Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Mr. Ken’s Sunrise

Another expat with a view-to-die-for sent me some photos today I want to share with you. First, I want to share his description of what he went through to get the photos, LLOOOLLLL!

I had to open the window to take the pictures because they are, understandably, very dirty on the outside (12th floor apt). It was a little chilly so I had closed the window waiting for the sun to show. When it did, the lock and the window had jammed (from lack of use most likely) so I wasn’t able to take the last shot I wanted. Ironically, the lock on the window popped out about three hours later all on its own (probably solar heating).

Here is the first one – I just love the blue-ness of it!

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Here are the next two:
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He’s loaned his good camera to a friend, so he took these with his cell phone. Great photos, Ken! By the way, every now and then your building management probably schedules a team to wash your windows. They will come in one of those gondola like things. It usually happens the day before the next sandstorm. 😦

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, ExPat Life, Photos, sunrise series | 8 Comments

Villa Moda Sale

I was out goofing off with a bunch of girlfriends when one said “Let’s go to the Villa Moda sale and see what they’ve got in today.”

These are my bestest friends. I’m the driver. They are all excited. We go.

It is in a building I have always been curious about, that great big building on Gulf Road in Salwa, south of Bida’a circle, the one that has palm trees growing out of it. I have always figured it was a wedding hall or something, and wondered what it looked like inside, so once I got my friends all OOhing and aahing and arms loaded with things to try on and all the Manolo Blahniks, I snuck off and took some photos of the interior, which is sort of Middle-Eastern done by Disney:

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All this was just the basement! Literally, a bargain basement, some items marked 90% off. Women were leaving with armloads of clothes, shoes and accessories.

I would love to get a glimpse of the upstairs. 🙂

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Shopping | 9 Comments

Rising Dowries in Kuwait an Obstacle to Marriage

From today’s <a href="“> Arab Times

Rising dowries key problem in failed marriages – survey

KUWAIT, Jan 17, (KUNA): Kuwaiti youth oppose vehemently the extremely high dowries and wedding expenses amid an economic and social downturn in the society due to the current economic crisis, according to a recent academic survey. Dowry is always a bone of contention among the families of bride and bridegroom, said the survey, carried out by the Kuwait University.

Young men are more critical of rising dowries than girls, the study entitled “Social Value of Dowries in Kuwaiti Society”, showed. It highlighted the reality of dowries in Kuwait and their relative significance and social impacts, calling for taking into consideration gender differences and social and cultural changes. The survey involved a sample of 700 men and women aged between 20 and 56 from different areas in the six Kuwaiti governorates. It showed that 78 percent of the sample viewed dowries as exorbitantly high, 82.4 percent considered dowry as the key problem in surging wedding expenses, while 28.1 percent believed that Kuwaiti girls pay too much heed to dowry. The respondents are mostly dissatisfied with dowries, with 85.7 percent of the sampled men and 70 percent of the sampled women believing that dowries are too high.

Sometimes, it is the dowry which determines whether marriage can be completed due to familial hard-mindedness and intransigence, it said. The survey attributed surging dowries to women’s employment, education, lack of acquaintance and girls’ young age. It indicated common gender social awareness of social reflections of uncontrollably rising dowries on the entire Kuwaiti society. For instance, young men are now reluctant to marry Kuwaiti girls, resorting to non-Kuwaiti females, spinsterhood is growing and secret and unofficial marriage cases are mounting, it said. In conclusion, the survey recommended that the culture of moderation, especially regarding dowries, should be disseminated pursuant to the Islamic Sharia’ or Law in bid to alleviate the negative social effects of mounting dowries in the Kuwaiti society.

Young Kuwaiti men have told me that Kuwaiti women “cost too much”, that they would rather marry a hard-working Philipina girl, or a western woman, who will work and help with household expenses, than to borrow the money required to support a Kuwaiti woman.

A young Kuwaiti woman told me it is a growing problem for them, too, as they find themselves facing a dwindling pool of eligible bachelors, and that while the men are supposed to be able to support them in a style the same as they are supported by their father’s household, it doesn’t take into account that their fathers also did not always have so much money. It seems to be that both sexes have a clear idea of what the obstacles and problems are, but no one seems to know what to do about it.

January 18, 2009 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, News, Relationships, Social Issues, Statistics, Women's Issues | 27 Comments

Watch Out! Roads Closing for Summit

This is from Al Watan ; I am guessing they meant to say January 19 + 20:

Roads to close 9 hours for summit

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Interior on Saturday called all citizens and residents to cooperate with the security personnel to ensure the smooth flow of traffic everyone”s safety.

The Interior Ministry”s Assistant Undersecretary and Director General of the General Traffic Department Major General Mahmoud AlـDowseri told reporters that certain roads will be closed from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. during the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit that is scheduled to be held in Kuwait from Jan. 19ـ20.

He added that checkpoints will be set up on some roads to ease traffic for all those participating in the event who will be provided with special stickers on their vehicles to allow them to have access to those roads.

All those who try to illegally jump the checkpoints will endanger themselves as they will be prevented from doing so by the security forces and will be prosecuted accordingly, he warned. ـKUNA

Last updated on Sunday 18/1/2009

January 18, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | , | 4 Comments

Clouds, No Rain

It was DARK when we got up at our normal time, and I was wondering “where is the sun?” When I looked out, the answer was clear – it was going to be a dark and cloudy day; the sun couldn’t break through.

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I was wrong, so wrong. A mere two hours later, the clouds, while present, are mere wisps and the sun is shining through. It is another sunshiny, glorious day in the winter of Kuwait.

We badly need rain. You can see on the chart below – January is supposed to be the peak month for rain in Kuwait, one inch average. So far this January – nothing. People are shaking their heads, brows furrowed with concern.
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Have a great day, Kuwait. 🙂

January 18, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 1 Comment