Archive for December, 2008

Here he is again!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

Salaams everyone 🙂

I must apologize for my extremely late update. Yes, do not rub your eyes, this is indeed an update 🙂

In the past couple of months, blog-wise, I’ve gone from “Where is he?” to “Here he is again!” and I must say, it is indeed amazing what can happen in just a couple of months.

Since I last blogged:

I traveled to my country of origin…

photo-0174

*Tarim – One of the major cities in Hadramaut, Yemen*

I’ve put another semester to rest…

dsc02500*Believe it or not, I got a grade for playing a bad guy! 🙂*

Photo taken from His Royal Wackyness.

I won a talent competition…

champ*Had a lot of fun that night!*

Photo taken from Metaphorical expression, thank you!

dscf0278

and most importantly, I got engaged 🙂

photo-0276*:)*

I’ll elaborate on each of those topics soon hopefully, but each in it’s own due time. To be frank, they each deserve their own blog post.

* * *

YEMEN

Yemen was absolutely AMAZING! And I’m not just saying that because I’m Arab 😛

photo-0263*Roots*

It really is a whole new world there! The people are always friendly and courteous; and they’re always smiling. Even the poorest of the poor there smile and greet you 🙂

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I did our ‘Umrah before heading to Yemen, Alhamdulillah 🙂

With the tour group, we managed to check out all the sites worth seeing in Yemen, both in the North (San’aa) and the South (Hadramaut; where I originate).  As expected, we visited our families and relations. Didn’t help that my Arabic was next to pathetic; our conversations always lasted less than 2 minutes and always involved how I was and how I liked Yemen. Any other questions they asked me, I just nodded earnestly not knowing what I was nodding to. I got scared once because after nodding to some unknown question, they told me to get into a white thobe and get ready to go out!

“Where am I going?” I asked in Arabic.

“******************”, was their reposonse.

Well, it was to me anyway! I couldn’t understand!!! :((

I thought they wanted to match make me with someone or something and I got scared because they were so excited to get me out of the house. Didn’t help that the questions before that were along the lines of, “Are you married yet?”!!

I finally found out that they wanted to take me to this celebration that was going on. I told them I was tired after my trips across Yemen and that I would like a quiet night instead.

You can bet they were befuddled as to why I was nodding so earnestly one minute and declining the next!

I’m sure they asked me why; not that I would understand, either way I just nodded earnestly again 🙂

By then they correctly assumed that my Arabic was atrocious.

I confirmed their assumption by once again, nodding earnestly 🙂

Another hilarious moment involved two boys in an airplane.

photo-0206

These boys were the sons of a lady that my mom made friends with at one of the female gatherings. My grand aunty, Amati, asked me to perform magic for them and so I did. I did a couple of simple tricks, ending with a magical transformation of a 50 Yemeni riyaal bill to two 200 Yemeni riyaal bills and handed one to each of them. They were stunned and with mouths agape, all they said was, “How…?” (in Arabic of course). I smiled and headed back to my seat, plugged in my MP3 player and listened to my music.

The younger of the two boys came up to me while we were in the air and handed me a pack of gum. He spoke Arabic and pointed at the gum and then pointed to his ears and made a “pulling” gesture with his hands in front of his ears. He then stood there as if waiting for something.

Not knowing what he said or meant, I did what I always do:

I nodded earnestly at him 🙂

He still stood there.

“Oh uh” I figured…what should I do?

Does he…does he want me to lend him my MP3 player in exchange for some gum?

I pointed at my earphones in my ears and looked at him.

He nodded.

“Oh…”

Then he just walked away and sat back down on his seat.

“Huh?”

I sat there for 15 minutes trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with the gum…did I interpret him correctly?

I asked my mum to go and double check.

After much hesitation, my mum went to check for me.

Turns out, the kid wanted to help me out on the flight by giving me the gum. He wanted me to chew on the gum so that my ears don’t pop, which as anyone who has ever flown knows, hurts!!

Sweet kid 🙂

Dumb pseudo-Arab adult!!

photo-0246*The pseudo-Arab trying his best to BE an Arab 😛. That’s Booga at the back by the way 🙂*

Anyway, my mother had signed up for a summer course at the ever famous Darul Mustafa centre of Islamic learning there.

dar-mustafa

Famous and knowledgeable Islamic lecturers would be lecturing in English and with English translators for the Arabic speaking ones. A wealth of knowledge for those who seek it. So we left her there as I had to escort the two golden old ladies (Siti & Amati) back to Singapore. Furthermore, I had that trip to Mulu to go through. So we departed from Yemen…little did I know, that I was going to come back sooner than I thought… 🙂

* * *

Alrighty, that ends our little update!

I will elaborate on the other happenings in due time, but for now, this should suffice 🙂

As Met once told me, “Update it in chapters bro!”.

Thanks buddy 🙂

I am due to perform my thesis research with Dr. Ulmar at Belalong in a couple of days. I’ll be at Belalong for 2 weeks in total because in addition to 1 week of solid thesis research, I’ll be there for the Field Ecology 2 course which is also 1 week.

Please pray that I come back safe and sound 🙂

Insha Allah, once I return, I shall update my blog once more.

Till then, salaams, stay safe and remember that nodding earnestly is not a sufficient substitute to learning a foreign language! Especially when you look like you’re supposed to speak it! 😛

Aman

* * *

I really wish I could come with you,” she said.

But there’s mosquitoes and insects and…” he said.

I don’t care! I’d wear long sleeves and everything. It doesn’t matter…” she replied.

As long as I’m with you.

He melted.

🙂

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