H ubby just got back from a trip he took with his brother "A" up to a small town in northern Saudi Arabia about 800 km away from Jeddah called Diba or Duba, or something like that. Trying to get information out of my husband - a man of very few words - is literally like, for lack of a better description, pulling teeth.
Me: So tell us about your trip, dear. What is Diba like?
Hubby: It's small.
Me: Well, describe it.
Hubby: It's like any small town.
Me: Wait! Wait! Too much description. Gee, I can't process all this information at once. Overload, overload! Well, what did you do while you were there?
Me: So you went all the way up there for nothing?
Hubby: "A" had some business.
Me: What kind of business? Family? Real estate? Monkey?
Hubby: Just business.
Me: So what did you do when you weren't doing business?
Hubby: Not much. We were invited to eat at different people's homes.
Me: Whose homes?
Hubby: Family members.
Me: So you went to visit your brother "A's" oldest daughter Fatima?
Me: So it was her husband's family you met and ate with?
Me: What is her husband's name?
Hubby: It's not important.
Me: Does Fatima have kids?
Me: How many?
Hubby: It's not important.
Son: How come I've never met Fatima?
Me: I haven't either. She's Mohi's sister - they are "A's" oldest kids from his first marriage to that crazy woman Samia. What ever happened to her anyway?
Hubby: How should I know? I don't keep track of my brother's ex-wives.
Son: (sarcastically) I think she got killed in some freak lawn mowing accident. So how much did this trip cost you, Dad?
Son: How can that be?
Hubby: God provides.
Me: Well, since "A" picked you up to take you to the airport, there was no gas expense or airport parking fees. Then you both flew standby on "A's" employee privileges, so no money was spent on airline tickets. "A's" son-in-law probably picked you up from the airport, so no car rental. You probably stayed for free at his daughter's home, so no hotel costs. You ate all your meals with different family members, so food was free.
Hubby: I love it!
Me: And you obviously didn't spend any money buying us any cheesy dust magnet souvenirs while you were there, so no money wasted there!
Hubby: What? Every time I go somewhere I'm supposed to bring you back something?
Son: Well, it would be nice to let us know that you at least thought of us while we were stuck here with no where to go and nothing to do for a couple of days.
Me: Now Adam, that's not true. Remember, we went to your orthodontist appointment while Dad was gone.
Son: Oh, right! We had to get up at 7am because the driver Dad arranged for us was supposed to pick us up at 7:30am, so we would be the first ones there, so we wouldn't have to wait. Except it didn't quite work out that way.
Me: No, we got downstairs at 7:20 and the driver didn't come until 8:15am. We had to call him three times before his wife finally answered the phone and said that he would be there in 5 minutes. Except it was another 20 minutes before he arrived. I don't think he would have shown up at all if we hadn't called. And all the while it was getting warmer and warmer and we were harassed by gnats and mosquitoes the whole time. We finally got to the orthodontist's at 8:30am and then the doctor didn't even arrive there until 9:15!
Hubby: Well, that's the way things are done here and you just have to accept it.
Me: I'll never get used to it and I'll never accept it. Grrrrrr...
Son: Yeah, we had loads of fun while you were gone, Dad. NOT!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to one and all from Saudi Arabia!