I have been included in blog tag, which means that I am to report to you, dear readers, about nine weird things about me. And so without further ado, here you are:
1. I have a baby picture on a camel: I was born in Egypt and I am half Iranian. (Of note this fits into the “great accomplishments,” rather than “weird” category.)
2. I have had unusual dinner companions: I once had dinner in Iraq with a man who had recently been shot in the head. Another dinner guest could see people's auras. (He assured me that I had a fine looking aura. Phew.)
3. I am fascinated by witch doctors and fortune tellers: I went to see witch doctors in Benin, Togo and Senegal who did incantations for me. A fortune teller in Nepal told me that I was in dire need of tantric sex (Gee, wonder if he was a charlatan). Another fortune teller in Morocco told me that I needed to dig under a tree in my backyard to find my lost engagement ring; the digging produced not my ring, but strangely enough, someone else’s.
4. I have found myself in precarious situations: I have worn a bullet proof vest and helmet as a protective measure. I have also traveled with a tank escort. I have dressed appropriately in case taken hostage. Maoist rebels once threatened to bomb my office, and I had to be evacuated.
5. I am interested in holistic medicine: I once fasted for seven days in a row as part of a cleanse.
6. I don’t like snakes: A boa constrictor was once lost in my house for three months.
7. I have a fear of driving: Two men once tried to carjack me in Namibia. It was my automatic locks that saved me.
8. I love to be strong: I wish I were a champion kick boxer. I am not, but I am working on it.
9. I am familiar with my next life;-): For a monk living in a cave in Thailand, I once edited a publication on how to increase your chances for better reincarnation.
Now I must ask, have your perceptions about me changed? Do you think I am normally weird? Or really weird (I can hear you muttering under your breath, "Now that bit about witch doctors is really too much. What next, Maryam? Speaking in tongues? Strange things with chickens?"). Regardless, I hope you will come back and knock on my Moroccan blog door again. I am rather fond of you all, you see.