Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

What Happens Next?

I love reading the paper in a foreign country. It often reveals a different way of thinking. Often I am mystified; there is a context in which the article is written that you may “get” while I do not. As I read the Kuwait Times there are many times I wonder “what happens next?” Rarely do we get any follow up, rarely do we know the ultimate outcome of these incidents. These are all from today’s paper(24 Jan 2007):

1. The ‘Other’ Woman
A woman after suspecting her husband of infidelity, decided to keep tabs on him, and followed him to a spring camp in the Jdailiyat area and was shocked when she found her fears had turned into reality when she caught him red-handed in the arms of the ‘other’ woman. The wife immediately summoned police who rushed to the camp and also found out that he was under the influence of alcohol. In a fit of rage, he also smashed the police car’s windowpane to smithereens. He was referred to the relevant authorities.

My comment/questions: Infidelity is a painfully personal kind of behavior. Why would the police be called? Would you call the police if you want to salvage a relationship, or bury it? Does involving the police help in a divorce settlement? Will the husband normally be shamed and repentant, or angry and defiant? Are there processes to help a husband and wife save their marriage? And what happens to the other woman? Does it depend on who she is and what her nationality is? And wouldn’t a wife be afraid to confront her husband in that situation, would she be placing herself in physical danger?

2. Daughter Reveals Affair
A 47-year old Kuwaiti woman lodged a complaint with Mubarak Al Kabeer police that another Kuwaiti who works for the National Guard had several sexual intercourses with her 16 year old daughter in her own room, whenever she went out on errands. She said that her daughter confessed to her and revealed her affair our of her fear that she might be pregnant after which her lover might dump her. The man is being summoned for further interrogation.

My comment/questions: Why does it matter how old the woman is making the complaint? Why is that on the public record? If the girl is pregnant, what happens next? Can she raise her child as a single mother here in Kuwait? Is there a possibility that the girl will marry her National Guard lover? If not, what are her chances for marriage? Can she continue school if she is pregnant?

3. Mother Accused of Kidnapping
A 60 year old Arab lodged a complaint with Jabriya police that his 55 year old Iraqi divorcee had kidnapped their two sons. He produced a court order that authorized him custody of the boys and that their divorced mother showed up in his absence, along with her older sons from an earlier marriage and took the boys away. The father filed a kidnap case against his ex-wife althought Kuwaiti family laws do not under any circumstance permit accusing a mother of kidnapping her own children, even if the father had the legal custody rights.

My comment/questions: Why list the ages of the complaintant and his wife, but not the ages of the boys? How can the father file a case, if Kuwaiti law specifically states a mother cannot kidnap her own children? Do the boys have any choice of which parent they would want to live with? If the wife is 55, isn’t it likely that the youngest “boy” is around 15? (I would think it’s pretty hard to kidnap teenage boys.) Do parents often have heated contests over their children in Kuwait? Does shared custody work here?

January 24, 2007 Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Random Musings, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 2 Comments

Protestors for Hire

Fresh in from this morning’s BBC News:

Germans put price on protesting

They refuse to rally for neo-Nazis, but as long as the price is right a new type of German mercenary will take to the streets and protest for you.

Young, good-looking, and available for around 150 euros (£100), more than 300 would-be protesters are marketing themselves on a German rental website.

They feature next to cars, DVDs, office furniture and holiday homes.

For some, these protesters show how soulless life has become. For others, they breathe new life into old causes.

Staging a protest

Their descriptions read like those on a dating site.

I would like to point out that not all protests will tally with my own point of view and I would like to distance myself from these
Demonstrators’ disclaimer

Next to a black and white posed picture, Melanie lists her details from her jeans size to her shoe size and tells potential protest organisers that she is willing to be deployed up to 100km around Berlin.

Six hours of Melanie bearing your banner or shouting your slogan will set you back 145 euros.

A spokesperson for was unable to say how many demonstrators had been booked since the service was launched earlier this month, but that there had certainly been demand.

Organisations using the service are unlikely to reveal themselves, keen to pass off their protesters as genuine supporters of the cause. But German media reported a Munich march had hired protesters because its own adherents were too old to stand for hours waving banners. stresses that no protester needs to offer their services to a cause they object to, and therefore many may genuinely believe in the protest they are joining.

But the fact they are paid has perturbed a number of commentators in Germany, especially those who remember the passion-fuelled protests of 1968.

“It seems to confirm the increasingly common assumption,” wrote one, “that democracy is for sale”.

My Comment:
What would such a service look like in Kuwait?
“Will protest for Gucci?”
“Available for the right cell phone?”
“Protestors available in designer abayas?”

Or would they all be brought in from the Phillipines, Nepal, Indonesia, Bangladesh, contracted in multiples of 100?

January 24, 2007 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Germany, Kuwait, News, Political Issues, Random Musings, Social Issues, Uncategorized | 3 Comments