"Unknown" - does that mean that the applicant doesn't know or the guy receiving the form? Could it be like Pat from SNL? Asexual? What tha deal?
Thursday, April 30, 2009
"Unknown" - does that mean that the applicant doesn't know or the guy receiving the form? Could it be like Pat from SNL? Asexual? What tha deal?
You know, sometimes when bad things happen they are actually a blessing? You never know what is going to happen right around the corner or what is in God’s Big Plan. That is how I am feeling this week: Everything happens for a reason. That should be my mantra – and most of the time it is. Everything should also be a blessing, and so it is.
I had an incident a week ago today when someone I loved and trusted verbally insulted me to the extent that it reached the point of no return. Some things you just can’t SAY to people. Take a deep breath; count to ten; take a long walk. But don’t say something you will regret later out of sheer anger. There is so much ugliness in the world; so much hatred and anger. Sometimes it is hard to see the beauty that is right there.
This past weekend for me was like being a villager at the bottom of an erupting volcano: I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, couldn't get off the island, and was enveloped by molten lava. I got burned.
And then, and then, and then…..
I’ve had a really lovely week. I have met new friends and spent time with old ones.
A dear Bahraini friend came to Kuwait on a military conference and I took him to dinner. I used to go to Bahrain every-other-week to hang around with a group of really good/crazy friends; most of them from the Bahraini Air Force and their girlfriends/friends. I met them through my friend, Liza, from San Antonio who worked at Lackland AFB and put me in touch with one of her good pilot friends when I first got here. It was like we were long-lost friends. I felt like I had known him forever. I used to love going to Bahrain. Then, as time passes and things change, the group disbursed; this one got married to that one; someone left for training; that one was fighting with another one. So, I stopped traveling to Bahrain for a long time. Anyways, it was great catching up. I think I hadn’t seen him since something like 2001. Time goes so fast and you don’t even realize it.
Last night, I met some friends from this here blog. We have been e-mail corresponding for a long time and we finally went to dinner. Anytime I combine sushi and coffee (a day worth’s in this case), I talk waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much (especially if I like the people), so I hope I didn’t bore them too much.
I love meeting people from the blog. It is always interesting, but at the same time, kind of weird because they always know everything about me (literally) and I know very little about them. Also, because the Desert Girl persona is kind of my alter-ego, people perceive me differently (I think). That definitely was true of one particular blogger who assumed that I would be his easy lay when his wife was out of town. Do I really give off that impression that I would do something like that? I digress.
We had a lovely dinner and I really enjoyed meeting them. I sent the new female friend in the group to my outstanding GYN at the Royale Hyatt and BADA BING! She’s pregnant. (Ladies, don’t drink the water in Kuwait!) LOL. Congratulations!!!
I’m ready for a good weekend. I really want to get to Kabd. I haven’t seen friends there for a while – maybe it is time. I read the tarot for myself and it said that I have been neglecting people who need me. I know there are several of my friends going through REALLY bad times – both here and in the States – and I should have been doing a better job of supporting them.
I love this song and it has been playing inside my head. I think that the lyrics are après peau today. Destiny’s Child, Happy Face:
I woke up this morning, the sunshine was shining
Monday, April 27, 2009
These are not just nicer looking radar cameras - they are a lot more lethal, so be careful.
First thing is that these cameras do NOT flash. They can take photos in complete darkness through ultra-light sensors, so even if it does not flash, it could have caught you. They also automatically read your number plate from the picture taken.
Now, comes the thing that catches most people. These cameras are continuous photo-taking cameras and they will take your photo regardless if you have been speeding or not. Then the next camera in 3-5 kms again does the same. Now, instead of checking your speed through advanced radars, these cameras are very simple and all they do is calculate how fast you traveled between the 2 cameras. If you arrived at the next camera faster than 120 km/h (or whatever the speed limit is) then you get fined.
What does this mean?
It means that you can stop speeding up between cameras and slowing down as it does not matter anymore. If you are speeding in between 2 cameras you will get fined. Furthermore, don't be fooled by no flash flashing that the camera is not working.
They were fine for the night of my birthday, but I gather that was just an act. Thursday night, the Hamster came over and accused the Bunny and I of "cheating". Um.... nooooo..... we were fixing my electric fuse, actually. Fully clothed - as one does when fixing electricity. So, they had words and they both left. Unbeknownst to me, they exchanged phone numbers, the Bunny called the Hamster, and apparently compared notes. Now both of them are being extremely rude.
Boys never grow up, do they? Neither one of them could be mature for a nanosecond. I find it really really really hard to believe what Bunny said to me (actually no one in my life has ever said those words to me), but alas (heavy sigh) nothing really surprises me in life anymore. Totally base. Perhaps they will have a great time together. Maybe they can create a support group.
Moments like this make me want to get on a plane. Maybe I will.
So boys, if you are going to stalk me properly, may I make a few recommendations:
- Go through my trash. It is public domain and just make sure that you get there before 10:30 pm when the truck arrives. (You will probably be able to tell it is my trash because all I have eaten lately is the left-over Doritos and cake from my birthday.)
- Call all my friends........ Oh no wait!!!! You're already doing that. Next point...
- Hang around outside my work incase you might see me with another man.... maybe even one I work with!
- Have your friends in the CID check to see where my car is.... oh no, wait again.... it is parked outside my house because I'm usually THERE.
- Check all the other cars parked in the vacinity to see who they belong to. Let me help: Khalid, Hussein, Yousef, Nasser, Abdullah, Ali, Fahad, Farhan, Rakan, Talal, Ahmed, Mohammed, Mubarak, Nawaf, Jassem, Jamal, Adel, Bader, Adnan, Rashed, Aziz, Tariq, Waleed, Saud, Majid, Abdulrahman, Mishal, Bu Flan, Bu Zega.....
Now that I have the poop out of the way, let me concentrate on something that really makes me upset....
I can't believe that Bea Arthur is dead! I loved her! I liked both her - for her whit and sarchasm - and Rue McClanahan for being secure in her sexuality. I will miss knowing Bea is around.
I think that the Golden Girls had the right idea: There is nothing that can't be solved by cake and your good girlfriends.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I think I may have mentioned my dream – full of anxiety - in an earlier post. A bunny and a hamster were hopping around together, merrily sharing each other’s company… when all of a sudden… out of nowhere… the bunny grabbed the hamster in its furry paws; and with a sininster look of pure evil… well, (to be politically correct) “had it’s way” with the hamster. The hamster screamed and I woke up screaming, “Noooooooooooooo!!!!”
I started out thinking that maybe I could get away with having a birthday dinner (for 25 plus people) without either of them knowing/caring and/or showing up. I’m way too honest for that. I also really enjoy both of their company - and so do my friends. So, ask me a direct question and every time – I give a straight answer. Not that I want to, but the voices in my head put pressure on me. I can’t help it. I decided to invite both of them.
So, I took both of them aside (on different days in different locations, in the same tone of voice) and described my strong desire for them to get along so that we could all have a happy evening. Ab-so-lutely NO attacks of any kind. They both promised.
Ok, not to trivialize very very very kind acts by both of them, but I sensed a leetle bit of competitiveness when the gifts were delivered: First, the cake that was almost the size of my office desk; and then the flowers which were almost a foot taller than I am. Regardless, they were so cool and I loved them. Each of them both got me lovely jewelry which they both made me promise to wear at the dinner (which I totally forgot to do because I was so busy). See – they have things in common!
Get this – they got along. I couldn’t believe it, but at the same time, I could. They're not so close as to go out and do male-bonding or anything (not at all in reference to my dream) but they were ok. Let's face it, they both have a lot in common (me, par example); they are both genuinely kind and (often) diplomatic guys. Every time they either sat or stood next to each other, I said, “oooooooooh! Let me get a camera!” (my new Olympus broke a few weeks before, so I actually didn’t have a camera).
Bobarino walked in and was shocked to see them both there. I’m good at bringing people together. It’s what I do. Bobarino cornered a new couple to Kuwait, R&G (who I like a lot), for most of the evening. I couldn’t tell if they were smiling politely or if I should rescue them. Love you, Bobs. Bobarino’s friend had his game on with Sheikha Minor and a new Kuwaiti friend. I think they had a date last night. I’m dying to know how it went.
The night was so nice – I can’t even tell you.
I found a place that caters Chinese food for 1 KD per person (I know – awesome, right?). I checked it out with Bunny just to make sure it was good food and we both really liked it. It is a tiny place in Rigae (don’t recommend it at night – too many drunks hanging around in the neighborhood) called China Park (phone: 24889644). For the price, you get a choice of appetizer, a beef entrée, a chicken entrée, a rice dish, and a noodle dish. They bring it to your place (on time) in chaffing dishes (tables cost half a KD each). And then they come back the next day to pick up. How cool is that? I figured that drunk people probably don’t care what they eat anyways, but the food was very good. I was kinda nervous about it, so I had a lot of chips/dips, veggies, and (as it turned out) 3 cakes incase people didn’t want to eat from the buffet. Waaaay too much food.
I’m still looking for a Kuwaiti oud player, by the way. If anyone knows anyone. I want Kuwaiti because I’ve hired other nationalities and they always end up playing Lebanese or Egyptian songs and that’s not what I’m lookin for. I like the older Kuwaiti or Gulf songs.
We didn’t have a DJ because it wasn’t that kind of a party. I don’t do that kind of party: I like good music playing in the background, but not so loud that you can’t talk.
I had about a gazillion candles lit (sorry, one can never have too many candles – I’m a girl. Shut up.) Some people sat in the garden, some inside in different groups. I got SO many beautiful flowers that the place looked like a wedding reception (ok, now I really know how to plan one – on the cheap – in Kuwait!).
My friend, Mo, was our “Data Clerk” at work and was terminated after 15 years of service. He had built up increments over the years to where he was making a whopping 250 KD a month. So, he was told “You are making too much money.” This guy did everything for me at the office; I really relied on him. In the States, he would have been called a “Secretary” (not really an AA, but a junior level admin person). I am the only manager at my office who has never hired an assistant of any kind. They had him doing everything and he KNOWS his stuff. Ok, so they terminated him and with no/limited job prospects, I hired him to serve at the dinner. If anyone needs him in that capacity (let me know: email@example.com) – homeboy served, ran out to buy supplies, and then cleaned my kitchen! I wanted to keep him. (Not to be derogatory or anything, but is this what it is like to be Kuwaitia? Ha ha.)
Hamster left first and Bunny stayed behind to get rid of the stragglers. I finally said something like, “Ok right. Closing time. Time to go home. Get out of my house.” Or equally as diplomatic. Everyone left with their to-go boxes of Chinese food and cake (I hate to waste food) at around 3:00 am.
I finally got my FedEx box. My mother sent me some of my favorite candies (Peeps in the shapes of bunnies), a chocolate Easter bunny (stress relief for when I need to bite off a head), and a card. She also sent a graduation card for Slaperella (AKA “Cougarella”) who just completed her masters degree. I thought it was weird that Slaps kept pestering me about getting the box from FedEx (“I think you really should just pay the money and get it?”) What’s UP, girlfriend? Why the rush???
So then, Slaps asked me at the dinner for 2 hours of my time – either in the morning or in the evening. I had a function to attend in the evening, so she started pestering me about waking up in the morning and said that we would need to take my car (its bigger than her 2 seat Merc). I am a pain in the ass, so I immediately started bugging her about WHYYYYY??? I’m thinking, ‘Where would we need to go with my car?’ Maybe the shooting range? Maybe she’s taking me to the desert (naw, she hates sand)? Mutlaa for 4 wheeling? Maybe to go horseback riding? What could it be that she needs me for 2 hours and we have to take my car? Quite perplexing.
Do you know when you are so tired that you are shakey? I was like that at 10:30 the next morning when slaps woke me up. I rushed to get dressed and be ready for my shooting, horse-riding, 4-wheel-driving experience in the desert. Then she’s like, “I’m hungry. Let’s go eat.” Whaaaaaaaaaa? I thought we had time constraints. I thought we had an appointment. What the hell was it??? As I chowed-down on my breakfast shrimp sandwich at Caporia on Restaurants Street, Slaps handed me a note from my mother (which was inside Slaps’ card from my mother which was inside of the FedEx box everyone, but mostly Slaps, was nagging me to get). It said that Slaps had a mission to take me to go to buy a beautiful planter/pot and then to go and buy a beautiful plant for my terrace from my mommy. How cool is that? They had been orchestrating it for quite some time, but didn’t anticipate the FedEx hitch.
So, we went to the Iranian market and plant shops right down the street from my office where Slaps COULD have taken me at a more-Godly hour of say AFTER WORK one night. She was so proud of herself for getting me going to do it; and I know her – she gets all excited when she’s about to bust a surprise on someone – no patience. Usually, it is an endearing quality, but I swear to God if she ever wakes me up again after a night of partying like this….. it’s gonna be on like Donkey Kong.
Anyhoo, that’s how it went and I had a great time.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
"Wherever you plan on taking your business internationally, FedEx is ready with the solutions, the resources and the support to help get you where you want to go. " Ok. It'll get there, but....
My mom sent me a little box of candy and a few cards from family members for my birthday (April 16) via FedEx. Declared value: $15.00.
When the box arrived 2 days ago, the driver asked me for KD33.950 for customs and duties fees. Whaaaaaa? I told him he would have to return as I didn't have the cash on me. He left the paperwork.
The Kuwait General Administration of Customs form indicated that the value of the package was $1500.00 (notice the decimal placement).
And so began my saga....
I called 5 people at FedEx within a day and a half. I scanned and e-mailed the documentation. Only one woman returned my call (as they all promised they would). You would think that "I'm sorry" was the only phrase she knows, poor thing. Bless her heart: She told me to pay the KD33.950, get my box, and then file a claim.
Uh, Je ne thinkso pas!!!! Jeez. Why should a CUSTOMER have to pay for a mistake made by the shipping company?
Way to F up my birthday, dudes.
You know what - with all the ab-so-lute incredible amount of stress and BS I've been under lately, seeing my mother's handwriting on the packing slip was almost enough for me. I would like to get the Peeps she sent me, though. I know she had to take 2 busses just to get to the FedEx location in her area (she doesn't drive) and shipping probably ran her around $85. Why you want to put an old lady through that, FedEx????
It is the only time that I use FedEx at all. Maybe one shipment per year. That's it. Inevitably, something manages to go wrong that one time.
The driver brought the package back again the next day (only damaged this time) - and again asked for the money. Nope.
Did you know that regardless of the value of the package, FedEx now charges a KD3 fee for National Aviation Services (NAS) to handle the package? WTF?! Why am I paying NAS?
DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL DHL
Sunday, April 12, 2009
They probably won't need to ask any questions, but it might make them feel better just to have a point of contact there. They speak English and have resources. They are just looking for a friend incase they get in a jam.
Can anyone help?
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Blogbuddy, Ken, has sent me information about his company and their services:
Visa & Immigration: We will help with all the steps and provide any information required.
Home Search: You give us your requirements and we will set up visits for you, there is no commission since we charge for the package, we bring the person directly to the real estate owners. We know quite a few and will bring each person to at least 3 different companies. We provide the car and an expat to be with you during the search.
International Move Management : We have offices in more than 30 countries and can handle any moves to anywhere. We have our own Moveone teams in Kuwait who will do all destination services for moving in.
Settling in Services: We will deal with the real estate company with you, any contracts or requests we will be there to make sure they are taken care of accordingly. We will give an orientation tour also, bringing the person around town and the area they decide to settle into so they can know where to do their groceries and a good place to relaxe.
Education Consultancy: We will priovide a list of schools and requirements and information.
Basically we will make the move into Kuwait as easy as possible! Moveone Relocations Kuwait, Website: www.moveonelog.com.
I think this is a great idea and I'm happy to see a company doing it full time. Now new blogbuddy, give me a job and we'll all be happy!
From Urban Dictionary.com (I like this one)
Hot and sexy older woman, usually in her 40s or 50s, single or married, who is sick of her same-age counterparts which are usually hairless, have big guts, who only talk about their insurance premiums and have the TV remote control attached to their hands. Cougars are attractive, in their sexual prime, who know what they want and aren't afraid to go after it. BIG misconception is that they dress cheap, wear hot pink nail polish, animal skin prints and are not-so-attractive old-looking hags with bleached hair (Yeah those women exist, but they are NOT cougars). True cougars are classy, beautiful creatures who have made their successes on their own, have real brains, usually with expensive cars/homes, and are real head turners. Cougars seek younger men, and don't have to sneak up and attack...they know their younger mates are eager to get an experienced woman who won't ask if they'll call them the next day. Being a cougar is a positive thing.
Used for a middle aged woman who hits on twenty-something men.
Cougar Alley Definition (From Urban Dictionary)
A short stretch of bars and restaurants on Rush street (between Oak and Maple) found in Chicago, IL. Found circulating in and around these establishment are numerous cougars. They congregate here in search of nightly prey.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Ok, I had a serious question from a military guy (who is lucky enough to leave post once in a while). He sounds like a very decent kind of guy and wanted to know how to talk to Arab women.
He said that he and his friends have been scared into believing that they would go to jail if they dared to chat with one of the ladies, so even if the ladies are overt in initiating contact - they don't even make eye contact. Desert Girl says BULLSHIT. I’ll get to this point in a minute….
I think that many of the military’s policies are alarmist, written by people on 2-year tours who take home with them absolutely nothing about the culture or country in which they were stationed. I think it is sad. You go thousands of miles from home and all you hear is how NOT to get to know the society. It is kind of like the blind leading the blind.
People like me who have lived and worked in Kuwait for years rarely have the opportunity to talk to military people about Kuwait and the culture. I try – honestly. I try to speak to decision makers at every opportunity and get them to see Kuwait – from someone who has first-hand knowledge. The top brass is often too busy to get off the base to see the real Kuwait also; These are hard-working guy. I have a hard time leaving my office and I don’t have to have an escort with me. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for a general to just drive around and check things out; or for that matter, to integrate at all into society here. (Write to me – I would be honored to show you the real Kuwait and introduce you to people who would take you to weddings, diwaniyas, cultural events.)
The military in Kuwait doesn’t have any programs where people like me can talk to soldiers and tell our stories - at least make people feel more comfortable living/working in their host country. They probably won’t because I assume that everything would have to be scripted – defeating the purpose. I would love to do a 1-on-1 Q&A session with a group of soldiers, honestly.
If you’ve ever been to any of the PXs on the bases here, you will see that the soldiers aren’t even offered real Kuwaiti goods: they get plastic trinkets from India at 10 times their value. That is so sad! Kuwait has so much to offer!
This is why membership to AUSA is very important. Kuwaiti people – join and help a soldier learn about your country! Membership is so cheap – I think it is like 9KD for individuals and 50 KD for a corporate membership. AUSA is an organization that supports troop activities, morale, and events (in a nutshell). It is also just plain good business to be involved with them.
I have thought about trying to start up a book donation to provide books on Kuwait to the MRW sites; especially at Ali Al-Salem where the troops transition in and out of Kuwait and are often waiting around for their plane home. I don’t know if I can do this, but again, I’m going to try.
Anyhoo… after my incessant ramblings… back to how to meet Arab women (those who want to meet you – and I’ll tell you how to determine that below).
Yeah yeah yeah… I’ll get backlash from people saying, “Haram – Moslem women don’t date, yada yada.” Uh yeah – many do. Some or many don't. By the by, Moslem MEN aren't supposed to date either, but don't tell me that they're not. Some don’t. Some Christian ladies don’t date either. Some do. So what? Humans are humans no matter where you go. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Going back to MY personal experience; many of MY Arab female friends are quite willing to get to know (maybe not date, but establish friendships) with American men. What’s the problem? My Kuwaiti friend, Mona, has a beautiful 23 year old daughter and she told me that she wouldn’t mind her daughter marrying an American man – as long as he’s Moslem. Hey – things are a’changin in Kuwait. Kuwaiti men have been marrying foreign women for years. Get over it.
Ok, Kuwaiti dudes I knew in the US found that the fastest way to learn about American culture and language was through their American girlfriends. Full circle.
Rambling again. Ok…. The key to any relationship in Kuwait is discretion. This is particularly true of the initial meeting. You ab-so-lutely can NOT walk up to an Arab woman and start talking to her as you would in the States/West. “Hi. You have a beautiful smile. I was wondering if you would like to have coffee with me sometime.” SMACK! No, no, noooooooo!!!! Youse can’t do that here. You have to take what you have learned in the States as appropriate behavior and twist it. Why? Because if someone saw her talking to a strange man in public, she would be viewed as a bad girl, a tramp, a ho, a skankyass mall whore. If her family members saw you talking to her, they would get mad because you had just inadvertently insulted their sister and therefore their family/tribe/ancestors. You get the point.
So, what do you do? Desert Girl's Method of Approach in 3 easy-to-follow steps (not yet available in stores):
Step 1 – Direct Eye Contact
First, DIRECT EYE CONTACT. People stare here. It’s what they do. It’s cultural. But for a man to make direct eye contact with a woman (et vice-versa) implies something personal. If she holds the eye contact and/or smiles – you can proceed to step 2). If she gives you a dirty look (spits, says something), then obviously it’s off.
Step 2 – The Smile
Look around, make sure that no one is looking, and give her a smile. If she smiles back or signals in some way that it is ok to proceed, go to Step 3
Step 3 – The Exchange
This is where you have to be really discreet. There are several mediums for making the number exchange (well, actually just giving her yours) and it should happen quickly so that no one sees you:
Bluetooth (high-tech) Method. Bluetooth is very common in Kuwait. Not only are people everywhere in Kuwait at coffee shops for a cup o’ Joe, but they are also there to meet. It is like a virtual bar – without alcohol and with virtual conversation. You will know when there is a lot of Bluetooth activity when you see people scrambling to send messages on their phone every few minutes. Get to know your phone before you set out to Bluetooth - figure out how to send/receive messages. (Do NOT create a catchy picture on your computer with your phone number. Broadcasting is just tacky.) First, set your Bluetooth nickname to a number that you can show her on one hand, like “3” for example. When she looks at you, look at your phone (or pick it up and “show” it to her) and then signal with 3 fingers that you are number “3” on the list of Bluetooth names. She will send you a Bluetooth note and you should respond by sending her your number. You can probably write a note ("Notes" feature on Nokias) to keep on your phone that says something like, "Hi. I'm John. You have beautiful eyes. (not "nice ass, babe") Please call me at 555-1234." DONE.
Paper (conventional) Method. Write your number on a small piece of paper. Making sure no one is watching, flick it, drop it, leave it on her table while passing. Again – never ever engage in conversation. This would be considered insulting.
(If you see where she has parked), phone number/note on her car window. This should be small and descriptive of who you are. This is a more impersonal approach and may not get as good results as the high-tech and conventional methods.
Ok, so if she is interested, fer sure she’ll call you. A woman will never ever give her number to you first or on the first meeting – it would imply that she’s a tramp (this mentality is changing a bit).
After she calls, you will probably talk for a long time before you actually meet. You should use a lot of flowery, compliments. Anything over-the-top will make you a superstar. Closer: If you actually buy her or send her flowers (all you need is her phone number and flower dudes will deliver. Check out Kuwait Flowers online service) she would probably loveyoulongtime. You take it from there, but just remember that where ever you do meet, you should be discreet about it so that her reputation isn’t harmed in any way/you might inadvertently insult her. That includes letting HER make the first move - if at all. You don’t want to take her to someplace that her brother goes all the time so you don’t get your ass kicked and put in jail. That would be bad. At that point, the military would use you as an example and screw up the lives of countless other people for years to follow (like that soldier from Louisiana in 2005 who got caught in a car with a Kuwaiti girl by her brothers and tried to outrun them and the police down to Arifjan - didn't work out so well for him).
Now, there are other mediums in Kuwait for meeting ladies: Try any of the online dating services: http://www.friendfinder.com/, http://www.adultfriendfinder/ (kinda kinky, but dayam - if there aren't a lot of local folk on thar!), http://www.kiss.com/, http://www.plentyoffish.com/, http://www.khitba.com/, www.armysingles.com, www.qitba.com (Moslem marriage). Kuwaitis don’t post pictures (again, the discretion/honor thing), and neither will most Arab women, but if you are okay with posting yours, you will get more responses.
Are there questions, gentlemen? If so, just write to me and we'll see if we can't get it sorted out.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
I made an appointment about a week ago for Desert Dawg. She is getting up there in age and her hair has been thinning. I hate to see it happening, but it is. She still runs around like a puppy, but there are aging signs. I wanted to see if I should be doing anything differently - general advice.
The RAH is located at the animal section of the Friday Market next to (wall-to-wall) Al-Dohama'a Veterinary Hospital. RAH has a lovely reception area and lobby; everything is blue and white and very clean.
The ambiance is broken the minute the receptionist opens her mouth to speak. OMG - what an irritating voice! It pierced the wrong decibel - whatever it was. So, I sat down to wait my turn with several other animal owners; all of us with our eyes rolling back in our heads. While we waited, the receptionist and a compatriot (Philippines) shouted and giggled back and forth across the room in Tagalog. Me, American (inside my head): 'Shut tha fu*% uuuuuuuuuuuuuuup!'
A guy with a Doberman-Rottweiler mix puppy came in. The dog had sad eyes and just lay where they had placed him the entire time. He turned once - to position himself facing a corner (have you ever seen a dog do that? I haven't - ever. What does it mean?). It really needed help. When my turn came up, I told the doctor to take the puppy first and I waited.
And waited. And waited. And waited. The guy finished and was to leave the puppy there. I still waited. For over an HOUR.
I asked Ms. Perky Philippines how much longer. “As soon as the doctor is finished.” Gee. Thaaaaaaaaaanks. No duuuh. She went back to her caterwalling in Tagalog. I wanted to throw something at her, but I was afraid of the sound she might make if she screamed.
Doberrott dude went to his car and then came back in. I asked what was wrong with his puppy and he said that the doctor didn’t know – and wanted (get this shit) 240 KD to run tests.
WHAT TESTS???? For 240 KD in Kuwait, you can deliver a baby.
I don’t know what happened because I was out of there so fast that people’s heads were spinning around. It was kindof like Wyle E. Coyote, but without the Road Runner. I made a beeline to Al-Dohama'a and got in to see Dr. Juanita in 10 minutes. She gave me vitamins and shampoo for sensitive skin and charged me a whopping 7 KD. BADA BING
When Desert Dawg ate something nasty and was puking blood, IVH ran a full series of tests and gave her 2 x-rays for something around 70 KD.
RAH is going to have real business troubles if they are charging that much money. First, their offices aren’t located in Salhiya; they are in the FRIDAY MARKET – and right next door to 2 existing animal hospitals. There isn't a Starbucks in their lobby. They don't have valet. Kuwaitis aren’t going to pay extremely high prices for animal care; and ok I care a lot about my dog, but if someone hit me with a bill like that, I wouldn’t pay it either. I would get 2nd and 3rd opinions at least and by then, it probably would have resolved itself or other tests would have been able to determine what was causing the sickness.
I have heard from a friend that the RAH, however, is the only animal hospital in Kuwait that does on-site blood work and interpretation; IVH does it, but it has to be sent out. So, does that mean that RAH should charge exorbitant prices?
I’ve also heard that RAH is the only place to take your baboon to be castrated. Don’t ask – I didn’t want to know, so I didn’t ask either! If anybody is worried about monkey balls - they're the place to go.
Personally, I hope that the RAH doctor realized the severity of the puppy’s illness and took pity on the guy. He said he wouldn’t be able to pay 240kd.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
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The security guard at my office found a tiny, cute little kitten. It is only several weeks old - no mommy in sight. It is small and grey/white with blue eyes. I couldn't tell if it was male or female because the parts are so small and I'm deathfully allergic to cats.
If anyone would like it, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I've offered both PAWS and AFL a donation if they take the cat. I can't make other non-volunteer-shelter people the same offer (I could make a rude comment, but 1. I'm not a guy and 2. Don't want to: Something about paying for... ) That would be wrong.
FREE PUSSY!!!! Get it now!!!!!
Pussy Update: 2 April
I tried marketing tactics to find the little guy a home: sent SMSs to all my male friends, "Want a little pussy? Do any of your friends want a little pussy? .... I found a kitten..." I received QUITE a few responses, "I don't want the cat, but...." Foiled again.
I called both PAWS and Animal Friends League. AFL was the first to respond and they agreed to take it immediately if I drove it to the nice lady's house. I named it "Skamp" and it seemed happy to be there - in the hands of two VERY yummy men. The Romanian fell in love with one of them. Anyhoo, The lady's house is in Surra and full of animals and animal crates. I wish I had a big house because I would do the same. (No, I'd probably become "a collector" like those smelly old women you see on "The Animal Planet" having seizure notices handed to them.) Anyways, thanks AFL - you guys ROCK and the immediate response (of any kind) was most appreciated. I want to go back and adopt one of your men... tee hee.