Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
(Giggles) ... Perhaps I like punishment.
I had a most excellent weekend. First of all, it was Bobarino's birthday bash on Thursday night at P.F. Changs. They have a hubungous party room and the price (for the group) was really reasonable - leading me to want to host my own dinner there. I had no idear that Bobaliscious had so many friends! I thought I was the only one. It was a really nice evening. I ended up getting him this tacky "masquerade costume" football outfit (size small). Apparently, the "ladies" at souq shaabi dont' think it is a "masquerade costume".... hmmm. I can't burn the mental picture of Bobarino wearing this out of my head (mais alas, I am the one who put it there, aren't I?)
I can't remember much of Friday. OH RIGHT - because I stayed home and changed my slipcovers on my sofa. Woo hoo! Big fun. Then, I went to cruise around with Slaps and had dinner at Mais al Ghanim (which was NOT exciting - especially since there were no goodlookinmens around. Sadness).
But then yesterday was good because in lieu of my annual "Pathetic Losers Valentine's Dinner" I had a barbecue for non-losers and it was great. We had so much fun. Sometimes you just get a group of people together and you end up laughing and feeling really up. It was like that. I still feel good today.
My Falentine's Day isn't the greatest today, but I'm in such a good mood that I'm not really noticing. Today is kindof bitter sweet for me anyways because today is the day that I found out that the love-of-my-life (to date), Shamlan, died. (You are gone, but never forgotten. I know you are waiting on the other side.)(Neither Bu Merdas nor the Hampster called/sent SMSs/sent gifts yesterday. Not that it truely bothered me on an emotional level because my expectations were dead-on accurate, but it just put the appropriate nails in the coffin in both cases.)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
I get asked every year for such a listing and I have never compiled one. This should be the year since it is such a popular activity in the summer.
There is a place at the far end of the parking lot at Sultan Restaurants Complex, Salmiya seaside, but that is the only commercial place that I know of.
I have been very lucky and alls I have to do is bat my eyes at my friends with boats. Speaking of which, I gotta call Wahabi....
I saw Bu Merdas last night. I know what you are thinking... but ok, dude has been relentless in the calls etc and I figured what the hey. He's a whore - plain and simple. I thought he was decent (for a while and not recently) but somehow/someday/someway, all that squeeky-clean appearance boils down to is someone who is incredibly guarded and a good liar. No one is that good. My mama used to say that if you feel like something isn't quite right, it usually isn't. I never felt 100% comfortable around the guy and now I know why. He's a manwhore. I never trust a man with 2(+) phones. BuM is good at reading cards and I asked him to read mine. He said, "There are 2 men in your life and you don't give a shit about either one." Bada BING. I so hope he counted himself into that statement (cause I did). He read them 3 more times just to make sure; they always came up the same. "I don't see myself in here." I'm like, 'You're not.' (Dude, why should I give a shit about people who don't give a shit about me? I get the concept - get on board.) But hey - it was a fascinating evening in which I learned not only about him, but myself (yawn) AND I ate some machboos diyaay. Oh, by the by, Merdas died of some kind of bird-related illness. Now Bu Merdas is without a falcon. That must be really weird for him.
And now... for something completely different.... (DG fund raising activity)
The Association of the US Army, Kuwait, is looking for sponsors in 500KD and up denominations for their upcoming Spring golf event. The money will also go towards troop events during the year. If anyone would like to become a sponsor in Kuwait, there are good benefits for companies who want work with the military. Please write to email@example.com.
I can't focus today. I've had that problem lately.
Monday, February 08, 2010
Anonymous 12:13, this one is for you. Another article I wrote that was published locally several years ago. Dudes, I don't want to get comments that say, "Oh, so you think you're so great because you are American, right..." No, I do not. It is just my perspective - it is what it is - and I happen to be American (Irish, Finish, French and Iroquois Indian if you must know. My people came from different places like a whole lotta other 'mericans).
What is it about being American that makes people around here think that you have answers? Lately, the questions have been geared towards business: "I have a miraculous new product. You can sell it to the US Army, right?" "Can you go down to Arifjan and talk to the people in the contracting office and get me a contract?" "You can get me alcohol from the US embassy or the base, right? You get an allocation, right?"
When I first came to Kuwait in 1996, I was faced with even stranger questions: "My son is 5 and lost his arm in a car accident. Can you get him a new one? He's in Pakistan." Asked by a coffee boy where I used to work. Another colleague later asked, "My friends cousin is in UCLA hospital. He was born in Kuwait and the doctor thought that something was wrong with his lung, so they removed it at the hospital. He is dying and he needs $300,000. Can you talk to your friends at the Ministry of Health? They said his file was eaten by mice in the 80's."
"Hello Madame. I have a problem. Maybe you can help me?" The visa questions are never-ending and relentless. I frequent a local hotel because I am a sushi addict and love their food. Every time I pull up to the valet parking, a certain Egyptian parker runs out and delves into the same tirade I have been hearing for the past two years (all said in a matter of the 2 minutes it takes me to run from the car to the front door of the hotel and stated with the same look of pathetic puppy). He wants to go visit family and has been rejected at the embassy and wants my help. It is assumed that since I am American, I therefore have been bequeathed with wastah at the US Embassy.
"Oh, so you are single?" God help me if I ever reveal that I am single to visa-seeking men. I haven't reached the point of desperation which would warrant marriage to someone trying to get into the States. For this very reason, I (and many of my single female friends here) wear wedding bands. Let me just say that the response would be better if the pick-up lines these guys use were better.
Questions in the form of assumptions are quite another thing. Just because I'm American doesn't mean I am rich. I'm not willing to pay more for something that my Egyptian friends get for five times less. When in shops, the question of, "Are you American?" should always be responded to with, "No, I'm from Bosnia and my farm was destroyed in the war. I have eight children and today is my birthday."
Here are the answers that I do have (just because I'm American): No, I can't sell your product to the Army without paying my reasonable consulting fee and dedicating quite a bit of time to it. No, I can't just go down to Arifjan and miraculously get a contract (and if I could, I would keep it for myself). No, the US embassy nor the bases give Americans allocations of alcohol (Kuwait is a dry country and so are the bases). Yes, I can probably assist in finding an arm for a 5 year old child through some of the charitable children's organizations (and with proper back-up documentation from the hospital in Pakistan), but hey – so can you through correspondence and research. My friend at the Ministry of Health said that file was indeed eaten by mice, so there really isn't any more I could do there because I'm not a rich American and I don't have an extra $300,000. No, I can't help with visa problems at the embassy because the US doesn't do wastah. And last but not least – I am really not interested in getting married to help "get someone in". What's in it for me?
Sunday, February 07, 2010
(And I know that you are reading this so let me just tell you right now - if you can't even bother to TALK to me before running out the door, you shouldn't be keeping up with my life on my blog. GrowthaphuckUP! You had too many chances.)
I met a man who 1) is very handsome, 2) has a good job, 3) is articulate and intelligent, 4) is very polite/good manners, 5) is a good conversationalist and quite complimentary. We just met through friends - I had never gone out to coffee or met with him socially after our first meeting.
He sounds good, right?
So then (wait for it....) he sends me an SMS (not a call, not during a conversation over like DINNER or anything...) saying, "I have an emergency. I'm sorry to ask you this, but can I borrow 125KD and I will pay you back in 3 months?"
My question is this: What kind of a mess can dude be in if he is Kuwaiti, has a good job, and has lots of friends that he would need to borrow 125 KD (and WHY that precise amount) from a woman he has just met and not be able to pay it back for 3 months?! WTF. Take a loan - you might not even have to pay it back if they approve the loans payoff bill!
Alternate perspective: I must look rich. I must appear to others like I am oozing money. I must dress SO WELL that people think it would be okay for them to just ask me for a "loan". Yeah, that's it....
(I guess it is my fault because I said I wanted to marry a Kuwaiti to get nationality/retirement!)
Where have all the real men gone?
If anyone is looking for a good place to look for decorative carpets, these guys have a great selection. The ones we looked at (photos) are 2x3 meters for 50 KD. Try finding THAT price in Ikea or The One.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
A simple friend identifies himself when he calls.
A real friend doesn't have to.
A simple friend opens a conversation with a full news bulletin on his life.
A real friend says, "What's new with you?"
A simple friend thinks the problems you whine about are recent.
A real friend says, "You've been whining about the same thing for 4 years. Get off your duff and do something about it."
A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.
A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.
A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.
A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.
A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.
A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend knows that it's not a friendship until after you've had a fight.
A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!
I picked up a copy of the Khaleej Times the other day (again, this was 2006) and skimmed through the articles. I wasn’t really paying attention to headlines, but I hadn’t been able to make reservations at the Beach Rotana Hotel in
The headline read, “Hotels Curry Favour with Businesswomen” – which really has nothing to do with much of anything (I read it several times and have concluded that they are saying that hotels spice things up with businesswomen). The article basically says that the businesswomen enjoy the hotel services of food, hair styling, and make-up. It mentions nothing of what topics were covered in the
As someone easily provoked (in various ways), this got me to thinking of my experiences throughout the past ten-plus years with businesswomen in the Gulf Region; with all the various prejudices and detriments. I remember coming to
In 1996, the women I worked with were (sadly to say) mainly only interested in recipes and discussions of children and their personal lives. Personal calls, audible chats in the office, and “water-cooler” gatherings were common. Personal lives were wrongfully brought into the workplace. The same women later wondered why they didn’t receive the promotions or incremental raises that they should have been given: “They knew my whole life story and they used it against me.” They should never have known your personal life to begin with and yes – it will work against you.
The necessity for women to work has never been more prevalent. The women mentioned above would probably have preferred to be stay-at-home mothers, but their situations demanded that they work and they obviously wanted to achieve better incomes. More women are joining the workforce in the Middle East as economic dynamics have changed: The rate of divorce continues to rise and many women must provide for their children (divorce laws in many countries including
Women (regardless of nationality or economic standing) must maintain a high level of professionalism in the workplace to get anywhere. We are competing for the same jobs at the same salaries as men. We need to be taken seriously and not perceived as out-of-place housewives in a competitive work environment. It is even more important in this region, as gender prejudice is prominent. Many men (and unfortunately, some women as well) believe that women are not equal to men in the workforce (I actually worked with a woman who firmly believed that we should be entitled to at least one day off per month as sick leave for cramps - and wanted to discuss it with executive-level management). Women often have to work harder than men to be accepted and therefore, appearances are everything. We can not allow ourselves to be perceived as weak. We must put up a strong exterior and demand (not ask for) respect.
My mother was a journalist competing in a predominantly male business. My sister and I were never allowed to call her at work. For absolute emergencies, our nannies were allowed to call, but they would only have received a short, curt response from my mother before the conversation was over. She left her personal life at home. Men have children too, but they spend less time conversing with them from work than women do. Constant conversations with or about children can be perceived as weakness or detrimental to the job at hand. An employee is at work to do the work. Personal life starts when the work day stops. Thankfully, it has become a lot easier to discreetly keep in touch with the family or friends from work through the use of technology (e-mail, SMSing, Child Locator systems, etc.).
Perceived weakness can come through many different mediums. For example: the way a woman dresses; how much make-up, jewelry or perfume she wears; if she is chewing gum; how her hair is done; her tone of voice; and her demeanor. The same applies to men (hopefully without the make-up). There are appropriate measures for each in the business world. Business people should wear modest business attire. Business people should keep jewelry and perfume to a minimum. Business people should never openly cry or get emotionally provoked. Business people should conduct their conversations and dealings in a professional manner and tone. And (regardless how you really feel or what your situation is) business people should command with a confident professional attitude. A confident attitude extends to firm handshakes and direct eye contact as well: a limp handshake and eyes searching a room do not convey a solid business message.
Girly-women – regardless of how cute they think they are - who are overly flirtatious, giggle and wear revealing or over-the-top (this includes leopard print, metallic, flowery, or shiny) clothing rarely make it to the top of the corporate ladder. Office drama won’t make a woman more interesting and management will only think that she is frivolous and lacking in substance or character. The choice of wearing revealing or tight clothing to work is a definitive no-no. The same applies for the wearing of clicky-sounding high-heeled shoes and/or too much make up, and gum chewing. While the managers may smile as these (usually) young ladies walk past, it is always a question of “are they laughing with you or at you”? The appearance implies that the woman is at the workplace for other reasons than actual work; perhaps a good maneuver for short term (non-work-related) gratification, but in the long-run, flirty-girl tactics - which might work well in a coffee shop - won’t do anything positive for a professional career in a work environment.
One of my first jobs was in a designer clothing section at a large retail store chain. My supervisor was Mrs. Kathleen Stellock and I will never forget her. She wore black most of the time (simple black, navy, beige, brown are usually the norm with business attire – steer clear of flowery patterns and limit pastels) with wonderful accessories (good quality handbag, good quality shoes, modest jewelry that didn’t make any noise). She wore little make-up and her hair was always done modestly. She walked tall with a straight back. I wanted to engage her in personal conversations (so she would get to know me/like me better and think I was wonderfully interesting) and discuss what I did that weekend (probably while chewing gum with chipped nail polish on my fingers and a big 80’s hairstyle above whatever disco outfit was the trend back then.). She would respond with, “Mmm hmmm,” and walk away. I thought she was a total B. She turned out to be one of my very best female mentors and I never knew it at the time (she probably couldn’t stand me). She never came out and said, “Do this,” or “Do that,” but taught me subtly - just by performing her job with 100% professionalism; both through actions and through appearance.
My personal life is none of anyone else’s business, but occasionally marital status is an invitation for pre-conceived notions. I wear a wedding band to work, as do many of my other female friends – regardless of if we are married or not (I don’t even fill in the marital status section of employment forms). People don’t know if we are married or not and that is the whole intention: Maybe we are and maybe we aren’t. The band conveys a stable family life (although we might be out partying till dawn with other single female friends who are making big salaries too!). It also extends a “don’t even try to flirt with me” message to those less professional than I am at work.
Methods of business appearance are nothing new. They have been around forever. There have been books written and movies made on these subjects and courses and seminars are conducted. It all depends on how you wish to be perceived and the impression you wish to portray. Appearances do matter, they are important, and you never get a second chance to give a good first impression.
As women, it is up to us as individuals to convey the message we want to get across. We are our own best marketers. As professionals to be taken seriously, we must conduct ourselves in accepted norms in the business world. We will never be perceived as equal unless we do something to command equality. It is okay to be provoked by an article in which two people perceived women to be frivolous (“curry”) at a business summit. Perhaps we, as women, can provide a different impression. Maybe the prejudices and detriments we face can be eradicated through education and our collective behavior. Collectively, we may be able to enlighten people who think we are all about food, cosmetics, and hair.
Monday, February 01, 2010
Saudi's Reject Pakistani Diplomat Whose Name Translates to 'Biggest Dick'Tim King Salem-News.com
In Saudi Arabia, size does count.
Embassy Photo: Lee Berthiaume
Pakistan High Commissioner Akbar Zeb
(SALEM, Ore.) - A high level Pakistani diplomat has been rejected as Ambassador of Saudi Arabia because his name, Akbar Zib, equates to "Biggest Dick" in Arabic. Saudi officials, apparently overwhelmed by the idea of the name, put their foot down and gave the idea of his being posted there, the kibosh.
Akbar Zib is no newcomer to politics, in fact you could say he's a pretty big deal. This long-ranging high level diplomat has worked with some of the largest members of world governments, players charged with negotiating the outcome of the world's current events.
He most recently served as High Commissioner Designate of Pakistan to Canada, and prior to that he was the ambassador of Pakistan to South Africa,. He also served in that capacity in Washington from 1983-87, and New Delhi from 1994-2000.
He earlier worked at the Pakistan headquarters as section officer from 1982- 83, director from 1987-94 and director-general from 2000-2003.
Miangul Akbar Zib, also whose name news agencies sometimes refer to as Zib, was born on 15 February, 1954. He holds a Masters degree.
Ok - WHO would name their kid that?