my director was thinking by moving me into a non-equipped edifice. Seriously. Doesn't he know I have superficial needs?

The latest and greatest is reading other people's Instant Message conversations. Dude next to me is in the Religion chatroom, but apparently the Religion chatroom is the new XXX Suck My Tits chatroom. What's a man got to do to have a serious discussion on how great God is? And all Amy_xxx_fresh wants to do is get naked on her webcam and watch Mr. Muslim jizz in his moustache. Seriously.

Monday, June 12, 2006

i'm so back

For a moment there, I thought I was going to be a 100% total bore forever. But no, I'm back to my crazy New York open-bar, all-you-can-drink antics. I seem to be on a roll the past few days (read: weeks).

I'm back in Egypt. Loving it. I was a bit scared that when I landed and began my Western food binge-fest and quality time at the mall, that I'd associate Egypt - just the feeling of being here - with work. And I don't. I totally miss the country and am seriously considering finding permanent employment in the City Victorious.

The non-stop honking of horns in the ear and the ''it's a small world'' song installed on car brake systems has decreased significantly in the past 6 months. Two MAJOR pluses in my book. And, for some reason, everyone speaks to me in Arabic. I like that - I always get annoyed when people assume I only speak English. It's like I've spent so much time learning this impossible language and people don't even want to give me the benefit of the doubt? But not anymore. Maybe my ass has gotten bigger - we all know the Egyptians gots junk in their trunks.

Now I'm in Dahab. Chilling with my friend Laura who has been living here for the past 5-ish months. But she's fleeing next week for interviews and whatnot. She says if worse comes to worst, she has been offered a tour leading position in Southeast Asia. NOOOOOOOOOOO! She's clearly delusional.

Last night we got completely shitfaced. 1 bottle of wine each, couple bottles of beer, and maybe 5 or 6 rums. Never forgetting the tragic roof-top party in 2004 which ended up in me, in tears, calling my mother from my deathbed. I knew that mixing so much alcohol would end up in disaster, but I didn't really care. But for some reason, my body has totally embraced the mass consumption of low-quality booze and I'm totally on track for another bender tonight. Laura is another story though -I did end up carrying her home with the help of a more manly man than I. This was after she convinced the DJ to play the new Nancy Ajram CD all night. We danced and danced and danced. We even got Sugar, the massive Nubian barback, to bust a few moves.


Crazy faces:

Yum. Pina Colada.

Work it gurl.

If you look closely in the picture above you see this freak of nature.

And a night wouldn't be complete without me sending drunk text messages around the world to remind everyone that I'm a retarded drunk.

And running into someone that wanted me to translate magazine articles about Tupac.

All in all, fierce times.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

hold my d, will you?

So, it's my last night in Morocco. And what am I doing? Sitting in the internet cafe with the rest of the pervs. Seriously, everyone just sits around watching porn here. The latest and greatest is a free site where you can talk to live Asian girls via webcam. But it's so low-budget and disgusting - all of the girls sit in the same bed with keyboards between their legs. Did I mention they're not cute - clearly, a sign that they've been sold by their families into some internet smut ring. But the Moroccan's dig them. But then again, the Moroccans dig anything. Male, female, fat, old, bald, ugly - it's got a hole? Yeah, I'll hit that. I'm serious - I've conducted a survey.

Also. Grown men really like to share computers here. One just sits and watches while the other chats to his friends on MSN Messenger. Like seriously, do you nothing better to do than hold your buddy's dick while he chats to hot girls. The two guys next to me are looking at their friends blog - basically its just pictures of all their male friends topless and hugging each other. I wish I could've gotten the name of the website before they closed the window.

I can't say my farewell to Morocco is going to be a tear-y one. I like Morocco, but working really put a damper on the whole thing. My last group was absolutely horrendous and caused me to considering committing suicide on an hourly basis. But I did have a few fierce groups that made several of my two-week blocks pleasureable. And! I've gotten to live abroad for 18 months, see some fab countries, meet some fab people, and get paid for it. So, I've achieved one of my life goals.

Okay, back to being bitchy.

My latest adventure (sans group) was my ascent up Mt. Toubkal. Mt. Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa - and just so happens to be in Morocco.

In a nutshell, it was a horrendous experience. Yes, there was lots of walking and nice scenery - two things that I enjoy. But it also involved trugging throw snow with socks on my hands - socks, of which, that I had accidentally stepped into a public squat toilet with. 100mph winds that had me holding onto loose rocks for dear life. Thin air that made me huff and puff like an obese, chain-smoker. Rivers that had turned to skating rinks. It was all very, very desperate.

Me desperate:

I did take a million pictures of me on top with a dorky sign that I made. I figured I have so many pictures of me on top of tall things that when all the botox has leaked into my brain, I'll be unable to decipher the photos. Plus, this is the last mountain I'm ever climbing, so I had to document it.

I was supposed to have a date tonight. But I turned my phone off because my chicken lunch isn't sitting in my stomach very well, I've been running around all day (mailed 35kg worth of nonsense home - I'm still baffled at my ability to accumulate random stuff), I smell like I've been running around all day, and really, I'm not in the mood. I don't want to be hungover tomorrow and I'm fairly certain I'll do something that I'll regret in the a.m.

I'm off to Cairo in the afternoon. I'll be chilling at the mall for an entire day - watching movies, shopping for tight jeans, and eating ice cream. Then, I'll go to Dahab and visit my friend Laura, who made the mistake of moving there for her Egyptian boyfriend. I don't need to tell you what happened with that one. And I've got to pay my respects and pump some cash into the town - since they did just get blown up a few months ago. Then, I'll return to Cairo for some more mall-action with Siobhan. Siobhan's from South Africa - we call her Puffs because she's a mess. Girl brushes her curly hair after it's dried. We've had many heart-to-hearts about her frizzy situation, but she immediately represses it.

But before we part ways - just a random smattering of 'Hold my D' - esque pictures.

Maybe he wants to hold it. Yum.

Maybe he does. Troll!

Or maybe the gross Russian at the Roman ruins:

In front of the famous 'cock rocks':

Fierce, snails.

Okay, I can almost understand this:

But, this would be what?

One of the many crazy kids roaming the country side.

So that's it. Ma'salama Maghrib!

Friday, June 02, 2006

i'm a v.i.p.

Last night was no competition for my infamously sloppy New York evenings, but you don't have much to work with when you're living in Morocco. Even if you are in Marrekesh, which IS the capital of all things gay. Therefore, fun and sleazy.

I am training a tour leader who is more experienced and a thousand times more capable than myself (I don't overextend myself on tours anymore - espcially not today since it's my last day on tour, forever!) - her name is Amber. I worked with her in Cairo. She's Canadian and is pretty far up there on the Fierceness Scale.

Amber with oranges I picked off of tree on Mohammed V on a drunk evening.

Previously, we went to the Berber Disco out in the Todra Gorge. Basically a very well-lit room with a bunch of men gyrating together to ear-piercing Berber music. I joined in at one point and we ended up doing ring-around-the-prositute. TFO. All the girls were beefy, but wearing tiny clothes, and sporting a weave of some sort or another. We drank and drank and drank. Watched a few weave-pulling, beer bottle throwing-esque fights. Then we left. Loved it.

Our Berber escort for the evening:

Post disco. Apparently Amber turned Asian and I got a body wave.

But last night was even more drama-filled. Amber and I decided to do dinner in the Djemma al Fna - the main square in Marrakesh with all the food stalls. This was after we hiked out to Lonely Planet's recommendation for a cheap Indian restaurant. It was a one hour walk and wasn't cheap, at all. Lonely Planet strikes again! Fortunately, on the way, we ran across a supermarket and stocked up on cheap, local wine. We decided to eat, then get sloshed, and then see what happened.

We hung out of our window and downed 2 bottles of wine, while making fun of the boys on a work-release program who were 'sweeping' the square. All they did was wave around their brooms and oogle at the local girls. Poor boys, no self-respecting Moroccan chick is going to sleep with someone in a reflective jumpsuit.

After the 2 bottles, we were still thirsty. We decided to head into the square and find the woman that dances with a live chicken on her head for money. We wanted not only a picture with her, but also pictures of us dancing with said chicken on OUR heads. She wasn't there, though. Sigh.

But he was. Note chicken on head and very, very LES-looking son. Grrr. Rage.

Hopped in a cab and headed over to this dodge-y hotel with an even dodgy-er bar and nightclub. Bar was closed, nightclub was dead. Then continued onto some hole-in-the-wall for cheap wine and a healthy dose of harassment. We chugged a bottle and headed over to the V.I.P. club. Neither of us had been to a proper Moroccan club and if we got there before 1am, we didn't have to pay the entrance fee of about 12USD.

We got there at 1:05 (damn my sudden case of diarrhea). I slurred a few words in Arabic that the fat bouncer enjoyed - music to his ears, I'm sure. And Amber pulled down her pants to reveal some mid-rif. Mid-rif is like showing a nipple. He let us in for free, but not before telling us that one drink is between 10 and 15USD and a bottle of wine (which costs $5 at the supermarket) is $120. WTF?!

We entered. Ate all of the free popcorn, poured the bowl of raisins into Amber's purse, and grinded the night away with all the gays and slutty girls. The music was ho-hum, but when you're drunk in a foreign country - we all know that you'll pretty much dance to anything and with anyone.

Unfortunately, neither of us pulled. Not that we really wanted to experiment with scabies and other assorted ailments. So, we went back to the hotel. I watched Amber roll some sort of hashish roll and I passed out at some point - have no recollection of that. I'm sure it was right after I said something or did something very incriminating.