I had forgotten all about this, but someone just asked me for the link and I am SO HAPPY because it is amazing. This is my friend, Marti a.k.a. Tina a.k.a. Miranda, at a self-defense class back in 2k8. Watch her as she wails on this guy…he’s a crumpled ball on the floor by the time she’s done with him.
For some reason people keep asking me to do an advice segment. I’m assuming that’s because I give great advice. Let’s see how it goes.
My friends are acting weird. They used to call and email me about meeting up and doing stuff, but now they never contact me and they don’t even respond when I contact THEM! What’s going on? What can I do?
-Am I Loser? (Podunk, USA)
They’re cutting you out. There are many reasons as to why this is happening, but it’s probably something you did. I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do except for make new friends – perhaps seek out people in a different part of town, or find some new hobbies. This way, you’ll tap into a whole new segment of the population who has no idea that you’ve been socially ostracized and have no friends. Chin up – you’re not a loser to people who don’t know any better!
I have a stalker. It’s not a creepy dude, it’s even worse – it’s a girl who, like, literally wants to be me. What if she goes all Single White Female on me?! I’m terrified. She keeps showing up wherever I am dressed just like me – I think she can see into my bedroom. What do I DOOOO??
-I’m Awesome (Awesomeville, USA)
Dear Are You Sure You’re That Awesome?,
I don’t like your tone. Maybe she’s just insecure and needs a friend – haven’t you ever read Chicken Soup for the Soul? Be nice; I have a feeling you’re one of those people who makes crap up for attention, and I don’t like it.
My roommate and I have not been getting along recently. Our power bill was over $300 last month and it’s all because she never turns off the lights and has like 15 lamps in her room (which is really weird in general). Also, she eats my food when she’s drunk, and it seriously pisses me off. Plus, she’s totally batsh*t bonkers and if I tell her I want to move out she’ll slice me in my sleep. How do I get her to want to move away from me so she thinks it’s all her idea?
-I Love My Leftovers (Poundtown, USA)
Dear Me Too,
Fear not! I have some great ideas:
Collect potatoes. Paint faces on them and give them names. Name one after your roommate. Separate your roommate’s potato from the others. Wait a few days, and then bake your roommate’s potato and eat it. Explain to your roommate, “He just didn’t belong.”
Move everything to one side of the room. Ask your roommate if she knows how much an elephant weighs, and look at the floor on the empty side of the room with concern.
Everytime your roommate falls asleep, wait ten minutes, wake her up and say, “it’s time to go to bed now.”
If those don’t work, have her committed.
Hope that helped!!
MPvZB emailed me this earlier, and I was about to ask why she sent it when I realized the question I really should be asking is why WOULDN’T she send it. WWDD?
Happy Margarita Day!!! Today, February 22, is National Margarita Day. I can’t believe my good luck – what if I hadn’t happened to check out what those whack jobs Hoda and Kathie Lee were up to on the always insane third hour of the Today Show? What if I didn’t like margaritas? I mean…whoa.
Anyway, it is our duty, as citizens of America, to celebrate this holiday. It’s kind of like Cinco de Mayo without all the hoopla – I hate the hoopla of Cinco de Mayo…at least Rio Grande is gone. I did a “study” on the best margs in ATL a few months back: Best in Show: Margs. I stand by my assertion that Treehouse has the best ones, but The Big Ketch – which was not yet open at the time I wrote the last post – has really good Skinny ones…potato/potatto, as far as I’m concerned it’s a win/win.
Also, Buckhead Restaurant Week starts this Saturday. Standouts include Bricktops and Capital Grille – the Aria menu, per usual, fails to impress. I’m kind of pissed because about 2/3 of the restaurants participating have bumped their menus up to $35, which is uncalled for, IMO. What kind of mini-Stalin is running this show, anyway.
I arrived home Sunday from my ten day trip to Pakistan which concluded with a quick stop in Dubai. I’m really quite exhausted and I may never board an airplane again. Per my last post, it was an awesome trip. I share with you below a few more details and some photogs.
Every day, at the border of Pakistan and India in a town called Wagah, there is a formal flag lowering ceremony full of pomp and circumstance. The relationship between the two countries has always been somewhat fragile, and this ceremony sort of celebrates the now “friendly rivalry” between them. It’s like a classier version of GA/FLA, almost, minus all the cocktails, jean shorts, and RV’s. Actually, nothing about the manifestation of the rivalry is similar, it’s more the long-standing history and the seriousness with which it is taken that resemble one another.
It’s not a myth – the baring of shoulders in a Muslim country is really not okay. We were at the airport leaving Pakistan and I had a really tough time at first – they searched my luggage twice, I kept wandering into the wrong lines and because of the language barrier they had to physically push/pull me to the correct place…Allie, no. But then, all of a sudden, I was just sailing thru: customs, baggage check at customs, boarding the plane – they even went so far as to open up new lines for me. I figured it was my friendly demeanor and ready smile that woo’ed them (it was 6am and my hair was still in the pony from the night previous, so I knew it wasn’t my appearance), but as we were walking down the gateway to board the plane, Cheryl our trip leader pointed out that my cardigan had slipped and my shoulder was showing. It was the US equivalent of a wet t-shirt contest, pretty much…how gauche.
Dubai was really cool. We were only there for the day, so I didn’t go out to the desert and missed out on seeing the Atlantis on the Palms – their man made island creations are super cool – but we still covered some ground. We went to the crazy mall that has both ice skating rink and aqaurium, and we saw the tallest building in the world. It really freaked me out, and I’m totally okay with the fact that tickets were sold out til Wednesday so we were unable go to the top. It was nice to be amongst Westerners again…as well as a traffic pattern that adheres to lanes and stop lights.
Travel time between ATL to Lahore is approximately 20 hours or so, not counting layovers. We went ATL – JFK – Dubai – Lahore; you can go direct from ATL to Dubai if you fly Delta, but it’s worth the JFK connection to fly Emirates. It is the best airline – booze is free, the blankets are actually blankets, and you can enjoy the in-flight entertainment options before and during take-off! It was a very long trip, but the fact that I managed to fly for 40+ hours without anyone dying was a real bonus.
My two posts do not do the trip justice, but it’s very difficult to try to explain someplace that is so starkly different. We had hired photographers with us the entire time who also shot video, and it’s only thru a legitimate multi-media presentation that I think I could effectively communicate what it’s like over there. I don’t plan to do one of those, so these will have to suffice.
The power goes out every morning at 8 A.M. for two to six hours; the main thoroughfares are congested with donkey-pulled carts, rickshaws, motorcycles, sedans, buses, and the occasional armored vehicle; and guards with AK-47 assault rifles flank the entry to a local church: this is Pakistan.
To briefly summarize what I’m doing here in the first place: I’m in Lahore, Pakistan (pop. 9 million) with my mom and seven other people from Peachtree Presbyterian Church visiting the Forman Christian College campus – one of the oldest and most highly regarded schools in southeast Asia that offers baccalaureate, bachelors, and masters degrees as well as a safe haven for students of all religions and social backgrounds. Pakistan being what it is, that Muslim and Christian students study together, side by side, and are best friends and room together and eat naan together, is amazing. Approximately 4 percent of Pakistan is Christian, and not all Muslims are radicals – obviously – but it is still remarkable that such a large chasm can be overcome in the spirit of education. So, we’re here as ambassadors of Peachtree Pres, who is an avid supporter in many ways, to strengthen our relationship with the administration, staff, and students, as well as ascertain what needs to happen to further its growth.
I think bullet points might be the way to go so as not to overwhelm myself or readers with information:
I have not – not even for a second – felt unsafe here. Not even in the Old Town markets with throngs of people…to give some perspective on tourism here, I’ve seen one Westerner not with my group since we arrived. While we definitely stand out, I do not feel at risk…so that’s good.
Lahore is a madhouse. Nothing makes sense – there are no traffic laws, the poverty is horrific, there are constant demonstrations on every roundabout – I’m pretty sure people were picketing against Valentine’s Day on Monday. I can’t read Urdu (the language they speak here), but all of the signs had VALENTINE written on them in large letters, and people were waving them around angrily, so I’m just putting two and two together…the protests are all benign, however, with the most negative outcome that I’ve seen being that the streets are shut down and it might take 45 minutes to travel 10km.
I was very surprised when, on our sightseeing day, we were encouraged to go inside the inner sanctums of the mosques, particularly when people were in the midst of prayer – that was definitely interesting…and a tad awk. The Badshahi Mosque, the largest mosque in Lahore, was breathtaking. Also, and this of course is my favorite fact about it, the mosque made international headlines in 1991 when Princes Diana attended formal prayer wearing inappropriate clothing – I think her knees were showing – but she was allowed in anyway. One thing I can say about this: Kate Middleton would never, ever commit such a gaffe.
Pakistanis are, collectively, the most physically attractive group I have ever seen. Seriously, I feel like such a dud. To begin with, it being a mission trip and all, I did not pack my finest garb and left all of my jewelry at home. Also, due to the cultural customs here, women must have rear ends and shoulders/arms covered at all times, and that’s just the minimum – most people sport these calf-length tunics with baggy pants and enormous shawls; the ensemble is called a salwar kameeze and is worn to school, to the market, to dinner, to parties… see the pic below. I actually got an outfit made upon the suggestion of our group leader, and I have to wear it tomorrow when we go out to some rural villages to visit the schools. It is not my best look, but I will sacrifice my appearance for the sake of not being targeted by anti-Christian radicals; I suppose it’s a small price to pay. In addition to dressing like a total frump, I forgot a hair brush and the weather is eternally damp so my hairs are in a state of perpetual emergency. I’ve looked better, and next to these women, I look straight homely. Seriously, it’s like a bedazzler had a wild night with a deluxe box of Crayolas – I’ve never seen so much color, nor have I seen it worn with such panache. Also, they all have perfect hair.
typical daytime attire in Lahore
My hopes of coming home hollow-cheeked and waif-like are for naught; I love the food. Shocking.
I am astounded and rendered speechless at least once/day hearing the stories of some of the people we speak to. Here on campus, we’ve spoken to faculty members as well as students about their backgrounds, and each one wowed me more than the last. These people are the hardest working, most motivated group of people I have ever encountered – and it’s not just one or two annoyingly zealous teachers pets, it’s devoted, incredibly intelligent people who want to be able to support their families so they can indulge in such luxuries as having three meals/day.
To my tall blonde friends (Pal, Pants, JTomm, Kayruh, Yance, Leila, Char, Talbie…I have way too many tall blonde friends to name you all): I might hold off on your own Pakistani adventure. It’s one thing to stand out with my white face, but your white face + blondeness would likely cause riots or similar.
So…yeah. I don’t have pictures yet, which is such a bummer, but I don’t have the camera cord blah blah so my WikiPics will have to suffice for now. Pakistan is awesome, every part of it. I’m having a lot of fun and I also feel like I’m learning a lot – I think it’s turning out to be everything a Mission Trip is intended to be…which, I think, is very positive.