Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trans Am - RetroSexy

The first time I saw this car was when they were unveiling it at an auto show at the Providence Civic Center. In the early 80's, I had a 1978 Gold Trans Am with the bird emblem (similar to this photo) and racing slicks on the rear. I bought it from the Brigadeer now in charge of the Kuwait firefighters training institute. He was leaving the States and sold it to me. I LOVED that car. Sex on wheels. The engine in this car sounded similar to 2 outboard boat engines (whomp whomp whomp whomp...). High torque, rear wheel drive. I used to jam out on Eurythmics and Chaka Khan in that car; took the T-tops off and cruised Georgetown all night - until the sun came up and I had to find someplace to park and sleep for a few hours as my mom would have locked me out of the house by that time.... I often woke up to the cops tapping on my window telling me it was time to move.

The only solice I had in selling it was that I sold it to another girl who loved it as much as I did. She bought it - cash - with money she took out of her cowboy boots. She called me 3 months later to ask where she could buy another set of slicks. Kindred souls.

I had an opportunity a few years later to buy a black, oil-cooled-turbo version of a 79 TA, but passed after gettin a hinky feeling about it. Turns out that oil-cooled-turbos were just a bad, bad idea and lots of engines were wrecked when the turbos went bad, sucking oil away from the pistons. My friends from Saudi had 2 white ones (1980's) that they loved too. They were white with white leather interiors. Anyhooo... memories.

Bunny sent me photos of the 2009 Trans Am. He knows me so well - we think we may have even met when we were teenagers at The Library in Gtown.

OMG! I'm not a teenager anymore, but I want one BAD.

It looks like an Astin Martin from the rear.

I drooooooool.

Burt, you may be old now, but I will always remember you fondly in your youth as The Bandit....

... and the 20-somethings are all going, "Whaaaaaaaa? Who the F is "Burt?" "What is The Bandit?" OMG I'm old.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Striking Laborers - Modern Day Slave Trade

The cleaning guys contracted to work in our office haven’t been paid in 4 months, so they are out today striking. They get 20-24 KD a month. Trust – as in “Trust us not to pay our employees”. Dudes are working for 3-4 months without pay; then when the companies finally do pay them, they only give them 1 month's salary. OMG - I can't imagine how ballistic I would go!

That is so pathetic and disgusting. These cleaning company owners are just slave traders.

How can these workers survive? Has anyone noticed (duuuuh) that the price of food has gone up? The baladiya has been raiding street vendors selling food that is either expired or has been pilfered from grocery stores.

How much food is wasted by others? Damn people – if you don’t eat it at a restaurant (and I see SO many people leaving SO MUCH food on the table), have them package it up; if you see someone on the street digging in a trash bin, hand it to them. If I come back from lunch and I have half a sandwich left, our cleaning dudes are so happy to take it.

Giving to the poor shouldn’t just be during Ramadan. There are needy people all the time.

This is basic stuff: Food, shelter, water.


During the riots on the night of the 27th, not one person was arrested. If you notice the photos in the papers, the police are shown either calmly talking to the workers, or standing back and observing. The order for the police to conduct themselves in this manner, an order must have come from the top. Unfortunately, riots on the 28th were met with teargas and batons, but still, photos show autorities taking a distanced stance. It appears from the stories that I have seen that workers were only arrested when things turned violent. This is a tremendous step forward for Kuwait with a previous "whack a mole" mentality towards peaceful demonstrations by workers.

I have talked to quite a few Kuwaiti friends about this and they all feel that inhumane treatment of workers in Kuwait is a black mark on the country's reputation. All feel that the government will do something. They should. Most of these guys even have to pay for their own visas and companies still retain their passports - which is illegal, but a lot of places still do. Slavery. If company employees must be paid through electronic funds at banks to ensure a transaction record, and monthly salary reporting must be completed to the MOSAL; then the same should be done for laborers. Banks hate this because they make no money from the transactions and it is more of an administrative headache to them than a benefit.

Better yet, change the labor law that hasn't been revised since 1964.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lipton Chai Latte - Where are you?

Lipton has been running a marketing campaign for their new Chai Latte. The Romanian, Lazy Girl Extraordinaire, got me hooked. "Just add water." Yeah, well thanks for nothin! We went to Sultan Center in Sharq and stared at the humungous mountain of Chai Latte (fancy Frenchy words for chai haleeb) and got us some. I had one, then two and then I was hooked. I don't know what kind of ingredient it has in it (maybe the MOH has banned it?) but its killin me that NO PLACE IN KUWAIT HAS IT now.

Gimme more gimme more!!!!

Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Lipton, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

I even have gone so far as to google them (yeah baby yeah) and I have found out that there is an entire support group for fools like me addicted to the stuff.

I want you….. but only on my terms

I have been meeting a lot of these creatures lately. I have had to lower the sensors on my bullshit detector to accommodate the massive volume; I fear sensory overload. Like the Tarsheed campaign, I am trying to cut back.

What makes people think that they can get away with it?

“I can’t wait to see you.”: Only when I don’t have anything better to do and preferably after 11:00 on a Friday night (also known as BOOTY CALL in the West). This indicates that the caller is a guy. That’s true. My girlfriends call me all the time. If my male friends were smart – they would too. Then – duuuuuuh – they wouldn’t be so transparent and might actually GET a little.

Yes, idiot, I see through you. Tu es SO OBVIOUS.

“I want to be your friend – your real friend.” Do you know what this means to me? “Real friend” (at least by my standards) equates to someone who I can count on: emotionally, spiritually, fundamentally. If I need to talk, he/she picks up the phone. If I need to vent about how rotten or wonderful my day was, I can call him/her. My friends want to see me and I want to see them. It is called companionship. What friendship does NOT mean to me is “I’ll call you when I’m not busy.” That just means that I’m a time-filler between more important things to do. I’m not a time filler. I’m worth way more than that. Get a phucking life and join a club of some kind if you are trying to fill time. I’m not that girl.

Gosh, I must be really entertaining, right?

I had a guy who was “after me” for close to a year. I kept blowing him off. He gave up for a while and then would come back for more. I'd see him on the road, at the mall, here and there... (salker?) I finally relented, after one of my girlfriends said, “Well, if he is this tenacious, you should check him out.” So, I gave him a chance and said I would meet him for coffee. Dumbass had the nerve to invite himself to my apartment - insisted on it. He was actually angry when I said no. (This is where I lean over as far as I possibly can and give him what he really wants to see - a picture of my butt. I love MMS. However, half of the idiots can't even figure out what it is - I guess it is rather large and it is usually blurry.... nevermind.)

This is why first cousins shouldn’t procreate. There might be one bad F-ed up gene and BABAM! Cranial birth defect.

Bu Merdas invited all his friends to a big dinner at his place. I am so sick of his shenanigans lately that I am distancing myself to the point of invisibility. He called me the other day (because I refuse to see him these days) and invited me and the girlfriends to his place in Kabd for lunch. That’s nice, right? Well, dumbass got that far. “Bring your food.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? Bring my own food? What the phuck is that???

Where have all the cowboys gone? What kind of hospitality is that? I count on Kuwaitis for their special brand of Arab hospitality and I’m met with “bring your own food”. I wonder if his mom does that when she invites people over.

He probably doesn’t know the trick where you call Pizza Hut and order 50 pizzas to be delivered to his place….. Does now. I’ll show him “bring your own food”..... You got food now, don't cha?!

Arrogant, stubborn, pig-headed, self-centered mama's boys! I don’t even give most men the time of day anymore. It is all too tedious and it is always the same. Most of them don’t even know how to approach a woman without insulting her.

I met one guy this weekend at a gaada with Hickey and The Romanian. HE impressed me. He smiled, walked up and gave me several very nice (not smarmy or cliche) compliments, and walked away. Aaaaah – ya seee – that’s what I’m talkin’ about: The closer. If you are going to pitch yourself, know the right way. Its all about sales & marketing: He didn’t insult me. I didn’t feel any gag reflex by way of some overt innuendo (I have actually looked guys straight in the eye, leaned over, and made "the puking noise" before). No, dude did exactly what he was supposed to do and it worked! He totally got my attention. He wasn’t even particularly handsome and I hadn’t even given him a second look before he came over. He just said something about how he thought I had a nice smile and that he could tell I had a good heart – and he said it in a sincere tone.

Men – learn from this. Sincerity and a little kindness go a long way. No need to try to impress a girl with superficiality; most of us have seen it all before. Je ne giveashitpas about your fancy (weekend rental) car or your (fakeass) Rolex. We just want someone to be nice to us. Oh yeah, and food helps.

Cost of Living – Kuwait 2008

I’ve often been asked by people about the cost of living in Kuwait.

I haven’t seen really good data in one location about the cost of living here, so I decided to do some of my own trivial research on everything from the Down & Dirty to the normal and mundane.

Prices are average – and again, this is from my perspective. The conversion rates were for24 July 2008. The cost of living in Kuwait was reported at 11+% this month.

Count on Desert Girl for the real scoop! If you have items to add or questions to ask, bring it on!

One thing I forgot to mention on this list: If you live in an apartment building/complex, your building guard (called "haariss" here) should get 5kd per month for taking out your trash (there are no trash shoots here like in the US) AND washing your car. 5kd is the standard rate - you can pay him more than that if you want. My building guard is a super-nice guy. He fixes things, carries heavy stuff for me and generally makes sure that I'm ok/safe. When I cook, I make extra for him - especially during Ramadan. However, some harisses aren't as nice and try to take advantage.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Open Water - Kuwait Style

(Related "organs"? WTF??! Organizations!)

Youse guys mighta heard about this accident. It happened on Friday off of Kubbar Island. I just found out last night that my friends’ boat was one of the two involved in the crash.

I don’t know many details myself, but I know that my friend and his girlfriend (why can't I ever remember her name? She's so nice!) were in the water from 5:00 pm until 2:00 am; which doesn’t surprise me. Someone called emergency services when they crashed and then they waited to be rescued.

I don’t know if he’s ever seen the movie, “Open Water” or not, but I think I’ll buy him the DVD (OMG, DG! You’re such a bitch.) Seriously, he was very shaken up by it. I would have been too. There are strong currents around the islands and they were really lucky to have been saved. I've seen sharks close to Qaruh and they aren't small. The one I saw was about 6' long. I don't know what kind it was. They put it right next to the 5' baracuda they caught.

It’s kindof ironic that other members of his family were stranded at sea years ago when they had engine failure. I think the guys were rescued after 15 days in a small fishing boat. Picture.

I’ve been in 2 separate incidents where we had boat engine failure (different boats) and the coast guard took 3-4 hours each time to reach us.

It also wouldn’t surprise me that a US military helicopter assisted in the rescue.
It also doesn't surprise me that people are playin The Blame Game over responsibililties. Train, drill, train, drill (repeat).

Although I jest, I am so glad you are okay, Mishal. Your friends love you so much and everyone who has ever met you likes you immediately. We are glad that you made it safely to shore. Alhamdulillah salama, my friend.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Manual Transmission Vs. Automatic

Got a question of the peanut gallery: Is impotence a big problem in Kuwait? How big (or small) is it?

I mean, I was talking with a group of female friends lately on the subject and they all concur that from their experience, it is a problem. My girlfriends are all from a cross of ages, cultural backgrounds, and marital status.

Could it be that these are guys who have spent (mithilin) “too much time driving manual rather than automatic”? Could it be that perhaps they don’t want to “relinquish control of the gear shift”?

Perhaps married guys “drive automatic” more often?

Inquiring minds want to know. I’m taking the anonymous control off the blog for a while. Feel free to dish.
Zoom Zoom Zoom

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Health Clubs - Kuwait

I shared my list of health club prices with Mark of 2:48AM [The B-Sides] and he was kind enough to post them. He has a much larger readership and has way more technical capability than I do.

See the list here.

If anyone has additional information that you can pass me (mens gyms for example), I would really appreciate it. I have been updating this list for our employees, but I also distribute it.

When your push-up bra goes too far

Catchy title, eh?

Anything with "bra" in the title is hereby and forthwith dedicated to Purgatory. Ask and ye shall receive.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me today, but I woke up tired and achy. I had a dream that I was driving through farmland and looked over into a field and a brown calf smiled at me (what does it all mean?). Go figure.

Just looked it up on http://www.dreammoods.com/ dream interpreter and it says: “To see a calf in your dream, symbolizes immaturity and inexperience. You need to develop certain qualities.” Uh, funk dat; I like my immaturity. But then wait, it goes on to say, “Brown denotes worldliness, practicality, domestic and physical comfort, conservatism, and a materialistic character. Brown also represents the ground and earth.” WTF. Now I’m confused. Anyhoooooooo….

I woke up late (as usual). Who the HELL invented the snooze? It was a man, fer sure. It was a man who could wear a baseball cap, jeans, and t-shirt to work who could get away with not shaving nor any sort of hygiene routine. Obviously, any woman would know better.

My routine is long and minutely accurate – like a military mission. Details are imperative. For example, I use 2 different types of eyeliner. The first, on the upper lids sets rather quickly (love you, Lancome black liquid eyeliner!). The next, on the lower lids, I use a water-proof, mortar-proof, tear-resistant eyeliner (you bastards at Cle de Peau had to stop making it, didn’t you? Was it too good? Was it that one unit would last 6 months?) that I have to use the hair dryer to get to fasten to my skin. I’m telling ya – you can’t get rid of it with normal make up remover. It is resistant to sand-blasting and 12 hour work days (I’ve found it to be the ONLY long-wearing eyeliner that will stay on my eyes in summer in Kuwait). Anyhow, that is just the eyelids. Then, there is eye shadow, mascara, foundation, powder… I’m really just writing this for the benefit of men who have no clue. Girls, you know what I’m talking about, right?

The Snooze Idiot didn’t understand this which is why I hate him. I hit my snooze again and again until it gets “Oh My God, they are definitely going to fire me this time” time.

This morning was the first time in 3 years that I didn’t wash my hair before going to work. 3 years ago, I had a REALLY good/fun reason…. Today was just nonsensical.

So, I had no idea what to wear (as usual) and had to go looking for a neutral bra to go with the white shirt I decided on. The one I grabbed was, as it turned out, quite the wrong choice. I know, you guys are thinking, “Why wear one?” right? Idiots. Shut up.

Long-story-short, the girls are up around my chin today and co-workers are giggling. Such is my life. I was planning to go downstairs and have kabab today, but I don’t think that would be a wise decision.

I have an update on my life. I have been debating about if I should even write about this, but I think I will because it has had a happy ending.

I wrote a few posts about the Psychic Bedu and his prediction for June of 2008. He said that The Man would come back around in that month. For the past 18 months, I’ve been doing my normal thang of going to tarot card, coffee cup, shell tossing readers (with my girlfriends, of course) who have told me pretty much the same thing. Do I believe in that kind of thing? Well, let me say that I do believe in the Law of Averages, so if all these people are telling me pretty much of the same thing, then yes – I tend to believe it. One lady actually told me The Man’s first name and his profession. One tarot card reading told me that The Man would come back into my life, but our relationship would be redefined as something completely different, yet happy.

The Man is back in my life (June 2008 - exactly when PB said) and I am glad. We have decided to be friends.

Have you heard that song, “Heart of the Matter”? Lyrics here. The original version is by Don Henley/Eagles, but I really love the new one by India Arie (Sex and the City soundtrack). It is about forgiveness. For weeks, the lyrics have been playing in my head and I think that it is yet another sign from God that I should be listening to. So, I am.

He has been helping me find a new apartment and I don’t think anyone else could do what he has managed to do for me. He has been an amazing friend and I don’t even know how to thank him.

When I first saw him, I would go home every time and cry. I felt so bad because I felt like he is not the same person. He isn’t. I am. I haven’t changed. My emotions really haven’t changed towards him. He speaks softer and doesn’t make much eye contact. The electric current that used to be between us that you could almost see in the air is gone. It as if he has been unplugged somehow. He isn’t sarcastic. He doesn't seem as confident. He's lost weight and somehow seems defeated. Maybe it is just that seeing him is all new; I don't know. He doesn’t want to talk about the past at all. I’m a talker; I find it hard not to talk about it, but so be it. Let it go, DG.

Anyways, I had many months of unrealistic fantasies that he missed me as much as I missed him, and he was thinking about me when I was thinking about him. It was nice to feel like someone out there loved me and that “evil forces” were somehow keeping us apart. What it comes down to is realistic choices. How terribly anticlimactic.

I’m a typical Aries personality and I don’t like it when the choice isn’t MINE. I’m supposed to make the choices.

He is being a lot more mature about it than I am (calf dream). In a nutshell, he said that we tried as hard as we possibly could and nothing we did worked. We were making each other miserable and it couldn’t continue.

Again, the Aries in me wants to fight for it; be the champion of the cause. But fight until when? Okay, so I get it, but parts of me still don’t like it.

The Man has forgotten big chunks of our relationship which made me very sad. I don't know how anyone can do that, but I'm trying to understand it. Maybe it is his defense mechanism. Maybe he had to forget to move on. I don't do that. I remember details and covet them. I shouldn't. Let it go.

At the moment, I don’t know what I want. Bu Merdas is the polar opposite of The Man in terms of relationships. Where The Man was possessive (and I like that), Bu Merdas is a commitment-phobe who will bolt when he feels confined. I can’t feel secure in that even though he’s a great guy and many of the other pieces fit together nicely.

So, here I am again at the point where I was 3 years ago – kinda hoping for something better while I am massing X’s who are now best buddies. Perhaps I’m forming my own army of some sort, I don’t know. Its all part of God's plan, right?

This is a long post. Don’t care. Stop reading if you are bored. It is my therapy.

I met up with an old friend who I haven’t seen since 1990 in Washington. He was doing his PhD in political science. I learned through friends that he is here in Kuwait now as an ambassador. So, we met for dinner. It was very odd. He knew me when I was a teenager and seeing him again made me feel like an insecure teenager. He reminded me of a LOT of things I had forgotten about myself. How did I get such a terrible memory? Every other sentence out of his mouth was, “Sheikh Nasser (Ali, Meteb, flan, etc…) was asking about you after you left Washington.” OMG. I had no idea I had left such an impression. He reminded me of old friends that I haven’t thought of in years. Proving once again that I have always had more male friends than female! Eek. I guess I was popular and I didn’t even know it. Some of these people have gone on to become really important.

I used to go to embassy receptions and functions in Washington without even giving it a second thought (like to the Iraqi embassy’s national day party in 1986…. and even parties with the Libyan embassy staff before they closed the embassy in Washington… and the cool fountain at the Iranian embassy where my friend, Laura, snuck into one night with the son of a diplomat….the multitude of Kuwait National Day parties that even included dancing. What would the new parliament think!?) Apparently, others did give my presence a second thought. I hope that I wore the right thing and said the right thing. My mother wouldn’t have allowed me to leave the house if I hadn’t – I’m sure. She was a National Correspondent covering political affairs for a long time – and that included going to receptions and galas. All the party clothes I owned in the 80’s and early 90’s were from Neiman Marcus (thanks Mom!), so I must not have been too shabby.

You know when your mother tells you, "You should remember this time of your life because it will never happen again"? Why the HELL didn't I listen to her????

At that time, men were throwing gifts at me left and right and it totally pissed my mother off. She was of the philosophy that if a man bought you a gift, you owed him something. Now, I am of the same philosophy, but back then, I was living it up. Every time someone bought me a $500 dress, accessory, or piece of jewelry, my mother and I would go up to Mazza Gallerie to buy him a gift of equal value. It wasn’t cheap.

What happened to me???? Now, I’m going to gaadat at jkhoors in Chabd.

I knew a hell of a lot about the underbelly of politics in Washington at that time too. How could I forget all this stuff? I can’t blame in on one event like some of my girlfriends do, “I was in a terrible car accident and hit my head… lost your number….”

How is it that you can forget big chunks of your past and you wish that you could forget chunks of your not-so-distant past?

I am really philosophical today. Must be PMS.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cracker Barrel

One of my friends was on Restaurants Street over the weekend and saw a woman in abaya/niqab getting beaten up by 5 men. My friend saw her from her car – she said that a lot of people stopped, but no one helped her because they assumed it was her family who caught her out “doing something wrong”. She said even the police were there wouldn’t help. (I’m relaying what my friend told me – I wasn’t there.) So I ask you:

What would you do? At the very least, I would call 777 - maybe they could send more police or ensure that it was logged/whatever. After that, I would take out my mobile phone and film it (Rodney King style).

That’s terrible. Family or not, no one has the right to do that. Okay, disown her, kick her out of the house, but to beat her (as my friend said) “almost to death” in front of bystanders who are doing nothing to help her? Is this Kuwait? Is it really 2008?

God, I think about how lucky I am….

Another Kuwaiti friend told me a story about his neighbor who bought a little dog as a gift for his children. Give the gift of love, right? They kept it in an unshaded cage in their back yard all day/night with no food or water. When the kids took it out, they beat it for sport; the dog crying so loud that my friend could hear it from his house. He took pity on the dog and had his own hariss steal the dog and get it out of the neighborhood. My friend’s question: What kind of people are they that would buy an animal for their children to torture? Do those people pray 5 times a day? Do they fast during Ramadan? For WHAT? Rot in Hell.

Again, my question is: what would you do? I would have called PAWS or AFL, but my friend didn’t know about them (he does now).

Every night when I look over at Desert Dawg, I thank God that he brought her to me instead of someone evil and cruel. I can’t imagine a loving soul like her ever being used for sport. I would kill for that little dog. No question.

Wow: Heavy blog post.

Otay, wanna hear about my weekend? It was kinda boring, but it was okay. I’m on short-timers until vacation. I gots to get out of here. Lemmmmeeeeeee oooooooout!

Purgy sent me a message over the weekend asking if I knew any good places in Kuwait for Southern/country restaurants. Alls I could come up with was KFC, Applebees, and Ruby Tuesdays. There isn’t exactly an Evans, Cracker Barrel, or Country Kitchen here, is there? God knows – there should be. Anything with that much fat and cholesterol would be a gold mine in Kuwait (sans the pork lard). Sorry to let you down, Purg, but I just don’t know.

I would love a Denny’s, but for now, open-all-night at Freej Suwaileh is good for me. Yummy tashreeb.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Being in your presence makes me less of a human

Have you ever known people like that?

I feel like I’m surrounded by emotional vampires lately – slowly sucking the life force out of me (and NOT in a good way, I might add). I have a refrigerator magnet that my friend, Mons, gave me back in 1998 that reads, “The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.” Yep. That’s kind of what I’m feelin right now.

I have met a lot of odd types lately (the odds are good, but the goods are odd) and I just want to stand them in a line and run by, smacking them as I go: smack, smack, smack, smack…. Kind of like Madeline running down a hallway with a stick, being chased by Miss Clavel. (Where the HELL did that image come from? Did that coffee boy put something weird in my latte again?)

Where are the flowers? Where is the romance? Why doesn't anybody just be nice to me and not want anything for it? Sniffle, whimper.

Shoes. I need to buy shoes. Everything is set right again with shoes.

I know it is time for vacation. The Romanian and I haven’t even discussed much about the trip lately because we are of the same mindset that talking about it will jinx it. We just smile – knowingly. Hand me that French martini…. Let's go to Designer Shoe Warehouse....

There is a Kuwaiti expression, “teezain fi serwal” which translates to “two asses in one underwear”. I love that expression. It is about the ultimate friends. Bil Englaisee, y’anee, mumkin shay like “of the same mind” – which is less crude, but really doesn’t have the same affect. The Romanian and I are like that – we are really good friends. Unfortunately, the thongs we wear would never accommodate two, but that is quite another story.

No, we are not lesbians (Purgy!) and sometimes I wish we could be. Quite frankly, the men I have met lately have promoted same-gender relations. As in, “Dude, you are the poster child for lesbianism."

I have never learned that Arabic/Kuwaiti transliteration language. Would someone send me a chart. Alls I know is 7 = ha. N’est pas?

I don’t know what has happened to me at work lately. I mean, it isn’t even close to being time for bonuses or anything – I’m just really creative and working really hard on self-imposed projects. I think I’m starting to make one of my fellow managers upset because I’m making him look bad, but I can’t help it. For some reason, I’ve just got a creative bug up me arse (that’s Briddish for “ass”, ‘mericans!) lately.

Since I'm moving out of my apartment, I decided to dismantle the damn door bell (as in - rip it the hell out of the wall). BE GONE, BEGGARS! I'm LIBERATED. I can't tell you how much I like not having that tone every evening. No more DVD guys or street urchins ringin' my door and upsetting my dog. Go ahead - knock till your knuckles hurt. Me givesashit not.

Golly jeepers, but I'm in a mood! Must go now and eat chocolate. Godiva has raspberry truffles that are almost as good as the raspberry cordials that they can't sell here (cause they have .00000000023 percent of alcohol). I bought a "small box" for 7 kd. Yummmmmm. If I only had a quart of tequila to wash them down with.

Latah my peeps. Desert Girl out.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Stupid Tests & Quizzes Online

I love doing these tests. I used to do all the Cosmo quizzes whenever they came out. “What kind of lover are you?” and all that. (Faaaaaaaaaabulous – of course!)

Emotional Intelligence on this list is really not stupid. I took a course once that showed how Emotional Intelligence worked towards group dynamics – and I loved it. I learned that I am an ENFJ (same as Obama and my sister).

I’ve included a whole bunch o’tests below and links to them. www.blogthings.com has most of the really stupid ones (Are you an attention whore? Is one of my favorites, for example).

Slapperella, you need to take this one: Is your boss psycho?

Some of my blog readers need to take this one: How sketchy are you? (I scored 76%)

What is your Emotional Intelligence? More on EI

Are you an attention whore?

Right/Left Brain Test

More on Hemisphere/brain type

Relationships vs. personality type

What's wrong with your ex?

Why are building owners so stupid?

I went to see a GORGEOUS apartment last night in Bayan. Classic bait-and-switch, Kuwaiti style. 'How much is the rent?' "450 KD"..... 600 KD in fact (according to the owner - not the realtor). But, they got me in there and the place was amazing: wrap-around, roof-top terrace, jacuzzi, 3 bedrooms, beautiful kitchen, living room that was 2.5 times larger than the one I have now. I want it. Badly.

I am working with a FEMALE realtor now and what a difference! She intuitively knows what I want - and it doesn't include any smelly places. Funk dat!

I'm so sick of working with real estate people (from the land of the pyramids). I'm sorry if I sound prejudice/racist, but in my personal experience, it is always the same thing. They will lie to me and tell me one thing then show me another. The places are disgusting and the prices are through the roof. The building guards at the places that these guys show me are the dreggs of society.

Last night, I saw a building that The Romanian and I had looked at when it was first built - only several years ago. Now, it is a disgusting, poorly-maintained place. The apartment I looked at had a gorgeous sea view, but they'll never get the money that they want for it (370 kd) because the former tenant had "decorated" it in such a manner that it literally looked like a live-fire exercise on a machine gun range. Even the walls on the exterior in the hallway were covered in holes. I can't believe that they would even show someone an apartment in that condition - let alone try to rent it to someone. "We can fix it before you move in." I'm like, 'DUDE! You should have fixed it BEFORE I CAME TO LOOK AT IT.' Why dont' they maintain buildings? Don't they know they are going to lose money? There was even trash in the elevator and the lobby smelled like sewage - this from a building no more than 3 years old. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

I am so sick of looking at places. My friend has been so dear to take me around, but I fear that I am growing on his nerves, so I might have to stop asking him to take me around.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Kabd is pronounced "chebd" in local dialect. "Chebd" means liver in Arabic. Don't ask me about the correlation. I don't know.

Since the government bulldozed the entire Funaitees area off of Fahaheel Expressway (30) where most of the farms used to be, almost the entire former population has moved their farms to Kabd. Nobody (except for my friend, M, whose wife kicked him out of the house) lives in these places as they were intended for agricultural use. (When I say “agricultural” I mean “party”.)

When I say “farm” I mean a walled area with you-name-it inside. One of the first “farms” I visited in Kabd in 1998 was a 2-storey glass-fronted villa with a swimming pool and terrace. The villa and the walled area were painted yellow and it looked surreal and out of place in the middle of the desert. From inside the walls, the only way you really knew you were in Kabd was because the entire area smelled like sheep and camel dung.

Kabd plots (farms) were allocated to citizens who were related to the camel racing club. They were areas intended to keep camels and livestock. The plots were originally sold to people for around KD 500. Prices now range from KD 25,000 to 70,000 depending on the area in Kabd and the furnishings in the farms. Older plots were 2500 square meters on average and newer ones are approximately 1250 meters. As the land is leased from the government (similar to chalet areas in Kuwait), building is risky business as the government can decide on a whim that they want the land back and then it is just another “encroachment” to be bulldozed. People are taking the chance.

My friends have farms in Kabd now with waterfalls and nightclubs and the air has improved tremendously. The entire area has expanded to become quite a large village with various different divisions, traffic circles and many mosques. There are also a lot more services in Kabd now like stores, gas stations and police stations. There aren’t any fast food places (yet), but I’m pretty sure that will change in the next few years. One strategically placed McDonald’s could make a fortune – especially if it was the 24/7 type.

Ok... and people do actually keep animals in Kabd. There are a lot of pigeon raising people (you can tell when it is a windy day) and you can see livestock (trying to) grazing when you drive around. People bring their families out for weekends away from the city; similar to Paris and Nichole in "The Simple Life".

I remember even 10 years ago when Kabd was considered way too far to drive from suburban Kuwait. The roads were just a few lanes and they weren’t lit for the most part. If you dared to go out there, you risked your life because you shared the road with trucks (still do, but the roads are better now). The roads to Kabd have been improved a lot: 604 is now a well lit, 4-lane divided highway that, for the most part, is well maintained. There are stretches, however, where the sand creeps onto the pavement making it a little dangerous – especially at night. There is a way to bypass 604 by taking an alternate route down 7th Ring Road, but I haven’t figured out how to do this yet, and I usually go to Kabd at night, so I don’t want to take the chance.

I don’t know what the statistics are for traffic related deaths are on the 604, but it has got to be really high. I’m out there every weekend and we see multiple wrecks by the side of the road. The road is long with a lot of straight stretches and most people speed. There are, unfortunately, still only U-turns and no stop lights making the temptation to speed even greater. The main problem with accidents to/from Kabd is centered around the trucks. They have to turn somewhere and there is often a long line at U-turns. Where the trucks are, the pavement has been ruined and there are a lot of potholes and dips in the asphalt (especially at the intersection of 604 and 7th Ring Road at the light – OMG!). They’re also doing construction in strange arrangements at weird places (it seems like for no reason all of a sudden there is a diversion around something invisible). On one of these diversions (towards Sulaibiya away from Kabd on 604), there is a MASSIVE hole in the left lane that I have almost wrecked on three times. I’ve got a big car and I can’t imagine what would happen to a small car. If they are doing construction already – why not just fix the damn hole?

Wrecks of another kind: Kabd was formerly infamous for late night drag racing. There were only a few police out that way and they turned a blind eye to the races held late at night. That too is a thing of the past now (except once in a while you can still find videos on YouTube – especially of drifting around the circles).

Driving home from Kabd at dawn is really gorgeous. If you put your windows down, you can hear animals all around you. With the sunrise over the desert, it is really a thing of beauty. The area looks like it could be a village on the outskirts of Basra (only way cleaner even at its dirtiest). Most of the walls are painted either with an adobe color or yellow and it is very pretty.

If you want to venture out there, take 5th, 6th, or 7th Ring Roads and take a right on 604. Go straight (past the camel market on the left and the gas station on the right) until you come to an area with brick walls. You will know you are in Kabd fer sure when you hit either the 1st or 2nd traffic circle. I literally “hit” the first circle when it was new because it didn’t used to be there and all of a sudden it was. I kindasorta ran into it. There are Desert Girl "notification systems" out there now: speed bumps (no, they are not “humps”) before you get to the circle (they don’t really warn you about those either, but they are way better to hit than the circle itself – take my word for it). Don't expect any cutesy souvenier shops, quaint folklore, or activities for the kids - it aint gonna happen: It is just Chebd.

You can Mapquest Kabd, but the maps in that area pretty much suck regardless of the resource. Like this one, for example. At least they gave the L&L coordinates to Kabd on this one - and I can't believe that they even made mention of Dubaiyah. A lot of long-timers in Kuwait don't even know where that is (fer you 'mericans - it is the McDonalds area off 30 before the 30/40 merge). We 'mericans base our navigations on food and numbers. I had a friend who was trying to give me directions one time based on the numbers painted on the light posts on Fahaheel Expressway! WTF!

My DG weekend in Kabd

Well, for some reason, Hickey decided to put on a show. Hickey (not her real name or occupation) is not a small girl. I laughed so hard I almost peed myself (as The Romanian said, it was "Premiere Night"). Sheikha Minor has a new love ("Hummer" guy) and she was acting all coy and demure (it SO doesn't suit her!). The Romanian and I quietly drank our Red Label (Lipton Red Label tea, that is - what do you THINK I meant???) while the shenannigans went on. The guys played the oud and tabla and the organ and the singing and dancing (if you can call it that) went on into the wee hours of the night/morning. Regardless - Endless hours of nonsensical fun.

I hate sleeping out there - I can never sleep well if I'm not in my own bed, plus everybody wants the beds and it ends up being a drunken-pile-up-free-for-all ("DON'T TOUCH ME!"), so I usually go home in the wee hours of the morning (hopefully after some food). Furthermore, I don't want to end up in bed with Hickey. I don't trust her with any gender or species. It could go very very wrong. Further, furthermore, there are BIG mofo bugs in the desert that stalk you and EW!

I took the weekend off hunting for apartments and now I feel guilty. I have to look some more this week. So far, out of all the apartments in our complex, only one family has moved. I HATE moving! The more ugly places I see, the more I love my home. Sniffle, whimper.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Warm & Fuzzy Emirati is Back

This is a continuation of March 11, 2008's post (LINK) on the Warm & Fuzzy Emirati.

After he left last year, he decided to work things out with the wife. He has divorced her formally in court 2 times now, but she is very close to his mother, so things are back on.

I haven't heard from him and after the several times that I have tried to contact him since March of 2007, his wife has called me back each time, so I decided to leave him alone. Part of the reason they are having so many problems is that she is very posessive and sneaks around taking phone numbers off his mobile phone, etc.

Supposedly, he lost his phone (or maybe she did?) with my number on it (Whoop! Whoop! ALERT! ALERT! Incoming bullshit....). Anyhoo, he has been asking our mutual friends and one of them refused to give him my number and the other one finally gave it to him on this visit to Kuwait. So, we got together.

I talked to his other uncle, a sheikh, who I knew in DC in the 80's and it was such an amazing phone call - you know when you haven't spoken to someone in years and years. I love that.

W&FE is referring to me as "my girlfriend" to his (and our mutual) friends and family now, so I am wondering if it is just a locational "while I'm in Kuwait" girlfriend, perhaps, or if he will really stay in contact this time when he gets back to Abu Dhabi. Hmmmm. I'm too old for that "girlfriend" word. (Well, I do have a schoolgirl uniform.... but I only bring that out on special occassions...).

I haven't told him anything about my personal life and I don't really plan to unless specifically asked.

Speaking of my personal life, I want to go to Kabd tonight or tomorrow.

And now, for something completely different....

What I read in the Arab Times today:

“The Ministry of Commerce has included ‘commitment to protect public morals’ (i.e. gender segregation in health clubs)…”

“… The committee, he added, was planning in the near future to invite the Minister of Interior to one of its meetings to discuss ‘indecent violations of appropriate conduct’ that ostensibly occur at some of Kuwait’s outer islands.”

“A survey by the al-Joman Center for Economic Consultancy found that 55 percent of Kuwaitis did not expect the new parliament to have a positive impact on Kuwait’s economy. Eighty percent said they saw no serious efforts to transform Kuwait into a financial hub.”

Well, no duuuuuh. If a parliament focuses their efforts on Teleban-tactics rather than making Kuwait into a progressive economy… yuh….

Let’s just continue to set back personal freedoms in the country while at the same time trying to increase tourism and foreign business/investment. Yeah! That’s the way to go.

What efah