Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Demise of Tanureen

As we were sitting outside, having one of our very best days in Kuwait, eating lunch at Tanureen, we got some very sad news. Our kind old Egyptian waiter told us there is a strong possibility Tanureen will close in May, the land may be used (sigh) for another mall. (Here’s the first review of Tanureen.)

What a great pity. We have enjoyed so many happy hours at Tanureen, so many good meals. It’s one of the treasures of Kuwait, only in Fehaheel.

Here is what we were eating, out in the breezy warm sunlight. Sorry that it is already half eaten by the time I got around to taking photos:

Hummos

Hummos

Muttabel
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My favorite, baba ghanoosh, especially with pomegranate seeds

My favorite, baba ghanoosh, especially with pomegranate seeds

Pan-sauteed Hammour

Pan-sauteed Hammour

Grilled Shrimp

Grilled Shrimp

One of our funniest memories of going to Tanureen was taking Little Diamond, who asked the waiter how the Tanureen salad differed from the Garden Salad. “They are same-same” he replied. Little Diamond’s little eyebrows came together in a frown. “But one is priced at KD 1.500 and the other at KD 1.750?” she continued. “Same-Same!” said the waiter, this time with a little impatience. She ordered one, and we have always wondered what the difference REALLY is, if any.

The weather is perfect for dining out. Go quickly, before the heat sets in, before the Tanureen is no more.

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February 9, 2009 Posted by | Building, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 16 Comments

Pecking Order

There is so much labor here in Kuwait, and often, they do so little. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a job, for example, sweeping the parking lot at the Avenues Mall, but I think, being who I am, I would push hard to get all the garbage and trash picked up, and the lot swept. It’s a job. It’s what I am paid to do. I would find hanging around, pretending to push a broom just too boring.

I can only guess that so many do so little because they are paid so little. It’s a kind of passive-aggressive way of getting back at your employer, who may have you bunking with 10 other men in one room, sharing one bathroom, trying to cook food on one hot plate. Men end up killing each other in these situations, as you might imagine.

What astounds me most, in Kuwait, is how some sort of pecking order develops, and you will have one person supervising one person. Or, as in this case, two people supervising one person.

00peckingorder

One person fixing the bricks, one person watching him do it. That does not seem like a smart use of human resources to me.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, Social Issues | 4 Comments

Flat Owners to be Prohibited from Sponsorship of Maids

Flat owners to be banned from sponsoring maids
From today’s Al Watan
Staff Writer

KUWAIT: As the number of maids employed in the country has alarmingly reached 560,000 the authorities have issued new instructions to regulate the presence of domestic laborers in the country.

According to sources at the Ministry of Interior, the ministry will not grant visas or residency permits to any nonـKuwaitis or expatriates seeking to hire domestic laborers as long as they live in apartments.

The only exception for expatriates seeking to hire maids, according to the sources, will be for those who have a compound surrounding their houses and in that case they will be required to provide a document authenticating that claim.

It has been gathered that the authorities have taken these measures in order to stem the visa trafficking trade in the country which usually results in the laborers ending up on the streets. The sources further disclosed that a special committee has been set up within the ministry to discuss issues pertaining to the issuance of visas and passports as well as issues concerning expatriate workers. They explained that the committee seeks to eliminate bureaucracy, centralization and to ensure justice and equality among companies and individuals.

Meanwhile, MPs Ahmed AlـSaadoun, Marzouq AlـHubaini, Ali AlـDeqbasi, Musallam AlـBarrak and Hassan AlـJohar submitted additional amendments to the Labor Law, calling for licensing a certain number of recruitment firms that specialize in hiring professional workers from abroad to join the local private sector. In the proposed amendments, the five MPs suggested that such recruitment firms would not be permitted to levy any recruitment charges on business owners or collect any fees from the recruited employees.
The proposal also forbids business owners from employing nonـKuwaitis without obtaining prior permission from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.

Last updated on Monday 9/2/2009

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Statistics | , | 5 Comments

Transition Sunrise

I was shocked when I looked at the five day forecast and saw that the high temperature for tomorrow is 80°F / 27°C. Holy smokes. Winter is over. 80° is about as hot as I can handle without A/C – around 80° in Florida, fleas eggs start hatching, and it is time to flea-proof the house. We don’t have the same problem with fleas here, probably due to the air conditioning, on most months of the year.

This morning’s sunrise is barely less murky than yesterday’s. The weather reporter says “light haze” but sometimes it says that in the middle of a heavy dust storm, so I don’t put a lot of credibility in what it says.
00sunrise9feb09

The days are getting perceptibly longer. In our neighborhood, when the meuzzin “chants” for the dawn prayers, it is not so hard to get up. We are blessed to have a tenor muezzin, who loves the morning call to prayer, and does it with great melodiousness and passion. It is a wonderful way to wake up.

Have a great day, Kuwait.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Spiritual, sunrise series, Weather | 7 Comments