Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Thursday? Friday? Saturday?

Today’s Kuwait Times quotes an “official source” as stating that Kuwait will move to a Friday Saturday weekend as of the 1st of September, and that Kuwait is also looking at daylight savings time starting next Spring. Seems like this trial balloon has floated a time or two before, do you think it will fly this time?

Somehow, it feels in Kuwait like the weekend now is Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The expats seem to be working a six day week (except for the maids, who work 24/7) and everyone seems to take it easier all three days. Wonder if this is really going to happen?

April 19, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Social Issues | 7 Comments

Big Brother and ‘The Look’

Last night I was caught up in the hormone laden chaos of Marina Mall.

Surrounded by hundreds of thuggy looking 11-year-olds and adolescent trollops, I wondered what kept the atmosphere from becoming explosive? All that testosterone, all that rampant estrogen, what an unpredictable combination! So I watched, and then I saw it.

The girls are mostly behaving themselves. Most are dressed modestly, but are ready for that “we had a moment” glance, and half-hoping, half-fearing that it will come. “Eeeeeee!!” they scream, thinking someone might pass them a phone number.

But what keeps the young monkeys, hopped up on testosterone, from getting carried away?

Big Brother.

Not is a mean way, not in a threatening way, just being a big brother.

I would see the gangs of kids, and I would see a white thobed guy, maybe with a friend, maybe with his family.

And I would see “the glance”. “The Look”.

The look said “I see you.”

The look said “I know who who you are, underneath the gel and goofy clothing.”

The look said “I know your family.”

The look said “Remember your manners, little brother.”

And I saw the boys catch the look, and remember who they are. The look was enough. The look is effective. It breaks through the mob mentality and reminds the boys that they will soon have the responsibilities of young men, and that this mob mentality roaming around the Mall will pass. The look reminds the boys of the need for SELF control. The look might even say “I remember those days, and those days are over.”

It’s enough.

April 19, 2007 Posted by | Communication, Community, Counter-terrorism, ExPat Life, Generational, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Social Issues, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

“It’s All YOUR Fault”

The manifesto received by NBC from Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui says “it’s all your fault” and “You made me do this!”

Has anyone ever said that to you? It is the most chilling experience. People who say things like that are so self-centered and so self-absorbed that they can see the world only in terms of how it effects them, and believe that all things are directed toward them. You can’t argue with them. They see themselves as the center of the universe, and you are only peripheral. Really, I think they have a hard time conceiving that you have any individual existence; you exist only in relation to them.

One of his teachers says Cho was “the loneliest person” she ever met. Uh, yeh. . . I can imagine being so self oriented can make you a little lonely! His former roommates say that at the beginning they tried to make conversation with him, but that he shut them out.

He felt alien. We all feel alien, sometime or another. Most of us don’t go out on a shooting revenge, blaming our alienity on “rich kids” or whatever the enemy flavor-of-the-day is.

I feel sorry for his parents. They must be devastated. They have probably known – but not wanted to see – that their son had serious problems. Their hearts must be breaking, for their son, and they must be wondering where they failed as parents. The damage this kid inflicted against his community resonates on and on.

April 19, 2007 Posted by | Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, News, Random Musings, Relationships | 2 Comments