Just a thought…or two…

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Whether you blog on a daily basis, or once in a blue moon you undoubtedly find yourself lost for words at one moment or the other. It is during one of these “writer blocks” that I happened upon a website with an acute description of how to be a “successful” blogger. It described my sense of excitement at the birth of my blog, and my current state of floating in limbo not knowing in which direction to lead the. Did I ever set out to be a successful blogger? Not even the tiniest bit. I knew zilch about blogging when I wrote my first lines in 2008. I certainly never imaged that hundreds of people in 19 different countries would find it interesting. I set out to describe my life after marriage…to a biker. Mission accomplished I believe, since the blog gets hits on google though “living with a biker”, “being a bikers wife”, “marrying a biker” and etc. So don’t worry girls, I am a fine example of the fact that it CAN BE DONE (it’s a lot of fun too!).
I don’t aim to be successful neither do I have goals or a clear vision of where this blog is going. And maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. I am enjoying the free style, sharing bits and bobs of my life with all of you. I would love to do more posts on Oman-especially ones that involve the outdoors! I will continue to post pictures of project 365 because I am so damn proud of myself for sticking with it for 142 days now! The tiny amount of time I have I will spend visiting blog of my fellow bloggers in Muscat, they are so few and far in between, so I cling to every post! Hopefully, Happilymarriedtoabiker won’t lose its sense of purpose; you will still frequently receive insights into our chaotic, hilarious and sometimes challenging daily life.
I tremendously enjoy reading simple blogs that describe the ever-day, common occurrences. Blogs that don’t strive to prove a point, or criticize or convert the reader. At the moment I am dedicated to about 5 different blogs which I do my best to check on a daily basis, although I don’t leave comments as often as I should. I seldom feel like what I have to say would be of any interest to the author, although I am always beyond thrilled when friends comment on my posts. It is a huge motivational boost; those leaving the comment don’t have the slightest clue about the amount of encouragement that they convey with every word they leave. So thank you to those who comment, and to those who silently stalk my blog- please don’t be shy.
If you are blogger or are thinking of becoming one and capturing the attention of the world and make pretty millions in the process, do give this short but precise article a read. For others who are enjoying this blog, do let me know what you want to read about…because right now I am lost for words.
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Putting together a petition for more hours in the day

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Lately I have been struggling with achieving…anything. I feel pressed for time, all the time. Work has piled up, it got more demanding, challenging but rewarding in the long run. The Eid holidays brought with themselves the beginning of ‘high season ‘at work which in turn means new mountains to climb and less time to climb them. Without nagging or whaling it is hard to explain what I am going through at the moment. I am not one to complain usually, but now I can honestly say that I am down in the dumps. The simple task of working 9 or 10 hour shifts, managing to cook a decent meal at home, keep the house looking like a home, cramming in gym routines and making enough time to see The Family and keeping up with Project 365 and the blog- is damn near impossible these days. Did you notice the absence of any social events on my ‘to do’ list? I did too. Coffee with My Cynthia is a luxury these days, not a casual friendly get together. As a result of my selfless dedication to everyone and everything that needs my attention these days, I have managed to exhaust myself and get THE FLUE that has taken over the entire office, hence for the past two days I have established solid base on the sofa from 7 pm to dozing off time, whilst the husband eats take-away and courts to my whiny flue-inspired needs. I am a horrible sick person, I am worse than a teething 6 months old. I need constant attention, snacks and for all the remote controls in the house to be within arm’s reach of me. My nurse  husband is getting quite fed up with me, hence I may soon be left to my own vices, sniffing through my misery and making my own damn hot tea. My stuffy nose and scratchy throat drive me up the wall and the drowsiness and constant need to sleepsleepsleep is a virtue I find most upsetting when I have dinner to cook, a blog post to write and a closet to rearrange. Don’t get me wrong, I still go to work and have even driven myself to mom’s house and the pharmacy once…but I think I am pushing my luck. I have so many ideas and tasks at hand, and so little time to implement these to life that I am seriously considering cloning, or at least giving up sleep for a few days. While I am at it, I may as well download a few ‘project 365’ pictures for you to enjoy. Footnote here: this project commenced on the 20th of May and I have since take a picture a day to document my life for an entire year. Today I am on day 130 (yes I have thought about giving up the project about 89 times already)…

Day 62. Me myself and I

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Ross: What was Monica’s nickname when she was a field-hockey goalie?
Joey: Big fat goalie!
Ross: Correct. Rachel claims this is her favorite movie.
Chandler: Dangerous Liaisons.
Ross: Correct. Her actual favorite movie is?
Joey: Weekend at Bernie’s.
Ross: Correct. In what part of her body did Monica get a pencil stuck at age 14?
Chandler: Oh! (Whispers an answer in Ross’s ear.)
Ross: Ew! No! Her ear!
Remember this episode of Friends? It’s hilarious. The reason I am forcing all of you into a deep nostalgia over the series, is because picture of the day is- Me. See below.
Now, I could never write a blog post about myself. I wouldn’t know what to say (or how to say it). I’ve been putting off this blog post for 3 days because I realized that describing me- would be pretty damn hard. I would not be honest, to put it frankly. This is where best friends and old Facebook notes come in handy. Have you ever been tagged in a silly game that made you write 25 random facts about yourself? Well I have. These are the answers from about a year ago and a half ago (laugh all you want):
Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose up to 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s probably because I want to know more about you.
1) For a long time i hoped someone would finally tag me, and i would get to write 25 random things about myself 🙂
2) I recently found out that I spend four years of my life studying a subject i have absolutely no interest in-Marketing! Talk about wasting your time 🙂
3) I have a phenomenal fear of dead things birds/cats/dogs/people. I freak out, panic, freeze in shock… I couldn’t even deal with a pet bird when it died, I got Cynthia to bury it appropriately (throw it in the garbage) when it died.
4) I was a huge Winnie the Pooh fan at age 11. Clock, pillow, poster, book, pen, and calendar- i had everything!
5) I know the characteristics of every zodiac sign by heart. Comes in handy when meeting new people.
6) My mother is a physics teacher; needless to say I did not get any of her genes!
7) I am extremely technologically challenged, the most I can do is change the batteries in the remote.
8) I once fearlessly dissected a hamster, poked his insides and enjoyed it! (All this in biology class, don’t worry)
9) I cannot do mathematics. I got really bad grades in school, and my mom spend a good amount of time listening to Ms.Rosemarry complain about me! The same went on in uni, and I am still not trusted with finding out 20% from $10,000 at work!
10) I spend more than I earn.
11) I insist on watching a scary movie, then hide behind the couch all night, while others enjoy the thrill!
12) I wore braces and glasses when I was 12! It was ridiculous, but then my teeth got straight, I got laser surgery, and I am finally pretty now!
13) I always eat something sour followed by something sweet, and vise versa! I like a balanced diet 🙂
14) I read every Harry Potter book, about thrice 🙂
15)..and I am a huge fan of Ice age and Nemo. I know all the quotes and use them daily 🙂
16) Amongst the things I would never try are skydiving, diving, rollercoaster rides and bungee jumping.
17) WE still didn’t go on a honeymoon 🙂
18) I’ve got friends in almost every country of the world! That is the advantage of going to an international school 🙂
19) I learned French for 6 years and i still cannot say “I need directions”
20) I am secretly a hippy, I like recycling, reusing, saving the nature and etc. (Shame on you BP!)
21) I am not addicted to coffee, cigarettes, shopping or any other destructives pleasures of life
22) I worked as Merchandiser in Mango (the shop) and spend most of my salary on Mango clothes! No fair!
23)I have relatives in 8 different countries : Uzbekistan, Russia, Syria, Dubai, Malaysia, France, Canada, and Oman
24) I am an awesome cook 🙂 It actually relaxes me when I am tired, now you all know why Alex married me 🙂
25) I have recently become the godmother of an adorable little boy!
P.S – some of the answers above don’t apply anymore, the other 98% still do.
However Cynthia also put in her 2c in order to help with this post about me. Because who knows me better than Cynthia? We must have been sisters in a past life or something, seeing her feels like coming home. If we were sisters, or even twins, she was most definitely the evil one, because this is what she reveled about me:
Cynthia’s revelations about Olga K:
1. Had every hair color in the book (including orange and peachy blonde)
2. Can eat pizza for breakfast any day
3. Is good at drawing
4. Knows French (I would not trust this one, see 19 above)
5. Used to get drunk off one beer (shame to all Russians)
6. Forgets to feed birds (PETA no worries, she doesn’t keep birds anymore) – see 3 above
7. Can burn off her lip by eating salt and vinegar chips nonstop in large quantities
8. Cannot stick to a detox diet for longer than a few hours
9. Considers salad a meal (wtf?)
10. Has friends all over the worlds and is in touch with them all- which proves she is a good friend
11. Once attempted to make a giant chocolate chip cookie. Note the “attempted part”. She didn’t realize it cannot be eaten as a whole
12. Doesn’t remember making that cookie because she has memory issues
13. Has a system for packing the groceries. God forbid anyone messes with that system
14. Claims she is a cat person, in reality she likes all pets
15. Talks in cartoon quotes. All.the.time “They do this every year!!!”
Now all my cards are out on the table.
If you never visit this blog AGAIN after reading this, I will understand…

Oh! The similaries

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Day 61/Project 365. Disclaimer-I am not stalking…this is research!
                                  Oman                              Uzbekistan



Population                   2,845,000                      27,606,007
Area                           309,550 km                      447,400 km                  
Religion                       Muslim                             Muslim
Language                  Arabic, English             Uzbek, Russian

The similarities may not just jump at you in the most obvious way possible, but I would like to argue that Oman and Uzbekistan are more alike than different. I am not going to compare histories, battles, rulers or statistics (who am I kidding?). I am simply going to say that the local people of both countries are made of the same mould. Take for example the house below:
This is a view from outside my sitting room window. Every morning as I am having my coffee, I hear their rattling engines and noisy footsteps. An Omani family of about 10-15 people lives there, most of them are children. Small, active, noisy children  Every Friday a bus (and I am not exaggerating) drives them off to visit relatives, or brings their extended family to their doorsteps. There is a grandfather who sits on the steps every afternoon with his cane an yells at the youngsters to be cautious with their football. There are women who scatter around the grounds with bundles of laundry, carpets and containers frequently leaving them outside to wash or to dry. There are proud mothers with their toddlers who come out every morning before the weather gets too hot, and rest the in the comforting shade gossiping away. During festivities the house is lit with lights, alive with crowds of men and filled with delicious aromas that sip into the street.
The given scenario is a déjà vous of a typical day in the life of an Uzbek family that lives in a big house with their extended family. It is also common for children to continue living with parents after they are married, which often results in 3-4 families living together. Women are also always busy with housework; they are friendly and closely knitted. Whole neighborhoods known as “mahallas” are supportive of one another both in festivities and in mourning. The cultures overlap not only due to a shared religion, but because of a general kindness that links these nations. I have time and time again heard that Oman has the most hospitable locals; funny how every expat would say the same thing about Uzbekistan…

Day 60. Cats and Ghosts (or bugs)

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No seriously. My cat has developed a newly found obsession with the ceiling in my bedroom. He also has these waves of panic when he would just run around the house in frenzy either chasing after something or running away from something (probably the latter). Now, we are talking about a cat that may have as well inspired the Garfield comics, wont-lift-my-butt-up-for-anything-except-breakfast kind of cat. Nevertheless, a few weeks back he actually started climbing to the top of my wardrobe, so high that his ears touch the ceiling when he sits there, and he watches the lamps that hang nearby with caution. Not to mention that he once actually tapped the lamp with his paw, and set it to swing for about half an hour while I stood nearby waiting for it to crash to the floor. When the light is turned on now, the circuit makes a funny noise now, that can’t be good.

He also follows something on the ceiling with his gaze, nervously twitching the whole time. I am trying not to jump to any conclusions here, because…well…it’s a cat. My husband said that he must be seeing a fly or just a shadow there, but I don’t think so.

Owners of cats, have you ever come across such behaviour?
//itfreaksmeout//

Ramadan Kareem!

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Today is the first day of Ramadan in the Sultanate of Oman! To all my Muslim and non-Muslim friends…Ramadan Kareem! Muslims around the world are celebrating the Holy month of Ramadan, the holiest in the Islamic Calendar, refraining from eating, drinking and smoking from sunrise to sunset.
In detail these news have already been covered by a few local bloggers who may have a lot more insight into the A-Z basics of the Holy Month. Please refer to “blogs I follow” below, to read some wonderful insights.
My personal opinion is very humble; I understand the concept behind it and respect those who obediently fast by the rules. It is a time for thought and change and reflection. It brings families closer together and highlights important aspects of our society; such as charities.
To my friends back home, if you are wondering what social changes take place during this month, I will happily explain. The first signs of approaching Ramadan emerged when a memo circulated around work explaining that we are not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in front of fasting colleagues. My bottle of water is now well hidden behind my monitor. I also call up Alex every few hours to remind him NOT TO SMOKE in public places. He now hides in a corner at work and smokes away quietly. It is his first Ramadan in Oman, and he is a little hazy on the rules.
A little FYI:
-alcohol shops do not operate during the Holy Month of Ramadan
-pubs and bars do not serve alcohol
-hotels serve alcohol to in-house guests only
-almost all stores are closed during the day
-business comes to a halt for an entire month
-those fasting only work 6 hours a day in the Sultanate
We are also encouraged to wear decent clothing as not to offend those around us. I have hence traded my uniform skirt for pants today, as to not take any risks. In all, Ramadan does not affect those who do not fast, much. My only struggle during Ramadan is grocery shopping – 4 days ago I spend an hour in Sultan Center supermarket, in line. There were hundreds of people there, obviously preparing for the celebrations ahead, and the supermarket was simply not equipped to deal with the flow of irritable customers. I have also heard numerous tales of the dangers of driving during Ramadan, as most are sleepy and in a rush to get home from work. It is also a challenge to adapt to the changed schedules of store timings, as everything opens from 8 pm on and will continue to work till late at night! But apart from that…it’s a piece of cake… which is also below:
Day 59 of Project 365.

Day 58/Days like these I want to be a vegetarian…

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Camel Burger at the Oman Diving Center.

Four years down the line and I am no longer surprised at the measures that my husband will go to try new things and spice up his nutritional intake. Hence, if there is a “camel burger” on the menu, he will order it immediately while I gag nearby. I will sit there with my club sandwich while he munches through his “delicacy” frequently blurting out random camel facts to annoy me. For example did you know that “The hump in particular is considered a delicacy and eaten on special occasions, including religious festivals.”?

I am a perfectly rational consumer; I always opt for the Caesar Salad, the sushi or the pizza. Alex on the other hand has eaten dog meat (Korean cuisine influences in Tashkent), dog soup, shark meat, horse meat, barbequed liver and other very questionable dishes. Every time he sees a turtle he asks me if I am willing to learn to make turtle soup. And I am not.

Growing up in Uzbekistan, one would it find it the social norm to have a plate full of salami, smoked turkey and horse tongue. Yes, Tongue. Put that on top of a piece of freshly baked bread, sprinkle some salt and you’ve got yourself an awesome afternoon snack. If you don’t throw up that is. Another frequent ingredient in Uzbek cuisine is the “fat from the ass of the sheep”, pardon my language here. When we first moved to Muscat, and were desperately nostalgic about the food back home, Alex set out to make Uzbek barbeque. In his quest for the right beef/lamp/charcoal/spices he realized the key ingredient is missing- fat! I lack terminology here, but there are fat-rump sheep that store a lot of delicious fat in the behinds. Because of the poor knowledge of cooking jargon and the limited knowledge of the English language from the side of supermarket employees- we approached the butchers’ asking for “the fat from the ass of the sheep”. The expressions on their faces were almost as priceless as actually finding what we needed!

In Oman, and I believe this is a Lebanese trend, minced meat is eaten raw. Combined with spices, salt and sandwiched into pita bread, it actually takes alright and does not have any of that “uncooked” meat smell. It took me over 5 years to gather up the courage to try this dish. I have since been very loyal to “cooked” minced meat, like in spaghetti bolognaise for example.

These extremes do gross me out and I wanted to convert to vegetarianism on several occasions and give up meat and chicken all together (not the seafood- I am concerned- not crazy!), but have always failed because I would still cook for him. What kind of a vegetarian would I be if I still stood there savoring the smell of a nice juicy steak that I am cooking for Alex. Not a very dedicated one, that’s for sure. It is a life style that is very hard to pull off alone. Back in school I and Cynthia saw an advertisement that melted our hearts and converted us for a full day to salad and rice:

Unfortunately nuggets just tasted too damn good. We have not looked back since.

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