Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Question from Willy Q

“Does anyone know where I could go to get a camel ride in Kuwait?”

I have no idea, Willy Q, but maybe one of my readers out there in virtual Kuwait-land knows . . anyone? anyone? anyone?

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Kuwait | 8 Comments

Law and Order Disappears at Al Watan

When I was studying for my masters degree, one of the things we looked for were things that weren’t there. I’ts like watching for denials – a denial may point to a scandal that is about to erupt. Sometimes negative space is as significant as filled space – you have to learn to look for what is not there, as well as for what is there. I know, I know, it sounds sort of zen, but it makes sense when you think about it.

Here is an example. After months of having a Law and Order section on Al Watan, it has disappeared. I have no idea what it means. Maybe there was only one person every day who checked it (me!) and they dropped it because it wasn’t needed. Maybe there are fewer crimes happening in Kuwait? To me, it is possibly significant that it is NOT there.

February 12, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, News | 5 Comments

Islamic Solution to Kuwait Unemployment: Women Stay Home

From today’s Kuwait Times:

Islamic system way to resolve unemployment

KUWAIT; Dr. Ahmad Aziz al Muzaini, the Secretary of the Shura and Salam group, said that following Islamic doctrine concerning work would be one solution to the problem of unemployment and the excessive numbers of expatriate workers.

Calling on women to take care of their own homes and families, rather than employing domestic staff, Dr. Al Muzaini said that by doing so millions of Kuwaiti Dinars transferred outside the country annually would be saved and invested in the local economy. If domestic workers proved to be essential, he said, local and other Arab people could do these jobs, rather than bringing in expatriates from thousands of miles away.

Dr. Al-Muzaini said that his group has also recommended a temporary suspension of the import of cars to Kuwait, saying that each household in the country currently owns several cars which is causing numerous accidents and traffic congestion.

He also recommended that more women be employed as taxi drivers catering to all-female clientele, which would be in female passengers interests and insure their safety.

There’s more. You can read it yourself in the Kuwait Times.

(Sigh) Where to start?

Did you know there is a law on the books in Kuwait that to have a driver’s license, a woman must have a college degree and/or be employed full time? When I asked our sponsor/fixer, he told me that “of course, madam, that doesn’t apply to you.”

But if Dr. Ahmad Aziz al Muzaini wants us to stay home, do you think he also prefers that the men hold responsible jobs rather than women? How do you think he feels about female Ministers? Does he think women should be restricted from driving as a solution to traffic congestion?

I have female Muslim friends who say that there is nothing un-Islamic about women going out to work, that on the contrary, women were encouraged to have their own businesses and were encouraged to seek education and knowledge in true Islam.

Why is it when things start going south, the ultra-religious start throwing restrictions on women?

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Generational, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Rants, Spiritual, Women's Issues | 20 Comments

Never Blow Your Nose When You Have a Cold

The Claim: Never Blow Your Nose When You Have a Cold
From The New York Times
Published: February 9, 2009


Blowing your nose to alleviate stuffiness may be second nature, but some people argue it does no good, reversing the flow of mucus into the sinuses and slowing the drainage.

Counterintuitive, perhaps, but research shows it to be true.

To test the notion, Dr. J. Owen Hendley and other pediatric infectious disease researchers at the University of Virginia conducted CT scans and other measurements as subjects coughed, sneezed and blew their noses. In some cases, the subjects had an opaque dye dripped into their rear nasal cavities.

Coughing and sneezing generated little if any pressure in the nasal cavities. But nose blowing generated enormous pressure — “equivalent to a person’s diastolic blood pressure reading,” Dr. Hendley said — and propelled mucus into the sinuses every time. Dr. Hendley said it was unclear whether this was harmful, but added that during sickness it could shoot viruses or bacteria into the sinuses, and possibly cause further infection.

The proper method is to blow one nostril at a time and to take decongestants, said Dr. Anil Kumar Lalwani, chairman of the department of otolaryngology at the New York University Langone Medical Center. This prevents a buildup of excess pressure.

Blowing your nose can create a buildup of excess pressure in sinus cavities.

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Health Issues | , | Leave a comment

Better, Still Sandy

Once again, we have “light haze.” This is better than yesterday – we can see the shore – but this is not what I would call a light haze. Taken around 7:30 a.m.


There is a 20% chance of rain on Monday. We surely need rain to damp down all this new orange sand.

My sister, Sparkle, asked if people don’t wear gauze masks when the sand blows in like this. Yes, Sparkle, you see them everywhere, but most people who can, stay home, stay inside. Even inside, last night when it was time to go to sleep, it felt like breathing underwater, the air feels thick and heavy. It gives you a little headache after a while, trying to breathe.

This morning is a little better; maybe there has been some shift in atmospheric pressure. Even though the sun is up, you don’t see a lot of orange like yesterday, but the thick haze in front of my house is more a tangerine-tinged cream color.

Weirder still, there are two new layers of sand on the beach in front of our house, orange and oranger:

February 12, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 4 Comments