Thursday, December 29, 2005

There was once a time when hearing someone speak English in an Indian accent brought a smile to my face. I have always enjoyed hearing English in different accents but the French and the Indian accents were always my favourites. Unfortunately though these days I do find that I have somewhat become allergic to the Indian accent for it seems a day doesn’t go by now when I don’t get at least one phone call from India by someone that is offering me a new mobile phone or wants me to change my phone company to Tele-dodgy or asking me if I want a new kitchen or telling me, ‘congratulations, your phone number was randomly selected from millions and millions of phone numbers and now we are offering you a new mobile phone.’ (The interesting thing about this is that I had six different phone calls at six different times by six different Indians telling me this exact same thing which means if they are telling the truth, my phone number was randomly selected amongst millions and millions of phone numbers, not once, not twice but six times! Which makes me…I was going to say an extremely unlucky person but I don’t think that is going to do it justice. It’s more like whatever you are going to call the person who gets right all the six lottery numbers and wins millions and millions of pounds, I’m the exact opposite of that.)
The best one was the other night when someone called at about half past eight at night asking me if I wanted some people to come over and measure all my doors and windows! I was a bit taken-aback by the strangeness of this offer of course but it did tickle me a bit as well. I mean it really did sound like a comedy film, ‘Oh hello madam. I’m calling on behalf of Thieves Anonymous and I was wondering if you would be interested in having all your doors and windows measured by our company. We also have a special offer at the moment which means we will also measure all your furniture absolutely free. May I just ask you a few questions now? Do you have a guard dog? When are you off on your holidays? Where do you keep your jewellery?’
I mean what kind of people would answer the phone one day and invite complete strangers into their home to measure all their doors and windows? And why on earth would anyone want to do that anyway? Which is exactly what I asked the lady on the other side of the phone (I asked her this in a nice way though because I know it’s not her fault and she is just some poor woman in India trying to make a living)
‘Madam’ (read in an Indian accent for the best result) ‘we are offering to come and measure all your doors and windows for you absolutely free and then we will give you a quote on how much it would be if you wanted to change them.’
‘Thank you but all my doors and windows are brand new and I don’t want to change them.’ This was a lie of course; I just wanted to end the conversation in a polite way.
‘Oh no madam but you don’t understand. You don’t need to change your doors and windows, we just want to come and measure them for you. This is a fantastic deal madam.’
‘I really can’t see what is so fantastic about this deal.’
‘It’s free.’
‘Yes the measuring part is but not the window fitting part.’
‘Oh no, that you would have to pay for madam.’
‘But surely if all my doors and windows are brand new and I have no intention of changing them, measuring them is going to be a complete waste of time for you.’
‘Oh no, not at all madam and our prices are so reasonable that sometimes people are tempted to change their doors and windows even if they don’t need to be changed.’
‘May I take down your address?’

I don’t want to be rude to them but really what do you say to this?

For a while I thought the best way to deal with this is to say I’m not me. When they said ‘Is this Mrs Adl?’ I just said no, she’s not in. That worked well but the problem was that they kept calling back. There was this one lady who had called three times and just wasn’t giving up. So the last time she called I said, ‘I’m sorry but my sister has gone to the hospital and she’s not very well so we don’t know when she’ll be able to come back home.’ She went quite for a little while. ‘I’m very sorry to hear that’ she said, ‘Did you say you were her sister?’
‘Yes’ I said and felt bad for having lied through my teeth like that because she sounded a bit concerned now, or so I thought.
‘May I ask you madam if you own your own property? Because we have some fantastic offers on our kitchens at the moment that I’m sure any home owner would be interested in.’
I couldn’t believe it; I was on my deathbed in some hospital and this woman was trying to sell a new kitchen to my sister!
‘Are you kidding me?!’ I said.
She put the phone down. Thank god for that. One down, another five hundred to go.

Monday, December 26, 2005

You know what I said before about Christmas being all about shitty presents? Well I like to take that back please because yesterday I remembered exactly what Christmas is all about: eating.
There is something Iranians do when they hold their hand in a karate style and with it touch their neck repeatedly saying, ‘Thank you but I can’t take another bite because I’ve eaten up to here.’
Well yesterday I experienced exactly how that feels when I took one bite of this extremely delicious chocolate cake that my cousin had made and realised that it literally had nowhere to go! This was after two helpings of Turkey with all the trimmings (one and a half actually because the second helping was quite small), one slice of cheese cake and some trifle.
Not bad you might think, but I was disappointed with myself. You see, whenever I go some place where the main activity is going to be eating a lot of delicious food, for some reason I always end up eating a lot less food than I had planned to. After thinking long and hard about the reasons why this is, I came to the conclusion that this happens only because as soon as I arrive somewhere (yes I know; I really do need to get a life but until then this is the sort of thing that I will spend my time thinking about) I start picking at things (all the lovely nibbles the hosts have put out) and so come dinner time, shock horror, I’ve lost my appetite! And can only have one and a half portions instead of five! Awful, don’t you agree?
‘So’ I said to Kamyar yesterday morning as we hit the M40 on our way to London, (desperately trying to find a comfortable sitting position with my heels getting stuck in the carrier bag in front of me with my boots in it; in case I tripped in my heels and twisted my ankle or something and a map balanced on my knees), ‘I’ve worked out exactly what I need to do.’ A little pause. ‘This time I’m not going to pick’ I said, ‘I’m not even going to have one little thing because that’s how it all starts’ and then in my most determined voice I added, ‘I won’t eat a thing until dinner time.’
Alas they had a big bowl of nuts; I relapsed straight away. Now I have to wait another year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

I just saw a few spelling mistakes on here and corrected them. I’m sorry if you have already read this and thought it didn’t make sense.
Posting stuff after a few drinks just isn’t a good idea. But then again it’s Christmas init ;-)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Going to town the other day, I was walking next to a tall gangly guy who does nothing all day but staring ahead and walking down the road to the end and then turning round and coming back up again, when I passed an old lady with her hair in two plats and two bright red circles on her cheeks, clinging onto a teddy bear. On the other side of the road there was a guy having a strole, wearing a pink dressing gown and a big straw hat with big plastic flowers stuck on top, nodding in the direction of a surprisingly normal-looking guy who can go through sixty different facial expressions per minute, staring at a big girl with an overpowering smell of vinegar, with headphones on and music blaring out, shouting at some frightened Japanese tourists for no particular reason.
Yes, there definitely seems to be an overabundance of nutters in our neighbourhood.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely have nothing against nutters. And I even believe that to be able to function properly, a neighbourhood needs a couple of nutters just as much it needs a bus stop, a chemist, a post office and a Chinese takeaway.
Now we have more than a couple, a lot more than a couple actually, which is great. The more the merrier, that’s what I say.
What does worry me though is that if we have so many here, there must be other neighbourhoods out there with no nutters at all. So in this season of goodwill, I have been thinking about how other neighbourhoods such as ours, with such richness of nuttiness, can share their great blessing with other, less fortunate areas of the country.
To start off this great spreading of joy, I’m offering my own services to any nutter-deprived neighbourhoods that might be interested (I come complete with a purple wig and a yellow pair of flares with red and blue flowers on them).
Let us hope there will come a time when every neighbourhood in the United Kingdom will have at least two nutters they can call their own.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I’ve not been around for the past few days as you might have noticed. It’s because my eyes have been hurting and I haven’t been able to look at the monitor much. I will give them another day of rest today and hopefully they’ll feel better tomorrow.
I’m sorry about not answering to your comments and emails :-( but I’m really trying to spend as little time as possible on here.
I’ll be back :-) soon.

PS Mum, please don’t be running out to buy a phone card to call me because I’m really fine ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

All thanks to my good friends Holly and Stan, I’m getting all excited about Chrimbo now. Holly likes these dolls called Polly Pockets and Stanley likes Hot Wheels cars. Kamyar had a whale of a time looking through this huge box with loads of little Hot Wheels cars all thrown in together. At the end he picked out five and lined them all up in front of me. It was very clear that he wanted all of them because every time I would pick one, he would say, ‘What about this one then?’ and I would say, ‘Well get that one then.’ To be honest I wasn’t really paying much attention to the cars as I was too busy drooling over the Polly Pockets myself. They had little handbags and little high heel shoes and everything. One of them had a swimming pool with a slide and a dolphin. Why on earth would I want to waste my precious time in the toyshop looking at tiny cars when there were Polly Pockets?
We bought two little cars and one doll at the end. After breakfast this morning, we both sat at each end of the sofa, studying our toys. ‘Can I keep the Green one?’ said Kamyar at the end. I gave him a motherly smile, the kind that your mother would give you when she had bought a birthday present for a friend of yours and you wanted to keep it for yourself. So he went back to admiring the car through its box again. Meanwhile I was dying to open the Polly Pocket myself and see what she would look like with her hat and shoes on, holing her handbag and her bunch of flowers.

PS I love this :-)

Monday, December 12, 2005

As girls we are expected to do certain things when we are home alone, right? First we have a good soak in the bath, while reading a book and then we put on lovely nighties and sit in front of a soppy movie, eating chocolates, cakes and ice-cream.
Well my routine is very different to this and I think if you think about it, it makes a lot more sense as well. First of all; the bath. Let me just say that reading in the bath is a myth. Trust me I’ve tried this and it’s impossible to do without getting the book completely soaked and since I borrow most of my books from the library, I don’t even try it anymore. Now I like a long soak in the bath as much as the next person but the way I see it, why get yourself all cleaned up like that when it’s going to be just you all by yourself? Same goes for the nice nightie, why wear the nice one if no one is going to be there to see it? When I’m alone, I usually choose comfort over looks and go for these pyjamas I have that are very comfy but unfortunately make me look like a cross between a political prisoner from Evin and a survivor of the Holocaust.
Now to the eating part. Instead of chocolates and ice cream, I usually like having soups with big chunks of vegetables and noodles and a lot of beans. It makes sense as well when you think about it because you can always eat your chocolates and ice cream and all that when you are with other people but no one likes to watch a smelly girl dressed as a political prisoner munching her way through a big bowl of noodles with beans an broccoli. Am I right?
What’s more, in this way when the film is finished, with all those beans you’ve been having, you can form your own one man band and entertain yourself into the early hours of the morning. This can be very amusing of course, although again it’s probably something that others would not appreciate.

So I guess here’s what I’m trying to work out: Am I alone in acting in this way, or is the bath reader, ice cream licker, sexy nightie wearer girl altogether just a fairy tale?

Again I have put my neck on the line here for scientific research purposes and have revealed my worst habits to the public but of course I don’t expect you to do this as well. I’m safe you see because I’m married and if Kamyar wants to get rid of me now, he first has to give me seven hundred gold coins and three camels, I think (and let’s face it, that’s practically impossible on a factory worker’s salary) so he’s trapped for life basically but I can understand that a lot of you still need to find and trap partners of your own so feel free to comment as anonymous on this one.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Since today is the one week anniversary of me having my toe crushed by a very jolly, skipping heavy metal guy, I thought it was an appropriate time to let you in on a couple of things I found out about heavy metal fans at this Opeth concert that we went to last Saturday. By the way Opeth is a Swedish band that Kamyar likes and I quite like them too on account of them being the only band he likes where the lead singer is not only ever making the kind of noises that you hear coming from the toilets of a students’ hall of residence after a big night out.

As we entered the hall, the first thing that I noticed was that there was a very strange smell in the air. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first but then after a few more sniffs here and there, I managed to work out what it was. Yes, it’s official; the sweat of heavy metal fans smells like cumin! It’s hard to believe I know but it’s true. Go to a heavy metal concert and experience it for yourself or if you’re not brave enough to do that, just take my word for it.
It was obvious that these fans had really done themselves up for this concert. You could tell they had spent a lot of time shampooing, conditioning, drying and straightening those blonde locks of theirs to perfection. You could smell all the different hair products from a mile off. From what I gathered Pantene Pro V was the number one choice there followed by Loreal Elvive Vitamax Shampoo. You couldn’t help wishing they had put some of that stuff under their armpits as well but what can you do? It’s not that I dislike cumin or anything like that, it’s just that it did give a weird Indian restaurant feel to the place that I felt we could have done without. The way I see it there is a time and a place for cumin and an Opeth concert is definitely not it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

This friend of mine from school, who had a baby two months ago, is making me very broody. Every morning I open my mail and there are more pictures of this baby in my inbox.
To add insult to injury, I spent the whole of Sunday with an extremely smiley baby who took an instant liking to me (I suspect it had something to do my unusually full breasts that day, thanks to the trusty padded-bra. Yes, it can even fool babies; the so called breast experts!)
And then last night on the television series, Lost, that girl finally gave birth and considering she had to do this in the middle of the forest without a doctor or anyone who knew what they were doing, it all looked quite easy. Mind you the parallel story they had going on with this was some poor guy having his crushed leg mended and then having it nearly amputated without any anaesthetics so maybe that’s why her giving birth looked like such an easy task.
Actually that wasn’t a very wise thing to say I don’t think. I will probably end up getting a lot of stick for it from women who have given birth. I can even hear it now ‘What are you talking about? Giving birth is far more painful that having a leg amputated. Try having a leg amputated without anaesthetics and then having it shoved all the way up one of your nostrils and then you might be getting closer to feeling the pain of child birth.’

Hmm, hang on a minute; I think just by writing that I might have actually put myself off babies for life!
I was going somewhere completely different with this post but now thanks to images of people with severed legs shoved up their noses I can’t even remember what I was going to say.
Now I’m seeing people crawling around with two legs dangling from their nostrils. Damn you suggestive mind!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Since I don’t usually get the opportunity to see a lot of my fellow countrymen while I’m in England, when I do, I usually notice a lot of things about them that I probably wouldn’t have if I saw Iranians every day of my life. So I thought maybe I could share one of these new discoveries of mine with you today.
This is something that I have noticed a lot of Iranians are very fond of. In fact with a lot of us this is actually the foundation of our whole sense of humour. I like to call it ‘Brutal Sarcasm’ and it basically goes like this: Whenever someone asks you something, in your mind you have to instantly convince yourself that this is the most ridiculous question you have ever heard in your life and then as fast as you can, come up with a very ridiculous answer of yourself. I’ll give you an example but first let me just say that I’m calling this Brutal Sarcasm because for most people there are absolutely no boundaries for when or how they use this.
Now the example, say you arrive at a friend’s place, who doesn’t live in the same city as you and he asks you, ‘Did you come by train?’ Now when you think about it, this is a perfectly normal question to ask someone and a normal person would probably answer this question with either a ‘Yes I did.’ or a ‘No I didn’t. I came by…’ filling in the dots with their chosen form of transport for that day.
However we are only saying this because we are not thinking like a person with Brutal Sarcasm. In their case, as I said before, in their mind this question instantly becomes the most ridiculous question that they have ever heard and they will answer to it with something like, ‘No I walked all the way.’
For a person who is into Brutal Sarcasm, this is a good answer however it could be a lot better as it’s not a great answer.
For example a better answer would be, ‘No I started walking but then I thought I would never get here on time so I hitchhiked the rest of the way and got a lift with a travelling salesman who tried to sell me his wife and then a group of Spanish nuns on their way to an Iron Maiden concert.’
This is a very good answer as it not only makes the first question sound ridiculous but it’s funny as well in a way and might even get a few laughs from the other people present which is always good.
Another way of doing this is to neither go for the laugh nor the obviously ridiculous answer right from the beginning but give an answer which is untrue and at the same time very believable. The fun with this type of brutal sarcasm is that it can go on for much longer than the other two types and if you are very good, you might get a much bigger laugh at the end.
Now here’s one of the ways that you could do this:
Your host, ‘So did you come by train?’
You, ‘No I drove here.’
Your host, ‘Oh really? I didn’t know you had a car.’
You, ‘No I didn’t but I bought one yesterday.’
Your host, ‘Yeah? What kind?’
And so on and so forth.
If you are very good, this can go on for a very long time until you finally convince your host to put his or her coat on and go out with you to have a look at this imaginary car that you have bought and then if you are very very good, you can stretch this even further by pretending that your car has been stolen.
Anyway the longer this goes on for, the more successful you have been as a type 3 Brutal Sarcasmist.
Now if you are interested in brutal sarcasm yourself, I have prepared a list of beginners’ instant Brutal Sarcasm remarks for you to memorise and practice with until your brain becomes fully trained in this and you can go on doing this yourself without my help.

-Would you like a drink?
-No, I would rather die of thirst.

-Would you like some fruit?
-No I’ve been working very hard on getting scurvy so please don’t spoil my chances now by giving me vitamins.

-Did you watch the game yesterday?
-No I sat in front of the television but I shot my eyes and stuck my fingers in my ears for the whole ninety minutes.

-Do you have an email address?
-No I still use carrier pigeons for getting my messages out to people.

Wednesday, 07 December 2005 2:31 PM

PS Ok so I have been told that this is not just an Iranian thing and people from other cultures are quite fond of this too. I think I know why I thought this was special to Iranians though. It’s because my friends here are usually my own age and if they start being silly like that, I can tell them to watch it but with Iranians it’s different, they are all different ages and there is always that roodarvasi as well so you can’t tell them to ‘watch it or else’ exactly and so the silliness continues ;-)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

So Saturday is here and it’s time to announce the winners of the quiz. First of all I wanted to thank all of you who have showed interest. As you all know, winning is not important, it’s the taking part that counts. Oh who am I kidding? It’ all about winning isn’t it? Ok then I’ll just go ahead and announce the winners.
The first winner of this quiz was the Lost Dodo himself, Evil Asad, with the one and only correct answer. Kshshshshshsh (the sound of clapping)
The answer was of course Italians wanting to pull their troops out of Iraq because they thought white phosphorus bombs had been used in Falluja by the US. Apparently it’s ok to use bombs that when exploded can sever people’s heads or limbs clean off or rip open their stomachs, but it’s not ok to burn them. I don’t know about you, but I have personally been feeling a hell of a lot safer since I’ve learnt bout this.
So Asad was the winner with the only correct answer and he is going to receive the best prize. The second prize will go to Foulla because she was half way there. And the third prize will go to Aydin for his very wild guess because it actually made a lot of sense when I thought about it. So Asad, Foulla and Aydin, please email me your postal addresses so I can send you your prizes.
The rest of you, I’m sorry there aren’t going to be any prizes for you but if you are interested in receiving the Christmas cards, then you can email me your address and I will send one to you.