Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ordered to Learn English

This is from BBC News: Americas. If I were living in the USA, I might think that is a good thing. Living here in Kuwait, speaking some Arabic, pretty laughably, I shudder to think what could happen here. . .. guess I’ll have to stay out of the Kuwait courts, insh’allah.

Judge orders men to learn English

A judge in the US state of Pennsylvania has ordered three Spanish-speaking men to learn English or go to jail.

The trio, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, were told they could remain on parole if they studied English and got full-time jobs.

Judge Peter Olszewski said the unusual sentence was supposed to help the men. They will serve their full jail terms if they fail an English test in a year.

Lawyers for the three said they had not yet decided whether they would appeal.

You can read the rest of the news article HERE.

So I am curious. If you are Kuwaiti, what do you think about the fact that about 50% of your population (the not Kuwaiti part) doesn’t speak Arabic, the native tongue in Kuwait.

If you are an expat, if you had to learn Arabic, would you continue to work here?

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, News | 21 Comments

Roasted Tomato Soup

Tomatoes don’t do that great once the temperatures hit the highs we have hit recently. Time to pick them all, and fix some Roasted Tomato Soup. Freeze the leftovers for a taste of spring deep in the heat and humidity of a Kuwaiti summer. 🙂


Roasted Tomato and Cumin Soup
From Nxabega Okavango Safari Camp

3 – 5 kilograms ripe tomatoes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
1 large fresh red chili pepper
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons whole cumin, roasted and ground
2 cups vegetable stock
salt and black pepper

Slice tomatoes in half, place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast in a hot oven one and a half hours. (If you have a Misto you can give them all a good spray!)

Chop onion, garlic and chilli pepper.

Place all vegetables in a large sauce pan with 4 Tablespoons olive oil, cook until onions are soft (about 10 minutes).

Add cumin and fry another 5 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes and stock, cook further 10 minutes. Puree the mixture, transfer back to a sauce pan and gently warm. Check seasoning and serve.

(How can something that tastes so good also be so good for you?)

March 28, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Cooking, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Recipes | 4 Comments

Dust Storm Headache

It’s early Friday morning, WeatherUnderground Kuwait says it is overcast, but I have that dust storm headache and almost-wheeze that tells me this is more than just an overcast. There is something in the air that I am not meant to be breathing.

Although I live in a very modern building, which would appear sealed, little drifts of sand come in through creaks. I can feel a draft in the kitchen, my curtains are dingy with dust that has seeped through crevices in window openings.

It isn’t easy to show someone what living in the middle of a dust storm is like, but I am trying.

Here is the sunrise this morning at 0600:


An hour later, at 0700, it is 77°F / 25°C, and the particles in the air are magnifying the sun so that it looks like this:


These are unretouched photos, straight out of the camera. The day is mostly a bright yellow-grey.

March 28, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 2 Comments