Saturday, April 02, 2005

Hair Wars III: A Harem of One

This is the third time I've blogged about hair disasters. It seems me and my hair are mortal enemies. We are always at war. Occasionally, we get tired of the efforts war takes and we declare a cease-fire, but never a peace treaty. I color it, I perm it, I cut it, and I ignore it. I may occasionally win a battle, but I never win the war. A couple of times in all my 50 years found a style that looked good, and was easy to care for… battle won, but I've never been able to duplicate the look, cut or color again… war lost.

After a few months of ignoring my hair as it outgrew my last perm disaster, it was finally starting to look good. I wanted to get it cut, but knowing I couldn't get a decent cut here in Pakistan, I just kept ignoring it. I have nearly shoulder length hair with the perm on the ends so it really does look kind of nice. My roots were showing so I asked Abez to give me a touch up. She unfortunately, forgot which of the many tubes of hair color lurking about the house and only identified with numbers, not names, was the nice color we used the last time. She mixed up a batch of dye and applied it. It wasn't the warm and wonderful strawberry blonde we had hoped for, but a very hot flaming copper!!!

It shocks me to look in the mirror! I'm worried I will be banned from Petrol pumps, and concerned citizens will throw buckets of water on my head as I walk down the street. The only safe place I can go sporting this head-full of flames, is Mc D's, where I will be lovingly treated to lunch as befitting the VIP treatment Ronald McDonald's mother should get.

I try not to complain, but here in Pakistan, with my height, blue eyes and lily-white complexion, I stand out more than enough. The really weird thing is Hubby likes it! I guess that myth about all men wanting a harem of wives or at least one wife with many different looks, is true.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A Dream Come True!

Easter eve, after spending many hours decorating over 100 large sugar cookies, I went to bed dead tired and had an Easter related dream. I dreamt that it was the day after Easter and I was buying Cadbury's cream eggs at mark down rates (many of my dreams involve serious bargain shopping, something that doesn't exist here in Pakistan and I really miss). They were displayed in a large tin box, and since there were only a few left, I planned to buy them all and get the tin for free! Such a deal! The next day as we ate our Easter lunch I related the dream and we all laughed and sighed, wishing we had Cadbury's eggs to mark the day.

On Monday we went to visit Dawn, a fellow American married to a Pakistani who and recently returned to Pakistan to visit her in-laws. Dawn very sweetly brought a goodie bag of chocolates, adorable cookie cutters, a very pretty oven mitt and kitchen towel set, and Cadbury's chocolate cream eggs! It was almost as if my dream had come true. I got Cadbury's eggs on the day after Easter. Weird huh?! And, dear reader, to top it all off she even included some PEEPS. Now, if you've been reading my blog for a while you will know I LOVE those silly little marshmallow candies. They make me happy just looking at them.

Dawn is an awesome gift giver. Each item in the bag reflected a hobby or craving the girlies and I share such as cookie baking and serious chocolate consumption. I envy such a great skill. I am not and will never be a great gift giver for several reasons: #1: I'm a damned cheap skate. #2 I'm always clueless as to what people like. #3 I can never remember any birthdays (not even my own family's,) anniversaries, etc. so I am always caught off guard. #4 I hate shopping in crowded stores, so I even stink at Christmas gifts.

Ah well, at least I'm a good gift receiver. Boy was I ever grateful for those eggs and peeps and I let Dawn know it. And if she doesn't know yet, she does now. Thank you!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Surprises

Easter Hugs for one and all and please take a moment from your busy life to pause to reflect on the people you have loved who have died and thank God or Allah or what ever else you call your Higher Power, for the wonder of eternal life and eternal relationships.

Remember when you were a child and you went to bed knowing that in the morning there would be a great big Easter surprise waiting for you in the morning in the shape of a basket of eggs, chocolate, and little toys? I've out grown such things as the Easter Bunny, but I got an Easter surprise this morning.

A few days before Easter I decided to make lots and lots of decorated sugar cookies to give to the children at church. I mixed, rolled, cut, baked, cooled, decorated and wrapped for two days with the aide of my two seasonal part-time workers, Abez and Aniraz. Sunday morning, I had 33 packets of cookies wrapped, boxed and loaded into my car. I zipped and zoomed my way through the light traffic of a Sunday morning in Islamabad and arrived at church just on time. As I pulled up in front of the building, I was surprised to see a large and very colourful bus (in Pakistan all busses are very colourful) - Surprise #1. I hurried into the meeting, and received Surprise #2 when I noticed all the congregation was already seated and the speaker was already well into his sermon. A few minutes later, the sermon was over and the CLOSING hymn was announced. Surprise #3. Immediately after the closing prayer, the congregation leader announced that all the children were to use the washroom and then everyone would board the bus for the picnic. Surprise #4.

It seems the morning was full of rather nasty surprises. I was absent last Sunday since I was out of town and no one called to tell me of the change of time and planned picnic. I was mildly put out by this since I an a regular church attendee, but the thing that really got me mad (though I tried not to show it) was the picnic on Sunday. I've been a Mormon all my life and I've NEVER heard of Sunday service being rescheduled, cut short and substituted with a picnic. This violates several basic Mormon principles of keeping the Sabbath day holy as a day of physical rest and spiritual refreshment, a day free from buying and selling and traditional recreations. Mormons are party-hearty people, but we do our partying and picnicking on Saturday, never on Sunday.

After prayer, I rushed out to my car, got the cookies and gave them to another person to distribute after lunch and left.

The girlies were surprised to see me walk back into the house hours ahead of schedule and questioned me about what happened at church. My response? "They're all pagans!" I really try to adjust and adapt to the different culture here, but today I just couldn't do it. Anyway, I think God agrees with me on this one 'cause today was cool and rainy. Ha ha on you!

Anyway, I did have a wonderful Easter thanks to my very helpful, loving and great cooking daughters who helped prepare the meal, and to Crayon who brought her wonderful children over for me to play with. We ate cookies and roast leg of lamb and lemon sponge cake and hid eggs and found eggs most, and hid them again and found even less, several times till it became a REAL egg hunt by the adults to find the missing eggs so they wouldn't go bad and smelly in forgotten nooks and crannies all around the house. Good fun.