FOR RENT One Gently Used Tomb

Rental Sign on Tomb in Sar

Lease for eternity.

Compares favorably to the other 5,000 year old tumuli in the immediate vicinity.

Previous tenant left no dust but occasionally seen floating around the neighborhood.

Preferred deposit gold, silver or pearls.  No paper notes are accepted.

When I am a Centenarian I Shall Wear Purple and Tell Good Stories

I came across this tidbit today.  I edited some words to get through the censors.

By Tessie Theuma – Happy fluffy story correspondent 

Sitting on her plastic-covered scarlet arm-chair in the boudoir of her Gzira home, one would be forgiven for thinking Doris Borg is just a regular sweet old granny. But while she is indeed sweet as kannoli, she also has a more illicit side: she is Malta’s oldest working pro….tute.

The silver-haired “anzjana tat-triq“, as she calls herself, celebrated her birthday on January 2, surrounded by prominent politicians, businessmen, lawyers and members of the clergy, all of whom were in costume to protect their identities. “I so enjoyed lapping up their warm greetings,” she beams.

Doris says she has been in the world’s oldest profession ever since she can remember. She comes from a long line of ladies of the night. “My mother was a pro…te, and her mother before her. Her mother was a cloistered nun so I’m not sure what happened there. There hasn’t been a proper male member of the family for generations.”

During her long life, the centenarian has lived through her fair share of momentous events. She has particularly fond memories of World War II. “All those marines,” she says wistfully. “Some historians say the invasion of Sicily might not have succeeded had the entire British 51st infantry division not spent a morale-boosting night with me before they shipped out.”

How has she managed to live for so long? “Well I’m lucky enough to do what I love, even though I don’t love who I do most of the time. I’ve never had a break, except for my hip of course.

“Also, a Ghanaian former witchdoctor once told me his seed had life-giving properties. It appears to have worked.”

Doris admits that due to her advanced age, the market she caters for is somewhat niche. “For men who are almost into necrophilia but not quite” say her ads on Maltapark. “Oh yes, I’m very web savvy,” she says. “One of my last clients, bless him, was a  shy computer programmer, and he set up a Facebook page for me, which really helps to set up appointments since I can only cover about 30 metres of pavement in a day nowadays, and that’s with my Zimmer frame.

She says advanced age has several advantages. “Losing all my teeth has been a Godsend, I can tell you. And if someone has a foot fetish, but also likes breasts, in my case they’re in the same general area.”

Being more than a century old certainly hasn’t diminished her creativity either. “I can do more things with a tire-swing and a rolling pin than you could ever possibly imagine.”

What does she think of her younger counterparts? “Bah, in my day we used to learn everything on the job, if you’ll pardon the pun. Hook..s today don’t know they’re born, with their MCAST courses and ETC training schemes.”

Despite the fact that her more glamourous days are arguably behind her, Doris has no intentions of retiring any time soon. “No matter how old I get I won’t stop bending over backwards to make sure my clients are satisfied.”

PS I don’t think this is true as it looks like someone’s blog.  But it’s funny.

Happy New Year from the Ministry of Traffic

Best Parking Spot At Al Moayyed Tower - On the Front Steps

“I came out of the office and this Bahraini woman had decided to park right at the front door,” Mojo said.  “Best parking spot at the tower.”

See I am not like them.  At least when I park on the sidewalk I do it safely.

I wonder if she’ll have to go to Office 49 to resolve her ticket?

Last week, I returned to the Ministry of Traffic for the third time to clear up the tickets on Mojo’s car.  I went directly to the cashier’s office next to the detention office.  A fresh batch of faces were pasted against the jail’s plexiglass.

I waited as the cashier bundled stacks of twenty dinar bills into eight inch piles and stored them in the safe.  Finally he finished.  The man ahead of me paid his ticket with a 500 Saudi Riyal bill.  Boy did he get the stink eye.

I handed over my slip of paper and twenty dinars.  The cashier typed the number into his computer.

“You paid this already?”

“Maybe” I said. ”My husband said he paid the ticket.”

“Go see Badar,” he said stapling my twenty to the paper.  “Next door.”

I poked my head into the office next door.  “Badar?” I asked.   One man waved his hand.

“The cashier told me to tell you this ticket has been paid.”  Badar passed me over to a third man.  As the third man checked, Badar said to me,

“That is your ticket?”

“Oh no.  I’m a very good driver.  That was my husband’s ticket.”

Badar sucked his teeth.  “Do you know what the fastest speed is in Bahrain?”

I thought he was talking about the speed limit, giving me a little on-the-spot driving test. “120 kilometers?”

“No 250 kilometers.” He looked at me to see whether I was rightly shocked.  I put on my shocked face.

“The Public Prosecutor..we prosecuted him.  And you know what happened to him?”  I shook my head no.  “We put him in jail…” he said staring at me.  “For thirty days.”

He continued giving me the scolding on my husband’s behalf.

“Bahrain is a very small place.  You hit maximum speed and there is a roundabout or a stoplight.  You get there first.  Then I drive up next to you and we wait.  You see, we are the same,” he said holding his index fingers together in front of him. “You do not need speed in Bahrain,” he counseled me.

His friend checking the ticket, nodded in agreement.  “ The ticket was paid,”  he said stamping my paper.  “Go back to Office 49.”

“Thanks for the driving tip” I said.

I knew exactly where I was going.  I marched right past Information, through office 47 and 48,  and straight back to 49.

“Hi, it’s me again.” I waved my ticket triumphantly.  “The computer was wrong.”

Everything was finally squared away.  I could go to the Post Office to finish the registration.  But I thought about my tongue lashing and took a detour to Public Affairs.

Public Affairs had a large office on the second floor.  A man was praying in the middle of the room.  I looked at the four desks.  Two were occupied and both the man and the woman in hijab were talking on the phone.  I stopped at the desk of the fourth man watching a Bollywood movie on the television.  I asked him if he had any spare traffic safety posters.

He told me “One minute.  My boss is praying.”

Within five minutes, the boss finished, jumped up, and carrying his shoes, came over to see what I wanted.   He showed me a couple of posters, and as if I was in the souq, I hemmed and hawed over it.

“One minute,” he told me and left for the storeroom.

I watched the movie.  It was the obligatory dance scene.  The woman was rejecting her paramour as he danced through a throng of chorus girls.  They were tearing off his clothes.  He made it across with room bare-chested.  I missed the end when the men returned with a stack of posters.  I sorted them and assured the boss they would not go to waste.

Obligation is Safety

Tonight when I saw the SUV photo, I remembered the posters.  One will be set aside for the lady driver, but the others are for my twenty loyal readers.

Happy New Year from the General Directorate  of Traffic.

Censoring Le Chat Botté

Puss in Boots Édition Curmer (1843) Le Chat Botté

Charles Perrault wrote Le Maître Chat, or Le Chat Botté  three hundred plus years ago.

A quick Google search shows since then The Master Cat or Puss in Boots  has been retold countless times : translated into English in 1729, 1812 retold in The Grimm Brother’s book Kinder- und Hausmärchen, 1889 in The Blue Fairy Book, danced in Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Disney’s 1922 black and white cartoon, and on television in the 1980s Faerie Tale Theater.  Although the DreamWorks newly released animation has no resemblance to Perrault’s classic, the movie retained the title Puss in Boots.

That is, everywhere but the Gulf where the movie was renamed Cat in Boots.

Cat in Boots Coming Soon to a Gulf Theater Near You

The local distributors claims the title change (in English) to Cat in Boots is easier for the local population to understand.

I don’t buy their explanation.

Since the government censors are allowing the movie, they must not be concerned by a self declared rebel hero who defends the poor from injustice.

I think they are worried this Puss in Boots,


Blythe-eyed Puss In Boots

will be translated into this Puss in Boots.

Puss in Boots by Chup at Cabra

If Ginger Rogers Was in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise Climbing Up Burj Khalifa

Watching Tom Cruise climb up the Burj Khalifa in Mission Impossible, Ginger Roger’s infamous quote “I do everything he does…but backwards and in high heels” came to mind.

Cruise used electronic wall-grabbing gloves to climb UP the world’s tallest building.  To identify his mark, he wore contact lens embedded with computer chips.  From the grave, Steve Jobs applauded his Iphone innovations.

But – could he have saved the world wearing an abaya like these Iranian policewomen?

Would Agent Hunt have even accepted his mission if the IMF provided a black hatchback and not the BMW i8 with its flip-up door?

BMW i8 Gallery Exterior Photo

Seeing the World Through a Billionaire’s Lens

Ace and the Cousins in their tie dyed shirts

To celebrate the school’s fiftieth anniversary, the children were allowed to wear gold or a 60s outfit on the last day of school.

Ace who cannot be in the room when I eat a banana wanted to go dressed like a banana.  His friend Rex and he are Osprey house captains and thought it would be funny to be the Osprey’s Top Bananas.  Cute – but I was not in the mood to figure out how to make that happen.

When Ace insisted Rex’s mom was having a banana costume tailored for him, I could not believe it.  Besides raising four children, his mom, Irish author Anne Dunlop, exercises, writes, blogs, and teaches horse riding.  I called her and she said,

“Absolutely not!  I cannot be bothered.  I bought him a gold Chinese jacket from the thrift shop.”

When I told Ace he could go as a mustard seed, he decided to wear the gold and red tie dyed shirt he bought at the Iowa State Fair last summer.

Ace with Tie Dye Artist at Iowas State Fair 2011

Mark saw himself as a robotic street performer and wanted gold sunglasses.

I said “Sort through my glasses.  You can use my old orange aviators.”

“Mom look at me,” he said modeling a black pair of sunglasses.

Mark wearing Dr BK Modi Sunglasses

“You look fantastic.  But those are not my sunglasses,” I said.  “Do you know who they belong to?”

He quickly took them off.  “No,” he said a little nervous he was in trouble.

Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi aka BKM, Chairman of Spice

“Those belong to Dr. Modi, the Chairman of Spice.  He’s the Indian Buddhist billionaire.”

“Really? How did you get them?”

“Dad met with him and Dr. Modi left them in Dad’s car.  You can wear them.  He didn’t want them back.”

“Thanks Mom!”  He hid them in the cupboard so Ace would not take them.

Accessing his father’s less than 6 degrees of separation, Mark wowed his friends with his golden moves and his BKM sunglasses.

Really Officer. I Wasn’t the One Driving.

Comparison of Speeding Offeces 2010 to 2011

When the Officer at the public prosecutor’s office stopped me at the door and asked me where I was going, I should have known something was up.    A young Bahraini man was peering out from a square window in the door across the room.  His forehead made a greasy spot on the window but he didn’t care.  His eyes were fixed on the guard chatting with his friend.

“Am I in the right place?” I asked the uniformed Officer who was leaving.  “I need to pay this ticket.”

The Officer pointed me towards the cashier.  I walked across the room and peeked in the window.  No one was there.  I sat down to wait.  A Bahraini man wearing a Nike shirt came in and looked toward the cashier.  I said “No one is there.”    He sat down across from me.

In the window, an older Bangladeshi man pushed into view.  He made a motion like he needed to drink and pointed to the guard.  The man in the Nike shirt stood up and in Arabic called over to the guard something to the effect,

“Excuse me, excuse me.  This man he needs to drink.”

The guard looked up and scowled.  He responded angrily in Arabic and waved off the request.  Mr. Nike Shirt sat down quickly and shut his mouth.  I knew I was where no expat woman had gone before: traffic contravention jail.

Was getting a speeding ticket a jail offense?

All my good feelings about car registration deflated.  I felt a twinge of nervousness.  Mojo did not know where I was.   Since he never answered his phone, I decided to text him where I was in the ministry building.

“I am at public prosecutor’s office paying your speeding tickets.  So far they have not locked me up like the 2 guys in the room here.  FYI I am at office on first floor to the right of reception. “

He texted back “Thank you Great Goddess of Compassion and Understanding.”

Now three guys’ foreheads were greasing up the window.  I wondered how long they had been in there.    The Officer came back into the room carrying a white plastic shopping bag.  He set the bag on the desk then walked across the room to open the door.

Eight men came stumbling out.  The Bahraini ran over to the water cooler and began slowly drinking out of the paper cup.  The Bangladeshi man did not even try to get a drink.  The Officer opened the plastic bag and pulled out handcuffs.  He cuffed the men together two at a time.

My hands shaking, I texted back to Mojo.

“If I don’t come home, please come feed me.  The guard is ignoring the men banging on the door.  They just let them out and are handcuffing now for transport.  Still waiting to see my fate.”

Mojo texted back “Tell them you are only accustomed to handcuffs made of diamonds but will accept gold ones if necessary.”

The men walked out and the three of us waiting for the cashier eyed the empty jail room nervously.  It was 1:15pm.

A man in a white thobe with gold cufflinks popped his head out an office door.  “Excuse me,” he said.  “Cashier gone home for today.  You come back tomorrow to pay.”

“I can’t pay today?  Isn’t there someone I can pay?”  I tried to look disappointed to see if that worked.

“No, you come back tomorrow.  Eight o’clock to one o’clock cashier will be here.  You come then.”

“Thank you,” I said walking out.

I texted Mojo “They let me go as jailer only here from 8 to 1.  They told to come back tomorrow for my punishment.”

“I take it you will be sending me tomorrow,” he texted back.

“I am so traumatized I am going for some retail therapy.  I will be at City Center for the next five hours,” I wrote him.

“There is a limit on the Visa card.  I will cancel your AMEX card though.”

“Haha, very funny.  They don’t call me Mrs. Claus for nothing, coal-lover.”

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