Monday, September 05, 2011

Little things make me happy

I had a GREAT Eid break.  So great that I felt that I needed to be re-trained when I got back to work yesterday.  I've been in slow-mo (although, Stella, I am managing to eek out a little work.  Really.  Honest.)  Stella is on vacation and sounds like she is on a REAL one this time.  She sounds relaxed and happy (mashallah).

So, back to me, me, me....

Southern Bedu (I'm not liking his nickname and I may have to change it soon) spent the whole week with me and I didn't even get sick of him.  Not once. Usually by about the 3rd day, I am already sick of anybody around (not just a man) and want some alone-time.  Not this time:  We had a really nice holiday. 

The only time he left was when he went to visit his family for Eid.  I sent flowers for his mommy.  He said she probably woudn't like flowers.  (WHAT woman doesn't like flowers?)  Anyhoo, he came back happy - with a huge bouquet of pink roses for me too.

We went to a friend's chalet with Special K, Pookey (K wanted me to call her "Lolli" but that just doesn't fit her.  She's about the same height as Snooky, and twice as adorable and way more elegant/intelligent/upper class, yet equally as perky.  She's cute like a pookey-bear so there it is.  Pookey.) and the chalet owner, Sir Software (not to be confused with "softie").  I posted about this before.  Pookey is recently married to Emiril of the East and is quite happy.  Emiril never leaves work, so Pookey hangs out with us and other circles of fascinating and interesting people.

SB and I went boating with Special K, his brother, and BamaMan.  It was SB's first time on a boat and I wanted to buy him water wings before we left (he can't swim). I asked for a life preserver.  He makes me giggle.  He's just a big, happy guy; always up for an adventure and always flexible about everything.  We went to eat and get SB sheesha-fied at Marina Crescent.  He told me later that sheesha there is like 7kd.  That's CRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAZY.  Expensive dirty nasty habit.

We had dinner at Spanx's house one night and got to spend more quality time with Berkini and Spanx's inlaws who are visiting from the States. SB helped them get Berkini's birth certificate which, as anybody in the know knows, is a major pain in the butt sometimes - exspecially for foreigners.   SB arrived late because he stopped to buy sweets and blocked traffic (I don't want to say "typical Bedouin guy" but hey... if the shumakh fits....) and the cops stopped him.  Cop said, "You look younger now than you do in your license photo.  What happened?"  He said, "Divorce." (tee hee.)  We had a great time at Spanx's as usual.  I love her inlaws.  Great people.  Good times.  Spanx did NOT look like she had given birth 11 days before.  She is always pretty, but she really snapped back from being out-to-here pregnant in a jiffy.

Had lunch with SB, Pookey and Butterfly on the weekend at Muhallab.  Slaps has been bagging out a lot lately. Tsk tsk. 

My man, SB, is very good at home projects.  I'm liking this.  We went to Shuwaikh to buy outdoor light fixtures and ended up at Abyat.  If you haven't ever been there, you should really go.  I'm a girl who LOVES hardware stores (and not just for the mancandy) and this one is really good.  Plus, it also satisfies my girlieness with all the pretty things and linens.  It ain't cheap, mind you.  I plunked down 70kd for a duvet cover and 4 pillow cases, but heeeeeey, they're nicsche (big pink peonies).  Oh, anyhoo, so... we were looking for outdoor lights - which proved to be way too expensive at Abyat (and they didn't have exactly what I was looking for).  We went across Canada Dry Street (which is the extension of 3rd Ring Road by the by) and went to one of the small lighting stores and bought some.  Bada BING.

My big thrill was the vacuum cleaner, however.  If you read back on my old posts, you will know how I was on a happy-high for seveal weeks after the purchase of my 1400 watts of sucking power Hoover a few years ago.  I'm not a cheap vacuum cleaner kinda gal; even IF I don't use it and my maid does.  It has always gots to be an upright with some wattage.  So, years have gone by and after several attempts at fixing it (WTF DO maids do with vacuum cleaners - I wanna know), I set out in search of a new one; in my LEAST favorite place in Kuwait to shop - Hawalli. 

I don't go to Hawalli unless I really really really really have to.  I have to get all aggressive and drive jungly and put up with skanky-ass-mall-Joes leering at my butt while blowing smoke (ick, ick ew - cooties!!!).  They nas-teh.  It is one of the few remaining pockets in Kuwait where people still stare at foreign women as if we just walked off a porno set (regardless of how you look or how much you weigh or what you are wearing). It's like they're saving the mental picture for later if you know what I mean.    (Desert Girl, tell us how you really feel about Hawalli....)  Anyhoo, I did NOT want to go there, but I did.  And I'm glad.  Only because of my outstanding purchase.

Now, there are Excite stores all over Kuwait and why the F wouldn't I just check in one of those first, eh?  Who knows how my mind works.  As fate would have it, I pulled right up and got a parking space right in front of the door.  Mashallah, I always amaze with my parkma.  First thing I notice is the chocolate fountain in the adjacent electronics store, Wazzan.  (Now, who in their right mind would put a small appliance store right next to the gynormous, variety-packed Excite?  Why is that the norm in Kuwait?  You find clusters of same-item stores together.  That's just dumb.)  Ok, first things first:  Vacuum cleaner. 

So, The Romanian and I swooped into Excite into a gaggle of blue-shirted, staring men, who I can only assume are there just to look at you funny and apply copious amounts of hair gel during their breaks (or not).  Other than that, they're about as useful as tits on a bull.  (Back to my story. Yes, again.)  So, I have been thinking of buying a cute little phone for the longest time now and I was almost there to buy it.  Dumb hairgel blue shirt (I don't want to say 'salesman' because that implies 1. knowledge and 2. salesmenship) showed me the phone, and flipped it open; told me how much it costs after discount.  I said I would take it.  DHBS told me they were out of stock.  Now, why the F would you go through all that when the first thing you could say was, "That's out of stock, but we can get you one."  DHBS! 

I hate shopping at Alghanim stores on principal and I will take a moment now to discuss why.
 Alghanim stores MUST employ about 1,000 workers each because there is a menial task for everyone:  paper stampers, security guards roaming about for no apparent reason, people who are supposed to be salesmen, but are really just zombies with hair gel.  If you buy anything - from 1kd to 10,000, you have to get an A4 sized invoice with your name and contact details on it.  And, similar to most ministries in Kuwait, it must be stamped.  Twice.  In order to even get that peice of paper, you have to be in the right department.  Same store, multiple departments.  Now, if you like say cosmetic body scrubs, you have to pay for that at a different department than the linen items you have in your other hand (about 100 feet away from each other).  To buy linens, you have to go over and wait in line with about 40 other people being helped one at a time (although there are SIX - count em) "salespeople" behind the counter, staring at the floor to avoid making eye contact with customers, God forbid. Oh, and yes, they do make buying on credit VERY easy, but just go there and try to make a payment.  No one who works there knows where to send you.  You may end up (like me) in the wrong place, standing in line after taking a number to get yet another A4 sized piece of paper - stamped TWICE.  Have they never heard of online payment systems?  Seems like they have a lot of money invested in A4 paper; maybe they should look at better IT.  Why do I continue to shop there?  Well, they really do have nice items and it is a SHAME that they have (what must be) such horrible operational management processes.

Anyways, no one understood what either "vacuum cleaner" or "Hoover" meant, so in International Sign Language, I had to make the motions of actually using one while simultaneously making a bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz noise.  They laughed.  It suddenly occurred to me that maybe they thought I was simulating a vibrating device.  Bygones.   They pointed towards the down escallator.  We went downstairs and into the corner where The Gorgeous, Sparkly Upright was!  Ok, so it is a Wansa (usually said with contempt by locals because it is made in China - as IF everyting in America and elsewhere is not), but I got a 3 year warranty for 3kd extra.  I forget how much the regular price is - I think around 50kd.  Nice knowlegeable English Speaking Salesman told me that it was discounted to 30kd.  Then he checked the computer and (insert harp music playing and angels singing here) it was further discounted to TWENTY KD!  Holy SNAP!  And did I mention it is red and shiny - just like a new Corvette?  Fassssssssssssscinating.   

So, on the way out, I stopped back at the Wazzan shop to buy the chocolate fountain.  It is part of their Disney appliance line.  If I had seen another chocolate fountain anywhere else (and please write to me and tell me if you have seen one), I would have bought it.  I don't like this toy-like appliance much.  For one thing, it has Mickey Mouse feet.  For another thing, the service was so God-awful autrocious that I shoulda just walked out (but I kept picturing strawberry skewers covered in Herseys and I couldn't stop myself).  RUDE rude rude people work there. 

On the way out of the jungle (Hawalli), we almost got in 2 accidents with people cutting in front of us. Jungly.  I swearaGod, I just want to buy a bigass junker of a car - something like a 1980 Yukon or the likes - and drive around crashing into frickin IDIOTS in little white crap cars.  That too would make me so happy.  Little things, right?


TisMe said...

That's a loooooong post. I hope you don't mind selective readers , what caught my attention IS "International Sign Language" WHAT?! you've been living here for a decade and a half and you can't speak Arabic?Shaaaaaaaaammmmmmeeeeeee!

And about Shisha at Marina Crescent its 3.5KD not 7Kd anyhow its still expensive but the place is nice .

Desert Girl said...

TisMe - Yo. Yes that long. Puhleeze. If you were in the States that long would you know ALL the vocabulary? What is vacuum cleaner in Arabic? (And by the by - I don't know what "vibrator" is in Arabic either.)

However, I know - it is shameful. (the Arabic. Notsomuch the vibrator.)

We went to Ayyame. Are you talking about that restaurant or Tche Tche?

TisMe said...

I know most vocabulary without even living there so i assume I would know ALL the vocabulary in a matter of 2-5years.
Anyway,Vacuum cleaner is called Micknasuh/Ma5amah in Arabic (Let's just say English and Arabic share the same word in "vibrator" case lol)

And Yes im talking about Ayyame We went there on the second day of Eid Tche Tche was full.At first they told us there was no place inside so we had to sit outside but it got wayy too hot and wet"LITERALLY" for us.We talked to them again and they found us a place inside!And yes shisha is 3.5kd in Ayyame.

Desert Girl said...

We live in a country where English is the 2nd language; it is spoken everywhere and even the street signs are in English. If everything here was purely in Arabic, I probably would push myself to learn more Arabic vocabulary. (But c'mon - how often do you use the word "vacuum cleaner"?? The Romanian was with me and she has lived here for 25 years and couldn't remember the word. Gimme a break!) I get by as it is and I can cuss in Arabic like a mofo (practical application of language). Lucky you that you get to learn English so quickly, eh?

Yeah, 3.5 is still high to get your smoke on (so to speak). They also seated us outside for a while under the misters - which I hate (they mess up your hair and I hate humid conditions under any circumstances). I love their food, though. Wish they would open more locations.

Thanks for the clarification. :)

Anonymous said...

Funny funny post and all so true