Needle in the . . . HEY!

I have track marks on both of my arms. My left arm shrieks in pain when I move it and my right arm is saturating the wad of cotton pressed against the latest puncture. I have nae taken up any dirty habits other than the one that potentially got me in this position in the first place: indulging my sweet tooth. Turns out that I may have gestational diabetes. The good news is that it will probably go away once Baby X makes her appearance. The possible bad news is that I may have to start watching what I eat and *shudder* start exercising if the results of my glucose tolerance test doesn't meet my doctor's approval.

What does the test involve, you ask? The first step is drinking this odious glucose-heavy, fruit-punch-flavored abomination (imagine making Kool-Aid with four times as much powder than the instructions call for) and getting your blood drawn and tested an hour later. If you pass, as I did last time, you are free to go about your cannoli-lovin' business. If you don't, as I did not this time, you can't pass go, you can't collect $200, and you must go directly to a lab for a second, longer, more painful test.

This morning, having not eaten since 8 p.m. last night, I arrived at the lab at 8 a.m. to get my first vial of blood drawn and quartered. The vampire who stuck me seemed not to be able to get the blood out without leaving a huge bruise behind. My reward for gritting my teeth was to down yet another sugar solution guaranteed to dissolve what little enamel on my teeth I had left from the last round. Oh, and I had five minutes to do it. The drink was cold which helped numb my taste buds but it was no more pleasant than before.

I sat in the waiting room and got through quite a bit of the book I'm reading these days, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, when I was called away from beautiful Rome and its lovely pasta and gelato and mozzerella to get another jabbing at 9 a.m. with an encore performance at 10 a.m. and, by popular demand, a final curtain call at 11 a.m. By this time, I was nearly dizzy and faint with hunger and queasiness and ants-in-my-pants syndrome (it's a perfectly cromulent condition, you can look it up). I left the lab with four wounds in my arms, the first named "Bruiser," the second named "Better," the third named "I think she's finally gotten it," and the fourth named "Holy Hell, I retract my previous statement." I gingerly tottered out of the lab and called TP to pick my aching self up while I tried to eat a veggie burrito from Chipotle in the same amount of time I had to drink that vile liquid.

So now, I wait. By Friday I'll find out whether I am given a reprieve and permitted to eat all the sugary snacks my heart desires or whether I am consigned to a lifestyle of sugar-free this and what's-the-point that. If it's the latter, Baby X is in for a world of time-outs.


Lost Weekend

When they come out to find you
And they cannot describe you
Someone somewhere has to buy you out of your weekend

Friday is the fever
And Monday the destroyer
You are a permanent feature
Perpetual weekend

on a wired morning, there’s a city growing in my head
Where there is no weekend

When they come out to find you
And they can multiply you
Someone’s been caught in the crossfire
Of your weekend

Friday is the teacher
And Monday the tormentor
You are a new kind of creature
Perpetual weekend

on a wired morning, there’s a city growing in my head
Where there is no weekend

You took the “end”
You took the “end” out of the weekend

Days something or other: Isloo
What are the tricks of the trade to writing a travelogue? I usually carry a small journal with me and whenever there is some downtime, i.e. my traveling companion is brushing his/her teeth at night, I'm on a plane/train/automobile, etc., I take the opportunity to compose some thoughts and jot down observations so that, upon my return, I can flesh them out and share them with you. This time, however, the downtime was on the slim side. Whatever moment of peace I had to myself was spent eating, sleeping, or bathing. I brought two books with me (The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain and Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert) and cracked open neither of them. That is why, this final post is a mishmash of the weekend rather than a well-thought-out entry. In exchange, however, I will provide a pix to enjoy.

So, Friday morning was spent running around getting ready for the wedding, the afternoon was spent attending the wedding, and the evening was spent recovering from the wedding. We had promised my cousin Naima that we'd go out one night, just the cousins, but with our departure looming ahead and limited time on our hands, we ended up bringing the night to us. We fashioned our own homemade HotSpot with various snacks and played several rounds of the card game three-two-five.

Saturday morning, the boys went to the archeological site Taxila to get their history and culture on while LB and I were escorted by Aunty Nusrat for one last shopping spree. We weren't going to take all of those rupees home with us! We all met up for lunch at Umber's in-law's house and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening trying to cram everything from carpets to cricket bats into our luggage for our early flight the next day.

Sunday morning, we were up before dawn to gather all our luggage, passengers, and hugs goodbye. Honestly, the next 24 hours were a blur. I do remember running around the terminal to get us checked-in, hanging out in the VIP lounge in the vicinity of Imran Khan (pre-jail, of course), and struggling to try to break ZP of his newly-discovered habit of lap-jumping while in a moving vehicle. The flight from Isloo to London was rough because everyone was awake but oh so very tired. I spent my time in Heathrow during the six hour layover indulging in hot chocolate and then running around the length and breadth of the terminals in search of whole milk (also known as "full cream") for ZP. I felt like Hagar only my Safa and Marwa were known as WHSmith and Boots. Thank goodness for the ubiquitous Starbucks. Our delayed flight finally arrived and the trip from London to DC was much more relaxed - mostly because everyone was knocked out.

Lesson of the weekend: If someone asks for Pakistani decorations, netting, and hand-painted clay bowls for a wedding in the U.S., better pack it yourself rather than rely on someone else arranging them loosely in shoeboxes such that they arrive with some intact, some shattered, and some dangling from the cardboard box.