Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Very Desert Girl Summer

I had a great flight to DC.  I flew Xanax Air; got on the plane, popped a pill, and woke up in Virginia.  It was almost as quick as Dorothy tapping her ruby slippers together.  Bada BING. 

Xanax is what got me through my root canals.  I finished all 3.  Woo hoooooo.  My dentist, The Amazing Dr. Unni at New Mowasat, thought he was a wonderful psychiatrist who talked me through my dental phobia.  I finally had to confess to him that it was medication.  He thought that was hysterical. 

So I'm in Virgin - yuh.

Like my fambily says, "It's like you never left."  Now, I can't tell if they are saying that as a good thing or as an "OMG, not YOU again." kind of thing.  In the beginning of the trip, I sense more of the former.  Perhapsee after a few weeks of me loitering around just staring at them, the later.

I've been having so much fun in Kuwait that I really do miss it this time. 

It is even totally refreshing to MISS my boss.  Who DOES that?  She is more like a friend than a bosslady.  It makes such a difference going to work in the mornings, knowing that you work with good people/friends(I'm not just saying this to suck up and get more money because God knows how difficult that is in Kuwait...  She's genuinely my type of people.) I even really enjoy picking on our Ops Manager.  He didn't get me at first, but now he's picking on me right back and it is a great way to work through the day.   Who would have thought - a year ago - that I would be in this job surrounded by decent folk?  Well, the guy that I worked with at the old company - and we could never really figure out if he was my "boss" or not (he was more like a really great colleague) - he was decent and a kind person.   But I couldn't really plop myself down into a chair in his office and talk about PMS and my relationshits. I think he would rather be shot in the head. With Stella, I CAN and I DO and I think she looks at me and says, "Hey, Stella, your life isn't so bad after all.  Lookit how screwed up THIS girl is!"  That's okay with me. I am and without me, all you people out there would have nothing to point fingers at and giggle.  Ergo the blog.  Pure, cheap, unrated entertainment. 

So, back to missing parts of Kuwait.  I miss my Southern Bedu.  I hated leaving him alone.  He makes me feel like I should protect him.  He feels the same way of me.  I've been pestering my friends constantly to go see him or call him. I know I'm a pain in the ass (shut UP!)  That fine too; I would do it for them too.

Southern Bedu has epilepsy.  I don't know anything about it.  I don't even know how to spell it really.  Does anybody know if there are epilepsy centers in Kuwait?  I'm going to check things out over here.

He's a great guy and if I can keep him from talking too much and getting on my nerves, I will probably marry him.  Yes, he has asked.  Yes, I have talked to his sister and he has received the Royal Approval from The Mother.  

My dear friend, Butterfly, had me compile a list of all the things that I wanted from a man.  Yeah, I know, you people probably think it was like 12 pages long, typed, single-spaced, but you would be wrong.  I went through that phase in my 20's (I'm still 29 - shut UP!).  If you have ever seen the movie, "Up In The Air" with my Hero-God, George Clooney, there is a part where the young actress recants her list to the older actress.  Her list goes on forever.  The older actress' list doesn't.  Neither did mine.  (Older actress might have been older, but damn sexy, BTW).  So anyhoo, I made my list - while Butterfly and The Romanian looked on (they MADE me do it) and SHAZAM; a few weeks later, in walked Southern Bedu.  On my list was, "Someone I can have a great conversation with."  Well yes, I can with him, but I didn't say anything about him talking too damn much.  Nothing is perfect.

I'm (Mashallah) in a very comfortable place in my life.  I feel like everything is grounded.  (Watch me get hit by a bus....)

I have told my family about him.  My spunky younger sister immediately told me to marry him.  That's a good sign.  I'm sure my mother will not approve.  She never does.  No one is good enough for me.  No one will ever ever be good enough for me in her eyes.  I have accepted that. I love her, but by God - I'm 29 years old.  When will anyone ever be perfect?  They won't.

I adore my mom.  I am so thankful To The Big Man Above that I feel this way.  Yes, she has things that drive me crazy.  Mom/daughter relationships are always like that.  I realize that things that I let go might drive others more crazier, but ...whatever.  I think that if I hadn't had Arab friends when I was a teenager, SCREAMING at my mother using not-so-nice language, I probably would have a very different relationship with her today.  I remember Reyad say, "WHAT are you DOING?! You don't talk to your MOTHER like that!  Even if she is wrong!"  He was really pissed.    It just made me take pause for a minute (and many more to follow) to think about it.  Anyhooo, I dunno, but I try to always do what she wants and to pre-empt her thought process so she doesn't have to ask for stuff.   She's getting older and I can't imagine my life without her.  What will I do?  My dad died when he was 2 years older than she is now (I'm 29, so I can't allow you people to do the math).  She is in a lot better shape than he was. 

She lives in a beautiful lake-side home that my sister picked/bought for her to live in. Yes, my sister is an amazing person.  It is perfect for her.  She is within walking distance from everything and about 5 minutes from my sister's place.  It is really one of the most beautiful places she could be living.  She wakes up to geese in the morning and can see the lake from her bed, and in the evenings puts on classical music, has a glass of wine and watches people go by on small boats. The lake is surrounded by foliage and capped with gorgeous sunsets.  What more could a mom want?

...and now... let's talk about my hair...

So after my experience with the Brazilian Blowjob (I mean, "Blowout"), I was left 3 weeks later feeling that I had wasted a chunk of change.  It was back to normal..  I asked Ashlee, Hair Godess, why.  She said that it may have been that my hair was over-processed and maybe it didn't take hold.   The BB only stays in your hair at the salon for a few hours before they use the hot irons and send you on your merry way.  I thought I would try the Chocolate Keratin treatment to see how that would go.  Style has had it and her hair always looks great.  The only kicker: you have to leave the stuff in for THREE DAYS.  Oh yeah, you people might be saying, "Beauty is pain - suck it up, pansy girl." but when you are in heat that gets to around 130F and you sweat a lot - it is DISSSSSSGUSTING.  On day 2.5, I tried to de-grease it by putting in some powder stuff that I got at Tony and Guy.  It is similar to dry shampoo (remember PSSSSSSSSSSSSST?).  Well, when you are working with that much grease, apparently it just turns your hair into concrete.  It was totally gross.  I can't even tell you.  I was getting funny looks at work.  It wasn't pretty.
God, I go on!

Otay, so I got the stuff washed out on day 3 and I was just fine.  I announced loudly in the salon (Strands, Fanar) that I have the most disgusting hair in Kuwait.  The Kuwaiti ladies giggled ("Of course you do, honey." is what they were thinking.  I know because I am telepathic.  Yes yes, I am.)  Anyhoo, they washed it out and sent me on my merry way.  Funny thing that - I could see my ROOTS way more clearly with straight hair.  Dayam.  Another appointment.

Et here I am, weeks later and my hair looks damnfrickingoooood.  My sisters have commented.  That's cool.  I'm happy.  But, guess what I found out from Shannon, my sister's stylist:  You shouldn't use shampoo with sulfates after a keratin treatment.  Did you know this?  They didn't tell me such advice at Strands.  I've been using Loreal for weeks - and it is the wrong kind.  So, if you are planning to do any kind of keratin treatments, make sure that you use non-sulfate shampoo or you will ruin the treatment.  Fasssscinating.  Maybe this is what I did wrong after the Brazilian?

--- End of hair discussion ---

Tomorrow we are travelling to the Outer Banks in North Carolina where I will eat too many crabs and drink way too much alcohol and have a wonderful time.  My whole family is going.  I think we are up to 3 cars now (not sure).  It is so pretty down there.  Can't wait.  All compliments of my Incredibly Generous Sister. 

Her house, by the way, looks amazing.  I'm surrounded by green trees outside and big airy spaces.  I love it here.

So before I left, I had some great parties at my place:  4th of July, Spanx's baby shower, and a "goodbye to me" dinner (I love the pasta - it doesn't love me back.  I got sick).  I love entertaining and I finally have a place that will allow me to do it.  I can't wait for this Autumn (around November in Kuwait) and the barbecues.  I have such a great group of friends (and I'm not just saying that because I know they are reading this).  I have met many of them through the blog.

It is kind of weird because some of my friends (even Southern Bedu) don't know that I have the blog.  Then there are lots that I have met through the blog (like Spanx, Special K, Butterfly).  Sometimes I get confused.  SoBedu is going to know eventually, I'm sure.  I'll have to tighten up my act then I guess so he doesn't get too pissed off.  Someone asked me if I am still going to have the blog if I get married.  OF COURSE!  Do you really think I would PAY for psychological help when I can just rant here for free?  Dude!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Animal Awareness Event - PAWS & LoYAC

 Wednesday, July 27 · 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Location 360 Mall Kuwait
LoYAC & PAWS will be conducting and promoting PAWS Human Educational Program

•  Promoting International Homeless Animals’ Day 2011 on Aug 20, 2011

•  Promoting Animal Care activities

•  Awareness AND promotion of Adoption and Volunteering at PAWS

•  Students will be undertaking a survey for their research.

•  Movie on PAWS operation and International Homeless Animals’ Day will be broadcasted on Kuwait TV (Time is not defined yet).
---  Reprinted from Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait blog

Infantacide on the rise in Pakistan

CNN online has a story about this HERE. Awful awful awful. 

Karachi, Pakistan (CNN) -- At a morgue in Pakistan's largest city, five linen pouches -- each the size of a loaf of bread -- line the shelf of a walk-in freezer.

Wrapped inside each small sack is the corpse of an infant.

The babies are victims of what one relief agency calls Pakistan's worst unfolding tragedy: the killing and dumping of newborns.

"Sometimes they hang them, and sometimes they kill by the knife, and sometimes we find bodies which have been burned," said Anwar Kazmi, a manager at Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest privately run social service and relief agency.

Records at Edhi Foundation show that more than 1,200 newborns were killed and dumped in Pakistan last year, an increase of about 200 from the previous year.

Families view many of these children as illegitimate in a culture that condemns those born outside of marriage.


In pre-Islamic Arabia killing of female infants was very common and very often the moment a female was born she was buried alive.

Islam prohibits infanticide or killing of female infants. This is considered a serious crime of murder.
Surah Al-Takvir Chapter 81, Verses 8 and 9 (81 : 8-9)
“When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned, for what crime she was killed.” (17:31), (6:15)
Islam not only prohibits female infanticide, but it forbids all types of infanticide, irrespective of whether the infant is a male or female. It is mentioned in Surah Al-Anam chapter 6, Verse 151 (6:151).
“Kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for them. Come not near shameful deeds, whether open or secret. Take not life which Allah has made sacred.”
A similar guidance is repeated in Surah Al-Isra Chapter 17, Verse 31 (17:31).

See LINK  
So here is my question – if you are living in an Islamic country where this is such a horrible sin, why not use birth control?  Promote it! 

Don’t think illegitimate babies aren’t dumped here in Kuwait too (I have personally heard of only one infant being killed and buried years ago).  There are stories every once in a while in the papers about a baby being dumped outside of a mosque.  How many more are un-reported or don’t make it into the media?  (Babies dumped in Kuwait are taken in by the Kuwaiti government and given Kuwaiti nationality.  Go visit the orphanage.  Very sad.)

Reproduction (and sorry to offend anyone with the use of this word) and sex are instinctual and part of nature.  You can’t pretend that it isn’t going on.

Back to Pakistan:  I hope that more children’s organizations step up.  There are so many couples in the world who can’t have babies and want to adopt.  What a tragedy.

End of DG sermon of the day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A RRRRRRomance update

Yeah, I know... youse guys like to hear my gossip. Why?  Because (like me)  you have no life and have to live surreptitiously through the lives of other people (like me) also with no life.  ADMIT IT!  Admitting you have a problem is the first step in solving it.  Why else would  you be on here (and some of you during the WORK day) to read about my boringassshit? 


So things are going well with SouthernBedu.  (I started to type "SB" one time for a nickname, but that is too close to sonamabitch.)  He's kind, nice, and extremely sweet.  He puts up with my moods (it's early yet!) and just lets everything go with ease.  On the flip side, the guy can TALK and it is driving me kinda crazy.  He's been in a relationship for the past 15 years with a woman who didn't let him talk and/or that he didn't have good communication with.  I can't imagine that.  I think long talks with my man are so important.  However, SoBedu has been talking so much that I'm wondering if he is just a bad listener.  He's starting to calm down and get better, but O.M.G.... I hope it isn't going to turn into a problem.  He's adorable and everything that I want in so many ways.  Just dude - shutthephuckuuuuuuuuup!!!  (And don't think I haven't shouted that and often.)  It is usually about his work.  Right now, some of his co-workers (who I have not met and are probably just regular nice people in real life) are on my shit-list.

It is nice to finally have a (SINGLE!!!) man in my life who isn't ruled by other people.  He is more like an American man in terms of independence.  He doesn't have to go home to his parent's house (even in his 40's) by a certain time.  He has his own place.  He can put up my photos. I can leave stuff in his closet.   He makes his own rules.  I either stay with him or he stays with me (more often he stays with me because they are doing construction in his area and it is Hell).  Nobody cooks or cleans for him (even though they could if he wanted to hire someone); he takes care of him (and in turn, knows very well how to take care of ME which is refreshing).

He is the FIRST man in my life (American or Kuwaiti) who has taken the time to ask me where things go in my home.  "Where should I put this?  Where do you keep the (whatever)" like he is memorizing it for later.  Then, he goes back and puts stuff away.  Imagine that!!  I don't HAVE to make tea for him - I get the opportunity to ask him if he would like me to.  I don't have to pick up his cup - he does that and puts it in the dishwasher.

He is genuinely happy just to be out and doing things.  He knows all my friends; all my friends like him (yeah, maybe he can be a little annoying while on the sauce, but you have to admit, he's just a big happy guy).  He has nothing but good intentions towards everyone and I'm comfortable just being around him.  He's constant and loyal and je suis content. Oui oui.

He has told his family about me.  His mother gave us her blessing and told him to marry me quick before I "fly away."  (I'm just going on vacation, don't worry!) That THAR is refreshing instead of, "Whaaat? Aren't there enough Kuwaiti women in Kuwait?"  We've been throwing the idea around.  I need to ease into that; whenever it gets serious, I get antsy.  I need to take the slow approach or I'll freak out. 

I'm trying to teach the Bedu American marriage traditions.  Yes, you might say that I'm in Kuwait and I should adopt Kuwaiti marriage traditions.... ok, so let's take a closer look at that:  Do you REALLY want me to adopt that over American style?  Let's talk MAHER (dowry) for example... or CHABKA (traditional often-diamond-encrusted jewelry set given during the wedding).  Isn't a nice rock and some flowers really a better alternative?  Do you really want to go there?  I can do it.... I'm just sayin.....

Special K - you NEED to have a chat with SoBedu about all this when you get back.  Not kidding.  I tried to show him some American style wedding sets, but he's really hopeless.  Please - make him look up wedding traditions online or something. Help a sistah OUT!

Another thing I like about Southern Bedu:  We were on the sofa one day (could be any day) and some program came on with a bunch of screaming kids running around.  He got a distasteful look on his face and said, "I really don't like kids.  I can't stand them for very long.  Even my nieces and nephews know not to come near me when they're making noise...."  I frickin high-fived him on the SPOT.  DUDE!!!  I guess it would be different if the kid were mine, but I don't really like the dirty, noisy, little poop-makers.  It's dayam refreshing to find a BEDOUIN guy who isn't baby-crazy ("Let's make one NOW!").  Let's see ONE of those baby-crazed dudes change ONE diaper.  Notgonnahappin.  Don't give me that, "Women's work" bullshit (while they're off to the diwaniya).  As IF.

Thank you, God!!

Otay soooo... And in other news....

Stealth and I have eased into friendship.  He's one of those people that I know would help me in any situation with a phone call.  I know it from the bottom of my bottom.  He's just THAT guy.  I like being friends with him.  I like talking to him and getting advice from him.  Just friends now and I'm glad.  He hasn't even met Southern Bedu yet and  he is already giving me positive advice about him (telling me to be nice to him, etc.).  Huh - aint that a thang?  Stealth is not a committed kind of guy.  I don't see him settling down with anyone and if he does - as bohemian/open-minded as he appears to be - he still eats most of his meals at home; cooked by his mother.  He's going to marry some traditional girl who will do the same while he's out (you guessed it) somewhere else.  Better friendship material.

So, you ask, do I think about The Man?  The answer to that question is a resounding:  NO.  Once in a while, he'll pop into my head, but as quickly as he pops in, he pops out.  There is no emotion attached to the mental image - it's like it was a million years ago (and yet only since February).  Life changes so fast, doesn't it? 

The Man's daughter, Pretty Girl, is going to California next month to start her year abroad as a foreign exchange student.  I'm so proud of her and I miss her so much.   The one thing I do regret is that our break-up has put a canyon between The Man Kids and I.  I don't see them anymore and I wish that could be different, but alas, realistically, it isn't meant to be I s'pose.  I get the feeling that maybe they either don't feel they should communicate with me as much or that maybe their parents don't think it is a good idea.  At any rate, I am happy that I shared a small part of their lives.  Everything happens for a reason - I look back at our roller coaster of a relationship (the Man and I) and maybe our reason for being was to somehow have a positive (I hope) influence on the lives of his kids.  They are going to be amazing grown-ups.

So that's all my news in a nutshell.

I had my final root canal last week.  I still need to get the crowns done.  OMG I am so glad that is over.  I was really worried about the pain (but then a friend of Spanx gave me a box of Xanax and I calmed down a whole lot).  I overcame the fear and now can get into the dentist chair without being pulled into it by a wench.  Next comes braces.  Then, lipo and a tummy tuck (hopefully in Thailand).  The Girls can wait until I'm like 60ish (or until I have to roll them up to get them into my WonderBra).

Speaking of WonderBras.... I'm leaving to the States on Thursday.  Off to the Outer Banks again, margaritas, crabs, lazy day visits with my family.  I can smell the sea-spray now.

Let the unmerciless shopping begin! 

July 19 in Desert Girl History

This day, July 19, several decades ago in Georgetown, Shamlan and I walked along Wisconsin Avenue and he stopped to buy me a bouquet of tiny pink roses and with a spray of purple desert flowers intertwined.   (This may have been where my love of pink roses began.... not sure.)

I had met him only days before - in front of my whole family which must have been a shock from a guy from Dubai. His cousin, Najeeb, introduced us.   My sister was visiting from Texas and we had all come back from a dinner at The Dancing Crab restaurant (which used to be next to a massage parlor called the Cat's Pajamas). Dinner at the Dancing Crab was kind of a family tradition as we all love Maryland blue crabs and it was a treat for Martha whenever she came to visit.  It is always hot in DC this time of year and it must have been pretty warm in the house (no air conditioning until years later).   Shamlan took it all in stride.  He smiled and met everyone comfortably and we promised to meet later in secret.... We were teenagers and my dad wouldn't have approved (he later busted me sneaking back into the house.  An adventure WELL worth the punishment).  Shamlan had to go through the approvals process before I could leave the house for a few hours with him.

Anyways, I have always remembered the date and I still have pieces of the bouquet, collected and carefully preserved in my trunk that has been with me from place to place since those teenage days.  Most of the color has faded, but not all.  (Roses never fade....)

I once heard a family member give an interview after a plane crash.  She said that they had recovered her loved one's suitcase from the crash and it made her ponder how something material and meaningless lived on while someone of such value had perished.  I think of that quote when I see the flowers in my trunk.

I also remember another quote from someone who said that as long as there are still people to remember you,  you are never really gone.  That's true.  I hear him sometimes when someone laughs and I see his look every once in a while through the eyes of another person.  He's never really very far away.

I can't believe how many years have passed and so quickly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dumb and Dumber

Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, July 17 : Police have arrested a young Kuwaiti man for allegedly practicing black magic and having sex with his victims, reports Alam Alyawm daily. The arrest came following a complaint filed by a divorced Kuwaiti woman accusing the man of having sex with her. The complainant said she met the magician in a chat room and he claimed to have powers to solve marital problems with her ex-husband. He then lured her to meet him in his apartment and ‘raped’ her. When police arrested the man he admitted to having sex with the woman. He added it is through inducing women to have sex with him he gets power to cure their ills. He has been referred to the authorities.

- - -

Mesay, 'CONSENSUAL SEX'.  What part of this is "rape"???  If stupid were a crime, the woman should be sent to jail. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fondant Cakes in Kuwait

Have you ever watched Cake Boss?  I love how they do all the amazing designs with fondant.  Well guess what?  La Baguette makes them here in LOTS of shapes and sizes - AND they deliver for you.  I've had 2 of them made now and they are fantabulous.  Prices max out at around 50KD which by US standards is VERY reasonable.

Unfortunately, it is hard to even find info on La Baguette on the net.  Their website is limited and doesn't include photos of their cakes.  Dudes, get on the ball and hire a decent marketing person (I can make referrals).  You would generate SO much more business!  I get questions all the time about "Where can I order a cake in Kuwait?  I'm in the States and would like to have it delivered."  ...Just sayin....

These are the 2 cakes that I ordered from them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shockingly bad service at Jimmy Choo - The Avenues

This incident happened a few months ago, but I haven't been in the mood to complain very much recently and I just put it on the back burner.

Slapperella bought a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes in Dubai. She wore them to ONE event and the strap broke.  She got in touch with someone in customer service in London and asked them what she should do. slaps said she was VERY impressed by their OTT concern and service.  The customer service rep sent her an e-mail and told her to go to the Jimmy Choo store in Kuwait, along with her e-mail, and that they would make sure that they would have it fixed - by sending it back to London.

Kuwait:  Hope for the best, plan for the worst.  If you keep your expectations low, you will not be disappointed....

So we go to Jimmy Choo at the Avenues. We ask Dude if we can speak to the manager.  He is the manager.  We ask him for his name.  He refuses to tell us his last name.  (For the life of me, I can't remember the name he gave us right now.)  Anyhoo, he looks at the shoe and says that it will be ready tomorrow.  Slaps and I look at each other.  I ask,  "Where are you going to have it fixed?  Salmiya?" (You know - at one of those little smelly cobbler places in an alley with plastic as a door... 1KD to fix most items....)  Dude, "Yes.  Salmiya."  Slaps whips out her e-mail.  She said she wants the shoes sent to London.  Dude, "We don't do that.  We will only fix it for you here."

We ask Dude what his last name was - again.  He shouted at us!  HE was shakey- mad at US (aka "customers").  What thaa fuuuuuuuuuuuu.....????

I will never ever go there again. Not for any reason. He was so incredibly rude that I will never darken their doorstep with my dinars again. 

I have to follow-up on this story with Slaps.  Me knows girlfriend - I'm pretty sure she shot someone an angry-gram. 

Me, I would rather buy counterfeit because then my expectations will be right there where I know they'll end up.

The Invisible Problem of Child Molestation in Kuwait

I'm re-printing this from Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait blog because I think it is SUCH an important issue.  People don't talk about it and from my own personal experiences in talking to Kuwaiti friends here, it is rampant.  This is just another reason why I firmly believe it is important to have female judges in Kuwait, more female members of Parliament, and for all to change the archaic family law in Kuwait.

The Invisible Problem of Child Molestation in Kuwait

Published Date: July 08, 2011

By Hussain Al-Qatari, Staff Writer at Kuwait Times.

When children are scared, their instinctive reaction in seeking safety is to turn to their parents. Children are vulnerable, innocent, doling out kisses on the cheeks of parents, aunts and uncles, and they are ever ready to learn from and imitate how adults behave. So what happens if these caretakers are actually the ones abusing the children? Who do children turn to when they are hurt by their parents?

Lawyer Mariam Al-Bahar, a member of the children's rights committee at Kuwait Lawyer's Association, recounted a heartbreaking incident she had to deal with. An 11-year-old girl appeared at school with bloodstains on her clothes for weeks. When a staff member asked her about the reason behind the bloodstains, the girl broke down in tears and refused to speak.

She was then taken to the police station by one of her teachers to file a lawsuit against both her parents. "She kept silent for weeks, but finally spoke up. Her father used to rape her every day. Every day. And when she sought help from her mother, [her mother] slapped her and refused to speak to her again.

Because the girl had no other guardian, she was taken into the custody of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) and put in an institution housing juvenile delinquents since no suitable accommodation was available.

Legislative punishment for child molestation is very strict, but the cultural and social stigma around the subject in Kuwait makes it hard for people to speak up. According to Kuwaiti law, the sentence for a guardian who sexually abuses a child is either death or life imprisonment. Kuwaiti law defines a guardian as a parent, uncle, older sibling, babysitter, teacher or domestic helper.

Lack of reporting

Despite the knowledge that such incidents do take place, however, only a handful are reported. Al-Bahar explained that the majority of abuse victims choose not to file lawsuits: "If the news of a child who was molested by a parent - which happens often in Kuwait - breaks out, the entire family gets affected for many years to come. Because society looks at a family that had such an instance as a family that is contaminated and dirty, it becomes something that the family prefers to keep a secret.

There are several cases she dealt with in which girls were impregnated by fathers, uncles, or brothers and had abortions. In one instance, a girl was taken to a hospital after complications from attempting to abort the pregnancy at home. When the hospital personnel called the police to investigate the suspicious abortion, especially since the girl was in her early teens and had no marriage certificate, the family refused to file a lawsuit.

The siblings ended up taking the sister to the delinquents' rehabilitation center, explained the lawyer. "The social workers there found out her side of the story. She was wrongly put in a place she doesn't belong because her family refused to punish the relative responsible, and they did not want to deal with the shame.

Social Perspective

Kuwaiti society is uncomfortable with talking about sex-related issues. When a sex-related subject is raised in conversation, people will often switch to speaking in coded language about it. Social worker Sawsan Al-Beloushi said: "When a mother finds out that her child's uncle or her own husband is molesting her child, sadly she prefers to keep silent. No-one wants to deal with the stigma of sexual abuse.

Child molestation and abuse is underreported in Kuwait, Al-Beloushi added, with the amount of cases reported representing only a small fraction of what actually takes place. "What is disappointing is that we cannot launch an awareness campaign about the subject," she continued. "People are so used to avoiding this subject, and if a campaign was launched, it would be considered offensive. It is reaching a dangerous and unhealthy state of denial.

For a sexually abused child to speak up takes great courage, and abuse victims need to find support. In this part of the world, children are often taught to blindly obey and respect their elders no matter what those elders ask them to do, explained Al-Beloushi. "A pretty common saying we hear here is, 'If your elder asks you to jump into the ocean and drown, you do it.' This is pretty much what happens to those children. They don't want to be disobedient, even though this blind obedience is leading them towards destruction. At the same time, they are not taken seriously when they complain.

LWDLIK- This is very, very sad. In my books it is the most vilest of crimes. Kuwait needs a childline number to call? Got to be better than waiting for a teacher at school to notice. Families here and their dirty little secrets.


Khiran: Where to Meet Guys in Kuwait at 4 am

I didn't pay much attention to some of my Kuwaiti girlfriends who said that they drive down to Khiran resort area in the weeeeeeeeeee hours of the morning after chalet party.  It kind of went in one ear and out the other.  Like... who DOES that?

Then, by chance, one night in the weeeeeeeeeee hours of the morning, I too found myself driving down there just before sunrise.  To my surprise... dayam!  There's a whole lot of good looking (NORMAL looking) men down there playing soccer, volleyball, or just fishing.  I would imagine that if say a few women were daring (drunk) enough to go down there and hang out at the same time, they might just meet someone interesting.

I have a man - I don't need a new hunting ground, but ...  Just sayin. 

If you haven't been to Khiran resort in years (like I hadn't), you are in for a huge surprise. I barely recognized the place.  I also didn't note the damn speed bumps ("humps" in Briddish).  Nearly cracked an axle, but hey... it was fun.

I'm going to have to go back down there sometime at a reasonable/Godly hour.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Crowne Plaza: I (bloody heart) my machine gun

Who's bright idea was this????

Really??? On a "Contact Us" for feedback site?  I love my machine gun - with a bloody heart?  

Go to LINK.

Aging gracefully - with help

I aint sayin I'm old (and you can't either).  I'm 29.  That's it.  But like, things age.  So, por example,  if I have a car with a few scratches, I'm going to go get it waxed or take it to a body shop to get the dings banged out. If the leather seats are saggy, I go downtown to the interior shop and have new leather put in.   Ergo my post... fix it!

I have no problem in admitting that I've had botox.  I did my forehead twice in the US.  The first time was a Christmas gift from my incredibly kind and generous sister (who probably knew I would get hooked on the needle like her) and the second time was on me.  It was like a mini brow lift and I like the fact that it got rid of that little line right below my forehead on the bridge of my nose that no one will probably ever notice but me.  Don't care.  I feel better.

I'm not one of those women like my boss, Stella, with extraordinary features who seems ageless/timeless.  (Well, she is and I know because I've chatted with her online and we're like a couple of teenagers.)  She's got a frame that can carry her through life - tall and great bone structure.  She wears her hair short and it always looks elegant.  She's of the same mentality as my dad was (God rest his soul) in saying, "Why do you need THAT?  You don't need THAT."  Yuh.... do too, Stella.

(Yo, I am NOT pulling for more money or a bonus, but hey - that would be nice, so I could afford more of this stuff that supposedly I don't "need.")

As those of  you know who follow along in these here adventures (and I have no idea WHY), I had lasic surgery in December and I'm loving it.  Again, compliments of my incredibly kind and generous sister (Mashallah, God bless her. Thank you so much for the gift of sight. Have I told you lately that I love you?)  It was probably the best thing that I've ever done for myself (well, I went through it, but she paid for it).  I can see and having the lasic really helped me through my latest bout of Kuwaiti pink/stink eye.

(So did the cute haircut that Butterfly did for me and the Brazilian Blowout that I got from Ashlee at Strands, Fanar.  Yo, Ashleeeeeeeeeeee!)
I have a line that runs through my head in an endless loop.  Sometime in my past I have heard this (maybe a few times).  When asked what regrets, if any, an elderly person has, the person responds with, "I wish I had taken better care of my teeth."  Ok, I know I need to do that. I don't like the taste of pureed pees or baby food mush.  Plus, on all the "Look 10 Years Younger" shows they are always saying that one of the first signs of aging is a jacked-up smile.  (Not exactly in those words, but close.)  So, methinks I'll get my teeth worked on first and then I'll go for braces.  I want Invisilyn. My sister had them and I have gone to a consultation (Dr. Javed Parker at New Mowasat) and I am a candidate for them.

Step 1:  Fixing the teeth problems first. (Well, after the hair/make up, but that's a given, right?)

I just had the third in my series of root canals.  This was the worst and I just spent 3 hours having it done - it is only half-way finished; need to go back.  This one was the one that I punched the dentist over way back (I can't even tell you how long ago). It was very very painful.   Dentist lady couldn't find the right novocaine. I right crossed her by accident; not my fault.  Anyhoo, ever since that episode in my life (I can't even tell you how long ago), I have had a dental phobia.  Even when I went to get the crown on that particular tooth, I drank half a bottle of vodka and took a percocet (love it!).  Let's call it "nerves". 

I literally "interviewed" 6 dentists in Kuwait to see who would be the lucky candidate to dig in my roots (sounds dirty, eh?).  I informed each that I have a phobia of dentists.  Al Salem Hospital, Dr. Bozo the Clown,  actually laughed at me and then had the nerve - while I was stuck in the chair - to show me a video of how he was planning to burrow a hole into my jaw bone to screw in an implant.  I guess he thought I would be impressed by his TV monitor.  OH PHUCK NO.  He giggled. I started sweating profusely and calling The Romanian for morale support.  I ran to my car (clickety click) to get far, far away.  Then, there was the whole, "It's going to cost you 2,000KD" (with a smile)  visit to Dr. Sexy (Essa) at Asnan Clinic.  There WAS a party in my mouth over there and he WAS invited, but not for that much money.  He was that sexy that I woulda paid, but sorry, not so much.  Dr. Fadi at the International Clinic was very good.  He was my second runner up.  I felt comfortable and confident with him and IC has great, shiny new equipment.  I had a problem in that no clinic in Kuwait can use general anesthesia (without being attached to a hospital) and I wanted that option should I start freaking out.  Dr. Mohammed at the Salmiya Government Clinic (behind the fire station at the end of 4th Ring Road) was also very good, but ditto on the general and the look of the place was also kinda worrying.

So, I went to New Mowasat - which actually takes my dental insurance (that wasn't even a consideration because I just needed to feel comfortable first and foremost).  The kinda comfortable I felt at Asnan was toooo comfortable - OTT comfortable.  After-care, outpatient, at-home service kinda comfortable. 
It was too good..... just sayin.

Dr. Unni Krishnan at New Mowasat Hospital is a miracle worker.  He is the Tooth Whisperer. 

I first bit the heads off two receptionists before I even got in to see Dr. Unni.  I was nervous.  They F-ed up my appointments.  (Don't DO that when I'm already a phobe!  Don't DO that in a sing-songy "Thank you, sirmaaaam" voice when I know it is sickly insincere.)  Anyhoo...  Dr. Unni managed to turn the Desert Girl Evil Twin ("bitchy" Desert Girl) into calm and collected Desert Girl.  He talked me down off the ledge.  He is half psychiatrist and half dentist and half angel (I know that's too many halves - don't care).  He managed to save my bad bad tooth that the others said they would probably have to pull.  Wooo hooo - no screwy implant (that no way in Hell I would ever go back to get).  Dr. Unni made it all painless and I didn't need general.  He worked slowly and talked calmly.  I love him and I can't say enough about how good his work is.  He has small hands too - which I find very important for both dentists and gynecologists. 

Ok, so we have the Tooth Plan.  Check and future check.

What's next, you ask?

Desert Girl has always hated her stomach (I also hate people who talk about themselves in the third person, but that's another story).  While at New Mowasat, I went across the hall to Dr. Hirsch, the German plastic surgeon to check out lypo and a tummy tuck.  He charged 30kd to look at me neked (shouldn't it be the other way around??) and told me it would run around 3,500KD.

Here is my question to all you Kuwaiti (and other) ladies who have had the lypo/tummy tuck done:  who is good in Kuwait and how much did you pay?

I like all my other parts (for now).  I guess at some point, I'm going to have to have The Girls lifted, but they're doing okay now and have so far not been terribly affected by a downward affect of gravity. I suppose that as long as I can still roll 'em up into a Miracle Bra, they'll be okay.

Does anyone really want to play with Old Barbie anyways?  Je thinks not.  Girlfriend, get some highlights and a little Botox!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Thugs working in the National Assembly

If a member of your staff is a thug, what does that say about you?

Arab Times
July 5, 2011
National Assembly employee hit:

An Asian man working for the Services Department at the National Assembly and identified only as Yousef, has filed a complaint with the Parliament guards against the secretary of MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei accusing the man of humiliating him, reports Al-Shahed daily. It has been reported several employees rushed to the spot when they heard someone screaming for help and they found the Asian being dragged along the floor by the suspect. In his complaint the worker said he ignored the calls from the secretary because he was carrying some urgent documents for his boss and the former reportedly lost his temper, verbally abused the worker and dragged him along the floor.
- - -

Once again, so much for diplomacy.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Euthenasia Dilema and my visit to Al-Rai Vet Hospital

I finally had the stray cat outside my house with the mangled leg put down.   She seemed to be okay for a long time, but recently I noticed that she seemed to be in a lot of pain and had been hanging around my door and windows a lot; not just in a manner that would appear to be a plea for food, but more of for help.  Someone stopped by about a week ago - a friend of a friend - who said he would pick her up and take her to "get fixed", but then never showed up.  That made me wonder what the quality of her life would be post-op. She was pretty messed up and I didn't know the guy well enough to believe that he would nurse her back to health.  As it was, he wasn't reliable to even call me back, so  I decided that having her euthanized would be the only alternative, but it wasn't an easy decision or one that I took lightly.

I got her into a pet carrier via chicken thrown into the back.  It wasn't too difficult, but she was fighting it once she was caught.  When she finally calmed down, she made constant noises that sounded like, "Noooooo..."  It really tore at me. 

I called my mom for reassurance and to make sure that I was doing the right thing.  My mom grew up on a cattle farm with something like 30 barn cats.  We are both really allergic now.  She told me that I really didn't have a choice if it was suffering.

The Romanian goes with me to help me with animal issues because she is a good soul and knows how traumatic it is for me, but it has a big affect on her. When we found the field of dead horses outside of Ahmadi Race Track years ago (2007), her blood pressure soared and she was in bed for a few days.  She's a good friend.

I took her to Al-Dolhama vets next to the Friday market, but  they were closed (around 7pm), so we went around the corner to Al-Rai vet hospital.  I could hear dogs barking at the Friday Market - I wish they would close that place.  I had never been to Al-Rai before, but I was impressed by the environment.  When you walk in, the kennels are to the left (which didn't actually impress me because the dogs seemed to be stressed by people walking by) and groomers are directly in front.  The seating area is really big (large enough to walk a few horses into if they had do) with chairs all the way around the room and an area with plants and televisions in the middle in an air conditioned atrium. It looks more like a cafe than a lobby of a veterinary hospital. They have a refrigerator where they sell cold drinks and snacks for people waiting beside large area with pet products and food.

There weren't many people there.  A few dogs with their owners.  There was a young Kuwaiti girl holding back an enormous Rottweiller and we smiled at each other knowingly whenever the dog scared the bejezus out of whatever large, tough-looking Kuwaiti man who jumped to avoid it. Tee hee.  You go, girlfriend!

The vet rooms are slightly cleaner than Al-Dolhama's.  One interesting item was the observation camera in the corner in the ceiling.  (I always love it when employers feel the need to spy on their employees.  Great motivational factor.)

The doctor's bedside manner left something to be desired (that is usually a management issue:  a happy employee is a productive/friendly employee).  Not real friendly, but informative.  He asked me a few questions about the cat, "Is it still eating?  Can it walk?"  I said yes to both and then he told me that he couldn't euthanize it.  What?  (This was before he opened the cage to look at the cat.)  While he was opening the cage he said, "... unless it has been in an accident..." (and then...) ooooooh...."  I think that's when the smell hit him and he caught a look at her leg.  Bad, bad, bad.   He decided to put her down.

I found out later from my Source-of-All-Things-Animal-Related-in-Kuwait that the owner of the hospital mandates their policy on euthenasia:  if it can walk and eat, they normally won't put it down.  As everyone knows, however, eating is a survival instinct of any animal, so if it can eat, it will - even if it doesn't stay down.  Sometimes putting an animal to sleep to end its suffering should be the vet's call - not an administrators.  However, everyone has their own perspective I suppose.

Anyways, I felt better that the cat is no longer in pain - especially in the sweltering heat and dust.  Poor little thing.

She is the third cat in Kuwait I have had to put down.  The other 2 were also found strays in distress.  I would rather take them to be put to sleep than allow them to suffer unnecessarily.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.