Thursday, September 20, 2007

I’m In Love with the Zain Poster Boy

Very ZAIN. Not just a little zain, but very ZAIN.

I’ve nearly crashed my car a total of 3 times now because the Zain Poster Boy is looking longingly into my eyes. It’s not my fault. I have to slow down (and veer off in his direction) because he loves me. It is the look. I can tell! "I want you right here, right now, Desert Girl."

It isn’t just me – it is my girlfriends too.

He’s the guy with the dishtasha in the new Zain ads on all the street signs. Those advertising agencies should really be more careful about their content as the posters may distract drivers. This particular one has eyes that follow you wherever you go.

Anyhoo, I had a similar infatuation (although never this bad) with the Nivea Poster Boy and the Guy With The (F) Me Eyes who was running for political office during the last election. Don’t ask me what his name was or what he was running for because I’m an illiterate foreigner and I can’t read Arabic.

My girlfriends and I all agree, of course, that fantasy is much better than reality in most cases and that these guys probably have voices like pre-teen girls or that they are effeminate in other ways or that they are most likely just totally unacceptable, but hey….


PS - I just checked out Zain's website and he's not there, but holy shit - Saad Barrak shaved his moustache!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Conspiracy Theories and Other Bullshit

I have one of those faces: People innately feel that they can tell me everything and anything. Call it a gift; call it a curse. They just talk to me. I’m a spontaneous therapist/psychologist (emphasis on “psycho”).

Recently, the trend has been conspiracy theories. I have no doctor/patient privilege which limits my ethical ability to discuss these issues in public: ergo the post.

“Masons secretly rule the world.” Oooooootay. “It is not the Israelis or Americans who rule the world – it is the Free Masons.” Admittedly, I know nothing about the Masons – other than they have a really cool temple/building in Alexandria where Shamlan and I used go to make out. It overlooks the Potomac and usually has a gorgeous sunset in the background. I also had a friend, Ray, where I used to work who was a Mason. He didn’t count because he was weird. Anyhoo, the guy who walked into my office (Palestinian) spent a total of two hours talking about how Masons secretly rule the world. I really thought that he was going to voice an Israeli/Zionist approach to conspiracy, but why the Masons? I think he read some books. This is not an issue that has “stuck in my craw”, so I’m not going to do any further research cause I just don’t care. I didn’t even think that this particular person even liked me (maybe he doesn’t?) so why did he vent his theories? “Do you know they have secret handshakes?” (taking my hand and basically giving me the same limp-wristed tweek that I’ve had a million times from arrogant people who don’t know how to conduct proper business). On another note - do you think Bush is a Mason? Hmmmmmmmmmm. Maybe this guy thought I was a closet Mason/CIA agent who might get his message back to The Powers….

“Several large (merchant) families in Kuwait have a plan to eliminate the power of the royal family and create only two classes in Kuwait: the very rich and the labor force.” Therefore, this particular dude is intent on NOT being a laborer and making himself uber rich (through a scheme). Oh No! Oh nooooo! I can’t become a commoner! “Haven’t you noticed that everyone in Kuwait drives the same cars? You can’t tell who is low class and who is high class. They want to change all of that.“ (There goes the mid-sized car market in Kuwait! The Caprice will be a thing of the past….) Well, it’s like this: The richest person on our block in the States owns 22 homes around the world. They can have anything and do anything. And yet, they still drive a 1989 GMC Jimmy. Figure that one out. Is dude labor or uber rich? Does it phucking matter? Dude also predicted that “all those Bedouins in power will just be used as laborers”. Iiiiiinteresting. This conspiracy theory doesn’t make much sense to me – at all – because the same group of Kuwaiti merchant families have been making big bucks for forever. So what? More power to ‘em. Hey – call me a laborer, I don’t care. Jimmy crack corn.

I have some conspiracy theories of my own. Like, for example the white painted lines on the roads around Kuwait: Have y'alls noticed how recently, there are a lot of roads without white lines denoting lanes? The white lines are missing all over Kuwait. My theory is that someone (same folks who have dug up my street 5 times) is stockpiling white line paint in a warehouse somewhere and they are planning to sell it back to the Government for 100 kd per drum. On the BEST days in Kuwait, most people here can't drive inside the lanes and now they take all the lane markers away?

Gotta go. I have another patient.

Random Views

Monday, September 17, 2007

Things That Make Ya Go.... WTF!

Ok, there are a lot of things that irk me, but these are some random irkdoms. And I haven’t even been back from vacation that long. This is a bad sign.

People who come to my door asking for handouts. I am actually very happy to help people because my philosophy is that you never know where angels may appear and I never want to intentionally turn away. However; there are several issues I have with people who do this and their approach. 1) Beggars: Clearly state your case. There is a woman from Sri Lanka who has shown up on my doorstep a total of EIGHT times asking for my help. I ask her, ‘How can I help you? Money? Assistance?’ She mumbles. She rambles. She tells me a story in a language that I just don’t understand. Each time, she goes away and I have absolutely no clue what she wants me to do. And she keeps coming back! 2) Manners! If I give someone money, don’t you think that they should at least say “Please” and “Thank you”? I mean – WTF! Am I “International Bank of Desert Girl” or what? Is this some kind of entitlement thing that they think they just deserve it so don’t even have to look me in the eye? I’m not a freakin ATM. I’m huuuuuuuman!

Stop ringing my damn doorbell at 8 am on weekends!!! I don't drink Pepsi!!!!

Those nasty kids who scream outside all night. I am sure they are lovely little urchins, but I lie in bed at night dreaming of their demises. IF even one of them should get close to range, I am so going to water-balloon them. (I haven’t seen a decent potato gun online in a long time.) Don’t these imps have parents? Where are the perves and kidnappers when you need them? Are they all in Hawalli? (Ok, that was totally mean and uncalled for – most especially during Ramadan. I’m going to Hell. Let’s proceed…)

My neighbors who slam their door. Again, I have morbid delusions. Why can’t they just shut the door nicely? Does anybody know who I can call to have one of those sound-proof doors made; you know – the ones you find in all the phuck flats around Kuwait? (Not that I’ve ever been in one, right?) You find those kinds of doors when you go to gaadat and they have them so no one can hear from outside. The best one I’ve ever seen was at an apartment in Rihab complex that was like a vault door with carpeting on one side and that was about 4 inches thick. (I think they were some parliament guys or something and could afford a FF with an awesome soundproofed door.) I need that kind of door or I may have to do bodily harm to my neighbors.

I am trying to be a nicer person. Really. I am.

Dumpster in the middle of my street. Again, a “WTF” moment…. The building at the end of my street was completed recently. Tenants have moved in. It is pretty. However, I guess the building management still believes that it is under construction because they have left the enormous metal trash thingy in the middle of the street. WHYYYY? I feel like I’m living in Amghara.

The delivery guys from ARAMEX. Dudes, me customer, you delivery dudes. It isn’t all about YOUR schedule. These guys don’t seem to realize that many people like me actually have full time jobs and spend very little time at home. I don’t have a khadama full time. I don’t want one. What I want is my damn clothes from Spiegel online delivered. Can’t they just call first? And, why is it that most of their delivery guys feel it necessary to write stuff on my walls outside my apartment (like graffiti for delivery guys – noting in their own personalized way that they have been there)? I had this problem previously with Pizza Hut. Why do they do that? Is it like a dog peeing on his territory? Again, am I living in Amghara?

The pump for the Big Hole next to my building. ONE year ago, after the Big Dig for the Big Hole that is to be a new apartment building next to my window, they installed a pump (to suck out the water that might be under the hole?) with the promise that they would remove it in 30 days. I was there when 4 Indian guys appeared to install the thing -- right NEXT to my car. Since then, it has been ca-chunking along all day and all night. It has broken down several times - spewing a combination of motor oil and some kind of smelly fuel - which ended up in a stream that ran under my car and down my street (yes, the one with the garbage container in the middle of it). My building hariss didn't seem to believe that it was a big deal that fumes may have caused a chain-reaction explosion (of vehicles - starting with mine and continuing around the block). No one has seemed to minded that the RIVER of oil has been left on the ground for 5 months now. Everything in my apartment is white. I have to be extra careful not to step in the muck. Why don't they clean it up??? Why don't they take the phucking pump thingy away? Who do I call? Nobody cares.

Otay, that’s enough bitching for today (maybe not, but I’ll do the rest later at sushi with The Romanian).

Slapperella gets home tonight from Ethiopia. Yippeeeeeee! I wonder if she got married… hmmm. Interesting.

Maybe with both of my best friends around, I won’t find it necessary to bitch as much. Yeah, right. Bitch bitch bitch shop shop bitch shop bitch bitch bitch eat sushi (at which point, everything is okay in the world for a while).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

News from Lethargia

I went to a baby birth celebration at iftar over the weekend. I ran around all day yesterday looking for a gift (EVERYTHING was closed! ARGH). I finally found a gold shop in Hawalli that was open and bought something cute. I dressed like myself (t-shirt, trousers) and I should have dressed more conservatively knowing that I would be in a room full of conservative, abaya-clad Ramadan well-wishers (even though it was mixed). Alas, I’m an idiot. I sat alone for a long time (since The Romanian and Slaperella were still out of town) until the place filled up. Out of a ballroom full of people (about 200), I couldn’t believe that I was the only person who brought a gift. Is that normal?? Wouldn’t other people bring gifts? I don’t get it. In my mother’s world, you get an invitation, you bring a gift. Its simple.

I made the tremendous mistake of going to Lulu Hypermarket (that name just cracks me up) on a Friday afternoon before ftour. Let me just say, the shoppers there seem to be hyper – running around like a bunch of ants on a discarded cookie. I turned right around (once I discovered that they are open all day and through iftar time) and went back at 5:30. Lulu’s has way better produce than most places in Kuwait. (Sultan Center’s produce has been sucky for a long time; and Lulu still beats City Centers.) Lulu’s has Asian produce and stuff that I haven’t seen other places. I’m almost tempted to cook something. HA! As if. It is almost worth the drive out 4th Ring Rd and around the multiple ethnicities in the parking lot to shop at Lulu. I can’t say much about the prices because I’m one of those “Oh, just throw it in the cart,” kind of girls. The only time I really threw a fit over the price of an item was at Sultan Center when they were charging 1 kd for a 10-stick pack of Ice Breakers gum (from the States). Now that thar is just a bunch of hooey (as my aunt Virginia used to say).

I brought food to The Romanians because she returned this morning (THANK GOD, YIPPEE!) and I was sure she wouldn’t have anything in the house. As it turned out, one of our Kuwaiti friends was there with her boyfriend (apparently, she has the key and made herself quite at home). Thank God, I knocked first. I don’t need those kind of surprises. Puuuurty hailag if you ask me. Bless her heart.

Anyhoo, I picked up The Romanian and her son at the airport this morning and returned Tinkerbell into her care. I am going to miss that little dog; even though I was scared to kill her by rolling over her in my sleep. I am so glad one of the girls is back. Now I can finally have some decent sushi/conversation. I’ve been talking to myself lately. Not fun. People are staring at me even more than usual.

The embassy just called and said that my passport is ready for pick up. I’m really impressed. I dropped it off there about 10 days ago and it is finished already. Passport renewals in the States are taking up to 6 months; because now you need a passport to get into Canada and there are backlogs. I hate going to the UASS embassy, though: Too much republican-induced pucker factor. I have to say, though, that things are starting to change. I met the new FEMALE Commercial Affairs Counselor and she’s exceptionally friendly and competent. You go, girl!

Is it just me, or is this Ramadan kicking other people’s asses as well? I am so tired! I think it might be tha weathah because I can’t breathe and I’m lethargic. I’m not hungry – I just don’t feel good.

Well, okey dokey. That is about the extent of my news for now.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Name That X-Boyfriend

One of the guys in this picture is my x-boyfriend (no, I'm not kidding). Can you figure out which one? This was taken years back when a group of Kuwaiti fishermen were lost at sea for 15 days.

Mentally Stunted

(Sung to the tune of "Feelings")


Whoa whoa whoa reeeee-TARDS...

I see stupid people... they're everywhere!

I am so sick of retarded men. No, I am serious this time (again). I am so disgusted. Is there one single man out there with an IQ above 12? I am so sick of being asked to dinner, only to find out that I AM the dinner! Don't yank my chain, buddy. I can afford to dine anywhere, anytime. I prefer to do it with someone who will share interesting conversation in a restaurant. Unless I specifically mention that I will cook for someone (highly phuckin unlikely!) in my home, then what I mean by "dinner" is the type that is purchased AND consumed in a restaurant. If you want to disappoint me by showing me that you're not a man and having me pay for my half; not a problem. But just don't disappoint me when it comes to not getting food at all because I am so NOT forgiving in that area. Once I'm set on a specific food -- its on like donkey kong.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Desert Girl, why do you even bother?" Well, THEY asked ME! It wasn't like I was begging to see someone. THEY asked ME to dinner. I guess I could just say, "No thank you. I know you are bound to be stunted."

You know - I like it much better when Slapperella, Romanian and I just go out by ourselves. I never have to worry about not getting whatever food I desire. I never feel pressured. I just enjoy myself.

When are they coming back???? I am going to die! This must be what it feels like not to have any friends. I hate this. This might possibly really be the best time to join a gym.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'm Already Bored

The galpals are gone and now I only have the dogs to talk to. It sucks, but at the same time, maybe I'll take this as an opportunity to do house things like changing lightbulbs. I know that is a little thing, but there are other things that I just haven't gotten around to doing.

The Romanian's dog, Tinkerbell ("Tink") is staying with me and Desert Dawg. Tink has really become a character since we rescued her from the farm in Kabd this past winter. She hasn't gained a lot of weight since then -- only 1/2 a kilo, up to 2 kilos from 1.5 -- but she is a lot healthier. Desert Dawg was happy to see her again. She shows her enthusiasm by bopping her with her paw. I've had to stress to her that it is painful 'No bop Tink!'. In less than a year, Tink responds almost completely to commands in Romanian and doesn't listen to many commands in English. That's pretty impressive. I think that Desert Dawg thinks she is a pain in the ass, but she's tolerating her. Tink slept on my head last night. She has some insecurity issues. I'm glad she didn't sleep next to me because I'm scared to death I'll roll over and kill her!

Yesterday, I saw a familiar-looking face. He was walking by in the opposite direction, talking on his mobile. He said hello immediately and so did I and we both kept walking. I knew I knew him from someplace - I just didn't know where. I saw him at a camp in Mutlaa ten years ago. We spent the entire day looking at eachother and smiling (because the family that was hosting the lunch was bedu and it wouldn't have been cool to walk over and talk). I remember he was talking to someone about falcons and that he had hurt his back somehow, so he didn't get up from where he was for most of the afternoon. He was wearing a farwa and drinking tea. Isn't that weird how you can remember someone in detail from one lovely day a long time ago? I'm so surprised that I remembered him because I usually have a terrible memory of faces.

I'm glad it is almost Ramadan. I love Ramadan in Kuwait. Plus, I have 2 friends who supply me with different foods I love from home; tashreeb and gaymat. I always call them specifically to get it. I don't understand why a lot of American people I know hate Ramadan. I always totally enjoy myself. It is kind of that spirit of community and sharing in a holiday that you have on Christmas - only it lasts for a whole month. I haven't fasted for a looooooooooooong time, but to me - either way, it is no big deal that you can't go out and have something in public.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Prison Bitches

I'm back in Kuwait. That doesn't make ME a prison bitch, however; although technically, I can see how you might interpret it that way.... Please read on...

My two best friends are travelling (Romanian in Romania and Slapperella in Ethiopia) and my other friend who usually calls me every day (a Kuwaiti guy who shall remain nameless) is in the central prison for a while. Bunny isn't even around because he has been so busy lately and now he has the flu. What is a girl to do? I'm all alone (sniffle, whimper) and feeling very unloved.

What I need is a big, strong man to take care of me (oh, get over it Desert Girl -- we have heard THAT line before!)

Jailbird has been calling me to ask ME if I need anything. I feel so bad for him and I'm constantly giving him jail-advice like "Don't drop the soap." "Sleep with your back to the wall." He'll be out soon. Something minor. I don't know many people who've ever been to jail except for my cousin who is a prison nurse (I think she likes all the captive men)....

Anyhow, since I've been back, I've decided that much of the stuff I have acquired in my life here is useless trash that should be thrown out. So, I started with the kitchen, then the storage rooms, then the guest bedroom.... I'm giving shit away like I would get a tax refund for it or something. I don't know what's wrong with me. I've just decided its all crap and it has to go. So, I'm sorry, The Man, but your sheesha went to Khalid (my hariss) who told me to thank you very much (I thought about calling you and asking you if you wanted it, but then I'm sure that would have been misinterpreted too). Lots of flower vases went out.. stuff that I have been holding onto for no apparent reason - all gone.

Yes, Desert Dawg is safe. :)

I met a guy tonight because I was staring at his GORGEOUS friend and he thought I was staring at him. The gorgeous friend never once turned around to look at me, but this guy did. I gotta say, I'm not easily impressed, but I admired him for being direct: he walked right over to our table and introduced himself. It was very crowded at the restaurant and I didn't want to get his number in front of everyone and Al-Rai photographers (the paparazzi), so I asked him to meet us outside as we were just getting the bill. It took a while (and also Slaps was flirting with some guy and wanted to walk out together) and by the time we got out, he was gone. It shouldn't have upset me as much as it did, but it did. Why? Because I rarely find men here who will go after what they want and don't give a shit what other people think. He was also around my age, articulate and sounded nice. His name was Mansour and that's all I know except that he was sitting at table 22 at Burj Hamam between 9 and 11 pm. (... as Rose says to Jack in "The Titanic," "Come baaaaaaaaaaaaaack...."). I shoulda taken his number. I shoulda invited him to sit with us for a while. I shoulda, coulda, woulda.... but alas, apparently, it was not my destiny. As Slaps said, "If it is meant to be, he'll be waiting for you outside the door." And he wasn't.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Something in the Wind

Something is really different. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it is just very different. Things just don’t feel the same recently and it is almost as if something is coming, but I can’t tell what it is.

I had a dream the other night and I think it must have been heaven. I was in a garden with pools of water and streams. It was at night and there were those little fairy lights everywhere (which I love), hanging over walkways and in the trees. The pools were more like ponds with grass on the banks and streams between them. I was with Shamlan in one of the pools of water. He was hugging me and I could feel how warm he was and I could smell his skin. I told him that I had loved him since I was 15 years old. He hugged me for a long time and he told me that he has loved me for as long. Most of the dreams I have of him, he is turning and going. In this dream, I knew we would stay together always and it was okay. Then, I got out of the pool I was in with him and I went to find my father and (step-mother), Elly (also deceased). They were in a building (kind of like gazebos with wood walkways in between). They were sitting with friends and there was music playing and people were laughing. Dad was wearing a bright yellow shirt. I couldn't see any faces, but I knew they were happy. The feeling I had from it was intense love. It was the best dream ever.

I have been reading a book about George Anderson who is a medium – mostly helping people with recovery from grief. I found the book in a small used book store in Reston where I always find unique inspiration. George delivers messages from peoples’ loved ones who have died. It was a very interesting look at life-after-death and how forgiveness and love play big roles (ok, not that hate would have any place there). It also reminded me to pay attention to signs and how you may overlook messages that come through.

My dad gave me a definite sign while I was there. I said, “I love you, Daddy” just as I was passing by his house. It was sunset and the sun was shining through the pink clouds in rays. A very old song came on the radio by Peggy Lee that reminds me of him, “The Way You Look Tonight.”

"Heaven's Door"

If I should go before you,
If life on earth were through;
I'll stop just inside Heaven's door,
And there I'll wait for you.
You've but to look 'cross star filled skies,
Past the moon and then beyond;
To know my leaving could never break,
This heart's undying bond.
And if you should go before me,
If your journey on earth were through;
You know I will be close behind,
I'll never be far from you.
Across the span of time and space,
This love will reach this far;
For you'll always carry a bit of my heart,
No matter where you are.
We've no way of knowing who will remain,
Or who will go on before;
But if I should go first, you'll find love there,
I'll be waiting just inside Heaven's door.