Monday, February 18, 2013

Cheetah Attack in Kuwait

This from my friend, Areej, on Facebook:

 Cheetah attacks a group of 7 Kuwaiti men.

Today i found in Al Rai about cheeta attack at 7 guys. The complete scene has printed in Arabic but this is what I got that at Muttala (Desert) 7 Kuwaiti guys were enjoying BBQ around 10pm and then one cheetah invaded in the tent to join their BBQ, one of them was wounded badly but in a moment all guys escaped the tent and hid in their car.

For complete Arabic version

One commenter said:   "I read that the guys that got into the car started chasing the Cheetah and then the guy that owned it started yelling at them that was his Cheetah I said he was hunting with it..."

I think they should put the owner in jail.    Usually what happens in Mutlaa stays in Mutlaa....  
(I better call my friends to make sure it wasn't their camp that got attacked.  Dayum...)

These animals are wild and have the instincts of wild animals.  You will never be able to domesticate them.  It is genetic.  Keeping wild game cats as pets is just unnatural and WRONG.

Has anyone heard anything?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A rolling stone gathers no moss

I haven't been posting for a while as I've been in a rut and just plain haven't felt like it.  Desert Guy and I are kaput.  There's no fixing it.  It is what it is.  That was last Thursday (not Valentines Day, thankfully). I don't stay still very long.  I don't like being pre-occupied with negative things (but God knows, I am), so I keep busy.

The day after the Massive Fight, The Romanian and I drove down to a restaurant in Zor Village where she believes the best sheesh tawook sandwiches are made.  I'm kindof... they're okay.  The area is really funky.  It is a forgotten village.  I guess O&G workers used to live down there.  Now it is kind of a shanty town that reminds me a lot of places in Mexico.  There are a few dive restaurants. We stayed in the car - there weren't any women in sight.

I don't think that DGy liked the fact that the very next night, I was out with friends.  Too bad.  I have a life. I'm not going to stay home to pine.  I went out to visit a friend's camp. It was something to do and I caught up with old friends that I haven't had the time to get together with lately.

The day after, I woke up to a phone call from another friend telling me to be ready to go to the desert in an hour - North this time.  An hour in Arab time is more like 3 hours.  So, 3 hours later, we were off to Khuwaisat.  To get there (the easiest way), you take 6th Ring Road North all the way past Jahra towards Subiya.

I had no idea where my friends were taking me.  All that I know is that my friend/friend's husband drives like a bat out of Hell and it tested my driving (or reckless driving) skills.

I have a Sheikh friend who used to have a chalet at Khuwaisat.  I drove around looking for it, but nothing is the same there anymore. (Like now, for example, the roads are paved.)   I wouldn't recognize it if I saw it (I probably wouldn't recognize him if I saw him - lotta years have passed.)  The area is gorgeous (from my perspective).  It hasn't been developed yet and there are low-lying areas where the tip of the Bay meets the land.  It doesn't look like anywhere else in Kuwait; although that's about to change.  It is being developed and fast.

We turned off the road and went through a bunch of trees et voila!  There were a group of about 20 cars in an area next to a small pond. Totally unexpected and lovely.  I saw friends that I hadn't seen in years.  It was such a nice surprise and like a gift, really.

[I also ran into one of the friends who knows Stealth and his group.  He tried (in vain) to convince me that our argument (back in November) was stupid and that I should get in contact with the group again.  Stealth was able to find my door for 2 and a half years.  Funny that he can't find it now - or back in November when we could have talked and maybe worked things out.  It's the same door.  Its in the same place.]

While we were all sitting there next to the pond, a group of guys rode up on horses (totally surreal).  They had a foal with them.  They stopped and let people ride the horses and take pictures.  I made new friends.

It's not that I'm weepy and upset about the break-up with Desert Guy, but it is never good to see anything end.  And it wasn't in a warm-and-fuzzy kind of way.  I just haven't wanted to think about it.   Anyhooser....  The Romanian wanted to say goodbye to the dogs and pick up her stuff (she broke up with her guy around the same time too for different, yet similar reasons; "I'm right and you're wrong and I don't want to hear what you have to say.  That's it"  Okey dokey.  Also known as "cutting off your nose to spite your face.").  We went to the camp when no one was there to say goodbye without saying goodbye.

So this weekend....   Forget Valentines Day.  That was just sucky.  Although my BFF, The Romanian, had flowers (and the NICEST card I have had in such a long time) waiting for me on my counter when I got home.  It was so nice of her.

The next day, I got another surprise invite (little blessings) from an OLD friend to have lunch on his yacht.  It is the largest of 3 that he owns.  He and his crazy brothers have been my friends since 1997.  I adore them all.  We fall in and out of touch, but when we finally get back together as a group, like we did this weekend, it is lots of fun.  We took the boat out to the middle of the bay and had lunch - which turned into dinner.  The sunset on the water was gorgeous.  I can't remember the last time I have laughed so hard.  Oh yeah - it was with my sisters in DC...

From there, back to another friend's desert camp in Julai'a.  He is just always happy to see me and he's just full of life and positive energy; rare.  We sat around with him and his girlfriend (and her trashy friends) for a while and then to McDonalds near Desert Guy's camp because we were close - maybe hoping to run into them -  and back home again.  I think being out on the water just made me completely sleepy.

Yesterday, we went back up North again to visit the horses.  Unfortunately, the weather was crap (dusty) and we weren't able to ride.  They take the horses to the beach on warm days to cool them off in the water.  We were planning to do that, but it was too bad outside.

Then we went to eat sushi. Then we went home.

Dudes have been tracking my (/our - The Romanian and I) whereabouts via Instagram and Facebook.  Fascinating.  I don't care, really.  It is all very childish.  If we post one photo of us having fun somewhere, they counteract with 20 photos of them (doing the same old shyt of lounging with refreshments around a campfire or barbecuing - BFD).  I miss the camp.  I miss the circle of friends.  Sometimes you just got to keep rolling.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Find out about your traffic violations by SMS

Find out about your traffic violations by SMS

(Repost from 248am Blog)
The Ministry of Interior launched a new service where you can sign up to receive notifications on your traffic violations by SMS. They will also send you a notification when your Civil ID or car registration are about to expire among other things.
The subscription fee is KD1 and then it’s 40fils per SMS. If you want to sign up click [Here]

I just did this.  Cool.  Thanks Mark.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Ship your car to Kuwait

Are you moving here?  Is your car paid off?  Why not consider shipping it here, rather than buying/leasing/renting once you get here (and going through the hassle of financing)?

When I moved here in 1996, I intended to bring my car with me.  I waited for 6 months to see if I wanted to actually stay in Kuwait, and then shipped over my 1990 Nissan 300ZX twin turbo.  I felt like a piece of home was with me and I felt much more "settled" living here with my car.

You can import any car, 2007 and later (they don't import cars older than 5 years unless they are classified as "classic" - I don't know what the stipulation for that is).  There are a lot of shipping companies (call any moving company in your home country - like,, etc.).  The cost for shipping it here is around 300KD ($1065 at today's rate).

I met with a dealer in Hawalli and for a fee of around 150KD, they will receive the car:  Do the customs clearance, have your car cleaned, obtain 3rd party insurance, and get your car registration/tags once it arrives in Kuwait.   (Note that you can check around Kuwait at any used car dealership where they sell imported cars and ask if they will provide the same service.    You can also elect to do all this yourself, but with a lot of time and hassle.

You should consider the type of vehicle and if they normally import that type to Kuwait.  For example, if you own a Saturn, there are no Saturns in Kuwait, no dealers, and most importantly NO spare parts.  I used to have a Dodge Stealth. Although there is a Dodge dealership here in Kuwait, they never sold Stealths here.  So, it was a nightmare to obtain spare parts for the car.  Most brands are sold here.  (If  you have questions, you can ask me.)


2016 Update:

If you want to ship your car to or from Kuwait, contact:

Haydee is a great help.  Will assist you in completing all the formalities and paperwork.  They are in alliance with Allied Pickfords - a US Shipping company.  GFS does local and international moves.  The moved me in/out of several different apartments and stored my apartment contents during my problems with my landlord.

Foreigner Trying to Get a Car Loan - The Outcome

Here was my main problem:

If your company utilizes the service of one bank  (to consolidate their banking services/fees), that bank will then transfer salaries into employee accounts (at various banks).  For this reason, your incoming salary on bank statements will appear as a “transfer” (or "hawlat maleeah" in Arabic transliteration) rather than “salary”.

The Central Bank of Kuwait has passed a law stating that your bank can not provide credit with this verbiage on an employee’s bank statement.  This law was probably enstated to combat money laundering and to ensure that banks are repaid their loans.

This issue will cause difficulty in your obtaining loans or credit through your bank; as the bank is not allowed – by law – to give you credit if the statement does not say “salary”.  Even if the company name, and salary amount matches your salary certificate issued by your employer.  Even if you have just obtained your bank statement from the same bank.

Not all bank representatives will understand this law - or know about it.  So, you can sit with someone for several hours and they can try to find a solution (or wastah) and you still won't be able to get the loan.

I wish someone at my company would have told me this in advance, so that I wouldn't have had to waste the time, stress, frustration, and humiliation.  That might have been nice.  I'm sure that other employees at other companies in Kuwait are facing the same difficulties.

The CBK law does not apply to finance companies like Commercial Facilities, Al Manar, Al Soor, etc.

I got a loan in a day from Al Soor and they were extremely kind (although I hated having to sit in an office where everyone is allowed to smoke).  They asked that my employer provide a letter stating that they use one consolidated bank (X) and then transfer my salary to KFH.  No co-signer.  No hassles.

Al Soor (or any finance company) will ask you to go to your bank and have a standing order signed so that they can automatically debit your account for the loan payments.  (In my case, it took KFH an hour and a half to sign it because.... nevermind...)

Outcome:  I got my baby, Mashallah.  (Looks like this.)

And by the way, just incase anyone is interested:  Alghanim has a 2013 Hennessey, HPE700 HP (Corvette engine), Camaro with a manual transmission in dark gray, at the dirt-cheap price of only 27,000KD.

My Other House is a Tent

One of my Kuwaiti friends told me today that he no longer likes to camp in Kuwait because it has become, "too ghetto."  There is an area in Southern Kuwait right around Julai'ai (exit 245) that is always so crowded and full of lights/noise that it looks like a circus to me.  I hate the places that are set up right next to each other with loud music playing all night and screaming kids on ATVs.  That's not my thing.

Our camp is further South - towards Wafra.  It is still close to a McDonald's ('Baby, will you bring me an apple pie?'), a convenience store, a Starbucks (where ISN'T there a Starbucks??), and a great little restaurant where they sell kababs and machboos.

It is also located far away from other camps (although we can still hear loud music from 2 of the other camps in the distance).  I love the solitude and the nature.  There are only 7 of us who stay there.  We have only one other person who is invited (but doesn't stay as he has his own camp closeby - I don't know why because he's always with us).  We don't invite visitors.  We don't have parties.  We talk.  We laugh.  We listen to music ("Oh my God!  Not "Diamonds" again, Desert Girl!").  We joke with each other.  I love that.
I'm extremely blessed that we're out there with nature (ok, and optional conveniences...).  I like sleeping in a tent instead of a trailer (although we've got 2 trailers and one has a Jacuzzi (no, not the one with the pop-up TV, but close).  I like taking showers in the kirby bathroom that is absolutely freezing until the hot water steams the entire enclosure. I still have to have my hair dryer and thank God, the generator is big enough to accommodate all 1500 watts. The ice maker I brought (Desert Guy's favorite toy - he loves that thing) is another story.... usually trips the small generator.    Most of the time, we sit outside, but we've also got a tent that is enclosed.  That tent has a 60" TV (F soccer!)  It also has a mouse who we feed.  He usually only comes out after 4am.

The other morning, I woke up and the newest addition to the family, Bibi, an Aikita-mix puppy (who is much more aggressive/territorial than the older German Shepard), was barking frantically.  It had just rained and I was already half-awake listening to the sound of the rain on the tent roof when Bibi jolted us out of bed.  Camels were grazing behind the camp and apparently, she had never seen one before.  I couldn't go back to sleep, so I got up to take some pictures.

Best friends, Rose and Bibi

I don't want the camping season to end.  I'm loving it too much.  This has been the best time for me ever in the desert, Mashallah.    Since early December, I've been living there every weekend.  I leave work at 6 on Thursdays, pick up my stuff, and head to the camp.  We don't go home until late on Saturday (and everybody is in a bad mood because they don't want to go).  

I've grown so accustomed to this life that I don't know what I'm going to do when we have to take the camp down.  I'm already feeling depressed thinking about it.  I don't want it to end.

At first sight I felt the energy of sun rays 

I saw the life inside your eyes 

So shine bright, tonight you and I 
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky 
Eye to eye, so alive 
We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky 

Want to go to a desert camp?

There are several options.  Nuzha Tours ( offers day trips to the desert at their camp.  TIES Center ( and AWARE ( are also offering day trips this month.

The camping season usually ends on March 1st (unless the Government decides to extend), so all the camps must be dismantled and removed.

Personally, I haven't spent a weekend in my apartment since early December (because I'm at our camp) and I wish this season would never end.