Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Sand Relocation Program

As you are driving along, or stopped in the gridlock of school’s-out traffic, have you noticed the bags of something along the road?

AdventureMan was asking me what that was all about. I said I didn’t know, but I had seen a bunch in front of our place, too. I thought they were full of sand. In Seattle, it might be about getting ready for winter, like sand for when there is a freezing rain or heavy snowfall or something, but that is so not remotely possible in Kuwait.

AdventureMan thought they might be full of trash cleaned off the streets, but they are packed too solidly or it to be trash.

We finally figured it out – it is sand, sand and grit removed from the streets AND, more importantly, from the drains, so that when it rains, the drains will be clear and the water from the (Insh’allah) heavy rainfall will have a way to run back to the sea without puddling in lower areas, as it did several years ago when a couple people actually drowned in Kuwait.

Kudos for the ministry in charge, for anticipating the problem and getting the drains in top condition now, in case it rains. Which ministry, I wonder? Public Works? Highways?

AdventureMan speculated, as he is known to do – what do you think happens to these bags of sand? Are they used as sandbags somewhere? Are they dumped in the desert? What would happen if you could tag a grain of sand, the way you tag an animal, and you could track it through it’s lifetime, where would it take you?

He calls this the government Sand Relocation Project.

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 3 Comments

The Great Kuwait Sunset Challenge Poll

I have to tell you honestly, I didn’t think this through. One day, I realized I did not have one single sunset shot from Kuwait. I took one, and it was awful and it got me started. I had no idea when I started how much fun it was going to be – for me – and I sure hope for you, too.

As the submissions started rolling in, I found great joy in the recognition you were all getting with your beautiful, sometimes funny, often soulful contributions. I was delighted with your enthusiasm, and your graciousness in participating. And I also struggled with “Holy Smokes, how do I end this? How do I choose a winner?”

If I tell you what I really think, you will think I am copping out. I think we all ended up winners. I felt like a winner, seeing all those beautiful sunsets through your eyes. I felt such joy seeing the compliments you paid one another’s photos. I loved spotlighting your talent, and I know there are a lot of non-photo-takers out there who enjoyed checking in every day to see what had been posted. But how to resolve the question: who won the challenge?

Then, a few days ago I started seeing an orange ball I didn’t recognize on my write-a-new-post page, and yesterday there was an announcement about something new at WordPress, PollDaddy, which means I can now put a poll right on my blog (this is new for WordPress; I know some of the others of the Kuwait bloggers have had this capability for AGES) but I am thankful to have it now, just when I need it.

You get to vote. YOU get to choose the winner of the Great Kuwait Challenge Poll. You will have one week to vote (and hurry! I already have an idea for the next challenge!)

I don’t really care who wins; the fun for me was in seeing all the photos that came in, seeing such beauty through your eyes. In my eyes, we are all winners – you who submitted beautiful shots and we who got to see them.

But – just because I can – I am going to turn the vote over to you: Who took the best Kuwait Sunset photo? (Go to The Great Kuwait Sunset Challenge and click through to other’s blogs, also visit individuals posted who sent me photos):

Poll is closed!

You will note – because I can – I chose a very sunset-y polling device to help you make your choice.

I truly hope I have included everyone who submitted a photo (of a KUWAIT sunset!) and forgive me if I have made a mistake. I think I got you all. My initial photo doesn’t count; it was just to show you how bad my sunset photo was and to encourage you to do better.

Thank you, WordPress, for showing up with a polling device, like a Deus ex machina to solve the dilemma of how I was going to give bragging rights for the best Kuwait sunset.

Ready? Set? VOTE!

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Blogging, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos | , | 13 Comments

Blogging About AdventureMan

AdventureMan and I were having dinner out and I was telling him how a friend had mentioned reading something in my blog. I was surprised, because although I told her a long time ago – when I first started blogging – she had never mentioned the blog. She has a lot on her hands and I always thought she might have forgotten about it. We always have a lot to talk about and it had never come up.

“It’s not like people who know you blog HAVE to read your blog.” AdventureMan said.

“I totally agree,” I agreed.

“I don’t have any expectations that anyone read just because they know I write it. Even YOU!” I said to AdventureMan.

“But I do read it, most of the time!” he said, and I am glad, because he keeps me honest, more or less, and he also keeps me from saying anything too inflammatory, or giving away too much personal information.

But his eyes were laughing.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, and he couldn’t answer, he was laughing so hard. His eyes started watering, you know how when you are laughing and can’t stop.

“I can’t tell you!” he gasped. I just kept silent and kept looking at him expectantly with a big smile on my face, because I was pretty sure he would give in if I just gave him a chance.

“OK! OK! I’m just so embarrassed to tell you this!” he started, but again, he was laughing so hard he could barely continue.

“OK, OK, I know your blog is YOUR thing, it’s not all about m – m – m – m . . . ” He could not continue, he was laughing so hard.

“It’s not about m – m – me!” He choked out thinly, breathless from so much laughing.

“But the first thing I do. . . . (laugh laugh laugh, swipe at eyes) . . . the first thing I do when I go to your blog is to do a quick scan to see if you mentioned ME!”

At his point we are both laughing. It really is funny. He loves being AdventureMan.

So, AdventureMan, here is one whole entry, entirely about YOU. 🙂

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Marriage, Relationships | 14 Comments

Antannae Garden

As we are zooming down the highway, my friend says to me “Have you noticed all the new antannae going up? It’s like a very strange garden crop.”

I hadn’t really noticed, but as soon as she said it, my antannae went up.

She was right. They are everywhere. Sometimes just one, sometimes two or three – new – all in the same place.

Her theory is that the Ministry of Communication is putting them up to monitor our phone calls and to eliminate the use of all the VOIP calls we are making.

I know there is a new mobil phone operator that has been authorized, so that these may be new mobil towers . . .

but that is all speculation. Does anyone know for sure what these new towers are, growing up almost overnight all over Kuwait?

October 19, 2008 Posted by | Communication, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Technical Issue | 10 Comments

Sunrise Struggle

I wasn’t any struggle to be up for sunrise this morning; sunrise is getting later and later every morning. It seems to be very close to 6 a.m. now. But look how the sun has to struggle this morning to break through the murky horizon. Yesterday we had blue sky! Today the haze and murk are back, and the sun’s rays are dim and pallid.

October 19, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series | 4 Comments