Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1st Day of Invisilign Braces

So I got my braces (clear plastic trays basically) put in today.  They had to install anchors (little points of enamel that help hold the trays in - or work on particular teeth).  I have one lower tooth in the front that is back a little, so to my great dismay, I have an anchor in the front of my mouth.  They're white enamel so you can't really tell; I can, however, and it is pissing me off.  10 months of that little sucker in the middle of my smile.

The Romanian sent me an SMS today, "Do you really need braces?"  I'm like, I've always wanted straight teeth.  Her reply, "I can understand that.  I've always wanted a bigger ass."  Can't help with that, although I've heard that women (and some in Kuwait) are getting ass lifts and implants.  Brazilian implants supposedly.  Nothing that a few Big Macs couldn't accomplish, I'm guessin.

So back to the braces....

They give you new trays every 2 weeks.  In my case, since I live in Kuwait, they are giving me a bunch.  When I get back here (maybe in a few months), the dentist will check me again to make sure everything is going ok and give me some more trays.

The first time you put in a new tray, it's TIGHT. I mean, I feel the pressure and I'm not liking it.  My sister (who has had them) says you get used to it.  My speech is kind of slurred.  I sound like a fat kid with too much ice cream in her mouth.  It's kind of a slushy/slurry sound to speech.  I'm workin on my diction.  (Look it up, pervs. It's not what you think.)

So, in 10 months, I'll have straight and white (cause they're going to brighten them) teeth.  I'll be Britany,  biotch.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Caroling in my Office

My mother remarked recently that she never hears people singing anymore.  She grew up with my grandmother either humming a tune or singing in the house and she (my mother) thought it odd how things have changed.

My office is kind of an open plan; management has walls, but no doors which open into a bullpen area.  Our employees are mostly Indian Christians.  We have a little Christmas tree and decorations.  This is the first office I've worked in, in Kuwait, that has allowed employees to put up a tree. That's probably because of Stella.  Not sure.   We have a secret Santa lunch every year and a lot of the Muslim employees love to get in on the fun.

Right now, I'm listening to most of our staff in the bullpen singing Chrismas carols.  It is really lovely and I'm finally getting in the Christmas spirit.  (Ok, that and because I'm gettin on da plaaaaane.)

Disclaimer:  Again, I hate it when people randomly break into song and expect you to sit around diligently like you paid to attend their personal performance.  I think I have posted about this before.  It has happened to me many times; most recently with 2 different Lebanese women on different occasions; both DEMANDING that everybody shut up and listen to them - and they were in MY house.  Faux pas.  Dayum.  Christmas carols are different.

Here we go again: Kuwait's Newest New Government

Photo courtesy of the Arab Times (I think the editor dislikes Rola Dashti because there are much better photos of her out there.  Shame on them for printing this one).

Hmmm... whole lot of Sheikhs, aren't there?  I am HAPPY that there are female ministers this time around.

Good luck, new government.  I wish you much success and Inshallah,  progress for the country.

Qatar's 'One of Us' Campaign

The following is a re-post from Here There and Everywhere, Intlxpatr's, Blog.  I like it.  Kuwait may not have the same social problem (yet) but from what I have seen, the trend is starting to grow; not even so much from expat women, but from Kuwaiti women.  Clothes are getting a lot more revealing - and that is even when the girls are fully covered (hobaya and the like).

Anyhooser, this kind of gives ladies who might be travelling to the GCC an indication of what types of clothes the local ladies would like us to pack. Personally, I have no problem with it.  I've always dressed somewhat conservatively.

Expat women who don’t wear enough clothing has long been a bone of contention for traditional and conservative Qatari women, who find themselves a minority in their own country. I remember well the anguish in the voice of one of my friends talking about how the salesgirl her mother was speaking with was showing “everything” AND she didn’t even speak Arabic, only English. Her mother was wondering whose country Qatar was?

Qatar doesn’t want to go to the extreme lengths of Saudi Arabia, they just want the non-Moslem, non-local women to cover up a little. Oh! Not just the women, the men, too! It’s a cute campaign – If you’re here, you’re one of us. I like it. It has a welcoming sound, but at the same time it politely reminds the expat that we are a guest in their country. This is the expectation, stated politely. Here is one of the visuals
(I found this article on Doha News)

A grassroots modesty campaign started by a group of Qatari women this summer has received the backing of the Qatar Tourism Authority, with the goal of helping visitors and expat residents “avoid embarrassment” and “feel welcome” here, the group has announced.

The “One of Us” drive, which was launched in June, highlights the part of the Qatari penal code that prohibits wearing “indecent” clothing in public, but adds to it by clarifying what exactly is deemed inappropriate – namely, bare shoulders and legs.

QTA will ensure that the dress code campaign guidelines will be displayed on posters in shopping malls and public spaces. They will also be posted on the QTA website and in future guides and brochures that the group publishes.

In June, campaign organizer Najla Al-Mahmoud told Doha News:
I don’t blame foreigners as they come from a different culture and they don’t know that it’s not acceptable… that’s why a group of ladies from different group of age gathered and decided to do something for Qatar…
We don’t want to interfere with anyone’s religion and force them to wear hijab … we only want modest clothing. It’s a matter of etiquette and class. We want to be able to go to public places without a lot of flesh around us.

Despite organizers’ efforts not to raise hackles, the campaign sparked a fierce debate on social media and Doha News about local/expat relations and the definition of decency.

Commenter J wrote:
This is a tricky issue for ex-pat women here as being “modest” is relative. And there are lots of mixed messages. You may see a young Muslim woman wearing a Shayla, a long, loose skirt, and the tightest long-sleeve shirt you’ve ever seen, leaving little to the imagination. And men wear tight t-shirts, tight skinny jeans, and shirts with the first three buttons open showing their chest. I think this campaign should not be aimed at everyone, not just at ex-pat women.

Others said they supported the campaign and expressed appreciation for having concrete guidelines to follow.

Meanwhile, Qatar University rolled out its own dress code in September, to mixed reaction from the student body, who are now prohibited from wearing tight, revealing clothing (including tight abayas) and casual wear like sweatpants and Bermuda shorts.

Read more: http://dohanews.co/post/35971777135/backing-one-of-us-modesty-campaign-qta-to-post-dress#ixzz2EnyeL3G9


Fascinating date.

So, I'm flying to Virginia to be with my family for the anticipated end of the world (according to the Mayans).  "Desert Girl, do you really believe in that?"  Perhapsee I do, perhapsee I don't, but hey - it is a great excuse to get on the plane a little earlier than usual and hang with the fam (also known as "being annoying and getting on their nerves").

I am rather melancholy about leaving a certain individual behind, Desert Guy (because he literally lives in the desert during camping season).  Not a Bedu - definitely hather, but loves the desert.   I have been having so much fun lately (Mashallah, hot eyes people) that I kind of don't want to miss the fun here (shut uuuuup - I am too serious!).  I met DGy about 6 years ago under strange circumstances (he was getting beaten up by his then-girlfriend, accusing him of cheating.... 'nother story).  Amusing, but not.  Next time I saw him, he revealed that "most women I meet are just after me for my money."  He seemed sincere enough and kind of down because of the realization.  I told him, 'I'm not after you for your money.  I have my own.  I just think you're f-ing HOT.' and then walked away.  I guess I made an impression because we kept in touch (although he was still married at the time and I think I might have still been pining over The Man - bad timing.)  Times have changed... happy sigh.  SweartoGod, if I was independently wealthy (and DGy could put up with me...), I would be living out there in the desert with them for the next few months (they have a jacuzzi in the camp - it isn't exactly like we'd be roughing it).

... But I'm happy about going to Virginia.  I hope that my older sister will be up from Texas with her family.  She's such a positive person and I try to learn from her.  She's Texan and you know how they are:  they can make anything  sound sweet.  She's always giggling and bubbly and an all-around good drinking partner.  When the 3 of us sisters get together, it's a lot of fun.

I've been Christmas shopping online this year and thank God Amazon keeps track of my purchases, because I sure as Hell can't.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Suicidal Santa

I had lunch at the Crowne Plaza, Farwaniya with Stella yesterday (gettin my sush on) and noticed Santa about to jump.  There are suicidal santas on both sides of the atrium.  What is the message they are trying to convey?   Hey - add your own on the comments....

Thursday, December 06, 2012

2012 World's Best Airline Award Goes To....

Everybody loves a good pole... I mean, poll....

This one is from Global Travelers Magazine. It ranks the world's best airline as Singapore Airlines.  Additional poll scorers were:

Global Traveler magazine 2012 Annual Reader Survey Awards

Best Airline in the World: Singapore Airlines
Best Airline for International First Class: Emirates
Best Airline for Business Class: British Airways
Best Airline for Flight Attendants: Asiana Airlines
Best Airline for Flight Attendant Uniforms: Etihad Airways
Best Airline Cuisine: Alitalia

The complete list can be viewed HERE.

Whaaaaaaat - no United?  Gee.  How bout a favorable mention for outstanding service at check-in?  (LMAO)

Online Travelers Insurance

I have never really given much thought to travelers insurance until my friend had to go to the emergency room  on a visit to the States.  The cost:  $7000.  She had Gulf Insurance Traveler's Insurance.  It took a while to get reimbursed, but she finally did.

GIC makes it very easy to buy with a credit card or KNET online  (link HERE).  For me, it was 17KD (for $150,000 coverage)  They offer individual and family packages.


I was actually thinking of this subject on the way to work this morning.  I have one of those "holier than thou" acquaintances who has emphasized many many times how faithful he is to his wife.  Eh?  What's that?  I guess 3-ways (without your wife) don't count?  Ooops.  Sometimes when you talk about it too much, it means that it is exactly the opposite, n'est pas?

Funny how these guys twist it.

I sat down to look at the paper and there is an article that stated, "Women can tell with some accuracy whether an unfamiliar male is faithful simply by looking at his face but men seem to lack the same ability...."  Fassscinating.  I think its true.

So while you are handing us BS about what a wonderful, faithful person you are, most of us already know the truth.

December 6

Happy birthday, dear angel.  RIP
I think about you all the time and you're never really gone
as long as people who love you still remember.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What are the odds they all have the same name??

So since I met The Man, I have met 3 more men with the same first and last name (initials "HS").  I even met one of them while I was sitting with The Man's daughter at the US Embassy.  What kind of karma is THAT?

The Romanian thinks it is hilarious that The Universe keeps phuckin with me in this way.  Sometimes I can see them coming and I'll say to TR, 'Wait for it, wait for it... here it comes.... his name is going to be Hamad S....'  Ha ha.  Very funny, Universe.  TR:  "You know he's your destiny." (Lots and lots of giggles on her part.)  Me, non-plussed:  Oh yeah?  Really?  Huh.  That's fascinating.

Anyhooser, I met another one this week.  When I met him, I just knew him as "Bu Salem".  Didn't know a first or last name, didn't ask. Didn't care.  Business-related thing.  No biggie.  I'm not thinking anything about him one way or another.... Then, dude asks me to go to dinner (of COURSE HE DID)  and I found out his real name.

Oh snap.  Again?

What IS it with that name?  It isn't like it should be so common.  It isn't like it is Mohammed something.  Everybody is named Mohammed.

I won't tell you how my dinner date with HS#4 went.  Not that memorable.  Guess he was just sent as some kind of sick reminder.  I might have given dude a chance (maybe, but then again no) if he had just kept his name as "Bu Salem".

Yeah baby, there is nothing like the original.  A copy of a copy is never the same.   Hope you are doing well and thanks for writing to my mom.

More animal poisoning in Kuwait - Pet owners beware

Ladies Who Do Lunch In Kuwait Blog posted yesterday about poison being put out for snails.  It will also kill pets.  This morning, I was unfortunate enough to come across one of our neighborhood's stray cats, which had obviously died of poisoning.  (I did not want to pass along a gory photo, but the death must have been pretty horrific; bleeding profusely from the mouth and bulging red eyes.)

Beware pet owners.

See LWDLIK blog post here.


Musla7a (mus-la-ha) in the local dialect means benefiting, leaching, freeloading, using someone.  I have witnessed a shiiiitload of musla7a behavior since I've been here.  Some of it, recently, I've let go for the sake of "friendship".  So what is friendship, one might question, if it is musla7a?  Well dear friends, bada bing:  that is the question.

Parasites are not your friends.  People who just want to use you for something are not your friends. (I LOVE how they try to flip it around and make it appear to be YOUR fault too.)

Little ditty about "Nadia" (not her real name).  I met Nadia in the States.  When I moved to Kuwait, I got to know her and her family.  We got to be good friends.  She asked me if I thought she had a boyfriend. I thought it was an odd question; regardless, I didn't care, I said.  Not my business if (married) Nadia had a boyfriend or not.  This was 1997.  I used to travel a lot for work (still do, really).  Nadia finally fessed up to having a boyfriend shortly after and while I was away, would I mind if they went to my apartment.  Hmmmm....  Cut to a few months later when she calls me after work to ask me if I could "leave my apartment for a few hours so that they could stop by...."

NadiaBiotch and her boyfriend never invited me to a meal; never brought me a gift; never did squat.  I think they may have once left a can of Pepsi in my refrigerator.

I put my foot down.  Enough was enough.  Nadia went into flip mode and gave me a tirade about how DARE I?  Did I want money?  Was that it?  Did I want them to pay?  Yada.  I'm like, 'Biotch please!  This is my HOME.  How dare you and your trifling boyfriend (who, in 1997 couldn't afford 85kd/mo to pay the rent on a studio apartment at that time for the both of them - SINCE they had been together for ELEVEN years.)

Cut to 2012 when I thought my BS detectors have been properly calibrated....

Little ditty about Timmy (he's Kuwaiti, but I've decided to call him Timmy and change his name from the regular one I've been using.)

I've known Timmy for 2+ years and I kind of let annoying things go:  Like how he was always at my house, drinking all my stuff, never replacing anything, never inviting me to a meal, never bringing me a gift, inviting his 7ailag (low class) friends (although not all of them; some are actually quite nice) to my house constantly.  Then, more recently,  Timmy started using my place as  a launch pad to the next party (without ever inviting me).  He would just disappear during the evening with a group of followers and then blatantly lie about it.  His friends took an entire Smir blue bottle off my counter a few weeks ago (someone saw one of them actually smuggling it out of my house in a BAG) without replacing it (which has really irked me to no frick-in end....).  Timmy has pissed off a lot of my friends with his very bad temper while under the influence, rude line of questioning, and some more.

Time to stop being so "nice".  And by the way, nice doesn't mean stupid.  I'm not going to change who I am to accommodate the rudeness of others.  I am nice to people until they prove me wrong.  Desert Girl, consider yourself proven wrong.  And I am....   I'm not a doormat.  (Don't judge me.)  I have been having fun.  I love entertaining. Entertaining at this level might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's mine. Do what makes you happy, I say.   I would do more if I could.  Always have.  I like the company.  This particular situation has not been all bad.  But the bad has been mounting up (to the point where I didn't have time to talk/correct/discuss any of it) so time out.  Just too much.

One of Timmy's and my mutual friends called me.  I had no idea he was such a loyal friend, but wow; was I enlightened.    "Desert Girl!  WHAT are you DOING?  Did you know..... blah blah and yada yada??  I can't believe you let them into your home!"  Oh my gosh, like... ok.... I knew some stuff, but I didn't know other stuff.  Timmy et al  had pulled the wool right over my eyes and I have no one to blame but myself.

Bamboozled.  Hoodwinked.  Musla7a-ed.

So, when I confronted Timmy with some of the information, his reaction was to call ME rude and said that HE didn't want to be my friend anymore.  Hey, save me some effort!  Thank you.  Oh Timmy, you're soooooo.... musla7a.  Thank you for that realization even after some time.

So, back to my point:  Parasites are not your friends.  People who just want to use you for something are not your friends. It is NOT cultural that you are not invited to a Kuwaitis home or, as an alternative, invited out to dinner, invited to an event like a wedding or whatever.  If someone likes you; they like you. True friends are friends.  They want you to be part of their world.  It isn't a 1-way street.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

2012 Election Winners

From Kuwait Times.  (I have been a follower of Arab Times for many years and I'm shifting gears this year by buying a Kuwait Times subscription).

... and a completely superficial, DG comment:  Could these people at least TRY to look better even for an election photo?  What is wrong with the professional photographers in this country?  I mean, there isn't a lot to work with, but c'mon....  Smile?  


I've been using a single online flower delivery service for a looooooooooong time.  I love them, but unfortunately, they haven't diversified an iota in... well, years I guess.

I heard about 965flowers through an ad in Bazaar Magazine (heeeeeey Ahmed, how ya do-in?) and haven't had an opportunity to try them until now.  I sent a thank you to a friend and it was the perfect item at the perfect price (not too "over the top" for a practical guy).

Unlike other flower shops, 965flowers.com is not exclusively flowers.  You can send small gift items, chocolates, and cookies also; and you have your choice of various vendors.  Excellent idea.

Some of the flowers were too.... well.... let me say "exotic" for my tastes.  You have alternative shops that offer more classic arrangements (like Nom de La Rose or Things by November).  They take KNET and credit cards.

Really great concept.  Kudos you guys.

Truly Scrumptious Bakery

I need to send a special shout out to my friend over at www.trulyscrumptiouskuwait.com.  I haven't tried any of her sweets yet, but I have been hearing the buzz for the past few months.  I also sent her a message through a friend that a great market would be for either diabetics or people who can't have gluten; especially in Kuwait.

I hope  your business flourishes, girl!

(Aren't her photos gorgeous?  Wow.)

Invisalign Braces

I never wanted braces as a kid (ok, what kid does when you come out looking like Ugly Betty?).  Back then, there weren't a lot of options, you were forced to be a metal mouth, a black and decker pecker wrecker, etc...

But now, even adults can get braces and there are a lot of options.  My friend, Slaps, got braces that were behind her teeth.  My sister got Invisalign that you couldn't tell she had in.

I started looking in Kuwait for dental clinics that did invisalign.  I didn't like the prices (around 3000KD or Around $11,000).  They were a lot more than in the States.  So, I opted to go with a dental clinic close to home in Virginia and got them for $5,500.

(If you want a listing of dentists in Kuwait who do invisalign, just google "invisalign in Kuwait".)

They start by taking moldings of your teeth in a rubbery substance.  Then, the moldings can be turned into clear plastic trays.  You go back every 4 to 6 weeks for new trays.  You take the trays out when you eat (which is also another closing point for me).

In my case, I'll have them for 10 months.  Woo hoo!

You can check out Invisalign  at www.invisalign.com.