Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chewing gum? You've been fined a hundred

Errr, yes. That's what happened to me today.

I mean, I know we're not allowed to eat or drink anything on the metro, but I honestly didn't really classify gum as food, neither did I expect a random inspector coming up to me while I was lost in my book (Crime and Punishment, just for the record), tell me to open my mouth very wide infront of everyone, and then order me to get off at the next station because I have to pay them a hundred dirhams. Because I was chewing gum. Or 'lbaaan' if you'd like to be Emarati.

And then I only had sixty on me, so they decided they would keep my University ID Card with them which couldn't happen because I needed it for my exam (to which I was now going to be late because I had unfortunately not predicted this little episode). So then they decided that I had to call my parents to that station to pay the remaining forty, which totally defeats the purpose of using the metro to conveniently beat the traffic and be on time. And then I decided I can ask my mother for her credit card number but that solution didn't really appeal to them.

So that's when it hit me that I was going to be late for my exam because I'd been pulled out of the train because I was chewing gum and now will have to wait until my already exhausted mother drives around forty minutes to pay the remaining forty of the precious hundred- the price of choosing to chew gum on the metro the day a train official decides to enter my cabin.

All these thoughts proved to be too much for my mind which had been overloaded with management principles and theories in preparation for my exam, so much that all these overwhelming and excess thoughts triggered a very rare, strange, emotional breakdown, and this breakdown somehow ended up saving the day and I was allowed to go back on to the train, forcing many strange stares and rushed terrified apologies.

And I don't care what those officials thought of me, but I wasn't going to pay a hundred, be late for my exam and trouble my mother because I had committed the terrible crime of chewing a gum.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mohammad Ali Clay's advice to his daughters

The following incident took place when Muhammad Ali's daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were not modest. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters:

When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister Laila and me up to my father's suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day.

My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them."

He looked at me with serious eyes. "Your body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too."

From: "More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes"

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