Monday, June 29, 2009

Oxygen? We don't need no stinkin OXYGEN!

I had a meeting in Sulaibiya today. The municipality is chopping down trees there also.

Hey - let's make Kuwait a place where our children won't be able to breathe! Reduce oxygen because we don't need it anyways. We have industrial pollutants that will be just fine. We don't need to think coherently or increase brain activity .... who cares?

While Kuwait chops down trees and oxygen-producing foliage of various types, other countries take a different approach to sustainability...

"(CNN) -- Walk past the southern face of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, and you will be greeted by a massive wall of brilliant green foliage -- an 8,600 square feet plant installation by the designer Patrick Blanc, featuring more than 170 different species.

One of Patrick Blanc's green walls on the Hotel du Department in Hauts-de-Seine, France.

The mass of leaves and flowers seems to be swallowing the building -- and provides a proud symbol of resurgent nature in this busy, downtown district.

The amazing spectacle is one of the largest in a growing number of "plant walls" or "
vertical gardens" that are taking root across the world, as architects search for environmentally friendly ways to create beautiful buildings.
Some visionaries even believe that soon we could be harvesting our food from the places where we live and work.

Architect Ken Yeang is the world's leading green skyscraper architect and a passionate advocate of what is already being called "vegitecture". (continued)..."

Restaurant Sells Heroine-tainted Food to Customers

Arab Times, 29 June 2009, Kuwait : Restaurant selling heroine-tainted food to customers
A well-known restaurant at an unidentified location is said to be serving food to customers tainted with heroin, reports Al-Shahid daily quoting reliable sources.

This, the daily said, is done to attract more customers.However, the daily added acting on information and armed with a search and arrest warrant by the Public Prosecution raided the restaurant but nothing unusual was found.

The daily said the owner of the restaurant is an influential personality and reportedly got information from security sources that there would be a raid on the restaurant.But the daily quoting a worker, who did not disclose his name, has allegedly admitted that the owner mixes ‘something’ in the food and calls it a special spice to make the food tasty.

- end -

Um, I don’t think anyone would want to spend the type of money it would take to lace the food with heroine. I smell bullshit. This sounds suspiciously like someone wants dude out of business.

DG Questions:

I’m addicted to sushi. Do you think someone laced my California roll?
I'm addicted to machboos laham. Do you think someone laced the rice?
People are addicted to McDonalds’ Quarter Pounders (without cheese). Do you think that could be the restaurant?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Al Marsa, Le Meridien: Worst Customer Service EVER

I had dinner with Slapperella on Thursday night. We were going to go to Ashas at Marina Crescent, but when we drove by, it looked like a scene from Westside Story: What looked like several hundred teenaged boys looking for a fight. Where the hell is the security?!

Anyhoo, we drove by, not wanting to stop, and headed for Al Marsa in Le Meridien on the Gulf Road. We have been there frequently before, but stopped going when the competition started to impress us: Fish Market, Totally Fish, and our favorite, Housny in Hawalli. Al Marsa is expensive - no doubt about it - but the food has always been fantastic.

There used to be a really nice manager there – a big Egyptian guy, Mohammed, who made us feel like we were visiting family whenever we walked into the restaurant. He knew us by name and always ran over with a big smile to welcome us. He’s gone now.

We arrived and were seated right away. The very nice farraj brought us coffee and dates immediately and was very pleasant and friendly. The waitress took our order. Our appetizers arrived pretty quickly right after. We were off to a good start.

…. Cut to an hour later (I’m not exaggerating). The waitress had disappeared. The farraj bussed the tables and ran around trying to take care of the guests. One waiter was in the corner of the room with his back to the few patrons in the restaurant, folding napkins. The manager and hostess (without the “mostest”; a woman who never once smiled the entire time we were there and never made eye contact) were heads-down in conversation at another corner of the room.

I’m usually the instigator of trouble; Slaps usually waits for me to take the lead before she has words, but she rarely blows her top. Thursday was the exception. I guess we had both had a long week. We waited and tried to get someone's attention. Slaps finally got up and walked up to the new manager and asked him why no one had stopped by our table (Slaps was being kind when she said we had only been waiting 30 minutes)? He immediately began a lengthy tirade about how long fish takes to cook. I couldn’t hear them talking (she told me after), but by visuals alone (body language), he was getting quite defensive.

Slaps came back to the table. The manager followed and continued his diatribe to me about why fish takes a long time to cook. I couldn’t have cared less. I wanted the ice for my water that the waitress had promised me an hour ago. We had our appetizers; we were okay with waiting for the fish. I asked him why he was arguing with us over something we hadn’t asked him (why fish takes so long to cook). He (raising his voice) stated that he wasn’t arguing and continued to argue. Arguing about arguing!

Anyways, this went on and on and I finally told him to get the duty manager, who came down and was very nice. THEN the hostess showed up out of no where and started pouring water…. We told her to buzz off. We never got our fish because we were so angry that we walked out. The (first) manager didn’t care at all – he just gave us dirty looks on our way out.

1) High quality restaurant should = high quality service. If I expected low quality service, I would have gone to a fast-food restaurant.

2) I could understand if this type of behavior had been from a junior-level employee, but a “manager”?
3) The Al Marsa currently has a LOT of competition in the market. Food and service are the only things they have going for them. They have already lost on price and venue (in a basement with no windows).
4) There were very few customers in the restaurant.
5) Eye contact and smiling is free and good customer service. If you don't agree with a customer, put on your best "F. you" smile and get on with it.
6) NEVER (I repeat) NEVER argue with a customer.
7) Never raise your voice to a customer.
8) Never give a customer a dirty look on their way out the door – regardless of what happened. They will leave, tell their friends, post about it on their blog, and probably never return to the restaurant.

Slaps and I wondered if the manager would have behaved as badly had we been men. I doubt it. I think if we were two western men, we would have received much better service. The two Kuwaiti men seated behind us appeared to have been treated well, as did the mixed-nationality table across the room.

Giving credit where credit is due: Le Meridien is a beautiful little hotel. It is somewhat of a boutique hotel if you will. It reminds me of good-quality hotels in the US and UK. The décor instills confidence that the quality of service will be good. The valet parkers and junior level staff all have good attitudes.

Unfortunately, it is almost always empty whenever I go there and perhaps it is because of these incidents (even if they are isolated incidents) of horrible customer service. News of bad service spreads quickly; only takes a few times for people to hear about it.

Desert Girl Al Marsa embargo ON.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anti-AFL Facebook Group & Puppy Education

Facebook Group:


I came across this group doing a search for the Animal Friends League's group. The only reason I joined this group (against AFL) is so that I could post on their wall. There are a lot of big names as members on this Facebook group - and I hope that they are there for the same reason I was - either to see what is going on, or to comment about it. The group's wall posts contain lots of angry finger-pointing and negativity - where the same people could be using their powers for good. Further, I urge anyone with money and/or land and a love for animals to put their money where their mouth (fingers) is. Build and donate a shelter or sanctuary and/or land. Hey - plant trees on it!

The group (AFLiaROTMIA) makes an issue about the fact that someone hasn't seen a bunch of puppies that they dropped off - assuming that they have been "brutally killed". If you have ever been to the AFL founders' home, you will see a managerie of animals; They also have animals at the shelter. They could have been at one place or the other.

When I dropped off Rocky last night, I inquired more about euthanasia at the shelter. Their policy is similar to many shelters in the US. AFL does not euthanize animals unless they have been evaluated by a behavioral specialist (on staff) and determined to be potentially harmful to adopters; or if they are too sick to save; or sick enough (as in cases of parvo) where they will infect other animals. LENGTH OF STAY at the shelter is not a factor in AFL's decision to euthanize animals; they have animals have been there for over a year (many Western shelter do euthanize animals after 30 days or more). AFL also tries to send longer length of stay animal residents to the US to be adopted. (When you drop off an animal, you can request that "Should the decision be made to euthanize this animal, I would like AFL to return it to me." Which is what I did with Rocky.)

Having said that, it is important to note that dogs do not do well in kennel situations from the age of 6 months and upwards. They get kennel stress and develop mental problems. Shelters are not sactuaries; they don't have the facilities. AFL is a shelter, not a sanctuary. They count on both staff and volunteers to play with the animals and provide socialization. This is what really concerns me about Rocky because he's such a playful guy and I didn't like to see him alone in a cell.

AFL will euthanize animals in cases of sickness: Parvo is VERY prevalent in Kuwait. Parvo is an extremely contageous disease spread between animals. Dogs must be vaccinated when they are puppies - early on - so they don't get the disease. My own dog gets her booster shots for Parvo (and other diseases) EVERY year. Owning an animal is a responsibility! If the puppies mentioned on this anti-AFL group had Parvo, it would have been necessary to put them to sleep (euthanize them). Most shelters in the US have a quarantine section for new arrivals to ensure that they don't have Parvo.

Distemper is also very common in Kuwait. Pets will come down with neurological problems and the shakes. Animals with distemper must be humanely euthanized. They can not function (and neither could you) with brain damage. Well, I take that back... I've seen a lot of folks around here lately that appear to be brain-damaged....

Puppy care is extremely important. Strays are just that - stray; no one has provided medical assistance for them at an early stage. No one knows their history; what they could have gotten into, eaten, etc. Most puppies need to be immediately de-wormed. (I have heard cases in Kuwait where people have quite literally thrown their very-expensive and/or rare puppies on the street because they had worms!).

You don't just get a cat or dog and then BAM! He's part of the furniture. Nooooooo. For example:

Stages of Puppy Care

1) Nutrition!
Puppies must have puppy food (proper vitamins) and milk.
Not adult dog food. Not a mixture of table scraps!
You wouldn't feed your baby chicken and rice at 2 months - why would you think that a baby puppy could eat it and grow up free of health problems? Without milk, for example, a puppy's bones will not form normally and he may not be able to walk correctly.

2) De-worming
Usually done through a week-long course of pills.

3) Shots (Vaccinations)
Shots against disease start the week after the de-worming pills are complete. They are a series of 2 or 3 shots given over a period of several weeks. Shots should include: Parvo, distemper, rabies. Humans can get - and die from rabies. Have your pet vaccinated!

Go to the source
Educate yourself

I miss the Brindle Puppy

I took Rocky to the AFL shelter last night and I'm so upset. I think he knew what I was going to do. Just look at his face!
We hugged for a long time and I told him to be happy and to have a good life and that everything will be ok.
Will it? Somebody tell me it will be ok.

Desert Dawg is just too old and too persnickety to get along well with other dogs - let alone one like Rocky who couldn't help himself when it came to being playful and nipping at her. She was an emotional wreck - cowering on the bed and shivering. I don't know to what degree it was Desert Dawg Drama or what degree it was pure anxiety. She is a bit of a Fairy Princess. Unfortunately, since she was so traumatized, I couldn't keep Rocky around any longer.

We drove down to Animal Friends League's shelter in Wafra. I wasn't impressed by the drive - almost an hour down a road with blowing sands and dips in the road. I discovered along the way that the last time my Envoy was serviced, they forgot to bolt on the front left side of the bumper, so it was banging in the wind all the way down there.

I was impressed by the shelter. It is hidden away from public view - I'm sure to protect the animal occupants - but once you get inside, it is a modern shelter facility cleaner than any I have seen in the US. There were lots of other puppies of Rocky's size, age, and questionable lineage. I know he'll have friends. I also know he is the most special.

In the few days that I had him (4 in total) he learned several commands and how to walk on a leash. That is actually faster than it took Desert Dawg and I consider her quite smart. He is also quiet. I had to lock him in my big bathroom (it is more of a bathroom suite) during the day and he didn't make a sound - even when I got home and walked around.
I also love his color! If you look at his face (forehead), you can see another face in the design of his coloring. It looks like a raccoon.

I guess it was 4 days too long to keep him. I should have driven him to the shelter the day after I found him, but it is now too late. I'm in love and worried sick about how he's doing in his doggy-cell. I hope they gave him his toys.

Girls are fickle. Desert Dawg spent all of last night searching for Rocky both inside and outside the house. She woke up in the morning looking for him and stared at me as if I had done something terribly wrong when I left to work.


Monday, June 22, 2009

OooooSaaaaaaa Liquid Stress Relief

17 more days. ....

Kuwait's Scorched Earth Policy

I don't understand it. Why does Kuwait bare the expense of hiring drivers with bulldozers and backhos when they could just use napalm? It's inexpensive, easy, and does the same job: It scorches the earth leaving a bare patch with nothing but sand left.

There were lots of trees along the Ta'awn (sp?) Street (Bilajat extension towards 6) in front of Rumaithiya yesterday when I left for work. When I got home, there was literally a parade of dump trucks, bulldozers - you name it - clearing the land. Almost everything is now gone. People stood in front of their homes with sorrowful faces, watching it happen. It was an invasion. Why ruin nature?

His Highness The Amir's home is very closeby. I know he's a man who loves beauty - just look at Beit Salwa - gorgeous. Why cut down trees so close to his home?

Please tell me that they are planning to plant grass and trees along the route - like the seaside in front of Salmiya. Please tell me. Please. I'm looking for something comforting about this distressing situation today.

I know that Kuwait is now, in broad and general terms, the "State of Apathy", but you would think that someone, somewhere, somehow might voice even a RELIGIOUS concern - as the Quran does indeed say something about the goodness of foliage. If "church and state" is not divided in Kuwait, then someone needs to GET ON THIS.

I could understand if the plants posed a threat to traffic. I could understand if there were structures on the sites that should have been removed, but PLANTS? Palm trees? Bushes? Why Kuwait? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Mark at 248AM blogged about this subject also at HERE with photos. This is happening all over Kuwait.

People in other countries are PLANTING trees, and in Kuwait, the government has a policy of tearing them up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Affectionate Young Boy Seeks Home

If anyone knows someone who might be looking for a puppy, I'm looking for a good home for this little guy. He's kind of like a floppy plush toy with muscle mass. I've named him "Rocky" (it was that or "Cuervo", "Fendi" or "Spaz"). The vet says he's 3-4 months old and will probably be a medium-sized dog. He's got gorgous brindle coloring and he's very smart: he's well on his way to being completely housebroken; he plays fetch very well; he seems to have a comprehension of "NO!" and he's a quiet guy. I think he'd be good with children as he's just sweet and shy. He's very healthy and playful - seems to be into pillows at the moment. He also gets along well with other dogs (although he's pissing Desert Dawg off by chasing her around - she's old and not at all amused).

Rock Star of Questionable Parentage: Could be some kind of shepard / Koocheedog / Caravan Hound / Rampur Hound (ok, so google it - I'm not making this up) desert dawg mix.

I've got a week (starting puppy series and a little training) and then he's off to Animal Friends League. If you know anyone who would be good to him, please have them e-mail me. I consider taking ownership of a pet to be a life-long (theirs, not just yours) committment on the part of adopters, so please keep that in mind.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Peeve for The Day

I seem to be all about feminism today....

But, this pisses me off....

So, I work in an office with mostly men. I am one of only2 female managers. My office is in the middle of a long line of management offices (occupied by men), surrounded by cubicles with engineers and other technical staff. Management offices are enclosed with glass windows and wood doors. It is quite a long walk down the hallway from the main door - past a male and 2 female AA's, past conference rooms and other management offices - to reach my office.

Why is it then, pray tell, that MEN walk into my office, without feeling the need to have themselves announced, to ask me if I am "the secretary for... (some man)"? WTF!

Why is it ok to see breastssses and assume that the one wearing them is a "secretary"?

It should be common sense. Look at our office layout.

Ok, I am sure I could have been more diplomatic - today - but I'm cranky and so therefore, I bit his head off.

Mosquito Bite on my Elbow

Have you ever had a mosquito bite on your elbow? WTF?! is it only ME??? I don't get it. It is so uncomfortable. What a terrible place to get bitten. I don't even think much about my elbows and then - WABAM! All I can do now is think about my elbow. Why me?

And now... for something completely different....

I had a very nice time last night meeting military contracting officials from Arifjan. They're definately getting a more approachable, friendly group. I'm sorry that LTC Kiser is leaving Kuwait. He seems like such a nice guy. I am happy, however, to learn that a female Commander of the Contracting Command (Southwest Asia- Kuwait) will be FEMALE. We have a female ambassador, a female commercial counselor, and now a female commander of contracting. WAY COOL! You go, girls! (Women)

It makes my job a wholelot easier because my misguided management immediately believes that we are all in some kind of secret society or something: just being female. "You can go talk to them, you're female too...." Yeah? And?

See, it's like this in my perspective: It's all about mixing up the perspectives. We've had old white dudes around for a long time (ok, Sunny Busa as commerical counselor stirred it up a bit as a Filipino/American in Kuwait) and now there is a different perspective on things. I'm liking it.

When Sunny first came to Kuwait, I heard a story that he went to one of the ministries to meet with a minister... when he got to security, a junior level security guard told him to wait on the sidelines, brushing him off as a mandoob or driver of the commercial counselor. I heard this story from an Undersecretary friend. Guess they were expecting old white dude. NOT.

Anyhoo, back to my story, I enjoyed my dinner meeting last night - even though I almost missed it because my powernap went into overtime. Hurling myself from bed, I didn't even manage to get full make-up on before running for the door.

Neither the Banker nor the Chairman showed up. Bummer. Probably better because I wasn't in full make up and my hair was kind of weird. I'm trying new things - like anything I can find in my refrigerator and my bathroom on my head as conditioner. Mayonaise, olive oil, caster oil, rosemary infused oil, safflower oil, 12 different kinds of conditioner... whatever. The hair on my LEGS grew overnight, but my head...

How bout that dust storm? Holy snap! I left the meeting and was met with a wall of dust (and airborne spores most likely). Free abrasive facial treatment right thar, so it was.

I'm in a bit of a funk this week. All of a sudden, I want to get hair extensions, liposuction, and have my teeth straightened. I don't know what brought this about. I just want it - and now. I have had a week of long, boring meetings and not too much (personal-related) social activity - unless discussions with my dog and the cats counts.

Speaking of the cats, I fear that something sinister has become of Petey, the black cat. He's been MIA for 2 weeks now. He's a bit of an adventurous cat, so he may have met his demise in the engine of a car; or most likely - by crossing a street at night (with his pupils completely dialated, you can't see him at all). I miss him. His brother and sister seem to be upset about it too. Now it is just down to P2; Paint and Petunia.

If one more person tells me that I need to get a life, I am going to smack them. Purgy - don't even go there. I know where to find you....

Hey - here's a little bit of somewhat-useful information for you: The Movenpick in the Free Trade Zone has a Brazilian restaurant, Churascaria. Wooooo hoooooo! And I have COUPONS. I am like the Queen of Coupons. People just show up and give them to me. Unfortunately, a lotta times it is during my psuedo-diet phase when I am perpetuatin' a diet. Anyhoo, I can't wait to go there and try it. I have had bad, bad, bad experiences in the Movenpick FTZ on many different visits, so I vowed never to return, but now I have COUPONS! and they have BRAZILIAN steaks with gauchos carrying meat on sticks.... what's a girl gonna do?

I also got invited to try the new Sakura at Shaab, compliments of the Crowne Plaza staff. They are so kind to me. I love them. They always include me when a new restaurant opens and a big shout out to them for their outstanding PR. My friend, Myrna, is the manager for the Rib Eye and Ahmadi restaurants in Farwaniya and if you ever have a chance to say hello to her, I encourage you to go and do it. She works ALL the time, has much worse of a social life than I do ("You have no life, Desert Girl" - I can say it; you can't.) and ... here's the kicker because you wouldn't know it... she's the only American restaurant manager that the CP/Holiday Inn chain in Kuwait has. Go say hi. She's such a sweet person.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Dinner Date in Jahra

There is a Copthorne Hotel and Resort in Jahra. Did anyone else know this? Fascinating! I went there over the weekend because we were looking for a new adventure. I don’t think I would have gone with a girl because we would probably been harassed by roaming teenaged boys (there was more than one police car in the parking lot and we witnessed several women in niqab shouting at hooligans). I was the only woman there who wasn’t wearing niqab and all the black (except the waitresses in Awtar Libnan – which, by the by, is one of my favorite restaurants). I didn’t get stared at very much at all and no one bothered us.

This is taken from the hotel’s website:

Al-Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort: The Al-Jahra Copthorne Hotel & Resort is Located in Al-Jahra City, 20 minutes away from Kuwait International Airport and 20 minutes from Kuwait City Center (not unless you are driving at 2 am). The hotel is ideally located for business in the north of Kuwait and Business related to Iraq. The Hotel is part of the “ Slayil Al-Jahra Tourist Resort” and has a shopping mall, theme park and numerous restaurants nearby. The hotel has 3 floors and consists of 201 well appointed and tastefully decorated guest rooms and 60 Chalets with two and three bedroom, suites with 5 stars amenities and service.

Theme Park:

A new theme park based on superhero characters of The 99 Comics (I didn’t know this! COOL.) has been opened within the Slayel Al-Jahra Resort in Jahra, reports the Kuwait Times. Developed by the United Entertainment and Tourism Company (UETC) and the Tashkeel Media Group, the theme park has been dubbed The 99 Village and the companies plan to produce six additional parks in as many years.

- end –

I have heard that a Sanousi owns it. They are cool folks and one of my very fondest memories is when one of the Sanousi boys cooked mrubian when we were all together in Rockville. Anyways, good for you, Sanousis … sanaeeeeeeeeeeeeees!

Ok, I ramble.

Planting a hotel (with meeting facilities) at the end of 6th Ring Road close to the northern military camps is just plain good business and quite insightful on the part of the owners. They’re providing the only hotel in the area as well as good, clean entertainment for the kids in Jahra. Outstanding! As I said, there was security around and the facility is very clean and for a Friday night, not overwhelmingly crowded with people like the waterfront in Salmiya (for example).

The shopping center has a pool with swan boats in the middle and grassy areas where a lot of people were sitting to watch live music. It was really very nice. I was SMSing Slapperella with my commentary and she asked me if I was planning to ride one of the duck/swan boats. Ok, a blonde in a T-shirt was spectacle enough, but a blonde in a t-shirt riding in a duck would be inciting to riot. LOL.

On the way home, we stopped to look for a DVD store in downtown Jahra. That was an adventure in itself, but really not as adventurous as I had expected. I guess I expected wilder and it was more like Farwaniya; only all the people were really short. Hmmm. I don’t know why, but they looked like Mini Cooper-drivin midgets. Very odd.

We took the long road to get up to Jahra. I hadn’t been down the road along the bay in Sulaibikhat for years and I’m glad we went that route (after shopping at the fabric souq and Baskin Robins at Sharq) because it has really changed. I guess the land reclamation has begun.

Kuwait is a changin’, isn’t it?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Giddyup Cowgirl!

I want one of these (and I know that you secretly want one too). "Healthcare products" from Al-Yousifi!

I'm pretty sure that it could enhance my swing - although not necessarily for golf. I do believe my muscles have "weakened" recently. I want it.

Desert Girl Questions (on everybody's mind)

  • "Insufficient exercise" - As in where?

  • Is it customizable?

  • What are the settings?

I am wondering where I could put it that polite company won't see it when they come over. Most of my friends would be just fine (Slapperella has cowboy boots with spurs and I'm pretty sure she has matching chaps), but yaaaaneeee - what happens if my mother comes to visit?

Yeeeeeeeeeee haaaaaaaaaaa

Funny that - I want steak right now.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

My Stupid Sign

I went to get my hair done last week at Images. I’m hair-shopping to find the right fit. I’m hair-monogamous, but I’ve just decided that 70KD is more than I am willing to spend every 6 weeks (that's like a car payment). I had been going to Strands for 4 years and prior to that, to Cutting Edge for 4 years. @70 kd/every 6 weeks – well, you do the math.

When I got the bill at Images, it was way more than I expected (and I wasn’t happy with the outcome). When I first asked, lady said 25 KD for highlights. I asked her to put in 4 brown strands. For that, she charged me 15 KD. That’s a whole lot of money for a little bit of effort- and we’re not talking a Western big-time salon, either. Ok, no biggie. Perhaps my mistake. I didn’t stop to ask how much it would be. She asked me to come back in a week for a conditioning treatment. ‘How much?’ “11 KD” Ok, no biggie. Got the conditioning treatment. Went to pay…. “15 KD”
‘What? You told me 11 KD’
“Oh noooooo, you must have misunderstood.’

I have never misunderstood so much (apparently) as I have in Kuwait. Why do you think that is? Perhaps that I’m foreign and Western and I have a big sign on my forehead saying, “STUPID”?

This is why I record all my meetings – just so that we are all on the same page. According to some, I "misunderstood" during meetings as well - until, quite ironically, I started recording (and handing out either meeting minutes or CD in whatever format they preferred). It's a MIRACLE! People actually became a lot nicer to me during meetings: Attitude adjustment. Go figure. Maybe I should start recording all my salon sessions also? Just so we are all on the same page. Ridiculous! I know what she said.

The 11 vs 15 discussion continued into an argument. In Kuwait, one must fully understand that THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG. You must always just hand over your money to whoever and let it go because that is your place as a customer: You're stupid; Salesclerk is always a Rhodes scholar. Everybody knows it. So then, they then hand me their price list - “for next time” – so I won’t “misunderstand”. Let me let you in on a little secret – there won’t be another time. For a whopping 4KD, they lost a potential long-term customer (refer to the last sentence in Paragraph 1 above). They can keep their price list; I have no need for it.

I was about to book a massage. Miss Thang (although very nice) stood there the entire time saying, “What about your massage, Madame?” I told her, ‘You told me 25 KD for the massage. What does it really run – around 40?” Just so she doesn’t misunderstand.

Images used to tout themselves as “Western” because they had ONE stylist from the States. She doesn’t work there anymore. For 25 KD for a massage, I can go to the spa at Crowne Plaza and bask in luxury. Why would I want to do it in a converted apartment on the corner of a highway in Salmiya? I can do that for 5 KD at other little places in Salmiya, by the way.

As for my hair, it's fuched. I have had several "hair advisors" look at it and tell me that I have 3 months before it gets back into condition again. 70 KD isn't looking so terrible right now. Oh well, my hair shopping will continue. I have heard good things about Femme Fatale in Mangaf (not to be mistaken with La Femme Fatale who stole their name and logo image - as they do in Kuwait when a business is successful).

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh no he di’int!

This is one of my very top peeves: When you have met someone socially; they know you; and then…. They have their SECRETARY call you on the phone. “Hi, this is Flana from XYZ. Mr. Bu Flan would like to speak to you. Can you please hold while I transfer the line?” (WTF!? Did Bu Flan have a FINGER accident and he can’t dial his own phone?) And to resume…”Oh, I’m sorry, Ms. Desert Girl, but Bu Flan just picked up another call…..” Oh nooooooooooo, he di’int! They can both call me back for the rest of the day. I’m not picking up – and I have caller ID in my office too. Funk dat!

Who did this to you, pray tell, Desert Girl…. The BANKER! Oh, I am so never answering his calls ever ever again. Dumbass. He (or she) called me about 12 times after (he must have gotten off the phone). I sent an SMS, ‘Sorry. In a very important meeting. Thanks for your call.’ BADA BING (Ok, admittedly, I am doing the same thing – giving false impressions – as he just did to me, but it was in response – I didn’t initiate it.)

I’m not impressed by the 'tude. I have a secretary (that is her official BS Kuwaiti-given title, BTW – I would prefer to call her an “Administrative Assistant”). Everybody I know has a secretary. BFD. Even my undersecretary/royal/ambassador friends don’t have their secretaries call me! I HATE POSERS! Who DOES that? It is so 1950’s! Plus, it gives me the immediate impression that he/she is technically-challenged and probably can't use e-mail either. My knee-jerk reaction once I hear there is a secretary on the line is to immediately hang up. My loser-sensors start making that obnoxious noise inside my head.

I don’t care how busy you are – if you want to talk to me, talk directly to me. I don’t need someone to run interference.

I used to work for a dumbass who, when interviewing candidates, would make them wait in the lobby for at least 30 minutes, just to give the impression that he was a very busy man. Little did he know, that I would run out there and tell poor-pathetic-candidates to be ready to spend at least 30 minutes waiting because he was in there playing pocket polo while they got the impression that he was important. (Yes, I’m evil and I get paid for it.) I don’t believe in wasting time and I do believe in transparency.

Most posers are quite transparent – including Bu Flan above.

You want to impress me, Mofo? Make and keep appointments - and on time. Be direct and honest. Personally, I don’t have time for the head games and have seen enough BS in my (very short) lifetime to know better.