Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tragedy in the blogging world — American Bedu (Re-Post from American Girl)

This makes me sad.  American Bedu is a friend to all expats - not only in Saudi Arabia, but in the GCC region and beyond.  She has tried to bridge the cultural gap in terms of creating a better (positive) understanding of her community and some of the challenges she has faced.  Her "real world" first hand experiences are invaluable to anyone transitioning to life in Saudi Arabia; and have offered insights into the GCC culture as a whole.

I started following her when I came across her pen name on a google search of regional blogs similar to mine; expats sharing our perspectives of life in this part of the world.  That was years ago.  Every now and then I drop in to see how she's doing (as I do with all my blog buddies). 

We become a community of virtual friends who care about and encourage eachother.  It is a "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" kind of experience in a way; only we often never meet in real life.  We form bonds.  We look out for each other.  When we receive negative blog comments, we often unite and form a common stand against the opposing force.  When we have real problems, we might even go as far as to e-mail or call each other.  There is a connection.  I have formed bonds with male bloggers in the past, but usually my lasting virtual friendships are with female bloggers.  We become kindred spirits in the world of virtual reality.  These women and their small acts of kindness have impacted my life in ways that have made a tremendous difference to me.

This is a time to return a favor.

I am re-posting this from American Girl's World Blog and I hope that others will help Carol with her choice to rest peacefully at home with the creatures she loves through her struggle with cancer.

Carol, we are all praying for you.

Tragedy in the blogging world — American Bedu

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For those who aren’t familiar, American Bedu is an American woman who was married to a Saudi. Sadly her husband who she loved so dearly lost his battle with cancer a few years ago. American Bedu (Carol) was surely devastated, but was then diagnosed with cancer herself. She’s been battling the illness for years.

Throughout her struggle with cancer, Carol has managed to maintain her blog and provide incredibly helpful information to her readers. She’s never complained, never given up, and never said a negative word out of frustration with life in general. Instead, she’s taken what would have broken most of us and allowed it to be her strength.

Unfortunately Carol has recently been hospitalized again and her family stated the prognosis isn’t good. But at this time it is her wish to leave the hospital and stay in her home with her cats. For her to do this will require 24/7 care which can be incredibly costly. This is where we can help. Please consider donating any amount at all. Please allow Carol to return to the comfort of her home.
The page for donations can be found here or in any one of the links above.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Municipality Strikes Again: Took away my Happy Place

I'm so P'ed.  I blame myself for jinxing us all...

This past weekend, I was joking with my friend, H, about how I was planning to steal a piece of hand-made furniture that he has at his farm.  He laughed and said, "Why steal it?  I'll give it to you."  I'm like - 'Naaaah, it is way more fun to steal.  You'll know who took it.'

So, H called me at 2 am a few days later.   He rarely calls me and never so late.  Totally unlike him, but  I was too tired to pick up the phone.  He called me back at around 9 am, obviously upset.  "Do you still want the outdoor furniture I have?  I'll send it to your house?"  I said, 'Dude, why the urgency?  It was a joke.'

We have been going to his farm for the past 5 years to hang out.  All of our friends go there.  It is very casual - you can just show up and we're always welcomed.  It is an extensive circle of friends that come and go.  I'm usually there on the weekends.

For some reason, the municipality decided that they want him off the land.  It is private land that he rents.  (The land owner, his friend, couldn't do anything about it.  I don't know the full details.)  How much notice do they give him?  Less than 24 hours to vacate!!!  Ridiculous. 

See, if I was him (or anyone in his situation), I would just be hillbilly-shotgun mad.  H is a nice guy.  He just made a lot of calls, gave a lot of stuff away, and sold the rest to scavangers/used furniture people.  All in a day.

He lost about 25,000 KD.

I feel so bad for him.   I feel bad for anyone in his situation.  What is wrong with this country that this stuff goes on?  At least give reasonable notice.  A month maybe?    H is Kuwaiti.  He's quiet and doesn't bother anyone. He rents the land.   There is no need for it.

I offered to give him my lawyers number or help him move.  He was just so depressed that he wouldn't accept anyone's help, "It's done."

I wouldn't mind going in on a farm rental somewhere.  I like the weekend hang out, so I made the offer.  If anyone knows anyone with a long-term lease in Kabd, let me know.  We're looking.  ... on to the next Happy Place.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What happened later

Ok so if you are a frequent reader (sorry, no loyalty program yet, and even if I had one, it would probably suck), then you probably know the story of Happy last year.  La Senza asked me if I had had any developments, so I shall pass it along.

In February, I needed a little help getting my car co-signed (because you're not allowed to be an adult in this country) and I was looking for solvent friends with decent jobs.  I asked Happy and he replied in a nanosecond that he would help (in addition to several other Kuwaiti friends that jumped in immediately).  Turns out, I didn't need the co-signer after all with Al-Soor Financial.  Bygones.

Anyhoo...  Happy kind of re-appeared and we made lunch plans that never materialized.  Then, we talked on the phone and he said that he was still interested in having a relationshit with me. Whaa dufuq?  After the request he made, however, I was not eager to hear all the torid details, so I just jumped into, 'So, Happy, what are your intentions?  Do you want to eventually get married?  What do you want with me?'  The Hapster said that he never wants to get married and that was never his intention.  So I don't get (at all) why he would even bother getting into a relationshit with someone (someone who is not a lesbian or bi, which is a requirement with him).  He went on to say that he's, "a butterfly, flying here and there, free."  (Oh, ok, that just translates to, "STD" to me.  No thanks.)  So, we haven't been in touch since.  He's a nice guy on a purely friendship level but je ne interested pas.

But hey, as it turns out, I didn't get a butterfly.  I got a Border Collie. 

Border Collies are some of the smartest dogs in the species. (I love dogs and respect them and I mean everything positive and in a complimentary way.)  They are also herding dogs; keeping an alert and caring eye on the flock.  They are loyal, they are driven and active/athletic. Some have blue eyes (mine has hazel).  They are beautiful.  They are also happy to go home at night and just "be."  So, I got a Border Collie. 

F the butterflies.  Who needs that?  Fly away.... fly away....

(Yes, it is all cryptic and mysterious and that's the way it is going to stay.  Anti stink-eye, anti-stink eye...)

La Senza, I'll fill you in later. :)


Elephants and Cupcakes and Bronchitis... Oh My!

I haven't been writing a lot lately because I've been travelling and THEN I got sick with yet another lovely case of bronchitis.  It has left me a few pounds lighter with a very sexy voice (or so I've been told). 

My life has been kind of a whirlwind since I left to go to DC for my birthday.  Lots of changes.  Lots of things going on.  Lots of positive things (no comment for those of you specifically interested in giving me the stink-eye).

I was in Dubai last week for the Arabian Travel Market show.  I loved ATM.  Great show.  The Dubai convention center is divided into different areas for different countries; some were quite elaborate.  Several booths had dancers and music.  Very cool. 

When we drove into Dubai from the airport, I saw an elephant on a truck from the taxi.  You never know what you are going to see in Dubai and when I start seeing elephants, it is usually about 2:30 am after a whole lotta tequila shots.   Pero this time, I was stone cold sober.

Later, at the show, I saw the same hephilump at the Sri Lanka podium.  How cool is that?

Etihad had the best marketing promo ever: to announce their new daily flights to my hometown, Washington, DC, Etihad set up a Georgetown Cupcake shop cafe (temporary bakery and cafe inside the convention hall!). Flight attendants were making and serving the cupcakes and coffee and ATM participants could (stand in a long line) sample them for free. If you've ever been to DC, you know about Georgetown Cupcakes. yummmmm.

 Now flying daily to Washington DC

We had a meeting at the Fairmont The Palms first, so I stayed there for a few nights.  NICE hotel.  Highly recommend it.  Then I moved to the Radisson Royal which was almost as nice.  Undoubtedly had better food; the Indo Thai restaurant was amazing.  Some of the best Pad Thai I've ever had (and the mojito was equally as good). 

I got sick several days into the convention.  I distinctly recall one person coming up to our booth to discuss medical tours, coughing in my face and then walking away; as if he was drumming up new business.  Totally threw me.  Who DOES that?  Then I got sick and started popping antibiotics (Augmentin  available over-the-counter in most GCC countries, thank you very much!)  like M&M's.  Here I am, a full week later, just starting to recover.  It hasn't been cool with me.  Got off the plane and "A" took me to the hospital.  They put me on the nebulizer a few times a day and (get this..) Augmentin.  Nothing like self-medicating.

Soooo.... La Senza and I were just chatting and she said that she was just checking my blog. I feel kinda bad because it has been so long since I've posted anything.  I want to do a follow-up to a "Happy Times 3" post just for you, La Senza girl..... :)


Friday, May 03, 2013

Y'all know who you are.  Thank you, God, for yet another happy day with someone who brings me up instead of trying to pull me down.

I hope all you good people had a happy day as well.