Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feeling like a grown-up for the first time, all over again

Since moving to Europe I have lived in furnished apartments - at first this sounded exciting, a little luxurious maybe... sorta like a hotel or something. It's not. Its a big ole crapshoot. And after while you become aware that there's nothing substantial that belongs to you , nothing considerable you own and that aspect of adulthood sort of slithers away in to this odd remote concept that no longer applies to your life.

The first flat we had was tastefully furnished, if a bit spartan. The second - not as much... the third flat was filled with furniture from the second and the fourth was awesome. Really, it was freakin awesome. I loved that flat.

Now, I am here alone, living alone for the first time in my life and in a flat that is not fully furnished. It came with a wall unit, a couch and some wardrobes but no bed, table or chairs.

Tonight, for the first time in over four years, I am sleeping in my own bed. I am sleeping in a bed I own. Not a 'bought it cheap from some expat headed home' deal, not a second hand special from the shop around the corner but a brand new bed, new frame, new headboard, new mattress, all of which I went to the store for and picked out for myself. And I feel a little more adult-like, a little more established in my environment and a little more like potentially I may be a long-termer. And dammit, it's comfortable and I like it.

Now I need to bring the rest of the house up to the bed's standard :)

dating doldrums defined

A friend was talking about this speed-dating thing recently - actually a few of them were, both male and female. There is a FB group I belong to that is getting hit hard with this speed-dating company's promotion - they've been called out for spamming but it showed up again today... so, in light of  my recent conversations, I clicked on it to see what they were about before they got banned for their spam.

Here's the take-away... there are various age group divisions. In the 20-something to early 30s, both genders pay the same, full price. In the late 30s  to mid-40s females, early 40s to late 50s men, the men are offered a 50% discount.

That is how bleak it is.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

my new best worst date

I went on a date a little less than two weeks ago. On the date my date met someone, someone who was listening in on our conversation and then sat down at our table. They are now living together.

I am still waiting for my dating karma to change.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lend me your fairy tale... or rather DON'T!

Every country I go to I try to buy children's fairy tales from that region. I have a hard time in the past but have usually been successful. Never before have I experienced what I did today...

I'm in Dubai for a short while. I had a touristy evening last night and have a few days consumed with school stuff. Today, however, I went to the mall adjoining my hotel and went on a book hunt. I succeeded in finding a solid little English language bookstore. Not super shocking since every speaks English here and I'm both in an expat community and in a hotel complex, but nevertheless I was quite pleased with it.

I started my hunt for the kids books and found a huge selection and a ton of fairy tale options. After working my way through Hansel and Gretel type stuff I found the local fables... and I choked. Literally. These are not pretty kids stories, they're gruesome fables with mature themes and horrible endings. I read book after book after book.... then I found the Islamic story book for kids (the title was something like that, I don't mean there's only one) and I was horrified - and then I thought about the Old Testament's stories and put things in a bigger perspective.

The local fables deal with death, suicide attempts, murder, thieves, starvation, and punishment. They were not stories I would ever tell a child, ever. I could see the religious overtones coming through without necessarily being able to identify which religion it was - just old, style, heavy handed fear of God rammed down your throat type of stuff... not even fear of God, just FEAR of doing something WRONG.

I bought some really gentle books for my nephews and a little girl who doesn't yet appreciate that she has an extra aunt on the other side of the world and then picked out one of these books to share with my Mom. I'm not going to detail any of the stories in that one but I'll give you a summary of a story I thought was HORRIBLE!

In the jungle a rabbit wanted to get to the other side of the river. The lion offered him a ride but he was scared the lion would eat him so he went to his friends to ask advice. They said don't worry. The lion is trustworthy and he won't eat you. The rabbit was still scared so his friends said again, don't worry, we'll even join you. The rabbit took a ride from the lion and made it safely to the other side. When he climbed off and sighed with relief then all of his friends jumped on him and kicked him and hit him until he was dead and then they ate him.

Moral - don't always listen to your so called friends - you'll be better off when you think for yourself.