Saturday, May 31, 2008

Daylight Savings Confusion

After confirming the rumor about Daylight Savings coming into effect last night, I messaged my coordinator from school to see if she thought our staff would know about it. She called back and told me that she had heard the rumors but was unsure if people would really start following. Apparently, in 2002 DST was also attempted but failed miserably. It was supposed to be from June to October, but somewhere in August people just gave up on it! Only government offices and some schools pulled through until October. We're both expecting three months of people missing trains, buses, planes and never knowing when to show up for things. Praise God this is happening during school vacation, although our students start back August 20th. There will be about 10 days of confusion over the time and then the Ramadan schedule will start. What a headache. For those of you who aren't familiar with Ramadan timings, school will change from finishing at 2:30pm to 12:40pm. Nobody will know when they are starting OR ending school if there's still confusion over DST.

Power just went out again. The government has kept the same loadshedding timings but moved everything an hour ahead. Since we do start to tell time by when the electricity comes and goes, that might be a good way to get people into the new time.

I have a meeting this afternoon at 4pm new time, but I'm going to work tomorrow at 8am old time (9am new time). My husband couldn't have picked a better time to be back in the states and away from this chaos!

Read more here:

An exercise in futility for the 2nd time

LA Times - Interesting look at time zones in Asia

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Facials, Manicures and a little "Yee-haw!"

So do ya reckon we'll find beer and cowboys inside? And in a country of supposed teetotalers!

I am constantly finding advertisements slipped under my garage for the newest ladies' 'saloon' in town. New 'saloons' are popping up on every street corner!

Maybe a native speaker of British English could help me out here, but in the American sense my first thought of what a 'saloon' is matches the following definition from

1.a place for the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks

Now, in American English there is a clear difference between a 'salon', where you get your hair done, and a 'saloon', which we generally picture in old western movies. According to, our modern word 'saloon' came from the latin based 'salon'. In French, 'salon' means 'living room.'

1728, Anglicized form of salon (q.v.), and originally used interchangeable with it. Meaning large hall in a public place (esp. a passenger boat) is from c.1835, also used of railway cars furnished like drawing rooms. Sense of "public bar" developed by 1841, Amer.Eng."

So it seems that the Americans were the ones who started to use 'saloon' in the sense where it means a place where alcohol is consumed. I also came across the following definitions in Websters' Unabridged, all of which I have not seen in use in my experiences of American English. Is it possible that these usages are outdated and that only the western movie sense of the word 'saloon' still exists in American English?


Sa*loon"\ (s[.a]*l[=oo]n"), n. [F. salon (cf. It. salone), fr. F. salle a large room, a hall, of German or Dutch origin; cf. OHG. sal house, hall, G. saal; akin to AS. s[ae]l, sele, D. zaal, Icel. salr, Goth. saljan to dwell, and probably to L. solum ground. Cf. Sole of the foot, Soil ground, earth.]1. A spacious and elegant apartment for the reception of company or for works of art; a hall of reception, esp. a hall for public entertainments or amusements; a large room or parlor; as, the saloon of a steamboat. The gilden saloons in which the first magnates of the realm . . . gave banquets and balls. --Macaulay.

2. Popularly, a public room for specific uses; esp., a barroom or grogshop; as, a drinking saloon; an eating saloon; a dancing saloon. We hear of no hells, or low music halls, or low dancing saloons [at Athens.] --J. P. Mahaffy."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Pakistanis are still using the word "thrice," and so maybe they are still using this word 'saloon' in a more traditional sense. Maybe it's not a silly spelling mistake after all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Courtroom Drama of "Monster"

Today my class acted out some scenes from Walter Dean Myers' Monster

It got put off about ten times due to IOWA Testing, water problems, schedule changes, and exams, but we finally did it! 

Here's some of the students hanging out afterwards. See pictures of all the actors/actresses by clicking the link below. 

From Courtroom Drama