Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oktoberfest - Desert Girl Style

This has been such a lovely month.  Je suis content.  Yup.  (Mashallah)

I was away for a few weeks at the Association of the US Army's convention in DC.  Why the Hell hasn't anyone invented a transporter like on Star Trek?  Why can't I just beam over to DC? 

I travelled with eye problems and I returned with eye problems. This has been going on for a long time and it is a pain in my ... well, in my eyes.  It huwwwwts.  I don't like it.  Been back to the doctor and it is dry eye brought on by whatever virus I had at the end of September/early October.  I hate not being able to wear make-up.  People don't even recognize me.  It's pathetic.  The doctor says (supposedly) 2 more weeks of this.  Jeezy peezy.  I tried my damndest to cure it with alcohol/intoxication therapy, but even that didn't work.  [Ironically, although the title of this is "Oktoberfest" - I don't drink beer.  Never have.  Can't stand the taste of it (since the 6th grade when I chugged one and threw up all over the playground at The Paine School).]

So anyways, DC is always gorgeous at this time of the year.  All the leaves were changing color and for some reason, this year must have been a bumper crop of pumpkins;  they were huge and they were everywhere.  So pretty. 

By the way, happy Halloween.  I love this holiday.
The day that I arrived, my sister and nephew and I went to the annual Midieval festival.  Or should I say, Festival of Weird-O's.  Holy snap!  They take this thing seriously.  My sister says that they are either there to participate or to make fun of.  We were the later.  The whole place is drunk.  Then, they start talking to each other about their weird costumes; or they go to the jousting tournaments and shout as loud as they can.  Freaky.  It made me very nervous. My nephew loved it.  He brought his 3' wooden sword.  Why?  I have no idea.  He dragged that thing around all day and ate a seriously greezy turkey leg and was completely content.  Whyyyy?

I got to meet the new addition to our family:  Harley.  He's gorgeous and I adore him already.  He has the most unnaturally soft fur that I've ever seen on a dog.  And he has a lot of the same character traits that Rascal, who died recently, did. 

Stella arrived a few days after me.  My sister took us to her beach house in Ocean City and again - the weather was amazing.  It was so pretty there.  We ate, we drank, we giggled.    We went to eat crabs one night and the next day for lunch we had lobster (rolls and salad) and of course more drinks.  We visited the sea and walked in the surf.  What a happy time. It was the best time I can remember for a long time.  When you look back at your life sometimes you have a string of days that stick out in your memory and that was one.

I drove down into rural Virginia one day with my mother; just to go to a roadside stand that my sister had taken her to a few weeks before.  We bought some apples and drove back.  The countryside was full of green pastures with red and brownish trees along the sides.  There are a lot of deer right now in the area and (I hate this) it is deer hunting season.  I almost hit one, one night; a big buck that darted in front of the car.  I'm always on the look out for them so I had plenty of time to stop.  Its always kinda magical to see them boppin around.

I've become so accustomed to going to the States that I try to fill the days as much as possible.  Sometimes I look back and find it hard to believe that I did so much in a few weeks' time.  (And how many pairs of shoes I could buy!!!  (OMG! - shooooooes!  Booooooots!)

I got back just before Sandy hit.  I'm glad for that.  My sister was worried about her house and about their boat docked in front.  We've heard from her neighbors that both are fine.

So I got back to Kuwait ....  Stealth and The Romanian picked me up from the airport.  They so sweet.  I went home and slept and slept.

And the next day....

Happy.  (I'm going to call him "Happy" after his nickname on an app.)
I've seen my lawyer/friend's best friend, Happy, many times over the years.  He's a nice guy, but never really thought about him (never "saw" him even though he was right in front of me the whole time) until just now when I got back and he made me notice him.  When I say that I need a man to impress me, I mean it.  I'm impressed.  How did he do it?  He was completely up-front and direct with me immediately. He made me a priority.   He told me how he felt about me and asked the same of me.  He told me what he wanted a future together to be like.  It was that simple.  He's even doing that one thing that is so important to me:  He likes my dog and the feeling is mutual.  If you don't pass my dog test, you don't get to stick around very long.  (I've been asked before by stupid people, "If you had to choose between me and your dog, who would you choose?"  Ya know, people, I don't even need to hear the end of that sentence to answer, 'My dog.' It's a no-brainer.) 

Disclaimer:   If a guy doesn't call me or SMS while I'm away from him; he doesn't impress me.  If he doesn't call immediately when I return; he doesn't impress me.  Show up at the airport to greet me;  that impresses me.  If he is tentative about plans or doesn't see an immediate need to see me:  he doesn't impress me.  (Booty calling does NOT impress me.)  Wishy-washy, namby-pamby does NOT impress me. Grow some cojones, be direct, be a man.  Impress.  End of disclaimer.
Ironically, Happy is the cousin of the man who got me to Kuwait for work (another lawyer).  He  and his cousin don't get along well at all because of the difference in their political and religious views.  We have that in common!  [I was recruited by the Khwan al Muslemeen and I never fit in with their niche (so to speak).  I am grateful - as I should always be - because they got me to Kuwait.  But that's another story that I don't know if I will/should write about.]  Happy is single (never married - no baggage), he's in my age group, he's financially solvent, he travels, he's got a great sense of humor, and the initial signs are all good.  Mashallah.  The Romanian is my Romance Barometer. She always knows who is going to be good for me.  She told me a long time ago to take a better look at Happy, but I didn't pay attention.  I am now.

Bu Merdas came around about a month before I left and wanted to get back together again - but on his idiotic terms (seriously - too idiotic to even write down) and with his recurring theme of lack-of-communication.  Oh.My.God.  Would you grow up and learn how to just TALK to me???  RRRRR!  He called The Romanian while I was away and talked to her at length about me and our relationshit.  Why is it so difficult just to talk to the person you are in the relationshit with?   Why you gotta go talk to my best friend?  Je ne get it pas.  Are we in high school?  Now he's sending me mushy romantic photos over the internet.  Sigh.  That aint gonna do it for me, buddy.  It seems that he only wants me when I move on and don't want him anymore.

All women want is to feel secure.  That's it.  Secure.  For the most part, we don't need a whole bunch of stuff (although there are a lot of gold-diggers and high-maintenance biotches who do).  Not me.  I just want someone to tell me how he feels about me, means it, and shows me.  What is the big deal?

I've known Bu Merdas for 10 years.  A lot of truly good (dare I even say 'exceptional'?) could have happened in that 10 years, but I've never felt secure with him.  He's never allowed me to.  Not once. Never let me in.  That little voice in the back of my head talked to me.   Happy makes me feel infinitely more secure already.  I love direct.  He's direct.  Why can't more men just be direct? Why the insecurity and secrecy?

The Man would never talk to me.  That used to drive me crazy.  He might talk to me later - sometimes much later - when it was pointless.  Who knows what might have happened had he just been direct and talked to me?  How can you be secure when you don't have all the information?

No regrets wallah.  Everything happens for a reason and it is all good.

Right before I left, I met a new friend by chance (in kindof a strange way) who is a breast cancer survivor.  Her arthritis (brought on by chemo) was bothering her.  I talked to her yesterday and she says the cancer is back.  She said that she was sorry to tell me that - since we were new friends and I don't need the drama.  Sometimes people are sent your way to make you look at your surroundings differently.  Or perhaps you can help them in a way when they (or you) need a friend. God doesn't make mistakes.

So anyhoo, is this going to be a great winter or what?  Wow!  The rain and the thunder/lightening storm when I arrived from DC I took as a sign of good things to come.  Mashallah, I have THE most amazing group of friends I could ever wish for and everything is looking good in my world.  I'm wishing the same for all the people I know (real and virtual).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the subject of cheating

On my Desert Girl Facebook page, I wrote a little diddy about having a fun fling with a handsome Kuwaiti friend.  I discovered - by basically stalking him on FB - that he is dating a friend-of-a-friend.  Likesay, it was only a fun fling and I hadn't even had the chance to really get to know him before all this happened, so no loss.  He was a good kisser and it was wanaaaaaaaaaaaasa. Sigh.  (And okay... to be honest... where do you draw the line for when cheating starts?  At kissing?)  I do feel bad for his girlfriend, however.  She seems like a sweet girl; totally in love.  She's all over facebook with it (people would you learn how to set your security?!  Dayum.)  Probably doesn't have a clue.  ...WAKE UP!!! 

I used to be that innocent.  Now my ears are highly sensitive bullshyt detectors.  I learned, like many of us do, the hard way.  Now unfortunately I'm one of those jaded women (not girls) who tends to anticipate the negative first before allowing myself to hope for the positive.  I'm the poster child for why men date stupid, young, innocent girls who don't know any better.

Then, I got responses from people saying that I should tell her.  Uh... no thank you.  Why - so she could hate ME and tell her friend (who is also my friend)?  So she could run back to him and tell him I told her?  Why would I want to do that?  Hurt her?  Maybe she's cheating too:  I don't know.  Not my business.  I can only stay away from him and wish them the best.

So anyhoo, the Facebook string opened up a whole can o'worms on the subject of cheating.  Some Kuwaiti ladies even chimed in that it is cultural.

What do you think?

What do I think?  I believe that certain species of animals like wolves and maybe swans mate for life, but humans:  not so much.  I'm just not a believer anymore.  Wish I was, Peter Pan, but those days are gone.  I'm still waiting for the magic to return to Never-never Land. 

In this part of the world, there is no monetary punishment for cheating, so it is kind of game-on.  In the States, if you are married and you cheat, you have broken the marriage contract and you pay for it when you divorce. Not here.  Nope.  Dude can have 4 wives.  If a woman cheats, however, the whole world has ended (totally 'nother story).

Historically, there is this whole thing about wealthy men who had concubines (mistresses) on the side that they did things with that they would never dream of doing with their wives. (I was friends with a Kuwaiti couple and they were joking around with me one time. He said that he asked her to do something and then was like, "WHAT?!  I can't do THAT with YOU!  You're my WIFE!  They laughed about it, but that is the way some men here feel. That's pathetic.) The concubines were often treated better than wives.  Well, are things so different now?

I get e-mails every now and then from women saying, "I think my guy in Kuwait is cheating.  What do you think?"  What do I think?  Hell YES he's cheating.  If you have to ask the question, you already know the answer.  God gave women intuition for a reason.  My momma always used to say, if you sense danger, get out.  You are sensing it for a reason.  Guys, how many times have your women known something that they couldn't possibly know, but they just KNOW it?  That's women's intuition. 

Would I cheat?  That's not really our topic here, now is it?  But if you want an honest answer, I'll give it to you:  If the guy is devoted to me and gives me everything that I need in a relationship - why should I wander?  If I'm not getting what I need and I'm feeling slighted or disrespected, why should I be with him?  If I love a guy, I would walk through fire for him and that is the truth.  I wouldn't consider doing anything to hurt him.  But alas, finding that person is a rare rare thing. 
So anyhoo, those are my thoughts in a nutshell.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

How Kuwait Lost It's Moustach

In the 80s, ALL Kuwaiti men had big moustaches (kind of like walruses).  If they didn't, it would be a disgrace; dude would be less of a man.  There was none of this manscaping stuff that came in the 90's; if you even suggested that a man trim his moustache, it was met with indignation, "What? I'm a MAN!"  To shave off ones moustach was almost sacreligious. You didn't discuss it for fear of insult. Wives begged their husbands just to trim the thing.  "Ana RIJAL!  Yeh!"   All men carried a little comb and the corners of their moustaches were constantly being played with.  Yeah, kind of gross, but honestly, it wasn't about the facial hair  itself, but what it stood for:  masculinity and pride.

Ghosts from my past
I miss those days.  All that bravado seems like ancient history.
How did Kuwait lose it's moustache?  How did everything become so metrosexual  up in here?

Don't get me wrong, every once in a blue moon you can still see a father or grandfather with an 80's moustach, but most of them are gone and have been replaced by the "dirty look" or the "secsooka" (goatie which my friends and I call the "sexy-sooka").  Some Kuwaiti men go for the completely bare look which to me personally is just too damn feminine.  Ick.  It would be like kissing another girl.  Ew.  I don't want to see your naked face!  Where is your PRIDE?  Int mu rijal?

So what happened?  When we lost the moustach, it seems like all that pride and machismo went right along with it.  Everything became wishy-washy and the lines kind of morphed together.  Where are those tough guys I used to know?  The same guys are still here (and were there all the time under the symbol of pride), but now it is gone.   Now they carry man purses..  For the love of God!  What has the country come to?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Murse Hits Kuwait

I really don't have a lot of fascinating things to say today, but I had my oatmeal for breakfast and I thought I would throw around some random thoughts.

Kuwaiti men have started carrying man-purses and I don't think I like it.  I have a few friends who pack toiletry bags full of their stuff and carry them around with them.  They seem to believe this is masculine.  I think it is .... well.... an excuse to carry a purse.  First off, it is a toiletries kit and I always wonder if they are going to whip out some after shave and a razor.  (Or just wonder if they're there for the night?  Come to my house carrying a toiletries bag and my mind does tend to wander.)  But no... it is the "fashion" in Kuwait (and Kuwait always has their own "fashion") for guys to carry around their 4 cell phones (tablets, padlets, 007 decoder phones whateverthefucktheyare), 2 packs of cigarettes, lighter/s, a pen and paper, and perhaps some cologne in their murse.  Yes, that's right - I would have almost the same stuff in mine but with a lipstick too.  (I'm not asking them about that.)  Wouldn't it be far more masculine to don a tool belt?  Or cargo pants with pockets?  Or maybe leave half your crap in your car?  What's up with the murse?

The other night, a friend (who shall remain nameless as to guard his masculinity) came over and put his murse on the counter near my purse.  I have a Swarovski pen which is black on one end and full of tiny crystals on the other end.  It was sitting on the counter.  He looked at it strangely for a while and then retrieved the same pen from his murse and showed it to me.  Em..... that was going too far:  We have the same stuff in our purses.  I'm looking at him differently now (can't help it). 

Man up, Kuwait!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Crackdown on Bedoun Activists

Stop, children what's that sound?  Everybody look what's goin' down....

Disclaimer:  The below is a re-post of previously published information available to the public through any quick internet search or via Twitter.

Crackdown on Bedoun Activists  LINK
Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 9, (Agencies): Police in Kuwait have arrested seven leading stateless activists for “instigating” demonstrations and are hunting for eight more in a clampdown aimed at preventing protests, a rights official said on Tuesday.

Among those detained was the head of the Kuwaiti Bedouns (stateless) Committee, Ahmad Al-Tameemi and his assistant Ali Al-Enezi, the director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Mohammad Al-Humaidi, told AFP.

Twenty-three stateless protesters including five teenagers were arrested on October 2 during a demonstration, said Humaidi.

“Today, the public attorney freed the five teenagers on $715 bail (550 euros) each pending trial. They are between 14 and 16 years old,” said Humaidi, adding that the youths were interrogated on charges of illegal assembly.

The remaining 18 adults, including a Kuwaiti activist, are still in detention facing similar charges, he said.

Police used tear-gas and smoke bombs to disperse the stateless demonstrators who were demanding citizenship and other basic rights, injuring at least three people.

Around 200 stateless men, arrested in previous demonstrations since Bedouns began staging protests in February 2011, are facing trial for illegal assembly, assaulting police and resisting arrest.
Some have been acquitted by the lower court while others still await verdicts.

Authorities in Kuwait insist that non-Kuwaitis living in the country have no right to protest, unlike the 1.2 million citizens.

Bedouns, who number more than 105,000, claim they have the right to Kuwaiti citizenship, but the government says only 34,000 qualify for consideration, arguing that the rest hold citizenship of other countries.

Kuwait has launched a campaign against Bedouns to force them to prove their original identity, depriving them of many basic rights despite criticism by international human rights groups.

Kuwait has long alleged that Bedouns, and in some cases their ancestors, destroyed their original passports to claim the right to citizenship in order to gain access to the state-provided services and benefits.

In an attempt to force the Bedouns to produce their original nationality papers, Kuwait has refused to issue essential documents to most of them, including birth, marriage and death certificates.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said that in response to a call by John Moore (Twitter @JohnFMoore), a member of American congress, several Bedouns organized a rally on Al-Najashi Street since securitymen banned them from gathering in Taima Yard.

Reportedly, John Moore had encouraged the Bedouns through Twitter two days back to demonstrate and demand Kuwaiti government to grant them their rights as Kuwaiti citizens.


If you are on Twitter, there is a HELL of a lot of activity on the Bedoun cause and what is happening NOW in Taima, Jahra (Northern Kuwait) to the Bedoun.  This is your neighborhood.  Get educated on local current events.  You won't always read about it in the newspaper.

This is a post of an AI bulletin re-tweeted by Mr. Moore.

Other Information:



Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Kuwait Visa Article 18 Process

I get asked this a lot:  What are the requirements for obtaining an Article 18 visa?  Well, it changes almost on a daily basis and it depends where you are from and how much wastah your sponsoring company has.  A few years ago, I documented the process in flowcharts. Disclaimer:  things may have changed.  This is to give an overall "big picture" approach to what is required and approximate timeframes.  You'll still have to talk to people who are in the know officially (I'm not).  Companies like CIBT ( can help.  They also expedite the security clearance attestments and offer other services.  You can also try to find out from the official applicable Kuwaiti Government department (ROFLMAO). 

So here is the unofficial version of the big picture for Western applicants:

If you have trouble viewing the diagrams and you want a better copy, write to me and I'll send you a file (  Sometimes photos don't upload so well to Blogger.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Dog Story

My 18 year old nephew is a natural-born writer.  He's been writing exceptional stories since he was quite young.  Now, he's in his first semester in college and wrote the story below and  His professor said that the first essay kids hand her during their first year is about the death of a grandparent or a pet.  She said that when she read this story, she sat on her sofa, reading it to her boyfriend, and they both cried. 

(This happened when I was home in August and I'm glad I was there with the family.  If it had happened while I was in Kuwait, I would have been a basket case.  I'm so glad we were all together.)

Alex, I hope you keep writing.  Your talent is too special not to continue.  Love you, boyyyyy.


I woke up that morning earlier than most. Summer was coming to and end and it was the week before I was to leave for college. I got up around 7:30; I must have heard my parents already up. As I peaked down stairs I heard no noise, no barking coming from my usually obnoxious dogs and no sign of my parents even though their door was open. As I turned around the corner into the kitchen I’ll never forget how I felt as I looked into the laundry room. I was confused and broken hearted to see my parents huddled around him I had never hurt so much from a bad girlfriend or a lost football game or even a broken bone. But when I saw him lying there I kind have wished I were feeling any other pain.

Eleven years earlier I woke up to a much happier sight. My mom had got me from my room to bring me outside by the garage. I was an eager kid and old for my age so I was expecting big things for my birthday like an apache helicopter to a jet pack or the power rangers; almost anything a seven year old boy could come up with or thought of. However I definitely wasn’t expecting a best friend, let alone two. But there they were two yellow lab puppies so small you could scoop them up with one hand. As I ran over to the crate and rolled around with them as they made their puppy sounds and teethed on whatever part of clothes they could find. I knew right then that it would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

My mom, being the liberal as she is,  let me name one all by myself, and back then that kind of power was a huge deal. We named the lighter colored one Beau as a family and I decided to name the darker colored one "Rascal" after the movie, “The Little Rascals”;  as it just so happened to be my favorite movie at the time. As the years went on I would soon be very frustrated at my decision because it turned out that Rascal was the least trouble out of all of our dogs. Rascal was obedient; he was playful, but only when one of us initiated the playing. He also turned out to be the smartest and wiser of the bunch. He was nothing like the Little Rascals depicted in movie, sadly. He was timid and didn’t like to swim, which often made me mad. All the other dogs knew how to swim except for him…

I guess if the worst of your problems as a dog father is your dog being obedient and not being a “little Rascal” then I guess you could say that I had minimal problems.

Rascal might have been the fattest dog on the planet. He could chew threw a brick wall if he was hungry enough. After finishing his dinner he would stand by the drawer where he knew the treats were concealed. Even after he had his “post-meal” snack he would then proceed to lick his bowl digging for whatever scraps he could find. All this contributed to how he got his more common name, “Fat Rascal”. Wherever he went in the house he waddled;  he would waddle into the kitchen he would waddle into the den and out the back yard chasing a ball. My mom would always see him coming and say, “Hey, hey, hey here comes Fat Rascal.” Yes he was that fat.

He was a loving dog most of all, he loved his momma (my mother) and boy did he love his dad (my step-father Wayne). He would follow that man into hell if he had to.  Wayne couldn’t go to the bathroom without that big lethargic mutt waddling on after him. Wherever you so Wayne around the house you most likely saw Fat-Rascal waddling alongside.

I never realized how much time I spent with him until I sat down to think about it one day. He was there with me through elementary school; every time I would get off the bus there he was barking his head off in the window waiting for me to come inside. The big guy was with me through all of high school, he even was up late nights coming home from parties or after games.  Rascal and I have been through a whole lot in our lives. I was there when he was sick, feeding him his pills or picking the ticks off of him. He was there for me when I was sad or sick and he was always damn proud to be by my side. Its not often you find a friend like that. I don’t think I ever will again. He was the brother I never had.

Eleven years later and summer was coming to and end and it was the week before I was to leave for college. We were all sitting in the living room watching TV like we did most nights as a family;  my parents and I and our three dogs Beau, Rascal and the newer edition to the family, Lola. Beau and Lola were off doing their own things playing with each and my parents were dozing off. Rascal was surprisingly awake it was really unlike the old guy -lately usually he was either eating or sleeping but not that night. That night he crawled over to me like he used to as a puppy and started hitting me with his paw.

He and I rolled around on the carpet for a good hour that night. I didn’t see it then but I sure see it now. He was loving on me and licking my hands and face like he hadn’t done in a long time. He was just playing, playing like a new puppy. I didn’t think much of it at all; I was too caught up in the moment. Now I see that he might have just been telling me how much he loved me and reminiscing on all the great times we had.  He was saying goodbye.

That night he couldn’t walk down the steps to go outside and use the bathroom. Of course I thought nothing of it; he was an old dog and this was usual. If I could go back I would have played with him all night, I wouldn’t have let him fall asleep, I would have rubbed his big fat belly all night. I would have done a lot of things different if I had known that was the last night ever that he was going to fall asleep for the rest of my life.

I got up around 7:30; I must have heard my parents already up. As I peaked down stairs I heard no noise, no barking coming from my usually obnoxious dogs and no sign of my parents even though their door was open. As I turned around the corner into the kitchen I’ll never forget how I felt as I looked into the laundry room. I was confused and broken hearted to see my parents huddled around him I had never hurt so much from a bad girlfriend or a lost football game or even a broken bone. But when I saw him lying there I kind have wished I were feeling any other pain.

There he was, lying there on the floor, so peaceful, just the way he lies when he naps. This time it was a different nap, I knew this nap was the one that he wouldn’t be waking up from. It was the first time id seen Wayne cry, ever, in all my life. My parents moved away so I could see him. I can still feel the heavy sadness in my head and in my gut like it was yesterday. I saw him lying there and all the times I shared with him kept flashing through my mind. I thought my dogs were invincible, I thought my dogs could never die. As much as I could have prepared for seeing him like that,  nothing could have kept me from feeling the heartache I did.
Mom called the vet as Wayne and I wrapped him up in towels and took him to the car. Before they took him to the vets they let me say one last goodbye to him. I held him, crying. His body was cold and hard but he was the same color and had the same face as he did when he slept. I don’t know why I thought he would look different. I thought holding him would feel like he was less real. But sadly it didn’t feel less real at all, he felt like the same little Rascal I was holding last night. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I just kept holding onto him as if it could bring him back. I thought maybe the longer I hold on, the more memories I’ll have with him. When they left to the vet and I was alone, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard in my entire life. It was as if my best friend had died. A best friend I’d watched grow since he was a puppy running around with a ball in his mouth until he was a big wise old dog chewing on a bone. One of the biggest persons in my life had just passed on.

Rascal was my dog. He was my best friend he would do anything for me and I would have done anything for him. I realize now that there are only a few rare people you come across in life that can love you unconditionally and will always have your back no matter what.   You have your mother and your father and then… you have your dog, mans best friend. I know Rascal couldn’t stick around forever; all I can do now is cherish the time I had with him and accept his passing.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think about him or hear someone say in my head, “Hey, hey, hey here comes Fat Rascal.”

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Pink Eye AGAIN!!

'Tis the season for the Pink Eye.  Fa la la la laaa, la la la laaaa.

Yes yes, I'm infuckted again.  Some biotch gave me hot eyes. 

I’ve had pink eye several times throughout my years in Kuwait.  It is nasty and really hard to get rid of.  I’ve got it again now.  It started about 2 weeks ago, lasted approximately 10 days, and now it’s back.  It is not purty.  A lot of my friends have been getting it recently.  It really is the season - either in the Fall or in the Spring in Kuwait. And it NAS-teh.  If you get it, you'll find that it lasts longer than other places in the world - probably because it is so damn dry here.

Let me just state - emphatically and for the record:  PINK EYE SUCKS!!!

First, if anyone wears contact lenses in Kuwait, they should consider getting lasik surgery.  This is what I eventually had to do.  Kuwait’s weather is not conducive to contact lens wearing; dry weather and dust is a bad combination.  Lenses must be cleaned more frequently than cooler climates.  And, if you think that humidity in Kuwait is any relief; it is just the opposite, as humidity in Kuwait carries dust particles with it. 

Any time someone develops pink eye, they should immediately see a doctor (ophthalmologists at most clinics will take walk-in patients if you've got eye infucktions)  to determine the best form of treatment.   Pink eye may be either viral or bacterial and the medical treatment will be different depending on the doctor’s prognosis.

For a long time, I truly believed that there was some kind of “bloom” in Kuwait during the Spring as I almost always got pink eye at that time of year; usually at the end of February.  I developed the worst case immediately after being in the desert near Shuaiba during this season.  I was not alone; my friend came down with it at the same time I did as she was with me that night.

Here is what I received from an environmentalist friend in Kuwait:

“Certain eye tissues are more sensitive than others, and during the fluctuating change of temperature and during the  fall and spring season, temperature changes trigger infection resulting from irritation of the eyes. Humidity during this period (with temperature suitable for bacteria growth) causes infection that has been reported to hospitals and clinics.  Sand/dust storms carry micro-organisms with it of which cause such cases; further, fine dust has an  abrasive force that irritates the eye and causes redness.  In addition,  such cases were reported at the industrial sectors south of Kuwait at Shuaiba,  and some locations at the oil field Gathering Centers.  This is not an epidemic of any sort, but affects a small percentage of the population from time to time.  Therefore newcomers to Kuwait should be aware of such eye infections, and persons with sensitive eyes should have at all times eye cleanser prescribed by a specialist physician.”

Eye Drops for Pink Eye

Eye drops used for pink eye (conjunctivitis) may be antibiotic eye drops prescribed by a doctor or over-the-counter drops used to soothe the symptoms of this common eye infection.

Antibiotic Eye Drops
Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed when the doctor believes the cause of pink eye is bacterial. Some commonly used antibiotics in the treatment of pink are Garamycin, Gentamycin, Tobramycin, Polytrim, Sulfonamides. These are all relatively old medications. Newer drugs, such as Ciloxan, Vigamox, Ocuflex, and Quixin, are becoming more commonly prescribed because they have not developed as much resistance to bacteria as the older drugs and they tend to work faster.

[I’ve been prescribed Vigamox both in Kuwait (this time around) and the US.  Prices without insurance are:  US $70 (20KD) and Kuwait 3KD.  Also been prescribed Tobrex ointment and drops.  KILL IT!!!]

Over-the-Counter Drops
For viral pink eye, which can't be treated with antibiotics, there is an over-the-counter eye drop for adults and children called Similasan Pink Eye Relief that relieves redness, burning, and discharge.”   (I developed an allergy to Simsilasan that made the Pink Eye worse and caused the skin around my eyes to dry out.)

I went to an ophthalmologist at International Clinic, Dr. Abdusamad Abdullah, who was very good (most private clinics/hospitals have an ophthalmologist).  Kuwait also has a specialized eye hospital, Al Bahar Hospital, at the Al Sabah Medical Area in Shuwaikh (you must first receive a referral from a government hospital or clinic before going to the specialist hospitals).

Dr. Abdusamad recommended frequent use of eye drops in Kuwait (he prefers drops without preservatives which may further bother the eye).  You should also wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer as Pink Eye is contagious.  Also, bad news for those women who (like me) feel naked without make-up:  absolutely no  eye make-up as it may be an additional eye irritant.  (And Dr. Abdusamad told me to throw away all my eye-make up as it may have been contaminated.)   If you wear contact lenses, you must also switch to glasses until the pink eye is cleared.  Lightly washing your eyes with warm water helps relieves pain although you should be careful not to cross-infect by using the same cloth/same area on both eyes.

Here are several medications for the treatment of pink eye (from the internet).  They may have other brand names in Kuwait.  Doctors usually prescribe drops and/or ointment.

Just remember it is never a good idea to self-medicate (tried that too).  Your sight is valuable and it is nothing to play with.