Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring in Kuwait: Why are you sending me pictures of your personal?

Is it just me....

Lately, a very odd phenomenon has been happening to me.  I meet men.  You kinda haveta weed out the good from the bad, but this is different.  I've met men lately - from different walks of life -  who are sending me unsolicited random photos of their penises.  Not one, not two, not three.....  These guys are business professionals, mature, and people who you would never in a million years expect to send photos of their tallywackers.

I don't know if it is just me.  I mean - do I have a face that says, "I really want to see your dangly bits"?  I don't ask them. I don't even have time to respond before BAM  - there it is.  Eeeeewww...  I'm not saintly or anything, but OMG.  Whyyyyyy???  I'm not talking dirty.  I'm not behaving in a way that would solicit this kind of behavior.  I'm just going about my life as usual. 

....we have now reached a whole new level of low-class....  I have reached a whole new level of disparagement over my single status.  Is this the future?

And what does this say about the senders?  I guess a picture says a thousand words:  That their entire existence revolves around their schlongs?  "This is who I am."  Wow.  Has society become so base?  Does it really come down to (on average) 6.5 inches?  "This is all I'm worth."  (Well, okay, I have to admit that one was REALLY impressive, but still....)

God forbid I start getting videos...

Dudes, if I wanted to see neked pictures of men, I would log onto one of those sites specifically for that.  Where is the mystery?  Where is the intrigue?  Put your clothes on, let's go to dinner and let's get to know each other.  WTF. Whatever happened to talking to a girl?  Can you imagine:  "How I met my wife...."  

Mafi ayeb bil Kuwait?  Wallah?  Killish?

Sometimes I think that I have issues and then I realize how truly phucked up other people are.  Sigh.

Foreigners are to blame for everything

I ran into an old friend the other night (Lebanese) who said that all everyone is talking about are the plans to eliminate the number of foreigners in Kuwait; some overt, and some aimed at charging expats separate prices for services/items.  He was overtly upset by this, almost to the point of taking a personal offense.

C'mon - has the Kuwaiti blame game extended this far?  Why does Kuwait stagnate so much?  Because everybody is busy pointing fingers and blaming other groups (until recently, domestic groups) and meanwhile, the country is floundering in a cesspool of  bad business while the rest of the Gulf is excelling.

They even want to mandate a separate price for gasoline for foreigners and Kuwaitis.  Puhleeze - have you seen the lines at the gas stations in Kuwait?  They can't figure out how to install updated (current-century) gas pumps.  How would they handle separate lines/separate pricing?   (I long for the types of gas pumps they have in the States where you can just swipe your credit card and go.) 

Then, the  plans for apartheid in the healthcare system, segregating foreigners from Kuwaitis with different operating hours for both.  Yeah, that is definitely a step in the wrong direction.  Imagine that happening in Western countries; suddenly imposing the same laws on any foreigners... let's say Kuwaitis would have to wait until the afternoon for treatment at a London hospital.  It would be the end of the world.

Cutting 100,000 jobs to foreigners per year.  Okey dokey - let's start with the street cleaners, domestic workers and drivers.  Bada bing.  Put your big girl panties on and deal with it yourself.  Or perhapsee waiters and waitresses.  From my perspective, following the first 3 categories I mentioned above, the largest number of current foreign-hires are wait staff and restaurant workers (kick ass, Shaya!).  (Let's be real - the only businesses that thrive in Kuwait are food-related.)  So, I completely agree - less of all of those categories and more jobs for Kuwaitis.

I was so happy to see young Kuwaitis serving customers through LOYAC's internship programs.  Is there shame in those jobs?  No, and the kids loved it.  They had pride in their accomplishments and a sense of responsibility.  Is that a bad thing?  LOYAC's model is simple:  Do something for your community and for yourself.

Why are countries like Qatar and Dubai thriving?  Because they are working in cooperation with their foreign/professional workforce (just look at the number of universities and hospitals they work with).  They LEARN from past results of business models brought in from other places; other ideas, other perspectives.  You don't see countries like Dubai trying to cut expat jobs; they open the door to other nationalities.  Come on in!  Buy our land.  Add to our flourishing economy and tourism sectors.  Bring your families!  Spend, spend, spend.  Hey, now that is a novel idea:  Benefiting the local economies.  Huh.

I love Kuwait and I hate so see all this negativity.  Open your minds.  Stop blaming, start moving.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Law on Music Concerts in Kuwait

Obtaining a permit to have music even at a private party is a royal PITA.  I've never tried to obtain one for a concert, so I can only imagine how difficult it would be.  We wanted to get a guy to play oud once at a hotel venue and I needed wastah even for that.  Pathetic.  And the MOI often sends concert monitors to ensure that no one is dancing. 

Kuwait used to be a leader in the arts in the Middle East before all the conservatives set about to destroy it.  I am seeing some real talent coming up recently and I hope that they will be allowed to CREATE in Kuwait.

Finally, someone with the right attitude in Parliament (see below)!  Using the law to change the balance.... This is exactly what MPs in the past could have done to counteract some of the "foreign influences"/conservative policies used by lawmakers of previous parliaments.    I don't know anything about MP Al-Fadhl, but I'm liking him a whole lot today! 

Arab Times Today:

MP Nabil Al-Fadhl queried the Minister of Information Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah on the reasons why a 2004 ministerial decision, that sets stringent conditions on music concerts, has not yet been abolished.

Al-Fadhl said the decision violates Article 14 of the Constitution, which states that “the State shall promote science, letters, and the arts and encourage scientific research therein”, as well as Article 30, which states that “personal liberty is guaranteed”.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Serseree in the local dialect means a womanizer (macdaddy, player, etc.).  I have a friend who is one and he’s such a pig that it has actually influenced me to write something on the subject.

Here in Kuwait, “playing the field” is, as a competitive sport, an art form.  Both genders do it; married or not.  Both genders complain that “there is no one good out there.”  I wonder if they would say that if they weren’t out there playing?

“Single” in Kuwait does not necessarily mean “single” as we know it in the Western world.  It may just mean that the married person does not have a girlfriend or boyfriend at the moment.  Wait – it’ll change. 

My serseree friend is dating more women than I can count.  (He tells me the names, but I just can't remember.) He lies to all.  About everything.  He meets women everywhere – even doing the (low-class) phone number exchange in the car.  He and his friend put on national dress (which they normally never wear because they’re either in shorts or jeans); borrow different high-end cars and drive around giving women their phone numbers.  As he says, “You can only make 1 round on the Gulf Road wearing qutara and aghal because it is feshla (a shame).  You get 6 or 7 numbers and go to another street.” 

[Sidenote:  Personally, I’m sick of seeing Kuwaiti men in western attire.  You can’t tell who is who anymore.  I loved the days when they all wore national dress.  But it seems like there are less and less of those guys anymore; unless they’ve just come from a wedding or a funeral – or maybe have had some work at a ministry.  Maybe other women out there feel the same way I do – which is why guys like these can get so many phone numbers wearing national dress and driving hot cars.]

Dude confides in me because he was formerly dating one of my friends (who thought he was being faithful to her) and now I am that girl that he can tell anything to.  Yes I’m judgemental.  Yes I will throw it back at him and tell him how I feel about it.  (Okay, I’m not opposed to punching him when he says something truly repulsive - and Serseree Boy has the bruises to attest to it.)  But still, he feels that he can tell me anything.  I’m semi-okay with that.  It is giving me a unique perspective into the mind of a player.  Do I tell my girlfriend?  Hell to tha yes; but not everything.  I don’t want to hurt her – she’s been through enough.  I’ve told her maybe 1/3 of what he’s told me.  But it is still shocking.   I feel bad because I betrayed her by not telling her how much time I've been spending with him. (I have to admit, the morbid curiosity has become a short-term obsession/fascination.)  I’m sure that it must hurt even to know that he is being so blatantly honest with me when he couldn’t have been with her.  But that’s because he knows he will never have a relationship with me.  He’s not trying to get one over on me because I just don’t care.

Sometimes he calls me and wants me to talk to them on the phone. "Here, Desert Girl, talk to my girlfriend."  (Whyyyyy?  Am I some kind of reassurance/confidence instiller that he can be trusted because he has a female friend?)   I have to raise my voice to match their mini-mouse squeeky/supposedly sexy talk.  I imitate them and they don't even seem to get it.  Bimbos.  

If you saw Serseree Boy, you would think that he’s lying about all the women.  Maybe he’s not the best looking guy, but he’s incredibly charming and immediately makes you feel special.  He knows all the right things to say and makes the rounds to ensure that he’s spending enough time with each female friend (he’s 41 and has a decent retirement income. He’s also from old money, so that’s he’s got plenty of free time and money isn’t a worry.)  And no, this isn’t just a mid-life crisis for him; it is a long-term lifestyle:  Wake up, shower, drink some more, visit women and/or search for more, party, sleep.

Oh, and let me tell you about the places he has.  He had a camp this year.  Divided his time between ladies on alternating days.  He has a farm in Kabd.  He has a yacht for the summer (supposedly reserved for only one woman - the mother of his illegitimate child).  He has a family chalet with a pool.  And he is soon to get an apartment.  His "real" residence is at home with his mommy, but he is okay with sneaking different women downstairs to have sex.

I hope that I have never been in love with someone like this (but my type would have a job), but alas, I probably have; because they are so sneaky and conniving that you (as an honest person) would most likely never be able to tell.  Honest people don’t think like serserees – or so I would like to believe.  Maybe I’m naive. 

He lies constantly. Even when he doesn't have to.  It is like training for the next lie.  He tells different women different stories; often in conversations in front of me.  He laughs about it, but at the same time, complains that they “don’t give him space,” and take up too much of his time.  I wonder then, why he can’t just be honest and tell them that he’s playing the field and dating other people?  Why is the honesty part so difficult?  If I lie, for example, I am always found out because I can never remember my lies and have to confess later.  There is only so much you can deny. 

So why is Serseree Boy telling me all of this?  I dunno, really.  I guess because I listen. (I can also glean any intel I want by calling him at 3:30 am and asking him because he's always drunk and it is like he's got truth serum in his blood.)   He has told me that he can tell me anything and be relaxed around me because he isn't worried about what lie he has told meHe doesn't have to worry that he will say or do the wrong thing.   Because we are platonic (defined in the Urban Dictionary as, "To love someone in an 'I don't want to do you' kind of way").   In my different groups of friends, I am always “one of the guys” (and it isn't because there is a "I don't want to do you" factor, but I hope I have morals/ethics/standards).   Most of them feel free to be themselves in front of me.  Maybe I have one of those faces that says that I’m empathetic to people.  In this case, I’m not empathetic, just curious.  

Serseree Boy has told me all about his adventures; even how his marriage ended when his wife found pictures of himself and his girlfriend on a European vacation in Germany and France.  (Oh, and girlfriend even went to see him at his house while the wife was upstairs!)   Serseree is still seeing the girlfriend (she has been married since they met).  His X-wife is busy filing court cases.  I personally think that he thrives on drama.   I asked him why he even got married to begin with.  “To have children.”  Wow.  Is that all that it comes down to?  What kind of father does that make him?  Why couldn’t he marry a woman who he could be honest with?   As he says, he would never “allow” his wife to do the same things he does.  Maybe she would demand her rights too if he told her the truth.

Which brings me to another point:  What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.   We, as women, have a 6th sense.  In most cases, we can determine when a man is cheating – even if we don’t want to face up to it.  If a wife knows/suspects, she’s more likely to be cheating on her husband (and many of the married women I’ve known here – “religious” or not – have had long-term, multi-year relationships with their boyfriends).  It is not uncommon.

So everybody is cheating on everybody.  Is anybody practicing safe sex?  Serseree Boy has a child with a girlfriend who is married to someone else.  Her husband doesn’t know that he’s not the father.  Serseree is happy about it.  “I love my other son...”  How many cases like this are there in Kuwait?  And that brings up the subject of STDs and AIDS.  In his case, he says, “I know the women I’m with are clean.  I can tell.”  How?  Does he have portable blood testing equipment?  HIV can stay dormant in the blood stream for 5 years.  How does he know?  How does anybody know?  And you aren’t going to find accurate statistics in this part of the world because supposedly, no one is having extra-marital sex. 

Yup, it is all very Jerry Springer, but without the DNA testing. 

I have met more and more men (and women) who don’t want to get married here.  Or – if they do, just want to get married to have children and then get divorced.  If we were in a Western country, I think there would be a lot of unmarried mothers – just because they could do it legally.  People don’t want to be tied down anymore. 

I wonder how long Serseree Boy can maintain the facade:   At 41, he may be headed to become a low-rent Hugh Heffner with a grotto and some bunnies.  To me, that is just sad because you never know true love (although he throws the word around like it’s chicken feed at a Naif farm).  He may end up as one of those 70-somethings you see hanging out all night at the male-only coffee shops, talkin trash with their other toothless friends about the good old days when their junk used to work.  (Toothless - isn’t that they can’t afford the dental care.  It is because they are afraid.) Or, lamenting the fact that their kids don’t like them very much because they never were there when they were growing up (or were bad to their mothers).    Or hosting parties for 20-something girls in skin-tight mini-dresses that barely cover their hoo-hoo.  He’ll be the fat old weird guy who owns the house where the bunnies are partying.   How many bunnies would go to visit him in the hospital if he ever got sick?  Can he call a bunny if he needs help?  Je think not.     

These are just my observations.  Isn’t there more to life?   Am I being too judgemental?  He seems perfectly happy.  Maybe it is just a life choice that I shouldn't be judging.  Dunno.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Captain of Her Heart

I LOVE this song.  After years and years, I never get tired of hearing it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Salt and Sugar

My friend, Traveler, wrote a post on his blog after reading my last post on "Packing their tents and moving on."  He said very eloquently,

"It is easy at these times to open myself and allow my spirit to be taken to a place that is not happy or joyous but tends to be rather blue or melancholy. I've never been one of those who feels that we were ever supposed to be happy all the time, there are events in life that will always get us down but even if we bring ourselves down by remembering things and events in our life that were less than joyful this is not a bad thing. To me it is how you keep in touch with the root feeling of who you are – – it reminds you that there are things of value that were part of your life that are no longer there for one reason or another.  You must allow yourself to wallow in times that were lonely or sad and therefore caress the human side of your spirit. I think that Americans spend too much time trying to ensure they are continually happy when allowing themselves to indulge in a blue mood now and then would actually make them appreciate happiness more and make them well-rounded individuals. All those blues songs were written for a reason – – listen to the lyrics, allow the music to bathe you, and enjoy the down feeling for a moment or two."

This is very true.  Sometimes you have to know the taste of salt to understand the sugar.  Not everything is perfect.  However, I hope all my posts aren't all "singin the blues" -  It just is what it is.  That's life.  That's what I ramble about.  That's why my one follower (whoever you are) reads this crap.

I went through a period in life here in Kuwait where I was on anti-depressants.  I had a series of traumatic events happen that were life-altering and I needed to regulate my emotions.  I shouldn't have stayed on the meds as long as I did, but at that time, they really helped.  I was able to function for a time without feeling at all.  I could have been the poster child for a similar-to-Botox-induced-face; all the emotions were the same; one face for all. Nothing affected me, good or bad.

Sometimes living in Kuwait, I feel like life gets to be so routine with no real highs and no real lows.  I don't laugh as much as I do with family in Virginia, but at the same time, I don't have periods where I feel as low - or even as lonely.   Here, life is a continuity of events rather than peaks and valleys.  I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  Sure, melancholy sets in and I have some times that are better than others, but overall, we're talking about a flat surface rather than mountains and valleys.

Right now, I'm on a plateau.  The winter was great and I'm just waiting for summer activities to set in.  Meanwhile, Spring is my favorite time of the year.  Spring is all about re-birth and renewal.  I'm there. I'm also doing a little Spring cleaning; evaluating what I should keep and what I shouldn't.  It is all very fassssssssssscinating and I'm up for the challenge.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Packing their tents and moving on

My dad used to tell me that Arabs pack up their tents and move on in the middle of the night.  Perhaps years ago they did;  Our camp took 2 days and a team of workers, 2 flatbeds and a crane to dismantle.

I feel like someone tore down my house.  It is a horrible feeling.  It is the end of the season and everything has to be moved, but it has been a really traumatic experience; maybe more so because Desert Guy and I broke up (again x3) at about the same time.  (We got together again briefly and it was the happiest I've ever been with him, but very short-lived).  Anyways, a whole lifestyle has been shifted and I'm feeling very unbalanced and out-of-sorts.

I know I'm not grounded when I unconsciously stop calling my mother for days at a time.  She knows there is something wrong by the tone of my voice, so I avoid calling her.  Not intentionally, but time passes. 

I haven't felt like socializing.  However, a dear friend asked if she could have her birthday party at my house and I agreed.  I'm not so sure it was a good decision because (one reason but only part of it... read on....) my mood has been so bad that I was in no state to have visitors.  I haven't entertained at my house since Thanksgiving and there was a reason for it.    I hope everyone had a good time at her birthday.  I think they did.  It wasn't until a few days later, upon reflection, that I got really upset over it.  I hope it hasn't ruined our friendship.  Time will tell.

I've become best buddies with Desert Guy's cousin and close friend, Teddy (I'm going to call him that because when The Romanian and I first met him, we kept saying that he was a big teddy bear).  He was, until recently, The Romanian's boyfriend.  My friendship with Teddy annoys DGy to no end (The Romanian knows me and has encouraged our friendship); DGy is not happy with it (jealousy is a bad bad thing) and in some very childish and hurtful maneuvers, has communicated it to me in ways that vocal chords apparently can not.  (Why can't people just talk?  I don't get it.)  The birthday party was just a culmination of events.  By 3 am, I was alone in a tearful rage, burning Desert Guy's ghutara and aghal in a temper tantrum on my barbecue grill.    He wasn't there (had left it behind).  I sent him pictures on WhatsApp and then posted in on Instagram.  Tee hee.  I didn't know that aghals could burn so quickly.  Who knew?  Up in flames:  quite dramatic and symbolic. (Yes, it felt really good.  Don't judge me.)

This shit is all going into my book/film script later.  You'll see.

I was left with an achy heart, an incredibly messy house and a flooded terrace, a ruined carpet and no leftovers in my refrigerator.  Not a happy weekend por moi.  2 days of cleaning and disappointment.  Calgon, get me the phuck out of here....

Due to my poor judgement (wanting to spend holidays with Desert Guy), New Years Eve sucked, Valentines Day sucked even more, National and Liberation Days weren't much better (only in that I wasn't with him).  The next major event on my calendar is my birthday next month and I'm determined not to let it be sucky:  I'm going back to Virginia for a little while to be with my family.

Pity Party moment:  Like... no one is going to throw me a birthday party here and if they did, it would be at my house and I would end up hosting and cleaning.  No thanks.  Now, just so I'm not such a whiny coyote, complaining about negative things:  Let's have some positive now....

I've been quietly visiting with old friends at discreet and remote locations.  I've been effectively packing my own tent and moving on.  I've been spending time with friends with horses and animals and a few with camps that are still up until the end of this month.

I spent last night at my friend's camp under the stars, laughing until an unreasonable hour and I was sure I wouldn't make it to work on time (although I did - nursing a hangover, but an Absolut-ly gooood one).   I've known Bu Nawaf for 30+ years.  He and my x-fiance are my oldest (longevity) friends in Kuwait (although the X doesn't keep in touch as well as Bu Nawaf has over the years.   BN says, "People change," and they do.  My x used to be my very very very best friend in the whole world and I thought that nothing would ever break up our friendship.  People change.  Bu Nawaf has managed to stay in touch and is always there if I need a shoulder or just to recharge the positive energy batteries.  He's the kind of guy who could call after 10 years of not seeing him, and we would pick up right where we had left off.

This weekend, I'll be back in Kabd visiting other old friends.  Bu Khalaf has his diwaniya and yet again - I'm the only female allowed.  I love being one of the guys but being a girl at the same time.  His friends are all religious and there are even a few mullas in the mix. We talk about cars; our common ground.  They go to pray together and then return and make chai 7alib.  Bu Khalaf would rather be with his old buddies and his animals than in the city; although he lives only a few short blocks from my house.  I go to his farm, hang out with him and the guys, look at the goats and walk around while the weather is still good.  I go home and sleep well.

I have new friends with horses.  I think that animals are my grounding element at the moment.  Although this will all change when it is 150 degrees outside.  I might find the grounding hard at that temperature.  It suits for now.

and then on to the next thing.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Alghanim Auto Service Center - My First Experience

Prior to arrival, my first impression was good:  Website is great, provides information and pricing. Tells you numbers to call.  Gives a customer feedback form.  So exciting....but....

Looks can be deceiving.

The information that the website provides is incorrect.  You don't need an appointment and should you TRY to make one, neither the numbers nor the feedback form work.  No one ever answers the phone and the form on the site isn't working at all.  What are your options?  You go there.

So, on arrival (around 1pm):  Alghanim's car service center is bagorgeous; everything  you could ever want in a shop.  It's clean.  Dudes wear uniforms. They take your tag number and assign a lane so that you can speak to a service advisor.

Looks can be deceiving.

Once I got into the lane, the service advisor really didn't have an understanding of 1) my vehicle nor 2) what I was requesting.  I asked for a tune up and oil change and for him to check the brakes.  I also asked for a license plate holder.  I was advised that my car would be ready the same day.  I went to their car rental office (which they say they have on their website).  No available cars.  And there were no taxis in site, so I had to wait.  Thaaaaanks.

Service Advisor Man (SAM) said that he would call me about the brakes.  He called before I left the service center to tell me that the license plate holder was not in stock.  Apparently, he promised a phone call - and yup - that was the only one I was going to get.  I started calling him at around 4:30.  No answer.  I called the main number (et voila) an operator answered and I asked to speak to SAM.  No answer.  I kept calling until 7pm when they closed.  (And I still didn't have a car.)

Next day, I start calling SAM at their opening time (7am).  Several hours later, he picked up the phone and acted surprised as if he had never promised to have my car back the same day.  I checked the service ticket and he had written 5:30 the next day (ok, I get it - he said one thing, but wrote another and so it became my fault for not reading the paper).   SAM said his duty ends at 4:30 so he wasn't there to answer the phone.  Gee thanks.  Apparently, no one else answers the phone either.

So, I go back to pick up the car at 5:30 and had to wait an additional 45 minutes while someone washed my car.  OMG.  Didn't they know I was coming?  Ya have 2 days to do an oil change and a tune up and you can't squeeze in a car wash and git er to me on time?  Whutup?

During the Time of Waiting and Contemplation, a cashier hits on me and gives me his mobile phone number "just incase I ever need anything from Alghanim" - like money maybe?  Then, I pick up one of Alghanim's pamphlets on service for my particular vehicle.  It says some tasks are performed at every service (it does not say "checked" at every service.  It says "performed".)  Dayum!  Did my tires get rotated?  Did I get new windshield wiper blades?  I just paid 200 KD for what amounted to a tune up and oil change.  I want my free shit!  So, I go to the customer service dudes.  THREE people (including a Senior Supervisor)  try to explain to me what the brochure means.  Hey - I know English purty good:  performed vs checked.  I know the difference.  They don't.  Sigh.   Never get an answer to my questions. I fill out a very unfavorable customer comment card and I leave.

I drive the car.  It is running rough (engine vibration).  I call SAM.  He's incredulous. He asked me about how the service was on the car and I tell him that it was not a good experience.  He's sorry.  Asks me to bring the car back in.  Yada.  (At this point, do I reeeeeally want to bring my car back?  I dunno...)

About the same time, my Irish Cousin gives me the mobile phone number for the service manager (harps playing, angels singing).  I send dude an SMS the size of encyclopedia Britanica telling him what happened.  He called me; asked me to bring my car back in.  I tell him fine, 8:30 the following morning.  Then SAM calls, upset that I've spoken to Service Manager Dude (SMD).  Calls me many more times later.  More SAM calls even as late as 9:30 pm on Saturday night.  Dude WTF - I'm a customer not a family friend.   Whatever.  SAM promises to be there at 8:30am.

I go in at 8:45.  Where's SAM?  Where's SMD?  Oh.My.God!!!  WTF.  I start sending SMSs to SMD.

I pull into Lane #7 (my lucky number) where this tall, gorgeous guy named Bader trys to help me.  I know his name is Bader because, like the professional he turned out to be, he has a large, legible sign hanging in his kiosk window.  Cool.  Et he speaks Camaro!  He knows the problem and tells me that many of them have the same problem:  large engine, manual transmission = vibration at idle.  Ok fine.  As long as someone knows what the hell they're talking about and makes me feel confident, I'm good.  He says he'll have it checked on the computers and let me know.  I also ask for a wheel alignment and balancing (desert + Camaro = no good, baba).  Bader calls me back in the afternoon, tells me that everything is normal with the car and explains how the tires might affect performance (needs new tires) and to stop trying to bend my rims on sand dunes.  Understood.  I feel completely at ease and confident with this person.

So anyhoo, SMD sent his second-in-command to help me that morning.  Sent me to my office in an Alghanim provided vehicle and driver and even offered to lend me his X5.  (Ok, flirting and sexy boots are really beneficial in these cases.)  Great service at that step.

Get back to my office feeling good about it all and then SAM calls me.  Oh.My.God, what NOW?!  Leave me ALONE!  Get this.... no.... I mean, get THIS:  SAM says to me, "I thought of you last night.  I was late to work because my son had diarrhea last night.  (As if that wasn't bad enough - he goes into more detail) He had loose bowels..."  No.He.Di'in't!!!  Seriously?  Do I care?  I have one of those faces that people feel that they can say ANYthing to.  Here's what SAM should have said, "I am very sorry I wasn't there to greet you.  I had a family emergency."  What he should have done was to send me an SMS - either at night or in the morning - to let me know someone else would have to handle the car.  I didn't even laugh when he told me about the kid with the squirts; I just told him, "good luck with that" and hung up.

As it was, it was a complete blessing SAM's kid got the trots and he (SAM) wasn't there because whenever I go back, I will ask for Bader.  He knows his stuff and is 100% professional.  THAT is the kind of guy I want to be looking after my vehicle.  So, if you have a Camaro and you have to go to Alghanim, go see Bader.  (If you're buying the 700 HP, 24,000kd super-duper Camaro.... for sure see no one but Bader.)

Also, if you need anything electrical diagnosed, go see Ehab Zamel in Bumper to Bumper. I ran into him there.  He used to work on my Stealth and is a magician with electrical systems and diagnostics.  (My Stealth sat at Al Mulla for 2 months with an electrical problem that they could not diagnose.  I had it towed to Ehab and within 2 hours, he found and resolved the problem.) G E N I O U S

So that's my story.  The end.

100 Most Powerful Arab Women

Arabian Business revealed picks for the 100 most powerful Arab Women.  Mark (248am blog) posted about the top Kuwaiti women and I think it is important so I am re-posting.

I find it (how do I put this) uncomfortable, however, that so many of the women were picked because they were film and music stars.  While I find their careers "influential", I don't know if I would place an importance on acting and singing unless it is making a positive change somehow either socially or politically.  It is like saying that Britney Spears should be among the US' most powerful women.

Anyhooser, here is Mark's post (and thank you for formatting it so well!)

The most powerful Kuwaiti women – 2013

Arabian Business released their “100 most powerful Arab women 2013″ list and 11 Kuwaiti women made the top 100. This year the most powerful Kuwaiti women was Suad Al Humaidi who came in at number 10. Compared to last year, 13 Kuwaiti women made it to the list in 2012 with the most powerful being Sheikha Al Bahar at number 8. Below is the current ranking of all the powerful Kuwaiti women who made the top 100.

10 – Suad Al Humaidi
16 – Sheikha Hessa Bint Saad Abdullah Salem Al Sabah
21 – Sheikha Al Bahar (pictured above)
34 – Maha Al Ghunaim
44 – Donna Sultan
55 – Rola Dashti
58 – Sara Akbar
63 – Maha Hussain
78 – Riham Fouad Al Ghanim
88 – Ghosson Al Khaled
94 – Faten Al Naqeeb

For the full list and article, visit the Arabian Business website [Here]

Sunday, March 03, 2013


There's a lot in the news about a man in Florida who was sleeping peacefully at home in his bedroom when a sinkhole swallowed him whole.  They haven't found his body and now they are demolishing his house.  (link to CNN story here.)

This is a sinkhole that appeared after heavy rains this past week on Fahaheel Expressway at Wafra Road, Khiran.  The photo was taken before there was an accident (I later heard that someone died, but couldn't confirm it).  When I arrived at about midnight, the police had closed most of the road except for one lane and there was a wrecked car at the side of the road.  The very next day, the hole was fixed and it was like nothing had ever taken place.