Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Island Kitchen in Pensacola

“I think this is what MaMa might fix for us if we lived in Jamaica,” I said to AdventureMan as our meals were delivered at the Island Kitchen. We’ve passed Island Kitchen a hundred times, and many of those times AdventureMan has said one of these days he’d like to give it a try. This was the day.

There were other Islanders eating there – one eating oxtail and another eating goat curry. It looks like a lively place on the weekends, when expats come to eat food from home and listen to Island music.


I ordered the Jamaican Tea; it was delicious. I thought it was ginger, but the server said no, it was an herbal tea.


We ordered at the counter – so many options, and a set of choices unlike any other restaurant in Pensacola. Our orders were the special-of-the-day, AdventureMan ordered the Chicken With Brown Sauce and I ordered the Chicken Curry.



It was down-home chow. It was food like Grandmama would serve, if Grandmama were Caribbean. There are other options – Oxtail. Goat Curry. Beef Pasties. Everything looked well prepared, wholesome, and copious.






Still hoping for an Ethiopian restaurant in Pensacola . . . 🙂

May 22, 2013 Posted by | Cold Drinks, Community, Cooking, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Pensacola, Restaurant | , , | 2 Comments

See Details





See that bright green after the return e-mail address? In the original e-mail, it says “see details.” When you click on it, you can see that the sender has nothing to do with aol, or with aol security. I forward these to the aol spam division, but I fear for those who click on the hypertext and enter details that can help some scamming con artist steal their identity or access financial accounts.


Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 7.32.55 AM

May 21, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Scams | Leave a comment

Afghanistan: Such Laws Give Women Ideas . . .

Law Protecting Afghanistan Women Blocked By Conservatives

By KAY JOHNSON 05/18/13 08:03 AM ET EDT AP


KABUL, Afghanistan — Conservative religious lawmakers in Afghanistan blocked a law on Saturday that aims to protect women’s freedoms, with some arguing that parts of it violate Islamic principles or encourage women to have sex outside of marriage.

The failure highlights how tenuous women’s rights remain a dozen years after the ouster of the hard-line Taliban regime, whose strict interpretation of Islam kept Afghan women virtual prisoners in their homes.

Khalil Ahmad Shaheedzada, a conservative lawmaker for Herat province, said the legislation was withdrawn shortly after being introduced in parliament because of fierce opposition from religious parties who said parts of the law are un-Islamic.

“Whatever is against Islamic law, we don’t even need to speak about it,” Shaheedzada said.

The Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women has actually been in effect since 2009 by presidential decree. It is being brought before parliament now because lawmaker Fawzia Kofi, a women’s rights activist, wants to cement it with a parliamentary vote to prevent its reversal by any future president who might be tempted to repeal it to satisfy hard-line religious parties.

Among the law’s provisions are criminalizing child marriage and banning “baad,” the traditional practice of selling and buying women to settle disputes. It also criminalizes domestic violence and specifies that rape victims should not face criminal charges for fornication or adultery.

“We want to change this decree as a law and get the vote of parliamentarian for this law,” said Kofi, who is herself running for president in next year’s elections. “Unfortunately, there were some conservative elements who are opposing this law. What I am disappointed at is because there were also women who were opposing this law.”

Afghanistan’s parliament has more than 60 female lawmakers, mostly due to constitutional provisions reserving certain seats for women.

The child marriage ban and the idea of protecting female rape victims from prosecution were particularly heated subjects in Saturday’s parliamentary debate, said Nasirullah Sadiqizada Neli, a conservative lawmaker from Daykundi province.

Neli suggested that removing the custom – common in Afghanistan – of prosecuting raped women for adultery would lead to social chaos, with women freely engaging in extramarital sex safe in the knowledge they could claim rape if caught.

Lawmaker Shaheedzada also claimed that the law might encourage promiscuity among girls and women, saying it reflected Western values not applicable in Afghanistan.

“Even now in Afghanistan, women are running from their husbands. Girls are running from home,” Shaheedzada said. “Such laws give them these ideas.”

Freedoms for women are one of the most visible – and symbolic – changes in Afghanistan since 2001 U.S.-led campaign that toppled the Taliban regime. Aside from their support for al-Qaida leaders, the Taliban are probably most notorious for their harsh treatment of women under their severe interpretation of Islamic law.

For five years, the regime banned women from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head-to-toe burqa veil, which covers even the face with a mesh panel. Violators were publicly flogged or executed. Freeing women from such draconian laws lent a moral air to the Afghan war.

Since then, women’s freedoms have improved vastly, but Afghanistan remains a deeply conservative culture, especially in rural areas.


Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez contributed in Kabul.

May 18, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Family Issues, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Women's Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rovaer Norway: The Best Wedding Proposal Ever

The groom-to-be was able to rope the entire village into participating in his proposal to his girlfriend. He knocks her socks off – no matter what the highs and lows of the marriage to come, she will never forget this proposal:

May 17, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Community, Cultural, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior | , , | Leave a comment

Hilarious Abercrombie & Fitch Homeless Campaign

Scour your closets, donate your  Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless 🙂


May 17, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Character, Charity, Community, Cultural, Humor, Values | Leave a comment

Miracle Birth in Kuwait

Found the following on AOL News / What to Expect:

Clinically Dead Woman Is Revived After C-Section Birth

Carolyn Buchanan | Posted: May 14, 2013


Blood Pressure

A pregnant woman in her ninth month was admitted to a hospital in Kuwait with an acute blood pressure condition, suffered cardiac arrest, and was pronounced dead. Doctors rushed to deliver her unborn child. The cesarean section was performed without anesthesia since the mother was presumed dead, and a healthy 6.8 lb baby boy was delivered. Then with one last attempt to revive the 36-year-old Filipina woman, doctors were astonished when she started breathing again.

“This is a scientific miracle at all levels,” hospital manager Dr. Hmoud Al-Zobi told theKuwait Times. Three days later the 36-year-old Filipina (or Pinay) woman named Zuraida remains unconscious at Al-Farwaniya Hospital, but doctors say she is in stable condition and are hopeful that she will return to health.

Zuraida’s husband, Verdadero, remains by her side. “When I visited her today, tears were rolling down her eyes. I felt she could hear me, she could feel my presence and was trying her best to communicate. ”

Said Verdadero, “I brought her to the hospital because she experienced blood and the water discharged at that time. Of course, I knew that she was already in pain and it was about time for her to deliver our second child. I was very happy. But my happiness changed to uncertainty when I heard that she was vomiting blood and was in danger and only a miracle could save her. I prayed hard for her to survive.”

Verdadero is a truck driver who is often away for days in Iraq and elsewhere. He feels lucky that he happened to be in Kuwait when his wife was ready to deliver their baby. “At least I was with her when it all happened and I really pray that she will be okay.”

During pregnancy, it is recommended that women and their doctors keep a close eye onblood pressure. There are many reasons for occasional spikes in blood pressure and most are nothing to worry about (in fact, worry only contributes to elevated levels). But chronic high blood pressure during pregnancy is something that should be monitored and treated to ensure that mother and baby are as healthy as can be.

May 16, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait | Leave a comment

Baby Wants . . .

You’ve seen photos of Baby in the food dish, and Baby by the garage door. I opened the door into summer for the Qatari Cat, just the door, and propped the screen door tightly shut so QC could watch the birds and squirrels from the safety of the house.

In Qatar, when he was young and strong, he actually knocked a screen off and escaped. When we replaced the screen, he scratched a long rent in the screening and escaped again. He had a tree he would run for, and once on the wall – he was king of the roost. Only cheese or sardines would get him back again, and it could take hours just to find him before we could tempt and capture him.

Now, he is more content to be an indoor cat. At least, content most of the time. There are times he leaves a message telling us he still yearns to chase a squirrel or two . . .


May 16, 2013 Posted by | Family Issues, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatteri Cat, Survival | Leave a comment

Sunrise in Seattle: A Quick Trip


Sorry! I intended to keep writing, but as it sometimes can, life just got away from me. I took a quick trip to Seattle to see my Mom on Mother’s Day, stayed with my best friend from college, ummm . . . when I count the number of years we have been friends, I am shocked!

Flying out of Pensacola, we flew over Bayou Texar:


I had a great seat, but the lady next to me sounded like she had terminal pneumonia, so I kept my face toward the window. Everything went smoothly, arrived a little early. Two hassles: I had decided for just a short trip I would use a shoulder bag/suitcase, and even though it was light, it gets heavy lugging it from gate to gate. On the good news side, it sure is a lot easier to travel with just cabin baggage, easy on – easy off.

Second, I just hate it that Seattle has relocated all the rental cars to an off-site location. The buses only stop at one end of the terminal or the other so again, there is a lot of lugging, whether it is wheeled or shoulder. You have no control over when the bus will come or when it will leave. It used to be so easy, just dropping the car off and walking directly into the terminal; now I have to calculate extra time for unknowns in the rental return process, oh aarrgh.

Traffic to north Seattle was horrible, even on a Saturday, it was like a normal work day when all the workers are streaming out of the city. On work days, there are windows when traffic is less, but a Saturday! Aarrgh!

It was not raining, or not much. That was a really good thing. Temperatures were lower than Pensacola. That was a good thing. We had a great Mother’s Day brunch, with my sisters and their hubbies, and Mom and I did some shopping. The next day, more errands and catching up on banking and bureaucracies. Those were all good things.

My good friend and I had time to catch up and – as we are wont to do – analyze and strategize. We spent a good amount of time laughing at ourselves and our dilemmas. We laughed at the problems of aging. We laughed at who we thought we would be (who ever thinks they will get old??) and who we have become. Here is what sunrise over Lake Washington looks like from my friend’s house:


Flight home uneventful; arrived in Atlanta a few minutes early and I was out the door in a flash, running running running down one concourse and up the other to see if I could get on the earlier flight to Pensacola which was leaving in MINUTES! “No, no, not possible” the gate clerk said without even looking up; she was already working on two other women, I am guessing flight attendants trying to get back home. I waited a minute, bushed from the long run and lugging the shoulder luggage, then said “I think I will just go find a barbecue” and the gate attendant said “Wait!” and I thought she was going to tell me where to find the best barbecue, because I had like three hours, but no . . . she was printing me out a ticket! I got the last seat, back, back, way back in between two great big United States Marines, but it was a fun 45 minutes and I was home three hours earlier. All that is really good!

Even though it is not Seattle to Kuwait, I still like to shower after a long flight, I just feel germy! AdventureMan made me a beautiful salad with sauteed Portobello mushrooms on top, oh yummmmm and we delighted to be together again. Woooo HOOOOO, home again 🙂 Sorry to be out of the loop, but when you are one day out, one day back with two days in between, time just swooshes by.

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Beauty, Blogging, Bureaucracy, Civility, Cooking, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Seattle, Travel | 2 Comments

Captain Greg from Afghanistan

No thank you, “Captain Greg”. Good luck with your $25 million!
(Captain Greg)
I’m Capt. Greg, in 4th Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment unit here that Patrols the helmand province,
Afghanistan. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $25million USD to you, as far as I
can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here Please reply
once you read this for more info if interested. Captain Greg United States Soldier: Afghanistan

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Financial Issues, Scams | 2 Comments

Bloggers Create Freedom Friday in Oppressed Eritrea

I heard whispers of this on National Public Radio, and found this write up on The International Business Times website. The message is simple – in a country where even a glance can be interpreted as treason, express your non-support of the government by STAYING AT HOME ON FRIDAY, the day Ethiopians usually go out and visit with friends, gather together and mingle. Ghandi would smile; this is civil expression at it’s most civil 🙂

Let the empty streets speak for you. LOL @ a tyrant making staying at home a crime against the government!

Eritrean bloggers outside of Ethiopia started it, smuggling an old Eritrean phone book out of the country and making calls to acquaintances – and strangers – in Eritrea. People didn’t even have to respond. they could just listen . . . then they developed a robo-call to help them enlarge the number they could reach.

Eritrea is considered one of the continent’s most opaque countries. National elections have not been held in the Horn of Africa country since it gained independence in 1993. Torture, arbitrary detention and severe restrictions on freedom of expression remain routine.

President Isaias Afwerki does not tolerate any independent media, the internet is strictly controlled and Reporters without Borders recently named it 179th out of 179 countries for freedom of expression.

It is illegal to criticise the government, prompting the Eritrean diaspora to set up a campaign to reverse the Arab-style call to take to the streets every Friday by emptying the streets in protest.

Freedom Friday Poster

Freedom Friday Poster

“We made phone calls from diaspora to Eritrea,” Meron Estefanos toldIBTimes UK. “We have a phone catalogue and called random numbers every Friday, telling them to stay at home and think about problems in our country.”

The phone calls “give them [Eritreans within the country] an opportunity to protest without risking too much”, according to Freedom Friday’s coordinator in the UK Selam Kidane.

The activists turned to a computerised auto-dialer called robocall to spread hundreds of thousands of taped messages to Eritrean phones. “It is time to restore our liberty and dignity” messages were sent automatically.

In another message, the mother of renowned political prisoner Aster Yohannes recalls the fate of her daughter, who was arrested in 2003 and has disappeared.

After two years, the movement is finally gaining momentum inside the country.

“Now they trust us inside the country, we have our team in Eritrea that puts out posters and leaflets late at night,” Estefanos said.

“The plan now that we have their trust is asking them to go out and demonstrate.”

About 1,500 Eritreans leave their country every month, according to the United Nations, paying up to 30,000 euros ($39,500) each to seek a new life free of grinding poverty and repression.

Earlier this year, Amnesty International put the spotlight on Eritrean asylum-seekers who are kidnapped from Sudanese refugee camps by the local Rashaida tribe, sold to Bedouin criminals in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula and severely abused while they are held for ransom.

One thousand refugees are held captive in the Sinai, according to reports. About 7,000 people in total may have been tortured and 4,000 may have died as a result of the people-trafficking in humans from 2009 to October 2012, according to recent data. A total of 3,000 people disappeared from 2007-11.

May 9, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Africa, Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Communication, Community, Counter-terrorism, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Law and Order, Leadership, Political Issues | , , , , , | Leave a comment