Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Minor Frustrations

This is spring break week in Edmonton. It messes things up at work because some people assume that we're closed. I'd just like to point out that when we're closed, I tell people. If we close for a day, I post a sign. If we close for a week, I send home letters. If you don't hear from me, WE'RE OPEN!!!

Second issue.....If you are turning right, and you're at a crosswalk, and you've been watching for traffic from the left, please look to the right again (or even straight ahead) before you turn just in case someone has stepped into the crosswalk.
If you are one of those drivers who do check and you see a pedestrian on the sidewalk waiting to see if you are going to notice her, don't give her an impatient look for not crossing already....some of us have been almost hit twice in this situation and don't trust drivers to check anymore.

Okay, that's all. I feel better now.

Friday, 26 March 2010

A Bit of Happiness

Today I went to Northern Reflections to buy black dress pants. I don't like having to go shopping, but it was time for new pants. I thought that as long as I was there I would at least look at long sleeved t-shirts of some type as well. I go to Northern Reflections because they have good stuff and usually I can walk in, find my size in the right colour and style, and leave.

Not today. Today there's a sale at Northern Reflections, which changed everything. There were no black dress pants in my size. There were larger and smaller sizes (seriously, half a size either way), but the only black ones my size had pink pinstripes. I liked them, but the stripes limit my options for tops.

So why the happiness? Well, I found a lovely pair of grey pants which will do very nicely (although someday I need to go back for the black pants). Further, the pants were regularly $69.99 and I got them for $9.99. I also bought a couple tops for $5.99 each. According to the sales lady, I saved $102.00 today. That seems to be a reason for happiness. (Although it isn't quite accurate since I wouldn't have bought the shirts if I'd had to pay full price for everything).

So....I have a white top, a pink top, and grey pants, and all for under $25.00. It was a good shopping trip and I'm happy.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Mosque

For World Religions, I was supposed to visit 3 different religious services. One of my first choices was a mosque. I'm interested in learning about Islam as I'd like to one day be a missionary in a country like Pakistan.

It's a very good thing that the prof was willing to accept visiting a place of worship outside of a service if that was all we could do, since visiting the mosque had a lot of complications. First, I was told by a friend (who talked to a friend) that we wouldn't be allowed to attend a service at a mosque because we aren't Muslim. I later learned, however, that this restriction only applies to certain types of Muslims. Two of my teachers are Muslims and they said that of course we would be welcome at the mosque close to where I work. The ladies would all be happy to see us, and would ask questions, and when they found out why I came, they would tell me all about everything.

They also told me that Friday prayers were they best time to visit; Friday is their holy day and before prayers there is a sermon. Unfortunately, they also said that Friday prayers start at 11:30, which is when my friend and I were waiting outside the mosque. Alone. Finally someone showed up and went inside, so we followed.

Here is what we learned that day: first, that we went in the men's door (we knew there were separate doors, but we didn't know what one to use); second, that prayers start at 1:00 (they were there early to get a good seat). We went home then, and weren't able to visit the mosque either later that day or any other Friday due to other obligations (like work).

I did talk to one of my teachers about the mosque and the service and how things are done. She said the men especially like to be early because the seats nearest to the front are also nearest to Mecca. There are lines on the floor so when you kneel to pray, you can line yourself up to face Mecca. The men and women are separated to keep the men from being distracted by the women as they pray. They used to have the men at the front and the women at the back, but when any men were late they had to step over and around the women and that didn't work so well. Now they are on different sides with a solid barrier (or a window with blinds); this is also nice for the women who can sit more comfortably if the sermon is long.

And that's my tale of visiting the mosque.

Friday, 19 March 2010


Yes, yes, I know, it's been over a month, and probably my loyal readers have abandoned me by now. I really meant to write. In fact, I've written and written and written this month -- I wrote over 3000 words today alone. The problem is, they've all been for school. The other problem is, they left me really not wanting to write any extra words.

Those two classes are over now; I handed in the last of the assignments this evening. Which does not mean that I'll write here instead; I have started 2 more classes already. Still, I'll try to be more faithful. At some point soon I'll tell you about my experiences visiting a Synagogue and a Christian Science testimony meeting for World Religions (I tried to attend Friday prayers at the Mosque as well, but there was a time issue and it didn't quite happen). But all that will be later; right now I'm glad the classes are done and there's no need to write any more words.