Tag Archives: Houston

Maze

I have been driving in Houston since October, but the roads still seem a maze to me. The worse thing is I keep forgetting the names, or keep mixing them to the annoyance of Son. He relishes it when he can count it as one mistake. Ten mistakes– and I have to make him a dish of baked chicken drumsticks.

We had to buy some gifts. While returning home, Son asked me the usual question, “What is this road called?” Answer was “Ah aa a!” He was gleeful. Nola (daughter) is on a very short visit to us (she saw her brother after a gap of two years). She advised me, “Stall! Don’t answer immediately. Wait till you can see the name, then answer”.

Next time, I will try her advice.

She reminded him, “Mama is almost nineteen years older to you. Wait till you get there, then I am going to ask you”. 

Son forgets names of friends mostly, but I am too nice a person to rub it in.

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Maze

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Denial 

I can’t remember road names. These roads keep changing their names. For example it is Kirkwood on one side, and straight ahead it get changed to Dulles. How am I supposed to remember? It’s difficult for me. Houston is an amalgam of cities. Highway six keeps turning up, or does the disappearing act

Son thinks by now I should be well versed with all the names. He has invented a new game. He asks, “What’s ahead on this road?” For the life of me I don’t remember as I am concentrating on driving, so I make a guess. Oh! It proved correct, though it was a wild guess. I can call it a lucky one, otherwise he was bound to be disappointed with me.

I’m going to be charged for my mistakes. The minute their  number goes to ten, I have to feed him baked chicken wings as a penalty. Son is pleased with the situation. If I am not ready by a specified time, he starts counting. Till today my mistakes amounted to seven. Son is eagerly waiting to find more.

At the grocery store the man looked puzzled at chicken trays Son left for me to pay for. I explained to him these are my penalties for mistakes I have done. He chuckled as he ran my bill.

For any mistakes I make I vehemently try to deny. He is ever ready to find them, and I at the other end is in a state of constant denial.

DAILY PROMPT

Denial

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Label


When looking for fish oil capsules, or Vitamin C, I look at the label to find out that it doesn’t contain gelatin. Recently the cache I had hoarded, dwindled to zero. I had reminded Son time, and again, but as usual he has his own priorities. I dislike going on Amazon to order them, and for a time it looked like I would have to resort to doing so.

As for myself, I kept looking in isles of the shops we most frequent, but to no avail. They were available in every shop with gelatin in them, and what I wanted was –no gelatin. Why they are not for sale here in Houston? I have no idea, because else where they are readily available. Only in Houston it is an impossible feat.

Luckily I remembered that the last bottles of  Vit C were bought in Krogar in Charlottesville, VA. Asked Son to guide me to Krogar here.The previously bought label wasn’t there, but lucky for me I finally saw what I wanted hidden behind a host of other ones. I grabbed the last two on the shelf. They must have been waiting for me to come find them.

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Label

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Instinct 

Even writing about this latest mishap in my life churns my gut with dismay, and anger. Being a widow I relie upon my army pension, and proceeds from rented properties. One of my tenent had stopped paying me the rent from September 2016 onwards. For the month of August he had cut the rent from the security he had given me, leaving half of it.

I had to go back to Peshawar to deal with it. I gave Mr. F a one month’s notice to vacate my house. At the same time I contacted a property dealer Mr Toheed  to deal with selling it, or renting. My son, and I live in a rented, two bedroom apartment. Son’s home went to his ex after the court settlement. We need to sell either the above property, or my village home and lands to get the requisite money needed to buy a home here in Houston. 

My instinct never trusted Mr. Toheed, but older brother Lala prevailed upon me, telling me I didn’t have the required men to deal with the renovation. I paid the bills he showed me, consoling myself with the thought this period will soon be over. My two months stay in Peshawar ended, and I had to come back.

Mr. T has pocketed the security, rents for the month of February (when the new tenent occupied the house), and March. Since I can’t deal with all this from here, I have asked Lala on my behalf to look into it. Meanwhile I am full of anger towards the unscrupulous Mr. T, and Mr. F, and strive for calmness in my life.

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Instinct

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Filter

During my late husband’s bout with cancer, we stayed in Rawalpindi for about a year, and eight months. Tired of lugging bottled water to where we were staying, I thought of boiling my own. I never knew how horrible it would taste.It looked like we were drinking paint. The color wasn’t clear either. Bottled water in comparison was better. At least one could drink it when it was put in the fridge for cooling. It tastes terrible while warm. It’s only palatable when it’s ice cold.

I have been boiling water for years for drinking purposes. Once it’s no longer warm, I filter it through a muslin cloth into a cooler. I fill bottles with it, and then put them in the fridge. When away from home I buy bottled water from the market.

I was considered a total freak carrying my own water by my friends, and relatives till a time came people started buying bottled water. I wasn’t a weirdo any longer.

In Houston tap water is unsafe. We buy huge cartons of drinking water from Sam’s Club, or Costco. If there is a sale it gets much cheaper. I am appalled at the price of drinking water here.

We are fortunate in one aspect —  the water is sweet in Peshawar. Even after boiling it retains its sweetness, and is hundred times better than the stuff sold in the market.


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Protest

I protest against the attitude of Houston IAH airport where Muslims are targeted for extra screening. I passed through the screening machine where my innards were on display. Inspite that I was patted, and touched on my private parts. This happened to me on the 27th of last month.

Another lady whose head was covered like mine was, gave me a tight smile indicating what we were going through. With arms akimbo like scarecrows the idiots searched our body parts for hidden ? A woman combed me with her hands, and her device, going once, going twice, going thrice, and going for more, while a man continuously wiped my hands with swaps trying to find something.

This is what happens when people like Trump are chosen for presidency. What else is going to happen after 20th January?

What happened to me, and the other lady was done to other travelers, it wouldn’t have mattered. BUT —– they only target Muslims, it’s totally wrong.

It’s disgusting, and demeaning.

Please stop it before I lose my love,trust and respect for USA. Did I move here for good to be treated like scum?

…..

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Protest

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Pungent 

Sunrise in Houston

Son had arrived home after his work hours were over. On the way back, he brought with him milk,eggs, orange juice, and all the other miscellaneous food items necessary to sustain us. He parked his car in front of the apartment to remove the groceries.

To felicitate in bringing the things inside, he left the front door open. I couldn’t breath. My nose went on overdrive. If smell could kill, it could have happened immediately from the horrible smell wafting inside through the open doorway. It didn’t happen, but our whole space smelt like poop.

I rushed to close the door, and switched on all the exhausts to clear the air inside. My normal routine in the morning is to open a window, or two, and the sliding doors to the balcony. I do it daily to remove stale air from inside the apartment and bring in fresh air.

The pungent smell was due to the management spreading manure outside. Son told me it would take a week for the smell to dissipitate. 

I had to remember no more opening doors, or windows for a whole week.

Due to non availability of Internet for the next three days, I won’t be writing.

…..

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Pungent

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Touch my Base

Base conjures my home in Peshawar. But living here, and going for a short while there constitute a plethora of difficulties for me. As I am on my own, I have to fend for everything needed. This includes any patchwork needed inside, and outside. If I ignore it, it multiplies into more work for me.

Last year when I inspected the roof, the coverings on the three chimneys had fallen off. We use gas for heating, so I can’t block the chimneys for good. The adjacent bathroom to my bedroom appeared to have a blocked drainage. I called a repair man. He was booked, and couldn’t give me an earlier date. I was flying out two days later, so I called another one.

What he did was to completely block it. He charged his exorbitant rate, telling me he had cleared the blockage, and went his way. Poor naive me! I believed his word as I was busy having my car there jacked up on bricks prior to leaving. It saves the tires. It was much later I noticed water seeping into the wall beneath the bathroom.

This was last year, and I had already changed my date, and venue of arrival from Houston to Washington DC. I couldn’t extend, or change my ticket, as my daughter who was coming from Saudi Arabia was joining me on the same date in Washington.

I let it be, and used another bathroom for the remaining two days. I am getting the Heebee-jeebies thinking of the repairs needed when I happen to go, and touch my base.

…..

DAILY PROMPT

Base

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