Plumber Price Check… love it!

You gotta love ethnic parents – its almost as though their thought process is different to ours; sometimes i just think that its because they don’t have a mental ‘censor’ in their mind so what they think just comes straight outta mouth. I wonder how this censor gets “deactiviated”? Does it happens as they go through customs when they arrive to either Australia, America or wherever they decide to live outside the “mother-land” – where as they pass though the metal detactor it must remove it from their consciousness or somehing… who knows! Or maybe its just that they are more willing or don’t care what others think & therefore just speak the thoughts that we would LIKE to say but are too scared don’t?

Last weekend when i visited m mum she had the most annoyingly dripping tap – she mentioned that had a few other “water” related issues and i suggested that she call a plumber- not THAT day, as it was a Sunday but to call on monday morning and organise for someone to come. I obviously then was the person who had to find said plumber, call said plumber and ascetaain Sunday call outs versus Monday call outs and then give her all details PLUS write them down and then confirm with her (many times during that day) that she was to call back on Monday morning and arrange the booking as the would not let me make a booking that day (i have no idea why!).

Said plumber came on Monday and set about resolving all the issues that that mum presented him with. After being there for 40 minutes mum was satisfied and he wrote out a bill for mum… when mum was telling me all this; all things seem relatively normal at this point… and then it went a little “haywire”….

The bill said: “1 hr, $178”

My mum said to the plumber “this wrong – you are here only 40 minutes!”

He told my mum that he charged in half hour blocks and that when you exceed the half hour block then charge you the full hour… whilst i may not agree with this rationale it DID make some sense so i continued listening to mum….

“Then the man he said – you have something else for me to fix? i can have a look?”

Obviously this guy was thinking “ooohhh, if i start looking at something else now i may ‘clock’ past the next haf hour block!” BUT this man CLEARLY had no idea what he was up against!

Mum thought of the things she wanted to get done in the house and said to the plumber “yes – you use hammer and put these 2 frames on the wall for me AND change battery in my smoke alarm!”

The plumber (i assume aghast at my mum’s request) said – and i am QUOTING what my mum said to he had told her:

“Lady, I’m a PLUMBERNOT a handyman!”

My mum’s reply was even MORE golden: “you want one hour money – you do one hour work!”

I could not help but laugh at what mum had said – i actually asked her what happened next – she said that even though he mumbled & grumbled about it she just ignored him and he actually did it!

Just as i thought it could not get any funnier – mum gave him $180 where the plumer started collecting his things… and then mum said – “excuse me – my change please?” mum said he was obviously annoyed about this notion of having to give her $2 and said to her that he only had a $5 note… not to be dissuaded though, mum persisted with “you charge funny price – not $175 or $180 – i wait for you to find my change!”

By this point i was seriously ENTHRALLED by mum’s morning and asked “so – what happened?”

“He went to his van and went looking for $2 i guess – he took a long time. i saw out the window that he was sitting in his van for while… i not know why. but then he come back and gave me the $2 in small coins!”

I asked if she said anything – or if he said anything… she said she told him “take so long to look for $2 – lucky i not charge you!” and then commented about how criminal it is that a plumber charges MORE than a doctor when she KNOWS that plumbers don’t go to uni!

 

Haha – why do i get the feeling that this guy is NOT going to want to fix stuff at mum’s place in future?

I mean really, let’s think about a non-ethnic parent doing this? i CANNOT imagine it happening…. ahhh – ethnic parents!

 

Today’s Youth

You know that signs of aging are occurring when you find yourself lamenting at the incompetencies of today’s youth… and then you laugh at the sentence you just wrote thinking about how today youth may not even comprehend the MEANING of “incompetencies”.

Last Friday I bought a few lip glosses in the same brand in numerous different colours. I went home and tried a few and surprisingly found them better than expected (especially for the crazy cheap price paid!) and wanted to exchange one of the clear ones for a pigmented tube one….

I went to a different store after reading the receipt that said that they only refund faulty products but that they exchange within 14 days with a receipt + the product in original condition.

I must first say that whilst I should not stereotype, I am usually the queen of stereotyping my own (people) so I stand firm in my own personal allowance to stereotype others! in saying that this girl was NOT blonde – she did look somewhat “vacant” in the eyes and she would have been ion the 15-17 age group.

Me: hi – I just wanted to swap this (at this point I take out said clear tube lipgloss) for this one (picking up coloured tube of gloss) – I have the receipt in the bag

Counter Staff: um – yeah – sorry, but like; we don’t do refunds here

Me: Yep – that’s fine; I did read that on the receipt but it says you can exchange within 14 days – I got this (*pointing to gloss*) yesterday and its still all sealed…

Counter Staff: oh… oookkaay (*VERY uncertain look on her face*), I’ll just need to check with my manager to see if I’m like able to do that

*the girl then goes to chat with a similar looking looking girl who looks about the same age… after a minute of chatting (which is fine) they both walk over to me*

Store Manager: So, um what was the problem with this gloss?

Me: nothing – I just want to exchange it for this other one as I wanted this colour instead

Store Manager: yeah – so, like we don’t do refunds here… it says so on the receipt….

Me: yep (I am still chatting to her as normal) – I don’t actually want to refund anything – the receipt says I can exchange. So I am exchanging this gloss for this other one which is exactly the same brand and price – just a different type…

Store Manager: oh ok then… (*looking at other girl now*) – just exchange it on the system

Anyway; it took the girl well over 5 minutes to figure out how to do it on the computer… at which time I stood there patiently wondering what has happened to the female youth and what possible hypothesis could be generated from their clear inability to do things that I am CERTAIN I could do (along with other staff I worked with at the time) when I was in the retail industry…

It led me to wonder about the possible options as to why I am finding this occurrence more prevalent:

1: Are standards to mental capacity AND ability to converse dropping within the recruitment process? Could this be because now all applications are all done online and that even then you are essentially just filling in boxes with your details? Therefore the HR department cannot properly glean that this person is in fact as alert as a pretty zombie?

2: I have noticed that girls are wearing makeup (as well as dyeing their hair) A LOT sooner these days and I am wondering if in fact all that bronzer we wear starts to permeate into our forehead and starts to kill off brain cells? This also helps to explain the mental capacity of the people in Jersey Shore, Geordie Shore and that show called Essex Style (all of which I adore watching as they all make me laugh!)

3: Is it all the hair product that girls use these days? It may be a ploy by large manufacturers to ‘dumb us down’ so that we are more susceptible to marketing mechanisms and therefore will spend more money… All that hairspray MUST affect more than just the ozone!

4: Does the movie “Clueless” have a lot MORE to answer for than we realise? Aside from the stereotype that Alicia Silverstone played let me TRULY clarify the idiocy of this: we in Australia do NOT sound like Americans… we have our own rather distinctive accent –WHY are our 15-17 year old girls sounding as though they belong in the valley? Can these girls PLEASE stop saying “like” SO much? Is that, like, possible? Like, at all?

I am not saying all those within this age group are over bronzed/tanned, too accessorised and don’t understand the concept of what a skirt is ACTUALLY meant to be about – nay; I have had and met some exceptionally articulate young individuals who are clearly going to make it beyond the perfume counter and are ACTUALLY willing to help… the sad thing is I find the ‘other’ variety far, far more depressingly prominent…

if this is the future of my yet to be conceived female children I can only think that I hope that unlike their mother they DO marry a petroleum engineer!

Oh how things (unknowingly) change…

This afternoon Mr A took a candid photo of me getting ready in the bathroom – it was purely him being a tool and not something i want the blogsphere to see. BUT in saying that, i scarily noticed the “slight” shift in what was on my bathroom table.

I – like most girls like to look my best. I (as a rule) do like some luxuries – some, not many – just a few to make me fell a lil special and let Mr A feel like his with a lil princess… without being high maintenance. I love MOR’s body butter – i am completely and utterly devoted to their Pomegranate line and insist that NO OTHER BRAND DOES IT BETTER! Every other day i apply the MOR butter on my entire body – i alternate between that and Nivea Q10 Body lotion (simply because i like it – yes, i may have been suckered into the marketing about Q10 but it is grossly cheaper than the MOR body butter). I cleanse (with Garnier Pure – i have oily skin), tone (with Lush tea-tree mist) and moisturise (Olay Special Effects – i mean they DO say that it fights the 7 seven sign of aging – who am i to argue with these statistics??) twice a day. I include a primer (because it is a crime NOT to prime) into my morning repotire (Model Co/Rimmel – I alternate) and bless the person that came up with powder mineral foundation! On nights out i ‘luxe’ it up a bit and use Bourjois’ Mousse Matte mineral liquid foundation….

And then things slowly started to change… In the search of trying to find make-up that would keep my shiny face NOT being shiny without having to touch up every other hour I scoured the web and makeup artists I knew to see what they recommended. I trawled websites for hours and reviews from http://www.beautyheaven.com.au/ to http://www.makeupalley.com/, Bubblegarm and ever so simply Googling “great photography make-up”. My quest led me to try and locate online stores that sold these products so that I could do it all at the touch of my fingertips – I went into Myers and David Jones on the hunt for new products – I was so ardent in my search that I am still unabated until I am certain that I have found the perfect combination that WILL render me speechless… as well as flawlessly oily-less.

And this is what I noticed… I am now no longer a mid-range gal.

Priceline was my one stop shop – it was my fortnightly essential location… now, whilst there is still a strong desire to go there regularly I notice I am racking up less points… First it was the discovery of MAC’s Prep & Prime… SOOOO much better than the Model Co and the Rimmel – alas those 2 sit now in the back of the drawer. Then came the end of the little pot of MAC Matte Gel which they gave me to sample… I begrudgingly had to admit defeat and proclaim that I DID like it… and had to buy said tube. Next was my change from Olay Special Effects moisturizer to Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel – my heart both soared and plummeted as it mattifed my face to pure perfection and required only ONE touch up at the end of my work day!!!! And then today came MAC’s Studio Fix… with the quiet intention of me returning to the MAC counter next week to get the matching liquid foundation! I forgot to mention that I am secretly hoping to try MAC’s “Mineralize” Oh the shame of it all… that THIS is what I have become now… That whilst I lament at the additional costs that i KNOW that this will create i am inspired by the sheer awesomeness of said products! That even as i type this i am wondering when i will next be able to steal a moment and try Smashbox’s Photo Finish Light as i hear it is fantastic for photos!

The oh so WORRYING thing is that when I mentioned to Mr A how much MORE this up keep would cost I thought he would tell me that I was dreaming; that this would be a ‘one-off’ and that post wedding party my skin and bauty regime would return to my once coveted L’Oreal but no – the guy LOVES it… I cannot believe how strange he is!

For the ladies out there – what is your makeup splurge?

PS I “forgot” to mention that i am slowly (but surely) overhauling my makeup brushes – meaning i have purchased a newer better Kabuki brush and am now aquiring more brushes than you can throw a brush at! Hehe

Not quite feeling myself this week…

I haven’t written in awhile – it’s not really that there’s not much been much happening but rather that the stuff that has been happening I think you would all find boring; its all wedding party stuff really:

Trying to source a wedding cake: My hot tip is to not do too many bookings on the one day – eating cake samples every 2nd hour does not clense the palate and DOES interfere with the weight that one is desperately trying to lose!

Dress fittings: I had my calico one today and am amazed at how cold it was standing in a room in all but a calico dress. I think I handled the whole pinning situation rather well and must give props to the designers assistant who did not prick me once!

Bridesmaid issues – actually there certainly IS a story there… forget being a bridezilla – I have a covert bridesmaid-zilla… and I personally do NOT think she is very covert about her ‘diva-ness’!

But all the above is sort of the least of my worries as I battle to understnad why I have been feeling rather ‘funny’ and ‘weird’ lately – I have no idea how to actually define or describe how I’m feeling but its a little “off” to how I am normally feeling – Mr A has noticed and keeps asking me “what’s wrong?” and “have I done something to upset you?” and more often “what can I do to make my princess smile?” Bless him greatly for trying – i appreciate it beyond comprehension! I’ll be ok for a little while and then I am back to this ‘funk’!

Then there’s me thinking about having to get mum’s tickets organised; oh yes did I forget to mention? Mum apparently wants to head off to Indonesia and possibly UAE for Eid this year and is hoping to head off on the 3rd of September. She very diplomatically (not) asked about how once she’d found the best price and got the dates sorted how “we” were going to pay for it – which was clearly mum’s way of saying “how and are YOU going to pay for this?”. I told her how her last years trip cost me a bit as she had wanted an open ticket that would be valid for a year and did not want to travel something like Virgin/Air Asia/Tiger (read: budget airline) that this meant the tickets were a little bit of a pretty penny (which really makes me wonder why when she paid for her own tickets JetStar was more than sufficient but since I had to pay somehow JetStar was now far too inferior!). Anyway, i said that based on last years costs i was happy to pay half that amount… Well, she’s done her research and organised her ticket to be a one year open ticket (like last time) where she still has to put in some rnadom return date (she has selected 03/03/2011) and she leaves on the afternoon of September third – oh and apparently the travel agent has emailed me the details and I am paying for her ticket – ALL of it.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t really a blog post about me lamenting that I am having to pay for the ticket. I worked out a long time ago that I am definately great at driving her places, paying bills, fixing ‘stuff’ and organising appointments. What upsets me is that i am having to “suck up” that this beyond a one way street – that i am not a complete moron to have not noticed that she is conviently away just prior my wedding party and a whole shitload of time after. I am come to realise that i have no idea about anything when it comes to my mother –  that even as i am typing this i am ranting! In some ways I more than expect it (this ‘situation’) and am happy to claim it as my duty as a Muslim daughter – i mean some people would claim that as a Muslim child my job is to “shut up and put up” and to remember that as she is the mother her word is gold – her requests should be met with nothing more than ‘yes mother’ – but i ask these people: where and when is the line drawn? I am NOT talking about retribution or being vengeful or rude, but rather at what point do i continue to take the ALL of THIS???????  Would a simple ‘thank you’ would go astray. Plus, whilst I am pre-programmed that this is how it has to be I don’t understand how my mum must think that it is more than ok to say what she wants, expect the earth and still its never enough  

Before you quip that that perhaps i should remind her that this means (her departure + return dates) she will not be here for my wedding party – believe me I know and i did remind her! I spoke to her about it the other morning; the conversation entailed her asking me if I had already paid for her ticket (*sigh*) – I told her that I was paying for it on Thursday (today). And her asking if I would come to Indonesia with her? I told that I was very sorry but that I wouldn’t be able to come with her – she then went on about how the family would LOVE to see me as they did not see me on the last trip she went on. I went on to telling her that I was not able to come as surely she must remember that i mentioned my wedding party was on the 30th of October – her answer was so eloquently put mashallah:

“I don’t care about your wedding – I want you to come with me…”

I must say that although I knew that she probably would not be at the party and that I more than realise her stance and her denial on the subject matter that is Mr A and I, that hearing this statement has hurt more than all the denial and other stuff she’s said in passing. I can’t quite put my finger on why though – perhaps its because that while she was putting her head in the sand i could rationalise to myself that she doesn’t really comrehend what i am doing – that she is just lost by this whole situation. But the fact that she is able to very clearly articulate that she DOESN’T care is such a slap in the face that as a daughter my role is to care and provide but that i should not expect the same in return. Perhaps this really hurts because its just one more hurtful thing that she’s said that i have to sit there and take. 

After that little comment she proceeded to make other little jibes comments that again, i sit there and listen to whick led me to sit there and pray for more patience – it is beyond words to just sit there and hear that sort of statement and never be able to say anything back – because as a daughter my role is to be patient; to listen; to not utter a bad word that would upset her (God only knows I upset her enough), to remember that she raised me and that in her way she is trying to do what’s best for me, that I am to respectfully sit there… and take the verbal slings and arrows with silent prayers and deep breaths I silently sat there listening to her say:

“No one loves you like me – I am your mother and I am the only person in this world who really loves you. everyone else is just lying – its ALL camouflage; one day you see – there is only me; everyone else is just pretending… ”

I tried to stop listening at that point – I am sure you catch my drift. We said our goodbyes and I got off the phone not long after that. I sat there next to Mr A (he was driving us to work) thanking Allah that I somehow ended up a rather well adjusted human being and that it truly is by the grace of God that, when I think about all the f#$ked up crap I had to endure with my dad and then with they way my mum behaves and says in the last ten-ish years that I did not end up a mentally screwed individual!

A few minutes after I get off the phone Mr A then turns to me and asks; “everything ok?”

My answer?  “Fine sweetie – i love you…”

He knows me so well and touches my knee, smiling he tells me he loves me too – SOOOOO much (he says).

 I mean really – what is there to say?

Mr A Gets Promoted!

At First I didn’t actually see it this way – a promotion. It took Susi and I chatting about the situation and chuckling of at the madness of it all to realise that it is, indeed some kind of a promotion i guess!

Remember how aaaagggeeesss ago i mentioned how a male family member came to Perth to visit? Remember how I mentioned how mum has high hopes for said guy and then all hopes were dashed when both people’s personalities conflicted? Well; when he left Australia he had left some of his luggage here and had asked that we send it back to him. “We” became ‘MY’ job and my mum cut all sort of responsibility on grounds that since they had had an argument that clearly the responsibility would be mine. And so (yet again) i sucked it up and dealt with it.

I told him that I would more than happy to send his (22kg of) luggage once he had transferred me some money – I mean, didn’t get me wrong here; I have no problems sending 1, 2, 5, or even up to 10kg worth of luggage but aft3er a few quick quotes online I discovered that sending 22kg worth of luggage was hardly cheap… plus i have a house to pay for (does anyone realise that porcelain slab tiles are NOT cheap?)

So after nearly a YEAR later – yes, nearly a year the guy transfers me some money – far be it for me to tell him that since the start of financial year that the cost of sending said items would be increased. Whatever; I was just happy to have it off my hands (and not have to hear anymore about it from my mum… again and again… and again!).

Everything was organised through Discount Excess Luggage – yes it is some shameless advertising but the man was really great (for more details head to http://www.discountexcessbaggage.com.au/) and the prices were really competitive! The plan was that he would pick up said item from my mum’s place; weigh item, call me and I would give him my credit card details. What actually happened was that he went to pick up said item and mum would not take any of the paperwork from him?

The poor guy had no idea what to do – i spoke to my mum later and apparently the rationale in her mind was that as NONE of it was her responsibility that she would not take ANY of the paperwork. That this man HAD to give me the paperwork – she told the poor guy where i worked and said that he should drop it off to me!

When the guy (his name was Laurie by the way) said “you can give it to your daughter when you see her” apparently she said a few things – mum told me that she had told him that i do not always come home and that sometimes i sleep at my friends house!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I told her that she KNEW that I most definitely was not staying with a “friend” and that I am staying with my in-laws and my husband she went onto say “no – I tell him you sometimes stay with your friend; what for I make bad my daughter’s name? I not want to tell him that you won’t come home to see your mother”

I mean let’s just be serious here for a second – as IF the Caucasian man is seriously caring what I do with my life and where I am living! I mean – WHO would he gossip this ‘vital’ tid-bit of information to??? If anything, her behaviour has probably made him go “yep, I’d be living with my friend too sweetie!!!”

Anyway; although at first I was a little frustrated, annoyed and flabbergasted by her incessant denial Susi and I realised that in some twisted way she had finally acknowledged Mr A’s existence as being something more than (how she affectionately refers to him as) ‘Satan’.

And it only took us this long!

Another 3 years and he’ll be my boyfriend/fiancé!

What’s in a name? Baby Names 101

There is a point where enough is enough is ENOUGH already! Where nurses/doctors/midwives have an obligation to newborns and their future development and assimilation into society and NEED to tell parents that some things ARE NOT A NAME!

In the last few weeks I have been receiving details regarding actual childrens names that make me wonder if people are signing birth details for their children far too soon before the effects of epidural or drugs have worn off.

I mean; whatever one might want to say about Muslims, Wogs, Desi’s, brown people or ethnics at least we give our children REAL names – names that mean something; whether its religiously or culturally; they are names that stand the test of decades; passed down generation to generation.

The following names are ones that have been seen on a birth certificate in the last month!

Strawberry (apparently it’s a female name)

Butterfly (another female name – but wait her middle name is just as maddening – Indigo!!!)

Peetree-nella (yep – her first name has a hyphen in it!!!)

Virtue (hmm – I wonder if these parents are being hopeful that by calling their daughter ‘Virtue’ that she will have some?)

Kyeesha, Sharnell and Mayeelia – this ONLY works if you are from the ghetto or wish to remember your ghetto ‘ancestry’ it does NOT work when you are Caucasian and NOT from the Bronx/Ghetto! And don’t EVEN get me started on the fact that these 3 children are SIBLINGS!

Do these people not realise that whilst famous people can name their children after inanimate objects that this is primarily because they are famous and therefore have LOTS OF MONEY and therefore will not be entirely scarred for life! I mean think about it; Apple might be a pretty crap name for a child but at the end of the day that kid can say that her mum is Gwyneth Paltrow… push comes to shove she can at least hire a hit-man to pay off the bully at school!

I mean seriously – what is wrong with good old fashioned names like John, Matthew, Allan, Mohammed, Jason and Ali? Hmmm? What so absurd about Miguel, Michael or Abraham/Ibrahim – obviously nothing to a lot of people… BUT then there are others that I seriously wonder about…  Do these parents forget that their child will have this name FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE? Have they forgotten how mean/creul and unfeeling other children in the playground at school can be? These parents may think its a great ideal to call their child Danielle but then decide to spell it Daniieyle – what is UP with that?

So – any odd names that you’ve heard of lately?

There’s NOTHING to smile about Passport Photos!

Why oh why MUST passport photos make us look terrrrrrrriiibbbllle??? Clearly it must be some international convention that legislates that regardless of how much i prep for my photo’s to NOT look terrible it is inevitable that they will!

I know it sounds vain but i just want it to look like me!

I’m not saying that i’m stunning or anything but i KNOW that i am NOT as bad as these passport photos are! And WHY are we Australian passport holders now NOT allowed to smile in our passport pictures? WHY? are we trying to show other nationalities that being Australian is a serious thing? that all of us are serious people and are unable to smile? By not smiling aren’t we then somehow telling others/customs officers that there is nothing worth smiling about here in Australia?? Needless to say i am beginning to wonder if it is a ploicy introduced to ensure that all Australians either look like terrorists or criminals or ensures beyond any doubt that you don’t look half decent! I mean on a personal level i ALREADY seem suspect: what with having a last name that starts with “Al-” which pretty much emblazons my ethnicity – not to mention that that clearly has ‘Muslim’ written all over it; i mean at LEAST let me smile???

Why… Why must passport photos make us look bad?

Have any of you either have particularly bad passport photos? Ease my pain people… OR on the other end of the spectrum do you have any tricks to ensure a half decent passport pics?

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