3) Chores: so it is not a big secret that I never lifted a finger when it came to house chores ... all that has changed now (sadly *sighs)
a. Washing clothes: the first time I wanted to do the laundry I was quite nervous about ruining my entire wardrobe. Luckily, my friend Fleur also had to wash her clothes so we decided to go together. To my relief, there was a big poster in the laundry room that guides (ignorant) students like me what cycle to choose for what type of clothes. Fleur helped me sort my clothes out and we chose the proper cycle for each load and thankfully no disasters resulted. Then it was the turn of the tumble-dryer. Needless to say I was clueless. Fleur chose the correct cycle and showed me how to clean the filter and in no time our clothes were fully loaded.
The next time I did the laundry I was again nervous because I had to do it alone. But it was easy and in retrospect I needn't worry because it is a simple chore really. The only thing that bothers me about it is that I have to walk for 7 minutes from my room to the laundry carrying my heavy clothes (accumulated over a period of three weeks :P)
b. Cooking: I have "miraculously" only burnt my food once (was a few days ago, left the pan unattended on the hob for 45 minutes *shame). Although I have been "cooking" mainly pizzas and pastas lately - because they are quickest - (or oven-cooked chicken nuggets because they are so good) I have managed to cook some Lebanese dishes as well.
bazilla w riz, loubyi w riz, loubyi b zet, riz b loubyi (haidi l tabkha yalli 7tara2et), riz b khodra (haidi kamen 7tara2et ma3i awal marra tabakhta), mjadra safra, djej bel furn, shorbet khodra....w 3am yetla3o ma eshbon shi ;)
I find it really annoying that most dishes require frying onions - makes me & my clothes smell like onions - so I have rarely cooked such dishes. Oh, w kamen la2et ino l foul l m3alab bel 'khalta l lebneniyi' kter tayeb.
c. Cleaning the toilet: definitely the least favourite of all chores. The only time I ever cleand a toilet at home was during a Red Cross training camp - not a tent/sleep-on-the-ground camp, but a camp in a monastery where we slept in proper beds and had proper bathrooms. I was assigned to clean the toilet on the second day - mainly because I was a committee member and one of the organizers of the camp so I wouldn't object on such a task - and so I couldn't object on the task because I had to be a role model to the other members and actually clean the toilet without nagging,,, hmmm,,, one problem arose: how? Another committee member Souha - who later became one of my best friends - was also assigned to clean another toilet so she volunteered to show me how ... learning by observation :p , she cleaned her toilet in no time then it was my turn and *shame i faced (some) difficulties and couldn't finish on time and I had to leave it to attend the next scheduled lecture so I locked the toilet so no one would use it. After the lecture was over, I headed back to deal with the un-finished business of cleaning the toilet - this time Souha came along - and with some help I successfully cleaned the toilet (Souha asked me to re-sweep the floor twice but let's keep that a secret ;) )
Back to the year 2008 - about 10 days after I came here I thought it was time to clean my toilet ... Of course I don't remember how I managed to clean that toilet 4 years ago, and I didn't want to call my mum and ask her about that hideous chore (I am a grown up now and I shouldn't be running to my mummy at the first sight of toilet-cleaning trouble hehehe). So, I did what any grown up educated adult would do in my place --> I Googled it, DUH! hehehe Yes! I actually googled 'How to Clean a Toilet' hehehe, well I watched some videos and read some how-to sites then I shopped for toilet cleaning stuff and I conquered that toilet and after one hour it was sparkling clean (I can see you rolling on your backs laughing that it DID take me an hour but come on I had to clean the mirror, shelf, sink, toilet seat, and shower! :p) ... it was so clean I didn't want to use it again and I was so proud of my accomplishment that I showed it off to my flatmates hehehe.
But afterwards, I was very careful to keep it clean so I won't have to clean it as often and I soak the toilet and sink with toilet bleach ever few days.
But, here are a couple of pictures of my toilet directly after I cleaned it two days ago:
Anyhoo, that's about it for now, if I remember anything else there will be part III ;)
Thomas Friedman at the Saudi regime lobby
4 hours ago