Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yo Quiero Taco Bell! Taco Bell has landed in Kuwait!

TACO BELL is here! Friday marked the grand opening of Taco Bell in the Avenues food court. Finally we are getting somewhere with fast food. My mom was there along with the other hundreds of people waiting for Taco Bell. I can just picture the crowds of people at lunchtime on a Friday during vacation days. That's one time I would have to force myself to go there during the weekend and that would be for Taco Bell. She ordered the Chalupas and they served them with fries? Taco Bell in US doesn't serve fries but oh well at least we have tacos.

They are missing the Mexican Pizza and Pintos n' Cheese. But overall my mom said it tasted the same as the states. No more having to go to Arifjan for tacos woohoo. I just wish they would bring it closer to Fintas area as I hate to go to the Avenues because of the distance and crowds. Now if we could get Wendy's and Arby's or the ultimate place Wal-Mart then I would never leave Kuwait.

Think outside the bun hehe!

Staff of Taco Bell


Taco Bell tucked in the middle of KFC and Burger King

What do I want???

The white folks visiting hehe!

Kuwait is making food progress slowly but surely.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Fair

The Fair came to town during the last two weeks of October. It's something we used to wait for with anticipation when we were kids. I must say it was more expensive than when I was a kid, their sign states that due to high gas prices the prices have increased. Of course I had to take the kids as my youngest hasn't experienced a fair since she grew up in Kuwait.

I get my kids the unlimited ride wristband thinking they would have a great time riding the rides, yeah right my kids turn out to be lazy and afraid. I guess the breakfast we had before going didn't treat my son well after going on one of the spinning rides. His excuse for not riding anything else was his stomach. Kids these days are so different than when I grew up. We used to ride all the rides five or six times while at the fair. Oh well I tried.

After the breakfast settled down some I treated the kids to dipped apples and a fried snickers for myself. I was going to try the fried twinkie but I knew it wouldn't sit well later on. There was so much food to choose from like chicken on a stick to fried alligator. After some rain and 3 hours I gave up on trying to get them to ride anything and called it a day.

I guess the closest thing to a fair or amusement park would be Entertainment City. UAE is building a huge amusement park which I can't wait to visit but not in the summer. Maybe next winter.

Fried Snickers, yes there is a snickers bar in the middle of that!

Roller Coaster

One more roller coaster

The Ferris wheel, not touching that one!


The biggest Indian bull I have ever seen!

These animals were in the petting zoo. Something that you would never find in Kuwait.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hospitals in the United States

I'm sure everyone has visited one of the government hospitals in Kuwait. Not the best experience I'm sure. I wish the government would update the government hospitals in Kuwait considering a lot of people don't have insurance and can't really afford the private hospitals. Even if they had to raise the 1 KD stamp fee I think it would be worth it. Some of the clinics are such a sad and depressing place which makes the employees sad and depressed to work there.

I think that employees who work in a clean and happy environment will be a lot nicer to the patients. I know Adan hospital has had an upgrade which is long overdue. I know private hospitals have increased their fees and will continue to increase the fees whenever they feel like it. I would be willing to pay more money to go to the government hospitals if they would upgrade them all.

Sabah hospital scares me. I went there one time for a check up and it was a scary experience. No men are allowed in the clinic area and I don't speak that much Arabic so I felt really nervous. The bathrooms had no soap or toilet paper and it was during the H1N1 virus time. Thankfully I had some anti bacterial wipes with me. I think they are also doing some remodeling to that hospital also.

It would be great if the government hospitals could compare and compete with private hospitals as the government hospitals do have some great foreign doctors working there it's just going through all the steps to reach them.

Dental clinics also need an upgrade. Again, I say charge more to visit the government clinics and hospitals if it means a better experience for both patients and staff working there.

I had to take my daughter the the emergency room herein the U.S. for her fever and it's such a comfortable feeling being in a clean and sanitary environment. The emergency room is separated for kids and adults. The pediatric unit is so colorful and kid friendly. It's amazing what a little bit of paint and imagination can do to uplift a sometimes sad environment. Of course I had to take some pics of the unit to show what can be done if people only cared enough to do it.

The wall in the pediatric unit.

Inside the private room.

The bed and equipment so clean and sanitary. They change the bedding after each patient.

To the left is the nurses station.

It's such an easy thing to do. If the government cared about the people enough to do it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New school year in Jahra

Well my mother decided to return to the school in Jahra. My sister refused and I'm in the states so my mom is left to fend for herself out there. Sorry mom. Already the stories start rolling in about the new parents. You would think that most kids who go to school would know how to at least feed themselves right? Um not in this part of the country.

My mom told me about one of the mothers sneaking into the school and sitting with her son in the classroom. After being told to leave she hid there until lunch time and my mom caught her in the cafeteria feeding her son. When my mom told her to leave she said she couldn't leave her son because he doesn't know how to feed himself? OMG are there really people like that?

During the first days of school she was constantly telling parents to go home because they wouldn't let go of their kids. Some parents even left the maid with the kids. Come on people there is a time to let go. For a boy especially. How will they grow up to be men when they have their moms chasing behind them of have a maid to baby them? It's called independence. When I first took my kids to school they were like "bye mom see you later" no tears or crying.

When I worked in that school last year I saw that most of the kids didn't know how to open up chips or juice. It took all year to teach them how to pick up their garbage and put it in the trash can.

Stop spoiling your children parents because they become a burden to other people once they leave your house.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Yesterday I took my kids to the circus. I'm sure everyone has heard about the circus. It's a group of traveling performers who stop off in various cities to make some cash. This circus was made up of Hispanic performers from Guatemala and other Latin countries. The prices have increased since the last time I went to the circus. Anyways there were many performers, high wire acts, motorcycle riders and plenty of performing animals. When I saw the camels it reminded me of Kuwait. The camels in Kuwait are better looking than the circus ones.

There were motorcycle riders performing their stunts in a steel cage as well as an 11 year old girl rider performing her stunts with the other 2 guys in the cage.The whole show lasted about 2 hours and there were plenty of ways to make money. Camel rides, elephant rides and pony rides as well as charging an arm and a leg for the plastic lights for the kids. I'm saving for the fair that will be here on Oct 21 that's when the fun starts. My goal is to get that fried twinkie this time. Stay tuned.

The circus tent.

The clowns messing around.

Some animals.

Huge elephants.

The motorcycle riders perform their stunts in this cage.

I wonder if any Kuwaiti guys can ride their dirt bikes around a steel cage like this one?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Expat bloggers leaving Kuwait

It seems to be an ongoing trend of expat bloggers having to leave Kuwait. I have had to temporarily leave Kuwait due to the outrageous school fees. Having to sell my cars and leave everything behind was a really difficult thing to do but there isn't much help if you can't afford the private schools in Kuwait. But I know Inshallah one day I will be back which keeps me hanging in there.

I don't know if any of you have followed desert girl Kuwait's blog but she inspired me to start my own blog about Kuwait. Unfortunately she has run into some problems with employment in Kuwait. I know from experience how it feels to be fired from a company for no reason. After giving the company all of your ideas and giving it your all they just come out from no where and fire you. I was the only American in my company and my salary was almost nothing but I loved my job and the people I worked with so I stayed there. Desert girl has had some problems with the same action. Now she is getting ready to go back home after many many years in Kuwait.

After living and working in Kuwait for a long time you get used to the place. Yes, it does have it's good things and bad things but you just become one of the locals after a long time being there. Adjusting to stateside life takes some time. I'm still getting use to the changes. It seems the job market in Kuwait for Americans has shrinked now that the war is winding down. Some Americans have given us a bad name by their actions and it seems we are not as popular as we used to be. Outrageous salaries and VIP treatment has just about vanished. It's ok for those who come to Kuwait to make money and go home but for those of us who have established a new life in Kuwait these changes hit hard.

I know that the feeling is "Why hire an expat for a huge salary when you can hire a TCN for 1/3 that amount and they have Masters and big degrees to go with the low wages." Some of us are willing to take a lower salary just to stay in Kuwait but companies just look passed our CV because they are afraid we want to be paid a large amount.

I wish Desert Girl the best of luck and hope she can find something that will keep her in Kuwait. If not I wish you the best wherever you land!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak!!!!

Wow I can't believe Eid is here. The month has passed by so fast. It felt a little longer here in the states but Eid is finally here. Although the feeling is not the same as it is in Kuwait my little family will enjoy shopping, eating and going to ride the go-karts. Too bad it's so freaking hot and humid. The kids will miss school tomorrow now let my try explaining why they won't be in school to the staff hopefully they will just say ok.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Eid and I wish you all the best.

As I've finally got my internet working today I will be bringing my experiences here in the states to those who continue to follow my journey through life. I appreciate those who continue to stop by the blog and check things out.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Still waiting for Internet!

Well I would be posting some stuff if I can ever get my internet and phone hooked up. It seems like there is one problem after another. First moving into an apartment with pot smoking beer drinking college kids was a mistake and then I moved to a nicer place. Apartment had phone problems so I had to wait for the repair guy. In the new apartment phone problems. Sitting on hold waiting for someone for like 2 hours.

Taxes on everything. The phone bill has 2 or 3 different taxes, cable has taxes and gas is crazy high. I don't know how people get by. It's so hot and humid and imagine I have to pump my own gas. Ha! Ha! Just kidding. I did it sometimes in Kuwait just to freak people out. The sad thing is my kids have no idea what's going on. I told my daughter to go pay for gas and she looked at me in horror. My other daughter didn't know how to work the blinds in the apartment. I never knew how many little things they would not know.

Well seems I won't get my phone and internet until Thursday. I will have to just hurry up and wait!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Will I ever adjust to life in America?

I never thought I would say I hate rain. But OMG I hate it so much now. Since I've been in Florida all it does is rain, rain and more rain. I found out it's hurricane season until God knows when and it has rained for 24 hours straight. I got caught in it today while shopping at Wal-Mart. I was soaked from it and driving is horrible.

Something I've never dealt with are the religious people here. I know they seem to live their life around the church and are very proud to be surrounded by it but I can't stand the fact that they will try to push their religion onto you. My daughter wears hijab and is having difficulties in high school with everything being referred to the Bible. They were talking about the crusades over Islam and my daughter said she was waiting for the whole class to turn around and point to her.

Today my daughter was waiting for me to park the car and some guy walked by and said 'Jesus Christ is the son of God'. I was so angry that my child has to deal with ignorance. He's lucky I wasn't there as I would have given him a peace of my mind. In California people are more tolerant of things but here in the south it's almost as if you're an alien unless you wear short shorts and are tanned, if not you don't belong.

School will be over in June and Inshallah I will be heading back to Kuwait. I love the shopping and variety of things but I wouldn't stay here and put up with people's one sided opinion just for a Slurpee. I've learned a lot since being here and I appreciate Kuwait.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I think I miss Kuwait

OMG did I say that I miss Kuwait already? Am I sick? Do I have a fever? I've only been here less than 3 weeks and I kinda miss Kuwait. I grew so lazy living there and now I have to do everything myself. I have to follow the speed limit, pump my own gas and do domestic housework!

Don't let me talk about taxes, boy do they suck. I bought a car that was so expensive compared to Kuwait and then having to pay taxes, registration and insurance. AHHH! Every time I see a police officer I'm totally paranoid they might pull me over. I thought food was expensive in Kuwait, guess I was wrong as I'm thinking it may be more here.

Today thunder hit so hard it turned off the t.v. and I felt it. Scared the crap out of me. Rain, rain and more rain. I like the rain as long as I don't have to drive in it. I love Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A and Krystals but money goes quick here. Registering for school is complicated here. Being in a small town they look at the transcripts with a blank stare. Is she a foreign exchange student? Nope. Are you in the military? Nope. You lived in Kuwait? Um yeah. I guess it's good that this place is a military town so some people know about traveling but the others just can't understand why I would live there. I won't even begin to explain.

I found an apartment that's so old but still cheaper than California, my hometown. The manager happens to be from California which is one of the reasons I took the place. I can relate to him more than the other Southern folks. The people look at me then look at the kids and then back to me. I feel like a freak sometimes. I guess we are just different being from Cali and Kuwait and not having a southern accent sets us apart. I have to get used to people smiling and being polite. It sometimes catches me off guard and I try to smile but it's hard.

Across the street they are building a couple Habitat for Humanity houses. I've always heard of the organization and now I see them at work. They are mostly teenagers which I think is cool. At least they are staying out of trouble and doing something to help people.

I love the grilling part. Steaks, carne asada and tonight chicken. So much fun.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Made it to the States

Wow what a ride. I hate the trip to the U.S.A. it is so rough. But made it to Florida Alhumdulilah. Things are so different I have to keep remembering. First trip out directly to Taco Bell then to Wal-Mart. That was enough for me as the jet lag quickly caught up with me.

It has rained and I forgot how much I missed the sound and smell of it. Biggest thing to get used to is rules. I'm so used to having everything done for me that I have to remember how to get things done here. So how are things in Kuwait? I'm sure not much has changed except for Ramadan timings.

Ramadan in the states is so much harder than in Kuwait. It's easy when almost everyone is fasting and it seems the days pass by faster in Kuwait. I'm in the Bible belt so everything is Church affiliated. The biggest thing I miss is my maid. I have to teach my kids how to clean but my daughter loves the lawnmower.

Next step is school registration. I think I forgot everything about living in the states. I kinda feel like an outsider. Being in Florida is difficult as I'm originally from California which is completely different than here. People drive so slow and we have to wear seat belts. Wow so many rules to follow.

My daughter called 911 and the police came to the door. How embarrassing was that. I guess she saw it on t.v. and wondered what would happen if she called. I hope everyone in Kuwait is doing good. Once I'm over jet lag I will be able to write on a regular basis. It's overwhelming being a newbie here so stay tuned for more adventures.......

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heading Home

Well I'll be leaving tomorrow night heading back to the states. The cost of schooling my kids has finally become too much so the only thing to do is head home where school is free. I look at is as a learning experience for my kids who have been in British schools for the last 6 years not learning anything about their own country. All of this due to the British guy in the school who has a personal vendetta against me and decided he didn't want my kids in his school.

The only reason my kids were in that school was the pay plan, we could pay up until the last day of school which was the only way to do it. The new school needed half of the fees by Aug 25 and the remaining balance by December. Sorry I can't come up with 8000 KD in that time frame. It will be a break for us from Kuwait and a chance for the kids to experience the simple things in life and Wal-Mart.

They will have the chance to see parks with grass and white beaches. Inshallah I will be back at some point but for now it's time to go. I will keep posts coming as I have given access a couple people here and they will take over. I will still read the online newspapers and comment as well as posting pics of what's going on in the states.

I thank all of those who have visited my blog and I hope you continue to visit as I will not let it die but take it in a new direction. Who knows, maybe I will get contracted and come back.

To the British guy who took things personally here's a big fat "010" and remember KARMA is a "b" so watch out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ramadan 2010

Ramadan 2010 is right around the corner which means people will start heading to the grocery stores to stock up on food so beware of the crowds heading to the stores during the early evening hours as it's too hot to go during the day. A lot of stores get empty during this time so start heading out now to get food to last for at least a week until it calms down.

Be prepared for extremely dangerous driving conditions during the sunset hours. People will run over anyone in their path in order to make it home. If you see someone flashing move out of their way immediately as they will not think twice about running you off the road. Things will be calm until around 8 then people head outside so it will get crowded then.

DO NOT eat outside during fasting hours! If you are caught you will go to jail until the end of Ramadan, no questions asked. Even a citizen can report you so don't think you can be slick. Women please dress modestly during this time. Don't bring attention to yourself. Everyone should speak softer too. People who are fasting can be easily irritated.

Of course those who work on base follow base rules. But remember once you leave the Ramadan rules apply. Don't be shocked if you find people not fasting. A lot of them hide out in their offices and do as they please. Majority of people fast but of course there are exceptions. Businessmen who deal with foreign employees tend to relax around them and eat and drink as if it were a normal day.

If you go to a restaraunt before time to break the fast you will have to wait. I've seen people being served before time to break the fast and it irritated me. Remember people are watching and one phone call will have the police at your table. If you don't like the way the country is during Ramadan take a trip back home or to a non-Muslim country. Countries like Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain follow the same rules during Ramadan so it's not a good idea to visit them.

Ramadan is a spiritual month in which people of all classes are living equally. The rich as well as the poor are all the same. We feel the stomach pains of the hungry and we give to the needy. Tents are put up to feed the poor. It's a time for families to visit and spend time together. I love the food during Ramdan as everyone is cooking, even those who never cook during the year.

I will miss the Moroccan food my husbands mom cooks and spending time with my family as I will be moving back home next week due to outrageous school fees. Inshallah I will be back to join my family after some time. I will celebrate Ramadan in the states which is extremely hard especially now with the anti-Muslim uprising there.

To those that apply Happy Ramadan!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The people Upstairs

Since moving into this building a few months ago things have been relatively quiet, other than the devil children playing outside until the a.m. and pushing all the buttons in the elevator so when I get in I have to go up 5 floors before getting to the bottom floor. Then comes Thursday night beginning at 9:30 p.m. I can hear Arabic music upstairs so loud it drowns out my t.v.

I'm nosey so I took the stairs and saw some scary women, turns out it was an engagement party or something of that type. GREAT! That means it won't end until the wee hours of the morning. After a while it was time to take my brother-in-law down to talk to the hares. It's supposed to last an hour he said. Yah right, a party doesn't begin here until 11 or later. So they have the apartment upstairs and the apartment to the side which was used as the food area complete with waitresses.

I don't have a problem with people having parties but at least have respect for the other people living there. It is after all a family building not a party building for the red light goers. I waited until 11:30 to go back down to see one of the guys from the party with blood shot eyes mumbling something about it being over in half an hour. After arguing with the old dude from the party it was over at 12 a.m. but the moving of furniture didn't end until 1 a.m.

The problem with people is the lack of respect for others. Everyone thinks they can do whatever they want whenever they want. I've always heard of engagement parties being held in a nice surrounding and in a nice house. This was a party with scary chicks loud kids and all of them dancing to "Degny, Degny, Degny". All I could think of was GHETTO! I was waiting for some samry music and freaky dance moves to start next, hoping they would keep the jinn upstairs.

Maybe when I return here people will be different. Wishful thinking. Hello U.S.A and people who follow the rules.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The cost of living in Kuwait

Recently there were articles published about the high cost of food and supposedly the Ministry is supposed to cut the costs by 50% so we'll wait and see. But in the mean time I can't understand why some items are 3-4 different prices depending on the area and the store. I usually pay 880 fils for a 4-pack of milk at Al-Meerah in Fahaheel and at Fintas jamiya it's 1.100 KD?

It's funny that at Fintas jamiya there's a sticker for Al-Safi milk for 960 fils and yet the sticker price is 1.100? When I first moved here I was always shopping for my main items at Fintas jamiya but little by little the prices increased to the point that I went to Sultan center and got the same items for almost the same price. Does anyone do random visits to check the prices?

How is it that you get one price in Fintas and a different price in Yarmouk? Same item but such a difference in price? Some people are making money off of it. I think undercover random visits to check prices is needed. Over a period of time they can track the increase in prices and act accordingly. But it's like out of sight out of mind as long as someone is getting paid it goes unnoticed but for the people who don't make much and count every fil they notice it right away.

Everything has increased so much that some people are forced to make choices of staying here or going home. If people have a family they may end up sending them back home to save costs. I won't even mention the school prices here. It's not like kids are getting a Harvard education. I will be moving back to the U.S. as I can't afford the school fees anymore. 8000 KD a year has grown beyond my means and will relocate back home in early August (Inshallah).

When my mom and sister moved here 10 years ago they paid 80 KD for an apartment! Now you couldn't rent a closet for that much. As soon as the contractors starting coming to Kuwait the rent prices escalated. The price of renting a car sky rocketed. When I worked for the sponsor company of ITT I learned the prices they charged and I was shocked. The company would rent the cars from Autolease for one price and tax on 1-2 hundred KD more on each vehicle. An SUV would go for over 300 + KD per month. A furnished apartment would cost 300 KD for example and they would charge Americans 650 KD.

My advice for companies coming here is to make sure the Kuwaiti company isn't taking advantage of you. Remember you are paying the sponsor company and you are in full charge. I would advise the company to let the sponsor company handle residency issues and find housing and rental agencies yourself. I used to consult with companies and help them with these issues so I know first hand how sponsor companies rip off contracting companies and it's not like a company gets excellent customer service from their sponsor.

But that's a different subject. I could go on all day about sponsor-contractor do's and don'ts. I do hope they slash prices by 50% maybe all people could afford to have some meat with their potatoes :P

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fake shoes at Footlocker?

We were out at the Avenues yesterday. It was so freaking hot. Anyways, we stopped by Footlocker looking for shoes for the kids. They had a lot of shoes for 10 KD or less. Not bad huh? Well upon looking closer at the Puma shoes I saw glue and the leather looked plastic. I know there are fake shoes everywhere here but at Footlocker?

I noticed the same thing with some Nike shoes I bought on sale too. I could see glue on the shoes and they didn't feel real. No problem as the Indian mover guy stole those shoes anyways :P Has anyone else noticed this with some of the shoes on sale? Would Footlocker actually sell fake products? I wouldn't be shocked if they did.

The saleswoman bugged the hell out of me. I wasn't sure what size I wanted so I was in my own little shopping world until she insisted on helping me. What size are you looking for? The size is written on the box. I know, I know, I know!!!!!!!! When I need help I will ask you! Then she was hovering around me as I touched a box she would fix it. Hello!!!!! Personal Space!!!!! I guess they are used to people who don't know much and just point to things.

I'm American and I know what I'm doing! When I need help I'll ask!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ramadan is Coming

Ramadan is just around the corner and Inshallah it will start on Aug 9 or 10 which means the country pretty much closes down for a month. If anyone has any business with the Ministries or things to take care of then you should do it within the next 2 weeks. Once Ramadan starts the country is pretty much a ghost town until sunset. I will write about Ramadan etiquette later as I wanted to post a reminder to get your business done soon!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

99.7- Can it be Fixed?

When a westerner comes to Kuwait the first thing they want to find is an English radio station. Of course the only one is 99.7. When I came 6 years ago it wasn't so bad but recently it has gone down the toilet. I hate when people laugh at their own jokes and the jokes aren't even funny. Everyday driving to work at 6:30 a.m. I would have to listen to Linda the morning DJ. Most people who drive to work in the morning are adults, right? Unfortunately the morning ride has been overtaken by kids. Each and every day for a year I had to listen to Linda send shout outs from cupcake on bus 41 saying hello to fruitcake on bus 3.

Everyday Linda would play that Taylor Swift Romeo and Juliet song followed by some Justin Beiber crap. All the while talking about lame crap and nonsense. Then comes the weather with Hani. Half of the time you can't understand what he's saying. Within the last couple of months Linda took on a side kick who puts the 'A' in LAME. Now he does the 'Night Ride' which should be called the 'Night ride from hell'. I think he hooks up his iPod and plays his greatest hits list. From Michael Jackson to the BeeGees. Prime time when everyone is out and about he plays the worst music. He tries so hard to be cool and speak English but ends up sounding lame and geeky.

There's also one guy who used to DJ, I forgot his name but he had a monotone voice with no pitch. He sounded like to hated his life and was forced on air playing heavy metal and rock from a long time ago. A few years ago there was a Puerto Rican chick named Latina Mina although she was annoying at times I really enjoyed Reggaeton and Cumbia. The music made you want to dance. Too bad she was drunk on air and cussed out some chick not knowing the mic was on. She was fired and deported. I listen to Arabic music and some of the local stations but why do all the Arab guys sound so gay? I like 88.5, I think that's the one? It's and Arab station that used to have 2 Lebnani chicks and a guy. They were dorks but funny as hell.

Usually when I drove home from work at 5 they would play the best mix of English music. That DJ was really good. I think prime time should have the top ten music played instead of putting people to sleep with music from the 70's. I like my oldies but only when I'm in the mood. Not on a weekend when you are going out and want to get pumped with some good music instead you hear music your mother once danced to. Most of the time when I go out at night I force myself to listen to 99.7 and the night ride but end up turning it off. Guess I will have to stick to my iPod and my own mix until someone takes over the radio station and turns it into something great.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ordering out is a real Pain

The heat brings out the laziness in me so cooking is definitely not something I look forward to. That being said I decided to order pizza yesterday. Every time I order something I end up being really ticked off. I ordered from Pizza 2 Go ans their call center sucks. I get an Egyptian guy who gets confused right off when I speak English. I ask him for their specials then there's dead silence, Hello! I give him my order and then the problem with my name comes next. After repeating it 5 times and sounding it out in Arabic letters he finally got it, sort of.

He asks if I want the order now? Um yeah that's why I'm calling. I guess I have no patience so I told him I would just go to the restaurant and order it. I think the worst place to order from is Hardee's. My husband who's Kuwaiti can't even order in Arabic without getting frustrated. I have nothing against Egyptians but they just don't understand food ordering. 9/10 times at Hardee's in Fintas area they get the order wrong. I mean extremely wrong.

Why are people put into working situations that in reality they can't do? Filipinos are excellent for the food industry but the others fall short. They just can't seem to comprehend people's orders. Unfortunately it's really really expensive to bring Filipino workers so they are replacing them with Indian workers who are very timid and seem fearful of people.

In the U.S. Burger King has a university for their workers called the "Burger King University". Funny as it seems they obviously want their employees to understand their business. I think all food industry workers should take English classes geared toward restaurant language maybe that will decrease the food returns. I'm always afraid to return it as they might spit in it or something. Yuck!

For the ones who want to call me racist save it because I've heard it all before. I'm pointing out the facts and those who have experienced it know what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The new female police officers

We went to Chili's in Al Manshar yesterday and for the firs time I saw the famous female officers at work yesterday. There were 3 tiny female officers patrolling in a single line around Al Manshar. As they passed by there were 2 male officers following behind them. Huh? So they kept on going around in circles, once , twice, three times and so on. The guys followed about 20 steps behind them. It was actually entertaining.

I walked around the corner by the coffee shop and low and behold the 3 females were sitting there drinking coffee while the other male officers gathered with some more security looking guys to drink Arabic coffee. WTH? As I passed the females all I could smell was their perfume. I just shook my head. So let me get this straight, females were hired and trained and given rank to serve in the police force only to be babysat by their male counterparts?

They are allowed to stroll the malls only to be harassed by men? So instead of having say 2 guys patrolling, they allow 2 women plus 2 men to babysit? So the government is paying 5-7 people to patrol at any given time? I read an article about the harassment the women are receiving. Why can't the male species just leave females alone? Maybe they should hire some boyatt ( chicks who look and dress like guys ) or some lesbians to patrol. Some of them could kick ass. At least the guys wouldn't bother them. Make rules like you have to be 5'11 + and huge to work as a policewoman. hehe. Cute little petite women who smell like a Parisian perfume shop just doesn't intimidate anyone or give them a big ass taser and a rubber bullet gun to use at any time.

Article in today's paper:

Policewomen teased: A lawyer, whose identity has not been disclosed, has been arrested by the Fahaheel police for eve teasing policewomen on duty inside a commercial complex in the area, reports Al-Anba daily.The daily added the attorney also lured the police officers to commit indecent acts.The two officers — a second lieutenant and sergeant major — are posted at the complex to protect women being harassed by male shoppers.

And yet they become the victims of harassment? When will women be respected as human beings instead of sexual objects? Shouldn't be too long considering the rise in homosexuality here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

AWARE center: Dwaniya regarding Kuwaiti laws

On July 20, 2010 at 7 p.m the AWARE center will have a guest speaker, a Kuwaiti lawyer who will be speaking about the Kuwaiti laws in case anyone is interested. All are welcome. You can visit their website which is located on my link list for further info.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Yesterday my husband and I took our daughter to Mowasat for a check up. Upon entering the parking I see some lady dressed in abaya and niqab wandering the lot. I knew it was one of the beggars. The clinics were closed because of holiday so there weren't too many people there. Immediately she headed for us. Oh crap here she comes. She started babbling something in Arabic which I was ignoring. Finally I said in a loud voice "I'm American I don't speak Arabic", she said "No Arabic?" and started walking off to the next couple who forked out some money.

I can't tell you how much it bugs me when these women do this. I can speak Arabic but not enough to tell someone off in a nice way. I felt like telling her "where's your husband?" but then again I remember reading in the newspaper that most of these people are on visitors visa and come during the holidays to make money. I have a family to take care of also why should I give money to these people? I don't go beg people in the street if I'm short on cash.

I know they are making a killing by doing this. I read once they arrested a beggar who had a few thousand KD on him. WTH? What about the people who are really poor and need help? Beggars have no dignity and I can't stand them. I really wanted to yell at her and tell her how I felt. Go get a job. I know she's probably married and well taken cared of. When I first came to Kuwait I worked in an office and some chick came in babbling about how she had no money and so on. I asked her where her husband was, that I have kids but I work to support them. I got pissed and was yelling, needless to say she shut the door real quick.

Most people give into them, even if its 250 fils. But everyone should realize they are more than likely people who are too lazy to work and earn their money. When you give money you give them the freedom to continue and make more money than you do in a month. I really wanted to call the cops on her. I'm not mean but I feel that people who are too lazy to work shouldn't be rewarded with free money. If they were proud of what they do then why do they hide behind niqab? If you walk up to me with your face showing I feel that you really need help because you are not afraid to show who you are. There are places around Kuwait that help the poor if you are truly in need. The beggars don't go there because they don't need food or shelter they just want money.

There are no free rides in life.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Crazy

Today's my birthday and I really wish I was back in Cali with my BFF's heading out to El Torito Mexican restaurant for fajitas, then off to girls night out. I really miss the people who really know me and understand me, friends I've had since I was young. You could never find that kind of real friendship here. I remember the nice simple cakes made at the grocery store that tasted so good. Simplicity, not a 20 pound masterpiece from some fancy baker.

El Torito

They are famous for sweet corn cakes.

Ahhh fajitas.

I loove their chips and salsa.

To my BFF's I love you guys and miss you even more.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tumbleweed Restaurant

Restaurants are the favorite past time when living in Kuwait. I'm always searching for something with a Tex-Mex feel as I love Mexican food and miss it a lot. Tumbleweed restaurant beside Movenpick at Bida roundabout is a pretty good place to eat some Tex-Mex food. When it first opened it was a huge 2 story restaurant but they've cut it in half and added a pastry shop. I guess that's what happens when a new restaurant opens, for the first couple of months it's so crowded then people find other new ones to go to and the business dwindles.

I like this place because there are hardly any people that go to it except for the occasional expats who come there to relax in a quiet setting. You get all you can eat chips and salsa that might fill you up before you get your order. They have really good burritos made 3 or 4 different ways. My mom loves their steak and chicken. You get to choose your sides and it's really good and reasonably priced.

Steak plate.

Chicken Cheyenne

You can choose what sides you want from a list so if you don't like the average veggies they serve at most restaurants you can choose corn bread or twice baked potato.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Queen Bee?

Whenever I go out I always look for something odd. Strolling through Al-Kout is nothing to write home about but when you're bored and don't feel like dealing with Salmiya you go to Al-Kout. Most of the stores I've never heard of like some off the wall overpriced lingerie shop. I had to laugh at the bee outfit then I got a closer look at the name of it and then I thought it was cool.

Queen Bee?

Nope, try Queen BEOTCH. hehehe

I'm sure the little Chinese dude meant well when he named it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kuwait Times Statistics

Kuwait Times Article today.

1,020 Kuwaiti women marry expatriates over 5 months 38 couples take pre-marital tests

KUWAIT CITY, June 27, (Agencies): Director of Legal Authentication Department Waleed Al-Mawash has disclosed that 1,020 Kuwaiti women married Asian and Arab expatriates from January until May this year, reports Annahar daily.A total of 11,258 marriages took place during the said five-month period. Al-Mawash said 2,759 Kuwaiti men married Arab or Asian expatriates while 117 Bedoun couples tied the knot during the period.
According to Al-Mawash, as many as 604 Kuwaiti couples got married and divorced in the same time period. Also, 182 Kuwaiti men who married Arab and Asian women got divorced, besides 53 Kuwaiti women who married Arab and Asian men. Nine Bedoun couples also split in the said duration.
Meanwhile, thirty eight couples appeared on the first day of opening the new pre-marital examination center in Mubarak Al-Kabir Governorate, a health ministry official said Sunday.“It is a successful start, with work smoothly flowing and applicants voicing content over quick and easy procedures,” Director of Pre-marriage Center of the Department of Social Health in the Ministry of Health Dr Yaqoub Al-Kandari told KUNA.Four centers are now operative, less than a year after opening the Mubarak Al-Kabir center, as all centers are fitted with all the necessary equipment and supplies, as well as all technical and administrative crews and will operate through an integrated automated program, he added.He stressed that the new center will facilitate and save time and effort of residents of Al-Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabir areas.
The rate of safe marriage certificates that have been issued so far since the application of the pre-marital examination last August is 97 percent of those that are submitted for examination, Al-Kandari pointed out.Test results take some five days to process and are valid for six months to authenticate that couples are free from contagious or hereditary diseases.

604 couples married and divorced within 5 months. 1,020 Kuwaiti women married Asian and Arab expats, seems like the women are finally choosing who they want to marry.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ruffled Feathers

Blogging has been a little slow lately. It's just too hot to go an explore. After seeing the comments made today it seems I've ruffled some feathers amongst the locals. I personally think it's funny as hell to see people's reaction about my experiences. They seem to think I just want to speak negatively about Kuwait. That's not the case. Hello people!!! It's a blog, which means you write about anything you want. I write about my experiences, KEY WORD: EXPERIENCED.

If I had a KD for every time I was called racist I would be rich. I've written several times, if you don't like what I have to say then don't read it. I had 8 comments today, obviously from local people who seem to be offended by the truth. They respond with anti-American comments and the most common one, "if you don't like it leave". No I think I will stay and make your lives miserable. Truth hurts I guess. Some of them must be hitting the E because they seem to be hallucinating about my topics. One guy went off about the government schools, I never said Kuwaitis don't graduate.

I was going to write about something else but the mentality of these people baffles me. I read things I don't agree with but I don't go and attack the writer because I wasn't in their shoes. I don't even write things I really want to say because of the country's censorship. There's no freedom of speech here. Ask the Kuwaiti journalist guy who's in jail for writing his opinion. If I really wrote what I thought I might have an angry mob searching for me. Once again for those who call me racist and barbaric and madri shino, your comments don't bother me. I've been in Kuwait for over 6 years and have lost all sensitivity to verbal assaults.

I've developed a thick skin since being here and I know the kind of people behind these comments and in reality I don't care. I publish all comments both good and bad. I'm not afraid of criticism. Here are a few comments made today. I got tired of looking for all of them so here's a couple lovely comments.Fact is I love stepping on people's toes and getting a reaction.

Everyone of them is anonymous of course.

1.There is nothing wrong with government hospitals. Hate these fucking Westerners who view Arabs are sub humans lacking brains. Fuck off if you don't like our country. My ancestors worked their asses off for the new population to get treated when unhealthy. ''These so-called doctors''-no they are certified doctors. Fuck off, asses. You don't like Kuwait? Leave then. No one is forcing you to stay and further destroy the country. I hate hearing all of those Westerners complain on and on about Kuwait. If you don't like it, LEAVE! It's called freedom of movement.

2.How the hell are all of the posts purely opinion and not meant to harm anyone?All of your posts are offensive.

3.''The kids who go to government school are hardly given a chance to succeed in life. Why doesn't the Ministry focus on education?''
I went to government school, it was easy for me to succeed because I was educated at a government school. Your moronic attempts to depict government schools as inferior, base schools are amusing. Children who attend government schools have just as much chances as succeeding. You do not know how government schools are because you have never attended them nor taught at one. There is nothing wrong with government schools and the majority of high school Kuwaiti graduates who end up attending Western universities getting degrees in Sciences are government school graduates. My mother worked her ass off for 17 years to attend Nottingham University...Government schools and the test results from government schools are much higher than those of private schools, especially when comparing government school's secondary test results to those of British schools.
Children in government schools perform better than children in private English schools. And who said Kuwaitis don't graduate from high school? Almost 100% of the current adult population of Kuwait have a high school degree. I have no idea where you are obtaining your ''information'' from, I find it hard to believe Kuwaitis don't graduate from high school. Government schools and the students in them are competitive, their averages are exceeding 90% unlike private schools and what I am curious about is why you believe Kuwait isn't offering their children an opportunity to succeed. All of the adults around me have graduated from high school and university, all of the current teenagers are on their way to graduating. I have never met a Kuwaiti who hasn't graduated from high school.Maybe the lower class 'trophy wives' is what you're referring to. As a whole, Kuwaitis do graduate from high school and university. I didn't grow up in a professional family, my parents do all work and all of my friends, relatives, distant relatives, and my whole family has graduated from high school and university.
The government requires males to complete high school in order to formally apply to the military, it is a requirement. Kuwaitis can't just not graduate from high school and obtain a job with a good real solid salary. Those who become high school drop outs end up being paid little and most of the times hoping for marriage to a man with a good solid salary, these are known as trophy wives (not by the men, they don't have to be attractive, they just need to conform to society). No one in Kuwait can get a real high salary without graduating high school and university. It's a social taboo to not graduate from high school. Getting 60% in government schools is the equivalence of 'F' there, and is very rare. While at English schools like Gulf English School, getting 50% is the top grade in the class.
No one can achieve 90% these days at the private schools my children are enrolled at, the majority of which are very well known and respectable. Government schools are doing better than private schools, that is an established fact.I don't understand why Westerners often perceive Kuwait as a third-world, barbaric country.What on earth is going on here? If you don't like this country, just leave. No one is stopping you or anyone else from leaving.
The ministry does focus immensely on education. The government of Kuwait is focusing on education more than anything else. If they hire Westerners to teach, what jobs will the Arabs have? Arabs are poorer than Westerns, fact. In government schools, Arab teachers are respected. In private schools, they are not. In government schools, Arabic teachers are feared and highly respected. In private schools they are not because private schools hire any Arab to teach Arabic and religion. Private schools are weaker in discipline than government schools.

4.Anonymous said...
Kuwait is a first world country

I love blogging. I can debate from the comfort of my house instead of going out and dealing with it. Keep up the comments everyone! Hehehe!
Thanks out to those people who understand what writing is all about and don't take opinions to heart. Relax and chill people, life's too short to be angry.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Random Thought

Do those random people who appear in our dreams really exist somewhere or are they a figment of our imagination?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Storage Place

I've heard there was a storage facility built here recently, does anyone have any information about the place? There were some Americans who were given a 24 hour notice to move but I couldn't find out any info about the storage place for them. Any info is appreciated!

Friday, June 18, 2010


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It's a new concept so if you're interesting check out the website for further details.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

School is over Finally!

My mom and sister left yesterday for vacation in Florida and boy did they deserve it after this last year working at their school. I worked there for 2 months and that was more than enough for me. I have never met such rude and barbaric people before in my life. My husband warned me about those people but I went with an open mind. Now I see what he was talking about.

Before I get into the story if you get offended by some of the things I say about people in this country then please stop reading this article as I have received plenty of anti-American comments along with being called rude and racist. I post almost all comments good or bad so readers may see what kind of mentality people have. I'm happy to say good comments out way the bad so thanks to those who live with an open mind. Other people can't handle the truth and that's why they make rude comments, make a rude comment expect a rude remark from me.

This school is out in the boondocks in an area where civilization sort of exists. The school had it's KG graduation and so the principal thought they were finished with programs and the rest of the upper grades would have their on individual parties. Right? Oh so wrong. One by one the parents of grades 1-5 came in asking about the party for their kids. Their kids are supposed to have a program and receive certificates and gifts and food etc. The owner sides with the parents and says ok. So the staff has 3 days to come up with a song and dance, process the grades, arrange the party, make the certificates and calculate the grades to find the top 3 of each class.

If that wasn't headache enough the parents start bribing the teachers to make their kids top of the class. The mothers head to the Vice Principal's office to tell her their child has to be number one or they won't return next year. Are you serious? On the last day of the exams the parents wait in the office all day for results. They start calling and calling asking for results. Now these certificates are something found on the Internet and printed on photo paper. They won't get your child a job or a degree, I mean they can make the same things on their own computers so why are they so damn important?

Thank God I stopped working for the school before all hell broke loose. So the day of the party came and the kids got their cheesy certificates, not like any of them really deserved them because they weren't the best kids anyways but it's all about money for the owner. Parents started coming up to the principal asking about the gifts for the kids? OMG WTH? Why are people here obsessed with certificates and trophies? Hell you can go get one for a KD and not make a problem.

Then around 30 parents took off after the Vice principal cornering her in an office like an angry mob yelling at her and asking why their child wasn't top of their class. The vice principal is Kuwaiti-American and they were screaming and saying she's not Kuwaiti she's Indian. What's wrong with these people? They proceeded to call the American principal an Indian and was yelling at her. I really wish I was there with my baseball bat. The staff are Egyptians and Indians and will not stand up to local people so they ran and hid.

If that wasn't bad enough the owner told the principal and vice principal (who set up the whole school, furnished it, set up the curriculum and did everything on their own to make the school a nice place) they would no longer be principal and vice principal and they might have a job as a teacher with a 50% reduction in pay so take it or leave it. The owner also decided to take money from all of the staff for the days they missed. Now mind you he already took it from their paycheck during the month they missed but that wasn't enough he decided for every 3 days missed he would take one day's pay!

The principal and vice principal were the only ones who signed a contract with the owner so they should be entitled to their summer pay right? Sure! Minus the days missed and other amounts he decided to take out. He refused to pay the principal money for her ticket even thought it's stated in her contract. He felt he had paid her enough already. This is what happens when you don't sign a contract and you are not legally employed by a company. If your residency is not on your company and you don't sign a contract then expect to not get your pay and if you do expect it to be short. The owner takes advantage of the people who desperately need a job.

Then I found a clone of the owner. A local who works for the Amiri Diwan and owns a nursery school. He hired me as the director. I specifically told him I wasn't interested in teaching, I was interested in PR, marketing and business. He low balled the salary but I thought later he would increase it so I gave it a chance. I get to the school and it was a disaster. There were about 15 kids there and it was the graduation day. I found out the next day that once again this party was insisted upon by one of the parents who knows the school doesn't have a license so she threatened to go to the Ministry if they didn't have a party for her brat kid.

There was one baby about 8 months old. This poor baby was held the whole day, passed from teacher to teacher and maid to maid. No where for him to play. No supplies for the kids. No computers. There is one English teacher and one Arabic teacher and one assistant working in 3 rooms. So there are 20+ people wandering around the first floor of the house, the kids kept running into me and each other. What did I get myself into?

By the third day I had had enough. The owner was rude and wanted me to do 20 jobs at once. There was no budget, there was no marketing, there wasn't even a decent computer. The owner came in and I along with the English teacher had a discussion about the school. In the end he told me he wanted me to be the director/teacher/jack of all trades for 400 KD. The final straw was the English teacher telling me he hasn't paid her the salary for May. Aha a clone of the other owner. Get people who need money, don't sign a contract, don't sponsor them, just keep them for as long as they will put up with it.

Sorry I'm not one to sit in that type of situation. I had a lot I wanted to say but decided to say this isn't working out. Kuwait is very small and one day you will meet these people again so it's better to go out in a good way as you never know where you might see them.

In the end my husband was right about the jungle people. I can't wait to see what kind of comments I'm gonna get about this. Put yourself in my situation, when your mother and sister are being attacked daily by uncontrollable people how would you feel? The Kuwait job market is getting smaller and smaller. Everyone has to have a B.A. in order to get any job, maybe even McDonald's. We try to do what we can to help our families survive but there are so many vultures waiting to take advantage of the little people.

Now all of the teachers are required to have a B.A. degree in English in order to teach. Americans have degrees in education which means Native English speakers may be out of teaching jobs unless they have subject degrees. Even teaching assistants who make 250 KD or less must have B.A. degrees. Back in 2004 expats were wanted and now our welcome has come to an end it seems. Even contracting has become a cut throat industry. But I did read today in Arab Times that Kuwait plans on making the country a commercial hub so maybe there's good news for the future?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OMG It's freakin' hot!

Now that the weather has reached the eyeball burning phase remember to switch off your water heater as I learned yesterday. Taking a shower at 2 p.m was liking putting myself in a sauna. In the Fintas-Mangaf area the water is trucked in which means the plastic containers are exposed to the elements. Burning hot during the day and luke warm at night.

Does underground water exist in Kuwait? I think it does in established cities but since this area is kind of new they just truck in water. Where does this "potable" water come from and what is it exactly? Maybe I don't want to know what it is. I know you can't drink it or cook with it and even the filter can't keep everything out of it.

The only thing about switching off the water heater is that when you want to take a shower at night the water will be luke warm but never cold cold. I've been in this area for over six years will they ever have water that doesn't have to be trucked in?

I think it would be beneficial to have underground water as the water trucks ruin the streets in Kuwait. Without water trucks there wouldn't be so many holes in the road and traffic.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Government Hospitals

My internet has been really crappy for the last two days so actually getting to my blog is almost impossible. I guess it's working today after waiting for 3 hours so let me write about something before it shuts down again.

My sister went to Adan hospital which is a government hospital for a problem she was having. The so called doctor told her she would have to have surgery for her problem or it could get worse and end up really bad. This problem comes at the same time she's supposed to go back home for vacation.

For the actual procedure she went to London Hospital which is about one step up from the government hospital but not as expensive as some of the other private hospitals. This doctor told her that she didn't need surgery as it was a swollen blood vessel and gave her some medication to take care of the problem.

I've been misdiagnosed here also and it's a scary thing when one doctor tells you to prepare for surgery which will cost 400 KD and when you go for a second opinion they tell you that surgery is not needed and hand you a prescription. I hate to think of how many people have been misdiagnosed and had surgery that they didn't need.

I remember a car accident a few years back that involved a bunch of teenage girls. When the paramedics arrived they were more concerned with the girls that were ok rather than the ones that were unconscious. When they got the girl who was knocked out they lifted her head by her hair in order to put the neck brace on. Shocking is all I can say. I found where they took the girls and my sister and I asked about her condition.

They said she is 19 and she fractured her pelvis and the doctors gave her a hysterectomy. What?? I must say if you can avoid accidents do it as you may not be hurt from the accident but have some part taken off by doctors who know nothing. I'm really scared of the paramedics after what I saw.

People with lots of money go abroad for medical so they have no concern about the government hospitals as they are for the poor, even though there are many Kuwaitis that go to these hospitals. I say be cheap on anything else but not hospitals and medical practices. People depend on these places for help. I've been to the government hospitals and they mean well but there aren't any clean sheets that are changed, people are piled on top of each other and you have to wait hours and hours for a doctor to give you information. The nurses can be quite rude also.

If you have insurance from your company and can go to private hospitals be grateful as there are others who take a 50/50 chance when going to government hospitals.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tourist Trips - AWARE center

Wooow it's so hot here these days. I hate going out during the day so I guess the exploring will have to wait until it gets cooler. If you're one of those people who don't mind the heat and want something to do with a group of other folks then AWARE center has a couple of activities this month.

I've already written about the Grand Mosque and the House of Mirrors, these are the two places AWARE center will be taking the group to.

Saturday, 12th June, Guided Tour of the Grand Mosque:
For a rewarding, spiritual and informative experience. This is a 1 ½ tour of one of Kuwait’s most famous landmarks. People are requested to meet on location at 9:15am. Tour starts at 9:30am

Monday, 14th June, Guided Tour to “The House of Mirrors”
A splendid inside view of a most unique Kuwaiti home which has earned its title as the "House of Mirrors" For a grand display of art from two very dedicated artists. This tour is for adults only. Seats are limited, registration is required. Please forward your name, and telephone contact to to register for this tour. Further details will be shared upon registration.

As stated both trips will require registration.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garbage Crisis

No matter how many Mercedes, BMWs, Lambos and RR we see here we have to remember we are in a third world country after all. I can't understand the garbage crisis here. Do they honestly think having one dumpster for 30 apartment buildings is enough? They just set out these dumpsters anywhere, open lot, in the street, side of the road or anywhere they can find a place.

I remember the days of growing up and going out to the dump with my grandfather. I think it's a Southern thing. We used to pack up the truck with old stuff and haul it off to the dump. I used to think it was so cool. Then we would pick up boiled peanuts and a slurpee and head home. I guess I'm just used to designated dumpster areas with decent size dumpsters to put the trash in. It doesn't make the trash area an eye soar and it keeps the surrounding area a little bit more sanitary.

I've watched the dump trucks here and boy are they different. The truck has a cable that hooks on to the dumspter and pulls it forward spilling trash as it empties. The worker guys don't pick up the fallen trash, they just leave a trail of it behind the truck. I think it's so gross to see rotting trash and have to watch out for liquefied melted trash as it streams down the road. It's such a safety hazard and totally gross. One would think with all the revenue coming in there would be some kind of waste management, right?

Of course certain areas are well maintained and garbage free, that's the best way to keep visitors from knowing the truth. Look at the areas surrounding the airport, those areas are extra clean and there are trees and flowers. That gives visitors the sense of cleanliness. Little do they know the forgotten areas where the rich would never be caught going to are garbage strewn and totally gross. Shouldn't the country as a whole be taken care of?

Here's an idea gov't folks, update your waste management sector with qualified people, bring in some new equipment and designate disposal areas in residential areas. Have a team check out each and every area assuring quality control. It's not like labor is so costly. I've seen the collector guys on the side of the road collecting trash. Hire some more of them and take them out to areas that need attention.

The loan dumpster for 30 buildings.

One of the ancient waste management trucks.

Dumpsters we use back home.

Our kind of trucks.

Back home working for waste management is a prime retirement job.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some things I miss from the States

When we leave our home country there are always things we miss. It's not always the big things that we miss, sometimes it's the little things we cherish most. Going to a restaurant and getting a glass of water with lemon or drinking water from the tap. I guess I also miss running water itself, not trucked water that has living things in it, hence the reddish brown stuff leftover in the filters. Have you ever stopped to think what's coming out of the faucet when you take a shower?

I miss gallons of milk and slurpees. 7-11 and convenient stores. Although they do have gas stations with convenient stores everywhere else but here, and yes I see them slowly sprouting up in a couple places here so we'll see how that concept goes. There is no where for children to go and play. No decent parks that have lakes and greenery. In Qatar the houses are made up into compound type living. There is a wall surrounding the communities and inside these communities are parks, pools and activities for residents.

Of course there are restaurants I miss as everyone does so I've listed some that I miss. I'm sure someone will answer my post by saying "If you miss it then go home" that's a typical response for people when you talk about things back home instead of seeing it as an opinion and maybe making some improvements to the country.

FYI: I went to Avenues yesterday and they are opening up a BeniHana Japanese restaurant soon. Woohoo!

Remember tap water?

Third street promenade in Cali.

Santa Monica Pier.

Slurpees and brain freeze.

Autozone, a place I could pick up my own parts!

Chicken burgers.

Parks to take the kids to.

Everyone misses Wal-Mart

Ok this isn't in Cali but when I head South I eat there.

Grilling in the park with food bought from the grocery store.

A store where we can buy everything we need.

Oh yahhhh you know you all miss this baby.

A simple gallon of milk.

Anyone else miss something specific from their neck of the woods?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Auto Shop in Fahaheel

The popular car of contractors is the 94-96 SS Impala. I was the first female to buy one way back in 2005, the early days of contracting. Unfortunately I got one of the worst ones in Kuwait. At that time I paid around 900 KD for it, which seemed ok. I got it off some Pakistani guy who has a shop in Fahaheel. I think he still sells them. Well everything looked fine until I had it a few days.

Little by little it started falling apart. I replaced the axle for around 300 KD. I'm sure I got ripped off, first I'm American and second I'm female. Then it started to overheat, time to replace the radiator. The last thing was replacing the brakes and re-surfacing the rotors. Not a big deal right? Wrong, I went to the "Impala expert" of Fahaheel. This guy is referred by everyone I know. So his henchmen fixed the brakes or so I thought.

The next day driving from the base I hit the brakes hard and the whole front end shook so hard that the steering wheel jerked out of my hands. That was so scary. I thought it was some fluke and kept on going. Once again while coming up to a speed bump the same thing happened. I realized that the guys who fixed the brakes really screwed something up. I took the car back to those guys and they started rambling in their Indian Arabic. I took the guy for a ride and he kept denying the problem.

He told my friend that I drive too fast, that was the problem. Really? I think not, I think the problem is bad work and they don't know what they're doing and charging outrageous prices. I told them I would call Beladiya on them if they didn't fix it. Beladiya is the word you use when someone gives you bad services. The beladiya regulates all shops and stores making sure they have licenses. Remember to use that word when arguing with someone.

Anyways after several fights I gave up and bought another car. After sinking over 1000KD extra into the car and it not working I gave up. The system in the car was worth more than the car itself. But we learn from experience right? Shuwaikh is a better place to take cars. In reality there aren't any good places and the guys are waiting to rip of expats. So beware of the so called professional Impala people.

The infamous SS shop

Anyone else have a bad experience with these guys?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Applebee's regulars

I took the kids to Applebee's for an early dinner aside from the usual people (people from ITT I used to work with, Philipina chicks with their ancient husbands and the John Deere tractor guy with overalls up to his neck) there was what I call the Kuwaiti stalker guy. Looking out the window I noticed a contractor lady with a Kuwaiti guy in the front seat. Immediately I knew it was that guy. I guess he was hitching a ride with her.

Now this Kuwaiti guy has been hanging around Applebee's for 4 years that I know of. You can't miss him, he's an older Kuwaiti guy with a big mustache and an even bigger stomach. I had the unfortunate experience of meeting with him once over dinner. He started talking about a used car lot and his cars and some other BS. Supposedly he's a businessman But I think he's a flake and a weirdo. He's always leaching on to American people and he uses his English to make friends with them.

I don't get good vibes off the guy personally and I think he's kinda creepy. I wonder if his Kuwaiti wife know he's catching rides off American women. I don't know if he's an actual businessman or someone trying to make some money by being a subcontractor. I haven't seen him in a while but then he appears at the restaurant today. He will sit for hours drinking coffee and waiting for prime contractor time.

Who knows if he's legit but I call him the Applebee's stalker.

Aloha 2 Beach Party At Marina Hotel

(The date on the poster is wrong, the event is on June 4th)

Last year there was an Aloha party held at Al Corniche Club and it was cool party. This year it's Aloha 2 and will be held at Marina hotel. It's late notice as all people should contact the party people by May 31 to reserve their tickets. I just received the invitation today via facebook. There will be 3 DJ's there mixing all kinds of music as well as sports activities throughout the day.

Raffle draws, tug o war, beachwear show, limbo game and much more to do. There will be food provided buffet style. The party theme is Hawaiian so everyone should dress to the theme. I don't have all of the details but you can get them by contacting the following people: Aliaa @ 66841191 or Aisha @ 66867599 or via e-mail:

The even scedule is Friday, June 4, 2010 9 a.m- 9 p.m. @ Marina Hotel Kuwait in Salmiya and attendees should be 21 and over. Hmmmm wonder why?

Have fun!

Rules? What are those?

One of the bilingual schools in Kuwait held their first KG graduation yesterday. Prior to the graduation, invitations were sent out which clearly stated mother and father only. The school was trying to have some kind of order as in many cases the whole family shows up. Unfortunately this school had only a small theater and could only hold a certain amount of people.

Minutes before the show was to start the owner gave the principal a letter from the Ministry stating no cameras, no videos and no use of cell phones. Try telling that to the parents when they arrive. People start arriving, names are checked. Then there are the 5 women trying to come in. I'm sorry only 2 people allowed, response: "aww come on, it will be ok", then they rush past like they didn't hear anything. Crowd control is impossible because no one cares or knows how to follow the rules.

Show starts, cameras, videos and phones go up to record. What the hell? Ministry shministry no one can follow anything. These people think they are obligated to do as they please. One doesn't have to wonder why the kids act as they do. Take one look at the parent and you will see why. Mothers ran backstage to fix the kid's hair. The principal had to push them off the stage. Others were running to put flowers on their kids. People sit down!!! It's like you have to have a stick and go after those people for them to behave.

One father asked the teacher "Where's om Mariam?" yeah ok like the teacher is supposed to know that when all of them women are wearing black and have their faces covered. Finally he called her on her phone to find her. After throwing flowers and popping streamers it was finally over. Unfortunately there has to be another party for grades 1-5 in order to pacify their parents. Why are parties so important here? It's like the parents can't live if their kids don't have a celebration.

They celebrate first day of school, graduation, if a child comes back from a hospital stay, if they have a new baby, the last day of school and just about anything else they can think of. In the states we have a potluck where people bring items they made themselves. Now that's good food! But here all they bring is chocolate and nasty tasting cakes. Some of the items should be banned because they can totally make you sick. When they bring chocolate you spend all of your time taste testing to find the best ones.

If they only knew how their kids act while at school they would know their kids don't deserve anything. Teachers can't teach because most of the time is spent telling them to sit down or to listen or to do their work. They fight, kick, scream and totally terrorize the whole class. Then you just want to shake your head in disbelief when you have to throw a party for them. It's like all of the bad things they did during the year doesn't matter because they will still get a party.

Some of the parents want to have bragging rights so they try to provide a buffet for the teachers which is against school policy. It's not like they care about the teachers, they just want to be able to tell their friends about how much money they spent or what they did. I guess they don't have much to do but brag. I think a potluck sounds good! But then again who knows what they would bring, no one cooks here only the maids do it. Back home they would bring macaroni and cheese, chips and salsa, sandwiches, drinks and then desserts all so very good. I usually bring the soda or chips, I don't do the cooking thing unless I have to.

At the school everyone is happy that it's almost over but they have to remember that they have to do it all over next year. Woohoo!