Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Copy Shop

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“I’m at the copy shop!” I shouted into the phone over the commotion in the background.

“Who are you with?” AdventureMan shouted back.

“No one! I am by myself!” I holler.

“By yourself? Why?” he asks.

“Why?” he responds, “why are you in the copy shop by yourself?”

“There are a lot of other people here, I meant I am not here with anyone. That’s what all the noise is about. They have a number machine, so I figured out how to get a number, but only me and one other buy took a number, everyone else just comes in and gets waited on, no taking numbers!”

Not only that, but in spite of the fact that there are already people waiting, some people, always men, will walk in and say in a loud voice “Excuse me! Excuse me!” or snap their fingers (I am not joking!) or say “I am ready now!” and expect to be taken right away, and I can see why, they are almost always taken right away. I guess they intimidate the guys behind the counter or something.

I held my number up to catch the eye of one of the copy-shop guys and immediately more noises happen, the numbers that incidate who is being waited on change and my number is up.

“Gotta go!” I say and take care of getting come copies made.

The next morning as we are dressing and catching up on what’s happening in one another’s lives, he says to me “I still don’t understand why you would sit and drink coffee all by yourself.”

I look at him in utter astonishment. From time to time, I do sit by myself in a coffee shop while I am waiting for a friend, or if my internet isn’t working, and I never think twice about it. But I hadn’t been anywhere near a coffee shop recently. What is he talking about?

“You remember yesterday, when I called you,” he continues. And I start laughing.

“Copy shop! Copy shop! Not coffee shop!”

And then we are both laughing.

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March 22, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Customer Service, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Women's Issues | 6 Comments

Anything but Pedestrian

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Yesterday on 5th ring, we saw the beginnings of the new pedestrian overpasses, which are anything but pedestrian in their design.

Look at that! Not only do they honor the architectural element of the wind tower tradition in Kuwait, but they will also allow pedestrians to cross safely to the other side. For all the derision we heap on highway planners here, they deserve a big pat on the back for these.

From Wikipedia on Windcatchers: A Wind Tower (Persian: badgir, Arabic: “barjeel” or badghir(from Persian)) is a structure seen on ancient buildings of the Middle East, particularly Iran and Bahrain. This acted like a natural air conditioner creating a soothing effect in the harsh conditions of the desert.

March 22, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 6 Comments