Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hooters

(I have no explanation for the title - only that I didn't have one and "hooters" is always an attention grabber.... well hey - it could be a double entendre for funny/"a hoot". Get it?)

We decided check out Semi-Famous-Dude (SFD) et al. He is amazingly funny and head-over-heels with The Romanian (which is a good thing because he is only buddy material and will never get out of The Friend Zone). We went to their entertainment estate (God, I crack myself up)…. Ok, we went to their party dive and had a few drinks and a lot of laughs. The next night, we went to their camp – which was equally funny, but for other reasons. SFD decided to put the moves on The Romanian and it was not reciprocated. SFD also tried to hook me up with his rotund/ugly friend (who was really nice and quite a gentleman, but I just couldn’t look at him). NOT a good idea to try to find me a man. Me doesn’t like. SFD showed us some pictures of himself (on his laptop) with famous people, or interviewing famous people. Ooooh aaaah, I’m impressed (yawn). None of them were with Britany (it’s Britany, bitch!). Anyhoo, we ate some shawwi, drank The National Drink of Kuwait and went home.

We took Desert Dawg to the coiffeur. She got a manicure/pedicure, haircut and seshwar. Her do costs more than mine at 18 kd (ok, hers would be more if she had highlights, but I won’t go that far). The usual guy who comes to my home to clip her is out of the country, so we had to drive all the way down to IVH to have her done. We had some time to kill, so we met up with a friend at Kempinski for coffee (OMG he’s yummy – more on him later, so I won’t jinx it. He’s another one of my “cousins”.); and then we went down to the chalet where Spike lives to bring him some more food, bones, and tennis balls. He’s doing good.

Slapperella has been too busy for her girlfriends lately, so we haven’t seen much of her. I miss her.

I met another guy (so many all of a sudden!) who looks just like The Man. The resemblance is uncanny – even down to the same clothes/glasses/watch; only the personality is way off (which is really a shame because if the guy just would have kept his mouth shut, I could have pretended….heavy sigh…). I even met him on his birthday and I met The Man on his birthday (the Universe is phucking with me again!). I went out with him (let’s call him Fisherdude) once and that was enough. A) he wanted to meet me at Khiran resort – AS IF I would drive all the way down there! B) he stood me up for our 2nd “date” when we were supposed to go to dinner at the Hilton (methinks it is because I told him to come pick me up). Anyways, Fisherdude is 43 years old; supposedly divorced, and seemingly mature. Alas, I think that he wants one of those “secret” relationships that I will never get into. He managed – in the 3 days that I knew him – to invite himself to my apartment a total of 5 times. I finally said something like (real breathy-like), “Sure, but ladies first (long pause)… why don’t you invite me to your place first?” He said, “What do you mean? I live with my family. You know Kuwait society.” I said, “Yes, I do. And because I do know Kuwait society, I know that it is not appropriate for a man I just met to be inviting himself to my home.” These guys think blondes/foreigners are retarded (don’t even start with the blonde jokes!). So, he got the big CLICK. As we say where I come from, “AMF” (adios mother f…ker).

A similar thing happened to The Romanian just recently. Dude actually came out and told her that he wanted a “secret relationship” with her. She said, “Sure” and hung up on him. Retards. Grow some balls! If you are afraid to do something; don’t do it! Ya ma owwed - don't waste my time.

And in other news…

My mommy is coming to visit me in April (for my birthday – isn’t that sweet?), so I have been busy changing things at home, so she won’t think that I live like a derelict. My moms hasn’t been here since 2000. She is the only one in my family who will come to visit me. My sister says that this area scares her too much, but I think it is really just because she’s too busy and the trip is too long. Anyhoo, I think my mom is really going to be shocked at how much Kuwait has changed since she’s been here. I can’t wait for her to get here.

Damn – I’m shocked at how much Kuwait has changed and I’ve been here all this time. It is getting to be like Dubai used to be around here. I had Emirati friends who went away to school for a few years and then went back to Dubai and couldn’t find their way around. I feel like that driving down 5th ring road now! Oh, and Bidaa roundabout – holy cow; it’s gone! Who knew? I just drove over it yesterday.

This year is so exciting already….

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What are you - famous or something?

So, last night, I was with The Romanian at Souq Kuwait; trying in vain to find a replacement Raymond Weil watch for the 11 year old mother-of-pearl oval faced one that is now turning green with wear. I have a lot of watches, but I love my RW. So, I have looked all over Kuwait and on the internet for The Perfect One, and I opted to buy another style that I saw in Souq Kuwait while on my Great Hunt last week (taking me to Souq Kuwait, Salhiya, Muthanna, Kuwait Magic, Souq Sharq, and Kout).

First of all, I HATE the Souq Kuwait parking lot. Who built it? I don’t get it. It has the weirdest design ever and gives me the heebie jeebies – either on the way up or the way down; doesn’t matter. I’m afraid of several things: that I am going to hit the wall on the tight turns; that it is going to collapse one day, dropping cars onto the ground 2 storys below; or that while cars are in line to pay, one car will suddenly lose its brakes and plow into all the other cars. These are, of course, yet more of my unreasonable fears.

Second of all, I HATE the elevators at Souk Kuwait. I know this is one of the very oldest malls in all of Kuwait (if not THE oldest mall), but they could probably do maintenance on the elevators to make them go just a leeetle bit faster. We always end up waiting; and, as everyone knows, people in Kuwait aren’t exactly patient; so they end up pushing us out of the way (unless I’m in an aggressive mood and that is just bad for everyone).

What I do like about Souq Kuwait is that it still has the “flavor of Kuwait”. You can find a lot of the old stuff that you can’t find anywhere else in Kuwait. I like the sweet shops where they have darabeel and the little cardamom cookies. I like the walkways outside toward Mubarakia and all the little alleys. I don’t even care anymore that everyone is staring at my ass. It’s all part of the ambiance. Plus, I hardly ever see any ajaneb (like me) there - which makes me very happy.

Ok, so the point of my post wasn’t going to be so much about Souq Kuwait, as it was what happened when we left Souq Kuwait: There were 2 very handsome guys waiting for the elevator with us. Having Master Psychic Abilities, I am always able to determine which elevator will come first, so The Romanian and I got on first. A lot of Babus piled in after us, but there was still room for Cute Guys, so I smiled and motioned with my eyes (doing the head tilt) that there was room. They laughed. We laughed. They got out on a different floor.

If it is destiny, Dude will follow you.

So we left. Cute Guys were waiting for us on the street. Driver Dude comes over to talk to me and said, “Did you recognize me? Do you know who I am?” Poop – there went the moment. I HATE it when SUPPOSEDLY famous people do that. I am forever meeting actors or singers that I am supposed to know…. But don’t. I don’t know this guy, but supposedly, he is someone famous – a singer or something. Whatever. Do I care? He was funny and did make us laugh and that was really good enough. If I talk to him more, he will probably screw up the memory (if you know what I mean).

I went out with a guy from TV one time. I didn’t know/didn’t care who he was. Then, my girlfriend told me. I talked to his friend and said, ‘Is he the same guy from TV?’ and he was like, “No please! Don’t tell him you know who he is. He wants someone to like him just for him.” What the fuuuuuuuuu? I don’t know and I don’t care. If dude is a good dude and not a bad dude, then I will like him. If he is stupid, then I won’t. Anyhooo, he bought me flowers and we went out to a romantic dinner and we have been good friends ever since. He is sweet and funny and smart.

On the subject of famous people: I have my own name; I don’t need to sponge off of yours.

Which, by the by, sums up my opinion about designer labels: I don’t need to wear someone else’s name on my ass. I have my own name and I choose not to put it on my ass – or anywhere near my ass. What is all the insecurity about designer this and designer that? I’m a secure person. Don’t need it. (How many times have I said "ass" in this post? Is that insecure?)

However, if I find something cute (famous brand or not) that I like (and this goes for men too), I want it.

Well, (supposedly) Famous Guy is cute and I might give him a try just because he seems smart and had the ability to make me laugh. George Clooney does the same thing for me; and I wouldn’t care if he was a garbage collector. Tee hee.

Beautiful Dog Update

A very kind (and brave) PAWS volunteer went down to take a look at the dog. The dog's name is "Spike" which is totally unbefitting of his personality. Anyhoo the Angel with PAWS (AP) said that he thinks that Spike is okay, but should be checked on regularly to make sure he's eating enough and being taken care of.

AP pointed out that sometimes it is difficult to determine if a dog is being abused; or if it is just that one person's standards/perceptions of what is wrong is another person's perception of okay. When I was in the mountains last month in the States, for example, I saw dogs being kept on chains outside in the snow. They had food and shelter, but I would never treat a dog that way. So, how do you draw the line?

I was worried about Spike because he was so thin and didn't have food. I'll make sure he gets food from now on -- and some treats and maybe bones once in a while too. He's a great dog.

A big THANK YOU for those who offered to help pay for his release; and for those who offered support and compassion.

A special thanks to The Angel with PAWS for being such an amazing example of what more humans should strive to be. God holds a special place in Heaven for people like you, my friend.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Beautiful Dog

There is a story someone/sometime relayed to me in the Quran about an old woman and a cat. The old woman has been pious and devout her whole life; praying and doing the right thing as per Islamic teachings. At some point, she has a pet cat which she kept in a cage and complacently does not feed. The cat slowly and torturously starves to death. On the woman’s judgment day, she is sent to Hell and asks why. She is told that regardless of how much she prayed, she didn’t show compassion and tortured an animal.

I recently went to a friend-of-a-friend’s chalet in Julaiaa. We got there early on one of the coldest nights I can remember in Kuwait, and there was a dog barking from the corner of the yard in a Kirby shed. It wasn’t a warning bark; it was more of a “Hey, I’m here and I’m lonely” distress bark. (As a fluent Dog speaker, I can differentiate between barks. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ll understand.) I went over and saw a magnificent German Shepherd – possibly just under a year old. He was in his pen all alone with only a dirt floor and no bedding. He immediately put his head to the side of the chain-link fence “window” so that I could pet him. I noted that there was drinking water in the pen, but no food.

The owner’s brother told me that the dog (he doesn't even know his name) had been left there for several weeks and he wasn’t sure when he had been fed. I asked him and if I could buy him (with the intention of re-homing him to a better environment). He has such an amazing personality and would easily find love with someone who really cares. The owner asked for an exorbitant amount for him; 500 kd, saying that he had bought the dog for 1,000; which I seriously doubt since they can’t afford to feed him.

I went back the following week and brought several blankets and bags of food for the dog. The owners had given him the equivalent of two drumsticks of chicken (I made them de-bone them because they didn't know any better) and pita bread. When they opened the gate to the pen, he ran out and tried to find food where they kept the garbage. I pet him and he was very thin.

I told the guy that whenever his mother tells him to go pray, he should think of that starving dog in the shed. What has happened to people’s compassion? Obviously, religion was created to teach the right way. Why do people claim religion if they are going to be cruel?

These people who supposedly “love dogs” and are “open minded” sure don’t get it, do they?

I’m good for 200 kd. If anyone wants to donate money to help me get this dog out of a miserable situation, please send me an e-mail at amerab@gmail.com.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Camel Meat at Lulu Hypermarket


Yes people - they have it. I'm making machboos camel for my friends this week. Bedouin Bunny says, "Why the hell would anyone want to eat camel meat? It's so tuff." (He doesn't like dhub or gerbil shawwi either!) Ok, like I said, I will try anything - once. I'll let y'alls know how it comes out.
$3.65/lb

Tagine Moroccan Restaurant (at The Palms Hotel) Review


Have you ever noticed that you will never see a negative restaurant review in the local media? Why do you think that is? Are periodicals afraid that they will lose their advertising from these restaurants? Is it because they are afraid of lawsuits - which are actually only based on opinion stories? There is also no integrity when it comes to restaurant reviews in print media in Kuwait: The magazines/papers actually want the restaurants to know that the reporters are coming in advance (unlike in Europe and the US), so that they bring out their best (ergo the positive restaurant reviews). It is already biassed. How 'bout some honesty? I guess it is all up to bloggers.

I went with three friends to the new Tagine Restaurant in The Palms Hotel that has been advertised all over Kuwait. It has been fully booked, so I made reservations way in advance. We arrived early by Kuwait standards at 7:30, so the restaurant was relatively empty.


Perhaps because it was empty, we were treated to “the show”. There was a very nice, very pretty, very giggly hostess who seemed to be bored out of her mind. She was literally leaned over, with her upper body resting against the top of the host podium, with her eyes closed. This was in between personal calls to her boyfriend (in Arabic – which she probably didn’t think we could understand), “Where are you? At the diwaniya? I hear a woman’s voice! Is there a woman with you?” When she wasn’t busy with those two things, she was intent on listening to our conversation: We were going to ask her to join us at the table at one point after her endless staring. When male customers walked into the restaurant, she was very flirty, and giggly; several times running to find a waiter/colleague, so that she could relay what the men had said to her. Our conclusion was that she is young, inexperienced, and probably new to Kuwait judging by her enthusiasm at dealing with the male Kuwaiti population. (I was with Slapperella, The Romanian, and Ms. T; we are all pretty jaded when it comes to that, so we can easily spot a newbie.) Giggly Hostess was almost argumentative with the female patrons trying to get tables (but at least she got off the personal calls long enough to address them). If you want to get spanked over not making a reservation, Tagine is the place to be this week!


Since it is still in “soft opening” mode, Tagine only has a limited amount of menus (it actually costs more to print fewer copies, so WTF). We asked 4 times to see a menu after we were seated. Giggly Hostess was apologetic, but not much help. We shared a single menu for a long time before other patrons were finished looking at theirs and the menus were passed along to us.
They finally brought out salads (which come with all the meals), but they were served in very small dishes – not really enough for a party of 4. We ordered a seafood bastilla for an appetizer; very dry and disappointing; approximately 5” in diameter. The tagines come in 3 sizes of small, medium, and large. We ordered a large Tagine Marrakesh (lamb shanks with Moroccan spices) for 3 of us; Ms. T ordered a “Spring Chicken”. When the lamb arrived, it was not served in a tagine, but in a 15” tall clay water pot, brought out with a sheet of aluminum foil covering the opening (fancy!). The waiter had difficulty serving it and when we wanted more, we had to stand up at the table to reach the bottom. The lamb was a major disappointment; 2/3 fat to 1/3 actual meat. It was relatively bland even for Moroccan standards. The vegetable cous cous wasn’t anything exceptional either. The Spring Chicken was well past its prime and should probably have been called “December Chicken”; very dry and not very flavorful. We spent KD 54 on dinner for four and all agreed that neighborhood Indian take-out would have been better.

Our waiter wasn’t much better than the hostess. He departed the table when we were in mid-sentence speaking to him - several times. It became amusing after some time.

The d├ęcor is probably the best thing about the restaurant: gorgeous; typically Moroccan. The serving dishes were equally pretty in a blue and white design with matching table linens. Even Giggly Hostess wore a beautiful Moroccan kaftan (duraa) in blue and white. The restaurant also has an outstanding oud player with a wonderful voice, adding to the ambiance.

Tagine will definitely be a romantic dining experience -- if they can ever get their act together and perhaps take a stronger look at staff training, menu ingredients, and pricing: I would give it another six months. Don’t waste your money on the soft opening. It is a pity because the owners have obviously gone to a lot of trouble to create a beautiful atmosphere.

NOTE TO Tagine Restaurant Management: You might want to actually have COMMENTS CARDS available for a soft opening. It would have been helpful.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just a Picture of Salmiya, but....



I found this picture on expatserviceskuwait.com.
Why is it that this entire parking structure (large beige building) isn't being used/hasn't been used for the past 8+ years? This is in the middle of the overcrowded Salmiya shopping district. If someone, for example, offered valet parking in the old Souq Salmiya and then parked cars in this lot, someone would be making a shitload of money. Lazyass women like myself (and Slapperella) would use the valets instead of driving around looking for parking - especially during Eid. Or - they (whoever "they" are) could lease out the structure - perhaps to car dealerships or companies with fleet vehicles in the area (like Mediabox who has chosen to park all their small vans right around the corner on the street). 8 +/- years is a long time NOT to be collecting revenues. If this was in the US, somebody would be turning the car park into condos and making a killing.
I have heard that the entire Al-Salam complex (round green building) is for sale - to the tune of something like 36 million KD. Cha-ching.
Also wondering why the slums (bottom left corner of the photo) haven't been torn down? Drive by there sometime and see how humans are living in really horrible conditions. This place is in one of the most visible shopping areas in Kuwait surrounded by pretty new apartment buildings. WTF? The only good thing about the slums is that they are still home to some of the few remaining trees in the area (giving rest to the few remaining birds in the area....).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My feet are cold...


This isn't a post card. It is my uncle's back yard a few weeks ago. They have had so much snow and heating oil is so expensive that most of the people there in New Hampshire are heating their homes with wood. Having spent part of my youth in a house with 2 wood burning stoves and a fireplace, let me just tell you that its not fun. Ask me why I hate snow.... I hated running out to the back yard to bring wood in while there was 3 feet of snow on the ground.
It has been so cold here for the past few nights that I have grabbed Desert Dawg and retreated into my bedroom to snuggle up with my new fuzzy robe and matching socks to sleep through it. Yeah - perfect snuggling weather... with my DOG. How pathetic is that?
My bitchy girlfriends are all snuggled up with their "latest victims" (while I'm in bed with my dog). I can't even get them to go out for sushi. It sucks. I need new friends.
That's it! I'm putting on my Lucky Push-up Bra and going out in the cold alone.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Several weeks and 2,000 bottles of red wine later….

I didn’t know there could be so many red grapes in Chile. I think I drank all of them. One or two may have escaped, but I don’t think so. Cabernet doesn’t stand a chance when I’m in the room. But, I drink responsibly, so therefore I was never falling-down drunk; just walking with a happy buzz. Because da girlfriendz weren’t around, I didn’t drink tequila or French martinis.

I have some catching up to do, don’t I? Otay Buckwheat….

We had a nice Christmas and New Years. I don’t know why I’m so retarded that I can’t get around to visiting with or calling my friends while I’m there. It is like I get into some kind of weird trance. There is something about the house… Anyhooo…. We went to the resort, but there was no snow. The weather there is pretty much the way it is here; same temp and sunny. I had a new spa treatment; a mud wrap. People, this is one time when you can find out if you are claustrophobic or not; apparently, I am. I just reached the “get me the phuck out of this” break-point when it was time to wash it all off – thankfully. I like trying new things, but I don’t think I’ll do that one again. I’ll stick to the hot stone massages.

I went to a party for New Years Eve and had a good time. I saw a few drunk Moroccan guys who made me giggle. I laughed a lot, but ended up nostalgically wishing that The Man would have lasted long enough to go with me to those kinds of events on holidays because I think he would have liked it. Anyhoo, ancient history now, but somehow I can’t stop myself from thinking about him on holidays and when I travel. Truly pathetic and Bridget-Jones-esque. My sister asked me how he was and seemed really surprised that we haven’t spoken since March.

I miss my mommy. I don’t know if I can move back to the States or not again, but I sure wish I was closer to her. I’m so torn.

United was much nicer to me on this trip than the last. It was a nice experience and I have to send their rep a thank you note. Good save, United.

One of my bags was opened by the Transportation Safety Authority (TSA). It didn’t occur to me that the computer component and the box of several jars of honey (for one of my ungrateful colleagues) might set off some bells. Had I also had an alarm clock and any form of cables or wires in there, I’m pretty sure my ass would have been carted off to jail. The TSA is pretty cool, though because I couldn’t even tell that they had been in my suitcase. Sorry for the underwear, guys, but you chose to go in…. (so to speak…)

Segue

Bunny didn’t receive nationality while I was away, but one of my other friends did and I’m very happy for him. I hope that Bunny will get it on the next go-around. He deserves it. He has been working so hard. So, if you wouldn’t mind please saying a prayer for him, I would really appreciate it. I am a believer in the power of group prayer.

I’ve had Parade of Workers through my apartment now for the past 2 months. I’m almost at the end of it though and maybe I can get some rest. Everything that could possibly have gone wrong electrically did. I finally found a few guys who know what they are doing. One of them even wore gloves and turned off the main switch before working on stuff. Imagine that! In Kuwait! My hariss (who I love dearly) once grabbed a live wire and the electricity shot out his eyes. He is jet black, so the skin around his eyes was white and he looked like a raccoon turned inside-out. I laugh about it with him now. Sometimes he oversees the workers in my apartment doing the electricity and then I sneak up behind him and make a “bbbbzzzzzzzz” sound like electric noise and he jumps. Funny as shit.

I went to Starfucks at Bidaa yesterday with Slaperella and there were a bunch of motorcycle guys there; very funny group. I saw one bike that I thought belonged to The Don, but it turned out to be somebody named Fawaz who was a really nice (but very shy) guy. He asked me if I wanted to go for a ride and my mind immediately went dirty. (I can’t HELP it – there is something wrong with me. It is a birth defect, ok? Where is the pity?)

Oh, on misconstrued dirtyness…. I have a question for youse guys (poll question): If a man asks you to go into the bedroom for a massage, does it mean he really wants to give you a massage or does it mean that he wants to have sex? I think the latter, right? What do you think? No, the guy in question is not a certified masseuse either.