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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Conversations: A night out with the Boys

The Participants: K: my best friend from high school and the most decent person I know. He is also, however, the horniest person I know. He currently works and lives in Saudi. S: The son of a very prominent member in the El Wafd party, and a very good friend of mine from high school. He is also very religious, so we tend to agree to disagree a lot. But it’s all good. R: K’s sidekick. He fills the loveable idiot role in this group. He knows nothing, his head is an empty canvass, but he has a good heart, so we love him regardless. H: A new friend of mine and an old friend of S. His sister happens to be also a very good friend of mine. He is a cool kid. Me: Well, you know how I am like! The event: K is back for a week, so we are going out with him. Since S is coming, we opt for a Shisha Café instead of a Bar or a club.


K: Man, I am so happy to be back. Look, women, walking on the street. Me: Lol, it’s that bad living in Saudi? K: You have no idea. It’s so good to come to a country where hot girls wear revealing cloths. R: Wait, where are those girls wearing revealing cloths? Me: A better question R, is where are those girls to begin with? K: See, you are only saying that cause you’ve been to the states for a long time, and you got used to their standards of hot and revealing cloths. I am telling you, this country is the garden of Eden compared to Saudi. R: Can you imagine what it would be like if Sam lived in Saudi? Me: Jesus, don’t even joke about that. K: He would kill himself. He wouldn’t last a week there. Me: Chances are the religious police would kill me first. K: Actually, that’s more like it.


*After I tell them about the marriage convo with my mother* S: Half a million? Only? Man, I am getting married to a relative; A relative, so I am getting a discount. And it’s costing me almost a million and a half so far. Me: Jeeeeezzzzz. S: The wedding by itself is half a million, do you have any idea how much a single singer costs these days? H: No joke man, weddings are expensive. Especially with all the new fads in wedding in Egypt. K: What is the new fad in weddings in Egypt these days? R: What I know, is that it has to be somewhere Unique and original with something extreme in it. Like the one that happened last week, where the bride and the groom moved the wedding to the pool section and then jumped in the pool halfway through with their friends. H: Shut-up, you don’t know what you are talking about. Here is the new fad in weddings: The Bride and groom don’t get to sit, you don’t have the extended walk down the isle celebration with the belly dancers from the car to the hall anymore. That’s out. You only have it in the celebration hall. And you don’t hire any singers or belly dancers: you get Dj’s. S: Both of you don’t know a thing. I am the one who is getting married, let me tell you: The extended walk is out, that’s true, but you have to have singers, and those singers have to be from Lebanon and preferably female and… Me: Okay, I am just wondering about something here: Do all of your periods synch up nowadays, or do you ladies still get them separately? (All of them looking at me dumbfoundedly.) Me: Are you all kidding me? Talking about the latest fads in weddings? What are you, a bunch of women? What kind of men are you? (K falls on the floor laughing.) R: Do women’s periods synch up?


Me: Oh my god. (pointing to 2 women wearing burkas) Check those Ninjas out. S: Ninjas? You call those religious women ninjas? H: Come on S. , they do look like Ninjas. K: Here is what I don’t understand: It’s hot and it’s humid, how can they be dressed like that? Me: Chances are they are naked underneath. K: Hmm, you think? (his mind going all kinds of perverted places) S: Hey, stop that. Respect those women. Me: You know, this is the first summer I spend in Egypt in 6 years, and here is what I don’t understand: In the US, the summer is like a skimpy cloths competition amongst the girls. Hot Shorts, miniskirts, tank tops. They seem to compete on who would could wear less cloths and get away with it. In here, it’s the opposite. All I see is muhajabat and Ninjas and they seem to be competing on who wears more items of cloths. Like look over there, here is one wearing a jacket and gloves. In this heat. How do they do it? H: I don’t know, but it’s one of those times where I am glad I am born a male. S: Those women are being religious Sam. They are doing this to please God. Me: But come on. It’s freaking hot! Ok, how about this for a compromise: They get to wear the Hijab 9 months a year, and then for the 3 months of the summer they get to take it off. 9 months a year isn’t bad; I am sure God would understand. (K, R, and H all laugh.) S: Don’t listen to him. That boy is the walking devil. The human Satan. You will all end up in hell because of him. Me: Hey, hell is where all the fun people will be then. S (can’t help but smile while saying this): You all are hellbound. Forever there. Hellbound I tell ya. H: Sam, all kidding aside. It sounds like you are having a reverse culture shock. Me: Probably. Although it could just be that I am pro scantly clad women. K: Hey, you want to talk about a culture shock? How about this for a culture shock: Last year, after spending a week in Ibiza, I went back to El Riad in Saudi. Me, R, S & H: OUCH. K: From Nude beaches to Ninjas. Now that’s a fucking culture shock for ya.


Poor K.

20 Comments:

At 8/20/2005 09:08:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I think the black-clad ninjas look pretty sexy in a "look at the... eyes... on that chick!" kinda way :P

The blue tents the women in Afghanistan wear kinda creep me out though. They look like death shrouds to me for some reason.

 
At 8/20/2005 09:24:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

So craig:

Black Ninjas= good.

Blue Ninjas= bad?

hmmmm.......

 
At 8/20/2005 09:27:00 AM, Blogger Secret Agent X-9 said...

Ok, here's a question: Why the black and blue at all? Why not white?

Why do burqas et al have to be dark colors?

 
At 8/20/2005 09:33:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

I guess cause there will always be perverts like myself who would spray those women with water in all the "wrong" places.

 
At 8/20/2005 09:58:00 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

I miss the ninjas.

 
At 8/20/2005 10:02:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Poor Jeff..

come back then. You ain't doing nuttin back home anyway!

 
At 8/20/2005 11:39:00 AM, Blogger Omar said...

Don't get me started on this Sam! I've had enough of those Ninjas.


Thanks for posting the conversation; I can say now that we have a lot in common except that I have a group of friends that is exclusively devilish :)

 
At 8/20/2005 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8/20/2005 12:48:00 PM, Blogger Mister Ghost said...

I always wonder why they don't have floral burkhas? Like a flowing impressionistic painting - turn the "Sisters of the Dark Lord" into a thing of beauty.

The Baghdad Mistress will have to start padlocking her panties, if Sharia Law is incorporated into the Iraqi Constitution.

 
At 8/20/2005 02:01:00 PM, Blogger raf* said...

dear all-

you might want to think about turning off "anonymous" comments in order to stop spam.

i've also posted on how to tweak blogger so that it puts up a "spam guard".

i HATE spam.

ciao,

--raf*

 
At 8/20/2005 03:36:00 PM, Blogger ritzy said...

Here's some Saudi Swim Suites:
http://isolateddesertderelicts.blogspot.com/2005/08/if-you-guessed-saudi-swim-suit-you-win.html

So, what happened on the boys night out? You.. like.. looked and talked and then went home to sleep? That is soooo Cairo.

 
At 8/20/2005 11:23:00 PM, Blogger Orientalism said...

It baffles me peoples criticism’s of the Hijab. Without getting in a pointless theological discussion, how about we look at it as a matter of choice. My sister or mom never choose to wear it, but if they did, I would respect that. I am against the Hijab being forced upon women, but what if women actually decide that she wants to wear it? Maybe the "force" your daughter to wear it is more common in Egypt, but in Australia more and more Muslim women choose to wear it out of their own free will.

I don’t think women need to show their ass to gain acceptance in society, to be considered "liberated" by some Egyptians, or foreigners for that matter. Contrary to popular belief among certain blogs, women showing their asses is not a sign of modernity. If all Egyptian women take off their veils tomorrow and wear two piece bikinis, “democracy” won’t prevail, and certainly “freedom” wont reign. I guess if people are perplexed out turned off by hijab’s, maybe head to Agami or sahel to watch bikini’s, and leave the poor muhajabat alone. And please SM, tell your mate to take some porn back with him to Saudi Arabia or something, he seems a bit distressed, to say the least:)

 
At 8/21/2005 12:05:00 AM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

Omar: those are the nice behaving ones, and i had only went out with them because K was in town. As for devilish, you should see my main group of friends. I have some stories for ya.

Ritzy: We had Sheikh S with us, so we couldn;t have girls with us. Not to mention, girls around R? Oh lord. The boy is a walking disaster. He is like a 24 year old virgin who never had a girlfriend. However, you just tell me where the enarest egyptian strip club is and i will take them there next time.

O: I know the democracy wouldn't prevail and freedom wouldn;t reign if all egyptian women took off their jihabs and wore 2 piece bikinis, but damn it , it sure would be nice, wouldn't it? Agamy 24/7 baby!

 
At 8/21/2005 07:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orientalism,

To me, it depends on why the women are choosing to wear it. The hijab, unlike the burkha and chador, is at least colorful and pretty and can be used to enhance a woman's attractiveness and individuality. As an accessory, so to speak. If a woman choses to wear it for those reasons, that's great. But if a woman chooses to wear it because of a morally repressive environment, because she's a walking vagina seeking at all costs avoid inflaming the weak males around her.....she is participating in her own subjugation and she shouldn't do that.


Ask yourself a question...why aren't men expected to cover their hair and faces?

Bridget

 
At 8/21/2005 10:08:00 AM, Blogger Secret Agent X-9 said...

*Choosing* to wear the hijab or burqa or anything should be just that...a choice.

*Forcing* someone, who may not even be muslim, is just slavery.

 
At 8/21/2005 11:21:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I once worked for a US company that had a policy of hiring foreign college grads in preference to American college grads, as part of their outreach program, the name of which I forgot. A lot of US companies do this. I think it's a good idea. I was one of... lemme see... 4 American programmers, out of maybe 25 in our group. About half of them were from the ME or Iran(is that also considered the ME? I always thought it was asia)but none of the women covered their hair. Then we hired a lebanese woman who did, because it doesn't matter, right? It's America and she chose to wear it, and we respect choice!

She wasn't even part of the same team I was on, but I was the Windows guru (we did a lot of UNIX work) so I was once told to help her with a windows project she was working on, because she didn't know anything about WIndows programming. Good thing we hired her, eh? So, anyway, there I was, sitting next to her in front of her computer, looking at her code, and explaining what kinds of methods she should be looking into to get the results she wanted... and it was like talking to a wall. She never said a word. She never even looked at me. She never even acknowledged I was there. So, after about 20 minutes of this wall talking, I went back to my office and e-mailed her some code snippets that might work for her and forgot about it. She got fired about 2 weeks later. I have no idea why, it was never mentioned. But I suspect a lot of people (guys) had the exact same experience I did.

So, yes, it's a choice. And I respect that choice. But for at least some women, it's more than a choice. It's also a statement of who they are and what they believe, and that has nothing (as far as I can see) to do with religion. I've worked with many muslim women over the years and never had any problems dealing with them in the past.

I'm not trying to say anyone who wears a hijab/chador/etc would act the way I described. But some do. The only one I ever came in close contact with, did. And it was a problem! This woman's boss (and the one who fired her, probably) was an Iranian woman and probably a muslim, but I'm betting she believes to this day that she was fired for wearing a hijab, for being a muslim, for being an Arab, etc.

 
At 8/21/2005 12:00:00 PM, Blogger ritzy said...

Pink or Scarlet the colour should be, even I might dress up for a night out on town.

Spankmyredmonkeyass: you've been back in Egypt for how long and you haven't crawled the gutters to find a stripclub yet? Is your reputation all pre-egypt. Did you die on arrival.

Don't despair. I'll have my driver tell you where to go, I'm sure that's the place he can be found when his poor wife is calling here to see if he is still around (never).

 
At 8/21/2005 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ritzy, I definitely get the feeling that you are a scarlet hijab sort of girl.

Bridget

 
At 8/21/2005 12:17:00 PM, Blogger ritzy said...

P C Rag: is it possible the Lebanese lady simply didn't have a clue what you were talking about? Seems you're saying she avoided contact b/c you are guys - she is girl religious.
Anyway, what's the point of having an outreach program if you don't overcome such issues? If she were doing her job (?) the rest is just up to the team - and her and above all those who hired her because she is not like everybody else.
PS: sorry about the pc rag thing, couldn't resist playing with words.

Orientalism: the reason why the Hijab is almost universal in Egypt now is not because a general and sudden discovery of deep faith, it's because of pressure from society which is pressured by those who know the only law and are not ashamed of forcing their know-all-wisdom on everybody else. On a scale it doesn't even come close to 'walking vagina', it's about not wanting to hear that you are not good enough for what you are even if you're modest and decent and doesn't show your ass.

Neither is a full cover typically donned for reasons of strict adherance to the words of God, it's for the 'who do you think you are' and 'I don't want you to think I think I am special' reasons. Spare us from your flesh, the British says. It' not a big difference, it's societal justice in a collective eye, I'm not paying attention to my body, neither are you, nor should anyone else. Let's have another cookie.

having said that, of course it's for reasons of Godly words as well, although not predominantely. So let's not indulge in reversed romanticism - or orientalism if you so like.

 
At 8/21/2005 12:37:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

Hi Ritzy

#Anyway, what's the point of having
#an outreach program if you don't
#overcome such issues?

Ah, but how do you "overcome such issues" when a person refuses to interact with you, or to even ackowledge that you exist? She spoke good english. She was just unwilling to speak it to me, in the example I mentioned. She literally pretended I wasn't even there. If there's a way to "overcome" that, I'd like to know! That was my first and hopefully last experience with... whatever that was she was doing. I'm used to dealing with socially awkward people - I'm a programmer, after all! - but this was something completely different.

##If she were doing her job (?)

She wasn't. I was sent to help her, after she'd been struggling with something for a week and not making any progress. My attempts to help her failed miserably. I don't think she was even listening to me :)

#the rest is just up to the team

I wasn't even on her team! Her boss asked me to help her out. I suppose they could have made an all female team, and made everyone above her in the corporate chain of command above her a woman, so she wouldn't have had problems... but really, what company would do that? That completely defeats the purpose these diversity programs, doesn't it? Eh, lets promote diversity by segregating the work force! :D

##PS: sorry about the pc rag thing

That's OK, I love you anyway! At least you didn't tell me what a nice Irish name I have.

<--- not irish

 

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