Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Orange and Rainy

Even on a dark, rainy day, these pumpkins have a light all their own.

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October 16, 2006 Posted by | Lumix, Travel | 2 Comments

Cousin Time

We met up at the nearby Barnes and Noble; he got stuck at the office and called to say he would be late. Leaving me to wander in a Barnes and Noble is like leaving an alcoholic alone in a room with an open bottle of Jim Bean . . . I had a bagfull of books by the time he got there.

As we were discussing the problems of dealing with aging parents, I told him about the bank manager I met with earlier who had looked me in the eye and said “it’s an epidemic. People are living longer, but while not demented enough to be declared incompetant, they are making bad decisions.” My Dad, while wheelchair bound, has a phone and a computer, and could, if he chooses, do a lot of damage to himself and my mom.

My cousin and I have always been on track, from the time we were very young. He and I scored one point apart on our SATs, we researched the same family issues, we have kids the same age – and he was the first one I called when we had a concern about a family matter.

He leaned across the table and grinned. “The problem with dealing with paranoid people is that it forces the loved ones to do exactly what the paranoid is accusing them of doing!” We both laughed. He is exactly right – we have to go behind and see what checks are being written, we have to listen at doors to hear who he is talking to and what he is saying, and the very worst – we have to talk about him behind his back.

If you looked at my father, if you talked with him for a short time, you would think him very smart, and even charming. And he is all that.

If you are with him a little longer, however, he will start talking about dreams he has been having – vivid, very wierd dreams, very scary dreams. Because he doesn’t hear very well, he might accuse you of saying something you didn’t say, and get very angry with you. He is not quite tracking. He gets angry. If he weren’t so weak, he might be violent.

My cousin and I have other family members who have lived long enough to enter into dementia. It haunts us to think we might end up the same way.

October 16, 2006 Posted by | Family Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Saturday Market

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October 16, 2006 Posted by | Lumix, Travel, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Rainy Sunday

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October 16, 2006 Posted by | Travel | 4 Comments

Indian Workers

In most Western newspapers, this would be a huge story. Here, they don’t even name the company who has created this problem! (?)

Here is what the Dubai Press said:
Indian workers refuse to release colleague’s body
Saturday, 14 October , 2006, 13:27
Dubai: Rebellious workers are refusing to release the body of an Indian, who died in a squalid camp housing 1,300 labourers held captive by an influential contracting company in Kuwait.

Bino Stephen died on Friday in the desert camp where men hailing from India, the Philippines and Egypt are being held.

No government action has been forthcoming despite media reports on the appalling living conditions in the camp.

”We want to find a solution to our dreadful situation by having our living conditions improved or have us repatriated back home,” said Mohammed, one of the workers.

Four other inmates have been ill since last week because of suspected malaria and the water supply is unfit for human consumption.

An official of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour told the Kuwait Times that the death of one person in the camp could not be termed ‘disaster’.

He said if there is a complaint, it has to be registered, and the complainant should come personally to do so in order to take action.

When asked whether the ministry would send an inspector to the camp to check the conditions there, the official said he cannot take the risk in case the inspector falls sick or gets infected.

Here is what the Kuwait Times says:
Ray of hope for workers

By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: The condition of a group of workers who protested against unfair living conditions in their camp has improved after Kuwait Times published reports about their plight over the weekend. The workers received promise from their employer that they will be shifted from the camp by the beginning of November after one of the workers died early this week. Also four sick workers were taken by ambulance to get medical treatment.
The workers were recently shifted to a camp in the desert and they refused to stay there and went on strike. They were then imprisoned at the camp, and later a worker died and four others fell sick. The workers sought help, and it was difficult. Then one of the workers got advice to call the emergency number 777. “After calling the emergency, they sent an ambulance, which took the four sick workers to the hospital,” said Mohammed, one of the workers at the camp.
“After we got the promise to be shifted from this place, and saving the sick workers, we decided to go back to work. Although we don’t trust the employer, we hope he will fulfil his promise and let us live in a normal place,” he added.
The Kuwait Times will be following this case, and will inform the readers whether the workers left the camp or are still living in the hard and terrible conditions.

October 16, 2006 Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Social Issues | 4 Comments