Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

No Release, No Travel, reports Darwish

In today’s Kuwait Times, Badria Darwish informs us that:

“the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) has decided to ask all expatriates before exiting the country – whether on holiday or permanently – to obtain a certificate of clearance from the ministry. The certificate is only valid for one month. If the expat doesn’t have it, he will be returning from the airport the same day . . . “

On page 2, a news article confirms her report.

“The Ministry of Electricity and Water announced it is in the process of issuing a legislation. It said it instructed the Assistant Undersecretary Jassim Al-Linqawi, in charge of consumer affairs at the ministry, to coordinate with the Interior Ministry to enforce the legislation. The legislation, it added, will mandate all expatriates planning to proceed on vacation to obtain a clearance document from the Ministry of Electricity and Water that they are clear of all pending bills. All expatriates having arrears will not be permitted to travel either through the airport or the various surface borders around the country. The legislation is expected to be enforced soon . . .

The Ministry of Electricity also instructed the Interior Ministry to empower their employees, who collect electricity dues, to force their way into the residences of all those residences of al those residents who refuse to let them check the electricity meters. . . . “

Oh! Those pesky expats, running red lights and neglecting to pay their electricity and water bills. Yeh. Right.

This does present the bureaucracy with a fascinating challenge. First, to immediately construct a way in which all consumers can receive bills, like through a postal system. Second, to collect the accurate information for each customer, making sure that “no one is above the law.” Third, to bill consumers in a way that they know that they have been billed, and to have a follow up procedure – you know, like warnings, and a way to turn off the service? Fourth, a way to follow all this by computer – accurately. Oh, yes, and co-ordinating between the MEW and the MOI. And have it ready to be enforced “soon.”


May 13, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Interconnected, Kuwait, Lies, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 7 Comments

Expats Run More Red Lights

This is from today’s Kuwait Times.

KUWAIT: The Interior Ministry defended a new policy of deporting expatriates who run red lights by arguing that “the highest percentage of traffic violations are committed by expats, adding that this constitutes a hazard on the lives of motorists,” reported Al-Jarida.

The ministry in a statement said it had the legal right according to the Foreigners Residency law to deport expats for such offenses. And added that the ministry used this right as it is its administrative right according to the law. (sic)

I am blown away that they can say this with a straight face.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore | 6 Comments

No Fone No Fine?

From today’s Arab Times, a dilemma for police enforcing the new no-mobile-phone-use-while-driving-law:

Mobile-user leaves cops baffled; Porn decoder seller nabbed
KUWAITI CITY : Police are reportedly confused because they don’t know what to do with an Egyptian motorist, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

The man was talking on a cell phone while driving and when he discovered police were chasing him, he threw out the cell phone from the car window.

When police stopped him they failed to find the cell phone. The daily added the man might have realized that he would be fined KD 50 while his phone cost KD 15 and the sim card KD 5 so he decided to get rid of the phone.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | Crime, ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 12 Comments

Law of the Garbage Truck

A good friend sent this to me. I hadn’t seen it before, and thought you might like to see it, too.

I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.
They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment.
As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you.
Don’t take it personally, just smile, wave, wish them well and move on.

Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so…..

‘Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don’t.’

May 13, 2008 Posted by | Community, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual | 5 Comments

Sunrise May 13, 2008

The sea is as flat as old glass, a little ripple here and there. You can squint your eyes up and see all the way to Failaka Island, all the big freighters puffing up and down the gulf, the Coast Guard boats heading out to interdict a drug runner or some illegally immigrant, a few little speed boats.

The temperature is 75°F / 24°C and the high expected is in the low 100’s. It looks like another warm glorious day in Kuwait.

May 13, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 2 Comments