Thursday, July 29, 2010

Leeeeeeavin on da jet plane

Seeeeeeeeeee ya later, Kuwait!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Leaving Tomorrow Night

I hate travelling.  As much as I travel, you would think that I love it, but I don't.  I hate the whole airport/airline experience.  Once I get somewhere (like home) I am usually ok. I travel alone a lot and I don't like that at all.  Some people are good at it, but not me.  In Kuwait, I HATE  how, as you line up to go through security and customs,  people invade your personal space.  BACK OFF!  There is no reason you have to attach yourself to my back side... we will all get through the line.  I can feel you breathing... EW.   One time (THE one and only time) I flew on Kuwait scAirways and dude behind me had his stinky bare feet propped up on my arm rest all the way.  I kept pokin him with stuff, but I think either A) he liked it or 2) he was used to it people poking him with stuff.

So I'm back on another plane tomorrow night, racking up the air miles: United - the Contractor Express.  I hope I'll sleep this time and that there isn't some fat guy sitting next to me, invading my seated personal space (I can dream, right?).  I snore like a mofo and I just don't give a damn. United probably has me profiled somehow and is putting me next to passengers who won't easily be frightened by the noises I emit.   Other passengers won't even make eye contact with me when we are disembarking - I'm THAT scary - and I don't care.  I don't know if I start talking in tongues or what.

Oh snap - I saw "Snakes on a Plane" the other night and it scared the bejezus out of me.  Who THOUGHT to write that kind of movie?  What kind of deviant?!  Ya know that's all I'm going to be thinking about (snoring like a mofo). 

The Romanian is leaving 2 days after me and she might not be back until Christmas. WTF!!!  What am I s'posed to dooooo?   She's like (the young) Zsa Zsa Gabor, summering in Italy.  Slapperella will be back and forth for her job; she's got some cool places to go this year like Russia and Turkey (biotch).  I'm telling her stories about how she might be sold into white slavery (oh wait, maybe that was a discussion I had to scare my friend's daughter - never mind).  Anyways Slapps, they won't get as much for damaged goods so you don't have to worry!  I can see it, "Aye!  So now whet's yer fekkin plan? Right.  So, yer ginna haf to do be'er than that, lads."  ... and then they'll toss her back.  Tee hee.  "Ta!  Now where ere me shooooooes?"

And speaking of "doin be'er than that...."  I'm feeling kind of blue. Persons who should have stopped by to say goodbye or just to spend a little time with me before I go, haven't (you know who you are - and THANKS).  It was a disappointment, but alas not a surprise.  A wise friend has repeatedly told me to lower my expectations so that if something happens, you will be pleasantly surprised.  If not, no loss.  Well.... my expectations have been staring up at me, waving hello from the big-hole-to-China they've been dug into for a while now.  They couldn't get much lower. (Bring me a fortune cookie and an order of kung pao shrimp on your way back.)

P.F. Changs:  Too salty or just right?  What do you think of their service? I've notice it has registered on the "you're starting to piss me off" scale lately.

I watched "He's Just Not Into You" last night which was kind of a stupid, but apres peau to the paragraph which refers to feeling blue.  If a man really cares about you, he'll be with you. 

I'm going out with the crazy girls tonight for sushi and that will be fun.  I know I am guaranteed good laughs.  I hope it isn't all polite conversation.  That would just be a waste of my time. If someone doesn't say "BJ" (full term), then I will.  I swear.  Don't even get me started...  and NO, Ms. LOL, I will not sugar coat it.   BJ BJ BJ....

Completely new subject of conversation that is not related whatsoever to the previous paragraph....

So I have a few days in DC - where I hope to meet up with a man I haven't seen since 1991.  He's only going to be there for a few days and we said we might get together, so I hope that happens.  I've seen his photo - still damn good looking.

I'll be on the Outer Banks with the fam for the first week in August.  My mom is coming this time and I really look forward to it.  I know she is going to love it.  She loves the sea and it has been so hot in Washington - I hope that the weather will be better out there and it won't be humid as it has been in other years.

Everybody I know makes fun of me because I refuse to throw away my banana clips. I love how humidity is no problem with banana clips. I LOVE banana clips. I love how my hair looks in banana clips.    A few years ago, I made the tremendous mistake of asking my sister how I looked one day (what the fuuuuu was I thinking?!) and she said, "You look great... (pause)... but ... wait a minute... is that a BANANA CLIP you're wearing?  Those things went out in like, the 80's.  Where did you GET it?"  ... and then I made the tremendous mistake of repeating the anecdotal little story to Slaperella who has proceeded to buy me banana clips where ever/when ever she can find them (yes, they DO still make them!!!).  Banana clips are making a comeback.  Just like wrap dresses and cork heels.  You scoffed at me for those too, didn't you, biotches?

I might meet up with a few girlfriends from Kentucky (who don't make fun of my 80's fashion sense, by the way!). One of them is a grandmother (I HATE that I have friends who are grandmothers!).   Ok, she was a teenaged bride, but still.  The other is a single mom and I don't think she realizes that she's drop-dead gorgeous; she'll be outstanding man-bait.    I'm planning to meet up with other friends I haven't kept in touch with too like my former room mate, Trish, and a former colleage turned friend-for-life, Jaime.  I need to call all the old friends in other states too, but I have a really bad problem of not calling people.

I know it is a huge character flaw, but I don't like getting on the phone.  I don't know why.  People think I'm avoiding them, but I just have this knee-jerk reaction to making calls.  It gets much worse when I get to Virginia.  I get in the house and I become brain-dead.  I jsut want to sit around and stare at my family and catch up.  There are very few people in my world that I actually call.  Isn't that stupid? If you're going to have a phobia, have a good one, not a stupid one.

I have a dilema, people.  I have a stray cat named "Limpy" that has been living on my terrace for the past almost-year.  She is a lovely cat and I have gotten to be friends with her.  She's injured - has been since I first saw her when she was too wild to grab.  Just recently, she has allowed me to pet her.  Her injuries seem to be either from a car accident, or more likely, from being caught in the engine of a car.  One of her pupils doesn't dialate correctly and her leg is torn up so badly that I think it needs to be removed. It is basically one open, festering wound that heals, opens, heals, opens.   I feed her and try to make her comfortable.  I'm very very very allergic to cats.  I can't keep her in the house and every time I pet her (I'm the only human she will allow to get close to her), I have to make sure that I wash my hands really thoroughly.  Ok, so my dilema is this:  Neither of the shelters will take her.  PAWS is loosing their property soon and AFL's shelter (as everybody knows) isn't opened yet.  I am travelling tomorrow, so I can't take her to the vet now, nor be around for her recovery (and I haven't figured out how I would handle that either with allergies).  She shouldn't be euthanized - she's a gentle cat who gets along just fine on 3 legs.  She's also safe out in my garden where big mean cats don't dare to enter.  She probably won't do well with other animals (even other cats) around.   Its a dilema.  I will worry about her during my trip, but my friend who is staying at my place will make sure she's fed and has water.  I will probably have her leg amputated when I get back.  (For 7kd, I could have her put down, but I could never do that in good conscience and I would never sleep again.  Plus, God would get me.)

And yes, I have become the "weird cat lady of the neighborhood".  My neighbors would never guess I'm allergic.   One of the cats (Petunia) walks me to my car every morning. 3 cats wait for me outside the house every day at 5:00 when I get home from work.  If they are scrounging in the trash cans, they stop what they are doing and run to greet me.  Seriously people, isn't that a blessing?   The 3 of them are so close - they are like a little family.  The big brother protects the 2 girls.  How could I possibly kill one of them?  (Now, some of the kids in my neighborhood are a completely different story...)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Alleging the murderer is the "victim"

Kuwaiti lawyer BADER AL-NASSAR has proposed a defense that his Egyptian client, murderer Atallah Mohammed is innocent  -- he was incited to kill his wife, Norhaisa Andaw.

I do not agree with honor killings - ever.  However, in this part of the world, men sometimes get away with it.  It usually involves walking in on a wife in a compromising position with another man.  It does NOT usually involve the public exchange of conversation between two members of the opposite sex, and then later stabbing the victim.

Atallah is being charged with repeatedly stabbing his Filipina wife in front of a number of co-workers.  Atallah had a long history of abuse to his wife (according to papers).  Atallah, upon seeing his wife in a discussion with a male person (regardless of who he was; they were having a conversation, not having sex), went into a rage, followed his wife into the salon where she worked, and stabbed her.  He then fled the scene (so fast, he lost one of his shoes).

Lawyer BADER AL-NASSAR told the Arab Times it is his client who is the victim. (Full story)  If his client was the "victim" why did he run?  Why didn't he take a legal course of action - or wait for the police to arrive and then turn himself in?   Had Atallah wanted to divorce his wife for adultery, he could have gone to court, put the evidence before a judge, and divorced her.  LEGALLY.  He chose to murder her in front of colleagues/friends.

This defense, Mr. BADER AL-NASSAR, sets a dangerous precedence, does it not?   Have a fight with your wife and kill her.  Is that what you are trying to say?  I find it disgusting that any lawyer would stoop to such low levels that he would even propose a defense like that.  I would wonder how many female clients such a lawyer would have after this case.

Article on Freedom of Speech in Kuwait

Interesting article on dwindling freedom of speech in Kuwait.

Operation Roll Back Kuwaiti Freedom

This wealthy Gulf monarchy used to be a bright spot for freedom of speech in the Middle East. No longer.

Foreign Policy (online)
JULY 21, 2010
"In a region where reprisals against journalists who fail to toe the government line may include imprisonment and torture, Kuwait has been a welcome exception. The country consistently ranks as having the freest media in the Arab world, in both Reporters Without Borders' and Freedom House's indices of press freedom. With a population of only around 3 million, it has more than 15 daily newspapers that publish editorials and columns from local politicians, activists, academics, and analysts. But Kuwait's relatively liberal media and public dialogue is just that: relative. It's also in decline.
More - Go to Link
Thanks Ahmed El Adly via Ziad Al-Duaij.  Freedom to express...

Justice for Woman Tortured and Murdered in Kuwait

These stories always make me sick, but it is even worse when things happen and then the criminals aren't punished.  I hope the Kuwaiti authorities will treat her with the same dignity and respect they would give had she been a female Kuwaiti citizen, tortured, and then murdered by running over her with a car, and dumped in Kabd.  Well, that is already untrue because had she been Kuwaitia, it would be all over the news and people would be furious.

Join this group on Facebook in support of justice:  Justice for Asria Samad Abdul (OFW murdered in Kuwait).

Equal justice under the law!

- - -

This sent by a reader:

"Recently, the Kuwaiti Appeals Court reduced the sentence of a Kuwaiti woman who beat her Asian maid to death from 15 to 7 years. The woman beat her maid with wooden and iron objects and then dumped her in a bathtub where she suffered for 10 hours until dying, yet the Appeals Court reduced the woman’s charge to merely “beating that led to death”."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pre-Ramadan Pandemonium!

It's starting early this year....

Western people - beware!  This is one of the scariest times of the year in Kuwait! It used to be the week before Ramadan, but it has been extended out to almost 3 weeks (like in the US where they put out the Christmas stuff in October...).  People are starting to stock up on food early for Ramadan.  Dudes, how much CAN you eat?  (Gluttony: the anti-Ramadan)

I was in Rumaithiya co-op last week and I was nearly run down by people collecting discounted food items. I couldn't get out of the parking lot (although I gotta say, Rumaithiya co-op has some of the most polite drivers I've ever seen.) 

Has it really come to this in Kuwait?  Why not shop out in Shuwaikh if you want really good deals?

If you really want to have the crap scared out of ya, go to the grocery store the night before Ramadan. Wear something padded.  Prepare for your personal space to be invaded.  It aint pretty.

Ok, and the other scariest time of the year is the week before Eid.  Let me just say THANK GOD I MOVED OUT OF SALMIYA!  I still don't understand why people can't buy clothes way before Eid or buy over the internet.  Granted, it is almost a cultural event to Kuwaitis to go out shopping with the family for Eid, but it has become so commercial that is it really a fun thing to do anymore?  I could see how years ago clothes would have been tailor-made, but now - what a farce.  The items are all way overpriced and everybody knows where everybody else bought the garment and for how much.    What about being unique?

One more thing, let me complain for a minute (or way more) about this year's closure of many Ramadan tents due to the Jahra wedding tent fire.  The psycho biotch SET FIRE to the Jahra tent using gasoline.  It isn't like that is an every-day occurrance.  Do the authorities believe that people are going to run around lighting tents on fire across the country? 

(I have given this subject pause as my friends at The Palms tell me they won't have a tent this year.  RRRR.  They had the best food at the best price in Kuwait.  That's just 100% sucky!)

Further,  in order to get a permit for ONE GUY to play oud at a Ramadan tent, you need Super Wastah.  The amount of paperwork to get a permit is staggering.

When was Kuwait formally annexed by Saudi Arabia?

Ramadan used to be fun/a joyous occassion in Kuwait.  Now it sucks.  It doesn't have to be that way.

Of note - Sakura has a buffet all month long (sushi) at a good price, and if you can get a table there, Ayam Zaman at the Crowne Plaza is pretty (if not slightly overpriced) during the month.  Most hotels will gouge you with Ramadan fixed prices.  I won't be here for most of Ramadan, but when I get back, I think I'm just going to go to small restaurants where you can order ala carte.

BTW - if you think you can order pizza or other delivery food during the day; think again.  They don't deliver until after sunset and then there is a long wait.  The best place for non-fasters is The Sultan Center's hot food counter.  If  you see Kuwaiti people (men in particular) there buying food at noon, point/whisper/and snicker cause ya just know they aint fastin.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beit Dickson: New Kuwaiti Restaurant

Mario's World blog has a review of a new Kuwaiti restaurant, Beit Dickson, in Salmiya.  I received a flyer for it when I was at Rumaithiya co-op parking lot.  The place looks amazing and I'm dying to go.

Mario's Blog Source 

Prank calling Beit Dickson:
(Briddish accent) 'Hellooooooo!  May I speak to Um Saud?'
Um Saud my dear chap.  Mrs. Dickson.
What about Colonel Dickson, is he in?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The American Business Council has a magazine, The Correspondent.  It is issued quarterly and they are looking for writers.  You won't get paid, but it is an opportunity for all you narcisists to see your name in print (make yo mama proud!) and it looks good on a resume.  The mag has a good distribution base and well, just damn sexy formatting.

"Correspondent Magazine (Summer 2010 issue) in the form of ads and articles.

The Deadline to submit any articles or advertisements would be Monday, July 26h, 2010.

Interviews - we will send you 7 or 8 questions to be answered, let us know if you are interested, 2 pages with pictures

Volunteer section - tell us about any reputable volunteer organization in Kuwait (one to 2 pages, complete with pictures, ie: Girl Scouts)

Americana section - one or 2 pages in pictures, short essay about your area of the USA (poetry also accepted)..

Kuwait section - some significant area, building, or ministry in Kuwait - one or 2 pages with pictures

Travel section - anywhere in the world - one or 2 pages complete with pictures

Special Events - any special event in your business and//or organization - one or 2 pages complete with pictures

Special Features - law, education, health, etc - one or 2 pages, complete with pictures

Note: Articles will be free of charge (no payment to authors).

We'll be distributing it to a wide range of readers which would include Ministries, Kwt Oil companies, Embassies, Banks, Schools, Hospitals, Hotels, US companies, Kuwaiti Companies, etc.

Thank you in advance for your support.
American Business Council – Kuwait
Website: "

Monday, July 19, 2010

Errands completed - feeling major accomplishment

I have been driving around with several pairs of shoes that need to be re-heeled, some clothes I shoulda taken to the tailor, and a roll of film that I have been meaning to develop since before I bought a digital camera (so yas know how long that has been).

Today, I completed all the errands. 

I want you to know that it is all thanks to Juju's Cupcakes and my renewed lease on life.

God doesn't want me to have cupcakes

Several days ago, I was sitting alone and the Devil was sitting on my shoulder, whispering something in my ear about birthday cake.  You know - the typical American vanilla sheet kind.  Damn the Devil!  I got it in my head that I had to have some; but where the Hell do you find that kind of birthday cake in Kuwait?  It's not the same here.  Yeah, I guess the closest I could come would be La Baguette's cake, but it is still FRENCH style baking (everything is light and fluffy and airy and oooo la la).

So I determined that the next best thing (short of baking - which I am not in the mood for) would be cupakes. 

Being the lazyass that I am, I figured I could do this from the comfort of my sofa; and got online to  Usually 6alabat doesn't let me down; good food for decent prices.  (The only time they have let me down is refunding money on KNET orders.)  .... that is.... until I ordered from J's Bakery.  O...M....G what a RIP. 

What I am picturing are 12 (I ate a few to test) rock-hard, stale MINI (they never mentioned that on the menu) cupcakes, 2 bags of kettle corn (all the kernels were broken and the bags were tiny), and 2 itty-bitty bite sized (1" square) brownies.  The total price was 5.600.  Holy shyt! I could have fed 2 people full meals on that.  I can't remember how much the cupcakes were, but I distinctly remember the popcorn was .500 fils per bag (the size of my hand) and each brownie (1" square) was .900 fils.  I thought that they had jipped me on the brownie:  it appeared that there was only 1 in the pack, but on closer inspection, there were 2 - making a total of 2".  Can we all say RIP OFF?

I called J's Bakery.  Response:  "Ooooooh".  Yeah. okay. Whatever.  Once burned...

So, my cupcake craving had now become a mission.  That's IT.  It's on like donkey kong.  I got online and started researching f-ing cupcakes in Kuwait.  I remembered that I had seen a place in Fanar and Mark's blog mentioned Juju's Cupcakes.  Hmmm.  Worth a shot.

I first sent them an e-mail requesting an order of a dozen fresh cupcakes for pick up.  Email bounced back.  Snap.  Not a good sign.  So, I went to Fanar at 5 pm in cynical mode; fully expecting all their cupcakes to be stale and hard. I raised an eyebrow at the cupcake dude, skeptically and  I bought one just to test. OMG good!  Their packaging says "Yummy" and it is really a statement of truth.  I was so not disappointed.  Flavor of the day was tirimasu and they had bite-sized samples (same size as I got from J's bakery) to try.  I bought an assortment to try including carot cake, red velvet, chocolate with a cream center.

Cool!  So I was ready to bounce home and get cupcake busy.... when Slaps called me.  She has just returned from Beirut with a new obsession:  sheesha.  WTF?!  Sheesha?  I know when she gets immersed in something, there is no talking her out of it, so I agreed to meet her at Awtar Libnan at Marina.

I didn't want to leave my cupcakes in the car, I brought them with me into the restaurant (and guarded them really carefully like a vulture).

Sheesha mission accomplished, we walked back to the valet.  I held onto the Juju's cute little pink box by the handle.... walking... and we're walking... and... SPLAT!  The handle broke.  I remember that feeling... I was 6.  Every time I walked out of the ice cream parlor in Wickford, Rhode Island, and reached for the door handle my ice cream would drop on the floor and I would cry.  (Why my mother could never open the door for me will remain a mystery.)  Same feeling.  My bottom lip immediately jutted out.  I stared at the box on the ground.  The valet guys laughed. Slaps laughed.  'IT'S NOT FUNNY!!!'  It was horrific.

Fekit.  I took them home and ate Juju cupcake mush.  I had frosting all over me.  They were great even in their mushed state.

If you ever HAVE to have a cupcake, Juju's is FAAAAABULOUS (just make sure to hold the box from the bottom).  Juju honey, change your boxes:  They're cute, but they destroy precious cargo.

Their numbers are 2572-2999 and 2495-7899.  Go Juju, go Juju....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

US ambassador to Kuwait pledges to give a local daily $5,000 for every journalist detained by the US

I hadn't heard about this.  Now I have.

US ambassador to Kuwait pledges to give a local daily $5,000 for every journalist detained by the US

The US ambassador to Kuwait has pledged to give a local newspaper $5,000 for every journalist detained by the US authorities for his or her political views.

Deborah K. Jones made the pledge to Kuwaiti daily Al Rai as she dismissed claims about a contrast in the US human rights policy when the US criticized Kuwait for detaining activist Mohammad Al Jassem allegedly for his voicing views, while the US cable news network CNN at the same time dismissed Octavia Nasr, Senior Editor of Middle East Affairs, for expressing her opinion of Shiite leader Mohammad Husain Fadhallah.

“They will not put the CNN newswoman in prison,” Jones said. “CNN is a private company and has its own policy. It has the right to fire any employee whose stances clash with its policy,” the ambassador said, quoted by the daily.

Reacting to Jones’ statement, bloggers urged her to comment on the existence of Communication Management Units (CMUs), the “designation for a self-contained group within US prisons that severely restricts, manages and monitors all outside communication (telephone, mail and visitation) of inmates in the unit.”

Other bloggers referred to the imprisonment of Al Jazeera Sudanese cameramen Sami El Hadj who was arrested in 2001 and held in extrajudicial detention at Guantanamo Bay camp until he was released without charge on May 1, 2008.

Another blogger said that he wanted to remind the US ambassador of Joshua Wolf, 28, the American journalist who was jailed by a Federal district court in 2006 for refusing to turn over a collection of videotapes he recorded during a July 2005 demonstration in San Francisco. Wolf spent 226 days in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin, California, longer than any other journalist in US history has served for protecting source materials.

Judith Miller’s time in prison was also mentioned by a blogger in comments over the ambassador’s statement.

Ambassador Jones, the fifteenth US ambassador to Kuwait since Kuwaiti independence in 1961, arrived in Kuwait on April 19, 2008.

She has been with the Department of State since 1982 and speaks Arabic, Spanish and French. She is married to Richard G. Olson, the US Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. They have two daughters.

Missing Kuwaiti Girl in US (Updated 22 July)

The Arab Times has a story on this today, but the writing is so F-ed up that it is impossible to understand it.

Missing Kuwaiti Girl May Be in North Platte
Posted: July 15, 2010 09:28 PM

The following is a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department:

Florida authorities alerted the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office this morning of a missing teen that they believe may be in North Platte. Fifteen year old female Kuwait citizen Eman Mohammad Alsayegh and her family were vacationing in Kissimmee, Florida (Disney/Epcot) when Eman was left alone at the house where they were staying. Upon her family's return, Eman was missing.

Kissimmee Law Enforcement Officials tracked Eman to a local bus station where she boarded a bus (wheeeeee!  Kuwaitiaaa?  On a BUS?!)  for Omaha, Nebraska and requested a ticket to North Platte. She told bus terminal employees that she has family in North Platte and the family says they have no family or friends in the United States. Law Enforcement believes that Eman may have met someone on the internet and is headed to North Platte for a meeting. Eman speaks very good English but has an accent.

Eman Mohammed Alsayegh is 5'4" tall, has short black hair and brown eyes. Her weight and last known clothing are unknown at this time. Any leads may be reported to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office or by calling 911.

--- end ---

Her poor parents must be out of their minds with worry.  I hope that they find her soon and that she's ok.  At 15, you think you know everything; yet there are so many bad people out there.  It is bad enough when a child goes missing at home, but even worse in a foreign country.  Sad.


Kuwati girl found in McCook

15-year-old Eman Mohammed Alsayegh from Kuwait was found living in McCook with a 16-year-old boy and his mother. The girl had been missing for over a week.

By Diane Wetzel
Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 3:10 PM CDT
A teenage girl missing for more than a week has been found safe and unharmed.

Eman Mohammed Alsayegh, 15, was located in McCook on Tuesday evening, according to the Lincoln County Sheriffs Office. According to Deputy Sheriff Dean Sparks, the girl was living with a 16-year old boy and his mother in McCook.

“She’s a very lucky young lady,” Sparks said. “Our concern from the get-go was that we were looking at a sexual predator, which unfortunately is a very common thing.”

The Osceola County Florida Sheriffs Office had contacted the LCSO for assistance, after Alsayegh, who was vacationing with her family in Kissimmee, Fla., at the time of her disappearance was tracked to a bus station where she purchased a ticket to Omaha and requested a transfer to North Platte. Employees at the bus station told investigators that Alsayegh said she had family in North Platte. Her family told authorities that they have no family or friends anywhere in the United States.

An investigation by the LCSO in cooperation with the Kuwait Embassy in Washington, D.C., discovered leads to the missing girl’s location in Omaha and McCook.

“The cooperation from the Kuwait government on down has just been tremendous,” Sparks said. “That type of cooperation is what helps agencies bring these types of things to a successful conclusion and we are very grateful.”

Alsayegh met the young man in an Internet chat room, Sparks said, and the relationship progressed to personal e-mails and telephone calls. Riding a bus from Florida to Omaha, Alsayegh had made arrangements with the boy to pick her up in Omaha. She had been staying in McCook for about a week when a family relative of the boy saw a missing person flyer with her photo and notified the family, who then called the McCook PD.

Officers from Red Willow County Sheriffs Office delivered Alsayegh to a secure juvenile holding facility where she is waiting to be reunited with her mother and siblings, Sparks said.

LCSO Sheriff Jerome Kramer expressed thanks that the missing person case ended well.

“We are all lucky that she was not enticed to Nebraska by a child predator,” Kramer said in a press release issued by the LCSO on Wednesday. “This incident appears to be relatively innocent and the young girl will be returned to her family as soon as possible.”

The LCSO had been working closely with the North Platte office of the FBI, the Omaha Police Department and had contacted the McCook Police Department for assistance. “Young adults and parents must exercise extreme caution when communication on the Internet,” Kramer said. “They should refrain from talking to strangers. You never know where the World Wide Web will take you or who it will hook you up with.”

--- end ---
Mabrook to the family

Fry them (ok, hang them - it's Kuwait)

Couple admits killing Filipina maid

Victim crushed to death by car
Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, July 17: Detectives belonging to Ahmadi CID have unraveled the murder mystery of a Filipino woman whose corpse was found near horse stables area in Kabad on Thursday.

Sources say the sleuths managed to identify the victim as a housemaid who worked for a Kuwaiti family. The family had returned the maid to a domestic workers’ office over three months ago.

Officers came to know that another Kuwaiti woman had hired the maid using a stolen ID card and fictitious phone numbers. The woman, who stays in Salwa, later confessed that she and her husband maltreated the maid on a daily basis. When they feared that the maid would die, they took her in their car to the stables area and crushed her under their vehicle to give an impression that she was run over by a motorist. The woman’s husband also corroborated her confession.

Earlier, when officers reached the address the woman gave at the domestic workers’ office, they found another woman who had no clue about the victim. They then discovered that the suspects stole the ID card of the woman to employ the victim. After a lot of effort, investigation men finally managed to reach the suspects and arrested them. Officers found out that the woman had earlier maltreated several other housemaids.

--- end ---

I hope they don't just get away with a slap on the wrist - or several years in jail.  Hang them!!!! 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Kuwait Zoo: National Disgrace

Blah blah blah - national pride.  Blah blah blah.  Hachi hachi hachi.  This is a national disgrace and has been for many years.  I won't even go there because I know how badly it will affect me.  I went in 1996 and that was bad enough.  Why HAVE a zoo if you aren't going to treat the animals properly?  Ship the animals out to other countries (UAE for example) where they actually CARE about conservation.

Thanks for forwarding this, Amer.

Living condition of Kuwait Zoo animals atrocious’

July 16th, 2010

Kuwait City – PETA Asia Director, Jason Baker, said that the living conditions of the Kuwait Zoo animals are atrocious and that they are continuously suffering a miserable life.

In a letter received by the Arab Times on Thursday addressed to the Director General of the Environment Public Authority, Baker urged the director to immediately ban the import of anymore animals to the zoo.According to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activist, several animals at the Kuwait Zoo have died due to severe neglect on part of the employees as well as “despicable husbandry conditions and the absence of veterinary care.”

“The situation has been exacerbated by the recent heat waves in the country. Without adequate shelter and water, numerous animals have died of dehydration and heatstroke after prolonged exposure to extreme heat. News reports indicate that animals such as parrots, dogs and deer were lying dead at the zoo,” he said.

Baker added that the zoo workers had no skills or knowledge when it came to providing proper treatment to injured and sick animals. He respectfully urged the Environment Public Authority to immediately ban any further import of animals and to take measures to improve the animal welfare at the zoo.

The PETA director also mentioned that Kuwait ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in 2002 and various animals that have died were protected under the convention. He implored the authority to observe the treaty obligations and investigate the managerial activities of the Kuwait Zoo as well as to prohibit anyone from trading animals in violation of the convention.

Arab Times

--- end ---

Question:  I know there are parts in the Quran on the humane treatment of animals.  Does the Bible also state that?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yo Yo Yo Only Two Weeks To Go!

I'm so ready.  Got my ticket.  Got my new Kuwait residency so they'll let me back in.  Got a babysitter for the Desert Dawg...

I am still paying off my credit card bills from Miami in April (DAMN my shoe fetish!).  Make more money; spend more money. 

I go to Virginia first and then I'm going to the Outer Banks to the bigasshouse in Corolla Light with the fam.  I'm still hoping that my older sister and her family can make it.  Nobody giggles like her - and there is nothing like getting 3 Irish-American sisters together over a few bottles and seeing what happens next.  Endless possibilities.

This time, my mommy is going to come with us and I just know she is going to love it there.  I can't wait.

Slaps is off in Beirut this weekend.  The Romanian doesn't leave her cave until 4 when the sun is near going down (vampire girl!).  I don't know what kind of trouble I can get myself into alone during the day.  Right now, I am craving fish like a Mofo - maybe Butterfly and LOL will be up for it.  The Romanian and I have already been invited back to the house with the stripper pole this weekend and I've heard from the Dancerboy several times.  Grrrrrrrrrrr baybeee.  He is, alas, just a boy...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Connecting the Dots

And now... ladies and gentlemen... for some philisophical bullshit.  (Drumroll.....)

I'm really good at connecting people:  Desert Girl - connecting people.  I do it daily - and most often through this here blog (and a lot more through business, but let's discuss the blog).  Blog PR perhapsee. 

Sometimes I sit back and think about it:

  • A) if I could only make money from it (then I could quit my job and do it 24/7 sitting by the pool and eating bon bons)
  • 2) That it is an ability that is a blessing from God that I never take for granted; and
  • C) what the HELL happens to all those friends I've made when they first came to Kuwait?  Where do you people GO?

People get in touch through e-mails - mostly asking questions - and then we get to be virtual buddies.  Then someone else (in about the same timeframe) will write and I will find commonalities to the last dude/dudette and say, "Oh - you guys work at the same company and you're both new to Kuwait.  Let me introduce you..."  So, I meet dude/dudette #1 and #2 separately and sometimes together and BAYAM they become fast friends friends.

Where do they go after that?  How come I don't hear from them?

(Ok, I do hear from people when they need to source vendors:  Curtain guys, carpenters, furniture stores, carpet stores, and most commonly, realtors.  I should really start getting commissions for this stuff, but it all comes back in the end and seriously - I'm very happy to recommend good people if it will help.)

I see y'alls on Facebook.  That's right.  I do.  Let the guilt begin.  You get together for barbecues or parties and do things together.  And it makes me happy; seeing my friends/acquaintances have more friends is a good thing (likesay, a blessing).  And yet, in all the time that I've been making connections (and this goes back for years now - been here for 14), I can probably count on my hand (ok maybe 2 hands and maybe 1 more other other hand) the amount of times that I've been invited to things by people I've connected after they've settled in.  Some of them have been to my home.  Some of them I've invited or chaperoned around or bought small gifts for.  Wow - wait a minute, I am trying to remember anyone who has invited me to their home once they've settled in... could that be right?  I don't think I have.  Interesting.  Why is that?

Is it because I smell bad?  Is it because I'm weird?  Ugly?  Vulgar (ok maybe - give you that one)?  Brash (ditto the comment)?  Husband-stealing tramp (anyone who knows me knows that westerner folk is not my flavor)?   Maybe people assume I am too busy (that's true - a lot of times I am)? 

Granted, everybody has their own groups and people that they feel comfortable with.  Me too. I'm not going to lie to you - some of the folks I've met aren't my cup of tea either. ....And I'm not on a self-pity trip or out to beg for invites or on a smear campaign to anyone in particular:  it is more of a general proponderence of the evidence and reflection of years of bloggery (that sounds dirty - giggles).

I guess since I'm reflecting, if the situation was reversed (I always do this - flip it to try to see the other perspective) and I was the newbie, and then the settled newbie, and then the veteran (6+ months in Kuwait), I might do the same.  Would I?  I don't know. I might be more likely to keep in touch, but then I'm a very outgoing (yakky) person.  I do that.  I know other people who might think, "Right then.. on to the next phase of the journey, on to new friends/horizons..."  My personal philosophy is always: "Do something good and throw it in the ocean.  It might/might not come back." 

Did I keep in touch with the people who helped me when I first came to Kuwait, come to think of it?  Yes, I did.  But they were Kuwaiti friends that I have had for years - way before I came here.  They are still my friends (most of them).  I lived with a Kuwaiti family for a month when I first visited.  When I came back 3 years later to take a job, I stayed at a hotel when I first arrived, but they still helped me every step of the way.  I already had a huge support group before I ever hit the ground (blessings).

And of note:  of the many many many Western people I've met who are new to Kuwait and then settled, very few have made Kuwaiti friends and I think that is a pity; there is so much to learn and share - and OMG do; things that Kuwaitis do that Westerners just can't without Kuwaiti friends.  I LOVE that part of my life and what a wasted trip this all would have been if I hadn't had them.  My life would have been AWFUL here without the help, support, and friendship of my Kuwaiti friends, so props to my K peeps!

Hmmmm... All very fassssscinating.  (What the HELL was in my coffee this morning/sushi last night?!)

Disclaimer:  Butterfly and LOL none of the above applies to you.  Kisses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Long Weekend Roundup

As always, never a dull moment (suuuure).

I had a great weekend (hope you did too).  Despite the horrible humidity we are having, I have still managed to go out and enjoy stuff.

I went to Muhallab at The Palms - which is my new favorite seafood restaurant in Kuwait - with Butterfly & hubby, LOLgirl (which is short for Lady of Leisure but could also be Laughing out Loud because she just plain cracks me up - I thought it was more fitting than Wife of ...), and Slapperella.  The Romanian was supposed to come too, but she has the patience of a gnat and we were late and she didn't wait; turned around and went home.  Yes, it is her way and I can either be tolerant or not be her friend and I choose to be tolerant.  Bygones.  Anyhoo, the lunch was fun, the food was great, and I can't remember when I  have laughed so hard  (thanks LOLgirl).  I felt kinda bad for Butterfly's hubby being the only guy, but he was good about the whole thing.  It degraded into a converstion on Tampax at one point and he didn't even flinch - now that THAR is the test of a REAL man!  (It was further noted that he opens car doors for his wife; major kudos.  Who does that anymore - even on a date? Props.)

We went back to my place for coffee and Desert Dawg was all over Butterfly hubby.  OMG she's such a flirt.  I know she can't help it because she's Egyptian and all that, but it is embarrassing when your dog completely disregards all the women in the room and then places herself in the lap of the only man.  I just don't know where she gets it!  Tee hee.

Had lunch with Slaps at Le Notre seaside where the food is great but the service is crap.  I've never understood why that place has it all but maintains cheap, rude staff.  I saw our company's top guy having lunch with friends and his sexy cousin who I have been meaning to have coffee with, but reluctant because he's our CEO's cousin and also because he seems a little cerebral for me.  I'm afraid I may offend him (potentially with my use of the adverbial F bomb).

Slaps and I went to Tony & Guy (see review post below).  She set out just to go with me and check the place out, but then ended up staying with me for the whole 3.5 hours and having her hair done (which looks faaaaabulous).  I like going to salons with girlfriends.  Its fun.  You can usually trash them (et vice versa) in front of the stylists and everybody has a good hardy laugh. 

I went to dinner at The Meat Co. with the Romanian. We complained several times about the sappy music they played:  romantic lovesongs of the 1970's (the usual Filipino mixes).  One of the managers lamented that he would really like to get South African jazz (since it is a SA chain).  I downloaded a bunch of music and brought him over a few CDs from Amazon and since, they've been playing my mix which I think is pretty cool.  This weekend when we went, they were playing the sappy stuff again!  RRRRR.  They said that 2 women had complained about the African music.  Dudes!  Stand up for your country!  Seriously, I don't want to pay upwards of 30KD for a meal and listen to David Soul's (Hutch from the original 70's version of Starsky & Hutch) "Don't Give up on us Baby".  Ick!  Music to commit suicide to....  I want to shoot myself just thinking of it.  How is it that so many Filipinos are still alive?  They must be heartbroken 24/7.  How can they listen to all that sappy romantic lovesick shit and not just jump off a bridge?  Ok so anyhow, I love the Meat Company and I have done my best to put an end to the senseless suicide by 70's artists.  If the God-awful music continues, I'm going back to Gaucho and their itchy cowhide seats.

While we were exiting 360, I met a man who has eyes like Shamlan and looks which are similar.  I couldn't help but smiling at him.   He talked to me for a minute and later told me that a Kuwaiti girl saw us talking (I saw her staring) and she had asked him why he chose to speak to a foreigner when there are plenty of beautiful Kuwaiti women like her around.  Yeah, why is that?  I walk up to strange men all the time and ask them why they didn't pick me (NOT!).  "Pick me!  Pick me!  What's wrong with me?  Why don't you want me?"  Yeah, sure.  Not desperate or needy at all.

So yesterday afternoon the mini-Mans came over (The Man's kids).  I love them.  They are so sweet and well-mannered (I'm trying to corrupt them).  They're just so nice.  The great thing about not having your own kids is the ability to borrow and corrupt your friends'.  Love that.  These kids are so great that I want to keep them.  Wow... if only we could have met like this 5 years ago.  Life is so strange.  I could have lived on a set of "Big Love".

I went to visit some friends at their chalet that I haven't seen in a really really really long time.  There weren't many people there; just the peeps I know from way back plus a few more. There was a Kuwaiti guy there... I am still getting hot flashes when I think of him... (heart going pitty patter...) this guy... this guy... he was the BEST dancer that I have ever seen in my ENTIRE life. Let me just believe that it was all for me. He had talent; he had moves; boy had skills. I mean, if I had paid someone (male) from a strip club to come dance for a few hours, there would be no way they could be better than this guy. Ho-ly-snap! I wish there had been a pole in the room (they usually party at a villa where they DO dance on a pole!!! OMG OMG OMG) I couldn't stop staring. I'm getting palpitations right now just thinking of him. I thought he was interested - he came over and talked to me for a while, back to dancing, and then brought me over some chocolates, and back to dancing, and then ..... left. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Heartbreak. That's ok. I got his number through our friends later. That there was too good to let pass by.  Dude is burned into my mind and I couldn't sleep.  It was THAT good.   I never could never really understand/empathize with several of my guy friends who married strippers (one is Kuwaiti BTW), but NOW.... I wouldn't think twice.  DAYAM!

So that was my magical fantabulous weekend.  Whatjado?

The Tony & Guy Review

I went to T&G Corniche this weekend with Slapperella who was supposedly just along for the ride, but then ended up getting her hair cut and it came out gorgeous.

It is a real salon - quality everything - the 5-star type you would find in major cities anywhere in the world.  I've been to many salons here who try to come close (with the same prices), but eh - not quite.  T&G is black marble, black furnishings, AND they have  massage shampoo chairs!!  Woooo hoooo!  No more backaches at Strands: "Oh, can I give you a pillow for your back?" Not that it would make a difference in those horrible chairs because the sinks are uncomfortable too.  When you have your head in a sink in a prone position for 10 to 15 minutes, you don't want to feel like you are on a torture device; The RACK.  It's supposed to be relaaaaaaaaxing.

Anyhoo, blond chicks - rest assured - it is a great place to get your highlights done.  My friend, Lawyer Girl, just went there and she liked it too.  I went to Emma who specializes in color and she used a non-amonia bleach.  My hair is feeling ok.  (We'll see how it goes after about a month.)  It isn't as light as I wanted to go, but she did a lot of damage control, so I can't really say anything now.  She also put a toner on which will wash out eventually.

I was talked into a haircut by their senior stlist, Jenna.  I still don't think a haircut for 23-29 KD is worth it and I hope that I won't let them talk me into it again (suckaaaa!). I felt like the cut/product push was too hard-sell and I wasn't comfortable with it.  Ok if I was having something technical done, ok, but nah - mine is not all that and I'm preferring it a bit on the wild side these days (especially in the humidity).  Doree at Pineapple is still my fav for cuts for less than half the price.

They gave me a 20% discount (offer on through the end of July) and cut, color, and blow dry was 69 KD complete. You also get a loyalty card.  (Hel-loooooo other salons - get with the program; after 4+ years with Strands, a single free cut or treatment would have been a nice treat.)   We were there for 3 and a half hours.  Very nice people:  Very funny and friendly.  Great service.  I will definately go there again for the color.

NOTE:  T&G Shaab and T&G Corniche Club are both franchises of T&G in London; however, like any franchise, quality may vary depending on the individual franchise owners and how well the corporate office enforces their standards.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Arrests in Kuwait stir free-speech debate

Arrests in Kuwait stir free-speech debate

James Calderwood, Foreign Correspondent, The National (UAE)
Last Updated: July 06. 2010 11:32PM UAE / July 6. 2010 7:32PM GMT

The Kuwaiti MP Khaled Dahoos speaks at a rally in support of Khaled al Faddala, pictured in the background poster. Gustavo Ferrari for The National

KUWAIT CITY // When Mohammed al Jassem, a prominent writer jailed for criticising public officials, was released on bail two weeks ago, free-speech advocates who had taken to the streets to demand his release had little time to celebrate.

Khaled al Fadala, 33, the secretary general of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), was sentenced to three months in prison on June 30 for insulting the prime minister. Many Kuwaitis believe the consecutive detentions are a sign that the government is clamping down on freedom of expression in a country known for a lively media and outspoken MPs.

“It seems the government is losing focus and they don’t know what they are doing,” Mr al Jassem said at a gathering of citizens at the NDA’s headquarters on Monday demanding al Fadala’s release.

“I think they are destroying the country one way or another. And they are badly affecting the relationship between the Al Sabah family and the Kuwaiti people. This is all new.”

Kuwaiti citizens had expressed their displeasure with Mr al Jassem’s detention since he began his sentence in May by staging protests at his brother-in-law’s property in Al Andalus. On Thursday, those who gathered there to welcome him home made their way across town in a convoy of SUVs and sports cars to the NDA’s headquarters in Al Nuzha to vent their frustrations over the conviction of al Fadala who was to begin serving his sentence the next day.

“The sentence was three months in prison without bail, this is very important,” said al Fadala’s father, Sanad, at the protest on Monday, in which several parliamentarians addressed a crowd of about 200 people.

“This is the first time this happened for many years in Kuwait, that there is no bail for this charge. There are many, many cases, even against politicians and writers, and all of

“Because it’s a political case, even if it is presented as slander,” Sanad al Fadala said.

Lama al Fadala said her brother was charged with insulting the prime minister, Sheikh Nasser Mohammed al Ahmed al Sabah, after speaking about a controversy involving the prime minister’s expenses at protest in front of parliament in November. She said several prominent politicians who spoke at the event, used “harsher words”, but have not been charged with any offence.

“The expenses were not dreamt up, they were from the Audit Bureau, which is official,” Ms al Fadala said.“He refused to keep things hush-hush anymore.”

Khaled’s father said the government is trying to make an example of his son because of “the growth of his career as an activist over the last 10 years”.

Khaled al Fadala has campaigned on such issues as the reduction of the electoral constituencies from 25 to five, and on eliminating government corruption, topics that have rankled with the government, his father said. In 2009, he was elected leader the NDA, making him a powerful voice of the country’s liberal youth.

“They are using the rally, some outspoken words, as an excuse to suppress him,” his father said.

Mr al Fadala’s father said the family visited his son in prison on Sunday and “his moral is very high”.

“If he does end up staying three months, he’s coming out stronger, not weaker,” Lama al Fadala said. “If anyone thinks he’s broken, he’s not.”

One of the liberal parliamentarians who attended Monday’s rally, Abdulrahman al Anjari, said: “I remember during the time of previous emirs and previous prime ministers, the opposition in Kuwait used to criticise the government, the prime minister, in so many things. Nobody took anyone to court.”

He said he believes that the government is trying to “stop the momentum” of a highly educated and politically aware young generation.

Many of the parliamentarians who spoke at the gathering warned against government interference in the judiciary.

Before leaving for a ministerial meeting in Cairo yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al Sabah, the foreign minister, said, “We welcome any criticism against our government practices,” Kuna, the state news agency reported. “The judiciary is a protected authority that observes justice,” Mr al Sabah was reported to have said.

Mr al Jassem, the released writer, will face state security charges of “attacking the regime” when he returns to court on September 20.

He said since his release he has been busy organising a campaign “to try and convince the government to stop this kind of action”.

He said he has news “from different sources, some inside the state security police” that two other activists, including the politician Musallam al Barrak, could soon face state security charges in court.

--- End ---
I think I can see the tip of the iceberg from here...

And - I also think - that if Musallam Al Barrak is arrested, there is going to be major upheaval in the country.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Office Affairs

Our office is abuzz this week with talk of our former Kuwaiti GM (SATAN) marrying one of the secretaries (Lebanese) who he spent late nights with, going over.... his.... documents.  It has shocked the core of our company - especially as many of his closest "friends" didn't even know.

Satan was the bain of my existence for a year. It is because of him - and his plot to get me to resign by coersion- that caused me high blood pressure and ringing in my ears. I can't remember anytime in my life when I wished that much ill-will on anyone as I did to him.  My mantra became, 'Die, die, die!' (which, of course was even worse for my health as having that much negative energy usually is).   He really did a number on my whole life.  I held out and stayed with my job.  I didn't quit although he managed to either fire or force-into-resignation over 50% of our workforce; including some of the most decent people I have had the pleasure of working with.   I don't believe the owners knew what he was doing inside the company (and might not even know to this day). 

Turns out the secretary left her husband and her baby girl for Satan.  Satan was already married (20+ years) to an angelic woman that I had the pleasure of meeting. I feel bad for her.

Karma is a BITCH and eventually he's going to get hit hard by the invisible stick....

Harassing Kuwaiti Police Women

This is from Jewaira's blog.  I saw some of the Kuwaiti police women strolling around Souq Sharq (which I find to be quiet a respectable mall since all the hoodlems have moved on to Marina and Avenues).    You go, girls!

"Harassing Kuwaiti Police Women Posted by jewaira

According to Al-Anba newspaper, certain commercial complexes were selected after studying the situations and the need, stating that female shoppers felt more comfortable approaching a policewoman to complain or seek assistance.

Recently some youths were arrested for harassment:

Policewomen harassed: Police have arrested 11 Kuwaiti youths for harassing female police officers who were on duty in commercial complexes, reports Al-Anba daily.

The youths have been referred to the Criminal Investigation Department. It has been reported the police women were on duty at the commercial malls for the first time.

A strong warning was issued by the Ministry of Interior towards those who sexually harassed or who verbally abused policewoman while on duty in commercial complexes. Those participating in harassment or abuse of policewoman on duty would be arrested and depending on the severity have their heads shaved or more. A strong warning was also issued at expatriates, a number of whom were involved in harassment of policewoman on duty and consequently arrested. Offending expatriates can be deported by the Ministry of Interior."

My comment was "shoot them in the nuts".  But that's just me.

Beach Party at the Hilton - September 24th

Global Freight Systems/Allied is hosting a summer fun day at the Hilton Resort on September 24th to benefit Animal Friends League/K's PATH.  Tickets are on sale now.

I LOVE GFS!!! - they helped me move house and I can't say enough how professional, kind, friendly, and reasonably priced they were (no, I don't get a commission for saying this!).  They are a great group of people and moved my stuff very well.  If you call GFS - Ask for Haydee.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Yesterday, a guy who was working on the street behind my house asked me a question and this is what it sounded like ("Farmer Fran" from the Waterboy with Adam Sandler).  I love that movie!  How many times have people talked to you and you couldn't understand what the F they were saying?  Welcome to my world.

Today's stupid headlines

Arab Time Local Section Today

"Pesterer Sought...."

"Mischief-Monger Hunted...."

WTF.  No wonder my vocabulary is going to hell.  I think I am going to start referring to myself as "Mischief Monger".  I like that one.  'Hel-lo, my name is Desert Girl, Mischief-Monger and demi-Godess"  (you have to do it with an accent and a head bob).

So I made the appointment with T&G for 3:00 pm on July (a week from now - no specific date just incase I have stalkers - AS IF!).  Same day I called, girl calls me back at 3:30 pm, "Miss Desert Girl, why didn't you come in for your 3:00 appointment?"  Uh oh....  Hope they're more professional with the hair.

I had a rather uneventful weekend.  I took Butterfly and Wife-of-Petard (gotta think of a better nickname for her) to Sakura and Mubarakia.  I think Butterfly is shell-shocked.  She hasn't been here very long and she's still in that "Holy shit - what the Hell have I done???" frame of mind.  Ok girl, when I got here, there were very few Westerners here; I had no girlfriends to call; and  I was stuck in a downtown hotel where there were no women and lots of creepy men, on the 17th floor, woken by the sounds of roosters crowing on a nearby balcony.  I freaked out.  You can do it - baby steps.

Anyhoo, I think/hope they both liked Mubarakia.  I had fun just seeing their reactions.  Tee hee.