Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The villa

So, right around Christmas I jumped down the rabbit hole into a pitch and am just now coming up for air. Granted, my brain feels a bit like hummus now. But a two hour walk on the beach, checking out Poseidon's rubbish at low tide, and curling up in my cozy little room with hot tea afterwards can do wonders for girl. So now I can get back to contemplating uber (with an umlaut) important things, like my new bathroom. Why? Because each bathroom keeps getting better. And for better or worse, this one is all mine. Behold. A hose AND a "bo-day." It turns out that a "bo-day" not only looks very worldly, but it's also the perfect place to wash beach sand off your feet! This bit of porcelain will be well used by yours truly.

Now the hose is another matter entirely. It turns out the last one, "Super Soaker 2000," was just the training wheels. But I was inexperienced and innocent still. And on the first day in the toilet paper. Naturally. I'd just arrived. The hose looked innocent enough, daintily tucked into the corner. It might be nice and refreshing. Refreshing? That would be an understatement. This little twat could blast your entire backside all the way to Egypt. NASA should come over and check this thing out. They could learn a thing or two. From here on out, this public enemy will be known as "Sonic Boom." Water in the toilet bowl? Lets just say it got displaced. the hair on my HEAD got wet! I'm not kidding! I had to change my SHIRT. I'm sure you're all relieved to know that the water pressure good.

A villa. Not a house. I'm not exactly sure what the difference is, except there are a few separate buildings and sections, and a big wall around all of it. But then again, anything here that isn't an apartment, is called a villa. So who knows.

I'm missing photos of the living room and kitchen. I'll add em later. They're all right. Nothing earth shattering. Not really places I'll spend a lot of time either.

I'm sneezing distance from two mosques. This one I can see from my room. Naturally both mosques broadcast their prayers at exactly the same time. I mean, Allah's a busy guy. He has to stay on schedule. This COULD sound amazing if their voices went together, or if their different prayers harmonized somehow. But they don't. At all. And the closer, louder one sounds more like a baritone cat has been stuffed inside a tuba, than an actual human being, singing to God. If a baritone cat actually found itself stuffed inside a tuba, I'm sure he'd have a few words for God anyway. So maybe it's appropriate. Regardless, I don't know what Allah did to deserve that kind of serenade, but it couldn't of been good.

No matter if it's a crazed deep-voiced cat, or just a dude blowing his nose into the microphone, it's loud enough to entertain the good folks on the other side of the Arabian Gulf. And despite getting jarred awake at 6 am, I kind of like it. It's weird. It's foreign. It's this cool reminder that there is some seriously loud culture right across the street, that has nothing to do with shopping, or ads, or fancy cars, or malicious toilet hoses. However, I would appreciate Allah a little bit more if his horn blower could turn it down, just a little bit.

To the best of my knowledge, the main mosque is for the men. Notice the big windows, and chandeliers inside. Notice the low roof, and lack of windows in the next photo, the prayer area for women. Granted, I know I lack context, but we're talking about PRAYER here, not equal pay, not voting rights, not objectification in the media. If you want to chill out with Allah, and you're a woman, you have a tiny little box without light. If you want to talk to Allah and you're a dude, You get a palace. I have some questions for Mohamed. We'll start with, WTF?

An amendment: After this little tirade in my head, I felt, well, ignorant. So I asked a friend at work, why? His answer was pretty obvious. Women tend to pray at home. So there's no need to use up a lot of space and expense when it won't get much use. Makes sense. So, why are women at home all the time? Is this by choice? Do they go to each other's villa's and bring the kids party it up while the men are away? Is this a June Cleaver thing? It really wasn't that long ago that western women were pretty much the Sheikhs of the household, so it's pretty hypocritical for us to judge. (Lets just not get into the whole multiple wives thing just yet. We'll save that for another day of ignorance and misunderstanding.) How come prayer is a social activity for men, and a solitary one for women? Considering the faith is the same, why the different style of worship? What about kids? When do they get pulled into the club? There's nothing like another country to yank your head out of the sand and show you how little you know. It can make a girl tired. Or hungry for more hummus.


alex the great said...

Seems like the right place for american women

shelley said...

I can't see the pictures. :(

Amy Board said...

Cindy. Just read the whole thing. Unbelieveable. You have me hooked. You are brave and epic and charming, my friend!!!! Love Love!

shelley said...

Oooooh fancy pants! Your villa is so... FANCY! (yeah, it's too early to rummage my brain for more words in my limited vocabulary right now).

Your duo with the hose-spray cracked me up. Those things scare me beyond belief.

PS: Hummus brain makes me hungry.

shelley said...

ugh. By duo I mean duel.

See, THAT's the reason why I'm not a copywriter.