'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.)