Wednesday, 26 October 2016

How some older Azeri ladies party, or a spooky Halloween story.


As Halloween is around the corner and some of us have not just one but two parties to go to, I thought it was perfect timing to share a fascinating story from my mother.

Speaking of Halloween. Last year I loved my costume. I am not, to be honest, a big fan of fancy dress parties, and for years chose to ignore Halloween costumes altogether. However, last year, since everybody else was dressing up; and I was told there were prizes! for the best costume, I borrowed these Pirates of the Caribbean style costumes for me and husband. I have to tell you, I was converted ever since. I thought I looked great in my costume, in this sort of hot and cool way, which is not that easily achieved, you know? I even drew a fake scull and bones tattoo on my shoulder and even popped over to neighbours house to take a picture with her parrot. I will even share this photo with you here, which I had never done before. Hell, why not.  I loved that look on me.


And, I won! At both parties we went to!


So, this year I took things more seriously, having two parties to go to again, and ordered my outfit online, from the USA. 

OK, I am not even going to attempt to claim to be completely innocent in my choice, having been misled by the inaccurate photo on the partycity.com website.  I knew what I was ordering. But, in reality…I look ridiculous. Grotesque. I honestly do. And the first confirmation came from my Phillipina maid, who saw me in the dress and exclaimed 'Oh, wow, Ma’am, you are too sexy!'

That was not a good sign.

The boobs are enormous, and not in a good way, but in a way male comedians or clowns look when they dress up as women.  They come out from behind my armpits somehow, in the proudly fake way, and sit in the middle of my chest like some ripe watermelons. The skirt is so short that I cannot possibly bend down, not even a tiny little bit. And there are suspenders! With Police badges attached. And fishnet stockings. Oh, and a tiny leather tie to complete the look.

'So, basically', Husband said, looking at me prancing around the room in my costume, 'you middle aged women grasp at any opportunity to look like hookers. It is not really Halloween style, is it?' 

No, I admitted, it really isn’t.

And no, before you ask-no photos of me wearing this year's costume are going to appear on this blog.

Now, back to the planned story. 

My mother got invited to a girlie party. An older friend and her girlfriends, all in their late seventies or very early eighties were sitting around the table eating yummy foods and drinking merry drinks. As you do when you are in your late seventies.

As they finished the starters and the main course and were just about to start on all the cakes and tea, one of the ladies exclaimed…( Now, let's just give her some fake name here... Elmira! There, that will do.  ) So, she exclaimed: Elmira! What’s wrong with you???

Everybody then noticed Elmira, who sort of collapsed in her plate, completely unconscious, tongue hanging lifelessly out. 

Ladies started jumping up and down, calling ambulance and generally freaking out.

And this is when my mother, who, for some inexplicable reason has the ability to stay calm in bizarre situations when everyone else panics, remembered a trick she read about on Facebook.  ( I mean we are talking about the lady who once had to cut the body of her neighbour off the rope he had hanged himself on)

‘It sounded stupid, that article’…she said, ‘but I thought well, it cant really hurt can it?’

So, she took a needle and proceeded to prick each fingertip of the collapsed lady, drawing a little blood out of each. 

'The article said to prick her ear lopes too', she said, 'but I only got to her eighth finger when she suddenly sat up and asked what the hell I was doing'. 



Now, whether you believe in this bizarre urban myth method, or think it was totally stupid, and the lady came round simply because of the pain inflicted; or due to some bizarre coincidence, really has no significant importance for this story. What I thought was so cool was the ending. 

Because, as they waited for the ambulance, everyone calmed down, made sure the sick girl was comfortable on the sofa, and returned to the table to resume their party. After all, those cakes could not be wasted.


Now, this is how older generation party, my friends. Not sure we can ever beat that, with our ridiculous slutty costumes this Halloween.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

My first exclusive media event.




I have noticed a few times from occasional passive aggressive comments some readers left on Scary Azeri Facebook page that they were under the impression I got paid for this blogging thing. That, in reality of course is, very sadly, not true.  Nobody pays me and nobody wants to sell me any ads. Nothing of the sort really happens, it is just something I do.  Like other people who, you know, maybe enjoy nailing their bits to the dining table. For fun.

But, in all fairness, there are some random different perks that do occasionally happen. For instance, a few years ago I got offered some freelance work, wrote a couple of articles for Oryx (Qatar Airways 
in-flight magazine), got invited to contribute to some online stuff.. and got interviewed by Global Voices Online. All great fun. And since I moved to Doha, I occasionally get emails inviting me to media only events and launches. I sort of missed a few of them throughout the year due to…well, laziness on my part. Also, frankly, I was thinking it must have been a mistake or a spam. “Exclusive media only” events. I mean, I am not a media person, am I? 

I had an image of cool, young trendy media people hanging out at these parties, looking glamorous and gorgeous, all knowing each other, glancing at me and thinking who the hell is that? Is she lost? Gatecrashing? Until one of the organisers would approach me with an official list, check, sternly, what my name was, and who I worked for, and then ask me to leave, immediately.

But one of the things I truly love about Doha is that living here, I can do things I would not have done back home (homes? Both countries) Like attend a fencing championship, or a world cup tennis match, or…well, a media only event. So when I saw another email in my scary azeri inbox, I read it out to Husband. ‘Hey, check this out...' I said.  ‘Exclusive! Media! Invitation!’

It was to the Oyster Bar at St. Regis, which was introduced in the invite as the finest address in Qatar, on the beach, with Cuban live music and hand-crafted beverages.

Is it free? Husband asked suspiciously.  I decided it probably was.  I had to send my name and my 'plus one' to confirm our acceptance.

Come on, I said. Lets go, check it out.

It took us forever to find the place. St. Regis, ‘the finest address in Qatar', is full of suspicious corridors and winding labyrinths that were designed to confuse the inexperienced media persons like myself. As we approached the Oyster Bay, a lady with an official list was waiting for me. Just like I imagined she would. I had a momentary urge to ask for the bathroom and quickly disappear. But I had my high heels and ripped jeans on, and a bright lipstick and I was (really, honestly!) invited.  I have to say, I was impressed. I suspect the’d never heard what Scary Azeri was, but as soon as I mentioned it, her face lit up with this most excited, most flattering smile, as if I was (almost single) Brad Pitt asking her out on a date. Oh, wow, she said, we had sent you a few invitations in the past, but have not had the pleasure of meeting you yet!

Blimey, I thought. I am a celebrity!!!

A security guard slapped a green paper bracelet on my wrist, which immediately made me feel all happy and warm inside: Any of us who had been to anywhere knows what such a paper bracelet means. It means, you are in. And you are in somewhere with free food and drinks. 

Please, enjoy yourselves! The friendly lady said, ushering us to the beach. Everything is on us!

Husband was clearly impressed. Suddenly, all the times I spent at the computer, all the Twitter and Facebook ‘crap’ he had endlessly complained about made some sense.
He of course, could not resist to wind me up a little: Have you not checked in yet?

‘Shut up, you are my Plus One, I said. Know your place!  It is my event.’

And so we did enjoy it. The music by ‘Gerardo Contino y LosHabaneros’ was chilled in the way only Latin music can be, the drinks and canap├ęs were being served non-stop, and the view of the bay was stunning. The band leader told us that they were invited to perform at the White House but chose to be in Doha instead. True? Who knows, but they were good. 

As for trendy and beautiful people…Well, it was pretty dark, and my attention was entirely focused on a couple of girls in such ridiculous outfits that I could hardly notice anyone else. Posing for endless photos in various, but equally hilarious poses, they were my personal highlight of the evening.

I did not really network or meet anyone, or see anyone I recognized but it was definitely a fun night out. I must make more effort, I thought, to attend these sort of events, when invited. Or to at least, check my inbox more often to even see them in time, in the first place. And it was great fun to keep reminding husband that he could be a 'plus one' for a change.