Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Moon Over Kuwait

It’s a magical night, and this is what the rising moon looks like over Kuwait:

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September 27, 2007 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Photos | 6 Comments

Phone Fees to be Lowered

(for my non-Kuwait readers, Kuwait has a monopoly on all the communications in the country, and the phone rates are the highest I have experienced anywhere in the world. Most people who can subscribe to internet phone service providers like Skype, Vonage, etc. and use the internet connections to stay connected with family, friends, and to do personal financial transactions by phone. Kuwait claims they are losing millions of dinars in revenue, and continually tries to monitor and crack-down on illegal internet telephony.)

This is another tiny article from the Kuwait Times, September 26th.

Kuwait: Undersecretary for International Services at the Ministry of Communication Engineer Hameed Al-Qattan said that the ministry will offer outstanding call service fees over the Internet in order to stop the theft of international calls. Al-Qattan said that the announcement of this service will be in October and it will lead to a 50% reduction of international call fees from it’s present price.

I don’t have the figures. But I believe that most of the internet call services are charging between $16 (around 4KD) to $30 (around 8KD) per MONTH depending on the number of minutes you sign up for. Most of the calls to the US / Canada are free up to X number of minutes. Calls to foreign countries cost pennies per minute. They are charged to your credit card monthly, and the cost is a pittance. It’s laughable.

The call quality is not always so great, but hey, it’s a connection, right? And you are not paying an arm and a leg.

So Kuwait is going into competition with all the international internet call companies?

They will provide “outstanding” call service fees?

How cheap do those call service fees have to be in order to be competitive with the providers people are already using?

Will they also provide “outstanding” connections, better than the current internet connections we are dealing with?

Stay tuned!

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Technical Issue | 3 Comments

The Lone Flamingo

God is so Good! Around a year ago, my husband and I saw Dolphins lazily swimming in the Gulf and so I have been half watching for them to come back again. It was such a thrill.

Today, I saw something pink flying. How many pink birds do you know? I had been taking some photos for you anyway, and had the camera in my hand.

Don’t flamingos normally fly in a group? I think he chose this beach for resting, he is poking around in the surf, I don’t know if he is catching anything but it is a ripe place for small fish.

When we lived in Doha, we would drive out to a particular lagoon to watch the flamingos. I feel like I have been given a great gift, a very special gift, having my own flamingo, even for just a few minutes.

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Isn’t he beautiful?

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September 27, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Lumix, Photos, Spiritual | 8 Comments

Weather Change

Holy Smokes! I just checked the Weather Underground site for Kuwait and the HIGHEST forecasted temperature in the next five days is 104°F / 40°C today and Sunday. It looks like we have turned the corner! Next week, maybe we will have a day or two under 100°F/38°C. Wooo Hoooo, break out the parkas!

It’s like getting a break for the last part of Ramadan!

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Kuwait, Ramadan, Weather | 8 Comments

Understanding Engineers

Thank you, KitKat, for sending me these. Nice to start the day with a grin! :-)

One:

Two engineering students were walking across campus when one said,
“Where did you get such a great bike?”

The second engineer replied, “Well, I was walking along yesterday
minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike.
She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said,
“Take what you want.”

The second engineer nodded approvingly, “Good choice; the clothes
probably wouldn’t have fit.”

Understanding Engineers – Take Two:

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is
half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to
be.

Understanding Engineers – Take Three:

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a
particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, “What’s with
these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!”

The doctor chimed in, “I don’t know, but I’ve never seen such
ineptitude!”

The pastor said, “Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let’s have a word
with him.” [dramatic pause] “Hi George, say, what’s with that group
ahead of us? They’re rather slow, aren’t they?”

The greens keeper replied, “Oh, yes, that’s a group of blind
firefighters lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last
year, so we always let them play for free anytime.”

The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, “That’s so sad. I
think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.”

The doctor said, “Good idea. And I’m going to contact my
ophthalmologist buddy and see if there’s anything he can do for them.”

The engineer said, “Why can’t these guys play at night?”

Understanding Engineers – Take Four:

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things
mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he
happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding
a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their
multimillion dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone
else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they
called on the retired engineer who had solved so
many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying
the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small “x” in chalk
on a particular component of the machine and stated, “This is where your
problem is.” The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly
again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his
service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly: “One chalk mark, $1.00. Knowing where
to put it $49, 999.00.”

It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

Understanding Engineers – Take Five:

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil
Engineers?

Mechanical Engineers build weapons. Civil Engineers build targets.

Understanding Engineers – Take Six:

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the
possible designers of the human body. One said, “It was a mechanical
engineer. Just look at all the joints. “

Another said, “No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system
has many thousands of electrical connections.”

The last said, “Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a
toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?”

Understanding Engineers – Take Seven:

Normal people believe that …if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Engineers believe that: “…if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough
features yet.”-Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle

Understanding Engineers – Take Eight:

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was
better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he
enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring
relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the
passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, “I like both.”

The others: “Both?”

Engineer: “Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each
assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the
lab and get some work done.”

Understanding Engineers – Take Nine:

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him
and said, “If you kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess.” He bent
over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up
again and said, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful
princess, I will stay with you for one week.” The engineer took the frog
out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog
then cried out, “If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I’ll
stay with you and do ANYTHING you want.” Again the engineer took the
frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the
frog asked, “What is the matter? I’ve told you I’m a beautiful princess,
that I’ll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won’t
you kiss me?”

The engineer said, “Look I’m an engineer. I don’t have time for a
girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that’s cool.”

September 27, 2007 Posted by | Building, Communication, Cross Cultural, Education, Entertainment, Humor, Joke | 12 Comments

   

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