Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Very Merry Millennial Ramadan

Not may people know this, but Ramadan is the equivalent of Lent to Christians. It's a month of spirituality, detoxification and family time.

If Ramadan could be summed up in 3 words, it would be WTF: Where’s The Food! Seriously, with fasting, one doesn't need stash to get high & have the munchies. Consider yourself lucky, if you are able to get 2 hours of focus at work. (Oh and if you’re the roller of your group, you’re more than welcome to roll sambousas in my kitchen)

We fast from dawn until dusk. Around sunrise, panic strikes as we throw water bottles to each other counting down the last remaining seconds before everyone withdraws of food and liquids for the day (dramatically exaggerated). At breakfast time, we’d take turns leading prayers, and at one point I forgot the verses half way through *bursts into flames*.

So without further ado, here are some millennial traditions for the holy month!
  • Live tweeting during prime time family TV shows; it is the only season when actors get to play different characters on a million channels (sometimes within one show 0_o)
  • Vimto Staches on the last day before Eid
  • Greeting Wars: Spam as much as you can to proclaim your title whether it is being the first, quirkiest, most original or funniest...
  • Countdown Panic: As illustrated above
  • Caffeine Placebo: It’s a Saadoun hack to smell coffee beans for a burst of energy
  • Tribal size (not family size): all item packs at supermarkets become larger than life

So I’ll conclude this Ramadan summary with the song "Sambousa" by Daffy. Now shake your tail feathers!

Monday, June 29, 2015

I Was Born in the 80's

I was born in ’88 but surprisingly enough; my early childhood was heavily influenced by that era. I grew up to Michael Jackson’s music and dreadful Miami Congo hits. We must be
  • The last generation to play in public parks and playgrounds
  • The last to use cassettes and the pioneers of walkmans and chatrooms

When it came to technology, we recorded our favorite shows on VHS. Super Nintendo was the bomb and Apple had a long way to go.

We are the generation of Beast Wars, Scooby-Doo, Loony Toons, Disney, Popeye, Ninja Turtles, Fraggle Rock & Ghost Busters.

We did not have tablets, smart phones or social media. But nevertheless we had a great time! 

And according to Playback FM, the hit single on the day I was born was Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. Try it yourself to find out what smash hit you were born to!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Flying sky high 3 “The Mile High Club”

Plane Rides across Jordan, USA, France and KSA

Travel tip: Planes fly counter Earth’s rotation to reach destination faster.

Jordan: We jump into the car & leave to the airport. We’re glad to be heading back to Jordan. The twist this time is that our grandma is coming with us. Being carried away with the music, I did not realize if we missed the exit to the airport or not. So my brother told me to take the first one coming up ahead, when in reality it was the one after. As I turned right, my brother yelled “It’s the next one!” so I did my best to swerve back on to the main road. Drifting with joy, my grandma yells out “Who’s following us!? Are We being followed!?”, anxiously looking back. Awkward silence looms the car as she’s been watching to many police dramas.

We arrive at the airport & drop our bags off. As we are ascending the escalator to the waiting lounge, I ask my sister to hand over my pack of hollow cigarettes. As she did so, the pack fell open, scattering all the cigarettes over the moving steps. As we rushed to pick them up, the security guard at the top of the stairs must have suspected us of being drug smugglers. I can’t imagine what could have hinted that. It can’t be my sister’s reaction of screaming “You & your pot head friends!” at the top of her lungs.

My sister was seated next to my grandma and I was seated next to my brother. I did not get any sleep the night before, so I was drowsing off upon departure. My iPhone was next to me on the armrest. I knew it would slide off but I did not expect it to fly off into infinity. There was nothing I could do about it being under the influence of Zzz. We could not call my phone, as it was in airplane mode -__- but luckily everyone was kind enough to help out using the flashlights of their phones. I turned the whole cabin into a strobe light search party for the hearing impaired. To my dismay, we found it at the end of the business class after almost giving up.

Once the seatbelt signs were switched off, my grandma decided to put on a pair of earrings. She could not find the holes in her ears without a mirror so she simply pierced new ones by forcing the earrings in. Ah the joy of narcotics. The head stewardess’ expression was priceless as she tried to keep a poker face on, taking orders from my grandma with bleeding ears.

USA: Surprisingly, Rochester Airport, Minnesota was never an international airport until a Saudi Prince landed there on a direct flight from Saudi Arabia. On long flights, it’s a Saadoun tradition to watch recap episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. on the plane.

Usually it’s always me who is on Cloud 9 between flights, so it felt good to be on the other side this time picking my brother up at the airport. My brother was flying in on Delta Airlines and it hit me right then and there, how absurd their safety video is. When I first saw it, I thought my drink was spiked. Then again, if I compare it with ME Airlines in-flight video, theirs is much wackier showing clubbing scenes & strippers for family tourism.

My brother was in the States on a surprise visit to his fiancé. Her mom’s from Kuwait, and their passports are blue. When waiting in line at TSA checkpoints, Americans always whisper “I never knew we had a State of Kuwait”. No comment…

France: What can I say, the craziest country in the world. One of their ex-colonies, St. Martin Island, has a beach called Maho in which planes fly over tanning bystanders at minimum altitude.

On a domestic flight between Paris-Cannes, I had to get rid of most of my toiletries and bottles. So now, each time I see happy passengers with their bottles of water, I think to myself “Smile now, but they'll make you throw it away later.”

As I waited in the security line to scan my luggage, an officer in charge kept chanting what to throw away and what to keep. Little did she know is that my bottle of water was Orange Sparkle all the way from NYC, which cannot be found on European shores. My bottle was clearly half full and she insisted that I toss it aside. I tried to explain to her the significance of my drink, but she interrupted me by asking “Where are you flying to?” I told her I was heading to Cannes. She responded “Well, there is plenty of water there! In the trash please.” And that was the end of my short-lived indulgence.

After retrieving my bag from the scanner, a French TSA officer urged me to open my bag. Half my bottles were for my hair, given the fact that I was flying to a humid destination (Diana Ross flash backs). It was evident that all my bottles had a ¼ left in them but since they were labeled 200ML, the officer remained stubborn. To my left were Algerian officers who must have felt sorry for the Bedouin trying to negotiate, so they rushed to my aid. But it was too late. As bottles were dramatically tossed in slow motion before my eyes, the only bottle that I could salvage was my deodorant.

My advice to passengers with carry-on luggage is to always carry bottles of 150ML & below. And if you ever find yourself in my situation, then ask for a declaration form to salvage what you can.

KSA: Since 2009, my flights to Jeddah have been somewhat jinxing pop stars. When I first arrived the week of 21 June, Michael Jackson passed away. Fast-forward to 2012, on a transit flight via Jeddah, Whitney Houston passes away that same day. 0_o

Speaking of transits, I hate it when Lebanese lie, saying they lived in a particular country or city when they have only stayed at the airport for a few hours. Some even go the whole 9 yards, claiming they forgot how to speak Arabic! I would not be surprised if some of them forget themselves into oblivion, believing they have suddenly become Mexican with an identity crisis in less than 2 hours.

By now, I think I am jinx-free because no celebrity, I know of, has parted this life so far.  

48 Hours in Bahrain

Bahrain: noun. /bɑːˈreɪn/. › A country in the Middle East known as Saudi Arabia’s Mexico. From around the GCC, this active island is the destination to be amongst spring breakers. Just a 4 hour drive away from Riyadh’s capital, one can’t but wonder about the abandoned ferret wheel close to the bridge. It is one of Saudi’s unconventional landmarks on the East Coast.

Since booze is prohibited in Saudi, I like to refer to Vodka as Bahraini water. Very un-Saudi of me, but I have only been to Bahrain once… And by plane! My brother and I went for a comedy festival. We stayed in downtown Bahrain, which was basically the red-light district. After a weekend of fun in Sin City, we hit our hotel around 3:00 am in the morning.

I barely closed my eyes for 5 minutes, and I hear a knock at the door. I ignore it, and someone knocks at the door again, I open it up only to find an Asian prostitute with orange dreadlocks asking me “Hi I’m O, you want lady?” I replied “No! It’s 3 in the morning!” and shut the door, assuming she went to the wrong room. Around 15 minutes later, I hear a knock again at the door. I open it up, and there she was... Again! But this time acting all sly, asking “Is Menwer here?” so I replied there was no one by that name here. She responds back “OK… So you want lady!?” and an obese version of her pops up from behind her, smiling to say “I’m G, you want lady?”. I think to myself where is M? And yell at her “For the last time, no we don’t!”. Storming back into my room, I call hotel management to have her escorted out of here.

We head out to the airport that afternoon to catch our return flight back home. My brother had some liquor chocolate with him and decided to eat a few. He disappeared in the bathroom for a while so I went to check up on him to make sure he was fine. My knuckles barely touched the door and it flung open due to air turbulence and inside was a guy gratifying himself. In horror, I run back to my seat, thinking liquor chocolate doesn’t seem so bad right now.

A Cacao Drama Not Written by Hershey

I had a dream last night…

I was running around inside a mall, looking for a chocolate store, which I think represented freedom. I was racing the clock so it must have been closing time.

I could not find the chocolate I need to free myself. So I bought a few here and there, trying to combine them into "The Freedom Piece" to release myself.

As I was assembling the pieces, mixing combinations, I heard a familiar voice. When I looked up ahead, I saw 2 friends of mine having lunch at the food court.

I waved and they waved back. It was comforting. I felt relieved and good seeing them. It restored my faith that there is still good in this cynical world.

I lost hope and seeing them motivated me to try again in my search for freedom.

The 5 Flag Theory to Polarized Citizenship

I have recently read an article called “A Foreigner in My Own Country”. I completely resonated with it, as I’m a minority within my own society.

Made in the U.K. and assembled in K.S.A. to a Saudi mother and an Iraqi father, I’m considered as a conditional citizen. I was born and raised in the sandy capital of Saudi Arabia. Saudi is my home and I'm proud to be one. For me, being Saudi means making it rain A-rab money… Or so I wish.

We refer to ourselves as a community of halfies. My whole family is that way, maternally and paternally. It is as if we were raped by the U.N.

I never felt discriminated against, until one day I was denied a job to a less qualified candidate due to my nationality.

So if you’re unable to be adopted by Angelina Jolie, the best way to break free of nationality (liabilities opportunities) is to follow a three-flag system by Harry Schultz. The three flags consist of having a

·      Second passport/citizenship in a country that does not tax money earned abroad
·      Safe location for your assets in a tax haven
·      Legal address/residency in a tax haven

To these, W.G. Hill added a fourth & fifth flag,

·      An additional tax haven country as a business base for investment
·      A number of ‘playground countries’ with low consumption tax and VAT for leisure time

You can always reorder the flags to make them more achievable for yourself.

Each flag represents a specific element of your personal finances and is designed to impact and increase your freedom, privacy and wealth with the overall objective: peace of mind.

But Does She Like It? 8 New Men Colognes Tested… by a Wife

Diesel Only the Brave 

A rough blast of peppery testosterone — exciting, like jumping in a Jeep with an 18-year-old hockey player, but also a bit juvenile for my husband. Still, the aggression had... results. I guess that's what you want, huh?

John Varvatos Vintage 

A strong opening — very clear cedar-and-fruit scent that I found a little sweet in the first few minutes. It quickly quieted, though, into some sort of bucolic fantasy of haylofts and woodsheds. I'm telling you, men and yardwork...

Gucci by Gucci 

Very, very sexy — as expected, I suppose. Maybe a little too slick for my man, but it inspired some dark dreams about money, murder, and that dude from Miami Vice. This is what movie stars should smell like.

Odin New York no 2
Ah, Odin — love those guys. The Owari fragrance is so yummy I'm wearing it myself right now under my bikini. Like most exotic fragrances, it wore away too quickly, leaving only the faintest taste of mandarin oranges and mint on my pillow. But maybe that's perfect. Put on lots and lots, please.

Big Pony Collection 3 

I believe that Ralph Lauren's magic is real: Rugged, simple Americana is a sexy, simple bet for a gentleman. I was a bit shocked by the bracing greens of the bottle, and it opened like a classic woody fougère (hey, look it up!) but soon cooled into a really refreshing mint. (Ever had scotch with a splash of mint iced tea?) The Big Pony was great for daytime, but a little, shall we say, energetic for the bedroom.

Polo Red White and Blue 

This bottle from Ralph would actually make a nice complement to his big green one, sexing up the situation with warm red apples and sage. And, yes, you can have day and evening scents. Despite how much we take up, you do have room in the medicine chest.

Burberry Sport 

A little more of a traditional cologne scent here, so very gentlemanly. But the impression I got was a sip of frosty Witbier: orange and wheat with a crisp juniper finish. Go ahead and embrace smelling like a beer — in this case it will be delicious. It was also my husband's favorite, by the way.

But No Matter What... 

1. Your ideal fragrance should make a woman want to nuzzle, explore... and possibly steal your cologne.
2. Take it easy. Please do not bathe in the stuff.
3. Also, please do not spray cologne on your crotch. It tastes nasty.
4. Put on just enough so that there's a bit left on your skin in the morning. A bit on her skin, too. To remind her.

Source: Esquire