The world is my oyster at this moment. In English, “the world is your oyster” means that you can do anything you wish or go anywhere you want in your life because you have the ability to do so. In spoken English, it is quite widely used to encourage someone that they have choices and can lead their lives in a way that they desire.
What I find most encouraging is its source. The proverb first appeared in Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ published in 1602. In Act II, a character named Falstaff says: “I will not lend thee a penny,” to which Pistol replied: “Why, then, the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.”
I do occasionally wonder what my faithful readers would do without all of this worthless information. I am an avid fan of Shakespeare – travelled to London for theatre actually – not the worthless school that provided my two and a half year student visa. The program’s head was Julie Wheelwright who proved to be my nemesis. She met a fate worse than death, deservedly. Moreover, she is not a Muslim. Enough of her. Poof. .
There is a song which expresses my current feelings. I am Sitting on Top of the World.
A thought suddenly came to me – I have written about this song before. Used the blessed search engine of the blog, discovering I had on April 18, 2023, I had exactly the same feeling. . Hmmmm. Did read it, lots of material there. Will write about it later as it is most timely. You can read it. Actually I dare you to. Haha.
Here in Mecca (Makkah) at the Park Inn., extremely unusual hotel. Great old fashioned grandeur but no people and this is Mecca (Makkah) – packed with pilgrims of all shapes and sizes. I could go down to the almost deserted lobby where there is WiFi connection but that would require too much effort.
Checked into this hotel last night. I have made two short stays here – one nighters. The spirited young man helping with my baggage said he remembered me from a prior stay – clearly with fondness. Another such encounter came a coupe of nights ago at the Riyadh Hilton Hotel and Residences.
Needed an extra coffee capsule in the middle of the night, called the Front Desk for assistance. Minutes later a young man from the Philippines arrived with the treasures in hand.
He: Hello Ma’am. It is so good to see you again! You stayed here before – on the eleventh floor.
Me: I did. After my Umrah in December 2020.
He: I will always remember you. You are so kind.
Me: That is SO kind of you to say that.
I was actually rather blown away by his remembrance of me. Kind is sort of a bland word, an almost throw away word. In my usual fashion I went to Dictionary to ascertain its meaning and to retrieve some synonyms.
Kind has a wealth of synonyms: good-natured, kindhearted, tenderhearted, warmhearted, softhearted, good-hearted, tender, caring, feeling, affectionate, loving, warm, gentle, considerate helpful, thoughtful, obliging, unselfish, altruistic, good, cooperative, accommodating, attentive; compassionate, sympathetic, understanding, big-hearted, benevolent, benign, friendly, neighborly, courteous, agreeable, pleasant,, amiable, hospitable, well meaning, well intentioned, public-spirited, well meant; generous, magnanimous, indulgent, tolerant, charitable, gracious, lenient, humane, merciful, clement, pitying, forbearing, long-suffering, patient; liberal, openhanded, lavish, bountiful, unsparing, unstinting, beneficent, munificent, giving; philanthropic; handsome, princely bounteous.
Me: I am not sure I am all of those. Not sure I fill the bill.
Alter Ego: That is humble of you.
Me Thanks. Of them all I prefer magnanimous, bounteous, beneficent and perhaps princely.
Alter Ego: Princely?? Why princely?
Me: You (and almost everyone who has met me) know that I have Royal aspirations. Hahaha It may be destined. Who knows?
Alter Ego: Allah (SWT) knows, only the Creator knows.
Me: You got that one right.
Do think that kindhearted might be more descriptive, with the added advantage of having fewer synonyms: caring, warmhearted, softhearted, kindly, benevolent, good-natured, good-hearted, tender, warm, feeling, gentle, compassionate, sympathetic, understanding; humane, altruistic,, tolerant, lenient, merciful, mellow, beneficent.
Alter Ego: Those synonyms are more manageable.
Me: Yes, but one is totally inapplicable.
Alter Ego: Which one is that?
Me: Mellow. Even in my calmest moments I never could be called mellow.
Alter Ego: Agreed!!
Examining these synonyms I came to the realization that those are qualities most admired by Allah (SWT). It is most comforting to realized that I am on target. Realizing I am on target is one reason for my contentment and joy. There is another, not apparent reason. My life at this moment is reminiscent of earlier times, times of great optimism.
I am infused with optimism being here in Saudi Arabia at this moment. It is being at exactly at the right place, at exactly the right time. My optimism was expressed on Instagram, pinned to a reel of MBS speaking of Saudi Arabia earning a rightful and righteous place in the world.
Me: I believe him. I am convinced it will happen. Goodness knows it needs to. Unlike people who might comment on this I have been to Saudi Arabia and seen the enormous progress made there.
I have received 568 Likes to this Response. It is grand to see so many agreeing with my viewpoint on the world.
But I shall now let you know of an earlier time when I was at exactly the right place, at exactly the right time. The year was 1967, I was a mere 24. I went to live in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, living (and working) within blocks of its epicenter, Haight and Ashbury. Honest!!! The apartment was at Turk and Parker; I was the Intake Social Worker at McAuley Neuropsychiatric Clinic at St. Mary’s Hospital. It was an almost indescribable time ; a very short era, filled with incredible hope and optimism. Materialism was being questioned and cast aside, the Black Power movement was powerful, women were being enjoyed, treasured, almost worshipped (even though they were burning their bras). Men were kind, focused, caring and respectful. There were no thoughts of mortgages and interest rates, gun control. Much less the absolute sinful folly of choosing your own gender. All of this was unheard of.
Stayed in California, not returning to Canada for over fifty years. settled in Marin County, which is north, just over the Golden Gate . Went to London in 2014, after much comings and goings, (with covid thrown into the mix) I returned to live in Marin December 1, 2020.
I shall now through this into the mix. I would never, in a million years be here in Saudi Arabia at this time if I were not of the Islamic faith. NEVER. An opportunity for an Umrah pilgrimage came my way in December of 2022. It was an offer I could not refuse. It was a come-on. eJourney, a Saudi tour company reached me through Instagram praising my blog, offering me a special tour. It was a sham. Disorganized, with an evil scheming Umrah guide. The lure of Mecca (Makkah) and Medina (Madinah) beckoned. However they were located in Saudi Arabia – a place I feared, led by an evil man. I believed the lies, the untruths, the distortions promulgated by the Western media. There was nowhere to turn to for the truth. But bravely determined that if I were killed in either Mecca or Medina it would be a Fast Track to Jannah. (Fast Track to Jannah is an expression coined by AK and myself).
Alter Ego: What does it mean?
Me: It means there would be no question, no stops along the way, nothing. On earth one moment, in Jannah the next.
Alter Ego: That is most descriptive.
Me: I know. AK and I are a great team. An added benefit is that he excels in dowry negotiations.
Alter Ego: That might come in handy.
Me: Indeed. He is practicing on some mere mortal men. Such skills! They seem to come naturally to him.
Right now, if you are clever, you might be asking yourself the following question.
You: Why did she leave the Marin, located in the San Francisco Bay Area? Her Blog is called: Alexis McBride: London, USA, UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Beyond.
Here is the answer. I was a highly respected lawyer working for the County of Marin, retiring in – 2004. Left Marin in 2014 for London, then back to San Francisco during covid days. My reversion to the Islamic Faith took place on October 20, 2020 while on lock down in San Francisco. Moved back to Marin in December of 2020 because it had better control over covid. However, it was there (of all places) that I faced massive discrimination, aimed at me as I was a Muslim woman. Fled to live in safety in a Muslim county. Made a massive error in choosing the United Arab Emeritus, where my life was in danger. Fled there, returning to the safety of Canada in May of 2022. As they say – the rest is history.
But what a strange twist of fare. You must agree.
Being here in Saudi Arabia (the exactly right place) at exactly the right time (during the reign of MBS) is my destiny it seems. We shall see. The unbelievable fillip? I write from the Park Inn in Mecca (Makkah). I shall probably sent the email off to the UK for posting from Medina, my next stop. My next hotel is certain to have WiFi in the room.
The attached photograph is of Mecca. Not taken by me, but by Hanan, the wonderful women met in the Riyadh National Museum. She lives in Mecca. I will not see her, this is just a stop over on the way to Medinah. I messaged a Saudi man, met in Riyadh.
Me: I am in Mecca for a day or two to visit a family. I am the only revert in the world who goes to Mecca to visit friends and to pass through on the way to and from Taif.