Wednesday, December 30, 2009
So, now that I've had it done here, I need to know where to get it done (well) in Kuwait? Any recommendations?
BRING IT ON
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
I'm sure I'll be writing from Virginia, but I just want to wish everyone well incase the plane crashes (now it won't - anti-jinx!). If it does, I hope I have caused no harm to anyone.
Catch you over the pond.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This scene scared the bejezus out of me when I was little. My sister watched it with my nephew when he was around 7 or 8 and she got him all psyched up to see it, "Its going to be scary, honey, don't worry." Then, he saw it and goes, "Uh, mommy... it's JUST a movie!"
Isn't that just sick?
The party was great. We had a lot of fun. Got home and argued (well, he did) that I was spending too much time talking to another man. He got so angry about it and it was so stupid that I told him to go home. He called me in the morning to giggle about how silly he was. I laughed at him because I know how he gets. He didn't mean it, he just went from zero to stupid in 6.2 seconds.
Anyhoo, I slept with Jamil that night. That's right. Jamil is the new man 0'my dreams (if only The Man knew....). Too bad he is only 5" tall and anotomically incorrect. Otherwise, he would be ideal - never argues. Just lies there looking handsome.... gets along well with my dog.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
So now 4+ YEARS later, I still can't get rid of the F-ing Mchat! I have called Zain. I turned it off online. I have sent their stupid end codes repeatedly and what happens - I still get notifications from Mchat. Several times - it logged me in without any action at all on my part.
I called Zain and said, "Yo! What happens if my (albeit virtual/invisible/mythical) husband uses my phone one day and sees I'm chatting with strange men. Do YOU want to be responsible for my (albeit virtual/invisible/mythical) divorce?"
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
My slutty red dress isn't fitting me as well as I used to (yeah DG - blame it on the dress!), and I didn't want to make a big hoopla over make-up (its not like I'm EVER going to Hanan Dashti), hair and attire, so I threw on some fresh war paint and a black beaded jacket and went. Fekit: Comfort! I think for the next one, I'm going to do what all the matronly women do and just put on an abaya. Why knock yourself out?
I usually wear the slutty red dress and sit in the middle so that when the groom's party comes in and the female audience turns into a sea of black, I am the Blonde In The Red Dress and get all the attention. It usually works for me on several levels (including the former) but also that I don't get invited to others too quickly - which is better for me because I hate weddings. I especially hate the ones where you have to roll yourself in taffeda, 3 pounds of make-up, jewelry (so heavy that should you slip in a puddle, you would drown and tweek your hair into almost certain folicle death. Nooo, I don't even want to shave my legs unless it is for a reeeeeeeally good cause.
Anyhoo, this was my friend, Talal's, wedding and I really like him and his family. I hadn't seen them for about 12 years. He has perservered through some hard times and found love and was getting married. Bada BING. He very kindly extended an invitation and I went. I sat with the older female members of his family; many wearing niqab. One niqaba came and sat down behind me and started a conversation about her recent trip to Houston. I LOVED her. Never saw her face, but we promised to get together sometime (God forbid - not another wedding!). How will I know her? Eeek. Hadn't thought about that. The other ladies smiled at me warmly and I felt quite welcomed.
Talal's mother and sisters were very hospitable and couldn't have been nicer. Really sweet ladies. Because I was so late, the groom's party came in only after about half an hour. Then, the picture-taking time came and I wanted to leave before the Buffet Stampede and being forced to eat something. I went to congratulate the couple and Talal asked that I take a photo with he and his bride.
Ok, I don't know if it was me. Really, it might not have been, but it seemed a whole lot like it....
I don't think she was too happy that I was there. Her aunt told me that she was upset because she wanted to dance and the groom didn't, but it sure felt like it was more about not taking a photo with me. She turned from a kitty cat to lioness in about 4.5 seconds; directing the full fury on poor Talal. He giggled nervously. The photo-taking stopped. The mass grew quiet. I mumbled something about hoping they would have a lot of children and a happy life together and then (I had my reason to get TF outa there so) I bolted. I got across the parking lot as fast as my clickety heels could take me.
This is a new, odd, and somewhat disturbing sensation: This has never happened to me before at a wedding.
I immedately called The Man and started nervously relating. "WHAT?! You were congratulating them! That's rude!" Well yeah. She did know that I was going to be there. Dude is like 15 years younger than me and we only worked together (his dad knew me too). Yikes. I must look really bangable - cougaresque perhaps. Maybe I should take it all as a compliment.
Update - I spoke to the groom and he said that she was indeed mad at him for not dancing. My advice to him as a newly-married person, "If your wife asks you to dance, just dance." I would have been POed too if I wanted to dance at MY wedding and the groom refused. Your wedding photos last forever, after all. I don't think I would have thrown a hissy fit in front of 100 people, but I would have exacted a precise revenge later.
Has anyone else heard this? I heard of some pretty horrific acts committed during the occupation, but this is the first time I have heard this.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I am always leary of companies that don't provide an e-mail address to send your resume to. Either they don't have a domain name or can't figure out how to create an anonymous e-mail (or worse - don't have a computer!)
I decided to call this one after several friends brought it to my attention. I asked the receptionist for their e-mail. She said they are only conducting telephone interviews. I said I am busy today (at work) and maybe the interviewer could contact me tomorrow. What did she do? She immediately transferred me to the (maybe Lebanese) woman. I asked (4 times)if she would give me the opportunity to close my office door as I am AT WORK. That's when the "my dears" began. When people ASSume that they can become informal with me right-off-the-bat, I ASSume they are being condescending. Not a good start. It gets worse....
"Where do you work?"
I told her.
"How old are you?"
'Why is that relevant?'
"How old are you?"
"How much money do you make? What is your total package?"
At this point, I'm pissed off. I told her that the number of personal questions being asked over the phone is disturbing and perhaps a face-to-face interview would be more appropriate.
"THIS is the way we do it my dear."
Ok biotch. Good luck with that.
Were they going to ask for my measurements next?
Obviously, they are looking for someone with little or no business acumen. No one professional would go through this type of questioning. Ridiculous. C'est incredible! Non non non!
I am a seasoned marketing professional with over 13 years experience in the Kuwaiti market. I COULD have stated that, had MY DEAR had my resume and cover letter in front of her. Telephone interviews SHOULD be conducted AFTER you receive resumes. You pick out the ones that sound good and call them. If they measure up at that point, then you call them in for a face-to-face interview.
Monday, December 07, 2009
It was a little boy - maybe 2 years old - mimicking intercourse with his near-naked mother - who was laughing at him and prodding him on as another woman laughed in the background. I only watched a portion of it before turning it off and deleting it, but the dialect sounded Kuwaiti - or closeby in the Gulf. Obviously, the child had been exposed to this type of act and was quite familiar with it - at 2!
This kind of sick behavior would have a slew of people arrested if it happened in the States. They would be charged with child pornography and child endangerment (or equivalent). Anyone who kept it on their computer would also be arrested.
I can't believe that people would even forward it! Why???? The man who sent it to me is someone I did business with years ago and whose daughter was a close friend! I'm so disgusted. What kind of a person would find amusement in that???
GCC summit 12/6/2009 5:18:00 PM
Traffic on the
In addition, motorists coming from Salmiya on the Fifth Ring Road will have to drive down the
The street along the airport runway through the Seventh Ring Road, the
The ministry urged Kuwaiti and foreign motorists to show cooperation with the Traffic by observing such traffic instructions. (end)
First, I have been looking for
Second, why cain't they just sey, "Stay away from Bayan Palace". Plain and simple. Bayan Palace will be the Epicenter of All Traffic; the Mother of All Traffic in Kuwait if you will.
No wonder they have been toiling away in front of Bayan Palace, planting flowers (while the Municipality is ripping them up everywhere else in the country). They even built a pretty new gate (although it still needs work to compete with what they've got in the Emirates).
Any way you go during this thing, you are going go be skunked.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
To all of my American friends :)
I am working on a project just now for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids. Both brands are coming to Kuwait and UAE next year (May and March respectively). They are looking for Americans who are familiar with the brands to work for them. I have been so impressed with the guys I am working with on the project that I offered to send a note out to my friends to see if we would know anyone that might be interested.
Most positions available are in store however there may be other positions available. Part time positions may also be negotiated. Anyone interested can send their CV with the kind of position they are interested in to me (send to the DG e-mail of email@example.com) and I will forward to the Director of Operations. He is more than happy to meet with potential recruits to talk about the brand, the expectations and answer any questions.
Working for Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids brings with it the benefits of working with Alshaya.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
He kept walking to the end of the beam, and then back out again (above the fountain at the end), looking down to see if there was a way down, and then back again. I tried to take a photo, but he was too far away.
The Man contacted the mall security and by the time we left, there were about 6 guys standing there with walkie talkies, staring up at the cat. They seemed to be very concerned that I was taking photos. The Man told them to give up their argument - it doesn't do any good arguing with me while I'm on a mission. "SAVE THE CAT!!!"
I sent AFL an SMS explaining what was going on. I hope they went out to see - I know that the founders' home isn't too far away in South Surra.
I've seen birds in malls before - but never a cat. I don't know how he could have gotten up there. I hope someone was able to rescue him for his own sake. I think if he falls, the height would kill anyone he fell on. I wonder how long he has been up there.
Yet another freak occurrance in every day life in Kuwait.
Friday, December 04, 2009
They are having a hard time finding Kuwaiti women to speak to. Men are no problem, but the ladies just won't come forward.
C'mon people, let's help Kuwait deal with it. A healthy lifestyle is good - anywhere in the world. It is good to bring the local problems to light and help others understand it. I hope that it will help educate others - maybe even teach Kuwaiti children before it becomes more of a problem.
The BBC will not use your family name if you don't want to - they just want to talk and understand the difficulties here (weather is obviously one of them, for example).
If you or anyone you know can help, please contact Ms. Yemisi Brookes at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is sooooo nice and anyone would enjoy spending time in discussion with her!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Coffee Morning – Friday, December 4 at 10:00 am at Café Supreme in Salmiya:
Those tidy Canadians are at it again! Very informal – no charge (I believe that you pay for your own coffee). Everyone is welcome. Venue changes every month. If you have a venue suggestion please email email@example.com. At Café Supreme, just ask for the Friday coffee group. To receive more information about Canadians in
American Business Council Christmas Party. December 11 at 5:30 pm, Movenpick Bidaa
The American Business Council announces their Christmas event at the Movenpick Bidaa, Friday, December 11th. 5:30 pm on. Kids can see Santa. Price: Tickets are 10KD for adults (13 and above), 5KD ages 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free.
For info, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Must RSVP by 5 Dec.
Christmas Carols in the Desert: Saturday, 19th December at 4:00 pm. Mutla’a Ridge.
What to bring: Firewood, warm clothes, food, flashlight.
Free event – open to anyone who would like to attend.
7th Carols in the Desert. It will take place on Saturday 19th December at Mutla'a Ridge.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
My mother has begged me for a Christmas list of little things that she can get me. She pleaded on the phone to the point where I wasn't going to call her anymore if I didn't send it (she gets a frantic voice going that disturbs me on a primeval level). I love my mom. I get weepy just thinking about how much I miss her. She has nothing but the best intentions for me and I know that. She does a lot of shopping over the phone from catalogs (not internet; too frustrating to "work the computer") - or worse - she'll get on 2 or 14 busses and go somewhere (inevitably in the rain or snow) to buy Christmas gifts. You see, my mother is a cripple (she's never learned to drive, that is. Thinks automobiles are for killing people - but hey, that is similar to my approach, right?). She's a little old lady (and yet I still think of as 40ish and blonde. I probably always will).
God, I love my mother. Sniffle, whimper.
Back to my lovely Christmas story..... Grab your coacoa and put on your Snuggie (TM)
I think Christmas lists are childish and narcisistic. If you're ages 5-12, its still cool. If you are a 29-something (shut up!), it aint so cool.
I sent my mom my "wish list" of little items that she could buy within walking distance or 1 bus away. It included items like Russel Stover chocolates (chewy caramel centers), room sprays, inexpensive perfume, and oh right - comfortable panties. Cotton. Size (not to be disclosed herein).
WHAT does my mom do??? She sends my list to my sister and to my sister's mother-in-law! I know my mother was trying to be helpful - to make sure that I get everything I want (why wasn't there internet when I wanted a pink bike with a bell, or a Betty Crocker bake oven, or a Barbie? I wouldn't have minded the distribution then.) Ok, but whyyyyyyyy? Why does this stuff happen to ME? My sister's-mother-in-law doesn't need to know how large (small) my ass is. She doesn't need to go to CVS to buy me chocolates. She doesn't need to buy me anything at all. It's like saying, "Yo! You need to buy an item on this list!" And personally, I don't want more than one of the items on that list. It was a "mommy and me" list!!!!
My sister, on the other hand, has no time. She'll just buy everything on the list and hand it to me. Decisions take time. In a decorative bag because wrapping is a pain in the ass. No time. Just buy it. And I can hear her inside my head, "Who makes CHRISTMAS LISTS?" while she buys all the stuff (through the perilous crowd of old ladies at CVS).
It is so wrong.
I immediately sent my sister a note to explain. She thought it was hilarious. She's determined to buy me grannie pants this year because of it. Oh, I can see where this is going: I will get nothing but Bridget Jones panties from here after. That just adds to my self-loathing image of myself as Bridget Jones; fat and alone at Christmas (wearing big panties).
Its not like I can tell my mom to buy me thongs is it? (Yo! Desert Girl - stor-reey phuleeze.)
My mom was really upset when she knew that I was upset and then I got upset because she was upset. That's just messed up. I'm SO going to re-gift my grannie panties to someone who actually IS a grannie (my mom). Oh yeah - she is going to get those panties, so she is.
Is there nothing simple in life? One would think: I pay. You clean. Get it? But nooooooo.
I am so anal about cleaning that I make a new housekeeper sign an agreement stating her working days/hours and listing - in bullet points - her responsibilities. I offer to pay overtime at an agreed-upon rate. I think its fair. What do I get? Phucked with, that's what.
"Don't leave anything on the counters."
I come home, the counters are covered with stuff that she has arranged into rows.
"Dust on top of the furniture"
I get a note explaining how often she cleans on top of the furniture and that yes, of course she does that. None of the furniture has been dusted.
Mary (Christian) decided on her own that she was going to work shorter hours during Ramadan. I come home and call her. She's "at the bus stop". 'Mary, where are you?' "It's Ramadan, Madame." WTF am I - a government institution? We agreed on 8 hours per week, 4 times a month. Is that a lot to ask?
She's broken my vacuum cleaner something like 5 times. I don't know how she's doing it. (And I never deduct anything from her pay - even if stuff is broken.) The problem is, she'll break my Hoover and then just not tell me or clean the carpets. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? I LOVE my Hoover!
Mary (not her real name, but close) has been cleaning for me for 4 years. I had a very small apartment before - it's just me and my little dog. I don't have wild parties or entertain very often and when I do - I bring in a cleaning crew for the night. She doesn't have to cook or touch my clothes other than to fold and hang them. This should be pretty simple, right?
I started her off with a salary of around 30 KD because I thought it was fair. Over the years, I have increased it to 50 KD - which is almost what a live-in maid makes. And my place still isn't clean. The cleaners who worked at my last barbecue told me, "Madame, who cleans your house? It is very dirty." That's phucked up.
I refer Mary to friends who need part-time help. She tells them, "Madame (Desert Girl) is paying me 50 KD..." as if they should do the same. WHAT UP!
I left her notes. She always responded with flowery verses - with lots of religious references. I call her. She doesn't pick up the phone. The next day, I receive a message that she was in church (regardless of the day or time) and couldn't answer the phone. So.. call me! Dayam - I shoulda been in church - praying for a decent housekeeper!
Why not just get rid of her from the get-go? Well, her family has always been very kind to me. They take care of my dog while I'm away (which is frequently). In return, I give them not only cash, but furniture, appliances, clothing - whatever I am going to discard. I was thinking to give them a fair amount of stuff if/when I ever left Kuwait. On her birthday and holidays, I bought her gifts equal to what I would get for my friends (although I quit that when she flat-out told me that she was giving them to family members as gifts! Don't re-gift and TELL ME!)
This past month, her brother-in-law (who most frequently watches Desert Dawg) asked if he could "borrow" 1000 KD from me because he only makes 360 KD and can't get a loan. Ok, get a co-signer. He needs the money to pay for his son's college tuition in India. He swears he will pay me back 200 KD a month (on a 360 KD/mo salary). Dude - do the math! I told him that I can't... financial problems.... blah blah blah. I wouldn't ask ANY of my closest friends or family for that kind of money! I can't imagine asking someone who isn't close.
So, when asked if they can watch Desert Dawg while I'm gone for Christmas, Dude says, "The hariss is giving us trouble about having a dog. I'll check and get back to you..." Oh right. After 4 years, hariss dude is complaining. Not to mention that the building is so old that if they decided to breed livestock, no one would notice or complain. Just now when I won't shell out the money?
M meantime sends me an SMS, "You owe me 3 KD from September." WTF??? No flowery words or God references there. Just plain and simple - pay up. I hand her a 5 KD note. She turned and walked away. No change.
Desert Girl about to blow: I left her (as we say in the US) a "come to Jesus" letter (hey - I don't start the religious stuff - she does). 'Clean or leave. Your choice. Dont' leave me a note or an SMS. Do it.'
And now.... for the Bollywood moment.
I get an SMS first (she can't CALL???) "God bless you, Madame. You have never hurt me in the 4 years I have worked for you. I don't know what I did maaam. If I hurt you, I am sorry. I will stop work today. If you are not happy with my work than what is the use to work. I will keep you in my heart forever."
Are we breaking up? Were we married?
I come home to find another flowery note full of religious references (again, when she's demanding money, she never mentions God). Plus, she hasn't cleaned a thing and hasn't left me my key - leading me to believe that the drama will continue (changing my locks). Desert Dawg even gave me a look like, "What did you DO to Maria???" Eeek.
I think that some people see kindness and generosity as a form of weakness/stupidity. Ridiculous. I treat people fairly and if I'm paying for a service - I want to get what I pay for.
I should have been born either Jewish or Catholic with the amount of guilt I feel in general. So, I call my mom for affirmation that what I've done is "right". "Don't ever talk to those people again." Okay. I feel better. The Man is just livid about it, "You don't know how to manage helpers!" He thinks I'm insane. Okay. I feel better.
I should start a professional, American (aka "bossy")-managed part-time maid service like they have in the States. In the meantime, while I procrastinate/form committees/do R&D: Can anyone recommend someone good for P/T work? I would prefer him to be 6'4", dark eyes, bronze skin, and wear a little (I mean little) uniform... tee hee. (with my luck, he'll be gay and won't clean at all.)
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I have been having major tooth pain and have numerous problems with teeth, so I went (reluctantly) to the International Clinic. I'd been there before to see Dr. Najib and Dr. Ahmed (isn't it weird how they use first names here - as if they aren't professional enough to use their last names?). Dr. Ahmed was on his mobile phone the entire time. He didn't instill great confidence. When the tooth he repaired looked out of place ('It's sticking out'), he said, "The rest of your teeth are going in." Hmmm... I would prefer that all my teeth are uniform, but that's just me. Dr. Najib was okay and gentle, but.... But neither of them took full-mouth x-rays nor did they take the time to explain WTF was going on in my mouth. That's right - MY mouth. Just because dude is in there for 30 minutes isn't a given right for him to take over and not feel the need to explain.
Anyhoo, I ended up going to see Dr. Fadi Al Syriani, DDS, AFS, AFSA, Maxillo Facial Surgery (France), German Board of Implantology (DGZI). And yes, I use Dr. Al Syriani's full name as he is a full professional. I was VERY impressed. He took the time to read charts, to take full x-rays, to ask questions, and to explain. When I told him what a big chicken I am and would prefer to be under general anesthesia (need a lot of work), he recommended several hospitals (Al-Salam, Mowasat, Hadi). I really like the guy and after I get all my extensive stuff done, I'm definately going back to him for maintenance.
Oh, International Clinic also does BriteSmile which I love. Unfortunately, it is 180 KD. BriteSmile is laser whitening. I wish they would open the mall shops like they have in the States. I didn't even know that IC did it - I just happened to see a pamphlet in Dr. Al Syriani's office.
So, I bopped over to Al-Salam Hospital to see if I could get a consult with a dentist there for going under general. I've got an appointment today. They look very good. The reception areas were clean and the receptionists were professional (unlike most at IC).
Al-Salam does Zoom (Bleaching) for 75KD. I asked Dr. Al Syriani about it and he said it is like comparing a Hyundai to a Mercedes (BriteSmile). Since I've done BriteSmile and the results were really noticeable, I would prefer to have that; however, I would prefer not to spend 180KD, so I'm going to get it done in the States.
If Al-Salam can't put me under for dental work, then I'm going to have to go to the dreaded Mowasat. Fish Girl went there after her car accident and said Dr. Vikas was very good.
I need 2 root canals and at least 1 crown. My teeth in the back are tore up from the shoreup.
Qatar Airways is offering flights at almost half the price of United right now. I'm checking them out for Christmas. Only one stop in Doha and then direct to DC.