Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Crime to be “Happy” in Teheran?

From today’s Kuwait Times:


TEHRAN: The arrest of six Iranian youths for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral highlights the rift between conservatives and youths fascinated by the West. Recorded on a smartphone and uploaded multiple times on YouTube, the clip shows three girls dancing and singing along to the song in a room, on rooftops and in secluded alleys with three young men. For the youths, the homemade video now watched one million times was merely an “excuse to be happy”, but for the Iranian authorities it was “vulgar” breach of the Islamic republic’s values. Originally posted online in April, the clip gradually spread online before it led to the arrest of the dancers and their director on Tuesday for having “hurt” the country’s strict moral codes, according to Tehran police chief Hossein Sajedinia.

The youths appeared on state television repenting for appearing in the clip, after the girls failed to properly observe hijab, a series of rules that oblige women in Iran to cover their hair and much of their body when outside.

Their arrest sparked international fury and criticism in the media and online, with many Iranians expressing shock and some observers questioning whether it was a “crime to be happy in Iran”. Supporting the young Iranians, Williams himself chimed in and hit out at their treatment, saying on Twitter and Facebook: “It’s beyond sad these kids were arrested for trying to spread happiness.” Reports emerged Wednesday night that the dancers were released on bail, with one of the arrested girls, Tehranbased fashion photographer Reihane Taravati, saying on Instagram: “Hi I’m back.” The arrests came after President Hassan Rouhani-a selfdeclared moderate who claims to be for more social freedomsreiterated in a weekend speech his calls for a relaxation of Internet censorship. Rouhani’s statements have irked the conservatives, who have long imposed limitations on the Internet, blocking millions of websites particularly social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, as well as YouTube. — AFP


May 23, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Civility, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Experiment, Faith, Family Issues, Humor, Iran, Living Conditions, Movie, Music, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Love That Technology, But Sometimes it Takes Me a While . . .

Another way of saying “I’m slow, but I’m slow . . . ”

As I was sitting in a meeting, I watched one of our delegates take a photo and then she zoomed in by doing that finger thing that works on my iPad.

“She must be using an Android or a Samsung” I thought to myself, as I have often wished my iPhone had a zoom feature.

And it dawned on me . . .

after owning my phone for three years . . .

and wishing I could zoom . . .

that the delegate’s phone looked a lot like my iPhone.

So I tried it. And it worked.

So the good news is that I can zoom photos on my iPhone. The bad news is that it took me so long to figure that out!

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Afghanistan, Aging, Arts & Handicrafts, Humor, iPhone, Technical Issue | Leave a comment

Only in Kuwait 2

This is what I love about reading Kuwait newspapers. It is a society full of contradictions, and a population not afraid to point out and comment on those contradictions. I remember the first time AdventureMan yelled at me for stopping at a stop sign; he was not being abusive, he was afraid someone would hit me from behind because NO ONE stops at the stop sign. It was LaLa Land driving:


Only in Kuwait – 2

GhannamThis is the second episode of the things you see happening in Kuwait even though our country is considered a “modern state”.

Maybe the honorable reader thinks I am being pessimistic, of course when I compare Kuwait with other countries in the region.

1- Only in Kuwait you could be run over when you cross the road on the pedestrian crossing. Always wait till there are no cars because they don’t care.

2- Only in Kuwait please, please don’t stare at anyone even if you admire him or her otherwise you could put yourself in trouble and end up in a fight.

3- Only in Kuwait the stop sign means GO. If you stop you could be hit from behind or encounter angry faces from maniacs who do not respect the law.

4- Only in Kuwait you see public bus drivers race and compete on the roads and they may not stop for you.

5- Only in Kuwait when many people see a sign saying ‘do not enter’, they do the opposite.

6- Only in Kuwait doctors are beaten just because they want to organize the queue.

7- Only in Kuwait you see people who had been fighting outside continue their contest inside the hospital.

8- Only in Kuwait policemen guard hospitals.

9- Only in Kuwait housemaids get kidnapped when they go out to throw the garbage.

10- Only in Kuwait teachers who don’t help students pass get their cars damaged by paint, punctures or even fire.

11- Only in Kuwait when you approach the traffic light you must be extra careful if your side of the light is green because some maniacs run the red light from the other corner.

12- Only in Kuwait our soaps are full of crying and beatings in order to prove it is real drama.

13- Only in Kuwait public bus passengers have to wait under the searing sun for their bus ride without having a decent shade or bus stop.

14- Only in Kuwait many Kuwaiti plays and soaps put down other nationalities and make fun of them, not knowing that people from those countries possess nuclear weapons and we only use what other nations invent for us.

15- Only in Kuwait we call the tea boy sharekah, meaning company, without even respecting his name. I have seen this a lot in police stations and at various state institutions.

16- Only in Kuwait drivers ride their cars close to 200 km per hour thinking this speed will take them to heaven fast.

17- Only in Kuwait we build apartment buildings without adequate parking.

18- Only in Kuwait we enjoy parking on the yellow/black zone and occupy the bus stop area.

19- Only in Kuwait a 400 sq m empty land is worth KD 300,000 while in Khafji in Saudi Arabia, it’s KD 20,000 only for a 500 sq m piece of land.

20- Only in Kuwait contractors do projects inefficiently and once these are done, they find out that something is missing and have to do it all over again

By Talal Al-Ghannam

March 15, 2014 Posted by | ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Law and Order | 6 Comments


Ooooh, a consignment of money to MEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Screen shot 2014-03-02 at 6.52.19 PM

(Reminder: this is a SCAM)

March 2, 2014 Posted by | Financial Issues, Humor, Nigeria, Scams | Leave a comment

Jesus Heals Lepers

My friend Renee sent this one, along with several Christian cartoons, but this one really made me laugh. Yes, as Christians, it is OK to show the image of Jesus.

In our book, the Bible, there are even small jokes. In one verse, a man is told that Jesus, the Messiah, had come from Nazareth, and the man says “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” People are people, yes, it was meant to be humorous.

Screen shot 2014-03-01 at 10.46.29 AM

March 1, 2014 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Faith, Humor | Leave a comment

‘Putin’ On The Ritz in Moscow, LLOOOLLL

Oh Hayfa, this is one of the best flash-mobs ever! I wanted to be there!

I always thought Kuwait was ripe for a flash mob at the junction where the Fintas Expressway joined 6th Ring road. Never had the courage; even though you’d have to wait 6 – 9 light changes to get through. Figured the morality police would have me up on charges, LOL.

Best Best eveh!

February 2, 2014 Posted by | Adventure, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait | | 1 Comment

“Ho Ho Ho” AdventureMan

We were leaving a restaurant and AdventureMan started laughing. “You’ve got to see this!” he said, and when I did, I just walked on and left him laughing, but when I got to the car, I had second thoughts, and said “I need to go back and take a picture,” and I was laughing, too.

AdventureMan, get your mind out of the gutter.

He thinks this is hilarious.


“That reindeer is having a very merry Christmas!” chortles AdventureMan.

November 28, 2013 Posted by | Advent, Arts & Handicrafts, Gardens, Humor, Mating Behavior | Leave a comment

“Have You Seen the Photo of Qatar’s New Stadium?”

. . . our son asked us after work today.


We both looked blank. No, no we haven’t.


He brought up the photo on the iPad. Oh. NO. Noooooooooo!


LOL, who sold this idea to the Qataris?


People are already calling it the Vagina Stadium. Oh NOOOO!

Al-Wakrah stadium

I know just the Qatar skyscraper to partner with this new stadium; I shuddered as it was rising on the Corniche:



November 18, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Doha, ExPat Life, Humor, Living Conditions, Qatar | | 3 Comments

“Another Word for Babies is Insects”

One of the great wonderful things that has happened with living in Pensacola is that I get to spend a lot of time with my two little grandchildren, one of whom is two months old and just loves to be held, and one of whom is three years old and loves to talk.

I adore them both, but the three year old is so much more interesting, as he can talk and express himself and I love the way a three year old thinks.

We talk a lot. The other day we were talking about breaking things like arms – he had just broken his arm in two places and got a 1 (needs improvement) on “uses playground equipment safely” LOL. I had just told him how my sister broke both of her arms, not at the same time, and how we had each broken a leg skiing.

“You know, Shisha, you’re a lot like a boy,” he said to me, and I knew it was a compliment but I couldn’t help laughing.

“Why do you say that?” I asked, and got some evasive answer – even a three year old has a sense of when a thought might be out of the ordinary.

This week, though, he really gave me a good laugh when he came running in and showed me his weekly sheet, with green happy faces (that is a very good thing) and a photo of himself as a baby.

“Another word for babies is ‘insects!'” he announced, and I couldn’t help it, I laughed.


“No! No! It’s ‘infants!'” I said, and made him watch my lips as I said it because it’s one of those words where we kind of cut off the t at the end, and he got it right. I laughed, knowing it must be “I” week at his school and how very cool is it that they are teaching three year olds such words as “infant” and “Insect” and so what if it takes a little while to get them all straight, just hearing them and seeing them applied is such a good thing.


November 3, 2013 Posted by | Communication, Cultural, Education, Family Issues, Humor, Words | 4 Comments

God-With-A-Sense-of-Humor at King O Felafel in Orlando

After driving seven and a half hours to get to the convention hotel, AdventureMan and I needed dinner! We settled in to our hotel and took a quick look at the menu – nope. We needed something comforting, something familiar. And there it was, just one minute, I am not kidding, from our hotel, the King O Felafel.

God-with-a-sense-of-humor had plopped us splat down in a hotel in the middle of Middle-Eastern-Land. Minutes from Disney, minutes from all the shoddy tackiness of Orlando, we find ourselves “home.”

The King O Felafel’s shop was full of regulars, including one very large family taking up about five tables all put together, and having a wonderful time. The King himself makes his own felafels, using that little felafel making tool, he was so quick. The was clean clean clean, and service was quick.

We started with lentil soup, and I ordered the Vegetarian Platter (which was like a mezze) and AdventureMan ordered a Felafel Sandwich.

Oh, how we have been yearning for the simple joy of a felafel sandwich done right. The King O Felafel was heaven for us.


Thank goodness I remembered to take a picture before we demolished the entire platter!

00King O Felafel Mezze

So simple, so good. A homemade felafel. Perfection.

00King O Felafel Sandwich

00KingOFelafel Salad

This shop is not undiscovered. He has a large clientele of all kinds of people who appreciate superb food, beautifully and tastily prepared.

Across the street from the King O Felafel is a mosque which also has a gym and a meeting hall. There are several other ‘Mediterranean’ restaurants nearby, and several hookah lounges. There are so many shops in this little area of Kissimmee with ‘halal’ foods and even groceries selling halal meats. Wow.

Mosque – my photo was blurry, so I grabbed this from Google Maps. I guess it used to be a computer shop; now it has arabic writing on it and a sign that says it is the AMYL Center (Masjid Shadi)

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 4.33.11 PM



October 25, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Humor, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel | 15 Comments


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