Monday, October 29, 2007

It's a small country!

I was happy to learn that 2 of the 4 newly appointed ministers are friends. One of them is the guy who helped me get to Kuwait way-back-when. He was responsible for getting me my first job here and turned into a really good friend along the way. I met him on my first trip to Kuwait in 1993. He used to call me for “unique” perspective (say it in English or Arabic – he does). I saw him in Washington and saw his unique perspective.

The other guy is the brother of one of guys in the “Name that X boyfriend” photo…. Lets just say that they both have the same toes and that is how I re-connected to my friend when I got to Kuwait. I heard the last name and then I saw the toes and I knew!

See, I know jailbirds AND politicians…

My life is so interesting (to ME – shut up!)

Articles on Corruption in Military Contracting

'Problems' found; Team probes Army contracts in Kuwait (Oct 28)
http://www.arabtimesonline.com/client/pagesdetails.asp?nid=7202&ccid=11

Army to examine Iraq contracts for fraud (Oct 27)
Probe focuses on Army office in Kuwait that gave $2.8 billion in contracts
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21495626/

Marking Up The Reconstruction (Sandi Group & Dyncorp) (Oct 26)
http://www.theroughcut.net/Articles/article11_recent.html

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'll have the Beefeater combo...

Last week was obnoxiously filled with work-related meetings. It made me tired. It was all capped off with a very long, boring meeting with some Chinese guys (no, not Juan Hunglo or Som Yungai) we are into a losing JV with. I’m supposed to be the intermediary’s intermediary. For the past year, I have been answering the same questions and going in the same circle. I can’t even tell you how much tea I’ve had to drink. My blood runs Chinese tea now.

My weekend was great – what I can remember of it. My blood is not really tea, but Beefeaters, after this weekend. Amazing how you can be a top contender in the Alcohol Olympics and score a silver in both vodka and whiskey; only to be sorely beaten by the gin-drinking athletes. For the first time in almost 10 years, The Romanian was the designated driver. I repeated the mating call of the blondes, "I'm sooooooo drunk!" I can remember bits and pieces; laughing so hard that it hurt. Thankfully, it wasn't the kind of alcohol that makes your crotch hurt later. tee hee. Note to self: Don’t eat spicy seafood after drinking lots of gin. Very very bad.

I am now off to Dubai for a boondoggle: 3 days of Middle East Rail Projects. WTF – now I’m a railroad engineer? “I’ve been work-in on the raaaaaail road… all the live long day….” Whatever. I get paid to do this stuff. I’m looking at the conference schedule and guessing I can blow off the entire second day to go play by the pool (French martinis baybeeee!). I’m hoping my Romanian Partner-In-Crime can come with me.

Speaking of fluids… I bought a juicer. I’ve always wanted one. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. I’ve been watching those damn programs on Showtime like, “How to look 10 years younger.” They have F-ed me up. I am liking the juicer, however. One night last week, I tried juicing just about everything in my refrigerator: I was getting carried away and had to stop when I wanted to see what would happen if I juiced a chicken. Not good. Anyhooo, I ended up making myself sick (no surprise) and spent the rest of the night in the bathroom. My dog got scared and stayed under the bed. Such is my life.

Speaking of sick.... Bobarino’s reception was otay. Nice to see people I haven’t seen for a while. The venue was lacking, but hey – whatever. I think we would have been more comfortable back at his roof-top residence barbecuing some meat. As it was, I was still pretty hung over, so what they had on offer was just fine. They probably had no clue that I was hung over because I only resemble my normal self when I am.

We saw the Jailbird this weekend too. He’s lost weight, but he looks good. He seemed to be sitting just fine, so I guess he’s ok there… no comment. He is going to look for a site for this year’s desert camp today. Last year, it was really nice – up on a hill across from B’naider. 245 seems to be THE place to be. All the land on the left side of the road with the chalets is prohibited for camping this year. I wonder why. I would imagine all the people with chalets (politicians?) got pissed off. I can’t wait to be back in the desert: barbecue on my fingers; sand in my toes and drunk off my....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Strangers in the Night

I know – I got kinda heavy handed with my last 2 posts. Me sorry. It is cool that so many people commented and had interesting feedback. So now back to my boring ass life (there is a new book out with a similar title. Saw the guy on Letterman).

Everywhere I go lately, “Strangers in the Night” is playing. WTF. I have it constantly stuck in my head. I can only remember the first line of the dirty version, “Strangers in the night, exchanging rubbers….this one’s much too tight, how ‘bout another…” Can anybody help me with the DIRTY lyrics?

I went out with Maz last night and he made me promise not to write about him here on the blog, so of course, I’m not. We had a nice dinner at Villa Fairuz and then he made me drive back to my place to drop myself off. He said he had back problems and was in pain, but I suspect more than anything that he was trying to give me small payback: He just bought (with his own money, not one else’s; fer sure no Tawhore) a 2008 Tahoe and I think he wanted to let me drive HIS big engine home. So to speak. (Yes, I totally and completely meant the car!!!! Dirty thinkers!) Anyhooooo, thanks Maz for making my mental week of business meetings and overall craziness much more relaxing.

I called my mom when I got home. DAMN I MISS MY MOMMY. I think I’m going to fly home (I love you, United direct flights to IAD) and surprise them at Thanksgiving. I haven’t been at a Thanksgiving meal with my family since 1996. I really want to be there. At first, my plan was just to fly in for one day and fly out, but everyone agreed that I’m retarded; so (not that it is taking away from that), I decided to go back for about 4 days. I’m going again for longer at Christmas, but I feel the need for family (ok, ok, I confess…. For turkey and gravy and stuffing and our family’s traditional Thanksgiving foods.)

I also want to see all the yard renovations. Our house in Virgina is backed up to a small plot of land that my family had the option to buy when the sub-division of houses was built. It is an oddly-shaped piece of land (a 10’ strip with a berm and beautiful trees) that juts out into our back yard – within feet of the fence around the pool. We didn’t buy it. So now … years later… the family who bought the land has started construction. The first thing they did was to bring in a bulldozer to dig up our entire view behind our house. They started taking down all the trees and scaring away the deer. My sister had a cow. She told the builders that if even a drop of mud fell into our pool, that she was going to sue and keep them in court for years. It has been a nasty, muddy mess back there. Since then, my sister has spent over $100k in the back yard doing landscape architecture so that the view wouldn’t be ruined. They even trucked in a pre-fab gazebo and 35’ trees, so that neighbor-dude wouldn’t be looking over at our family at the pool. Even neighbor dude’s builder advised him, “Don’t piss off your neighbors… You are going to regret this… “ Our land stretches into dude’s front yard, so we are thinking about building and have several ideas: Pig farm. 24/7 brightly-lit tennis court: fun for the whole neighborhood all day and night long. A wall (similar to the Wall of China)., Etc. Some people are just phuckin stupid!

Anyhooo, at least our neighborhood isn’t on fire. My mom reminded me to call my friend, Lina (aka “Leanover”), in San Diego and make sure her pants weren’t on fire (yes, of course, they usually are). I called her and she (and her 5 dogs – Yorkies) have been evacuated to her mother’s house in another part of SD. Lina is convinced that the fires were caused by a short circuit in her…. (um… politically correct… ) Battery Operated Boyfriend (BOB)….mechanical man… HO! She said her Kuwaiti x-boyfriend hadn’t called to find out how she is, so I sent him a text message at 2:00 am (have had trouble sleeping this week) to tell him that her BOB had started the fires. Just incase he was wondering. He’s a GM of a big Islamic finance and investment company. He SO pretends to be religious.

Insecure men.

I think The Romanian has us lined up with some firemen friends this weekend (in keeping with the spirit of "hot pants on fire", etc). Its either that or Kabd ('tis the season to be Kabd-ing...). Ah yes, Kabd, chapathi, chai halib, and bayth (at 4:30 am).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WedLOCK

Get it – you are locked up when you are married….

This is going to be a very long post, so put your big girl panties on and deal with it (or just hit that "back" icon above).

Here is the thing that got me started thinking about this subject: A woman wrote to me recently (based on her perspective of what she has read on my blog) and said that I am, “just looking for a man to marry me”, implying that I haven’t found anyone who would want to marry me; and/or that I am lonely. Me giggles. That’s just plain hooey. The “lonely” part of it doesn’t even enter into the equation as I am rarely alone and most of the time, I am just too damn busy. (I do miss my family, but that is a different story.) Although I see through to the veiled truth of her own situation through her words to me, the question of marriage keeps bringing itself up. For example, in questions from former colleagues or people who I bump into who ask, “Did you ever settle down?” What does “settle down” mean? My understanding of “settle” refers to settling for something of lesser quality. Settle + down (to me) relates to sitting on a sofa/settling in for the night of TV watching and Pizza Hut. I do the latter about once every 2 weeks. The former: never.

I have also been asked so many times over the years (that I have lost count), “Why aren’t you married yet?” (occasionally followed by “… you’re pretty. Men are stupid not to ask.”; placing beauty/appearance as a key decision-making factor: How long would a marriage based on that superficiality last?) I have heard the particular (culturally ingrained?) philosophy over the years, mostly from women of Arab or Indian cultures; that a woman SHOULD get married; as perhaps she is less if she is without a man (I have found many women are more!) I am rarely asked similar questions in the States.

In this part of the world, you aren’t “complete” without a man. I can say that I am complete all by myself: I am independent, I make more money than many of the men I meet; I have all the stuff I need materialistically – because I bought it for myself. If I need a gorgeous piece of jewelry or a vacation – I pay for it with money I earn; and no one tells me what to do with my paycheck (I will send you photos of my shoe closet!). Marriage “completing” a woman, I think, depends on the value a culture places on marriage as the “be all” of relationships. Yes, religion does play a crucial role also; personal religious beliefs determine the course of many peoples’ actions. The legal system in the Middle East, for example, places strong value on marriage and doesn’t recognize (or allow by penalty of legal recourse/jail) children born out of wedlock, nor does it recognize (or allow by penalty of legal recourse/jail) couples living together. In the States where I come from; there are laws governing paternity and palimony (ending a long-term live-together relationship). Does the US go too far? I think these laws have come into place as it is about personal choice: of religion, of lifestyle, etc. If people make different choices, laws are set into place to ensure that people are treated fairly regardless of their domestic choice.

First, I think marriage is great for those who want to be married. In theory, I think it is a wonderful arrangement. I just haven’t been able to place a practical use for it in terms of my personal situation.

Marriage scares the hell out of me if you must know the truth. I almost never answer the questions honestly; I choose avoidance. If I answered honestly, it would divulge too much about my character, insecurities, and observances. When asked, “Why aren’t you married?” I prefer to answer with something flippant like, “Because I’m a lesbian. Leave me alone.” Or “Gee, I guess I just haven’t found the right one yet….” “The love of my life died in 1999.” All crap (except for the latter, actually, but we wouldn’t be married if he was still alive). I’m scared that I will be trapped like a caged animal in despair; pacing up and down with wide, sorrowful eyes. I’ve seen too much, heard too much, grown “wise” at the hands of time. I have seen much more unhappiness and futility in marriage than lasting, loving relationships. The older I get, the more my knowledge of this fact becomes cemented.

When I hear the Kuwaiti wedding processions driving by my window, with car lights flashing, horns honking, and the grooms’ friends rejoicing; the cynical voice in my head takes over, ‘There goes another divorce waiting to happen.’ I question my own reasoning, but there it is – stuck in my head, and so matter-of-fact that many times it is just second nature.

I probably should have gotten married to one of the multitude of those guys in my youth who were offering up what appeared to be all the right things. When you’re young, your list of requirements is short (and your list of suitors long). My list of requirements now reads like Amazon’s home web page; even if I could figure out what all my requirements are, there is a lot of searching involved and it requires a lot of time and effort. Sometimes you just want to get off the net and forget the whole thing as too much trouble.

In all, I think the magic number for proposals I have received (of the serious kind) is around 20. I have a collection box of engagement rings (as Zsa Zsa Gabor says, “I have never hated a man enough to give back a ring.”) Most often, admittedly through my own fault, I didn’t carry through. I have never been convinced that all the right elements were there; and that we would have stayed together. Perhaps it is even a matter of relinquishing control over my own life.

I admire people who take a leap of faith and get married; perhaps even if they have doubts. Some people just love being married and don’t really think about the outcome. Some fight through their difficulties and have long-lasting marriages for years and years. I would love to be in my eighties and with a man I had loved most of my life; sitting in rocking chairs next to each other or going for little walks together because we couldn’t stand to be apart from each other. I love that ideology. Our own individual fears of growing old alone force us all to crave for that time of relationship I think.

I also admire the fact that statistically, married people have sex more often than single people. Important factor in consideration. Especially, it seems, to many of the younger generation.

However and again: I have fear of being with someone for years and years (not just for the statistic of having more sex with the same person for years and years – I shiver) for the potential of losing them by divorce or death. I fear the loss, grief, and depression (that I have seen so many times in so many relationships – regardless of where it is in the world). I don’t know how people can manage to survive it. I don’t know if I could.

I take marriage of any kind very seriously and temporary marriage (mutaa) counts in my head (and scares me a lot less as it is easier to get out of). I have been married through mutaa and I can’t say that I even believe in it (again, this is my personal opinion/interpretation, but I don’t believe that going into something that you know will end is really marriage), but when it is brought to me by someone who does believe in it, I take it very seriously and keep my end of the bargain. For all extensive purposes, I conducted myself as if I was married (as in court, on paper, whatever). It is a promise between you, your mate and God. The end to even that form of marriage has been a blow to me and very difficult to recover from.

How could it be possible to devote a large portion of your life, body and soul to someone; have children with them, and then have it come to an end? Statistically, and very much unfortunately, this is the result: According to the Kuwait Ministry of Justice as reported in September of 2007, 53% of marriages in Kuwait end in divorce (pronounced “de-voice” in Kuwait); the divorce rate in America, as reported by www.divorcerate.org lists the US divorce rate at 41% for first marriages (percentage gets higher the more marriages you have). Perhaps people had doubts from the beginning; maybe they knew that (like mutaa) the marriage would only be for a period of time and wouldn’t last; and yet decided to get married and have kids; a tremendous leap of faith. Who knows – maybe it is smoke and mirrors? None of us knows what goes on behind the closed doors of other people’s homes; or even within the depths of our individual psyches.

I have scoffed at the (supposed) loose morals of people who “don’t believe in marriage” – who stay together for years and even have children together – with no formal (court) marriage. My opinion has always been, “Why don’t they just get married formally if they have been together for many years?” I am beginning to understand their thought process, however. Why should you find it so necessary to have a paper when you love someone and can make a long-lasting commitment without it (ok, in places where it is legal)? Why add the pressure of a formal marriage when things are going along so well? The marriage certificate binds you into a commitment you may not be able to get out of; either economically, emotionally, etc. For me personally, I suffer in captivity of any kind. I want to rebel and strike out against it. On the flip side, I have been so blinded in love in my life that I wished for it like a moth to a flame; only to be very thankful later when I wasn’t burnt by it.

I make jokes about finding “the right guy” or a “billionaire in his 90s with no living children” to marry, but seriously – I have found (and am finding) these guys/they have found me (well, not in his 90s with no living children, but yes – a few billionaires). For whatever reason I had at the time, I didn’t do it. Further, money really doesn’t factor in because I know first hand that it can’t buy your happiness (am I right, Tawhore?). Things are short-lived.

I’m not on a hunt to “find some man to marry me”. It isn’t HIS decision; its mine if it comes to that. I’m not waving a banner saying, “pick me, pick me!” If it happens, it happens. In my case, quite honestly, most of the time it isn’t the catch; it is the thrill of the hunt. If it ever feels right – or maybe if I can muster up all the faith that I think it would take, then maybe someday I’ll go for it. If not, even with my concerns for my future, I am sure that I will be just fine without a marriage certificate from a government entity.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Why Some People Quit Blogging

None of us have to agree with everything written in other people’s blogs. The beauty of blogging is that there is a variety of information/perspectives out here and you can pick and choose what you want to read. If we don’t like what other people have to say, in a few keystrokes, we can navigate somewhere else and not go back there again (there are a few blogs that really do piss me off, so I don't read them). It is just like being in other people’s company; if you meet someone that you don’t like or share the same things in common or just dislike their opinions, you can move on and not associate with that person again.

Like politics or religion or whatever you don’t agree with – why stop to argue about something that you are likely not to win or change? Why place negative energy into something that you might as well just avoid? Agree to disagree and that’s it.

I’ve been receiving a lot of negative comments – mostly of the anonymous variety – from people who don’t share my opinions in the blog. For those people who do share my opinions – or at least stop in to read what I have to say and enjoy it: Let me just say that a few negative comments aren’t going to stop me from blogging. Phuck that.

I receive a lot of mail (with actual return addresses and even phone numbers) from people who have read this blog; not just in Kuwait but in other countries around the world. I have made a lot of friends – some of whom I socialize with in the “real world”. I love doing this. I have had years of happiness, word therapy and new friends, perspectives and insights.

What I am saying to those who chose to send in negativity is this: If you don’t like what I have to say, you have the CHOICE to stop reading; or perhaps even create your own blog and state your own opinions. (I’m not advocating that you start a blog to write negative comments directed solely at ME – by any means.) What you will find here are my opinions; not yours. I’m not planning to change, so you won’t win your argument; and you certainly will ever win with insults. Move it along - hopefully with a little dignity and self-respect.

I’m not willing to post comments that I’m not comfortable with. As the Editor in Chief of my own blog – I get to choose. If someone chooses to"advise" someone else, it doesn't mean that the person must take the advice. I have a choice. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And most definately - insults just aren’t going to make it in. If ANYONE wants to say something to me directly, you are more than welcome 24/7, 365 days a year to contact me at amerab@gmail.com. If you are considerate enough to leave a return address, I’ll even be happy to reply. However, one sided diatribes go directly to my recycle bin.

This is the first (since 2004) and last post that I will ever make on the subject. Bada bing.

Hugs and kisses,
Desert Girl

Sunday, October 21, 2007

OOOOPS!


US Rejected Civil Case (PWC/Agility story from the WSJ, Europe - page 10), October 23, 2007

Inside the Greed Zone (PWC/Agility Story from the Wall Street Journal).

Houston man is key figure in probe of food contracts (PWC/Agility Story from the Wall Street Journal)


The author of these stories is Glenn Simpson of the Wall Street Journal. He and his investigative team are running a series of similar stories and welcome feedback and additional research info. Email is glenn.simpson@wsj.com.

I Go to All the Romantic Places

…. With my girlfriends. I have found that men have become too cheap to invite me/us to any of the nicer restaurants around Kuwait. (If I offered to pay would it even make a difference???) Alas, the 1.250 kd cup of Starfucks has become the norm in Cheapass Tightwad Country. Last night, The Romanian and I had a perfectly lovely, romantic, candle-lit dinner at Ricardo in the Sheraton. I haven’t been back there for years (wasted years). OMG, the food is amazing and so is the service. There is lots of crystal and silver. I love that place. It is just really elegant. For what we pay at Sakura, it is almost comparable. By the by, there were lots of yummy mens in Ricardo during Eid, but last night, only couples "in love" and a family. The couples in love weren't talking to each other - except for one pair (it was his birthday) - and I only got one bluetooth from a man with a very pregnant wife. The pig! I sent him one back saying that I was about to walk across the room and slap him upside his rotund head. They left shortly after (both spent most of the evening talking to other people on their mobiles). Ah yes, love was indeed in the air.

The Romanian and I have also re-discovered the SAS lobby; and no, not for the men because it is like an old guy/mubahath diwaniya in there. I hadn’t been there in a long time, and had forgotten that they have a piano player. She (Aleksandra) is REALLY good and won me over as soon as she played, “Prelude to a Kiss” which is one of my all-time favorites. I used to request it at the piano bar at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons on Friday nights (while drinking my tequila sunrise and munching on sweet potato chips). Ahhhhh….. (WAKE UP!!!) I also like the Peacock and Kon Tiki. I think the hotel could use a re-vamp, however. My ass has a hard time getting off of their blue leather sofas because they are just too squishy (oh yeah, and my ass is just too big – that too).

Speaking of asses.... The Jailbird will be out in a few days so we can get back to eating fish at Housny. He is such a nice guy and all of us miss him so much. He was kept in jail a little longer than expected because - as he said - he had to kick someone's ass after they tried to "own" his! Damn.... I warned him about that. Watch your 6, buddy!

Cops.... We got chased down the street by a mubahath supervisor who was on duty at the hotel. Why? Because The Romanian is a cop magnet. I was really really surprised how fast dude shifted into a car and caught up with us (I drive like a maniac). It was impressive and I'm sure if there was a real emergency, they would have been on it very fast. He started speaking to her in Romanian. I was laughing so hard I almost couldn't drive home. They were looking at each other (us from the hotel valet parking - him from just outside) like meercats on The Animal Planet. You know how meercats kind of pop up over the reeds of grass and stare? It was like that. Dude was hysterical.

I cut my finger. I can’t say how, really (it involved a small explosion), but it hurts like the dickens. Thank God, it isn’t my favorite finger (that was close). It is the ring finger on my right hand. Of course, The Romanian and I have a conspiracy theory that everything is “her” fault and that somehow, she’s putting the eye on me (and my finger). Anyhoo, it is hard to do many things with a big band aid on your finger; many things that I had previously taken for granted.

Agony Aunt: Have you heard that Briddish term? Well, that’s what I am, apparently. I have one of those faces that everybody feels like they can say anything to. I’ve been catching a whole lot of other people’s grief lately and I’m like, ‘Dude/ette, why don’t you just create your own blog so that you can vent your frustrations?’ It has worked for me, right? I don’t like giving advice (unless someone specifically asks me for it). I just listen, empathize, console … and like that.

I’ve had a leetle bit of people writing to me with “advice” of their own – thinking that I am a 20-something girl in need of more mature assistance. Although I AM 29 (I lie), and perhaps my style of writing portrays someone of a more youthful age…. I am pretty much up to holding my own in terms of experience. I met a woman here once – not much older than me, but with a whole lot of sun damage – who started pouring on the older-woman advice. When I mentioned my age, she had a bewildered look (LOVE THAT) and said, “Oh.” Done deal. Bada bing. While I appreciate the main intent, the sub-intent of one-upmanship just aint all that.

Ok, enough about that. Why doesn’t City Center stock good tampons? They have 2 aisles of pads, but only like 2 boxes of tampons; and I’m sorry, OB doesn’t rate as a tampon to me. (I don’t understand why more people here don’t like tampons. I would die without them.) For a while there, I thought that the entire US military had depleted Sultan Center’s stocks of Tampax. I was having fits. I was ready to buy cartons (not boxes) from the US over the internet. It is really very worrisome. Anyhow, I was in Shitty Center this weekend and while staring my way through the sanitary napkin (I HATE that term!!!) aisle, a man and his 2 young boys pushed past me to grab some kind of pads; something with wings or flaps or whateverthephuck. The boys were saying, in Arabic, “No daddy. She doesn’t like those. She gets this kind at the co-op.” It kind of freaked me out and got me to contemplating. I’m glad that 1) men actually shop for feminine hygiene products for their wives 2) Arab men actually shop for feminine hygiene products for their wives 3) their sons are being trained for the future to actually shop for feminine hygiene products for their wives 4) they knew the difference between the good ones and the bad ones. Hey, here is a question (if you men have been brave enough to read down this far after the word “tampon” at the beginning of the paragraph) Men: Do you buy feminine hygiene products for your women or are you too chicken shit? Just wondering. Ladies: What has your experience been? Feel free to write in anonymously. Its ok.

I like City Center for other reasons: Like, they see a Westerner and all of a sudden, you have lots of little men who want to push your cart around for you INSIDE the store. Ah, if only they had valet parking, it would be my ideal place (if they stocked tampons, of course).

Furthermore, why don’t they have Midol in Kuwait? I’m pretty sure a lot more women here would be nicer people for a week out of the month…. Well hey… why don’t they have alcohol here so that everybody could be nicer 24/7 – 365? Just some thoughts. I know that if I have Midol, alcohol and chocolate… I’m a WAY nicer person all the way around. Go figure. I would probably be a nicer person too if I didn’t have to go to tall the romantic places only with my female friends. That would be a stress reliever. Maybe Midol, alcohol, chocolate, and Ricardo with a yummy man. Yeah! That rocks.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DG Request for Dirty Aliases

Every once in a while this happens – someone mentions aliases and I start thinking dirty (again and as usual). The short list I came up with was: Jack Meoff, Som Yungai, Lotta Gue and Seymore Butts. I know there are more. Please post a comment if you have good ones. I can’t think of any more right now. I'm sure that creative people like Purg can help.

I had a dream about The Man last night; well, he was not actually there, but it was about him. It freaked me out so bad that I felt compelled to send him an SMS. (Fuckit now the SheDevil will probably do something in retaliation as he tells her everything. P-word!) Oh well. I didn’t’ want to leave it on my conscience and if something had happened and I hadn’t said anything – it would be my bad karma. Anyhooooo… I used to be so wrapped up in him that I was kindof psychic about events that were happening in his life. I haven’t had any “messages” like this since we broke up. The event in my dream took place exactly at 1:30 in the afternoon in Jleeb (the old Jleeb): The sky turned dark and black and I thought it was night, so I asked what time it was. Three bad guys – who seemed to know him or be affiliated with him in some way (maybe even bad police men) kidnapped me and took me there (someplace next to a big tank like an oil/gas storage tank). I kept asking where he was. I knew without a doubt that something really bad had happened to him. The bad guys dumped my car somewhere in the desert and took me away. I couldn’t get away and I felt really frustrated that I couldn’t help him. I know that his supervisor was involved somehow and that he was being “interrogated” in a way. Holy shit – maybe he’s being interrogated by the SheDevil and he’s being held captive and tortured….

Terrible dream and it came out of nowhere (because I went to sleep with dirty thoughts of someone else dancing in my head). It has left me in a bad mood today.

And then I went to the frickin dentist… which wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Dr. Ahmed at International Clinic only took 45 minutes to repair my tooth and it didn’t even hurt. I didn’t cry and I didn’t punch anyone in the face (like I did when I got my root canal done way-back-when in the States). Thank God, Dr. Ahmed caters to cowards like me. I’m going back to get more done with my newfound bravery.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Desert Girl Eid Show



I Ugly-fied Desert Dawg: I decided to “do something a little different” and have Desert Dawg’s hair cut “poodle style” for Eid. I don’t know what prompted this, but it has had horrific consequences. She is really pissed off at me (just LOOK at the little face in the picture) and I can’t blame her. I won’t do it again and I feel really bad. Now, it is so short in some places (doggy ass) that I have to wait for it to grow out a little so that the groomer has something to work with. My fear is that if I have her completely shaved, that she will freeze to death because I keep my bedroom at sub-zero temperatures to sleep. (Purgy) I am completely against animal abuse and I have seemed to have done it myself this time. Poor little thing. (Her hair WILL grow back!)

Non-restaurant review: I went to Fareej Suwaileh restaurant this weekend (in Salmiya close to Marks & Spencer). The service was so bad that we walked out before we ever had the chance to order. I asked to speak to the manager and was told that, “He is resting.” Gee, how nice for him. I was planning to write a restaurant review about it, but there was no way in hell I could do it (as, of course, all the reviews in Kuwait are positive, positive, positive/perky-perky). The menu in English is worth the entire visit, however. There were so many spelling mistakes that I lost count (like “Kuwaitian Fodd” and “lamp shops”). Too bad. The restaurant is close to home and I was looking forward to a Kuwaiti place around the block. I’ll stick to Shatiya Watiya – even though I have to go cross-country to get there now because of all the construction/street closure around the Behbehani houses.

I guess it wasn’t my night because we decided to go to Araya to The Ritz restaurant which has amaaaaaaaaaazing fish & chips, only to discover that ever-entrepreneurial Sameer Dahan (you go, boyyyyy!) has struck again; and the restaurant was closed for renovation. We ended up saying “F it” and went to Bukhara at the Sheraton because at that point, I needed good service and guaranteed good-quality food (also known as "pampering"). We ran into my lawyer and his very-pregnant wife for the 2nd time in 2 days (the day before at the SAS). She must think we are stalking him. I am fer sure going to Ricardo this weekend because OMG there were a lot of really handsome men in there! I haven’t been there in years and the food used to be outstanding (this was in the days when there were still men in Kuwait who invited me to nice restaurants and not just Starbucks).

Eid was interesting. Slaps was in Oman and it was just me and The Romanian. We got invited to a lot of parties, but I just haven’t been in a party party mood. We’ve been doing quiet stuff lately which seems to better suit my mood. “A bottle at home is better than 2 in the bush (desert)” so to speak.

I had some very nice messages and very nice calls from friends I haven’t heard from in a while – like Maz, Olive’s brother. (If you are reading this – let’s go. You name the country and I’m in.)

I received a left-handed SMS from the SheDevil for Eid. I know she’s doing it just to F with me now and it may just instigate war. The content is such that the meaning of the message is twisted – she isn’t doing it to be nice although I’m sure that’s what she’s telling him. I can’t tell if The Man is F-ing with me or if it is just the SheDevil. Either way, it is going to be on like donkey kong if this stuff doesn’t cease and desist. Please don’t pretend to be my friend just to get what you want. I see through it. The draaaaaaaaaaaaama! Whay whay.

Anyhoooooooooo.

Speaking of oddities: I had a very strange experience last week. I met a TV personality (I'm not naming names) through a friend. He is (in his words) “ready to settle down” and showed some interest initially through e-mails and phone calls. So, we met for dinner. He reminded me of a little dog – constantly looking around the room and very very nervous. Yes, I did show compassion and kept telling him that he really should have a cigarette (or a bottle of vodka perhaps). He put on a nicotine patch and rubbed it constantly (on his ARM, dirty-thinkers!) At the end of the meal (which ROCKED – best part of the evening; although he said, “I thought scallops meant escalloped. I don’t eat shellfish…” Like I care.), he said, “You have some very serious thinking to do. This will be a long-term commitment.” Oh snap – he said the word too soon. It’s like sex that is over too fast. Commitment: JeezLouise – even I know better than to use that word on first date. It freaked me out. Show people!

OH! I have a classic for you people out there… I met a guy in his 40’s (managerial position at a ministry) several weeks ago and I didn’t feel like calling him back. I finally did and he said he wanted to send me his picture (I only spoke to him twice). What he sent me was a picture of his weenie (also known as: winky, pee-pee, po-po, Johnson, peter, one-eyed-trouser-snake, heat seeking moisture missile, tallywacker, etc…). OMG! WTF is happening to Kuwait???? I told him that I am saving it incase he ever calls me again – that I’ll file a case against him. What is WRONG with people???? Is it just that I’m an ajnabeea? Do you think he does this with Kuwaiti women also? What would make someone think that that kind of behavior is ever appropriate?

There is definitely something in the stars lately because this isn’t even the worst thing that has happened to me lately. I can’t discuss the worst. I wish I could, but too many people reading this know who I am (if you really really want to know – write to me amerab@gmail.com and I’ll send you the excerpt). I liked it when I used to be anonymous and could write about EVERYTHING. Maybe I should start another blog called, “freaky shit” (yeah, as if the freaky shit you’re finding here isn’t bad enough, right?).

I’m going to the US at Christmas for another reality break: Family, Nemacolin Woodlands Spa in Pennsylvania for hot stone massages… ooooo saaaaaaa.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sunshine on the Clock Tower Dome


This is all a very random kind of post and I really couldn’t decide how I was going to title it. I decided on something related to the most positive part of my day (so far)….

This morning on my way to work, I noticed the clock tower at Seif Palace (built late 1800's/early 1900's). I have been driving by there for the past 11 years and I’ve never really paid particular attention/notice to it. Maybe this morning it was because of the way the light was hitting the gold dome – I don’t know. It was just very pretty; in a way that the Mormon temple in Maryland (I think at Bethesda) on the Beltway is at sunset with the light shining on it. The gold suddenly hits your eye and lights the path ahead. It makes you feel (for 2 nanoseconds before the next loser cuts you off) that everything is right in the world and you are exactly where you are supposed to be at that given moment.

Which is not where I was last night… I cooked tashreeb and broke part of my tooth. There was a little sliver of lamb bone and when I bit into it, there went part of my tooth, so I have to get it fixed. It hurts. There is an “emergency” tooth place near my building. Guess I should go there, but it reminds me that The Man took the Shedevil there in April after The Big March 23 Incident.

I don’t want to think of them (although I don’t mind thinking of him once in a while), but an unfortunate series of events lately has led me in that direction. I have met manipulative people in my life, but the Shedevil (formerly known as “Sheherazade” in previous posts) wins the grand prize. The Man thinks that I was mean to her, but he doesn’t know the whole story (how is it possible to “use” someone when they’ve asked for your help???) I’m sure that he knows deep down what transpired. I wonder now that if I had bought him a more expensive car than she did, that he would have stayed with me. BMW? Mercedes? Escalade? House in Colorado? Secure future? 7,000 kd cash…. What is the price? Name that lucky number.

Is that love?

Similar theme, different story…

The Romanian had a boyfriend for many years who she loved deeply (at one point until she figured him out). Nawaf always said that he wanted to marry a rich, submissive woman. Romanian isn’t either. He drove up in his new Jaguar this week to tell her how much he loves her, how badly he wants to have sex with her, and to tell her all about his new, rich stay-at-home wife. He married the perfect woman: wealthy, submissive, and willing to “take care of the home” while he is outside doing whateverthehell he wants (safe or unsafe sex?).

And on that note – doesn’t anyone have any idea that the rate of AIDS cases is increasing in Kuwait? There are something like 6,000 reported cases (last I heard). Does anyone have a figure on the latest statistics?

I don’t understand why women put up with it. Are these women (in this case, Kuwaiti) so desperate to get (and stay) married that they don’t care that their husbands cheat and “make” them stay at home while they are out on the prowl (potentially contracting Godknowswhat)? Is it so much better just to have a man around once in a while (late at night to sleep with); to cook for; to clean up after? (Why not just take a job as a maid/nanny and get paid for it; rather than paying someone else?) I could understand it more if these guys were marrying young girls who hold a rosy picture of what marriage is supposed to be – stand by your man and all that crap. In the cases I know of recently, the women are older and divorced.

It isn’t even that they are counting on the man for support. Au contraire – Dudes are benefiting rather than the other way around.

Maybe I’m not married because I have always felt it better to be my own person and to live my life without allowing someone to “control” me (not that I would stay very long with someone who tried). I don’t want anyone to abuse my trust or my intelligence. If I am in a relationship and suddenly realize that a marriage won’t last – I don’t want to be there. Bada bing.

Yesterday morning, a bird on my windowsill woke me up. I usually take the birds as signs or messages. I think I got one yesterday, but unfortunately, it has kind of bummed me out. “Perhaps something doesn’t happen TO you, but FOR you.”…

I’ve been going through kindof a melancholy phase. I don’t know why. Nothing has changed. My friends are still my friends. My health is still good (except for my f-ing tooth!). My job is still ok/routine. I have met new good/decent friends and a few bad people. Things are much the same, but what is it? Naz called me out of the blue last week to tell me that he feels (he’s psychic) that this is a very good period in my life when I am grounded; a good starting point for things to come. Why is it that I feel down? Very odd. Do you think that I need more chocolate in my diet? I do. Maybe I need to go shoe shopping again (although I just bought a kickass pair of purple shoes that ROCK).

This is all very deep, isn’t it? On to something totally different.

BTW – my very favorite pair of shoes is the Dolce & Gabbana pair that Slapperella bought first at Villa Moda. They were expensive, but damn I’m worth it.

I know I’m a total loser, but I just discovered Facebook (no, not because of the article in Bazaar because I “discovered” it 2 days before). I used to think of myself as relatively computer-savy, but alas there are things that I’m just not connected to yet. I have a whole new world now on Facebook. No wonder so many people get in trouble for playing on it all day (like my sisters’ employees, for example).

Ok another thing I’m retarded about – is there any way to get around the thing on iTunes that doesn’t allow users in Kuwait to download? Proxy bypass?

As a little side note: I went to the Ramadan tent at the new Movenpick Hotel at Bidaa for a subsidiary’s gabka. WOW. I love the place. The d├ęcor of the entire hotel is amazing and the food we had on the buffet was outstanding. The tent was on the beach, facing the water. The back of the tent opened up to the pools with torch-lit pathways (some with bridges over the pools) leading from the main building. I think if I was going to plan a wedding in Kuwait, that area would be ideal (as long as it’s not during the summer!). It is the closest to a romantic spot that I’ve seen in Kuwait.

The hotel I love the most in the GCC is the Royal Mirage in Dubai. It is built to resemble a Moroccan fort. Freakin amazin. I also love the Bustan in Oman, but it is slightly less romantic – although amazing in architecture and location (between the sea and the mountains).

One of my billionaire friends called me last week, wanting me to recruit a personal assistant for him. I immediately thought of one young woman I know who would be ideal. Unfortunately, she sometimes lets her self-confidence talk her out of things and can be a little unreliable; she re-scheduled the interview with him 2 times and on the third, he called me. “Your friend is an asshole.” Ex – e – queeeeeeeze mee??? 1) That is just frickin rude. 2) Billionnaires/millionaires/people who have a shitload of money are a pain in the ass. 3) Billionnaires/millionaires/people who have a shitload of money are almost always guaranteed to be cheapskates; 4) I don’t work for him (or the ones like him who ask me to do favors then blame me if something goes wrong). A similar incident happened in the past with another not-so-rich, but still politically-powerful friend who asked me for a favor and then called and shouted at me when it was taking longer than he had expected. In the latter case, I sent him an invoice for 200 kd for “consulting services rendered”, and haven’t heard from him since. In the former case, I am going to ask him for a big gift for being rude (I can’t really blow this person off, unfortunately).

I don’t like to swear. It’s vulgar.

If anyone out there wants a job as a PA to a billionaire asshole with 42 agencies/companies – and you can name your package/benefits – just let me know (amerab@gmail.com). The requirements are: Westernized, extremely professional appearance/demeanor, a “yes person”, pro-active, must be willing to do both office work and personal work (making appointments for his no-doubt asshole wife and kids, schoolwork, etc.); full office skills (light book keeping, filing/organization, scheduling, corresponding with subsidiary companies and customers/potential customers, possibility of proposal/invoice writing). Proficient in English; Arabic preferred. This guy will potentially take candidates from overseas and pay for their travel to Kuwait.

Having said all that random stuff above, I would like to wish you all - Muslim, Christian, Jew ... whatever - a very happy Eid. May the light always shine on your clock tower dome. :)