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.