Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Fingerprint Factory

Drama Drama Drama. It used to be the last dreaded event before getting your residence. You had to have fingerprints taken and it was in this big mob-scene, huge mobs of people and hot hot hot, no air, and the ink was HORRIBLE, and even if you brought your own soap and washed right away, you still had ink under your fingernails for days. It was a hellish experience.

Today was the day. It started with drama – when I got to where I was supposed to be at 10:10, the receptionist told me I was supposed to be there at 9:30, I had missed my appointment. I was really sure my husband had told me my appointment was at 10:30, so I waited while she called, and it was one of those experiences where she was NOT happy being wrong, and I got to sit out in the not-air-conditioned hall to wait for my group to go.

When my group got to the fingerprint place, there was no mob. There WAS more drama. There was only a very nice be-thobed gentleman who said that the fingerprint computer was broken. It was broken yesterday, and they got it working again this morning until 9 o’clock, but now it is broken. I asked “how long until it is fixed?” but it was one of those insh’allah things, no one knows how long it will take to get the system up again. We would have to come back tomorrow.

And then, just as we were walking out the gate back to the van, he called to us “Come back! Come back!” The fingerprint machine was working again.

Inside, it was orderly and air conditioned. Take a number, take a seat. Wait your turn. Very cool, watching people’s fingerprints, handprints, etc show up in huge prints. If there was any blur, the machine showed red – like a red thumb – and it had to be done over again.


For some reason, I had to have several done over again. I don’t know if it was me, or if the machine was just finicky. All I know is that the system was up long enough for me to get my fingerprints taken, and there was NO mess. None. Wooo HOOOO.

I still have my old Qateri driving licence. I am praying – please keep me in your prayers – that they will just renew it and I won’t have to take a road test on the roads of Qatar. Although – after driving in Kuwait – I can drive anywhere. 😀

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

$5000 From HSBC

As if the poor grammar and spelling weren’t enough to give this scammer away, the line “to reduce the economy meltdown posed on the continent in general” seems overly generous for a bank, especially a bank I don’t have an account with who is willing to give me 5K, LLLOOLLL.

All I have to do is send him my financial particulars – to South Africa? Right? No, no thank you!

HSBC Bank plc.
ATM Card Department
HSBC Tower, 8 Canada Square,
Canary Wharf area of East London UK.

The HSBC Bank with directive from the world bank to release
funds through the ATM VISA CARD to some beneficiaries in
view to reduce the economy meltdown posed on the Continent in

The HSBC Bank London working in relationship with the World
Bank has concluded to issue you a VISA CARD with which you
can access your contract amount 5,000,000.00 USD. This card
center will send you an ATM card which you will use to withdraw
your money in any ATM machine in any part of the world, but the
maximum is FIVE Thousand Five Hundred United States
Dollars($5,500) per day. So if you like to receive your fund in this
way,please let us know by contacting the ATM payment department.

To file for your claim, please contact our ATM Dispatch personnel,
Contact Person: Mr. Dave Walker .
Email: ( )
Tel: +44-703197-9789
and also send the following information as listed below:

1. Full name
2. Phone and fax number
3. Address were you want them to send the ATM card to (p.o box
not acceptable)
4. Age
5. occupation
6. Nationality
7. country of residence

However for the purpose of proper verification of your Identity,
and other relevant information and release of your HSBC Visa ATM
Card to yo.

NOTE: You are not to reply this sender, you are to reply directly to with all you information for claims.
It is important you contact the office of the Director,
Debit Card Dept for a special payment at the above listed address or
directly reply to this Email.

(c) HSBC BANK 2009.

This message and attachments are subject to a disclaimer. Please refer
to for full
details. / Hierdie boodskap en aanhangsels is aan ‘n vrywaringsklousule
onderhewig. Volledige besonderhede is by beskikbaar.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Crime, Financial Issues | | 6 Comments

Kuwaiti Youth Read Books

Wooo HOOOO on you, Kuwait! 😀

Kuwait”s youth bucking the trend, more open to reading books
Nadia AlـNassar
Staff Writer
Al Watan

A solid core of knowledge comes from reading. No matter what book a person reads, numerous benefits come from it; unlike watching TV, reading exercises the brain through an active mental process. Kuwait is often cited as one of the top reading Gulf countries in terms of print news, but is said to be amongst the lowest in terms of books. However, there is a visible trend emerging in the youth, with the number of teenagers reading in Kuwait over the past few years gradually increasing

Talking to a manager of one of Kuwait”s prominent bookstores about the readers who visit the bookstore, he noted that about 50 percent of the customers are now between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. He said that the majority of them choose bestsellers and books that were made into television shows or films.

Most of the readers choose to read English books, while there are some who read English books that are translated to Arabic, said the bookstore manager, bringing up the fact that there has been an increase in the percentage of teenage customers witnessed over the past year.
When students were asked why they think the youth of Kuwait is reading more, their responses were diverse, as well as interesting.

Saud said, “I think that our parents are much more educated than the parents of previous generations, therefore our parents comprehend the significance of reading more than the previous generation of parents.

“Our parents are trying to promote reading by getting us into the habit of reading at a young age.”

Mariam had a different view; “I think that the students are reading more nowadays because Hollywood is creating more movies based on teenage novels, such as Harry Potter, which makes teens compare the book and the movie.”

Many of the students brought up the fact that teens enjoy discussing books together, which influences their friends who do not read to do so and be able to join in the discussion.
Haifa, a 17ـyear old, said that there are more English books than Arabic books available to read in the book market, and more students now are better in English, therefore they have more options to read.

“I personally have always been a reader, and I have noticed that teenagers in Kuwait are reading much more because reading is becoming more worldwide and is being more publicized on the Internet, but yet I do not think that they are reading enough,” stated Jasmine, a high school student.

Faisal, a sophomore in high school, said he is reading over the summer to stay ahead in the courses that he finds challenging, whereas Jasmine reads for a different purpose.

“I read because reading takes you to a different place; it”s like traveling, and I am always willing to explore new places.”

Whether it is to enhance their information about the world or to entertain themselves, numerous students in Kuwait have realized the importance of reading and have taken it into their daily lives.

One of the most popular genres that teenage girls are reading in Kuwait is romantic fantasy, such as the Twilight series. Teenage boys on the other hand are interested in different genres.
“I”m very picky with the books I read; I usually read thrillers, fantasies and series such as Harry Potter and Charlie Bone, said 14ـyearـold Saud.

Sara mentioned that teenagers in Kuwait are also interested in reading psychological books, such as A Million Little Pieces, one of the more adult books making its way into the small but growing new generation of Kuwaiti readers.

Last updated on Tuesday 4/8/2009

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Books, Cross Cultural, Education, Kuwait, Social Issues | 3 Comments

Saudi Women Work as Maids

Women upset as Saudis start work as maids
Web posted at: 8/4/2009 2:30:13
Source ::: The Peninsula

DOHA: Qatari women have reacted with disappointment at media reports saying that the first batch of 30 Saudi housemaids has begun work, entering an occupation which has been the domain of mostly Asian women in the oil-rich Gulf state.

According to newspaper reports, all the 30 Saudi women who have been roped in as domestic help, are aged between 20 and 45 years and none of them has a primary school certificate.

They earn salaries up to 1,500 riyals which is roughly equivalent to $400 per month, slightly more than what their Asian counterparts get. At least one newspaper quoted an official from a manpower agency saying that the 30 women have been selected after a series of interviews and intense training. And another 100 women have applied and are awaiting interviews, said another Saudi newspaper.

The manpower agency official said the demand in Saudi Arabia for local women to work as maids is going up sharply because of widespread fear in local communities that foreign women practice magic.

The Saudi Labor Ministry moved two years ago to allow local women to work as housemaids and they were to be officially known as ‘Saudi home arrangers’.

Reacting to the reports, Moza Al Malki, a prominent Qatari psychologist, told this newspaper yesterday: “It breaks my heart to know that Saudi women are venturing out to get involved in such a pursuit.”

“Imagine that this is happening at a time the GCC countries are witnessing immense economic prosperity and among these countries Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves.”

In principle, it is okay if a woman has to do a job as long as it is decent work and not in violation of Islamic tenets, she said.

“But in the end it is the job of a maid… The women will be exposed to all kinds of humiliation.” Al Malki said she hoped that the trend would be restricted to Saudi Arabia and not spill over to other GCC countries. Another Qatari woman who did not want to be identified said the development should be treated as an exception and she did not expect the trend to spill over to other GCC states.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues | 10 Comments