While i was away…

My mum came into my office to see me on Friday 30/04/2010 (I left Friday afternoon but had taken the Thursday off to pack and make sure that all things like holiday insurance, etc were sorted!). I spoke to her on the Saturday to tell her that I was away – to NO avail! Upon trying to tell her she cut me off telling me that she did not want to hear anything that would make her have a car accident (as she was in the car). so I didn’t tell her…

The first week went by and I called her on the Wednesday as apparently she had come into my office on the Tuesday to give me my early birthday present. I told that although I was thankful that she had gotten me something, that all I had wanted (as I had previously told her) was for her to finally accept my decision and accept Mr A. She responded with her usual reference to satan (aka Mr A) and not accepting him. I got off the phone to her and told Mr A that I had still not told her –  he called me chicken poo and told me that I needed to call her back and just tell her…

I called a few days later – mother’s day evening (from outside Discovery Mall, Bali) and listened to her tell me about her problems, what she needed and what I must do for her when I come over, about her doctor’s appointment in July, about how no one had come to visit her on mother’s day, etc – I cut her off and told her that I could not talk to her for very long as the call would cost a small fortune from Bali and that I WAS calling to wish her a happy mother’s day.

I then had to hear her go on about how she thought I was going to Jakarta – I told that I had said to her that Mr A and I were intending to go to Indonesia, I never stated which part! She then went on (and on) about how Bali is predominantly not Muslim and why would I go to where there are no Muslims? I told her that there were Muslims everywhere; that a lot of Muslims come to Bali – that in fact she used to live there! She commented that thi was before she went for haj and that I should know better – that who knows what food I was eating. I said to her that I think she forgets that I speak nearly fluent Indonesian and that I know exactly what meat we are eating! I told her AGAIN that I had previously already told her to stop coming into my office as it undermines my professionalism and makes me looks bad. I got off the phone feeling terrible, frustrated and annoyed and wanting to take photos of the many Hijabi’s and Arabs I saw and send copies of them all to my mum.

I heard nothing from her on my second week.

I didn’t call her at all…

I returned (to Aussie-land) on Friday afternoon and did not tell her.

I spent all weekend doing my own thing and was blissfully happy at the fact that I did not have one single missed call from her (I normally have her call me often) – that when my phone did ring I wasn’t all anxious or distraught about the imminent guilt trip my mm would dish out to me.

I returned to work on Monday and discover that my mum (after talking to me and finding out that I was in Bali) had come into my office 2 more times; one of which was on Thursday to find out when I was coming back – the guy on reception did not know and told her that he was not sure when I was returning.

The irony is that on Sunday Mr A and I sat on the sofa watching a DVD with him telling me that maybe I should visit my mum – tell her that I’ve come back and that I’m ok. The shocking thing is that even after being away from her and not going to see her since January (aside from the times she has seen in my office) I don’t want to see her. I am not angry with her, not at all. I am just tired of it all… SO beyond tired of the repetitive crap that she keeps giving me; the same comments, the same tears and the same emotional intensity that makes me want to move across the country/change jobs/change my number, etc.

But even in saying/writing the above paragraph there is another part of me that wonders why I haven’t heard from her in about a week. A part of me that says a prayer for her hoping that she is ok and hoping that Allah opens her heart to accepting me as I am and the decisions that I have made. And then there is this part of me that wants to call her – not to have a conversation with her as I know that that is unlikely but rather just to hear her voice (sans lamentations) just to know that she’s ok.

But THEN I am overcome with curiosity and against my better judgement I read the birthday card she gave me. Why do I bother? Sentences not particularly worth mentioning include:

“So sad that someone forgot my birthday last time or not ring me – maybe not allowed to send me anything – I know Satan is very strong in your place”

Numerous references to about me and “latnatallah” (it’s a muslim thing that I cannot really explain)

“what you are doing is a big sin and Allah will teach you a lesson”

Comments about how she will be patient and wait for me to come home as God loves those that are patient

That she is my real mother and cannot believe that I am doing this and why won’t I just come home?

Mum had also included some story about how some friend of mine (when I was 14; she was 17 and had a car) took me out and we went to Fremantle and to the beach and that when we came back home late she was really angry/upset and told me that I was not allowed to talk to her anymore and how now look at her life? How she is still single (as far as mum knows) and that she cannot be happy as she lives away from parents etc.

Really – why do I bother? What else can I do to make this stop? I am really beginning to get tired of this; I am beyond frustrated of all of this… I don’t know what else to do – worst yet is that I am baffled by how she seems to still have this way of getting to me? of making me question what I am doing… and with each word that I read and morosely re-read I feel numb, more empty and more resolute at my not wanting to see her. I just want to keep walking; I want to move – I want her to move.

I tried… whilst I was away I told her that we were thinking of coming back to Indonesia in January; that she could go to Jakarta if she liked… she said that she wanted to go to Jakarta in January as long as I went with her… I told her that if she went then that we would visit her – she said she didn’t care about anyone else and that she just wanted to go with me.

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Law & order, TV, subliminal messaging & the old lady

So last night I was watching Law & Order…. Oh the stereotype of it all! The madness! The agonising “hilarity “of it all… where one part of me wants to shake some sense into those damn script writers while another wants to do psych research to see how much of this influences a person’s individual  perspective.

 

Anyway, Law and Order…. this guy (the character) was in an scuba diving accident and ended up washed up on the beach (in Miami). Officials then call the FBI as they believe he might be a terror suspect…. Why? Jump to conclusions much? Oh but of course there is a totally logical “explanation”; because (and I quote) “he looked middle eastern in origin”

 

Heeeellllooo???? Arabs are often being confused and mistaken for Italians, Spaniards, Cubans (all the time) sometimes even Indian and Mexian… why on earth couldn’t he be one of those? I mean seriously! So later on they find out that said dead arab had no known employment history but has had constant funds transferred into his account. This can only mean one thing (again I am quoting); “although we can’t be sure of where he is getting these funds we believe that it is from a terrorist organisation…”

 

 

AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

 

Serenity now people…. SERENITY NOW!

 

Why? Why why why??? Could it be that said man is getting funding from… *gasp*…. His parents??? I mean seriously when my cousins were studying here he received copious amounts of money from Saudi Arabia from the unknown organisation of “al-baba” (the father). He was here for 4, 5ish years and did not do a day of work ever; funds were transferred from dad in KSA every month and was at least in the figure of fifteen to twenty-ish thousand (Aussie) dollars.

 

The insanity of it all… if we worked on this concept then I clearly must be acting as an “informant”; whereby working for the government gives me imperative information that I must and do pass onto the leaders of that militant organisation I work for. Those parcels I receive at regular intervals from places such as the UAE and KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) from my aunty must be from my links to J.I!! Madness!

 

N.B Just quickly those packages are from my aunts – they have this whiten obsession and send me products that have “plus whitening” and “plus liquorice for whitening”. I tell them over and over that I’m not into that – that I like my olive skin being tanned, that I have no use for whitening products, but they just don’t listen I’m afraid! Oh well, most times I get a few little extra goodies so I’m all happy!


Speaking of stereotyping; why haven’t these “liberal”, “oh-so-forward” and “non-stereotypical” Americans (are you laughing yet at that? Non-stereotyping white Americans? Do they truly exist? Are they like the Unicorn? Or perhaps the now extinct Dodo or perhaps more like the Sumatran white tiger – desperately endangered?) thought about what people think of them? How they are stereotyped by others?

 

A few years back I had the privilege of meeting an old family friend. This lady was so sweet; she had come to visit one of her great grand-nephews in the emirates and had travelled all the way from Yemen. She was totally, old school. After chatting to her about her trip, asking if her tea was sweet enough and asking her to please, please have one more Arabic biscuit she asked me why she had never seen me before. I told her that I did not live in Abu Dhabi… no I don’t live in Dubai either, and that I actually hadn’t ever been to Yemen. I told her that I lived in Australia – in her attempt to show me that she was ‘up with the times’ she told me that at home she had a satellite and was familiar with the west. She then asked me questions that to this day still make me laugh:

 

“Tell me – these women… they always wear bikini no? why they no cold in winter. I see… I watch Baywatch”

 

“You know, I watch these American shows – all your friends; they sleep with each other like in America?”

 

“I watch Bold & the Beautiful – I don’t understand; why not ridge just be Muslim then he can marry Brooke and Taylor… everyone happy!”

 

I had to explain to this gorgeously innocent lady that we do not all wear red bikini’s year round; that this is not a representation of all western society. That Beverly Hills, Melrose and Sex and the City aren’t really like real life. And that she should ask her nephew to write a possible script direction to the producers of the bold and the beautiful!

Interview VS Proposal

When I went to get the job I have now it was after a rigorous and rather intensive interview process. Bear with me a moment because I swear to you I am getting to a point! I went to the first interview with the recruitment agency, followed by the completion of not one, or two but three psychometric tests (of which I said that due to what I had studied and worked in would not be considered as valid as I was pretty familiar with the responses of psychometric test(s)… they made me do it anyway and later exclaimed that they had never had a person’s responses be so extreme – hello???? What did I just tell you? The results won’t be valid!!!!!). I then (that same day) had the individual interview with that agency and then had a group interview (3 weeks later) with the department; then a panel interview (me vs. 3 of them) and then had this medical examination. Sheesh! Apparently I have spoken to other people who have worked or did work for other government agencies where the interview/selection process was up to 7 interviews! Seven!!!  The insanity of it all! Although in saying that the retention isn’t that great so maybe the interview process needs to get smarter rather than getting longer.

 

In saying that I understand that this done in order to ascertain a candidates suitability for a position… a 38.5 to 40 hour a week position that a person rarely holds for the rest of their lives. So what on Allah’s earth makes someone think that after ONE lunch (that last just over an hour) and ONE ride to their brother’s house (because he lived rather close to my house and so I was going that way anyway) that proposing to me is a good idea?

 

Why?

 

I don’t get it? Last night he calls me asking how he wants to come around this weekend with his parents to talk to my mum and ask for my hand in marriage – to discuss intentions, dowries!!!

 

OH….

 

MY….

 

GOD!

 

You can’t see me people but I swear to you that I was… no AM hyperventilating! I’m all for doing ‘things’ the ‘right’ way, the halal way, but gee… can I take a minute here? It’s taken more thought and time to think to buy a pair of shoes! Do we not think that you’re maybe just getting a llliiiitttttlllle ahead of yourself? One lunch and a ride home does not a marriage make! He doesn’t know me… and for that matter I don’t know him – he might have 3 testicles for all I know! Maybe he suffers from MPD (multiple personality disorder)… maybe I do? I have always felt very split personality-ish!

 

I told him that sadly (ahem) this weekend my mum and I had a lot planned…

 

So, running to those ‘dem hills is looking pretty good at the moment…