Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Kuwait Police: One Reason to Love Kuwait

Today I was caught up in one of the traffic stops. It figures. Usually they just wave me through, but last night going out for dinner with my husband, I didn’t want to carry a purse so I asked him to carry my Kuwaiti residence card. See what I mean about “it figures?”

So I confidently handed the policeman a copy of my passport page, my medical card and my driver’s license.

“Madam,” he said with concern, “your license has expired!”

“Oh no!” I said. “No! Not really?”

“Yes! It expires 1-1-07 and it 07!”

“Yes! It is still 07! So it is still valid!”

“No, madam, if you have an accident it would be a big problem! You must get a new license!”

“I will tell my husband right away so I can get a new license.”

Actually, the new license is in progress, and I knew I was taking a chance driving on the expired, temporary license. I just hoped I wouldn’t get stopped. Now I just hope the new, permanent license comes through relatively quickly.

But here is what I love. In the US, police aren’t always so flexible. I might have had my papers taken and not have even been able to drive home with my groceries. This guy was polite, spoke English well (even though by all rights, I should be speaking Arabic with him) and he was even sympathetic. He was on my side, even though I didn’t have the right papers.

My husband says “He knows you can’t be held accountable because you are a only a woman, and therefore irresponsible.”

I know my feminist side should be offended, but I just sit here grinning.

February 15, 2007 - Posted by | Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, Marriage, Middle East, Social Issues, Women's Issues

12 Comments »

  1. hahaha! @ your husbands remark!

    i shall have to use that myself one day 😛

    youve gotta admit that being a certain nationality in certain countries does have its perks even tho it really shouldnt be that way.

    Comment by skunk | February 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. SKUNK – My husband is a hoot. And yes, some perks, and no, it shouldn’t. What I liked was that he was professional, but compassionate, and was concerned that I would have a problem without a license.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 15, 2007 | Reply

  3. Your husband is wise.

    Comment by Purgatory | February 15, 2007 | Reply

  4. There arent many expats like u in Kuwait
    Mwa :* bring more ppl like u here :***

    Comment by Delicately Realistic | February 16, 2007 | Reply

  5. tee hee hee.

    I think your-husband-my-uncle might have been the original source for one of my father’s many favorite sayings:

    “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” :-).

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | February 16, 2007 | Reply

  6. ah kuwait, u gotta love it

    Comment by eshda3wa | February 16, 2007 | Reply

  7. Purg – Dying laughing. He is a very funny man, and he knows how to get me laughing.

    Delicate – There are MANY of us who like Kuwait, and choose to live here. And, oh by the way, who like the people! (kiss – kiss – kiss!)

    Little Diamond – I think they created it together – ask your Dad about the “non serviceable pool table.” The corollary is “Take the Spank.” (same thing)

    Eshda3wa – That’s the truth. And I forgot to tell you about Dorothy Dunnett, huge complicated historical fiction, ranging the known world, several volumes in a series, well researched, totally addictive.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 16, 2007 | Reply

  8. “Yes! It is still 07! So it is still valid!” LOL that was mischeivous, I didnt think you had it in you! 😛

    Comment by 1001 Nights | February 17, 2007 | Reply

  9. Zin – I didn’t know I had it in me, either, it just popped out. And, normally the police just wave me through, but I knew my time was coming. Gives me a little adreneline surge, pushing the edge of the envelope from time to time.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 17, 2007 | Reply

  10. Irresponsible indeed! Sounds like a Purgatorian remark that!

    Well, at least you bluffed your way through that one with no problem 😛

    Comment by jewaira | February 18, 2007 | Reply

  11. In Tunisia some of the police who stop you do it for the baksheesh -if you’re stopped for speeding they expect about 5TD, which is roughlly £2, but one policeman who stopped us just wanted to speak with my husband (who is Tunisian) about what it was like to live in England. He and my husband sat talking in the police car for ages, while I was left in our hire car on the side of the road wondering and worrying about what was going on! It’s interesting, if not a little hair raising at times, becoming used to a new culture especially one where the roles of women are so different from home.

    Comment by mrschaieb | February 18, 2007 | Reply

  12. Jewaira – Hmmm, I think it’s only a bluff if it works . . . he never showed any intention of holding me, he just wanted to be sure I knew my license was expired. My bad.

    Mrs. Chaieb – The police in Tunisia seem so French to me! And traffic in Tunis is SO laid back, even in the go-to-work traffic in the morning. I hope you are enjoying your new life there.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 19, 2007 | Reply


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