Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Truly Fascinating Summer

....  not....

This has been one of the hottest summers that I can remember.  Heat approaches 50c almost on a daily basis and if there isn't a dust storm on the weekend, it is a miracle.  I (like most people here this summer) am tired, cranky and just not in a mood.

I'm not even in a mood to post stuff on the blog. That's really bad because it is therapy.

I have tried hanging out at the farm, but that gets boring.  Now, my farm mates want to rent it out to strangers on the weekends because THEY need the money.  I'm going to look for my own damn farm with a few female friends who are reliable and (obviously) won't try to sneak ho's in every now and then or wait till I'm sleeping at 2 am to turn the music up full blast so that the planes passing overhead at 30,000 feet can hear.  F that.  I'm going to move my goats and pack up my junk.  Que cera.  It makes me sad, but alas I guess change is good.

I'm still not in my own apartment yet.  I'm staying with BFF.   She's on vacation in a foreign and exotic country.   I have decided (by friends repeatedly asking me a question: "What is it that you really want to do with your life?") that I am an interior decorator at heart.  BFF leaves the country and (with her permission this time), I start to decorate.  Her place is looking faaaabulous and I am actually going to be sad to move out.  I hope she's going to like it.  (I do....)

My Dream Crib should be ready mid-September.  (If not, you will read about my suicide in the paper. Donations should be made to animal rescue organizations in lieu of flowers.)  I have seen about 30,000 apartments now and this place stole my heart.  Its like it is the ONLY one for me and the kids.  My friend lives there now and he's looking for a bigger apartment (3 br).  I know I'm a pain in the ass, but I can't stop worrying that I won't be able to move in, so I send him reminders to the tune of, 'GET OUT!!!' and 'When ya leaving?'  or when I see him on FB at a restaurant, stuff like, 'I hope you're taking a realtor out to lunch....'   (I'm sorry, seriously---  I am.  But I'm pretty sure God has destined me to live there.  I'm an obsessed  woman in love... just so happens to be with your apartment.  I feel that I must stalk it.... yes yes, that is me hiding in the shadows, trying to determine what color I might paint it or where I should place my furniture.... )

My dogs are still with friends. It has been months and months.   I have been very worried about Mike because he stopped eating after I brought him back after he spends weekends with me.  I haven't seen him in a few weeks to let him fatten up.  I haven't seen Desert Dawg at all and I am really guilty of that.  I know she is safe and happy with my friend, but I just haven't gotten down there to visit.

Anyways, I'm tired and I can't wait to go on vacation.  I wish I could take my dogs.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

EEK! Magazine Poll to Expats on the Bombing in Kuwait

I'm glad to see that EEK! Magazine is starting up again after a while out of service.  They sent a very interesting poll a few weeks ago after the suicide bombing at the Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait.  I'm publishing my responses below:

1)   As an expat living in Kuwait, would you mind sending us your thoughts on Friday’s attack in GENERAL TERMS?

I cried.  I am incredibly sad for Kuwait; however I am proud of my second home for how fast they united and showed solidarity between religious sects.  All ONE Kuwait.

I think this event seems more personal because technology has changed and has brought something that might be 5-10-20 miles away from you into your living room.    I've been in Kuwait since 1996.  There have been security issues - big ones - during this time, but not bombings.  We didn't immediately receive information because, until recently, smart phones with apps like Twitter and Instagram weren't common.  Now, everyone has the technology, and you could be sitting in your home (or boat, or car, or at the beach)  watching events evolve.  You see the images instantly.  They're raw and uncensored.  You feel the emotions along with the person feeling them (like when I saw HH the Emir's face after witnessing the aftermath of the bombing).

2)   I more specific terms, could you comments briefly on the following statements:

 a)   I think this was a once-of event and will likely not happen again

This is not a one-off event.  Although it was carried out by a Saudi national, it was assisted by Kuwaiti stateless (Bidoon) people.  The Bidoon situation in Kuwait has been going on for several generations. It is a breeding ground for "deviant" ideology to come in and take root in the country (and I am not placing blame on the Bidoon population).  Young men are hopeless (many are without educations, jobs, a way to help their families, and are not able to marry because of their economic situation). Many are denied drivers licenses or passports.  When you lose hope, there is vulnerability.  Terrorist groups like ISIS (and others) have an open opportunity to offer a little hope through deviant religious beliefs and a sense of (displaced) "family"/community. Before this event, the Bidoon have been blamed for crime in the country.  This suicide bombing may be a turning point as now they are being trained in explosives and other means.   Unless the Bidoon issue is specifically addressed and a solution(s) is found, there will only be an increase in violence. I believe that the Government is aware of the potential threat;   If not, there would be no need to purchase urban warfare equipment, water cannons, rubber bullets, etc.

 b) Malls are targets and I will choose very carefully

This was true even before the recent events.  There is added security at the #1 most popular mall in Kuwait, but there is nothing in place to ensure that large bombs can't be brought into their underground parking lots.  Metal detectors aren't the answer, but sniffer detection dogs are and mall owners should start considering them as an option.  I try to avoid times when there are large amounts of people in the mall. It is never a good idea; from someone with a knife (or a bomb)  to someone with the flu - I don't need to be that close to anyone.

 c)   My concern is real and I feel uneasy

It is a real concern because now this recent attack has shown the vulnerability of security in Kuwait.  There are holes - just like there were prior to 9/11 in the States.  The age of innocence is gone.  

 d)   I will think twice now before attending places frequented by expats

I always think twice, but any time something terrible happens, it just deepens my caution.

 e)   I do not feel threatened by the attack at all, it can happen anywhere

It can happen anywhere, but in my almost 20-years in Kuwait, I've learned to be vigilant.  You have to be.  Don't wear your big American flag T-shirt, for example.  Know your surroundings.  Have a "plan B".  And for your own sake - make friends with Kuwaitis because in a real emergency, they may be the only people who can help you.

 f)   My family and I are so affected we are thinking of leaving Kuwait

I disagree with this statement.  My family here consists of 2 dogs, 1 parrot, and 5 goats,  We are all just fine here.

 g) Another attack like this and we will definitely leave the region

My mother is in her 80's.  I don't know if I want to put HER through the stress, but I feel fine about staying.  I love Kuwait and feel safe here overall.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Illegal Big Cats of Kuwait

Repost from Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait.  (Thanks, Girl!)

Sick, horrible, and dangerous trade.