Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ethiopia bans housemaids from working in Kuwait: And more on Domestic Helpers in Kuwait

And another nation opts out....

Kuwait times, 26 November 2013
Ethiopia bans housemaids from working in Kuwait

KUWAIT: Ethiopian authorities have banned local domestic workers to travel to Kuwait for work until recruitment procedures as well as regulations that organize the work of recruitment offices and medical tests in Kuwait are reviewed, a local daily reported yesterday, quoting Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor insiders.

Speaking to Annahar on the condition of anonymity, the sources warned that the decision is likely going to increase fees for housemaid recruitment with the number of main markets becoming limited to the Philippines, India and Sri Lanka. Several attempts to contact the Ethiopian embassy to confirm or deny the report were unsuccessful. If true, Ethiopia would join Indonesia which banned domestic workers from traveling to Kuwait in 2009 as well as other southeast Asian countries including Vietnam.

The step would also increase fees that recruitment offices collect which currently ranges between KD 650 and KD 750 to hire a domestic worker from the Philippines, according to the sources. The sources also confirmed that local recruitment offices contacted the interior and social affairs ministries with demands to finalize requirements necessary for Kuwait to sign agreements of understanding with countries that export domestic helpers that protects the rights of both workers and employers.

- - - End - - -

That comes on the heels of stories like this....

Death upheld for Kuwaiti woman
Kuwait Times
KUWAIT: The supreme court upheld yesterday a death sentence against a woman for murdering her Filipina maid after torturing her, and confirmed a 10-year sentence on her disabled husband. The Kuwaiti woman was convicted of premeditated murder based on evidence that she had regularly tortured her maid before driving over her in a remote desert area.  The husband was handed the jail term for “assisting her”, according to a copy of the ruling. The couple were both sentenced to death by the lower court in February last year. Three months later, the appeals court upheld the death penalty against the woman but commuted the sentence against her husband to 10 years in jail.

According to the ruling, the woman beat her maid for several days until her health deteriorated. The couple then took the maid “unconscious” to a remote area in the desert where they threw her from the back seat of the car and then drove over her until she died. More than 100,000 Filipinos, many of them women working as maids, live in Kuwait, where some 600,000 domestic helpers, mostly Asians, are employed.

- - - End - - -

Times are a'changing.  Kuwait is finally getting serious about abuse/violence against domestic helpers (mostly because of international pressure from not only human rights organizations, but from the countries of origin of the helpers), but on the other hand, it is now more difficult to find full-time, live-in maids.   Pretty soon, there will be daycare centers and retirement homes in Kuwait because no one will be able to get a maid to look after the elderly and their kids; or it will just cost too much  (like in the US where you must pay an hourly minimum wage and provide benefits).  

I look at it from both sides:

Point of view of the employer:  My friends are decent and I know that when they tell me that their helpers are doing things like stealing or neglecting their children, I believe them.  They have paid a fee to a recruitment agency and they have to return the helper to an agency and request another helper who they've got to then train and build a relationship of trust with.  That's all very stressful.  When both the mom and dad work, they need someone to take care of the kids and run the house.  For many young Kuwaiti couples (and some that aren't so young), a maid/helper is really a necessity.  It isn't like there is affordable daycare here.  I ask my American friends with full-time, live-in maids and they tell me the same thing; it is difficult to find a good helper.

DG POV:  I know that I would have a really hard time inviting a stranger to live in my home and entrusting her with the care of my dog.  I can't imagine what it would be like entrusting your children to a stranger.  My part-time maid does weird things and I suspect she's trying to do some kind of magic (yeah, it happens).  She leaves long strands of her hair throughout my home (including in my personal items) and it not only grosses me out, but freaks me out at the same time.  A former maid who was working PT for both myself and one of my American friends stole around $10,000 worth of jewelry from me - and stole my friend's diamond engagement ring; then left the country.  She had worked for both of us for years.  If they ever implement employment regulations/pay like they have in the US, I wouldn't be able to afford a maid.  I LIKE that I can afford one here; even have a live-in maid if I chose to do that.

Point of view of the helper:  What if you're sent over here, you don't know the language, you don't know the people you are going to live with, and they all seem demanding and arrogant (and in extreme cases, abusive). You don't have any friends and if you do, you can't get out to see them.   The employer may or may not abide by the law, paying salary on time (or at all), and giving a day off for rest. What do you do?  Who do they call?  The "maid's rooms" in many of these homes is more like a cell.  Or they're asked to sleep somewhere like the living room and roll up their bedding in the morning.  Do that for a few years?  Not me.

I've been here for 17 years and the majority of my friends are Kuwaiti.  Of course, I consider my friends to be good people (if they aren't, I wouldn't stay friends with them).  I've only seen 1 case in all my time here when I went to a friend's home and saw that they were abusive to the maid.   It was 1997 or 1998 and I saw the eldest brother (around 45-50 years old) slap a maid.  He wasn't my friend; it was her family's home where we went for lunch.  It was shocking and I didn't go back. You can usually tell when a maid/helper is happy or not just by looking at them - even at the malls.

I HATE to see domestic helpers dressed in uniforms walking through a mall.  Their low-class employers must consider it chic to have them dressed up and paraded around in public.  I find it disgraceful.  I always want to run up and say, "Who the hell do you think you are?!"  These people are NOT of the upper classes. My friends who are from the Kuwaiti royal family or upper class wouldn't do something like that.  In fact, the people I know treat their employees like friends and the helpers have been with them for many years. My dear sheikha friend has a helper who raised her; and sheikha has no problem telling  you that she did.  She loves her and it is obvious; helper lady smiles and laughs from the heart and often (similar to other helpers I know working for other friends).

One of my friends brought his maid/nanny to the camp last weekend to watch his 3 young boys (it didn't do any good because they are little "skamps" and the oldest almost got his head cut off riding a bungee).  Anyhoo, she had on tight jeans and looked like she as his girlfriend not his nanny... until he asked her to go clean my tent (I had a little hissy fit because someone I didn't know went in there without asking).  One minute girlfriend is sitting around joking with us and the next she's sweeping dirt off my carpet.  She was happy and didn't mind at all.  I brought her a Pepsi.  She seemed to be a very happy domestic helper.

On the other hand, I have an acquaintance who posted a video of an Ethiopian domestic helper walking with a suitcase out of a neighborhood, crying, at 2 am.  He videotaped her as he asked her what had happened (she had been abused in a home that night and was leaving); and then, instead of helping her get to a police station or someone safe, he drove away!  I wouldn't leave an animal on the side of the road and he just drove away!

I can see how countries would ban their workers from going to a place where they had too many complaints.  The next step to that would be to create agreements with the government so that there are enforceable laws in place or measures so that their workers would be protected.  Yeah - kind of like the balls that the Philippines Embassy in Kuwait grew a while back.  Be nice, or we send our help elsewhere.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Butterfly is flying home for good

Many of my readers have gone to Butterfly/Libra for her amazing services including Xtreme Lashes, Hair, Make-up and lately for her outstanding photographic talent.

Well, she's moving along and out of Kuwait on December 12, so if you want to say goodbye, drop her a line before she departs. bflyonthewall@gmail.com.

I am going to miss you, girl.  You've been an dear friend and I will truly truly miss you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

More 2013 Kuwait Flood Photos

I went to my camp this weekend.  I wanted to witness the destruction, basically.  I took the photos below,  4 days after the storm on November 19th.  Likesay, our camp is fine (Mashallah - we were very very lucky)  but there is a lot of destruction all around.  Some of the people (who had just installed their camps only 2 weeks prior) dropped some serious dime on furnishings, electric/lighting, TVs, bathrooms, tents, etc. I really feel for them.  This is temporary living, but just like a flood anywhere, they've got to throw out most of the camp contents and/or try to air out the rest and salvage it.  I don't know if my tent carpets (which got wet from the rain) can be salvaged.  They smell like cat pee. Ew.  Anything that I had left on the floor of my tent was soggy, but no big deal.  It is weird because our camp is not on high ground.  Looking at it, you would think it would have been flooded.  Totally random.

As usual, the Kuwait "media" (if you can even call them that) didn't mention the full story.  My best buddy was IN it on Tuesday (after leaving our camp and trying to head home before it got really bad) and said that lightening was hitting the ground all around him; that he witnessed cars being washed away with occupants inside during flash floods; and last - that he saw a TORNADO funnel (which I have not heard mentioned anywhere - and which would explain a lot of the intermittent/random damage and extremely high winds.  He said that he tried to park his truck (an Avalanche) next to a concrete barrier because the winds were so high that the car was being moved.

I have asked people why the media doesn't report the full story.  The response has been, "They don't want people to worry and become stressed."  Whaaaaat?  Are there not adults in Kuwait?  "The truth?  You can't handle the truth."

There just isn't enough entertainment in Kuwait:  this weekend, there are ponds (not puddles) created by the flood and people took their kids there to picnic next to them!  Some idiots drove their cars through for fun to see if they could make it to the other side.  Ha ha - big fun; many didn't and got stuck in the middle.  That's gonna cost ya...

There is one flood lake that is being pumped on Fahaheel Expressway at Dubaiya.  There is a succession of water tankers sucking out flood water day and night.  And, this weekend, most of the street lamps were out all the way down 30 making it difficult to see if there was mud or debris on the road.  I heard that part of the road washed out further South also (I don't know if any of this has been repaired yet or not).

I loved this guy's camp (photo above).  I liked how he (I'm being sexist and assuming it's a "he") did the lighting and it was a landmark to get to our camp.  Unfortunately, the fence acted like a water barrier and at one point, it looked like a swimming pool. I guestimate there was about 4' (little over a meter, metric people) of water trapped inside.  You can see the water line on the tents in the background.

This (above) is actually the water covering the road that leads down to our camp.  I took the photo as we were driving through in a 4x4.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Storm Pics from 19 November 2013

I didn't take the ones below.  They're floating around the internet

Monday, November 18, 2013

If you don't like my dog, you can get the F out

There are 2 residents in my home:  my dog and I.  WE live there.  It is OUR home, not just mine.  For the past 16 years, people have come and gone from my life and there is one constant being:  Desert Dawg.  She  has been with me through sick and sin, good times and bad, happy and sad.  She really doesn't complain much (unless I try to wake her up in the morning or get in between her and her chicken).  She's always happy to see me.  She puts her head on my chest when I'm sick.  She gives me kisses when I cry.  I occasionally get a hug - but only on her terms.

So, it pisses me off when people come to OUR home and say, "Take 'that' outside.  I don't like it." Emm nooo,  you must have misunderstood the sign on the door that reads:  All guests must be approved by the dog.

I have literally thrown people out of my house for infractions - and I don't care.  I believe that if someone respects you and likes you, then they show caring for what you love.

One of my friends invited people to a party at my house one time.  My rules are simple:  Don't bother the dog, don't bother my neighbors, be polite.  Well, one of the girls that I didn't know didn't like my dog.  Desert Dawg rarely makes noise when she's in any kind of distress, but I heard her yelp.  I walked over and not-very-politely said, "Whoever hurt the dog should leave NOW."  5 minutes later, rude people left.

On the flip side, if my dog doesn't like someone, I don't either.  She's a great judge of character and intuitively knows if people are good or bad.  (And if she loves someone, that's it.  She remembers them and gets upset when they don't come to visit her.)

I had a visitor the other night.  First time in my home.  He sat down and told me to put the dog outside (as IF anyone should tell you to do anything in your own home).  Dawg looked at him strangely.   I made him so uncomfortable that he left a short while later.  I don't put up with any BS on this subject.  'There's the door, now get the F out.'

Now, I have had religious friends who don't want Desert Dawg to touch them and I completely understand that.  My dog even respects them.  All I have to do is give her the commands and she won't go near.  But, there is a polite way to say it and let's be real; if my dog is going to respect your wishes (seriously!) respect mine.  Kindness is different than rudeness.

There is no question.  Love me, love my dog.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I want girlfriend

Thursday night, I stopped by to see some friends as I hadn't been hangin' with them for a while.  There was a puppy there.  You know - the kind of guy who sits there mooning at you all night with big, round puppy eyes.  We had a little discussion about his wife and how she had suffered in childbirth and went to see a doctor in the States.  Nice enough conversation.  Ok, so blah blah blah... sittin with the friends.... and I left.  He didn't hit on me or anything.  I didn't even get his name.

Cut to Friday night and I start getting text messages from some unknown person who turns out to be puppy dude.  No sooner had he typed his name, he follows with, "I want girlfrynd."  Niiiiiice.  WTF.  I shoulda probably shot him down, but he was a friend of my friends and I just said, 'I don't date married men.' Puppy countered with, "Do you have friends?"  I found out which one of the A-holes gave him my number without my permission, and then I blocked him.

So, I blasted the "friend".  Dumbphuck.  Don't mess with someone who is prone to get you back at your own game.  I'm evil when it comes to this stuff.  I may just have to post his number in bathrooms around Kuwait or perhaps register him on sites....

Anybody want boyfriend? I got a number.

More thoughts on this....
Every now and then, I get this stupid question from people who make the wrong ASSumptions (probably about females from Western countries in general).  What would make anyone think that women would just droptrou and want to be with 1) anyone and b) anyone married?  Just because you are married AND you don't have a mistress at that very second in time does not make you desirable.  (And, to me, neither does having a lot of money.)

I like my friend, Butterfly's response to men (before she got married).
"You're not him."
"Him who?"
"My husband.  I'm a wife and you are not my husband."

Mistress/girlfriend/toy doesn't fit in the equation.

Oh... and one more thing:  MOTHERS!!!   It is up to YOU to teach your sons respect for women.  What kind of women are raising generations of misogynistic/womanizing/disrespectful men?  Let me just tell you that all the gender segregation of schools bullshit isn't helping this society either.  Creating divisions is just that:  dividing.  How can male and female understand each other (or even like/respect each other) when they are staring at each other from a distance?  Stuuuupid.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kuwait's Urban Crisis

Did anybody go to this?  How was it?

Rise of Violence in Kuwait

Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa is one of my very favorite inspirational people in Kuwait.  He is doing so much for Kuwaiti society in innovative and creative ways.  The below is his article and it comes at a time when thinking people are starting to question what is really happening in Kuwait.  I say "thinking  people" because I've read comments lately posted by sheep who say that what is happening in Kuwait is not unlike anywhere else in the world - and then, of course, you get those who say, "violent crime is not committed by Kuwaitis, but foreigners."  Okey dokey.....

Thanks, Dr. Naif, for once again providing interesting and thought-provoking perspective.

View in Arabic

Parents who fail to discipline their offspring properly are creating a generation of angry children who lash out in the classroom. Pupils are twice as likely to be aggressive and disruptive if they had parents who were violent, critical or inconsistent in what they allowed them to get away with at home. In contrast, children tended to be better behaved if their parents combined warmth with clear and consistent rules and boundaries.

But what if your government is acting like your parent? What if your government provides everything? Your income, your housing, your allowances (which they actually call an allowance), your healthcare, your education and is inconsistent in its rules and boundaries? Can that cause a violent and conflict ridden culture?
Last December, a young Lebanese dentist mothered by a Kuwaiti woman got into a parking dispute at the Avenues mall in Kuwait. One of the people he got into a dispute with walked into Carrefour bought a knife and butchered the young dentist to death. This was the beginning of a trend that has led to multiple knife fights and deaths throughout Kuwait over the last year.

Two months later getting into a movie theater in Kuwait became a little like boarding a flight. Rules to do with age restrictions on movies became implementable with Government issued IDs. Let there be no mistake. The Parent when it came to Parental Guidance is now the government. Someone dug up newspaper headlines from the 1980s linking violence on television to violence in reality and decided to implement them 40 years later. And in fact there is research to suggest that 9 year-old boys who watch violent TV are more prone to violence at 19. But that is besides the point and worth of a lengthier discussion and debate.

The government went from a non-enforced law to an over enforced law, from one extreme to the other.
Example 2: The number of citations issued in Kuwait against women driving with veils on their face (niqabs or burqas) has been steadily falling, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Department (CSD) indicate.
While their number was 2,351 in 2005, it steadily went down to 529 in 2006, 180 in 2007, 102 in 2008 and 19 in 2009, Al Watan daily reported. Kuwait bans women wearing niqabs or burqas from driving.

The department did not explain the dramatic downward trend, but the paper speculated that it could be attributed to fewer veiled women sitting behind the steering wheel or to better compliance with traffic rules. The reason could also be more leniency from traffic policemen now getting used to seeing veiled women drivers, the paper said.  Let me tell you a secret. The numbers did not go down. The rule is unenforced.
Example 3: In 2011 airport management started the smoking ban and it was publicized that violators that were caught smoking at non-designated areas were directly sent to Jeleb Al Sheyokh police station and received penalties. If they did implement that law, it lasted for five minutes because the first thing you see when you come into Kuwait’s airport is airport personnel smoking in defiance of the law that is literally on placards on the wall.

In 2013, Kuwait instituted a public ban on smoking in all public places including malls and restaurants but the first thing you experience in any mall in Kuwait it the large level of smoking.

Perhaps the government is waiting for a mall to burn down or a huge car accident cause by someone in a Niqab. Either way having laws that are inconsistently enforced and that go from no implementation to over implementation is the epitome of the type of bad parenting that leads to aggression and conflict. Children whose parents are violent, critical or send out mixed signals on where boundaries lie are twice as likely to be aggressive or disruptive.

So how do we solve this problem in Kuwait?

The media does not only reflect reality. The media can change reality. We have seen many cultural attitudes change through the use of media, whether it is attitudes towards African Americans after a successful run of the Cosby show in the United States of America, or more recently in China by a television show called “The price of being a victorious woman” that combats the stereotype of China’s “Shengnu” or “leftover women” replacing it with the morale boosting “victorious women”, referring to women in their mid to late 20s who have not married.

In fact even Kuwait has had success after the invasion by using media to get people to seek psychological help making it “ok”. As a young psychology trainee I can’t tell you the amount of people who came through our doors in the early 1990s blaming the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait for issues they have had since years prior. It really doesn’t matter what brings them through the door as long as they come in before it’s too late.
I highly recommend that television shows that are funded by the Ministry of Information and other entities in Kuwait that are historically heavy on violence, tragedy and family breakups tilt more towards a balanced approach. The focus should be on where society can go, not where it is at, especially if where it is at is not flattering.

If the Ministry of Information wants to censor, I would advise leaving the love in and taking out the violence. Or better yet leave them both in for balance.

We don’t need to wait for a butchering in a mall, or the airport burning down or a huge car accident cause by driving with a Niqab to spring into action because when that happens we go from one extreme to the next and this does not solve the underlying problem and only causes violence in society.

If the government wants to be the P in a PG movie and wants to parent, I highly recommend stable enforceable rules and consistent implementation because going from one extreme to the other just doesn’t work and causes conflict and violence. Either ban smoking or make smoking legal. Either ban Niqab driving or make Niqab driving legal. Do not make it illegal and then not enforce the law. That causes a violent society. And we are going from bad to worse.

And maybe when our rules are consistent, and our laws are enforced and our society less violent, maybe, just maybe the World Economic Forum’s rating of the world’s friendliest nations will no longer have Kuwait as the 4th unfriendliest country in the world.

One can only hope.

Naif Al-Mutawa is a Kuwait-born, U.S. educated psychologist who created “THE 99,” a comic book about a group of superheroes based on Islamic archetypes. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Shameless Promotion of Friends Businesses: Camp, Fishing, Food

... not for profit, just to be a good friend to them.

This camp is in Julai'ia area.  It is not to be used for parties.  As you can see, it is a very large camp, so good for sharing.  They rent for 3 days over weekends.  They speak English also which is helpful.

Boat rental (with driver) for fishing trips.  They will advise you on the best places (seasonally) to catch fish.  These guys don't speak much English, so you may need to have a translator around.

[I deleted the info about the restaurant.  I'm mad at him and not promoting him.  Phuck that.]

2013 Salon Picks

This is an update to a previous post (and update) on salon picks  LINK HERE.

Ashlee at Strands (25711237) is still my all-time favorite colorist.  She is also good for keratin treatments and extensions.

Followed second by a colorist, Rose, I've just tried at (messed up name) Al Modalalah Salon in Salmiya (25612545).  Two of my very elegant friends always have amazing hair.  I assumed that they were going to a high-end westerner salon, but it turned out they frequent Al Modalalah.  I just went there the other night and paid a mere 25kd for foil highlights.  I was really impressed by Rose and my hair looks great.

Candice (formerly of Beach House) has never done my hair but I still get a lot of requests for her phone number.  I have it if anyone wants to get in touch with her.

Boudoir is still my favorite place for pedicures.  They have a great signature pedi with a mint wrap and extremely comfortable massaging pedicure chairs.  Phone:  25335951/2.  Also see my story on Boudoir HERE. I haven't been there for a while.  I need to make time to pamper myself more.

Oriental Princess is kind of a Walmart of salons, but they provide great services for not a lot of money.  They have 2 locations (one in Salmiya on the corner of Baghdad and Amman streets; and one in Dasman in the City Suites hotel).  They have good mani-pedis, styling, massage, deep conditioning treatment, eyebrows and more on the cheap.

I have medium-long hair and I don't really care about the cut anymore.  Stella goes to Tony & Guy at Corniche for her short haircut and swears by them.  I had a deep conditioning treatment done there not-too-long-ago and spent 25kd.  Ouch.  My friend, Libra, cuts my hair every now and then and she does a great job.  She also does eye lash extensions. (Contact me for her info.)

Make-up:  I have not tried this lady, so I can't tell you, but someone recommended her to me.  Her name is Reham Al-Shatti and can be contacted at 97925553.  I'm going to try out her services sometime soon and I'll let you know.  What I do NOT want is to come out of there looking like I'm about to go to a Bedouin wedding - which is exactly why I've never tried Hanan Dashti's make-up salon after seeing some of her sample photos online.  I think they target a different audience than me.

Lazy girl?  No time to go to a salon (or just making that excuse?)  It's ok.  Call Pinkies.  They will come to your house (for ladies only) and do mani/pedi, hair, massage.  Their prices are extremely reasonable and the techs are all highly trained.  They even serve you tea or coffee  (they bring it and set it up for you!) and play relaxing music.  97189700.

If y'alls have any favorites, please post a comment.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chinese Massage for Men in Kuwait by Women: Caught on Film

First and foremost, let me reiterate ONCE AGAIN:  Massage by a member of the opposite sex in Kuwait is ILLEGAL and even without the "happy ending", it is still considered prostitution.

I'm reposting from Expat and The City's Blog today.  I dedicate this post to my "porn star" ex, Mr. Clean (who I can no longer look at without picturing him naked and sweaty in front of a webcam....)

Expat girl say:

It's bad enough they're bringing disease back to their wives and children but now their massage 'experience' is being secretly recorded and sold as porn online.  So watch out dumb dumbs...your 'happy ending' just received a million hits on YouTube.

Emirates 24/7 re-post: Kuwaiti police stormed a suspected apartment run by four Chinese women as a massage centre and found that it was equipped with hidden cameras filming male customers for sale online, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Police said they decided to raid the apartment after noticing that customers must fill forms containing 14 questions, the last of which made them even more suspicious.

“The last question says ‘do you want to have only a massage or something else’,” a police spokesman said, quoted by Al Anba Arabic language daily.

He said police raiding the place in Kuwait City found film processing equipment at a next door apartment, also run by the Chinese.

“We found that all the customers who have a massage at the first apartment are screened alive in the other flat, where the films are then processed and sold online,” the spokesman said without making clear if the ring was involved in vice."

- - - end - - -

Your face on the internet with no clothes on and/or in sexually compromising positions:  the internet is forever.  Love you real longtime!

You know what to expect when you re-heat leftovers (Desert Guy)

.... the same thing you had before.

That's what I got with DGy.  He can be so incredibly charming and attentive.... for a little while.... and then it is back to normal self.  He was attentive for a while:  picking up the phone on the 2nd ring every time I called; responding immediately to SMSs; smiling when I talked to him; giving me hugs and insisting that I sit next to him; doing things for me without being asked; extending invitations.

That all stopped.  It just ran it's short course and was done.  Now he's back (well, it was always there, just hidden or put to the side for some time) to being a rude egomaniac.  And I forgot about the unnecessary lies - and so many of them!  You know you're going to get busted when you have too many lies and can't keep track of your own BS (which is why I stopped lying in my early 20's - BUSTED!)

I am friends with some of Desert Guy's long-time friends and cousins (and the fact that he introduced me to them is something that I see as a blessing).   They have all related stories to me (which I find hard to believe because blood is usually thicker than water...), "He has a good heart, but..."  and "20 years ago he was a totally different person and didn't do any of these things...." "Don't you know that he's a liar?"  ".... I have a girlfriend, but when she goes to work in the morning, I don't call another girl and cheat on her...."   Ouch.  I hope my peeps never talk about me like that.

DGy does have a good heart, but all the peripheral stuff is just not worth the trouble:   a massive tornado of BS-infused drama.   DGy stopped by and put on a bit of a show in my benefit one night last week.  I left before the second act.  "Where are you going?!"
'To my camp....gotta go....'  

Monday, November 04, 2013

Mediumship Weekend, Isle of Man

I want to go to this.  Anyone want to go with?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

My Visit with a Very Lovely Medium

A friend of mine asked if I would like to speak to a visiting psychic/medium while she is here in Kuwait.  I am a big fan of the metaphysical.  We are all energy and afterlife is a part of every major religion.

I wanted to know what happened to Shamlan.
He was (and is) the love of my life.  I believe that I will most likely go to my grave loving and mourning him.

I know that some of you reading might believe (like La Senza did) that I make this stuff up.  I honestly couldn't make it up if I tried.  Let's just say that I have an "interesting" life and .... well, things happen.

I have never known the full story.  He died in 1995.   The official cause of death (in the police report - which I have verified) was suicide by gunshot wound to the head.  His family still tells people that he died of a heart attack (his uncle told me that when I called to ask for Shamlan).  He was found with a pillow over the face, shot through to his forehead.  Differing and confusing stories:   It has all been a mystery.

The night before I learned of his death (February 13), I dreamt that Shamlan was holding my hand.  It wasn't like a dream. I could feel the warmth of his hand and the pressure of him squeezing down.  He sat close and told me that the days he spent with me were the happiest days of his life.  He spoke in that sexy, sultry voice he had.

The next day on Valentines Day, I called him.  His mobile phone was disconnected.  His house phone was disconnected.  His business phone was disconnected.  I called his family.  He was gone.  I called  our mutual friend and he told me that his brother  believed strongly that Shamlan had been murdered.   I immediately knew it to be true; a gut feeling.  Verified, I believed, by a succession of dreams I had about him that continued for years.

I never knew the reason why he had been killed.  I knew he was (and is) always "with me".  I can feel him close.  Several of my "seeing" friends can tell also.  Naz knew the minute he walked into my home for the first time and said, "Who's the guy with you?"  I just smiled and let him continue ("thought to exist, but can not be verified....")

So this weekend, I was searching for answers about Shamlan and I believe I got them.

Medium Lady (ML)  didn't use any props or hocus-pocus.  She just greeted me with a handshake and we sat down to chat in a hotel apartment living room.   She accurately told me several things that no one knows about me.  And then I asked her about him.

I told her that he had died tragically and I wanted answers.  I didn't provide details.  She said she thought he was a soul mate; and that she felt that his death was related to the heart and that he had died very suddenly; not prolonged.    She went on to tell me that his death is something that his family has never recovered from and he just wants them to move on.  ML said that 2 sisters were very close to him and that his brother was still having problems moving on.  And then, ML, who comes from London and knows very little about the Arabic culture said, "His brothers name is Ahmed."  I just smiled because I knew Shamlan was talking now. There is no way ML (or anyone else because I have never mentioned his name) could know that Shamlan's brother's name is Ahmed.  There is no way that she could have known that he had 2 sisters (as Shamlan called them, "my 2 little monkeys.")

ML said that he was killed by someone that Shamlan knew (as I had strongly suspected) and it was over a business dispute (this is something that I never knew, but now it all makes sense).  It was not direct; someone was hired to kill him.  Shamlan was the oldest son in the family and had, by obligation, taken over the family business (although I remembered when we talked when I was 15/16 - he really didn't want to).  Their businesses were located on land that was very valuable in the middle of Dubai.  He was killed so the family would sell.  And they did. His family's businesses are gone.  (Again, I've confirmed this.)  ML said the family still lives in fear and that's why they tell people he died of a heart attack (which is why she kept holding her heart and thought it was his cause of death).  It probably causes the family pain to carry on the lie, I can imagine.

For as long as I can remember, Shamlan didn't like the murderer's family. He was vocal and public about it and was even arrested for it once (long before all this political spring stuff was even a whisper).   I don't know which of them specifically killed him, but he was right not to trust them.  His long-held political beliefs may have contributed to his death and/or the cover up regarding the way he died.

What did Shamlan have to say to me specifically?  ML said that the dream I had about him on February 13 wasn't really a dream; it was his message to me.  He had always felt restricted by family obligations and I was the one person who never judged him.  He felt the happiest with me.  He also told me to follow my heart, as it is a good heart, and I will always do the right thing.

My visit with her really did give me comfort.  She said he was a lovely soul and he was happy that he had lived his life as fully as he had (very true because he, even at a young age, had travelled the world, was an amazing artist, knew more about politics in his 20's than many of the people I know even IN the world of politics, and had an "old soul"/was very wise for his age).  She said he was at peace and only wants the people he loves to be at peace as well.  I'm much closer now.

Rest in peace, my love.  Someday we will meet again when none of this will matter.

Camping Season

It is now November 3.  Camping season officially opened on November 1.  My camp (shared with a bunch of friends) is almost ready.  This is the first time I have my own tent (not shared with someone).  I'm all happy about it.  I'm working on decorating now.

One of my very best buddies included me in his camp this year and set up my tent.  I'm surrounded by good friends and I'm sure we're going to have a great winter.  Unfortunately, they set up camp in a very noisy neighborhood.  It isn't too far from the City, but it is in an area where there are a lot of parties and kids in Julai'ia.  I preferred further South near Khiran/Wafra (where Desert Guy and the Toxic Group have set up their camp), but not my choice.

Things aren't cool with Desert Guy.  Although he promised that we would be together this winter at his camp, he's been down there for 2 weeks working on it and 1) hasn't invited me and 2) hasn't been very attentive.  By that, I mean that he has been going back to his old ways of ignoring me. I believe there is either another woman in the picture or other women.  Whatevah.   Everything is from God, so maybe it wasn't all meant to be (the camp or the man).  His friends are awful anyways.

Funny how he was so incredibly attentive and kind for about a month (didn't have anything better to do?) and then all of a sudden, stopped responding to my SMSs and phone calls (which, trust you me, were at a bare minimum as I was trying not to provide even the slightest implication of smothering).  I was hopeful, but all my eggs have not been in one basket, so I'm good to go.

The short-term-re-heat wasn't without benefit, however.  He introduced me to his circle of cousins, who  have turned out to be a lovely group of people who are now friends.  They have a villa where they all gather on the weekends and the owner has deemed me worthy of being one of the gang.

They have also given me unsolicited information/advice about DGy.  I love people who are direct and to the point.  These are just honest (older/wiser) guys and spoke to me freely. I have a much better understanding of DGy now:  "He has a good heart, but...."   (and the "but's" went on and on as discussed by every person sitting there -- and these were blood relatives.)  So, I spent the weekend with the cousins and not with DGy.  Some people run hot and cold.  He's cold right now.  I'm fine with that.  Many more tents in the desert and I have my OWN. Woo hoo!