Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Done with the weekly grocery shopping list. Racked up a bill - not sure what I've bought or why I've got a few items (like tennis shoes) on a grocery list? I am into conversions, as in, cash conversions of monies spend to Dirhams. I could spend any amount of monies and I'd have to convert to Dirhams, almost instantaneously. I *realize* the *value* of monies spend, only after I've converted to Dirhams.

Absent minded conversions happen often at the local Walmart/Target store or a Starbucks or a banana republic, good 'ol Gap or the hair saloon or the most conversion prone area - the gas station and the grocery store - all payments go thru an instant mental conversion. I carry around a black berry (its calculator) on days am slow for quick................conversions. The only place I can’t think of conversions is while paying for a meal at a restaurant.

Not sure why convert every purchase to Dirhams? It does me no good, 'cause inadvertently or otherwise most things are expensive in the apple compared to UAE. Plus I get paid in $, so what's the point of conversions eh?

Ah, forgot to add that sugar-free cheesecake to my list, think it’s $9.99 (Dhs 36) – notta bad deal eh! yum yum!


Inspire Your Mind said...

" the most conversion prone area-"
Please God have merci on my dyslexia; I read it as :
" ..coversion PORN area- "

I'm a hopeless case :(

SevenSummits said...

Now, I will really make some foes and cause an instant nano nap, Ha :P
Hmmmm, cash conversions??

But what about the consideration of some social and environmental responsibility instead? My plea for ethical shopping!

Where those tennis sneakers produced by child labor or will you support a dictatorship with your purchase? (German product, made in China?) What about all the other stuff? Are those bananas you eat treated with chemicals throughout the production cycle? Other ethical considerations would allow one to consider the way in which workers handling those chemicals are exposed to health and safety risks (causing children to be born with congenital deformities). Did you consider fair trade options? And last not least, what about reducing your ecological footprint?
Does Starbucks (might fav place) use renewable energy or at least take measures to reduce emissions? Where are those coffee beans coming from – more or less local or shipped across half of the freakin' earth? What about the packaging? And are those ingredients in your “sugar-free cheesecake” organic? We do not even want to elaborate on the “sugar-free” part :- (
Fine, shopping with me is absolute hell – ask my mum, when I take her to the supermarket!

LOL to everyone :- )

BTW: You did actually walk to the pace, didn't you, Rosh? :- )

SevenSummits said...

I need ethical eco glasses - sorry "Were those tennis sneakers ..." - ah, I can blame in on age:-)

Dots.. said...

" I carry around a black berry (its calculator) on days am slow for quick................conversions"

i just can't help but smile remembering the calculator that is in my purse and the conversion system in my phone.. !

the problem is in some cases like Europe once you do the calculations you just wonder how expensive it is compared to the EXACT same item back here.. !

Inspire Your Mind said...

Rosh.. how u feeling ?

BuJ said...

lol IYM.. i have to say, i kinda saw that coming!

btw, the hyphen is missing.. if it was "conversation-prone area" then any pornographic connotations might be discounted.

btw, rosh.. i used to do the conversation thingie b4 into dirhams but it really hurts when u do it! i discovered that filling up my car tank takes about 250 dhs so i stopped doing it.. like u said.. u get paid in $.

i*maginate said...

hehe...I can understand the cash conversion thing but I try not to convert to dirhams when abroad or else nothing makes sense!

I think sevensummits has some really valid points, and from this day on, I am going to change my way of living, because that is what is going to save the world.

a)I am not going to wear any clothes because who knows, the factory that made them might have exploited lots of children

b)I am not going to drive a car anywhere. I am going to walk everywhere and also not wear any shoes. Why spend money on shoes when you can give it to charity? And remember, charities *always* get the money to those in need!

c)I am going to live in a solar-powered house. You should to! And no more pressure cookers...they use so much energy!

d)No more coffee. The power used to make them is ridiculous - one should think about the environment before indulging in caffeine addictions.

e)No food. Think about the packaging! Do you recyle it?

f)No toys for the kids. The workers who made them are exposed to health and safety risks so I am not buying them anymore.

al-republican said...

Hahaha i*maginate you are hilarious, Wallah! IYM you are "hopelessly" hilarious! hahaha. Uff all this laughing while I have Liyari's chicken biryani floating around in my tummy full off mountain dew!

Blackberry reminds me, I still haven't got mine, Rosh :( Etisalat, man, they are taking ever to issue me mine! I am getting the 8700, which one have you got? Blackberry is so darn cool, man! I just think 10 years down the road and we will have enough technology to make the daily routine of going to work a thing of the past! We all can work from our homes and hence no traffic issues and our wives wont complain either!

Half of sevensummits ecological worries will be taken care of, too :P

al-republican said...


ever = forever

i*maginate said...

I've done my research on blackberries and apparently there are only two phone kinds on the market here...Al-republican and rosh, which model do you recommend?

Al republican, you've signed up for one and *still* haven't received it?!

al-republican said...

Crud! I typed so much and it ALL went missing! I will try again...

i*maginate, you should go for the blackberry pearl (8100) if you are interested in the blackberry. The 8700 and 8800 are for corporate use mostly. You can own it for personal use, too, but then you would never be able to experience the actual features of the blackberry.

Basically, you can log into your company's network and access a host of application from ERPs to CRMs and of course your company mail as well! So it is a very convenient tool for executives, managers, engineers and almost everyone who is on the move. Data d/l and u/l is pretty fast on it as well.

Blackberry is selling like hot cakes these days - everyone wants them! It is out of stock and since I work for a telecom company, our first priority is our customers who are already waiting in a HUGE queue!

al-republican said...

Oh, btw, if you have your own business then there is a blackberry solution for SMB (small to medium businesses). You can get a good package under that and confiure your device to view your company e-mail and applications.

This is if your company e-mail is done through a firewall and is inaccessible through the internet.

rosh said...

Sorry folks, work schedule is driving me a bit insane - just a lot going on.

Re: BB, I've got the 8700c. It is has it's pros & cons. Pros, you can check emails and internet almost anywhere. Cons - if you don't shut the damn thing off before going to bed, you shall receive work related emails and that *red* light shall flash you awake :)

I agree with Al - i*... you are much better off with the pearl. It's compact, contemporary and stylish - it's you honey : ) - but seriously, it has many more features to explore than the 8700 series.

rosh said...

lol IYM - let's not go there!

BuJ, you mean conversation or conversion, I think conversion? 250 Dhs to fill up your car. Holy! what do your drive BuJ - a Hummer, or is it the taxes in the UK?
I shell away approx 140Dhs ($38) for tank full of premium. I know the paid part, but I *realize* the value of whatever is it I am paying for, only when converted to Dirhams, sometimes it hurts :)

Ahlan Dots, how you keeping these days? Long time no speak. Sah, currency conversions, especially in EU can give you heart burn : ) Thanks for dropping by.

i*... lol woman, you are feisty firecracker : )

i*maginate said...

:) firecracker, eh rosh haha

Thanks, gents, for the tips re: blackberry. All I need is to be able to check my emails on the go, and some MS office docs...I don't need any other features apart from what a modern mobile phone offers, apart from that. So then what really makes Blackberry so special? I don't understand! Can't you get "email and access to MS office docs" on any other advanced mobile, like Nokia for instance?

I'll go for 8100 - have seen it before and was shocked it's so small, sleek and it's a Blackberry!

If the market is under supplied here, should I get one from abroad with the sim unlocked? How long do you think it will take for yours to arrive, al republican?

rosh said...

7S: interesting points you raise. Admittedly, these are not everyday topics or thoughts of an average Joe & Jane.

Tennis Sneakers: the ones I have are Addidas i.e. German, perhaps you know better? I know Nike has/had it.

I agree, kids at these factories should be going to school, living their childhood and growing up the normal way.
However the leaders they've chosen to govern over the country/economy can't *fix* issues. Plus given the fact money is most important the children are compelled to work. The silver lining - the kids shall learn to work, earn monies for a livelihood, and not become bums on the street corner. They are working to earn a living aren't they? You might call it exploitation, I do not disagree - however what is a *realistic* alternative - stay home, starve or beg? We can analyze/debate forever, however the power of lobbyists, capitalism and human greed can overwhelm the few who stand up. I am a slave of corporate slavery as much as the child working at a Nike factory, only difference am higher up the chain.

Re: bananas, I would suppose so? Organic stuff costs more, and occasionally I shop organic. . However, let me ask you this - you think it's fair to hike up and pass on costs to an average consumer? I believe individuals can make an effort, but in a city the size of NYC, am nothing but a grain of sand in miles & miles of beach land of Capitalism It can be quite exhausting just seeing what happens around you. Anyway, that's another topic.

Re: ecological foot prints. An important aspect I have learnt in this city, is recycling. From use of grocery bags, use of electric power, minimal use of paper, maximum use of public transportation, not doing your laundry done every weekend, to walking & exercise and much more.

Yes I did walk to the grocery store, it was just two blocks down the street.

Re: Starbucks and renewable energy, I have no idea to be honest? Why you ask, is coffee production a huge energy consumption?

I believe in children and have put forth my pennyworth of efforts via CRY, UNICEF and random community work here in NY/NJ. There is much I have to debate on this topic - shall when do when time permits. You've opened quite a few passionate points. A thought that leaves be insanely mad (don't interpret it at the surface) - "why shouldn't children have free meals, education & roof over their heads"? Infact why should people be made to slave for roof over their heard and 3 square meals a day. Who ever said slavery was done with, hasn't experienced corporate slavery.

Sincerely wish I had more time to debate, and I shall - however right now, I must attend to my master, the Corporate World.

SevenSummits said...

Charities are just something else, aren’t they? Imagine, if I would give my old clothes [instead of distributing them to the poor myself on my trips] to charity, the following would happen: They would get shipped from Hamburg to Dubai to be sorted according to grade, thereafter being shipped from Dubai to some West African destination, e.g. Douala (Cameroon) to be sold in the market, while destroying the local SMBs. Called globalization or f***** madness!

i*maginate you cannot walk around naked, unless you move to the Amazon forests :- ) – however the good news will be, that you will be pretty safe there from all those guys that would chase after you :- ) They might have them for appetizers – he, he ….:P

Yes, I do actually live a pretty boring environmentally concerned life, using renewable energies, recycling, etc. The first thing I do when I go to the UAE is switch of the AC and in the majority of countries that I work in I prefer to use a car that doesn’t even have an AC (for several reasons). [Funny enough, as I am writing this comment, I just received an incoming e-mail from India, giving me 12 pages of hints on how to safe our planet – his first line was an apology for it :- )] We already reached the future that Al was talking about and do most of our work in “virtual teaming”, in other words, my office is in my house and I do not have to go back and forth to work. There is a problem with this, because this method just leaves out only one region in the world that has unfortunately not yet managed to adopt! But quite practical really, while having an online conference with UNEP (foreigners!) in Bahrain, I can simultaneously work with colleagues from Brazil and the States. Just love it!

Only one serious sin …. May our Almighty forgive me! Cars … but I really try to reduce their usage and the speed – the second never works – the flesh is weak!

Holy! what do your drive BuJ - a Hummer

No …. a Mini Cooper, 1.4 l engine ??????? :- )

I just spend around 523 AEDs filling up my tank with gas (and didn’t even get that new “your engine will have an orgaZm stuff :- (“ Being a real German, I got two cars, both mighty thirty :- ( and BTW in Germany cars are always “male”.

But again there must be political choices! For instance, I will not buy fruits, if they are coming from Israel for some obvious reasons – you need to have a conscience!

SevenSummits said...

Lovely thoughts! We will tackle them one by one, I guess –
Very good analysis of the child labor issues – yes, you are correct and it is all about responsibility and creating opportunities in those affected countries.
My sneakers are Adidas as well – I share the guilt! – but they are the only ones I can run in :- (

al-republican said...


We are not talking about viewing gmail or hotmail type e-mails; we are talking about corporate emails i.e. with your company domain. Ya'ni, e-mails whose servers are hosted in a server room in your office protected by all kinds of firewalls, routers and encryptions.

To access these kinds of e-mails, you have no option, but to go to work and check them. The other alternative is to have a VPN client on your laptop that creates a virtual path to your office and you are allowed to permeate the firewall guarding your office mail. There are some other devices like the kjam that have such security protocols that can help you view your mail.

However, not only does blackberry give you the power to view your corporate e-mail (it also encrypts every e-mail you send making it less susceptible to attacks), but it also gives you the convenient ability to access company applications. For example, you are a sales manager meeting a client who is complaining about something he tried to procure from you and you want to cross-check his order, you can easily use your blackberry to go into your company network and view his sales order or invoice through the companies ERP.

It makes life really, really easy, but at the same time your bosses and customers can really make your life hell! They start treating e-mails as phone calls and expect you to reply back to their mails at once! So with a blackberry you are always on your toes.

al-republican said...

Addendum, i*maginate:

I think if you get a blackberry from outside of the UAE, you would have to be paying bills to an international telco provider for your services. Sometimes that can be cheap as charges for such services might be cheaper there.

And regarding the nokia phones, you can only view excel (or other MS Office applications) sheets that are stored on your device. With BB you can view those that are stored in your company drives. Although, BB doesnt offer the capability to make edit them yet. You can only edit those sheets that you store on your BB device.

My BB, sigh, I don't know when I will get mine :( For the time being I have to slog it out with my LG shine.

SevenSummits said...

The italics paragraph on Als post was meant to be a virtual punch – I just hate cowards – so despicable! That is why I like Emirati, he is refreshingly straightforward (I don’t have to agree with someone to admire the approach!)

Point D: Dear, have you gone bananas???? :- ) No more coffee????? Forget it, I am only addicted to two things (apart from my wheels, but that one is genetic) Coffee and mountains! Preferably in combination ….

You may be a little too young for this environmental approach, but I remember you admiring those “cute kiddies” in some post way back just try and think about their future. (even if difficult at the moment!)

Here is a PPP for everyone :- ) Rosh, careful, depression guaranteed – my mum cried when she saw this!

Al’s profile is improving: His princess will have to share him with his BB!

Rosh: Special longish comment “dedicated to you” (not in the post of course) on the UAECB on the imprisoned cyber dissidents – I took your e-mail seriously and tried to offer a look from the other side of the issue – hope it worked out :- )

i*maginate said...

sevensummits, you are totally maghnoon! Y3ni you are the one who's slagging off coffee from Starbucks with the admittedly amazing short version of arguments you refer to that cover a whole load of ecological arguments!

Germans love their coffee!

P.S. I love bananas and have one every morning. What does that mean, I don't care for the Chiquita chicos that picked the bananas from the plantations?

OK, now here goes. As for the clothes that I want to dump, I am hereby putting you in charge of advising where I can go in Dubai to give them away for "recycling". You're so keen on lectures, about time you took some "CSR".

Re: the italics, they were "virtual"? If you did not type that comment anywhere else, what's the point of typing it here? It's almost as if you have to prove yourself to bloggers who you know don't quite like your "other" views.

Al republican, this whole Blackberry thing is now turning me off. I can't edit Excel? What good is Excel if you can't punch numbers into it?!

SevenSummits said...

Maghnoon? Masbut!
Virtual will be totally sufficient! Khallas!
It just triggers my temper when someone is being rude to me for actually “agreeing with him”, just because he has some stored up frustrations. Instead of telling me directly which remark that I made he had a problem with and will offer his opinion on the subject, he goes crying on your shoulder. Men do not behave in this way - that is entirely reserved for the more fragile gender.

Good night and sweet dreams my dear princess :- )

إذا كنتَ ذا رأىٍ فكن ذا مشورة فإن فساد الرأي أن تترددا

BuJ said...

Rosh.. I have just 4 cylinders.. but it's the taxes that make it so expensive!!

rosh said...

BuJ - wow you've got 4 cylinders, how many does your car have hahahaha! :)

sawwy sawwy, couldn't resist pulling A'jinidad's foot again :)

rosh said...

Wow 7S, you are literal in Arabic? Me impressed some more :)

al-republican said...

i*maginate on BB:

You can make changes to Excel sheets that are stored on your device. Excel sheets that you access remotely from your company's network can only be viewed. If you wanted to change them, you would have to download it onto your BB device and then make the changes.

7S and i*maginate:

I am COMPLETELY lost what you guys are going on about!

BuJ said...

btw, that arabic copy/pasted above is just a translation from some software coz it doesn't make sense to me as a sentence.

al-republican said...


It seems like a saying about a concensus opinion being a guarantor against chaos?

I am trying to make sense of the few words I can understand there :P What do you make of it? Germanic Arabic? :P

SevenSummits said...

Wow, it is just amazing how a good intention can be turned around into something devious – and this on a Friday! Ts, Ts!

The Arabic is a proverb meaning:
“If you have an opinion, share it with the others: otherwise your opinion is useless”

It was given to me some time ago by a dear Emirati friend that is extremely well versed in Arabic, to remind me of my work in regards to “speaking up for people”.
Very sad, that it can be so misunderstood! :- (

Sorry Rosh, my Arabic has seriously deteriorated in the last 20 years, from quite fluent (in writing as well) to almost zero. I am working to retrive it, but I already work in four languages (so without any talents in this respect) that makes it quite tough. But I seriously believe that out of respect you owe it to a place where you work, that you make an effort to lean their language as well.

BuJ said...

Thanks.. now it makes sense!

Instead of:

إذا كنتَ ذا رأىٍ فكن ذا مشورة فإن فساد الرأي أن تترددا

I'd just say:

إذا كنتَ ذا رأي فكن ذا مشورة

SevenSummits said...

Thank you BuJ,
but I am a little hurt right now ... will get over it!

Hey Al, you did a pretty good job at this :- )

Try this one:
أول الشجرة بذرة

And I actually did paste it, even though same friend gave me a keyboard with Arabic characters to skip the excuses.
The problem is simple: Some few of us “Fattans” are making an effort to learn Arabic and those tiny attempts usually get instantly smashed into pieces in the UAE. I find it pretty sad that I can usually only practice my Arabic with Pakistani taxi drivers from Peschawar (in AD) or other Arabs (Egyptians, Syrians, etc), which does not necessarily speak for the quality of the practice. How is it otherwise possible that Rosh grew up in the Emirates and never learnt how to speak fluent Arabic? (It is not Rosh, that is for sure)

Imagine I would try to speak some Urdu in Pakistan, people would laugh, be happy and try to teach me a little more of their tongue. Basically just as much as almost everywhere in the world, except in the Emirates! Strange isn’t it?

Ah yes, Rosh, forgot to mention, one of the major languages in my second home is strongly related to Arabic – so I cheated and had a head start :- )

SevenSummits said...

Ah, my Viking temper is rising .....
Guys you got to try this field experiment:
Put a bunch of guys from the GCC into one room and try to discuss an important topic. As soon as the title in Arabic (usually translated for me by a Kuwaiti colleague) will be exposed they will start arguing – no, not about the topic, but about the Arabic translation. The Emirati will say this is wrong, the Saudi will say it should be like so and so, the guy from Oman will just shake his head, the Kuwaiti will pull a sour face and in the end they will all group up and point a finger at me (the only innocent person in the room) and say: “you got it all wrong – uuups – excuse, me?!” Help! While my only concerns are that HTML/XHTML will not easily work with Arabic (for an armature) and I have serious trouble getting this stuff on my websites.

Grrrr – time for my shovel, my cement and a little construction for mum :- ) – with a yummy barbecue tonight.

al-republican said...

Hmmm sevensummits, my arabic is not too good, but I can break down the words as: first, the tree, *preposition*seed? I am nor sure of the last word here.

So I would guess the sentence means "The tree starts with the seed first"? My confusion stems from the fact that I forgot what the preposition "bi-" is used for. I am guessing it is "with". I am not very good at constructing Arabic sentences, but I can come pretty close :P

Sigh, I need to learn the language!

BuJ said...


Ur 100% mad :)

I was trying to offer you positive criticism.. and I am always trying to be as supportive of people learning Arabic.

I get pissed off by people in the UAE using every language under the sun except Arabic. I blame Arabs first and foremost.

Here I am writing this comment in English.

rosh said...

"You can make changes to Excel sheets that are stored on your device"

Al - does it cost your first born to excel downloads via the BB in the UAE and whilst roaming?

rosh said...

"The problem is simple: Some few of us “Fattans” are making an effort to learn Arabic and those tiny attempts usually get instantly smashed into pieces in the UAE. "

What/who is Fattan? 7S, gotta disagree on this one - an attempt to learn Arabic shall not be smashed in the UAE. Infact they want you to learn Arabic. I have found some excellent tutors on line, Mr BuJ and Ms IYM - both make sure, I pronounce it with a Emirati accent as well. Mr BuJ is most polite and patient, and IYM is a little more strict, given her Persian heritage and all : )

I have ordered CD's online and am making a sincere attempt.

So there - think you read it the wrong way perhaps :)

rosh said...

lol 7S - naaaoooo don't let the viking temper out please! :)

Just chill bro - it's all good. Arabic is not American English. For instance, it's often complicated to translate from Arabic into English. I have seen my brother's fiancee give him a CD of romantic Arab songs (some are 20 minutes to whole hour in length). The songs are quite emotional and the meanings very deep. When my brother asks for a translation of a few lyrics, she (and her friends) who speak fluent Arabic, English & Urdu/Hindi - do not feel too easy to translate the exact meanings of the entire phrase. Often, amongst them, there are different meanings, but the message is heard.

The above is what I have seen/heard, BuJ - thoughts?

rosh said...

"How is it otherwise possible that Rosh grew up in the Emirates and never learnt how to speak fluent Arabic? (It is not Rosh, that is for sure)"

I'd say it's *Pipty-Pipty* as in 50/50. All Arab friends spoke to me in English - especially if you attend A levels. The few words I've learnt is just by listening to them interact with each other or my close friends speaking with their families.

Moreover - the Arabic teachers we had schools, most of 'em - were so bad. Kids actually feared Arabic because of some personalities.

I had an excellent Syrian Arab teacher whilst in 3rd & 4th grade - but then she moved on, and we got this *angry* woman, whom all kids feared.

Nevertheless - Arabic should be mandatory across all schools, the West/Indian/Pakistani/Plipino as part of all of syllabus all the way thru high school.

Al - both you and I mate!

Guess when you are kid, you don't think about such stuff - most of us just wanna meet up, have fun, movies, shawarma times, Al Wahda street, city center etc etc - sigh! Oh no am reminiscing again, this wasn't supposed to happen!


rosh said...

"with a yummy barbecue tonight. "

Thanks for the invitation viking, what's cooking? :)

al-republican said...

I had an Arabic teacher, Miss Hala, who was Egyptian. She was a MONSTER! Hahaha! She would come in the class and just shout, "SHUT YOUR MOUSE, YA HAYAWAAN!!" hahaha, uff what a riot!

Us guys used to have so much fun during Arabic classes; we took it as a joke and no wonder we didn't learn jack! Whenever we read a chapter and there would be mention of a girl all the guys would just go bonkers and Miss Hala would blush and scream at us to "shut your mouse" at the same time hahaha.

The class would go like this:

Miss Hala: Ahmad yanatazaru Al Haafilah...

All the guys (repeating after the teacher): Ahmad yanatzaru Al Haafilah...

Miss Hala: Aminah yantaza...

All the guys: WOO HOOO!! *WHISTLE WHISTLE* AAOOOOO (hooting away!)

Miss Hala: Ya Allah!! Shut your mouse, ya hayawaan!! You animals!!

HAHAHAHAHA! Ah, those were the days :))

rosh said...

lol Al you haywaan :) that's hilarious!

I agree , a teacher can partly make or break a child's interests.

I recall Ms Summer - Syrain, very elegant, soft spoken lady. She made sure we knew our Alif, ba, tha's. Kids were quite fond of her, but after a while she got married and moved on.

Then came the dark days - Mrs Samia, an Egyptian heavy weight, who beat our knuckles to the pulp! Gave kids sleepless nights and failed us in tests. I learnt Arabic more out of fear and not have to deal with Mrs Samia, than anything else.

SevenSummits said...

Hmmmmm, a few m³ of sand and gravel certainly made me cool down – no need to worry. BuJ LOL :- )

Al – heeeeellp you are asking me about grammar???? You can see my liberal approach to English grammar and out of pragmatism I avoid using any at all in the rest of my verbal communication. I will simply compensate by using my hands and facial expressions to convey information. Yes, I know?!?, but it does seem to work – at least everyone is always smiling! I dare to blame it on my second home (BTW - nobody dared to guess yet?) where they speak roughly 510 living languages (one is Arabic) – that does make you develop certain new communication skills.

Besides, I am lazy and strong headed when it comes to that – I use Spanish in Brazil and France (while the Brazilians are equally strong headed and respond in Portuguese and the French simply hate me), avoid any communication in francophone Africa (I know it is hard to believe that I can actually shut up for a while) and use English in the rest of the world. No! Honestly what works best everywhere is simply a smile!

Miss Hala – ehhhhm – now that does not sound all that bad Al. My Arabic teacher was much worse … dates about 25 years back (I am about a decade older than you guys – average mean from the available info) and I just forgot where this dude was from – Syria, if I remember correctly.

I actually was very close with a Saudi family (sort of got 27 adopted brothers – not joking!) and they just felt the urgent need that I need Arabic lessons. (That was always during summer vacations!) So they got this most boring and stiff private teacher that came along with some serious, serious classical Arabic (totally out of this world) – pure torture! I tried to get out of it, but since there was one senior brother that I was really scared of at the time and who simply lacked any sense of humor, I filled tons of exercise books in total obedience. (still have them!) Since this was not a usable language (sort of like Latin, which they still make us suffer through at school), I forgot it pretty fast. The good thing was that my “brothers” spoke a lot of Arabic with me and that is the part that I did not forget. While in the UAE I can hardly understand a single word (it is a strange accent in my ears, sort of like Qatar), it gets a lot easier when I hear Saudi Arabic (from a certain region). Very easy is also Lebanese / plus surrounding states! Well, in Kuwait it is usually not difficult to guess what they are talking about – business :- )!

Barbecue? Almost finished “project mum”, but still need to finish with my house (I am doing almost everything by myself), but once it is finished, I will combine my Viking temper with African hospitality and invite all of you that love nature (I live in a forest) – multi-sex, multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-lingual :- ) – everyone is welcome!

SevenSummits said...

Rosh, yes those love songs :- )
Got so many CDs here (even tapes from way back) and am catching those special key words that we all know, but just like you I always want to know the real meaning of the lyrics. Sort of gets to you, doesn’t it?!

We must exchange the people that we hang out with in the UAE – how about a swap! Mine (with a very few exceptions) will instantly destroy any attempts, by “over-criticizing” - I mean honestly, when you try to attempt to learn something that difficult, you will need a little encouragement????!

Personally, I just love all those Spanish speaking nations – they don’t care at all how terribly wrong it is what you are trying to say – miraculously they will understand you and will talk to you for hours. If they can detect from your face that you didn’t get the meaning, they are incredibly patient to describe it to you in different words. Smashing! I haven’t actually met a single person that stayed in Latin America and managed “not to learn Spanish” – my God, they even manage to communicate a foreign language to US citizens and that is quite remarkable. :- ))))

Which CDs did you order? I just got myself a set (just Vocab, but 7 CDs) and bought about 5 of those “easy to learn” books in DC – more colorful and more fun. Usually put it on my mp3 player while running or driving long distances, but I don’t know – it doesn’t really work. Frustration!!!!

Normally I would say that “love” could speed up the process, but it seems that this option is not to feasible either. Any further suggestions – anyone??????