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Expat wanderer

I Stand 100% with 86% of Kuwaitis

This is from today’s Kuwait Times, but it wasn’t online, it was a tiny little article at the bottom of page 2 in today’s paper:

Kuwaitis Oppose Morality Police

Kuwait: According to a recent questionnaire, 82% of Kuwaitis opposed calls to establish a group similar to the Saudi authourity that calls on individuals to commit good deeds while avoiding vices. The survey also discovered that 86% of participants thought such a group would trespass on the authority of the state.

Meanwhile, a government official recently said that some radical individuals and MP’s have attempted to support certain officials in the Criminal Intelligence Department and other authorities to create the foundations for a religious group that promoted virtue and condemned vices under an official cover, Al-Qabbas reports.

There is already a problem with the perception of the police force being “not-us”, not-educated, and not impartial in Kuwait. If radical individuals and MP’s are further subverting the forces of law and order, trying to get like-minded people in positions with real authority, this is not a good sign for Kuwait.

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January 7, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 10 Comments

Do You Have Reservations?

AdventureMan and I read a lot, and there is a standing joke between us – there are times, like reading a detective novel set in China, when one of us just gets a craving for Chinese food. Or it could be reading James Lee Burke and we have to have some Jambalaya or shrimp. The day we went to the Arabic Early Bird, AdventureMan had been reading the latest Odd Thomas book and needed a breakfast fry-up.

So Friday, after church, when I told him I really needed to go to Tang Chow because a minor character in a book I am currently reading ate Peking duck and Tang Chow is the only place I know in Kuwait that serves Peking Duck without needing advance warning. We usually go to China Queen, but for Peking Duck – only Tang Chow will do.

So we walk in and there is not one single other customer there. The hostess says “do you have a reservation?”

The rational part of me figures some people have called ahead and requested specific tables and she is trying to ask if we are one of those. The irrepressible part of me just laughs to hear such a question when the restaurant is absolutely EMPTY!

We eat around 7 most nights, it’s cultural and also we don’t like to go to bed on full stomachs, we like to have some time between dinner and bedtime. We make jokes about “the American seating” and “the Kuwaiti seating,” like if you are on a ship, and there are separate dining times for the children and the parents. We eat with the children, and as we are leaving, we watch the culturally-late-diners streaming in as we are streaming out.

There are times when it is a special event, and all the tables are reserved. AdventureMan figured out that we can sometimes wheedle a table saying “We are American! We will be gone before they ever show up for their reservation! I promise!” and they will give us the table, and sure enough, we are gone before the reservers ever show up.

It’s still funny to hear that question when the entire restuarant is full of empty seats, like they are going to turn us away if we don’t have reservations.

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Living Conditions | 2 Comments

Qurain Cultural Festival Events Postponed

From today’s Kuwait Times:

KUWAIT: Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters Bader Al-Refai announced yesterday the postponement of concerts of the 15th Al-Qurain cultural festival in solidarity with the people of Gaza who are subjected to brutal Israeli aggression.

Al-Rifai, who heads the Higher Organizing Committee of the festival said in a press statement that the festival celebrated here few days ago the Palestinian Jerusalem as the capital of Arab culture for 2009.

He added that the tragic situation faced by the Palestinian people in Gaza is the reason for the postponement of activities including the final musical concert that was scheduled to be held on January 14 which would honor artist Abdel Mohsen al-Muhanna. He said the postponement was a common desire of the Council, al-Muhanna and the Kuwait National Music Band. – KUNA

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Events, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Public Art | 5 Comments

A Little Slow

No sunrise this morning – I missed it! When it is cold like this, we end up reading in bed, and before we know it, the book is falling over, and we give up and turn off the lights. Thanks to a little coffee late in the day and going to bed early – I was awake in the middle of the night for about an hour, then when the alarm went off this morning, no, I just didn’t want to get up.

Once up, Qatteri Cat and I just huddle together her on the couch. It feels warmer, but . . . not warm! I have projects lined up, and a thousand things to do . . . and I just can’t seem to get started. I DO love this weather, at least I love it once I am outside and warm and toasty in the sun.

I am also having a problem staying home these days – are you? Most of the year I happily stay inside except for maybe early early in the morning for swimming or an early run for groceries. Now? Any excuse will do. I love NOT using the air conditioning, having windows open in my car, being so comfortable. And I am not getting anything done in the house.

I know these times are fleeting, and not to worry, just to go with it and enjoy it . . . I am feeling so LAZY!

January 7, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, Weather | 4 Comments