Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Where You From?”

AdventureMan calls, full of chat, wanting to tell me what he is seeing at the airport. Normally, it’s a good time for a chat, but today, I’m having none of it.

“I just called the police again.” I told him.

(I can hear him thinking “Oh oh.”)

First I dialed the neighborhood police number, and nobody answered – again.

We have accidents in front of our house all the time. Sometimes I can see everyone with their phones out and I don’t call. This time, I called. No answer. I dialed 777. Thank God, they have WOMEN who answer, women who speak a little English, and I speak a little Arabic, and together we figure things out. They are smart, they are competent and they are sweetly polite, not officiously bureaucratic.

I tell her about the accident, tell her the neighborhood.

Two minutes later, my phone rings. He doesn’t speak English.

“Bolice?” I ask.

“Bolice” he affirms, and says my neighborhood.

I start telling him, in Arabic, the block, the street and the cross street. See? I’ve gotten so smart!

“Where you from?” he asks in amazement, and I can hear him grinning.

“I’m from (the neighborhood)” I answer.

He leaves the phone, and he is yelling and everyone is laughing in the background. Someone else comes.

“Where you from?” he asks. He just wants to hear me talk.

I tell him – in Arabic – the block, the street and tell him “CAR CRASH! TOO MUCH TRAFFIC. NEED BOLICE!” He is laughing. He calls someone else.

This guy speaks English.

“Car crash?” he asks.

“Yes!” I respond, glad to be on topic.

“Why you call me?” he asks.

(I didn’t call him. I called 777 {the emergency number here.} They called me!)

“Car crash.” I repeat. “Too many cars” (I say this in Arabic) Need BOLICE!”

He is laughing.

“Where you from?” he asks.

I say I am from the neighborhood.

“You in car?” he asks.

“No, I see from my house.”

“Come to station.” he says.

“No, BOLICE COME HERE!” I say, and tell him again the street, block and cross street – in Arabic.

He laughs and hangs up.

Forty five minutes later, traffic is still snarled up, no one is managing traffic, there are any number of near accidents as a result, and it is just a mess. No BOLICE.

For my non-Kuwaiti readers, the law in Kuwait is that when there is an accident, you cannot move your cars, not even out of the way, until the police have come. Until they come, everything stays as it is except for an ambulance can come and take away someone who is hurt.

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October 23, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions | 15 Comments

CoeurCountry Sunsets

Everybody needs a friend like CoeurCountry. You think you have your day all figured out and she calls and has an idea, and all of a sudden, everything changes. Isn’t it fun when life is less predictable?

After a long day, she called just as I was stretching out to read the paper and maybe catch a little nap before AdventureMan comes home – not a big nap, just a tiny little one!

“Don’t you need to go shopping?” she asked, with a laugh in her voice. “Can I tempt you with a coffee?”

No, I didn’t need the temptation of a coffee, just jumping in the car and driving off with her is enough – we always have so much to talk about and never run out of topics.

And we did have coffee. 🙂

As we were finishing up our errands, she stopped and said “Look! There’s your sunset!”

And there it was. Too late for the contest, but definitely a Kuwait sunset worth shooting:

Al Kout Mall Sunset

Al Kout Mall Sunset

And, as usual, we had “just one more thing” to do, and as she completed her errands, I shot one more sunset – no sun, but it is a sunset photo because I was there and I say so!

Mosque Sunset

Mosque Sunset

So now you know something else about me. I may not always be able to make a deadline, but it is really, really hard for me to pass up a challenge. 🙂

Speaking of deadlines – have you voted in The Great Kuwait Sunset Challenge Poll? The deadline – Saturday – is fast approaching. I haven’t peeked at the results, which I will share with you on Sunday.

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos | | 5 Comments

Animal Friends League Bazaar

Reminder! It’s this coming Saturday!

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sunrise, With Clouds!

Good Morning, Kuwait!

When I got up this morning, I could hardly believe my eyes – CLOUDS! Clouds and the sunrise, and errant rays everywhere, it was SO beautiful I couldn’t not share it with you:

We had such a paltry rainy season last year; Kuwait needs rain, needs rain desperately. There is a chance of rain on Sunday, but the humidity is high, and you can feel the rain drops getting ready to form – God willing.

October 23, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 13 Comments