It's late in the evening on this my nth birthday. As I sit back and relax, knowing nothing will come about with moping, I'm just glad that there is still some fun to be had in this life.
One of my colleagues went on his morning jog during the long Ramadan Eid holiday and since he was out of the exercise habit for the past few months, he was literally out of gas by the time he was back in downtown Khobar (he lives some blocks away from the city center). A Saudi in a swanky sedan stops by before him and asks him where the Rahmaniyah mall is. Since the fellow asked nicely, he found nothing amiss and even offered to get in the car and lead the way.
(Now, getting into a stranger's car in Saudi Arabia is a major no-no, especially if the driver is a Saudi or Pakistani, as even heterosexual men are not guaranteed immunity from sexual assault.)
By the time they got to the mall, the driver fielded another question, a specific corner somewhere off 1st street. As soon as they round the street to that corner, my colleague spotted an overtly homosexual Filipino waiting there. Before he could show his dismay at the turn of events, he pressed the proverbial panic button and asked to be let down.
We couldn't help ribbing him about helping to pimp a fellow Filipino.
Three of us buddies had nowhere to go during the long Eid break so we went on a joyride along the causeway to Bahrain. At least there was some sightseeing to be done, and we could while away the time pretending we were not in the Middle East.
Well, we did land in some other part of Asia - the Indian subcontinent. The causeway checkpoint area was literally choked with Bangladeshis --- with a smattering of some Arabs and (if any) a few Filipino families. It was a disaster. Had I known this, I would have thought of going to Halfmoon Beach.
The second part of this story is very much like the first --- after the longest time to find a parking space (I even fell asleep during this wait), we got out and went to the Kudu outlet (Mickey D's was full to almost bursting). I was ordering for the three of us when I felt a hand brush against my left butt cheek. I first thought that someone would make a play for my wallet --- but this someone had other ideas, apparently.
Beside me was a disheveled Saudi who had obviously too many drinks or had too many puffs of shisha. He ordered a bottle of mineral water, (which was only SR2 at the place), and made an obvious hand gesture pertaining to sex on the counter. I was too dumbfounded to even get angry. (Oh, the horror of it all! HAHAHAHAHA!) While paying the bill, he flipped through his wad of bills (mostly fifties, the cheapskate!) as if I would bite on his line. I really wanted to pull out my wallet and show him my wad of two-hundreds, but that would be pushing it. Eventually the schmuck saw he had no opening and gave up.
I gotta stop wearing these form-fitting shirts, but I just can't --- I've gained 20 pounds in the last three months! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
This story is from an earlier incident within the month of Ramadan. I was late for the practice of our kids' concert, and I flagged down a cab to get to our headquarters. As per my custom, I sat in the front seat, and I knew from the beginning I was in for a rough (if short) ride.
Some Pakistanis and Indians take pride in their potency by NOT taking showers regularly. In this driver's case, he must have been at it for at least a month. The blast of musk from him was like a vibranium shield. WHACK! --- the odor from him came wave after wave. He smelled like the inside seam of my underwear after a horribly sweaty day. He WAS the lining of my underwear with the way he smelled.
The bad thing was that we were held up a few minutes by traffic and only good manners (and a really hot afternoon) prevented me from opening the window. Speaking of underwear...the only way I could bring myself to tolerate the smell was by pretending that the smell permeating throughout the cab was from one, hot, steaming female sex organ.
(Sub-tangent point: their theory has been proven! Not taking showers = getting people to think about sex! HAHAHAHAHAHA!)
I was so grateful I got off the cab I even thought of giving the driver a tip. Those seven-odd minutes were among the longest in my life.
I wonder if I'll remember the guy the next time I'll have sex (yuck!).
Some memory of India - rain had come and some portions of the new airport road in Pune had puddles in them. I watched a fellow brush his teeth, rinse his toothbrush in the puddle water, and brush his teeth again. And oh, one of his kids was taking a crap out on that same street.
Such is life --- I've never known how good I've had it until I see someone scraping his life from somewhere around the bottom of the barrel. I just peeked into the bunghole and ehem, I guess I'm happy with my lot, for now.