Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Memorable Mistakes

Waking up on a wet bed is not nice.
Don't get the wrong idea, i love practical jokes, as long as they don't interfer with the little sleep I do get.

'You look ill'. I do indeed. I've been mourning the loss of my nails. On Friday they were so pretty and long and nice. Now, my dear nails are nothing less than chewed and neglected. I don't even remember biting them off so viciously, but I suppose i have a vague feeling of when i did attack my nails.

Before I get too sidetracked, I realised how much posts i've neglected to publish.

I've learnt a lot, honestly I have. So here's a lowdown of the mistakes I made, that I can remember in chronological order-

Making fun of Hussam
I used to hate him and his greased hair and sleazy bedroom eyes in his music videos.
As you can realise, i didnt actually listen to his music and just hated his stereotypical personality. But after hearing his songs at every possible turn, i gave up, and thought; 'what the hell, this hussam guy can sing!'. i'm unsure whether my mind is tricking me to make me feel better about having to listen to his songs every hour, or whether he really does have good songs.

I was also unsure of how people could dance to his songs. well, the general rule turned out to be- just jump everywhere, and call that dancing. I still wonder how cool it would be if someone remixed one of his songs with rock music. I think the combination of jumping dancers, drum beating and his whiney voice might actually work.

platonic doesnt exist
After the few initial first lonely days in Baghdad, I made new friends, since my childhood friends all seem to have moved. Unfortunatley, i learnt friendliness has its price.
Here you must realise i mean friends in the boy-girl sense manner.
Our neighbours sons were kind of egotistic. They had taken the machoness, and beefed it up to a level where it was cheesy. One afternoon one of the sons asked if i would be his friend.
Of course! I replied. Then he walked off, and i waved smiling. Its nice to have friends....
A few days later while dragging my sister and cousin to the corner shop, we passed the usual gang of adolescents with their coughs and fiery cigarettes. As i walked passed, one of them elbowed the other, the other one pointed and me, and then one of them said -'heeey heey, thats mustafa's girlfriend'.
Their conversation that followed was loud whispers as to whether they should ask me or not.
After a quick mental scramble, i decided they meant girlfriend, not girl-friend. I wondered what to do, and then decided on what i usually do-nothing.

You'd be suprised how i didn't learn a lesson from this. I would keep thinking that they meant 'friends' friends, only to realise a week later, thats not what they meant. I remember thinking- 'screw it, let them live in their own little world'. I also remember that a lot of people told me to 'use the opportunity'. What this meant was to get them to help me educationally, or send me phone credit etc.
Urgh. The idea disgusted me then, and disgusts me now, and more often than not, I ended helping them with their maths and english and work, because i realised very quickly, they spent their time on everything but their already fragile education.

never stay in the room with your aunts and mum
ahhh, when all the women of the family gather in a room, you have no idea what they start talking about. I considered whether raising the volume of the tv to block out their talk was rude or not. That day, i felt myself actually blush to the point where i started stuttering when i talked. My sister was scarily enjoying the conversation, and i decided that i really did need to see a psychiatrist one day.

never enter a room full of foreigners in your homeland
i did once, and now i realise the folly of it. It was in the international zone, but i dont recall much of that day apart from waiting endlessly bored for my father.
I sat in a room completely full of british, american, philipino and some other nationalities. I was the only iraqi. I concentrated on the murky depths of my coffee, but a conversation caught my attention. It was a british guy(soldier? contractor?) talking about something or other. His conversation then turned into making fun of iraqis, and laughing loudly. Everyone else was quiet, and one of his friends oh-so-discreetly nodded in my direction.
"she's iraqi?". He almost saunters towards me, and i meet his gaze. Then he points at me and shouts "Iraqi? Baghdad? You?". He points more on the 'you'. Instead of showing him that I do have the ability to understand, I nod silently.
Then he cracks a few more jokes. I stare hatefully at him. He then says- 'i betchya she's f****** saddam or one of them guys'.
this took it to a whole new level, and I get up (knocking my poor coffee all over the table. There goes a dollar or two), and i reply 'go f*** yourself, because no one else will!'. And i stormed out, pleased at hearing the laughter of everyone in the room.
This event is oh so memorable because, aged 16, it was the First time I ever used the F word. Out loud anyway.

You can't handle the truth
I'm a terrible liar, and its because of that, I cannot be bothered to lie. I'd have to remember the lie anyway, and to tell you the truth, my memory resembles that of a senile 98 year old granny.
When i was asked by people about my opinion on certain things, i simply told the truth. Unfortunatley, that created problems for me. Ranging from people from university following me home, to rumours. You'd think i would suffer from privacy issues, but instead i seemed to become even more carefree.I suppose having a bad reputation means you don't have to meet anyone's standards apart from your own.

Sleepy Street
I know walking around in daylight in your pajamas isn't the 'norm'. But I've done it before in countries ranging from Turkey, to the UK.
I have family (grandparents, aunt, uncle) that each live around two houses away in Baghdad.
If they called on my mobile, that meant i was to wake up, and go straight to their house. Sure. That meant i wouldnt have to do anything apart from lie under the air conditioning.
They rang, i sprawled out of bed, and decided to make my way to their house in my pajamas. They were nice modest comfortable pajamas.
On walking through the door, and seeing their faces, I made a quick mental assesment of wondering who i had murdered.
Walking in your pajamas is a big bad no no.
I'm not sure why, and everytime i asked, i got the same reply of 'we'll tell you later'. Now I'm beginning to suspect that it was all an elaborate hoax or practical joke.

Freedom in Iraq
I admit it, my parents give me the independence i argue for. But woe befall me should i mention the freedom i do get to other iraqi families. Then everyone else ends up thinking I am either some poor neglected child, or that i am a hardcore rebel punk.
I'm neither, I have earned the trust of everyone around me, simply by being the most boring and sensible creature to walk this green earth.
:D or so i seem to my poor unsuspecting parents...(mwuhaha)

So those are seven of my sins i made.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Lunar Year

I got reminded and the realisation couldn't have made me more happy...

I've been blogging for a lunar year. When the actual year anniversary passes, i think i might actually set off fireworks.
You may be wondering why this seemingly overreaction at my blog's anniversary...well...the truth was i never though i would last. :D Talk about lack of faith.

I was going to write a whole how i've changed since my first post, but, i'm going to leave that for the actual year anniversary.

I've got many many stories and stuff to tell, but for some reason I'm actually too busy to sit down and write them..*cough lie cough*. Fine... i screwed up my finger and had to have stitches, and now every letter i type brings a whole new meaning to the word 'pain'.
I would tell you how i cut my finger so badly, and it would probably make you choke with laughter, but of course I'm embarassed. =D No, really, shameless touta is actually embarrassed.

Where was I? oh yes, I was guilt tripping everyone ;) Perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic about the pain thing, but it does hurt to use, since it is my first finger, which is the most active member of my typing.
Its taking such a long time to type this.

I rediscovered how much I shudder at Karl Wolfe... I recently heard not one, but two of his 'songs' played loudly, and at that moment, I think a part of me died.

i didn't really understand what there was to dance too (the 'music' or lack of it), yet i was still subjugated to scary looking women barking at me to get up and dance, as they jumped around, bumping and knocking everything over.
I actually wished they were in abbayas, then at least their dancing may have looked graceful, covered by billowing black silky fabric. But no such luck, they all wore metallic tight dresses and shook their long excessively straight hair in a way that would embarrass any 'gypsy' (iraqi slang for slutty girls in music videos who shake to the music-i'll leave it to your imagination as to what they 'shake'. hehe actually its only their hair you one track minded people! :P).

I found refuge by walking outside and making calls. Unfortunalty i couldn't hear most of what was said - loud music, loud laughter, loud crying...there is honestly only two tones of speaking for iraqis: loud and louder.

Lesson of the Day- my silent smile and nod tactic backfired, as one woman shouted across the room to my mother - 'is your daughter deaf? she might be DYKLEXIC ya habeebti, get her tested', followed by her pinching my cheeks in a way that meant i walked around cursing violently in my head as the pinch stung for minutes after. I felt as if she had just announced i should be tested for a sexually transmitted disease, as pairs and pairs of eyes glanced at me quickly, and then looked away with the same lightening speed. And no, I wasn't imagining it.
I had to bite down my tongue pretty hard to stop myself from telling said lady it was her fault i couldnt hear anything (she arranged the seatings and made me sit next to a blasting speaker that was over half my height), and that being 'dyklexic' has nothing to do with deafness.

But in my head, the 'what i want to do scene' was brutally crushed by social etiquette, respect for elders, and generally an 'i give up' attitude.

Off to dream now..Good night. :)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Don't you forget

I'm at rest. I've made a decision. :D

Other than that, life is becoming pretty much unbearable to the point of i'm walking around the cold cloudy nights. At first I used to love the sheer amount of bright orange lamps, lighting up every meter of where i wander. They used to look like fiery jewels above my head.

Now they're just a nuisance, blocking my view of starry nights. Blocking the quiet dark. I have to learn to stop comparing countries. Iraq's dark and somber, but I could see the stars twinkle above me. Here I have everything, but its the small pleasures that i miss, such as the whining stray cats, and the buzzing of electricity appliances on the brink of breaking with the ever stopping and surging of electricity.

And the stars. I miss those.

I actually managed to convince myself for ten minutes that the twinkling and moving red and yellow light in the sky, was not an airplane but a star or a planet. Then i dragged myself back into reality (unwillingly).

I'm back to learning the piano, but suddenly, its taking up a lot more of my time. There's an eery feeling of change. I've changed.It suddenly seems as if everyone is annoying me, and the truth is, i don't think i'm looking forward to taking life seriously. I know i should, but i always prefer to float through life.

The other day i was stunned into one of the most gut wrenching silences ever.
'Which life do you prefer? The UK life, the Iraq village life, or the Baghdad life?'.
For the first time in my life, i had the horrible soul sinking realisation. I have a split life, a split mind. A part of me cherishes each one. A part of me hates each one.I wonder if a mixture of the three is possible.

Do I even have a life?

*shouts of 'get a life' touta!*
haha. Funny how i don't think i want to change a thing. Apart from perhaps learn to be patient and sleep a bit more.

pondering life.....
The Decisive one