Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I know other fashion bloggers have already posted it, but I am truly in love with the new H&M Conscious collection. Delicate lace, sheer, with minute but utterly feminine details? What's not to love.

If I was running away to get married in secret (again) maybe I'd go super casual in one of these pieces, depending on the fit. Hoping to check them out in-store.

DAILY DIARY: Yesturday, Setting Broken Bones

I know a lot of doctors in Oman. I spend a lot of time around doctors. As a result, I always tell my friends, "Never marry a {medical} doctor." All my friends who ignored me, are divorced now. I'd say I told you so, but maybe that is a bit mean, given what they went through?

Don't get me wrong, I find doctors to be funny, engaging, intelligent (some of them), and quirky people. I like quirky people. I enjoy observing the different personalities in a hospital and how they interact and deal with others.

But there just isn't something entirely right usually in someone who decides to become a doctor. I'm okay with nurses, generally.

For example, yesturday. You'd be surprised how many people wanted a turn at setting my bone.

To enjoy cracking someone's bone into place, or to be excited by it, is something 100% strange to me. I've done this before, out of need. Didn't enjoy it one bit, and from that experience, didn't really want to set my own injury.

I avoided going to the hospital because I know everyone there. Doctors get perversely excited over traumas. Cut off limbs, cruel dislocations... Being a test of their skills I guess.

Doesn't make me like them or admire them less, understand, I just find something oddly inhuman about them. Not in a bad way, but in a way I can't relate to myself.

It was like, that time I met the doctor who delivered my daughter, who I threw a tea cup at, and swore at, calling her useless, and had to sit beside her for a three day conference.

Awkward.

But incompetance of the extreme led me to having to go there for paperwork anyways, and they caught one sight of me, and that was it.

To that one woman at the reception. "No, I am not going to go back there. It is hot out, I walked here already with a broken bone, as you can see, and that's far."

"So just ask one of the doctors you know to write you one, that's closer," she told me.

Ugh.

Weird having people you work with or know professionally touch your body. Weird having them know every nuance of your medical history.

They remember my allergies, if my relatives forget. Which I find strange, but I suppose is all and well for the health system. After a day of about minus -70 for Oman's health system, I'd give that to be +40 on my scale of rating hospital competance.

Of course, the awesome part of knowing doctors personally is, you can ask them for medical advice when they are off duty by phone.

But let me tell you why that is not so awesome.

It is not so awesome, because then you owe them. Yeah.

Oweing them means trusting them.

I usually don't trust the medical opinions of doctors in Oman, as a rule. The first doctor I meet is usually wrong, or looses a test result, or something.

But as a result of coming there, I asked the doctor I knew least to make me the required paperwork, and while I was waiting for him, I ran into another doctor that I knew. And owed.

As a result, he took me into the training room, and while asking me a rather odd question that gave his intent immediately away, he cracked my bone into place.

I screamed.

I know, I am a baby.

The worst thing about knowing medical people is you see a lot of stuff. So then, complaining or whining about a mere broken bone seems petty, when, say, there's that car accident victim over there bleeeding out, that woman in horrible, ceaseless pain to the left, and the amputated trauma.

A broken bone not jetting out of the flesh, even at a wickedly odd angle, seems, so small and mundane.

I don't know about you, but I don't really like other people knowing what my last words would be if I were going to be stabbed to death, or what kind of obcenities, pathetic or gross, I mutter when I am in pain.

Now he knows. We'll work together, and I find other people knowing that to be beyond bizarre.

Of course, he also now knows, my feet are sweaty. My feet sweat when I walk across a parking lot in Oman in the middle of the afternoon. Forgive me, it's hot.

Besides commenting on that, he didn't set it all the way.

In come the medical students. Have to say yes to them. This time they freeze it. I call them a bunch of mosquitoes, which probably makes no sense to them. That's me trying not to kick a nurse or swear.

The doctor I did not know well, but whose name I now know, sets it finally.

All this began with me taking a day off from work to make a cup of tea and write for work. I am a klutz, and now my Omani husband is telling me everytime I walk anywhere "there is a raised tile!", or "a corner--watch out!". It is driving me insane and I think I might actually kill him if he doesn't shut up.

No, I will not wear steel-toe work boots while doing dishes in the kitchen. Ugh.

{day ends---alhamdulilah}

My God that was long.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why I love yellow paint on a Muscat Villa

I work at home and on weekends. I probably will do so this weekend, so I don't feel bad that I haven't done anything but shop today (and yeah, I worked this morning) in the afternoon, and looked at pinterest.

These photos are of a little hotel/cafe where I used to live that I chanced upon online, where I'd always come with my father to have breakfast or coffee. Good memories for the most. Even the bad things that happened as I walked out onto the street, away from the cafe, slightly ahead of my father, have an undertone of something good to them, when I look at the world through rose-coloured glasses.

Maybe this building is why I have an afifnity for yellow villas?

That one bad memory, was that my father was just starting to stop hiding behind his menu when he was out with me. My headscarf, regardless of whatever else I might wear with it, long sleeved t-shirt and tight jeans or abaya and face veil (aka niqab, not burqa, {no one wears burkas in Europe or Canada except as a joke}) drew unpleasant attention at times, and he felt embarassed to be seen with me.

You see, I was not born a Muslim, nor was I raised to like religions of any kind, although I was taught to study them in order to understand their flaws. Ironic, I suppose.

But Swans drew a  pretty hip and young crowd for breakfast, and we had none of that. More like people were impressed that our city was becoming so multi-cultural, when let's face it, it had been for the last two hundred years that you were either British, French, or Chinese in the place.

Breakfast was delcious. Dad was peeking out from behind the menu more often. My little sis was dressed kind of punk and totally didn't look like they were Muslim, just me so people were just kindly curious.

As we left though, a man who had been stalking me with a camera, and who'd made racial slurs against Arabs to me on numerous occasions, stepped in then, and grabbed me. He knew where my house was, and took photos but never more than that, and before this incident, I'd never been afraid of him.

My father saw that and was a little shaken. My little sister insisted we make a case with the police over the matter when I didn't really think they would take me serriously.

I was also stalked by some "special top secret" section of some police who claimed they worked for Canada (the Candian set, called inset, were interviewing my girlfriends---but INSET, said no, and wanted to know who they worked for). BTW, I don't think our countries anti-terrorism task force actually knows alot about terrorists and Islamic beliefs that lead to terrorism per say, or they'd never have bothered with a bunch of girls who like to pray, shop, and eat, but whatever.... WHAT A WASTE OF TAXPAYERS DOLLARS their salaries are for, yeah.

At first my father was like, "well you deserve it because you choose to dress in a way that makes people upset"...

But slowly, he began to change from that point onwards. I think it was the moment in time he realized my choices were not a "want for attention" or a love of "standing out and being different" but an actual part of who I was, and what I believed. I was always taught by him to guard the oppressed, and speak my mind, and fight for what is right, if it is a battle worth fighting, and maybe he saw that part of himself in me that day, in the headscarf and abaya?

No one wants to be threatened with harm, to have people wish against them the right not to go to school, or to work, simply because of a piece of fabric. For always these people told me, it was the Islamic faith that stopped women from marrying who they wanted, or working outside the the home, ect... but really, it was the people who made doing those things unpleasent, or actually illegal, that inhibited me, nothing else. Ignorance, from Islamaphobes, and from Muslims themselves, are the only things that oppress Muslim women.

I couldn't understand why they wanted to make a peice of fabric illegal. My sister can wear a tank top and motorcycle boots, and a skirt on the shortish side, and I an abaya and headscarf, even a veil, and we were happy together and friends. My friends never changed because of what I wore, but from what I chose to refrain from, which was neither choice, nor social responsibility, love, or happiness.

No one likes being thought of as "less" or "brainwashed" or "inferior" and have other human beings think they have the right to tell them how to live their lives.

So my father is all good with me now, and I think he changed a little from that day forward. From a yellow building with turquoise ironwork and hanging baskets of flowers and a stack of pancakes, to a man who likes to press Neo-nazi literature on the street.

So when I think of that landmark, I think of hope, and possible happiness. Maybe that is why I love a yellow paint on a Muscat villa so much?

I have long ago now, moved from the yellow villa pictured on my sidebar. I live in a better area, in a less impressive building, as I seek the new. But I saw an old house the other day, crumbling, fading, uncared for, almost suppressed under the evening sky.

In my mind, I saw in its shape, the chance to rebuild, to rennovate, to fix. To make one thing a little more beautiful. I don't have much skill in building people up the same, but a canvas, a blank little notebook, a room, a building... these are things I can make a little better than I found them.

{Random thoughts before the weekend, happy weekend ya'll}.

U.K. Labels for Muslim Women, filed under shopping

Inayah collection is an affordable label based in theU.K. catering to Muslim women's style with a more European/British bent. While my favourite peices are always more formal, or Urbane, I can't help thinking about those Omani girls who ask me, what should they wear in the U.K. or Canada during their studies? Inayah is a label whose more casual stylings would give you a pretty good idea about what the modern Muslim woman in U.K. (and English native) is actually wearing and how they are wearing it.
You can trust them not to scam you if you order online, and this is their website:
www.inayahcollection.com/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

KHALEEJI DESIGNERS: Emirati label Keswah, Spring 2014

Keswah is an Emirati label that I follow. I am really loving the tweed jalabiyias featured right now, only the website (for myself at least) is not behaving to reveal their prices... And while they don't scream springtime in Muscat to me, I would totally wear them on vacation to Europe or to North America.
Website: www.keswah.com
Instagram: bykeswah
YouTube/Vimeo: bykeswah
Twitter: @Keswah

KHALEEJI DESIGNERS: Qatari label, the Kayys for Spring 2014

Qatarai brand the Kayys released a really exquisite Spring collection. I am loving the 1960s couture flow to it. Reminds me of a looser, lighter Balenciaga collection from that time period. I could probably see myself wearing every single piece in the collection---and that is saying something. Pictured here are only my favourite looks.
To Contact :

info@thekayys.com


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OPNO MUSCAT SHOPPING GUIDE: classic maternity

I have always admired the maternity style of supermodel & mom Claudia Schiffer. Of course, she has an easier time of it all, living in Paris where both the weather, social norms, and let's face it, shopping, suit being chic. Muscat is not a shopper's paradise. However, being pregnant is made easy here by the availability of caftans/jalabiyia for formal occasions, and abaya for casual. But what if that is not what you regularily live in? And like me, you hate the hastle of driving to Dubai (I'd fly first class of course but who does that really---okay, a few of the girls I know but not me).
 
I admit, to have quite peaceably gone through my last pregnancy broke and barefoot at home (definately not in the kitchen) wearing nothing but the aforementioned and whatever else I had brought from my home country that still fit me during the nine months.
 
But this time, I am determined to do everything differently. I am going to keep working until all else fails. I am going to dress fabulous and take more photos. I will eat actual food.
 
Those are my goals. So recently I have been going over the latest Western/European style fashions in store in Muscat, and I admit to finding stuff mainly from Matalan, Promod, and H&M (with one dress in Zara) that fits my blooming figure. My favourite store, Mango, has some investments, but they won't fit me now, and so... I will wear what I like that fits from wherever else. I put together a few inspiration boards to get me going one pieces I can wear through out the nine months that will last me later. They aren't too on trend, but are simply the sort of classic look I like.