Eid’s Five

If you missed last year’s things to do in Eid Egyptian style, here it is.

Since Eid is coinciding with a Friday this year here’s another five things to do this year.

  1. Play cards with your friends and family.  I know it is not really Eidish, but it seems like a fun thing to do instead of even attempting to go out.
  2. Grab a Wii, Playstation or something and have a tournament.  See if you can get grandma to play too.
  3. Have a barbecue.  Invite people and see who can come up with the best kofta or whatever recipe.
  4. Do not complain about Eid el La7ma.  First you should be grateful that you can eat la7ma whenever you like and second that people around you are not poor and beyedba7o weywaza3o we rabena yekatar we yerzo2 el kol.
  5. Talk about good stuff.  No complaining about a certain event that took place last week or any week for that matter.  Don’t talk about prices that are going through the roof.  Think about the happy memories and good things.

I am posting this early because I wanted to wish everyone a happy Eid before everyone disappeared.

Eid Sa3eed and have a great holiday.

في الوضع الحالي

قررت أن لا أتكلم و لا أحكي

فلن أضيف

و لن أقول شيء

إلا

لا حول و لا قوة إلا بالله

حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل

Moving RSS Feed

If you are having trouble with the blog feed it might be because I moved it to feedburner in one of my fearless  Rambo moves.
The new feed is at http://feeds.feedburner.com/ChocolateMintsInAJar
Sorry for the inconvenience

About Cup Holders And Letting Go

It all started when we had the Uno, my sister and I would fight who would get to put their Diet Pepsi can in the mesh holder, the person driving usually won.  Then it became and even bigger obsession when I would run out the door on my way to work with my coffee mug still hot and drink my coffee on the way to work or when I’d buy a latte from the next door Cilantro.   I wanted a car with cup holders then, and I still do.  I don’t go to work and I only drink coffee early in the morning if my daughter is still asleep and I never take my coffee with me and I almost never buy coffee when I am out.  Coffee is hot and is also a magnet for little curious hands that still do not fully understand the concept of “hot” even though she does know the word “2oh2ah” which roughly translates to “so5na”.

Then why on earth do I still think about cup holders?  Perhaps we become so obsessed about things at a given point in time that it becomes imprinted in our unconscious?  My only use for a cup holder in a car right now would be to put my daughter’s sippy cups, which she usually wants to hold during any journey in the car anyways.

How many things have you bought or even just wanted even though they no longer made sense?  How many things do you still own that you have no need for, but can’t let go of because of some long forgotten emotional bond?  As humans we tend to get attached to things, ideas and people.  We can’t let go or won’t let go because of the emotional investment in them.  Even when we fully comprehend that we no longer believe in these things.

What won’t you let go of?

Friday’s Five: Things To Do In Winter

Steve Madden Boot - Click on the image to check out the website

Steve Madden Boot - Click on the image to check out the website

Let’s all welcome winter with open arms, wait, maybe winter hasn’t showed up yet in your part of the world or maybe you’ve already welcomed winter weeks ago.  Regardless of the weather right now, I thought I might share with you thinks I like doing in winter.

  1. Make good ole homemade hot chocolate.
  2. Buy an awesome pair of boots.  Or go online browsing and drool on your keyboard when you see the perfect pair.
  3. Soup!  Make some good ole fashioned real soup.
  4. Jump in puddles.  Just make sure you are not wearing your new awesome boots.
  5. Watch sappy movies under a blanket with popcorn.

Just Focus On One Thing

satisfactionIf at any given moment in your life you feel lost, frustrated or unhappy, look for the one thing that is going right in your life, focus on it, enjoy it and revel in it.  Soak up that happy positive emotion, because no matter how bad it might seem there is always that one thing.  If you are the kind of person who thinks that everything has to be perfect for you to be happy, rethink your strategy, no one lives a perfect life.  Look deep enough and you will find that even the people with the seemingly most enviable lives have their problems and deep dark secrets.

What do you think of the new theme?

[poll id=”5″]

What do you think?  I felt it was time for change.

CIB Egypt Your Customer Service Sucks

I’ve had a CIB account for 10 years minus a couple of days.  I can remember because I was waiting to turn 18.  I went alone and I had the thousand Egyptian Pounds that were the minimum needed to open a minors’ account.  I had been saving at the Post Office (yes I like to try and  save).  I was so proud of myself.  At my first job they asked me to open an account at Al Ahli Bank and I said no, I want to use my CIB account, they told me my salary would always be a couple of days late, I said I didn’t mind, I was a loyal customer.  At my second job, they transfered to CIB again so I didn’t change accounts.  At my last job they forced me into opening an account at the HSBC and even though their customer service was great I still preferred the CIB account because there were more branches and more ATM machines and the ATM card doubled as a Debit Card using the Visa Electron system.  I’d transfer my account to the CIB and use that card most of the month.  Anyone who asked me about my favorite bank I’d tell the the CIB.

So when last week I called them to confirm my account number for  a bank transfer I was doing and the call center representative neglected to inform me that my account had been closed because there were not transactions being made for a long time.  I was very clear and told her that I would be transferring money and that I was out of the country and she didn’t warn me.  I called yesterday because I wasn’t able to log into my internet banking account and the representative told me that the account had been closed.

It was so simple for them, one account, closed.  It is not simple for me.  First of all they wasted my time.  I was lucky that the transaction had failed otherwise my money would have been left in banking hell limbo.

To make a long story short, CIB you suck big time, you lost a loyal customer because your call center representative did not go the extra mile, your system is not smart enough or you just don’t care enough.  If she had told me the first time that the account was closed she would have saved me time but apparently no one cares about my time except me.  If the person who answered me the second time told me that he could see what he could do and tried to activate my account I would have been annoyed but still loyal.  Now I am angry and feeling betrayed.  I trust my bank.  I have to, they keep my money.  Once that trust is gone, the relationship is doomed.

In the middle of the conversation I asked to talk to a supervisor or manager so he told me that I would have to give him an Egyptian number.  How can I do that if I am not in Egypt?  Last month an HSBC rep called me telling me that they had noticed a strange transaction on my internet credit card, they had blocked it and were calling to confirm.  They called my home number in Egypt first and my mom gave them my number in Kuwait and they called long distance,  now that is what I call dedication.  To make that long story short, my email had been hacked and someone tried to make a transaction for 600$.  HSBC saved me those 600$ and a lot of hassle.  I was impressed by how they handled the whole situation and felt very happy.  CIB on the other hand did nothing for me and did themselves a disservice.  I might not have a lot of money at their bank but a bad reputation is bad for business.

If Egypt Wins The World Cup

This is a little hypothetical question.  If we win the next match in Sudan and go on to the World cup and actually win, do you think this might be a motivator for the rest of the Egyptians to work harder and achieve more?

I asked my sister that yesterday and she came back with what I thought was a very smart and concise answer.

“No.  Abu Treika is a role model, but the Egyptians are the same, fahlawa works for them, it is all they know.  Just like the Japanese know process and that works for them.  Nothing will change, reality bites”.

Unfortunately I agree with her, I just wish it were different.  I wish it meant something and I wish that people would take it as a sign that when a team works hard, trains smart and gives their all they can achieve something wonderful and that any one of us could be a member of that team playing any kind of sport in life.

On a different note.Yesterday, our Palestinian/Jordanian neighbor was screaming insults at the Egyptians for being happy and making a fuss about winning. She was asking where are the Egyptians when there is an intifada. She doesn’t get it, football makes the Egyptians happy, she also forgot all of the times Egypt paid in blood, sweat and tears for the Palestinians and every other Arab nation. Is it too much to ask for them to just let us be?  I am not for the idea that people go crazy over football but why do we have to judge other people when they are feeling happy and expressing that happiness by belittling them.  My question to her, why aren’t you in Gaza screaming for them instead of your cozy apartment in Kuwait enjoying your life complaining about the Egyptians?

Mini Flower Handbag [with pattern]

Flower BagBaby Lulu loves handbags, purses and wallets.  She loves getting into my closet and choosing her favorites and then drags it along to the door saying ‘bye bye’ signaling that it is time to go out, she’s ready and even has a bag to prove it.  I decided that it was time she had her own bag instead of having to ‘borrow’ mine.  She already has a backpack with a plush kitten on it but it is much too big and she loves hugging and kissing the kitten not carrying it.  I had lots of felt left over from my last Felt Bunny craze and decided it was time to use the stuff.  Felt is so easy to use and if you are  a beginner like me, with no sewing machine it is so easy to hand stitch.

I just made the pattern up, added the flower.  You cut two of the body, 1 handle, 1 flower and 1 circle for the heart of the flower.

First stitch the heart of the flower and then stitch the flower to one side of the body.  Stitch the ends of the handle together so it forms a circle.  Then stitch one side of the handle to the body using a blanket stitch.  Then stitch the other side.

If you don’t know how to do a blanket stitch, FutureGirl has an awesome easy to follow tutorial with step by step pictures.

You can download the pattern here [BagPattern].  If you make one please share a picture, I’d love to see them.

Happy crafting.