Monday, May 30, 2011

Who Are We Kidding Here?

Read online about the electricity price hike back home.

Read about how the powers that be explaining the people that this hike is inevitable but it's structured to have the high usage group pay more. Read about how the powers that be comparing the price we pay for electricity is among the lowest with the neighboring countries. Read about how the powers that be warning the private sectors of the severe consequences on irresponsible price increase in their services or products following the rise in the electricity price. Read about the powers that be advising the people to be mindful and diligent in energy usage. Read about the powers that be assuring us that the hike will not be a burden to the low and mid-income groups.

Oh c'mon. What horse shit are you talking about? Who the fuck are we kidding here?

The people always end up paying. The people always get the stick up their asses.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crazy About Bagel

My obsession with bagel continues with another of my late Saturday lunches. Bagel sandwich with a fried egg and chicken bacon, cream cheese and barbecue sauce. Normally I would make this with the real French ham and sliced Cheddar and mayo in a croissant. Well, I haven't found croissant yet and for now I am just too ecstatic getting bagel here in Khartoum.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Feast Kandahar

First weekend back in Khartoum, I joined a few friends heading out to Kandahar, about half an hour drive out of Khartoum, (not that Kandahar) for a feast of pan-roasted kharouf (lamb) for brunch. Between the 6 of us, we pre-ordered 5 kg of that sweet tender succulent lamb and ribs, along with all the trimmings of salads and bread and spicy dipping sauces. We stuffed ourselves silly.

5-kg is a lot of meat!

I got home sleeping off the rest of the day and burping up the smokey sweetness of the lamb, well into the evening.

Shades of Blue

Where's the ocean? Where's the sky? Where's the horizon? Sometimes reality is fuzzy and life is just one big blur.

Just don't take yourself too seriously. Enjoy the ride.

Note: Photo taken somewhere in the sky over Doha.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pizza Galore

I love making pizza using Lebanese bread as the crust, just simply smear it with store bought tomato sauce, pile on whatever topping I fancy at that particular moment, or whatever is available in the fridge, and cheese, loads and loads of grated mozzarella, then bake them in the oven. Thin crust pizza with minimal prep work, literally zero cooking, ready in a jiffy and almost no cleaning up!

This one with beef pepperoni (couldn't get the real stuff here in Khartoum) and mushroom and onions and pepper.
This one with chicken bacon (yeah, that sounded way off but actually tasted not half as bad) and mushroom and onions and pepper.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day

Mothers' Day this year, it's strange, the heavy air of uneasiness hovering over my head. I felt bad, realizing how strained things are getting with Mom, like the powerful undertow lurking beneath the calm water.

I still call her every week, we still talk. But we are trading barbs ever so subtly just a couple of utterances into the conversation, perfecting our skills in sarcastic communication and spewing spiteful remarks with a cheerful jokingly twist. Suddenly so many things we do not see eye to eye and we resolve to agree to disagree, in a not so agreeable manner. It's very draining talking to Mom nowadays.

I was in the midst of moving into my new place. Mom would like to come to help. I was more than glad with her around, more of sharing the joy of my new home. I was prepared to drive home to fetch her and Dad out her for the big moving day festivities. Then Mom insisted that she could just easily take the bus, a 3-hour ride out to KL from Kuantan with Dad, who's so frail and borderline wheelchair bound. After a lot of back and forth, I mean a lot, I told her I'd be able to handle the moving on my own (which was true), then I would take a flight home to spend time at home with them. I wouldn't be seeing them cramping in the bus, Mom wouldn't be worrying me with the drive back to fetch them. It was a win-win. Then there was silence ringing over the phone, piercing and painful. That was that.

What's happening to us?

Nothing happened to us. This is simply because the mother-child love bond is so strong and unconditional. We always want to make life easy and rosy for each other. We could not bear seeing each other suffer in the slightest way. Mom worried about how tiring driving alone for me. I realized how taxing physically on her and Dad taking the bus. We knew very well what we were trying, and willing to do for each other. That's why we insisted what we wanted to do all along and would never back down. Never! That's why it was so exhausting.

How can love be so strenuous?

Happy Mothers' Day.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Overheard #17

"Common sense is uncommon."

Ironic, but absolutely true.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Questions of the Day

Today, I turn 35. Life still as unexpected and complicated and challenging as it is, as it always been. Many a times when I thought I get a grip on it, when I thought I was standing tall and firm, the rug was pulled off underneath my feet. It's not fun falling flat on my ass, after all I'm 35 now. Curve balls come flying at break-neck speed left right and center, hitting me in the face. Ouch, not in the face!

Moving to Africa is a giant leap into the abyss of unknown. While it was exciting, it is also daunting to live and work in a new and foreign setting: people, cultures, language and weather. Truth be told, doubts still linger over my head as to whether I'm cut out for it. I absolutely did not foresee I question myself over this as frequently.

At long last I bought my own place. My bachelor pad? I'm not too sure about it either. Entering an age when my peers are building careers, taking the plunge, raising kids or even burying parents, that cornered me into evaluating my outlook on life. Or is that succumbing to peer pressure? How long can I hold this current state of my (so-called) life? Or should I?

And what happen to my dreams? There are still there, I suppose. But am I getting any closer to reaching them? At times I laugh off the youthful ideals of the youngsters. What do you snotty face know about life? I would snickered at them. Well then, what do I really know about life anyway. Deep down inside, I'm secretly admiring and envious of their reckless courage and brutal honesty.

Today, I turn 35. Many questions remain unanswered. And many more questions popped up, still popping up.

Oh, I still have not completed a marathon by 35.

Happy birthday to me.