Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So, now that I've had it done here, I need to know where to get it done (well) in Kuwait? Any recommendations?
BRING IT ON
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
I'm sure I'll be writing from Virginia, but I just want to wish everyone well incase the plane crashes (now it won't - anti-jinx!). If it does, I hope I have caused no harm to anyone.
Catch you over the pond.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This scene scared the bejezus out of me when I was little. My sister watched it with my nephew when he was around 7 or 8 and she got him all psyched up to see it, "Its going to be scary, honey, don't worry." Then, he saw it and goes, "Uh, mommy... it's JUST a movie!"
Isn't that just sick?
The party was great. We had a lot of fun. Got home and argued (well, he did) that I was spending too much time talking to another man. He got so angry about it and it was so stupid that I told him to go home. He called me in the morning to giggle about how silly he was. I laughed at him because I know how he gets. He didn't mean it, he just went from zero to stupid in 6.2 seconds.
Anyhoo, I slept with Jamil that night. That's right. Jamil is the new man 0'my dreams (if only The Man knew....). Too bad he is only 5" tall and anotomically incorrect. Otherwise, he would be ideal - never argues. Just lies there looking handsome.... gets along well with my dog.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So now 4+ YEARS later, I still can't get rid of the F-ing Mchat! I have called Zain. I turned it off online. I have sent their stupid end codes repeatedly and what happens - I still get notifications from Mchat. Several times - it logged me in without any action at all on my part.
I called Zain and said, "Yo! What happens if my (albeit virtual/invisible/mythical) husband uses my phone one day and sees I'm chatting with strange men. Do YOU want to be responsible for my (albeit virtual/invisible/mythical) divorce?"
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
My slutty red dress isn't fitting me as well as I used to (yeah DG - blame it on the dress!), and I didn't want to make a big hoopla over make-up (its not like I'm EVER going to Hanan Dashti), hair and attire, so I threw on some fresh war paint and a black beaded jacket and went. Fekit: Comfort! I think for the next one, I'm going to do what all the matronly women do and just put on an abaya. Why knock yourself out?
I usually wear the slutty red dress and sit in the middle so that when the groom's party comes in and the female audience turns into a sea of black, I am the Blonde In The Red Dress and get all the attention. It usually works for me on several levels (including the former) but also that I don't get invited to others too quickly - which is better for me because I hate weddings. I especially hate the ones where you have to roll yourself in taffeda, 3 pounds of make-up, jewelry (so heavy that should you slip in a puddle, you would drown and tweek your hair into almost certain folicle death. Nooo, I don't even want to shave my legs unless it is for a reeeeeeeally good cause.
Anyhoo, this was my friend, Talal's, wedding and I really like him and his family. I hadn't seen them for about 12 years. He has perservered through some hard times and found love and was getting married. Bada BING. He very kindly extended an invitation and I went. I sat with the older female members of his family; many wearing niqab. One niqaba came and sat down behind me and started a conversation about her recent trip to Houston. I LOVED her. Never saw her face, but we promised to get together sometime (God forbid - not another wedding!). How will I know her? Eeek. Hadn't thought about that. The other ladies smiled at me warmly and I felt quite welcomed.
Talal's mother and sisters were very hospitable and couldn't have been nicer. Really sweet ladies. Because I was so late, the groom's party came in only after about half an hour. Then, the picture-taking time came and I wanted to leave before the Buffet Stampede and being forced to eat something. I went to congratulate the couple and Talal asked that I take a photo with he and his bride.
Ok, I don't know if it was me. Really, it might not have been, but it seemed a whole lot like it....
I don't think she was too happy that I was there. Her aunt told me that she was upset because she wanted to dance and the groom didn't, but it sure felt like it was more about not taking a photo with me. She turned from a kitty cat to lioness in about 4.5 seconds; directing the full fury on poor Talal. He giggled nervously. The photo-taking stopped. The mass grew quiet. I mumbled something about hoping they would have a lot of children and a happy life together and then (I had my reason to get TF outa there so) I bolted. I got across the parking lot as fast as my clickety heels could take me.
This is a new, odd, and somewhat disturbing sensation: This has never happened to me before at a wedding.
I immedately called The Man and started nervously relating. "WHAT?! You were congratulating them! That's rude!" Well yeah. She did know that I was going to be there. Dude is like 15 years younger than me and we only worked together (his dad knew me too). Yikes. I must look really bangable - cougaresque perhaps. Maybe I should take it all as a compliment.
Update - I spoke to the groom and he said that she was indeed mad at him for not dancing. My advice to him as a newly-married person, "If your wife asks you to dance, just dance." I would have been POed too if I wanted to dance at MY wedding and the groom refused. Your wedding photos last forever, after all. I don't think I would have thrown a hissy fit in front of 100 people, but I would have exacted a precise revenge later.
Has anyone else heard this? I heard of some pretty horrific acts committed during the occupation, but this is the first time I have heard this.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I am always leary of companies that don't provide an e-mail address to send your resume to. Either they don't have a domain name or can't figure out how to create an anonymous e-mail (or worse - don't have a computer!)
I decided to call this one after several friends brought it to my attention. I asked the receptionist for their e-mail. She said they are only conducting telephone interviews. I said I am busy today (at work) and maybe the interviewer could contact me tomorrow. What did she do? She immediately transferred me to the (maybe Lebanese) woman. I asked (4 times)if she would give me the opportunity to close my office door as I am AT WORK. That's when the "my dears" began. When people ASSume that they can become informal with me right-off-the-bat, I ASSume they are being condescending. Not a good start. It gets worse....
"Where do you work?"
I told her.
"How old are you?"
'Why is that relevant?'
"How old are you?"
"How much money do you make? What is your total package?"
At this point, I'm pissed off. I told her that the number of personal questions being asked over the phone is disturbing and perhaps a face-to-face interview would be more appropriate.
"THIS is the way we do it my dear."
Ok biotch. Good luck with that.
Were they going to ask for my measurements next?
Obviously, they are looking for someone with little or no business acumen. No one professional would go through this type of questioning. Ridiculous. C'est incredible! Non non non!
I am a seasoned marketing professional with over 13 years experience in the Kuwaiti market. I COULD have stated that, had MY DEAR had my resume and cover letter in front of her. Telephone interviews SHOULD be conducted AFTER you receive resumes. You pick out the ones that sound good and call them. If they measure up at that point, then you call them in for a face-to-face interview.
Monday, December 07, 2009
It was a little boy - maybe 2 years old - mimicking intercourse with his near-naked mother - who was laughing at him and prodding him on as another woman laughed in the background. I only watched a portion of it before turning it off and deleting it, but the dialect sounded Kuwaiti - or closeby in the Gulf. Obviously, the child had been exposed to this type of act and was quite familiar with it - at 2!
This kind of sick behavior would have a slew of people arrested if it happened in the States. They would be charged with child pornography and child endangerment (or equivalent). Anyone who kept it on their computer would also be arrested.
I can't believe that people would even forward it! Why???? The man who sent it to me is someone I did business with years ago and whose daughter was a close friend! I'm so disgusted. What kind of a person would find amusement in that???
GCC summit 12/6/2009 5:18:00 PM
Traffic on the
In addition, motorists coming from Salmiya on the Fifth Ring Road will have to drive down the
The street along the airport runway through the Seventh Ring Road, the
The ministry urged Kuwaiti and foreign motorists to show cooperation with the Traffic by observing such traffic instructions. (end)
First, I have been looking for
Second, why cain't they just sey, "Stay away from Bayan Palace". Plain and simple. Bayan Palace will be the Epicenter of All Traffic; the Mother of All Traffic in Kuwait if you will.
No wonder they have been toiling away in front of Bayan Palace, planting flowers (while the Municipality is ripping them up everywhere else in the country). They even built a pretty new gate (although it still needs work to compete with what they've got in the Emirates).
Any way you go during this thing, you are going go be skunked.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
To all of my American friends :)
I am working on a project just now for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids. Both brands are coming to Kuwait and UAE next year (May and March respectively). They are looking for Americans who are familiar with the brands to work for them. I have been so impressed with the guys I am working with on the project that I offered to send a note out to my friends to see if we would know anyone that might be interested.
Most positions available are in store however there may be other positions available. Part time positions may also be negotiated. Anyone interested can send their CV with the kind of position they are interested in to me (send to the DG e-mail of firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will forward to the Director of Operations. He is more than happy to meet with potential recruits to talk about the brand, the expectations and answer any questions.
Working for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids brings with it the benefits of working with Alshaya.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
He kept walking to the end of the beam, and then back out again (above the fountain at the end), looking down to see if there was a way down, and then back again. I tried to take a photo, but he was too far away.
The Man contacted the mall security and by the time we left, there were about 6 guys standing there with walkie talkies, staring up at the cat. They seemed to be very concerned that I was taking photos. The Man told them to give up their argument - it doesn't do any good arguing with me while I'm on a mission. "SAVE THE CAT!!!"
I sent AFL an SMS explaining what was going on. I hope they went out to see - I know that the founders' home isn't too far away in South Surra.
I've seen birds in malls before - but never a cat. I don't know how he could have gotten up there. I hope someone was able to rescue him for his own sake. I think if he falls, the height would kill anyone he fell on. I wonder how long he has been up there.
Yet another freak occurrance in every day life in Kuwait.
Friday, December 04, 2009
They are having a hard time finding Kuwaiti women to speak to. Men are no problem, but the ladies just won't come forward.
C'mon people, let's help Kuwait deal with it. A healthy lifestyle is good - anywhere in the world. It is good to bring the local problems to light and help others understand it. I hope that it will help educate others - maybe even teach Kuwaiti children before it becomes more of a problem.
The BBC will not use your family name if you don't want to - they just want to talk and understand the difficulties here (weather is obviously one of them, for example).
If you or anyone you know can help, please contact Ms. Yemisi Brookes at email@example.com. She is sooooo nice and anyone would enjoy spending time in discussion with her!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Coffee Morning – Friday, December 4 at 10:00 am at Café Supreme in Salmiya:
Those tidy Canadians are at it again! Very informal – no charge (I believe that you pay for your own coffee). Everyone is welcome. Venue changes every month. If you have a venue suggestion please email firstname.lastname@example.org. At Café Supreme, just ask for the Friday coffee group. To receive more information about Canadians in
American Business Council Christmas Party. December 11 at 5:30 pm, Movenpick Bidaa
The American Business Council announces their Christmas event at the Movenpick Bidaa, Friday, December 11th. 5:30 pm on. Kids can see Santa. Price: Tickets are 10KD for adults (13 and above), 5KD ages 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free.
For info, write to email@example.com. Must RSVP by 5 Dec.
Christmas Carols in the Desert: Saturday, 19th December at 4:00 pm. Mutla’a Ridge.
What to bring: Firewood, warm clothes, food, flashlight.
Free event – open to anyone who would like to attend.
7th Carols in the Desert. It will take place on Saturday 19th December at Mutla'a Ridge.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
My mother has begged me for a Christmas list of little things that she can get me. She pleaded on the phone to the point where I wasn't going to call her anymore if I didn't send it (she gets a frantic voice going that disturbs me on a primeval level). I love my mom. I get weepy just thinking about how much I miss her. She has nothing but the best intentions for me and I know that. She does a lot of shopping over the phone from catalogs (not internet; too frustrating to "work the computer") - or worse - she'll get on 2 or 14 busses and go somewhere (inevitably in the rain or snow) to buy Christmas gifts. You see, my mother is a cripple (she's never learned to drive, that is. Thinks automobiles are for killing people - but hey, that is similar to my approach, right?). She's a little old lady (and yet I still think of as 40ish and blonde. I probably always will).
God, I love my mother. Sniffle, whimper.
Back to my lovely Christmas story..... Grab your coacoa and put on your Snuggie (TM)
I think Christmas lists are childish and narcisistic. If you're ages 5-12, its still cool. If you are a 29-something (shut up!), it aint so cool.
I sent my mom my "wish list" of little items that she could buy within walking distance or 1 bus away. It included items like Russel Stover chocolates (chewy caramel centers), room sprays, inexpensive perfume, and oh right - comfortable panties. Cotton. Size (not to be disclosed herein).
WHAT does my mom do??? She sends my list to my sister and to my sister's mother-in-law! I know my mother was trying to be helpful - to make sure that I get everything I want (why wasn't there internet when I wanted a pink bike with a bell, or a Betty Crocker bake oven, or a Barbie? I wouldn't have minded the distribution then.) Ok, but whyyyyyyyy? Why does this stuff happen to ME? My sister's-mother-in-law doesn't need to know how large (small) my ass is. She doesn't need to go to CVS to buy me chocolates. She doesn't need to buy me anything at all. It's like saying, "Yo! You need to buy an item on this list!" And personally, I don't want more than one of the items on that list. It was a "mommy and me" list!!!!
My sister, on the other hand, has no time. She'll just buy everything on the list and hand it to me. Decisions take time. In a decorative bag because wrapping is a pain in the ass. No time. Just buy it. And I can hear her inside my head, "Who makes CHRISTMAS LISTS?" while she buys all the stuff (through the perilous crowd of old ladies at CVS).
It is so wrong.
I immediately sent my sister a note to explain. She thought it was hilarious. She's determined to buy me grannie pants this year because of it. Oh, I can see where this is going: I will get nothing but Bridget Jones panties from here after. That just adds to my self-loathing image of myself as Bridget Jones; fat and alone at Christmas (wearing big panties).
Its not like I can tell my mom to buy me thongs is it? (Yo! Desert Girl - stor-reey phuleeze.)
My mom was really upset when she knew that I was upset and then I got upset because she was upset. That's just messed up. I'm SO going to re-gift my grannie panties to someone who actually IS a grannie (my mom). Oh yeah - she is going to get those panties, so she is.
Is there nothing simple in life? One would think: I pay. You clean. Get it? But nooooooo.
I am so anal about cleaning that I make a new housekeeper sign an agreement stating her working days/hours and listing - in bullet points - her responsibilities. I offer to pay overtime at an agreed-upon rate. I think its fair. What do I get? Phucked with, that's what.
"Don't leave anything on the counters."
I come home, the counters are covered with stuff that she has arranged into rows.
"Dust on top of the furniture"
I get a note explaining how often she cleans on top of the furniture and that yes, of course she does that. None of the furniture has been dusted.
Mary (Christian) decided on her own that she was going to work shorter hours during Ramadan. I come home and call her. She's "at the bus stop". 'Mary, where are you?' "It's Ramadan, Madame." WTF am I - a government institution? We agreed on 8 hours per week, 4 times a month. Is that a lot to ask?
She's broken my vacuum cleaner something like 5 times. I don't know how she's doing it. (And I never deduct anything from her pay - even if stuff is broken.) The problem is, she'll break my Hoover and then just not tell me or clean the carpets. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? I LOVE my Hoover!
Mary (not her real name, but close) has been cleaning for me for 4 years. I had a very small apartment before - it's just me and my little dog. I don't have wild parties or entertain very often and when I do - I bring in a cleaning crew for the night. She doesn't have to cook or touch my clothes other than to fold and hang them. This should be pretty simple, right?
I started her off with a salary of around 30 KD because I thought it was fair. Over the years, I have increased it to 50 KD - which is almost what a live-in maid makes. And my place still isn't clean. The cleaners who worked at my last barbecue told me, "Madame, who cleans your house? It is very dirty." That's phucked up.
I refer Mary to friends who need part-time help. She tells them, "Madame (Desert Girl) is paying me 50 KD..." as if they should do the same. WHAT UP!
I left her notes. She always responded with flowery verses - with lots of religious references. I call her. She doesn't pick up the phone. The next day, I receive a message that she was in church (regardless of the day or time) and couldn't answer the phone. So.. call me! Dayam - I shoulda been in church - praying for a decent housekeeper!
Why not just get rid of her from the get-go? Well, her family has always been very kind to me. They take care of my dog while I'm away (which is frequently). In return, I give them not only cash, but furniture, appliances, clothing - whatever I am going to discard. I was thinking to give them a fair amount of stuff if/when I ever left Kuwait. On her birthday and holidays, I bought her gifts equal to what I would get for my friends (although I quit that when she flat-out told me that she was giving them to family members as gifts! Don't re-gift and TELL ME!)
This past month, her brother-in-law (who most frequently watches Desert Dawg) asked if he could "borrow" 1000 KD from me because he only makes 360 KD and can't get a loan. Ok, get a co-signer. He needs the money to pay for his son's college tuition in India. He swears he will pay me back 200 KD a month (on a 360 KD/mo salary). Dude - do the math! I told him that I can't... financial problems.... blah blah blah. I wouldn't ask ANY of my closest friends or family for that kind of money! I can't imagine asking someone who isn't close.
So, when asked if they can watch Desert Dawg while I'm gone for Christmas, Dude says, "The hariss is giving us trouble about having a dog. I'll check and get back to you..." Oh right. After 4 years, hariss dude is complaining. Not to mention that the building is so old that if they decided to breed livestock, no one would notice or complain. Just now when I won't shell out the money?
M meantime sends me an SMS, "You owe me 3 KD from September." WTF??? No flowery words or God references there. Just plain and simple - pay up. I hand her a 5 KD note. She turned and walked away. No change.
Desert Girl about to blow: I left her (as we say in the US) a "come to Jesus" letter (hey - I don't start the religious stuff - she does). 'Clean or leave. Your choice. Dont' leave me a note or an SMS. Do it.'
And now.... for the Bollywood moment.
I get an SMS first (she can't CALL???) "God bless you, Madame. You have never hurt me in the 4 years I have worked for you. I don't know what I did maaam. If I hurt you, I am sorry. I will stop work today. If you are not happy with my work than what is the use to work. I will keep you in my heart forever."
Are we breaking up? Were we married?
I come home to find another flowery note full of religious references (again, when she's demanding money, she never mentions God). Plus, she hasn't cleaned a thing and hasn't left me my key - leading me to believe that the drama will continue (changing my locks). Desert Dawg even gave me a look like, "What did you DO to Maria???" Eeek.
I think that some people see kindness and generosity as a form of weakness/stupidity. Ridiculous. I treat people fairly and if I'm paying for a service - I want to get what I pay for.
I should have been born either Jewish or Catholic with the amount of guilt I feel in general. So, I call my mom for affirmation that what I've done is "right". "Don't ever talk to those people again." Okay. I feel better. The Man is just livid about it, "You don't know how to manage helpers!" He thinks I'm insane. Okay. I feel better.
I should start a professional, American (aka "bossy")-managed part-time maid service like they have in the States. In the meantime, while I procrastinate/form committees/do R&D: Can anyone recommend someone good for P/T work? I would prefer him to be 6'4", dark eyes, bronze skin, and wear a little (I mean little) uniform... tee hee. (with my luck, he'll be gay and won't clean at all.)
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I have been having major tooth pain and have numerous problems with teeth, so I went (reluctantly) to the International Clinic. I'd been there before to see Dr. Najib and Dr. Ahmed (isn't it weird how they use first names here - as if they aren't professional enough to use their last names?). Dr. Ahmed was on his mobile phone the entire time. He didn't instill great confidence. When the tooth he repaired looked out of place ('It's sticking out'), he said, "The rest of your teeth are going in." Hmmm... I would prefer that all my teeth are uniform, but that's just me. Dr. Najib was okay and gentle, but.... But neither of them took full-mouth x-rays nor did they take the time to explain WTF was going on in my mouth. That's right - MY mouth. Just because dude is in there for 30 minutes isn't a given right for him to take over and not feel the need to explain.
Anyhoo, I ended up going to see Dr. Fadi Al Syriani, DDS, AFS, AFSA, Maxillo Facial Surgery (France), German Board of Implantology (DGZI). And yes, I use Dr. Al Syriani's full name as he is a full professional. I was VERY impressed. He took the time to read charts, to take full x-rays, to ask questions, and to explain. When I told him what a big chicken I am and would prefer to be under general anesthesia (need a lot of work), he recommended several hospitals (Al-Salam, Mowasat, Hadi). I really like the guy and after I get all my extensive stuff done, I'm definately going back to him for maintenance.
Oh, International Clinic also does BriteSmile which I love. Unfortunately, it is 180 KD. BriteSmile is laser whitening. I wish they would open the mall shops like they have in the States. I didn't even know that IC did it - I just happened to see a pamphlet in Dr. Al Syriani's office.
So, I bopped over to Al-Salam Hospital to see if I could get a consult with a dentist there for going under general. I've got an appointment today. They look very good. The reception areas were clean and the receptionists were professional (unlike most at IC).
Al-Salam does Zoom (Bleaching) for 75KD. I asked Dr. Al Syriani about it and he said it is like comparing a Hyundai to a Mercedes (BriteSmile). Since I've done BriteSmile and the results were really noticeable, I would prefer to have that; however, I would prefer not to spend 180KD, so I'm going to get it done in the States.
If Al-Salam can't put me under for dental work, then I'm going to have to go to the dreaded Mowasat. Fish Girl went there after her car accident and said Dr. Vikas was very good.
I need 2 root canals and at least 1 crown. My teeth in the back are tore up from the shoreup.
Qatar Airways is offering flights at almost half the price of United right now. I'm checking them out for Christmas. Only one stop in Doha and then direct to DC.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tomorrow is the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving historically was a harvest festival to thank God (and the American Indians) for helping the pilgrims (new arrivals to
Eid Al-Adha follows Thanksgiving this year when pilgrims returning from
It is an overall good time to be grateful. So, on this occasion, I would like to thank each of you for your small kindnesses, your friendship, and your support.
Happy Thanksgiving and happy Eid to you and your families and God bless you!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I’m totally depressed/oppressed at the moment. I’ve had some poop happen at work and it is the holiday season. First, Thanksgiving away from family is always hard. Next, it will be Eid and I’m not looking forward to another “I’m too busy to see you” day, making me feel ever so important and valued. I’ve been checking into flights to DC all morning – hoping to be able to surprise my family at the dinner table for Thanksgiving. I talked to my mom on the phone and she sounded down so I want to go even more.
Sometimes bad things happen at home at work, with friends, with people you love. Sometimes you feel like crap and you just want to depend on someone and then the someone you depend on most lets you down. I’m not having a good day. I really would like to get on that flight home tomorrow night.
It will pass I’m sure. I rarely have to depend on anyone, anytime so it just makes me a stronger person – and makes me value Desert Dawg much more. Everything happens for a reason.
Pass me the chocolate and my fuzzy slippers. When I get my salary, I'm buying myself jewelry and flowers.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
If you haven't been to the new Sultan Center in Hawalli - GO there. It is the closest to a US-style super market in Kuwait. I was really impressed. More variety, different types of food, wide aisles, counters in accessible areas.
You can't really find a decent T-day meal at a restaurant in Kuwait. I think the closest is probably the Crowne Plaza, but they still don't get it right.
TSC has these deals for Thanksgiving every year. the price is 14.500 and you get a whole Butterball Turkey (5 kilo), gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green beens or sweet corn, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls (12ct), and pumpkin or apple pie (6"). Must have 24 hours prior notice. Phones Salmiya: 25719620, Kout, 23930511, Hawalli, 22642854.
I don't have plans. Hint. Invite me. Hint.
December 1 - the Update
OMG the Sultan Center turkey was fantastic! This is such a good deal. It was a really big turkey just like they said, around 5 kilos (in 'merican that's 11 pounds). I asked them not to cook it well-done (everything in this country comes out tasting like leather!) and that must have worked; it was perfectly done, juicy and tender.
The portions of the side dishes were disappointing - very small. They also cut corners by using canned cranberry sauce and re-packaging; as well as using potato spuds instead of real potatoes. The "gravy" was some kind of gelatinous yuck. If they had only provided the bird, it would still be a good deal. As it was, I made up for it by making microwave brussel sprouts and sweet potato (mix). Their tiny pumpkin pie was quite authentic, so that was a plus.
The one great thing was that they KNOW how to make stuffing! It was very good and had all the right stuff - unlike the logs of stuffing that you get some places. OMG - look at the picture. This was taken at a Thanksgiving event at the Hilton, but I attended a Thanksgiving event at the US Embassy catered by the Crowne Plaza and it was just the same.I don't know why in this country they believe that stuffing should look like a missile/projectile. It isn't a stuffing dildo - it is a respectable side dish served to families!!!! What is wrong with these people????? We don't eat stuffing LOGS! The Hilton log tasted like liverwurst and had the same consistency. The Crowne Plaza used a combination of dark and white bread crumbs - then plumped them with water or some form of liquid to form what appeared to be a marbled log of checkered origins. I have actually sent family recipes to the Crowne Plaza. Do it right or don't do it. Oh, and at the Hilton, they served Thai beef salad at the Thanksgiving buffet. Do Thais celebrate the American/Canadian holiday of Thanksgiving? Just wondering. I've never had Thai beef salad at my Thanksgiving table. The guys we sat with were disappointed that they didn't have macaroni & cheese or sweet potatoes with marshmellos. I concur.
Non-Kuwaiti Wives Blamed
Arab Times, Local, 22 November 2009
A number of social and psychological specialists (WHICH ones? Qualify statements, newspapers!!!!) disclosed the issue of Kuwaiti men marrying foreigners has caused an increase in the percentage of spinsters in the country, which meddles in the process of raising of the kids (is that even possible if they are spinsters?? Poor writing.), reports Al-Shahid daily.
The specialists (again, which specialists and what qualifies them to be a specialist?) noted the phenomenon has caused the emergence of social problems in the country (as if social problems weren't already here). They added foreign women consider Kuwaitis as mobile banks (Puhleeeeze – the majority of Kuwaitis these days are middle class and some with government jobs make less than 1000 KD a month – do they consider that a “bank”?) and deal with them in relation to this concept.
Moreover, they stressed that marriages without intimacy and compassion will definitely fail. (Ok that has nothing to do with the rest of the story. In what context? Does it mean that Kuwaiti men are marrying foreigners for more or less compassion/intimacy?)
- - - End - - -
Here is my thing, maybe the women just don't want to get married. Did the "experts" ever consider that? Maybe society is changing. Maybe because of the archaic family law in Kuwait, women in the country have seen marriage as something different - servitude. And at the end, what happens? Dude cheats (which is legal in Kuwait for the man) and/or marries a second wife. If the woman wants a divorce, she looses end-of-marriage money (which is similar to alimony that has been written into a marriage contract). On the flipside for men (in Sunni marriages), the mother always gets the kids.
There are also all kinds of home-grown Kuwaiti social issues like marrying into an "acceptable" family, the dowry, having to deal with Kuwaiti inlaws (which leads to quite a few divorces in Kuwait). The dowry is often quite high: clothes, jewelry, car(s), the promise of a house with servants, etc. Dude would HAVE to be a mobile bank to finance some of these requests.
Foreign women are less likely to hand their kids over to a nanny to raise. Did the "specialists" consider that? It is not unrealistic for Kuwaiti couples to have 2 or 3 nannies/maids to "help" with the kids.
As for the incentives for Kuwaitis to marry Kuwaitis - I know of at least 4 Kuwaiti couples who have married purely to receive the government incentive money. They split it, split up, and move on.
I think that before casting the first stone, the "specialists" should take a good hard look at their glass house.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It was yet another example of Kuwait's "democracy" at work. When they went to renew their licenses, they were told that they would be put under the same category as newspapers. Therefore, the owners had to come up with a 250,000 KD bond. Poof - both magazines were out of business.
Isn't it pathetic?
Why doesn't the Ministry of Information launch their own magazine to inform English readers of happenings in Kuwait? They can fill it with as much propoganda as they want - just as long as it is information!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
These investigations have been going on for years and so far, no one at the top has gone to prison. I think it is probably just a matter of time.
Probably should have just given Kamal his props from the get-go. Pay him off or give him a percentage. As it is, he's been like a bulldog at your heels. He never did just go away, did he?
CNN: Kuwaiti company that supplies U.S. military accused of fraud
November 16, 2009 -- Updated 2211 GMT (0611 HKT)
Public Warehousing Company KSC is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, committing major fraud against the United States, making false statements, submitting false claims and wire fraud, a six-count indictment states.
The company obtained contracts in May 2003, February 2005 and July 2005 to feed U.S. troops in Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan, said the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Georgia, where the charges were filed.
"This indictment is the result of a multiyear probe into abuses in vendor contracts in the Middle East involving the illegal inflation of prices in contracts to feed our troops," said F. Gentry Shelnutt, who is serving as acting U.S. attorney on the case. "The indictment alleges PWC submitted false information and manipulated prices to overcharge for food."
Public Warehousing Company, also known as Agility, did not return a telephone message Monday.
The charges came after federal officials joined a 2005 whistle-blower suit by Kamal Mustafa al-Sultan, the owner of a Kuwaiti company that had partnered with Public Warehousing to submit a proposal on the food supply contracts, the Justice Department said. The case remained under seal to let federal officials investigate the allegations and determine whether the U.S. government would join the lawsuit.
The whistle-blower's civil complaint was filed in Atlanta.
According to the indictment, the company violated the False Claims Act by presenting false claims for payment, overcharging for locally available fresh fruits and vegetables, and failing to pass along to the U.S. government rebates and discounts it had obtained, as required by its contracts.
The indictment does not say how much the United States was allegedly defrauded, because the investigation is under way, officials said.
The investigation is being conducted by a team from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the FBI, the Army Criminal Investigation Command, auditors from the Defense Contract Audit Agency and the Defense Department.
"The defendants, tempted by monetary gain, betrayed the trust invested in them by the U.S. Army and now they must face the consequences," said Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, commander of Army Criminal Investigation Command.
- - - End - - -
Update: Big red letters, the headline of the Arab Times on Nov 18 reads, "Without merit'.... PWC denies US fraud charges." In the infamous words of Shaggy, "It wasn't me."
When the US Government uses the word "indictment" - that means they have enough evidence to send people to jail. The stories are naming names; you can check them out. Regardless of how Agility/PWC wants to spin it, it isn't going away. "Debarred" means you are out of the game. Over.
Monday, November 16, 2009
On my way to work this morning, there were 2 drivers racing on 5th Ring Road. One was in a bright red Lumina SS with tinted windows; the other was a black Grand Marquis. You would think the morons were 20-somethings, but nooooo…. These idiots were in their 40’s.
They were zigzagging in between cars, flashing their lights… acting like chimps on speed.
This is why I have high blood pressure. This is also why I leave my house promptly at 6:25 am every morning (to get to work on time by 7:30 am) to avoid traffic.
I wanted to BITCH SLAP both of them. I go into this trace/fantasy world where they get into accidents (with each other – not harming other drivers) and they aren’t terribly hurt, but just incapacitated and stuck in their cars with the windows rolled down. I go to the first, SLAP him hard across the face.. ‘This is for your wife!’ SLAP ‘This is for your kids.’ PUNCH ‘This is for me and all the other drivers on the road.’ PUNCH SLAP ‘This is for our collective families and children – born and unborn.’ Then, I repeat it with the second.
The Chosen Ones of the Universe… so they think.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I had a great weekend. Any weekend that I get to go to the desert is a good weekend – even if I do almost get killed. Well, not really, but it was scary. First of all, the Man and I had planned to go out to the desert, bring Desert Dawg, and have a barbecue. We had planned it for some time – and stupid things always came up, so we weren’t able to go for a few weeks. We finally decided to go on Friday and went out to buy all the stuff. I thought The Man had a destination in mind. (Well, he did kinda but it turned out to be not at all what he thought.)
We got a late start and then drove and drove and drove towards Subiya. If you haven’t been out there lately – OMG! The highway towards the Boubiyan Causeway is THE place to go if you have a fast car. I can’t believe the road construction that is going on out there. The road in either direction is 3 lanes and brand-spankin-new. When/if I buy my new black-on-black Camero V8 6sp, I am definitely taking it out on that road at night: NO police and NO traffic cameras. The road is straight and the asphalt is new; ideal conditions for putting the hammer down. Top
I digress (as usual).
Anyways, we drove all the hellandback down to the Boubiyan Causeway, took a left and headed towards the big mosque at the circle. It was 6:00. It was dark. I was hungry and cranky. Where the hell was this mystery place? The Man was driving me crazy – and to make matters worse, he got quiet and ignored my constant complaining. Dayam – there is nothing worse than a man who ignores you while you’re bitchin at him! He had no particular spot in mind. I was pissed (American term meaning angry rather than British meaning drunk – which would have been a F of a lot better than my mood!)
I told him to turn around and head back towards Mutla’a. So we did. We got close and I kindasorta recognized a road up the ridge and then told him to turn onto a dirt path leading up to a hill. He reluctantly did – although we were driving a stupid Envoy which is really crap on sand (he didn’t want to dirty HIS car!). We drove up, found a nice spot, and started the fire.
We brought everything imaginable – except jackets. It was humid and the wind was fierce. It got really dark, really fast. There were a few camps around, but people left early and there were fewer and fewer lights around us. Even the cars on the main road became less frequent. In the distance, there were high voltage towers and it was so quiet that we could hear the sizzle of electricity, which is a really weird sound. (I wonder how much electricity is escaping from those things. Does anybody ever check? Is that normal? Do you think campers may be electrocuted? I worry.)
We took a walk around with a flashlight and it was so dark that at one point, Desert Dawg almost went over a ridge into a deep ravine. Scared the bejezus out of The Man. Thank God, I didn’t see it happen. I just saw him grab her and hug her and tell her he loves her (who would have thought he would do that when I first met him! Big Bedu man telling a little dog that he loves her – it just warms my heart!).
At around 9:30ish, we decided to leave. We packed up and headed off the top of the hill. The only problem was – it was very dark and there were no lights at all. It was also really humid – almost to the point of fog. We totally lost our bearings. The Man would stop the car, get out with the flashlight (“torch” for you Brits) and check over the hills. (I was in the car giggling because in the soft sand, he was walking kinda effeminately – had a swish thing going on. Here he was, trying to save our lives and I’m laughing my ass off because he’s walking gay… back to the story…) Ok, to a certain extent, I am afraid of heights. I am really afraid of going over cliffs in the dark. I had visions of us careening over the side of Mutla’a ridge. It wasn’t pleasant. Oh, and I had to pee and I refused to go until I got home.
Thank God, we finally found the way down. It took us an hour to find the way out. Totally freaked me out (except for the gay part and yes, that still did freak me out but in a silly way).
Sometimes when you fear for your life, people deal with the stress in different ways. Like bitching, moaning, and complaining and giggling about an effeminate swish. Go figure. Hey baby – want some fries to go with that shake? (He's going to kill me when he reads this!)
We got home, I got to pee, we ordered some kanafa (comfort food), bathed, and went to sleep.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
It looks nice. If you go there, let me know how your experience was!
Incase you can't read the fine print, it is located in the Behbehani houses complex downtown (near the Sheraton and church), Behbehani House #12. Website: www.thedayspa-kw.com, phone: 2249-6699
Monday, November 09, 2009
Arab Times, November 9, 2009
“Air Force helicopter conveyed three Kuwaiti citizens aged 35, 31 and four years old respectively to Adan Hospital after they suffered psychological trauma during a tour of the Failaka Island.
Security sources confirmed the family had visited Failaka Island for leisure when the four-year old child experienced psychological distress and cried continuously without a reason, resulting in the mother and sister breaking down to tears as well.
Sources added security on the ground reported the situation, while an Air Force helicopter arrived at the island to carry the victims to Al-Adan Hospital. One Kuwaiti woman was reported to have become dizzy and fallen from a height on the island, as the child was crying incessantly.”
First of all, what kind of F-ed up “journalism” is this??? It has no flow, and it doesn’t make sense. The third paragraph could have been written into the first paragraph and then it might have been easier to understand; yet another reason why it is best to pay editors more than KD250 per month. I submit articles to the AT and they never even bother to call me back or respond: Everything happens for a reason.
Next, I think everyone involved should be psychiatrically evaluated. They actually used an air force helicopter for crying tantrums? OMG. I want to slap this family and I don’t even know them. WAAAAAAAAAAAA. The four year old probably had a tooth ache or just wanted to go home. Women – if you can’t handle having children, DON’T HAVE THEM! (Whee! Ma endich khadamaaaaa?)
I’m in no mood for a pity party today. What a bunch of whiners.
In the States, the Government would charge them for the rescue. I think they should do it here too.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Attention foreigners! Don't light up in Kuwait.
Here is another example of why it is a really really really bad idea to do drugs in the Middle East. Are these people too young to have ever heard of Midnight Express?
For another thing, foreigners!, you don't HAVE to look at the camera when the guys who have busted you are taking your photo. It isn't like you are Lindsay Lohan or something. You can look at the floor, turn your face away, cover your face.
I feel so bad for this girl. She is going to be like a roaster chicken at a wolf convention in jail here. Get ya a good lawyer, girlfriend!