Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

April 30 Blogging Silence

onedaysilence.jpg

April 30 provides an opportunity for all bloggers to honor the victims of violence in this world by remaining silent. I will be honoring this moritoriumm, and will neither blog nor comment tomorrow.

It’s such a small thing. I wish I were doing more.

Advertisements

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Events, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Spiritual | 4 Comments

Kuwaiti End of Days

00kuwaitisunset.jpg

When I took this photo, it was a beautiful evening, all the more treasured because we know we will not be able to eat our dinners outside that much longer. The haze made the photo look like some foreign planet, and it reminded me of the coming “end of days,” and that is what I called it.

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Eating Out, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Photos, Weather | 4 Comments

NYT Article on “Shiitization of Syria”

My neice, Little Diamond wrote this morning referring to an excellent piece entitled Catalytic Conversion about persistent rumors of “Shiitization” in Syria. The article, by Andrew Tabler, is from today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine section, begins here:

The Middle East is abuzz with talk of “Shiitization.” Since the war in Lebanon last summer, newspapers, TV news channels and Web sites in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have reported that Sunnis, taken with Hezbollah’s charismatic Shiite leader Hassan Nasrallah and his group’s “resistance” to Israel, were converting to Shiite Islam. When I recently visited the semi-arid plains of eastern Syria, known as the Jazeera, Sunni tribal leaders whispered stories of Iranians roaming the Syrian countryside handing out bags of cash and macaroni to convert families and even entire villages to Shiite Islam.

You can read the original article from the New York Times Sunday Magazine section HERE.

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Blogroll, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Iran, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gazpacho

Quick and easy, blender Gazpacho hits the spot as temperatures rise . . .

It’s hitting over 100 degrees fahrenheit in Kuwait this week, and it’s time to make up your first batch of heat-quenching Gazpacho. Not only does it taste good – it has relatively few calories, and lots of vitamins and minerals. It is also very filling for those who are trying to watch their weight.

It was a steamy hot day in Washington DC the first time I saw this made or tasted it, and the heat serves as a condiment, underlining the cool, refreshing, healthy taste of this all-time favorite cold soup. So tasty, and so so EASY!

Beth’s Gazpacho

1 large clove garlic
1 peeled onion
2 cucumbers
2 tomatoes
1/2 large green pepper
1 can condensed consomme
1/4 cup wine vinegar (red vinegar in Kuwait)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon tabasco
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh, coarsely ground black pepper
2 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce (small packets in Kuwait)

Cut garllic and rub inside of chilled pottery or glass bowl. then crush garlic and put in bowl. Add consomme and tomato sauce. Chop 1/2 onion and 1 tomato and puree in blender with some of tomato – consomme mixture. Pour all into bowl and add other ingredients except vegetables.

(I actually add all the vegetables to the blender and blend to get a thick soup, but I am giving you the original recipe above. I also add some fresh Kuwaiti cilantro – maybe 2 tablespoons)

Chop remaining vegetables as garnish. You can also garnish with some garlic croutons and a dollop of sour cream.

On a hot day, this thick soup can be a meal in itself, with a loaf of French bread or a mezze or two, or you can serve it in smaller portions as an appetizer.

639796.jpg
Gazpacho photo courtesy of fotosearch.com.

April 29, 2007 Posted by | Cooking, Cross Cultural, Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Recipes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Audio and Video Streaming Stopped?

My neice, Little Diamond, checking on Kuwaiti Censorship went to the Ministry on Information where she found this statement:

الإذاعة والتلفزيون

على الإنترنت

حتى إشعار أخر

Audio & Video Streaming is stopped

until further notice

And I just checked it, but I can’t figure out if it means they are discontinuing audio and video streaming from their site, or if they intend to discountinue audio and video streaming into Kuwait?

Anyone know anything?

April 28, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 2 Comments

Humor in the Military

My friend Abdulaziz shares these with you. They had me weak from laughter.

“Aim towards the Enemy.” – Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

“When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.” – U.S. Army

“Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground.” – U.S.A.F. Ammo Troop

“If the enemy is in range, so are you.” – Infantry Journal

“A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what’s left of your unit.” – Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance

“It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.” – U.S. Air Force Manual

“Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.” – Infantry Journal

“Tracers work both ways.” – U.S. Army Ordnance

“Five-second fuses only last three seconds.” – Infantry Journal

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” – Col. David Hackworth

“If your attack is going too well, you’re probably walking into an ambush.” – Infantry Journal

“No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.” – Joe Gay

“Any ship can be a minesweeper … once.” – Anon

“Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.” – Unknown Army Recruit

“Don’t draw fire; it irritates the people around you.” – Your Buddies

(And lastly)

“If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up with him.” — U.S.A. Ammo Troop

Adventure Man was always suspicious of a soldier carrying a clipboard. Clipboards always make a person look busy and official, but actually the persons carrying them are usually goofing off.

April 28, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Cultural, Customer Service, Humor, Joke, Language, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

A Beautiful Apology

Gere apologises over Shetty kiss

The kiss:
_42806789_gere_afp203300.jpg

Actor Richard Gere has apologised for causing offence when he kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

The incident, at an Aids awareness event in Delhi, prompted public protests and then an arrest warrant for both stars over the “obscene act”.

Gere, 57, said he had misread Indian customs and that he regretted any problems he had caused Shetty.

You can read the whole story here, at BBC News.

I am guessing both Gere and Shetty got a lot of mileage out of the storm of publicity from his onstage behavior, and now he has graciously and sincerely apologized. Pardon my cynicism, but he has been in India before, I would think he would have been more sensitive.

Nonetheless, he made a beautiful apology. And I wonder why politicians don’t do the same? Why, when you realize you have stepped on someone’s toes, don’t you just make a full and gracious apology? No, it doesn’t change what has happened, but it can sometimes calm the troubled waters.

What if the Danish papers had made a full and gracious apology for publishing the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed? It would not have changed the fact that they had been published, but it would not have hurt to acknowledge that they had hurt the sensitivities of a large portion of the world, and to apologize for the offence.

April 28, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Language, Locard Exchange Principal, News, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual, Words | 7 Comments

Al Ahmadi Singers Concert

I hate it when I read in the newspaper about an event – the day after! Usually it is something really cool I would have liked to do. That is why I am sharing this with you:

00alahmadisingers.jpg

One of the greatest things about the expat life is coming together with people from all over the world with similar interests. This coming Friday night, May 4th, is one of those special times when we can all gather together, and regardless of our differences, enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment, and a group united by its interest in music.

Ticket price of 10KD includes a buffet supper at the Al Hashemi II (Radisson SAS).

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, Events, ExPat Life, Music, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Qatteri Cat Gets Bored

The Qatteri Cat remembers what it was like to live on the streets. He doesn’t remember the hunger, the thirst or the danger. What he remembers are the smells, and the great adventure.

When he first came to live with us, he often escaped. He could run out the back, up a tree and once over the wall, he was GONE. He always came back . . . unless, of course, he was stuck in someone’s back yard, or up a tree so tall he couldn’t figure out how to get down. We always knew when that happened – we could hear him yowling all the way home.

But now, he can’t get out. There are days when he yearns for the street, for the smells and strangeness of the great outdoors. We try to amuse him, and he humors us.

We hid one of his “babies” under the sack. It’s driving him crazy:
qcsackbaby.jpg

He pushes the sack, trying to get his baby:
00qchitssack.jpg

Finally, he wins!
qcfindsbaby.jpg

April 27, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Middle East, Pets, Photos, Qatar, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

777

This week I saw an accident, and called 777. My experience was very positive – my call was answered on the first try, and although the lady didn’t speak English, we managed. The ambulance people called me, the police called me multiple times, the ambulance showed up, the police showed up. All in all, not bad.

It would have been better had I spoken better Arabic, but we all managed. One guy put me on the speaker phone and had everyone listen to me and then someone said what I was saying. It was one of those Woh is der Bahnhof experiences where they would keep asking me “Where? Where?” and I would tell them and tell them, and then they would say “”Oh! You are saying . . . ” and it would be EXACTLY what I had been saying! Exactly!

But I could also hear them smiling as they talked to me, and I was glad I knew a few words. I probably sound like a four year old, but a four year old with enough sense to make a much-needed call and get the police and ambulance where they are needed, al hamdullah!

April 26, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, Middle East, Social Issues | 2 Comments