Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Negative PR: Kuwait's Recent Proposals - FAIL

This guy is my favorite person today!

I can't believe puppeteer, MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl, had the audacity to even get the Bedoon proposal out of his mouth...  My blood boiled...

Two Racist Proposals
By Dr Hassan Abbas — Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Rai
Kuwait Times, 23 April 2014

No one can blame lawmakers for acting towards the benefit of citizens and the nation. But at the same time, that does not give them the right to practice discrimination against others. Last week saw two projects proposed by MPs that can be classified as discriminatory. The first proposes that the government set up camps on the borders where bedoons who create chaos through demonstrations can be banished to, and the second calls for removing subsidies from energy consumed by expatriates.

MP Nabeel Al-Fadhl’s proposal to banish bedoon ‘troublemakers’ to border camps reminds me of the Nazi concentration camps when it comes to the racist sentiment behind it. What else is left for bedoons other than protests? If they remain silent, their decades-old miserable situation will continue for years to come. And when they call for help, they are threatened with banishment to Kuwait’s version of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp! The bedoons’ dilemma is divided into two parts: One part includes those who are either Kuwaitis but are still waiting to be recognized as such, or those who have no hope of being naturalized.
My question is this: How does Fadhl plan to deal with bedoons who are soon to become Kuwaitis? How is he going to justify banishing them from their own country? And with regards to the second part, does nationality justify humiliating people? Protesters can either be peaceful demonstrators, in which case they should be left alone, or lawbreakers in which case they are put on trial and jailed by court orders if found guilty.

Now we move to the proposal of lifting subsidies, or as I call it, a group of laws meant to create restrictions on foreigners. I do not understand the meaning of this suggestion. I was confused by MPs’ statements who sometimes say that removing subsidies on fuel helps reduce traffic, and other times they say that this decision would save Kuwait almost KD 1.5 billion annually.

Which is the right justification? Regardless of the answer to that question, I do not understand why we expect that foreigners are always the problem.

I know that Kuwait has a large expatriate population, but who said that they are reason behind traffic jams and money wastage? Waste of public funds is a result of greedy companies and visa traffickers who brought poor people from the ends of the world, which adds pressure on public services and damages Kuwait’s international image in the process.

Let us put traffic jams aside and focus on the economy and waste. When Kuwaitis put their houses for rent, isn’t that a cause of waste? When Kuwaitis sell their subsidized food, isn’t that a cause of waste? When Kuwaitis are paid handsomely to stay at home while leaving work for foreigners to do, isn’t that a cause of waste? Isn’t weak management a cause of waste? When senior posts are monopolized, when administrative development is frozen because of outdated mindsets, isn’t that a cause of waste? Isn’t treatment abroad a cause of waste? Aren’t the failed multibillion deals a cause of waste? If all those are reasons for wastage of public funds, then why are MPs encouraged to take action only against expatriates?!


- - - End

In my personal experience, usually when BS proposals like this are spun, it is usually to hide something larger that is really taking place in the country.  Hmmmm.... what could THAT be?  2 newspapers were recently suspended for talking about it....


Meat in a Seat Management

Kids, our topic today is “Meat in a Seat.” 

I came to Kuwait way back in the mid-90’s (when some of you weren't even born).  The US was just coming out of the IBM-style management approach (blue suit, white shirt, red tie to work every day).  Walk so as to appear that you had a pole stuck up your butt.  Hair was tight.  Uniform; very little originality.

I worked as a temp for a while, bopping around to various types of companies including many IT and defense related organizations.  I noticed a trend; most of the people I was working with didn’t know each other.  I could have been sitting in a cubicle, seated 5 feet (ok, let’s talk metric – my very least favorite subject – maybe 1.5 M) away from other employees; people who had been working side-by-side with their colleagues for not months, but years.  I regularly asked names.  “I don’t know.”  Why not?  How long have you been here?  “5 years, but we don’t socialize...”    I saw a lot of fat, unhappy and unhealthy people.  Some even had heart attacks.  A few colleagues that I liked very much died.   An overall approach for an  unhealthy work environment/methodology.

In comes Google and Yahoo and Apple  work cultures.  Companies started and run by young, creative people who didn’t fit into a box mould.  The work environments went from cubicles to play rooms; encouraging people to think “out of the box”.  Laughter, pranks, happiness, corporate responsibility were all encouraged.  Teamwork and working together towards something great was encouraged.

Guess which companies have thrived?  How many of you use IBM anything in your daily routine?  What about an iPhone or Google/Yahoo app?  Hmmm....

So what the phuck happened to Kuwait?  Just when the rest of the world was trading in cubicles for squishy couches and iPads, Kuwait decides to recycle 50’s-style office architecture.  Kuwait is where the cubicle has come to die.  Yes, there has been a change in technology:  finger print machines and employee-monitoring camera systems complete with microphones so if you sneeze or pass wind, it will be documented for all humanity.  We’re all just meat in a seat.  Are we happy?  Healthy?  Does it matter to anyone? 

Are we creative or loyal employees?  What do you think the answer to that might be?  Well, it depends on your work ethic and what type of person you are.  Regardless of that, however, eventually being treated as a monitored prisoner (Guantanamo!)  day-after-day is going to wear on your psyche and  eventually break your spirit.

Job Satisfaction and Recruitment 101:  What motivates a candidate?  Time and again, I have heard one single word from HR managers and recruiters:  Money.  Here’s my response:  Bullshit.  If you are depressed or have started having health problems, money is not your main job requirement.    There are other motivational factors which would lead a person to take another job:  Advancement, training, motivation, appreciation, creativity, incentives, QUALITY OF LIFE... oh... the HAPPY factor... yeah, I almost forgot that one.  Are you satisfied in your job right now?

Human Resources Departments:  I’m looking down the hall right now at a HR manager who hasn’t left his office in the past 2 weeks except to visit another manager’s office.  If you are going to call yourself “Human Resources,” stop acting like a pencil-pushing personnel department that doesn’t care (and this goes for “managers” also).  How many kids does that guy have?  Why was that woman just out on vacation?  Where did she go?  Someone was sick?  What happened?  Did you show any compassion?  Do you have any out-of-work social activities that encourage team-building? Treat people like human beings, not just people there to serve you.  Walk around the office and ask  a simple question, “Are you happy today?”  Employee well-being is overlooked and guess what – so will be employee productivity.   

Do your own case work:   (This is just a “what if” –  it could be reversed and the woman could be the provider. ).   Go home and stop asking your wife how her day was.  Stop showing her affection, compassion or appreciation.    Tell her that she should be happy because you are giving her money.  Stop asking about her parents (and even your kids).   Guess what’s going to happen:  She’s going to be a WHOLE LOT less “productive” in the areas that count.  I would be willing to bet there would be a complete work stopage.

You are in a RELATIONSHIP with your employees. You chose to bring them into your life (through a job interview and hopefully, due diligence).  And on that note - did you choose the relationship wisely?  You, as an employer or manager need to nurture that relationship.  Acknowledge employees for what they do for you!  You can’t just take any relationship for granted and expect it to flourish.

Look at your personal relationships and then translate them to your relationships with your employees.  Where is the spontaneity?  Where is the break from routine?  Where are the kind words, smiles and laughter?  People matter!  Little insight for you:  If you look around your office and your employees are all quiet with their heads down, something is wrong.  Again, think about your personal relationships at home:  If your spouse or your children were quiet with their heads down – you KNOW something is up!

Yeah yeah, I hear what you’re saying:  This is all warm and fluffy stuff.  I challenge you:  Go ahead, though – try it for a while and see the difference in your work environment; AND to your bottom line.  Ask employees what they THINK; what changes they would make; what they would do to make the business better.   

My sister's company just won yet another "Best Places to Work" award in the DC Area.  During a social event for her employees, one of her team members walked up to me and said, "I would do anything for your sister.  She has been so good to me."  Wouldn't that kind of spontaneous remark be good to hear? Wouldn't that add to a manager's/business owner's job satisfaction?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Palcohol

A W E S O M E




Their official website (http://www.palcohol.com/home.html) states that the alcohol content above is incorrect.  There are also a lot of fun facts on their site.

They're going to have to add some additional sniffer dogs at Kuwait Airport. That's all I'm sayins.

Kuwait A Dream Suspended - A Rare Documentary Film about Kuwait in the 80s





Lovely documentary on Kuwait.



Thanks, Ali, for posting this on FB.  I love it!  Particularly love the 'fro's and the pornstaches. LOL.



I also love the people are starting to post more historical data/clips/info on Kuwait on the net.  There's been a lack of it for a long time.

FREELOADERS! Costa giving out free coffee!



Personally, I think Costa has the best coffee in Kuwait....    Even after they PISSED ME OFF by no longer selling coffee in bags so you can make it at home (now I buy mines at Marks & Spencer - the BEST!).  I also like Costa because they were one of the very first Kuwaiti companies to use LOYAC interns.  Giving back to the community!  You go, Costa!

This is a cool marketing concept below.  They sent me an e-mail without asking for it to be published and so I am publishing it.  The soft sell often works for people like me (who don't charge KD 300 per post.  Those are just Blog Whores....   'nough said.)

Anyhooser.....

Costa say:

In an hour, we'll be posting a picture of one of our locations on Instagram (@CostaKuwait) as part of our 'Follow the Frog KW' campaign. If you go to that branch today and say "I follow the frog" you'll get a free coffee! It's Earth Day and our Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee is kind to the forest and  supports farmers and farm workers worldwide who are working to improve their livelihoods and those of their families. 

So, in honour of Earth Day, enjoy a coffee on us! We'll have free coffee at another branch tomorrow, and at a third branch on Thursday. The locations will be revealed on the day, so stay tuned! 

P.S. We've attached a photo of the branch for you – happy guessing! #FollowTheFrogKW




(Marina Crescent, Freeloaders....)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Finally, a Carribean Restaurant in Kuwait!

I haven't visited them yet, but I am so looking forward to it after reading Crazy In Kuwait's blog post about it (and thank you VERY much for the review and photos!)

Photo:  Crazy in Kuwait Blog

Read her complete review HERE.  Looks fantastic!

I love Puerto Rico and have visited there many times.  I had a PRcan friend here in Kuwait who I often quote in reference to driving in Kuwait, "Kuwaitis drive the same as Puerto Ricans, only without the skill."  Tee hee.  


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two Kuwaiti Bedoun Brothers Fail in Attempt to Seek Political Asylum in Ireland


Unfortunately, many Bedoun people resort to trying to gain political asylum illegally in other countries; only to be returned to Kuwait and sent to the deportation center (prison) for an indefinite period of time.  These guys below are in for a very difficult ride and I feel very sorry for their family (especially as they are brothers).

They’ll be included on a blacklist so they get even less rights than others.  Why?  As punishment for embarrassing the country, of course, in front of international media!  Shame on them! 

Their family may also face problems with any official tasks, or may even have their (temporary Bedoun) travel documents confiscated. 

I was asked recently (by 2 bedoun brothers, ironically) if this was the way out for them:   going anywhere and then ripping up their passports and claiming asylum.  No!  This is what happens! If you are even going to try something like this, contact an immigration lawyer in the country where you are headed; often there are offices which will help people "pro bono" (free).


Kuwait Times, 17 April 2013
Ireland deports bedoons who tore own passports


KUWAIT: Two bedoon brothers were taken to the Criminal Investigations Department after returning to Kuwait from Ireland where they reportedly headed to seek political asylum. The men tore their article 17 Kuwaiti passports and demanded asylum on the basis that they were subjected to persecution in Kuwait, according to the Irish authorities’ report. The two claimed they had lost their passports, but Irish police took reports of eyewitnesses who said that they saw them tearing their documents. The two were put back on a plane that had brought them from the United Arab Emirates where they had transited after a flight from Kuwait. They arrived at the Kuwait International Airport Tuesday and taken in police’s custody for questioning. A letter was sent to the General Department for Citizenship and Passports in the meantime containing a recommendation to include the two brothers on the blacklist of bedoons not allowed to obtain temporary passports for emergency travel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kuwait Government Approves Expat Property Ownership

This just in from today's Kuwait Times:


KUWAIT: The Cabinet has granted expatriates permission to own property in Kuwait, including apartments, houses and lands, during its weekly meeting Monday. Foreigners are still required to meet several conditions in order to register property under their ownership, including a clean criminal record and a history of good behavior, source of income certificates as well as a minimum salary cap that was not specified in an Anbaa newspaper report yesterday.

The Interior Ministry’s approval is also required to purchase properties, the report reads. It does not explain however whether the decision has gone into effect immediately or still requires the parliament’s approval. “The decision would boost activity in the economic, investment and real estate fields in the country,” the report reads. No other details are mentioned.


It is believed that the decision targets foreign investors by attracting them to build projects in Kuwait and bypass the Kuwaiti partnership condition that was seen as a main obstacle in the past years.

- - -

Mabrook, Kuwait!  Game changer.

Crate Dog House (AC living for your dogs)

Anonymous 1:14 sent me a message saying that these dog houses were being sold through Instagram.  Thanks dude/ette.

What a great idea!  For all those of you (and I know there are many) who are just returning from University overseas, who are used to having dogs and want them with you here in Kuwait, this would be an easy answer to where to keep them without pissing yo mama off.

All these pics are from Instagram.







Maybe this will help with all those STUPID notifications I receive that read "(AWESOME DOG/CAT/WHATEVER) needs home immediately!  Mother has decided she no longer wants pets in the house."  To wit I say:

1)   Re-home the mother (to a crate?)
2)   Let her try that with her kids or her husband
3)  (If  they have a home that can accommodate something this large) they can either put the mother in it (which would be my choice) OR, if she truly loves her kids, wants to teach them responsibility and that NOT all living things are dispensable (like their future spouses, for example), then she'll let them keep the pet and maybe move it to this lovely new shelter.

PINK Moon and My Solar Return


I'm having some funky stuff go on in my planets this birthday!

Pink moon!  PINK!  How amazing is THAT?

What is the Universe trying to tell me? We shall see.

I signed up for an astrology reading a few years at astrology.com and this year on my B-day, they sent me a very detailed "free gift" reading - which I VERY much appreciated.  It told me that I'm having a solar return birthday.  I had no idea...  The reading they sent me was 23 pages long and full of accurate details.  Fascinating.

What is a "Solar Return Birthday" you ask?  Well....I've read differing things:

...The Solar Return occurs each year within a day of your birthday.  This chart marks the potent moment when the Sun returns to the exact position it was on the day of your birth.  Birthdays are the best time of year for Solar Returns, although the chart can be a helpful study tool.

Solar Returns can offer detailed information about the year ahead—its major themes and motifs, as well as the best strategies to navigate the year with confidence and grace.  Solar Return interpretation is one of the oldest forms of forecasting.

- - - but you can go google it for yourself and find out.  Very interesting stuff thar.



PetZone: Leading the way for others to follow

I wrote a post about PetZone back in 2010 when they first opened (LINK HERE).  The guys contacted me shortly after my review and I really wanted to go back and talk more to them.  Like so many things I want to do, I didn't find the time and just let it slip - I shouldn't have.

PetZone was the first pet /pet supply store to open on the street in Rai.  Now there are a variety of other pet stores along the street and around Kuwait.   PetZone was started by a couple of Kuwaiti friends who had been students in the US.  When they returned to Kuwait, they opened a small store and now it has become the largest in Kuwait. It is awesome, animal-friendly, and up to Western quality standards.


Last night, I had to go buy Mikey mo' dogfood.  Several people have recommended Royal Canine and I heard I could buy it at PetZone (turns out he LOVES the stuff and almost chew through my arm to get to it).  I hadn't been to the new, larger shop they have so it was a good opportunity to visit.

I had to park down the street because there were so many cars parked in front of PetZone.  Other pet shops have opened on the same street block (WHY do people in this country DO that?  Every type of similar store gravitates to the other.  Alas, imitation is the highest form of flattery.)  I had to pass another pet store with a mini-horse, tethered, in a very small enclosure (albeit it did have food and water, but it is still a HORSE and should not be in a cage). It was upsetting, even though it appeared to be in good health (as did the number of dogs they had - including a beautiful long-haired GS puppy).   The little horse made me sad, so I passed it and went down to PetZone.

I am really proud of what young Kuwaiti entrepreneurs are accomplishing.   When I talked to one of the owners (Either Fahad or Fawaz Al-Ajmi - I'm terrible with names,  but  super nice guy!)  in 2010, he mentioned that people thought he was kind of crazy for wanting to open up a pet store, but OMG he proved them wrong!   These men dared to open something that had a niche* market and develop it into something wonderful for all pet lovers in Kuwait.  What an accomplishment!

The people working at the store have an obvious love for animals and people brought their pets in freely (like you can do at PetSmart in the US).  One very large man walked in with a horribly under-nourished Pitbull puppy.  3 of us in the store (maybe more, but we were the ones I was aware of) said something to him about it.  "Buy him some FOOD!"   The Kuwaiti woman working at the counter was visibly upset by it (one of the 3 of us who said something to him).  Although it was a sad display, it revealed the level of compassion that the store has for pets in Kuwait and I found it admirable.

If you haven't been out there to visit yet, GO!  They have all kinds of toys, food, grooming and training gadgets, (several items that I didn't think I could find in Kuwait, but they had!)  and small pets for sale (in humane, clean, and well-ventilated enclosures).  PetZone even has an online shopping site (which I haven't checked out yet - as the store is just still too fun to visit!).    They have an enormous grooming center; walk-in/no appointments.   I will have to leave Mike in the car and call (as he just goes apeshit around other dogs) Cost for big Mike's grooming:  12KD.  Saves me from having my body scratched all over by trying to get him in the shower.

I left feeling all happy (and thankful that they had a nice man to carry the 15k bag of dog food to my car for me!)

Note:  That for those of you wishing to import a pet to Kuwait (or export a pet from Kuwait) - questions that I am frequently asked through the blog -  they offer this service.  Check out their website.  You can also order puppies for import through PetZone.

Sidebar:  With shops like this, WHY is the Friday Market still allowed to sell animals?  Shut it down!  Make it illegal.


* Niche = English word.  Not Arabic word.  Perverts!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bless Your Heart


Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and in other areas of their life, such as work or school.
Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around psychotherapy.

#LebaneseSelfie



Thanks, Ahmed El-Adly!  (I hope this isn't considered racist.   OMG.)

I love the Selfie Song.  I didn't even know there was such a thing until I went to Messila and one of the gang turned to me and said, "Let's take a selfie!"  I'm like, 'Ok.  Whatever.' and he said, "No, it's a song!"  Huh?  LOL.  Now I'm all into it.  Thanks Saaaaaaaooooooooooooooud! for turning me onto it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm a Pretentious Racist

That is according to another blog around here that I am not going to mention nor read anymore; with a whole lot of haters venting their rage in various way/shape/forms.  I'm won't bore you with the negativity.

I can't really respond appropriately to either one of those remarks as I don't know how to please the people who have said them.  I have found (and I hope that this doesn't sound pretentious or racist in any way) that if you seek a reason to hate someone, you will find a reason.  If you seek something good in someone, you will find something good in them.

How do you respond to people who label you?  They have already made a preconceived judgement about you.  How should it make you feel?  Should that type of judgement affect you?  You know who you are and what  you stand for.  Don't ever forget your value.  Sometimes when other negative things are going on in your life, you question yourself.  Each of us knows our own level of integrity and compassion.   You are the real judge of you.

My immediate reaction was anger....  and snap - I forgot to take my blood pressure medication this morning and had a 20oz coffee and I could feel the pressure increasing.    Oh my God!  I mentioned that I drink coffee and not tea!! Was that pretentious (or wait, is it the other way around?)  Then I remembered something that God said to me this morning (through a message on someone's Facebook status) that said that you shouldn't meet anger with anger because the people who are projecting it are most likely just continuing a cycle that you shouldn't continue/repeat.  Instead, you should just think of good things and pass kindness along (combat the darkness with light and all that).  Hard to do, right?

Do I sound like Bridget Jones or Sarah Jessica Parker as some have stated?  I don't know.  Do I?  They're fictitious characters, however, I'm not.   Do I sound pretentious?  (I just used "however" in a sentence!)  I throw out French words once in a while in a sarcastic way (I took French for 4 years but I - in no way/shape/form - claim to have a handle on the language. Kill it for real.)    I thought I was being anti-pretentious.  I drop the F bomb regularly (disguised as the "ph" bomb).  I didn't think I was being pretentious.  Who knew?

How do you argue with someone who calls you a racist?  I don't know how to combat that.  Maybe I should listen to Madonna's or Paula Dean's PR teams who say to just apologize.  Ok, I'm sorry sorry sorry (that I called someone "Indian" who may or may not have been "Indian." - something that I commented on through the Negative Blog several months ago.)  (I'm American Indian, French, Finish and Irish; all nationalities which have been persecuted in some way throughout history.)

I hope that I help people through the blog.  That's my main objective. But, you can't help everyone and you can't make everyone happy.  I'm seriously having enough trouble keeping myself happy these days and it is getting really hard to expend the energy on others.

I'm blessed.  I'm grateful.  I have amazing friends, family members, pets, and people who I have never met, but maybe I've done something good for along the way.  One of my favorite all-time quotes:

“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Etienne de Grellet (1773-1855);
Quaker Missionary

Caravaning Kuwait

One of the comments I received after a previous post was, “I didn’t know there were trailer parks in Kuwait...”  I had thought about writing a post about this, but now I am doing it, as I have thoughts....

When DesertGuy said he had bought a “caravan” [we just call them “campers” in the States - could refer to any Recreational Vehicles (RVs)/motor coaches],  I was surprised (only because I wondered where he got the money).  It made perfect sense from all other perspectives as now that the camping season is over, he really doesn’t have any place that he can go and call his own (have his own bed to crash in).  He has to remain mobile as he has "issues”.

The desert camp was “safe” for him because no one knows where he was and the police never disrupt the party and/or serve him with a warrant.  Perhaps camps are Kuwait’s (temporary) trailer parks (without the tornadoes)?  

People have started buying caravans the last few years in Kuwait and they're becoming quite popular.   It isn’t that Kuwait is so big that you can take a ‘road trip’ and get away from it all, but realistically in Kuwait, you don’t have to go very far to get away from it all anyways.  From Kuwait City, Abdali is about an hour and a half away, Subiya, Wafra, any of the southern beaches - all are about the same distance.

Who is buying campers in Kuwait and why?  Right now, married men.  That's who.  So they can move around freely without the wife or the po-po being able to catch them with the girlfriend(s).  The camper is the poor man’s yacht.  You can get used ones on the cheap and they serve the same purpose.  And extra added bonuses are:  You don’t have to pay rent or buy expensive furnishings.  Your wife and your girlfriend(s) may never find you (unless someone gets smart and attaches some kind of a LoJack device to it).  You can park it next to the beach or in the desert or pull up to your friends’ party and sleep it off in your own bed.

It is a great business for anyone who can import them to Kuwait.   Gas is so cheap in the Middle East that they are a easy-sale big ticket item (unlike the US where dealers have trouble moving them).  I haven’t heard about government regulation of campers.  At this point, it is probably a sales free-for-all in the country (maybe the region).  

Note:  unfortunately, I've only seen the low-cost range make it to Kuwait.  Very few of the really nice ones like some pictured below.  Anything new/different/previously unavailable in Kuwait is going to be an instant-seller.


The only problem that an importer may encounter is that campers from the US run on 110V electricity and Kuwait runs 220.  The electric has to be changed/re-wired. I guess septic dumps aren’t a problem either because no one is going to care where you dump (shit) here.  Nothing is enforced, so whatever.

I predict what's going to happen in the next few years (“down the road,” if you will).  I can see the headlines, "Mobile vice dens..." Gambling, adultery, drinking parties.... 

But maybe I’m wrong. 

Maybe it is something that will turn into a family activity.  With so many beaches cut off from the public in Kuwait (there are chalets everywhere but not everyone can afford them - similar to beach property in many other countries), maybe someone will come up with a campground concept.  Perhaps near a beach where you can drive your camper to a spot with water and electric hook up, and a small convenience store, located close to a beach. (Think about it, investors!  Low overhead, high margins, guaranteed turnover).  And...  great for the kids! Kids love camping.  Private and mobile and no worry about damage:  Your kids can run wild and no one will care what gets destroyed in the process because you own it.  

Blame the victim

This is a follow-on story to the incident that took place some time ago in the Avenues mall where a young Lebanese doctor was stabbed to death with a meat cleaver after an altercation in a parking lot.  Kuwait has been rocked by the rise of recent violent crimes committed by Kuwaitis; unprecedented in the past.

‘Merely A Quarrel, Did Not Intend To Kill Him’
Mall Murder Appeal Adjourned
Arab Times


KUWAIT CITY, April 13: The Appeals Court presided over by Judge Ali Al-Derai adjourned to May 5 the appeal filed by four suspects charged for the murder of the Lebanese doctor at Avenues Mall. The first suspect said during investigations that the incident was merely a quarrel and he did not intend to kill the suspect. He also said he became incensed because he was humiliated and beaten by the victim in front of his friends, so he stabbed the victim in self defense.

He admitted buying a knife from a shop in the mall and stabbing the victim in the chest, adding he threw the knife in a waste bin near Avenues Mall while escaping from the scene. Later on, he fled to his house in Sulaibiya area and then moved to the camp of one friend in Julai’a, claiming he didn’t think the victim had died of stab wounds, until one of his friends called to tell him that the victim had died in hospital. As a result, he thought of escaping via the Kuwaiti-Saudi borders.
-          -  -
Bullshit. 

It was premeditated murder as evidenced by his intent to purchase a weapon.   The crime didn’t happen at the same time; the suspect went to a store, purchased a weapon, returned and killed the victim. He had time to consider his actions and the results.

Furthermore, it can not be considered  self-defense as had it been, he would have been defending himself against a person who was intent on killing HIM, not the other way around. And then - dude with the MEAT CLEAVER tried to run to Saudi Arabia!

Hang ‘em!

Humiliated him over what?  A parking space?  Seriously? 

This society is so INTENT on blaming someone/anyone else and never taking ownership of one’s own actions.  There needs to be accountability!  Law enforcement.  Send a message to all those other would-be murderers in Kuwait that it is NOT OKAY to take someone else’s life!  You are responsible for your own actions.  Own it.

What are the names of these murderers?  I haven't seen anything about THAT in the newspapers!  Publish them.  Put their faces out there.  Let everybody know what kind of animals are roaming around.

I'm not just saying this about Kuwait, but many people raise spoiled, ungrateful, uncaring kids; who later grow up to be spoiled, ungrateful, uncaring adults. They shouldn't be allowed to get away for killing someone else's child.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saltdaddy

Definition via Urban Dictionary (which I frickin LOVE!)  Saltdaddy:  The complete opposite of a sugardaddy, one who tries, but is broke and fronting. Example:   Man, I said I wanted a new comforter set from Macy's not the goodwill....he is such a saltdaddy!

I had lunch at my Kuwaiti family’s this weekend (as is my Friday routine).  Clean knew my birthday is coming up and gave me a watermelon (actually, he gave it to his family, but then he took it back and gave it to me).  Big spender.  Yup.   Better not to give me anything.  I just pretend that he doesn’t exist.  No eye contact.  If he speaks to me, I look at the TV or pretend to be napping. Yawn.  He’s been flirting with me for weeks and I can’t figure out why.  Yeh.  (I would like that apology that  you owe me for my birthday please.  It's free.  Sigh - I'm never going to get it and I know it.)

I also went to see my friends in Messila.  Now that camping season is over (and he has no place left to go)  Desert Guy  (the MacSaltdaddy) has made his new party headquarters at his cousin’s place there -  where I always hang out.  There goes the neighborhood.   I love the Messila villa.  It has a lovely little garden, is quiet, and is like a group hang-out; the door is always open.  Unfortunately, it has now been downgraded as DGuy and his friends have weekend, “Parade of Sluts”  (with Halima Bouland-style voices) and turn the music up so loud that no one can hear themselves think.  I am secretly praying that the neighbours will complain so that they’ll be forced to turn it down.  Unfortunately, most of the neighbors are relatives or party people also, so they don’t care.  Snap.

DGuy bought a caravan (camper trailer).  Since he is piss-poor (but lies constantly and uses his family name to pick up chicks) I hypothesize that this camper has been purchased via someone else’s credit/loan and it is probably some poor, unsuspecting woman.  Hey – that’s how he got his last THREE cars (all crashed or parked redneck-style in someone’s front yard).  He’s got so many cases against him that he can’t have any property in his name.   I suspect he’s driving on a fake license also so he doesn’t get picked up by the police.  (It is frickin AMAZING what people will tell you .... )  Anyhoo, he’s parked the Homeless Shelter (which is what I have branded it) parked across the street from his cousin’s (with good credit) villa and is running an electric cord from their house.  I guess he is telling his bimbos that he owns the place (but then, why would he be living in a homeless shelter across the street?)  Bimbos don’t care.  They’re just there for the “refreshments” he serves; which they actually believe are “original” and not the ethanol he’s purchased from Mubarakia, put into original bottles. Then they pass out in a Homeless Shelter and in the morning wonder why he's not there and why it is so cold  and why he has no sheets or blankets....

(My friend and I have a plot to decorate the outside of the Homeless Shelter one night with bra and panty sets.... I will let you know how that goes.)

Let me just state that I actually like this guy now that I’ve figured him out completely.  He’s an ashhole for sure; no questions, but I see something in him (and so do his cousins) that give him a pass; some redeeming quality. He’s got a good heart and if I ever need him for anything, he’s always been there.  It’s just sad that not all the cylinders are firing.  He's like a V12 running on 2; and the remaining 2 are misfiring. And the car is up on cement blocks.... just sayin....

Now that we’re not dating and I’ve been filled in on all the details, I see him here and there socially with his parade of ho’s; including some (formerly?) very good/decent ladies from good/well-known Kuwaiti families (who stay with him all of 2 weeks).   His most recent girlfriend is a very pretty friend of his wife/x-wife/wife (no one – including members of his own family – can tell if he is still married or not).  One of our mutual friends has been dating DGuy’s wife/x-wife/wife in the past.  All of this is so..... sorted.  Ick.  Glad I’m looking at it from the other side of the fence.  

These girls can't figure me out; I hang with him, he tells me that he loves me (in front of them), he hugs me and kisses me when he sees me.  The girls don't talk to me and I'm very reluctant to form bonds with any of them because I know that he's either going to dump them or break their hearts (and when I'm asked direct questions, I answer directly so I'm afraid I'll get in trouble).  So we just stare at each other and occasionally (if not rarely) smile at each other.  Whatever.  Bring some food you cooked for us all and then we'll talk, okay?

Sidenote:  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned....  Some girl burned down his tent several years ago; all very hush-hush.   I hope that the Homeless Shelter will fare better and when it does explode, that it won't hurt my friends in the villa....  Just sayin.


Have you noted how I am talking about X’s and not currents?  Tee hee.  Yeah.  That’s right.  I am.


The Most Sassinating Maid Story EVER

This is the height of my life right now (no it isn't, but I'm keeping the good stuff private).
Somebody call the Cake Boss. It's on.
My birthday is this week:  April 16th.  
That's right.  I'll be 29.
(Shut up!)

So on this monumentous occasion, let’s talk about what everyone wants to know about:  My new maid.

I have a new maid. She also works for several of my friends and I have heard nothing but good things about her.  They’ve told me that she is very thorough and detailed. 

I’ve worked with a lot of house-helpers over the past 18 years in Kuwait.  I try to get on the same page with them all and type out all the instructions (for everything I can think of) and even do diagrams.  I go over it in the beginning so that we are both in agreement.  It is a long list and I don’t expect anyone to accomplish it all in one day, but it is out there so when time permits it can all be done and they know what I expect, when I will pay them, and how much (including overtime).

Since last maid-lady let the dog out, I have turned to the assistance of this new lady; her name is “Sassy” and it suits her.  The first day, I scared Sassy away.  I met with her once and told her that I would have a list of tasks.  She thought that she had to do them all the same day. Not.  She sent me an SMS, “Too much work, Madame!  I’m leaving, going home. Goodbye.”  Oh nooooooo....  I called her and after a 30 minute talk (me begging, basically) we came to an agreement.  She was very very upset that my Hoover was broken and that I didn’t have a mop (I prefer cleaning cloths over squeegys).  Went on and on about that issue.  I said I would buy her a mop - any kind of mop she wanted. 

Me:  ‘What kind of a mop?’ 
Sassy:  “A normal mop, Madame.” 
Me:  ‘Stop calling me, Madame, and “normal” to you might not be the same as “normal” to me.  Can you send me a picture?’

So she did (well, Spanx did after I frantically texted her asking her to.)   Just what I suspected:  One of those skank cotton white mops of yester-year.  Yuk.  I hate them.  They get full of bacteria and get stinky.  Ew.  I can smell it now.

I went out specifically in search of the specified mop. I did find the right mop and mop replacement heads; I bought about 6,  I'm not havin no stanky mops around...   I was concerned about finding the “appropriate” mop:   Spanx told me that she bought 2 mops before getting the right one that was Sassy-approved.   I told the salesman at the store that I needed the right mop because otherwise I would get in trouble with my maid and I'm afraid of her.  They got a good giggle out of it.  (Not funny. It's true.)

I had to take my Hoover to get fixed (I don’t use it – howmasupposedtoknow when someone else breaks it and doesn’t tell me?  Why can’t they just tell me?).  I had to shove the thing into my Camaro (not easy), lug the thing to the fixer dudes - then shove it back into the Camaro and get it home.  Waaaaa.   I also went out to buy a B&D Dust Buster so Sassy wouldn’t have to tell me to go get one (I saw that coming.)  I actually love my dust buster and I'm using it every day, so I secretly thank her.

Sassy came back over the weekend.  (Late, but hey that's fine because I'm catering to her now.)   

‘I put the list in the drawer so it wouldn’t frighten you, ok?’  

She about 5 hours cleaning my house.  She is very thorough.  I was so pleased that she approved of my purchases!  “Oh, that is a nice bucket.  I didn’t send you a picture of the bucket.  I forgot.”  (Yessssssssss!  Score Desert Girl!  You got the right bucket!  It’s on!)  She didn’t like the Dust Buster so much, but the Hoover was fine and she approved the mops.  I bought 4 different types of floor cleaning fluids and she never said anything about them, but was a little miffed that I didn’t have Pledge or Jif (“Power” – I don’t know what that is.  I have to go back to the store). 

“Very powerful, Madame.” 
‘Stop calling me Madame, ok? What is that stuff?  Is it like bleach?’
“OH!  You have bleach, madame?” (said with glee)

Oh God, here we go.  My house is going to smell like bleach trying to kill bacteria from nasty, skanky mops.  Great.

I never actually left my  house when she was there.  I cleaned right along with her and managed to finally sort out my closets and get rid of some unwanted clothes and wire hangers.

I HATE wire hangers! They ruin your clothes.  When my dad died – God rest his soul – he had nothing but wooden hangers in his closet;  some of which appeared to be 40-50 years old. All his clothes were neat and tidy.  I want to be like him when I grow up.



So, the adventure begins.  I have nothing better to talk about on Birthday Week than the new maid and maybe some anecdotal stories about my dog.  Sad and pathetic, really.

Online Prostitution in Kuwait

I had no idea there were so many online services in Kuwait (because I have no desire to know), but then I saw an article this morning in the Arab Times about how they were planning to shut down 300 sites and now I'm intrigued!  I'm started checking this out and there's a lot out there.  I did a few searches for "Escorts Kuwait" and a whole lot of information came up.  Oh my....  with .... pictures....

There is no real way to shut down the sites - unless they are specifically based/hosted in Kuwait.  They can try to block them, but then anyone with a proxy bypass or a VPN can get around that stuff.  Where there's a will, there's a way....

Fasssssssscinating

Here's the Arab Times story today:

Online Prostitution By Arab, Asian Women Widespread

KUWAIT CITY, April 10: The Anti-Cyber Crime Unit at the General Department for Criminal Investigations has announced the closure of about 300 immoral websites, affirming the department will take the necessary legal action against the owners or administrators of these sites.

Sources revealed some people have created websites for online prostitution, indecent activities and night parties. Sources said the websites were shut down after discovery that they promote or encourage indecent practices and sale of illegal or sexual material.

Sources also warned the social media users against wasting time and jeopardizing their future and social life (love this!) by engaging in unlawful and indecent activities. Meanwhile, the daily carried out an extensive investigation on online prostitution websites and smart phone applications, which revealed that this type of prostitution is widespread.


Arab women involved in the act invite interested clients to apartments for KD100 cash or by K-Net. Asian women give their clients the option to purchase KD3 phone card credit, which they will use to interact with their clients to arrange for appointments and payment that ranges from KD20-KD40 (Way cheaper than I had expected...)

US Report on Human Rights in Kuwait: Women's Issues

Kuwait: ‘Police occasionally arrested alleged rapists . . . ‘

(I am reposting from "Here There and Everywhere, Expat Wanderer" Blog   LINK HERE)

Some dry, but fascinating reading. This is an excerpt from US Report On Human Rights In Kuwait State Department Issues Annual Assessment from the Arab Times: Kuwait.  You can read the entire report by clicking on the blue hypertext which will take you to the Arab Times Website.

Women
Rape and Domestic Violence: Violence against women continued to be a problem. Rape carries a maximum penalty of death, which the country occasionally imposed for the crime; spousal rape is not a crime. The media reported hundreds of rape cases, but government statistics indicated that only 34 cases were reported to the police. Social stigma associated with publicly acknowledging rape likely resulted in underreporting. Many victims were noncitizen domestic workers. Police occasionally arrested alleged rapists. The courts tried and convicted three rapists during the year, but authorities did not effectively enforce laws against rape, especially in cases of noncitizen women raped by their employers.

The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence, but courts try such cases as assault. A victim of domestic violence may file a complaint with police requesting formal charges be brought against the alleged abuser. Each of the country’s 83 police stations reportedly received complaints of domestic abuse. Victims, however, did not report most domestic abuse cases, especially outside the capital. Police officials rarely arrested perpetrators of domestic violence even when presented with documented evidence of the abuse, such as eyewitness accounts, hospital reports, and social worker testimony, and treated such reports as social instead of criminal matters. Individuals also reportedly bribed police officials to ignore assault charges in cases of domestic abuse. Although courts found husbands guilty of spousal abuse in previous years, those convicted rarely faced severe penalties. Noncitizen women married to citizens reported domestic abuse, and inaction or discrimination by police during the year.

A woman may petition for divorce based on injury from abuse, but the law does not provide a clear legal standard regarding what constitutes injury. Additionally, a woman must provide at least two male witnesses (or a male witness and two female witnesses) to attest to the injury. There were no shelters or hotlines specifically for victims of domestic violence, although a temporary shelter for domestic workers housed victims during the year. The government completed construction of a high-capacity shelter for domestic workers in 2012, but the shelter was not fully operational by year’s end.

Harmful Traditional Practices: The penal code penalizes honor crimes as misdemeanors. The law states that a man who sees his wife, daughter, mother, or sister in the “act of adultery” and immediately kills her or the man with whom she is committing adultery will face a maximum punishment of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 225 dinar ($790), slightly less than a month’s earnings at the public-sector minimum wage. Sentencing guidelines for honor crimes do not apply to Bidoon. In February the court convicted and sentenced five foreign residents to life in prison for the June 2012 “honor killing” of a 19-year old female family member.

Sexual Harassment: No specific law addresses sexual harassment, but the law criminalizes “encroachment on honor,” which encompasses everything from touching a woman against her will to rape, and police strictly enforced this law. The government deployed female police officers specifically to combat sexual harassment in shopping malls and other public spaces. Perpetrators faced fines and jail time. Nonetheless, human rights groups characterized sexual harassment against women in the workplace as a pervasive and unreported problem.

Reproductive Rights: There were no reports of government interference in the right of couples and individuals to decide freely the number, spacing, and timing of children. Decisions regarding access to contraceptives, family size, and procedures involving reproductive and fertility treatments required the consent of both husband and wife. The information and means to make those decisions, as well as skilled attendance during prenatal care, essential obstetric care, childbirth, and postpartum care were freely available. While the government did not provide any formal family planning programs, contraceptives were available without prescription to citizens and noncitizens.

Discrimination: Women have many political rights, including the right to vote and serve in parliament and the cabinet, but they do not enjoy the same rights as men under family law, property law, or in the judicial system. Sharia (Islamic law) courts have jurisdiction over personal status and family law cases for Sunni and Shia Muslims. Sharia discriminates against women in judicial proceedings, freedom of movement (see section 1.d.), marriage, and inheritance. Secular courts allow any person to testify and consider male and female testimony equally, but in the sharia courts, the testimony of a man equals that of two women.
The law prohibits marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslim men. The law does not require a non-Muslim woman to convert to Islam to marry a Muslim man, but many non-Muslim women faced strong economic and societal pressure to convert. In the event of a divorce, the law grants the fathers custody of children of non-Muslim women who fail to convert. A non-Muslim woman who fails to convert is also ineligible for naturalization as a citizen and cannot inherit her husband’s property unless specified as a beneficiary in his will.

Inheritance is also governed by sharia, which varies according to the specific school of Islamic jurisprudence followed by different populations in the country. In the absence of a direct male heir, a Shia woman may inherit all property while a Sunni woman inherits only a portion, with the balance divided among brothers, uncles, and male cousins of the deceased.

In June the National Assembly passed an amendment that gave divorced and widowed women additional house ownership and rent allowance rights and allocations, but authorities had not implemented the law by year’s end. In July the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor granted a “housewife allowance” to nonworking women age 55 and older.

Female citizens remain unable to pass citizenship to their noncitizen husbands or their children; exceptions were made for some children of widowed or divorced female citizens. Male citizens married to female noncitizens did not face such discrimination.

The law states a woman should receive “remuneration equal to that of a man provided she does the same work,” although it prohibits women from working in “dangerous industries” and in trades “harmful” to health. According to international assessments, the average working woman earned 6,600 dinar ($23,385) annually, compared with 18,691 dinar ($66,231) for the average working man. Only 14 percent of managers, legislators, and senior officials were women. Educated women maintained the conservative nature of society restricted career opportunities, although there were limited improvements. Women comprise 72 percent of annual college graduates, according to statistics from 2011, but account for just 53 percent of the 270,000 citizens working in the public sector and 44 percent of the 60,000 citizens working in the private sector.
The law requires segregation by gender of classes at all universities and secondary schools. Public universities enforced this law more rigorously than private universities.

Two members of the 50-seat parliament elected in July were women. By early December a parliamentary committee for women’s and family affairs had not yet been established or staffed, although such a committee existed in previous parliaments. Some women attained prominent positions in business as heads of corporations. Two women served as ministers in the cabinet.

There were no female judges. For the first time, however, the Judicial Institute accepted 22 women during the year. Graduation from the institute is a prerequisite for employment as a prosecutor or judge.


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Don't let your kids bark at big dogs! A message to Phucktards

Phucktards shouldn't be allowed to have children.  Plain and simple.  But when they do, and then their kids get hurt and they wonder why; the simplest reason is usually the most accurate:  Because they're phucktards and shouldn't have been allowed to bring children into the world.

Case in point:  Why do you sit back and watch as your small children approach (run, walk up to, dance around) a dog which has been bred for protection and/or aggression and start barking in his/her face?  What do you think the outcome will be?

How cute is this:  Let your children run in front of cars and make the tire-screeching noise, directed towards the oncoming vehicle.  Same principle, really.  Outcome inevitable.

I know that education is key to this scenario and many people aren't educated about animals.  But phucktards, really.... we share the planet with creatures that actually might have a higher capacity for learning than you do.  At the very least understand, that these creatures have much larger teeth than you or your children, are faster than you and your children, and may not speak your language.

I think that I may just teach my dog the code for attack as "How".  That way, when these small phucktards run up to him and start with the "how how how!" (in dog-speak here), he'll just not waste the time on pleasantries and go right for the jugular.

"How How" you like me now?


(When you see someone walking their dog at a quarter-kilo distance from people, there is a reason why.)


--- end of daily rant ---

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I'm not the entertainment.

I pity bored people.  They constantly look to someone else to entertain them.  They're actually not intelligent or interesting enough to come up with their own entertainment - or perhaps something that will entertain others.

Over the course of my 29 years (Hell YES I lie!), I have been sought out as the entertainment on several occasions; mostly by uber-rich people.  I guess when you can make people laugh, it is a gift.  I crack jokes when I'm nervous or in a situation where I don't feel completely comfortable (like around the uber-rich).  It isn't until I'm IN the situation that I realize that these people are not really my friends, but are waiting for the next funny thing; the next good time.  I would never accept an invitation, for example, if I knew that they just thought I was cute or funny and could make them laugh.  How superficial!  If you like me, you like me through good times and bad.  You're a friend when I'm down too, and likewise for  you.  If not, I'm not interested in maintaining a relationshit with you.


What brought this to mind was an extremely arrogant woman that I crossed paths with last night while walking Mikey.  I seriously can't wait for the day when I can say a single word and he will bare his teeth and growl in an alarming manner.  This woman walked over with her husband and asked if she could pet Mikey. I should say no, but I've been too nice lately.  I'm going to have to start telling people that he's an attack dog (gotta learn that term in Arabic) and dangerous.  But I said ok because she seemed friendly enough.  He wanted to play and tried to nip her hand.  Instead of pulling her hand away, dumbass gives me a look and said, "why don't you hold him?  Make him shake hands.... make him do tricks."  Whaaaaa?   ........ Phuckyou.  Did I, a stranger, walk over to you and ask to pet your husband?  Make him shake hands?  Make him do tricks?  WTF - are we a walking circus for your enjoyment?  I pulled out my best condescending, "Laaaaaaaaaaaa ya habiiiiibti."


 It is Spring again. Renewal.  Rebirth.  My birthday is this coming week.  It all seems to change for me around this time of year.  And so, I am looking at my friendships again and reflecting.

I have 2 groups of friends and one of the groups relates to the picture above.  Sometimes when you know people superficially or (as they say locally "don't go to deep with them") you have no worries.  I've known this particular group of friends for a decade, but never got into their business and never allowed them into mine. Now, we're both in and I'm seeing things that really upset me.

So, I'm reflecting.  I'm spending time alone thinking.  I'm (ha ha) re-grouping.  I'm not anywhere to entertain anyone.  (Although the blog has kinda turned into that, it started as an anonymous vehicle to vent my frustration.  It's entertainment value is secondary in all honesty.  I don't want to pay for a shrink.)  Among my friends, I'm not there to entertain, certainly.