Beware of Oud

Here we are, coming to you live from yet another net cafe in Sharjah where I am surrounded by people speaking the national language, this according to Knicq bhai, being not Arabic, but Malayalam. hehe

I don’t know where to start. There are zillions of things to blog about, but I don’t know how to say them. Take, for example, the time I was sitting in the lobby of our hotel when the hotel manager, an Arab man in a white thobe and white head-thingy (amama?) came with an incense burner of Oud. I don’t know what Oud is, I only know that it is a fragrant wood that smells nice when smouldered in a funny little dish on the coffee table. Yesterday, the manager very happily brought this smoking, fragrant incense burner to us in his hands and said,

“Do you know this?”

“Yes,” I said, “It’s Oud, and it smells lovely.”

“Wait one moment,” he said, kneeling at my feet. (Abez sez: wha…?)

He then set the Oud on the floor and lifted the hem of his thobe so that the smoke wafted up into his clothes.

“See?” he said happily as his dress filled with smoke, “It makes your clothes smell nice!”

“Ok,” I nodded politely.

Then he grabbed the hem of my jilb (shock!) and held it above the incense burner and suddenly my dress was filling with smoke.

“Two weeks!” he said enthusiastically, “It will smell good for two weeks!” He then stood up and took his incense and went away, presumably to good-naturedly infringe upon the airspace of other hotel guests.

There were several thoughts that pushed into my mind just then. The first was: did he just grab my clothes? The second was, Thank God I’m wearing pants and the third was, should I tell him I wash my clothes more often than every two weeks? hehe.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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