Wednesday, January 16, 2008

10 years on...

I feel like I've been writing way too many reflecting posts reminiscing on the times gone by, but I just can't pass on this opportunity. After all, it's a big one, it's a whole decade we're talking about here. TEN years ago, January 16th 1998 I came here to the United States, right after finishing up high school back in Riyadh. I still remember that afternoon in DFW airport when I landed with my brother and proceeded to immigration. Lots have changed since then. I finished Undergrad and then Grad school, started working, met some awesome people, made some lifelong friends, hopefully learned a few things about life in general. First, it was hard being away from family and home, then I began to enjoy the time away, and Wichita became home. Among some of the not-too-easy-to-forget things in the past ten years (in no specific order)
- the Desi corner in the student center at Wichita State
- the first snow shower
- the first Eid prayer in Henry Levitt arena, basketball stadium
- the first C programming class with Brad Owens
- long nights on the second floor of Jabara Hall
- my little Honda CRX which I shared with my brother and wrecked in 2000 :(
- regular visits to Toledo, OH and Detroit, MI
- all the other fun filled road trips
- the concerts, especially millennium night at the Pontiac Silver dome with Metallica headlining
- Dollar movies at the East side Palace, the place to be at on Friday and Saturday nights during undergrad
- Foundry and Chroma
- grilling steaks on our $20 grill on the patio in Broadmoor
- the first tornado
- Dunkin Donuts on Central, one out of two places that were 24/7 back in the days in Wichita
- driving my boat looking Le Baron without oil and having the engine ceased
- pumping iron and sweating buckets at the Heskett Center
- learning to cook and make chai
- two ACL injuries
- letting go of my fears and starting consulting work: Wichita -> Dallas -> St. Louis -> Wichita -> Boston -> Harrisburg
- my first ever cell phone
- Barnes and Noble on 29th and Borders on Rock, my favorite places to hang out in Wichita
- Chisolm trail park, Sedgwick County park and the side walks in Wichita, miles upon miles of jogging
- Cookouts at our apartment
- Cricket games in Adeel's basement
- Dinners at Mir Saab's
- first trip to Europe
- losing a very close friend :(
- making a life long friend :)
- first crush in the US, psychology class
- first job, teaching biology lab
- first paycheck, ahhh the feeling
- getting fired for doing assignments at work
- learning to fill 'er up, coming all spoiled from Saudia
- burying a friend
- skydiving, shooting, kayaking, paint balling, horse riding, rock climbing, roller coasters, 10 K, hiking

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 - Year in review

Whew! 365 days just flew by...

Haven't written in a while, I can thank my job for this long absence. Let's put it this way, there was not much to write about anyways since I pretty much worked and slept in the last few weeks or so. Eid Al Adha also came about a week ago, I'd remember this one for a long time to come, cause I worked til 1 at night on this past Eid.

As I sit here and type away stuffed with Beef Tajine, Hummus, pita bread and mint tea from Sahara, which by the way is an awesome joint in the not-so-adventurous indie dining scene here in Harrisburg, I'm thinking in a couple days 2007 is coming to a close. It's almost like yesterday, the evening of 12/31/06 I was watching Year in Review with Anderson Cooper and looked at the Boston skyline through the windows during commercial breaks that frigid evening. Can't believe but a whole year has gone by. This time last year I had just moved to Boston and was getting used to my new job and the new place. And at the end of the year I look back and am thinking what a great year it was... from the trips to the adventures to the new experiences... I can only hope that 2008 is at least as much fun as 2007 Insha Allah.

I'm traveling tomorrow to see Umar and Usman, am excited cause I haven't seen 'em in a while. I plan to not do anything at all, just relax and recuperate for the coming weeks at work :(

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Is it considered abuse of workers' rights when one is asked to work on an official holiday like Thanksgiving? I couldn't believe it when I was asked by my PM last week. I have travel plans for heaven's sake... I guess I'll be spending this Turkey day in my cube

Sunday, November 11, 2007

World Run Day 2007

Runners all over the world, Have fun!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The holiday season is here...

Yes, it is. For a lot of people, it means a lot of different things, winter, snow, mistletoe, shopping, presents, Santa etc. etc. To me, a major reminder of the season is the seasonal offering of Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks. I absolutely love all their espresso drinks, even though their plain coffee tastes like used engine oil. But their Gingerbread Latte is my favorite drink. I've tried it elsewhere, e.g., Dunkin Donuts, and it was pretty bad. So, I had my first cup of that at Starbucks this afternoon while I pretended to study. I also discovered a nice semi Indian restaurant around Da Burg. It's actually in Carlisle, little ways from Harrisburg. Food is mediocre and very Americanized, I mean who puts chick peas and kidney beans in Jalfrezi? But they've got an awesome relaxing smoking lounge. So my buddy and I smoked away Saturday night while listening to remixes by Khaled and Daler Mehndi. The owner of the place is Afghani, the chef is Indian, they're serving Shisha and playing Arab music and the location is a Brady bunch small town. All of that creates a fun place, that's for sure. As we smoked, a teen sitting next to me asked whether it has green stuff in it. We were like yeah like they're gonna let us smoke weed in a restaurant. Disappointed as they looked, him and his buddy left shortly afterwards :)

Also, time changes tonight, another reminder of the season. Remember to fall backward!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pretty Pittsburgh

My roommate and I drove to Pittsburgh this Saturday. Long 3+ hour drive! Whoever I asked told me that I'm going in the wrong direction of everything worth going to... but I thought what the hell? I've driven toward East, namely Philly and Jersey, to the south, namely Baltimore and the DC area, to the north to the Ricketts Glen State Park. And actually I've gone west from Harrisburg as well on my way to Ohio, but didn't stop in Pittsburgh. I thought it was a fun little day trip, nothing REALLY worth going to/for, but the views from the Duquesne Incline were just amazing. Standing here on top of Mt. Washington, you can see the whole downtown. In your view are the 3 rivers intersecting, the business district skyscrapers, the many bridges, the two fields where Steelers and Pirates play. We also got to go to the historic Carson St. and took a stroll there. Smoked Shisha at the Hookah Bookah Cafe. Gotta have that on my itinerary :)