Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Boiled Cole Slaw Dressing

We really do love cole slaw, but we find that there are some cole slaws we love more than others. Neither AdventureMan nor I are big into mayonaiss-y cole slaws, we find we like vinegary cole slaws better. Probably we like vinegary ones better because many many years ago a wonderful friend gave us this recipe for cole slaw dressing, and it is our hands down favorite.

When I first came to Qatar and wanted to make this dressing, I looked everywhere for poppy seeds, only to be told that they are ILLEGAL in Qatar, I guess they think we are all going to get high on poppy seeds or something. I was told poppy seeds are legal in Kuwait, but as hard as I looked, I never found any. I will admit, from time to time I have to bring some back with me, just so I can make this Cole Slaw Dressing.

It is sweet – and tart. I also use it on cucumbers, and I like it even better!

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup oil
1 Tablespoon poppy seed
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion juice (I use grated onion)

Bring all to a boil. Cool before using. Enough for one medium large head of cabbage. (Slice cabbage into thin shreds.) I also don’t let the dressing get too cool; I like the way it wilts the cabbage a little.


October 12, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, Doha, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Food, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Recipes | 7 Comments

Driving Safety to Improve in Kuwait

I used to read a lot of science fiction. I can’t always remember the stories, but sometimes the concepts stick with me. I remember one story about a guy who gets to the future to discover nobody is as bright as they are in our time. One of the things they do to prevent the not-so-bright drivers from hurting themselves is to make the cars very rubbery and very slow, but the cars all make whoooooshing noises like they are going really really fast, so all the drivers are happy.

Kuwait loses a lot of young men, particularly, but also young women, to car accidents. Many pedestrians in Kuwait lose their lives, some stepping right in front of cars.

From today’s Arab Times: Kuwait

Strategy needed to counter hike in Kuwait’s road accidents: minister

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 11: Making our roads safer is in the interest of the nation’s progress as most of the deaths in traffic accidents involve youngsters and children, who are the future of our nation, said Kuwait’s Minister of Interior Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah on behalf of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah at the International Conference on Traffic in Kuwait Sunday.

The conference, held under the patronage of the prime minister at Holiday Inn Hotel, was organized by Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety, and was attended by delegates from the US, Turkey, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and other countries. Some of them also gave lectures. The Deputy Minister of Interior of Ukraine, Brigadier Oleksandr Savchenko, was a special guest at the conference.

The interior minister stressed the need for strategies to tackle the crisis of increasing road accidents in Kuwait based on the experiences of countries that have successfully handled the issue. “The lessons learnt from the conference must be implemented in Kuwait and all the government departments must cooperate with one another for bringing about positive changes in this direction.”

He also urged people from all walks of life to contribute to make roads safer “as it is the responsibility of the whole community.”

In the key note address, the chief of Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety said that road accidents in Kuwait have taken away more than 300,000 lives in the past, and caused severe disabilities. “The average age of those dying in accidents is 20. Between 1995 and 2008, more than 5000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in Kuwait.”

Giving further statistics, he noted that 2.5 percent of Kuwait’s GDP is lost in accidents, “while in countries like the US it is only 0.1 percent of their GDP.

“According to WHO’s report, there are over 2 million accidents taking place every year, incurring losses to the tune of $2 billion.

“Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety will be soon launching a five-year program in Jan 2010 to bring about a change in the attitudes of people towards driving.”
Prof Fernand Cohen of Drexel University, USA, was the first speaker at the conference. He spoke on the topic, “How much can technological advancement increase traffic safety?”

He began by saying that the issue of traffic safety begins with man’s attitude. “To change traffic safety, we have to address that issue first.”

Prof Cohen said that technological advancement can reduce traffic accidents by up to 32 percent. He based his arguments on reliable studies in the field. “When you compare this percentage against the total number of accidents in the US every year, 5.8 million, it makes a significant difference.

“Basic safety features like seat belts and airbags have all become a standard feature in our cars, and have contributed to making our cars safer. But we have to go beyond that.”

The professor mentioned studies estimate that deaths due to traffic accidents in the US will go down to 25,000 by 2020. “In 2004, the total number of road kills in the US was 43,000.

“We are moving more and more towards hybrid navigation system in car involving man-machine interaction. The car will make up for the shortfalls in the driver.
The professor said that the new technological approach to making roads safer must have a preventive rather than a punitive approach. “The focus should be crash avoidance technology. There should also be ‘Psychological Impact Technology.’
The emerging technologies, he noted, “looks at solutions such as a visual or audio alert signal for corrective action to avoid an imminent crash. There could be measures to make the car intervene and apply brakes when needed.”

Under crash avoidance technology, the professor presented technologies such as blind-spot detection, which provide greater visibility to drivers. “Rear view cameras can eliminate threat to pedestrians, children or animals while a car is backing.

“Lane Departure Warning can tell you if you are too fast to change lanes. It can prevent you from wandering out of lane.

“The Wake-You-Up feature monitors a driver’s eyes, heart rate and other factors and gives a signal if the driver shows a tendency to fall asleep.”

He also touched upon other technologies such as sensors to indicate approaching vehicles, monitors to check tyre pressure, adaptive headlights that turn when the car is negotiating a curve and rollover prevention systems among others.

The professor then discussed technologies that can be incorporated on the road to make driving safer: warning signs prior to the red lights to warn cars to slow down; sensors at red lights to measure the speed of an oncoming car and prolong the duration of the signal if need be to allow a speeding car to pass; and encouraging drivers to drive at a particular speed, which would allow them to have green lights at every signal.

Some of the other topics handled during the conference were: The Lebanese Experience in Traffic Awareness; State of Road Safety Research in the US; Traffic Strategy for Kuwait.

By Valiya S. Sajjad
Arab Times Staff

October 12, 2009 Posted by | Civility, Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions | 7 Comments

Karabaa in Transition

This post is for my friends not here, friends who often accompanied me on trips to Karabaa and all the funky magical shops we would find there. I dropped off the towels at the Mumtaz Tailor to be embroidered, English on one end, Arabic on the other, and while the devastation is no longer so gut-wrenchingly stunning as it was – I guess I am becoming desensitized – I can also see changes.

A lot of the rubble has been carted away. So it makes me wonder, is this what The Pearl is being built on? Is rubble from the old Suq al Waqif and these old buildings along Musherib and Karabaa going to the sea to become reclaimed land? If so, isn’t this going to boggle the minds of archaeologists a couple thousand years from now who are going to find all this stuff jumbled together and try to figure it out?

Yes, yes, it’s true, my mind does wander into trivial areas . . .

From the old parking lot, looking towards Karabaa where the honey man used to be:


To help you know what you are looking at – remember the sign that shows people how to park? It’s still standing – so far 🙂


I wanted you to be able to see just how high the pile of rubble is:


All the rubble that was The Garden is now gone, as if it never was:


OK, now, in the midst of all this noise and demolition, the rubble and the trucks and bulldozers, there is this oasis of serenity. I often see old men sitting outside on those old fashioned built-in-plaster seating areas, or on the bench. Inside, it looks like it might even be a home for old indigents, but sort of palatial, very green, and well kept up. Is there anyone who can tell me what this is?



October 12, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, Building, Community, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Photos, Qatar | 3 Comments