Strange Day; Definition of Strange; Email with Cousin Discusses Rain; Life Turned Upside Down; Computer Guru Email Discusses Changes to Blog; Conversation with SOFTS about Chaos Turning Into Order; Saudi Trip in Free Fall; Photo of a Sign on a Legislature Door and a Book 

This Wednesday has been one of the strangest days of my life and THAT is saying something. Let us now explore the word strange as used in this context: unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand.

That does indeed capture the tenor of the day. These synonyms describe the sticky situation as well: odd, curious, peculiar, uncanny untypical, different, out of the ordinary extraordinary, puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling, incongruous, uncommon, irregular, aberrant, freakish, surreal; fishy,, spooky; bizarro. The day has been all of these. My personal preferences are spooky, bizzaro and extraordinary. 

Extraordinary is one of my favorite words as it reminds me of a conversation with SAD – my Abu Dhabi taxi driver. 

Me: You know I am just an ordinary person. I was born in Saskatchewan after all. . 

He: No. You are extraordinary!! 

Me: WOW that is a perfect word. 

It was an amazing conversation when you consider that he was a not a terribly well educated man from Bangladesh. English was probably his third language

Now an early email exchange with my cousin. The subject line: It is raining here, is it raining there?

She: Raining here too. 

Me: Great news!!! It is a relief!!! I remember a former very funny lover who used to say: “How can I miss you when you won’t go away.” It is true of so many things – even the rain. I am having a very unusual day to say the least – yet again. Being betrayed by folk but then an immediate replacement. So I am fine – even better than fine. It is best not to rely on anyone but yourself. Known that my whole life actually. 

The Islamic Faith instructs Believers to rely only upon Allah(SWT) for everything. I am expected to care for my basic needs, be independent but then put your trust in the Creator who will take care of everything. Often, I have learned later, of why a situation or a person was bad for me. Allah( (SWT) knows everything – aspects of personalities not known to me, lies I have relied upon. By the time I learn the truth, it does not hurt as I have gotten on with my life. I then am free to remember the good times had in the past and how, at one time, that person was helpful. SAD is a very good example of that. 

So today my life has been temporarily turned upside down which means to change someone’s life completely, often in a way that is shocking or upsetting. Used in a sentence: My world has been turned upside down by this disease. It can also mean total disorientation. You don’t know which way is up. This is a rather amusing use of the phrase: “And even in the dawning days of the 21st century, with our whole world turned upside down, the SUV is the most popular vehicle in the nation. This from  Four-wheel-drive fantasies: a defense of the SUV

In my typical fashion I shall speak of the positive occurrences. Woke to an email from Computer Guru. We are contemplating changes in the format of the blog, making it more ‘user friendly’

Me: Hi, Loving the separate Free Palestine place. But thinking of another topic. Why Canada is better – maybe just Canada * or something like that. Also maybe a blog map – telling new users about the Book section and what is in it, and others. And maybe a topic of the week – typing in something like Hijab seeing how many entries there are and listing them.  I absolutely loved your idea about an enemy section. That list keeps growing. Hahaha  Onward – so much to do before Saudi Sojourn. Lots going on in Canada and no one ever hears about that. Except when it impacts the US. Like the wildfires ruining their air quality. YEAH CANADA! .

He: Sure, a list of site searches is easy enough, format would look like this, (I can clean up the URLs to look neat and hide the code). This for example

You just need to give me a list of topics to add in, beyond London, Canada, Hijab, etc to make it worth people looking through and to warrant an extra page.As always, if you wanna send me ideas for new pages, just write the text, give me a heading and maybe a pic and I can set it up quick enough, and if you change your mind I can just switch it off !I saw all the US posts about the Canadian fires smoking out the whole east coast of the US, at least that news made its way over here, as dystopian as that is. 

Me: I do love  your use of the word dystopian!!! It is rather typical that the only time Canada appears on the horizon (so to speak) is when it impacts our southern neighbour. Your email greeted me upon awakening. It brought cheer and hope. Thanks!!!! It is also raining. Most encouraging! Onward with the day. More later. After coffee. Alexis (aka Sheikha Fatimah) Getting into Middle Eastern mode. 

But then everything began to fall apart at the seams (so to speak). Therefore I HAD to text my new best friend SOFTS, who responded wisely and quickly.  . 

Me: My life has turned upside down but I am okay. Surprisingly good actually 

She: Order out of chaos 

Me: Yes, how perfect!! Order out of chaos. It is going on the blog. You are famous but anonymously. Hahaha 

She gave me a heart but somehow if I do it on the blog it turns into a question mark. Computers do have a mind of their own. 

I know you will not believe this, but it is the truth. Except for a woman doctor met in Saudi Arabia SOFTS is the only person who reads my blogs and then comments upon them, often providing me with a new insight or a new way of thinking. SOFTS  did this most recently on my Free Palestine posting and her thinking will be incorporated into my next entry which shall take place in a day or two. I have no idea why no one else over the years has done so. It does make me appreciate her and her wisdoms so much. The blog purposefully prohibits random unknown people from commenting – usually in negative ways. But probably hundreds of people over the years have my email address. 

I love my life because it is constantly changing. Most people cannot tolerate change whereas I thrive on it. New adventures. Plans for an adventure do not come to fruition so you plan another adventure which is most probably going to be more enjoyable. That is happening (I hope) with my Saudi trip although I am in total free form at the moment. 

Free form means created or done in any way you choose, not required to have particular pattern.  At some point in time my plans have to coalesce, come together to form one whole. My flights, my hotel reservations, my tour, my tour guides, my transportation, the hours of the mosque etc etc have to join together, merge, knit (together), consolidate, integrate, homogenize. 

Travel Guru Lauren has taught me that first you make the airline reservations, then hotel reservations, then transportation plans etc etc etc. It is one step at a time but one must start in free form and that is exactly where I am at the moment  As plans evolve you will be informed, weather you want to be or not. Hahaha. Nobody is forcing you to read this blog. There will be no examinations and you do not get extra credit – here, there, or anywhere. 

The photos are unusual. I am steering clear of Alberta politics until my return from Saudi Arabia. However, I was having breakfast in the Legislative Cafeteria, passed by this door. The paper sign indicates that there has been a change. Now there is a Ministry of Arts, Culture and the Status of Women, all rolled into one. That is encouraging I guess. One would think we would get a Ministry of our own since we make up at least half of the population. I guess Premier Smith is trying not to show favoritism. Linking us with Arts and Culture is better than linking us with Infrastructure I suppose. 

The second photo is a book returned to the Legislative Library. It is a fascinating book about the good of Charles Camsell Hospital. I do not have the time to thoroughly read and review it before I leave. But the librarians rescued it from Storage, so there is not much demand for it. 

The following conversation took place with a librarian at the time of return.  

Me: I am returning the book because I am going to Saudi Arabia. Do you have any books on Saudi Arabia? 

He: (laughingly) No I do not think so. 

Me: I guess I will have to write a book about my travels and donate it to the library.