Monday, August 29, 2011

Caterer who can FOLLOW American recipes?

My friend, Flyboy, is looking for a caterer to work his annual Thanksgiving fete.  He and his wife usually spend 2 days cooking for around 20 people.  This year, he would like to give someone his recipes and pay them to cater.  The kicker is that the caterer actually has to STICK TO the recipes.

(...and then, I'll sneak in my own recipes, pay the caterer, and pretend that I made them.  Hehee.)

We wouldn't want Flyboy's Thanksgiving to include "stuffing log" (WTF is a stuffing log???) as the Crowne Plaza has mistakenly made for American palates in the past.  (Also, CP, Asian noodle salad is NOT one of our staple T-day sides!)

Anybody know anybody?  Write to me:


Several of my girlfriends have gynormous engagement rings.  My sister has one that you can see from space.

So, since Southern Bedu has asked, we started discussing traditions.  Special K has just gone through the engagement process and got a ring for his fiance, so I suggested that SB have a chat with him.  Southern comes back with, "You live in Kuwait.  It isn't our tradition to get a big ring."


I stop. I pause.  I smile.

'Do you really want to go there?'
(SB:  deer-in-the-headlights look) 
'Ok, let's do this Kuwaiti style.  I want a big mahar (dowry) and chabka (jewel encrusted 3 piece gold jewelry set given at the wedding) and a wedding at the Sheraton and dresses and a car and....' 

He's like, "Okay! Okay!  You'll get the ring."

Good boy.

We don't know when and details and all that.  I would like to stay engaged for like 5 years because when it comes down to it, I get nerves and would rather not think that far ahead.  Eeek.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm back; now what?

'tay, so I haven't written in a while.  I am usually depressed for a while after I return from the States and I'm in no mood for anything. Special K reminded me that I should do my civic duty and provide an update.  So here goes.

I had a great time in the States - Laughed a lot, ate a lot, didn't drink much (as you know, I go there to dry out/rehab), and basically had a great time with my family.  It was one of those non-productive trips.  I didn't accomplish anything and unfortunately, I didn't get around to see many of my friends.  I was just happy being with my sisters, their families, and of course my moms.  It was a relaxing trip.

I've been back for a week now (as of yesterday).  It feels like I've been back for about 6 months.

While in the States, Pretty Girl was making her journey to the States to be a foreign exchange student through the YES Program and was going through Dulles.  So moms and I met her at the airport and welcomed her to the land of our people.

Pretty Girl is there on the  Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. There were about  30 kids in all from Kuwait.  "AMIDEAST is one of five organizations that administer a component of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. This U.S. Department of State-funded scholarship program provides secondary school students in 39 countries spanning throughout the Middle East, Africa, South/Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and South America, the opportunity to live and study in the United States for a full academic year."  It is a great program and open to students of all nationalities and Bedoon (stateless/no nationality).

Anyhoo, she was coming into Washington for a 3-day orientation before travelling on to California to meet up with her host family.  Cali - of all places!  Girlfriend lucked out.  At the airport, she was so excited and bubbly and was so cute. My mom immediately fell in love with her and understood why I have been talking about her (and her brother and sisters) for the past years.  I'm so proud of her.  I would say that The Man's major life accomplishment has been raising outstanding, well-mannered, compassionate, intelligent and kind children. 

Whatup with the weather on the East Coast?  The night before PG arrived, we had the WORST thunder/lightning storm I've seen in the DC area. There was even some hail added. In the middle of the night, the thunder shook my bed.  After I left, there was a 5.8 earthquake which freaked everybody out, but didn't cause any damage.  Now, there is a Category 1 hurricane going on.  WTF.  My mom is worried that her house is going to slide into the lake.  I'm calling her every night (new Vonage!  Wooo hooo) to make sure she's still there.

Now, on to something much more important...

This trip, I managed to shop more than I think I ever have before.  Before, I brought a lot of gifts for other people. This time, it was all about me me me and my dog!  I only bought 2 pairs of shoes, though.  I'm very proud that I didn't go beyond that. For some reason, this time I bought dresses (and I almost never wear dresses, but they are so pretty and I'm going to try to wear them more often).   I also bought a Magic Jack (only $40) and a Vonage box, so I can call my family for next-to-nothing.  (I'm so sick of Zain - I can't even tell you.  Why can't they put an itemized phone bill online?  Why the F is it so hard?  Please - explain to me why I'm paying 100KD a month on my phone bill!)

The luggage weigh-in:   I had three 50 pound suitcases, 2 boxes shipped to a friends APO, and one Aramex box (which still hasn't arrived yet - THANKS Aramex).  United has changed it's baggage policy, but it really doesn't affect me very much.  Previously, you were allowed two, 50 pound bags at no charge and each additional bag was $250.  Now, you are only allowed one bag; the 2nd bag is $70; and the 3rd bag is $200.  So, in my mind, I am only paying an additional $20.  No biggie.

Our flight was delayed 4 and a half hours because there was something wrong with the bathrooms.  Dayam.  Nobody complained and I actually had a good flight.  When I arrived in Kuwait, Southern Bedu was to pick me up and made the ENORMOUS mistake of parking curbside and expecting me to go outside to find him - like I'm a khadama or something.  As IF.  Yeh.  He made a few more little mistakes after that and I sent him home.  Puhleeze!  I'm gone for a month and I need to re-train.  I hate the re-training.  This is part of the reason why I stayed in a dead-end relationship for 5 years:  He knew what I wanted and how to accomplish it. No training.  No fuss.  No muss.  Just did it.  (Okay until he royally F-ed up and that was it. --- Bygones.)

I'm back in Kuwait and the very next day, Spanx delivers her baby girl (hereby referred to as Berkini). It was like a welcome home gift to me.  (That's right, me, me, me...) She's so cute and small and (I love you, Spanx) too damn much work for me.  I've decided I'm way too selfish to ever have a baby.  Just can't do it.  I admire people like Spanx and hubby who can do it;  I don't know how.  I just don't even want to think about it because it is making me tired.  All that crying and cleaning up and waking up and feeding.  No no no.  (I think I need to lay down now.)  Anyhoo, Berkini is adoreable and I get to visit and buy cute baby clothes and I don't have to do any work.  Good deal there.  I do wish that Spanx would learn to Kuwaiti-fy a little and get a nanny so that she could have some down time. 

I'm having an "empathetic Ramadan".  I'm not fasting and yet I'm tired and hungry all the time.  Whatup with that?  Slapperella said the same thing.  I guess we are just picking up vibes from other people.

Southern Bedu doesn't fast because he's on meds for epilepsy.  Hey, BTW:  does anyone know any epilepsy centers or support groups in Kuwait?  I don't have much information about it and neither does SB.  I would like to learn more. I hope he spends some time with his family during Eid.  Dude spends all his time with me; which is great and I am NOT complaining.  I just want him to be happy and spend a little time with his people.  Aint that a thang:  I used to worry that I wouldn't get to spend time during Eid and Ramadan with The Man.  That is just such a non-issue now and it is so natural that SB and I spend time together.  Of course we would; that's what normal couples do.  I can't believe how much has changed in such a short amount of time.  Mashallah.

Anyhoo, most of our friends aren't fasting either.  I've found a support group of naughty people and we've formed a club.  Well hey - there isn't much to DO during Ramadan since they closed all the tents and took away all the fun of it.  I refuse to pay astronomical prices at stupid restaurants that are price-gouging during the month.  It seems like a lot of people in Kuwait have caught onto that game as well.  We used to go out for iftar, but not anymore.  (Not like we have real reason to, but sometimes you just want to go out.)

So this weekend, we got together with friends and went to one of the guys' chalets in Bnaider.  Much fun.  Somebody asked me if I am a teacher.  Now, why the F do Kuwaitis still assume that I'm a teacher?  Dude is an Ivy League graduate and heads up a group of companies.  I don't believe he was saying it to be insulting.  Nothing wrong with being a teacher, but don't ASSume that just because I'm a foreign woman, I'm a teacher. That is so 80's old-school Kuwaiti.   How about just asking what I do.  Is it THAT hard?  Dayam.  I guess education has nothing to do with stereotyping.  (He's a nice guy, so I didn't bite his head off.)

I did get the opportunity to bitchslap Special K this weekend and it was most gratifying.  Supposedly, he didn't actually hang up on me, but the call dropped (twice -- right after he told me and SB what he wanted from the jameeya).   Since it was a recurring theme, I thought he hung up on us.  Anyhow, in any case, NOT a koshable offense, but good excuse to bitchslap K (since I had the Chappelle skit of Rick James/Charley Murphy in my head).  "Charley Murphy!  What did the five fingers say to the face?  SMACK!"   I think Special K actually liked it (which made it kind of gross and disappointing).  Southern Bedu was upset that he didn't get to see it (was on the other side of the car).  Tee hee.  Sorry, K, but you know what; you were worried about me not being "myself" these days and now you have it.  BAM! - back to myself.  Celebrate, bitches!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Listen to this shet.... (or read maybe not listen, eh?)

I went to my regular bank where I've had an account for the past 20+ years (Yep, I'm 29.  My parents must have opened it, right).  I withdrew a bunch of money - all in $100 notes.  I then went to my mother's bank to deposit it into her account. 

They told me that they were confescating one of the $100 notes because it was COUNTERFEIT.  They looked at me hinky; kinda sideways and shifty like I was trying to pull one over on them.  You know the look - like the one your mother gives you when she thinks you've done something wrong. 

What The Pluck????  Desert Girl is NOT a counterfeiter (nor an international spy - truth be told).

They just took the money and changed the amount on my deposit slip.  I was at the drive-thru window and at first, I just drove away.  Then I went back inside and told them, "I wouldn't be so pissed off if Joe Shmuck just handed me a counterfeit bill, but a BANK?" (bank #1).   They gave me a report, but said there was nothing they could do.  They also showed me the bill and showed me how I could tell the difference.  (At that point, I believe I sufficiently revealed my innocence and they felt pity on me.)

I call my bank.  They said they couldn't check "every bill" to ensure authenticity.  Whaaaaat?  Dude, youse check every large bill that is deposited - what about the ones that are withdrawn?  I spoke to some bambi who said that the manager was "off site" and would call me back.

She did - a few hours later.  She was really really nice and I apologized for wigging out on Bambi.  She said she would have done the same.  Me said that I have the report and the serial number.  Manager Lady said she would see what she could do.

Next time, Je is going to ask for ten notes  instead of hundreds.  Maybe even one dollar bills.  Funk dat.

So bank #2 told me that counterfeiters sometimes wash out $5 notes and then re-print $100's over them.  The bastards.

I'm down $100.  Obviously, I caught ahold of somebody's bad juju.  Not good.  That's my luck.  Aint that some shet?

Saturday, August 13, 2011