I know, I know, you all are tired of hearing me gripe and groan about heat and humidity. I just had a humbling experience. I finished my Lectionary Readings and went to Weather Underground to see how the weather is shaping up for today and caught a glimpse of Kuwait weather. I have it marked as a favorite so I can see how my friends there are doing.
113°F in Kuwait City.
At the other extreme is my old hometown, Juneau, Alaska. This is the forecast for today, and the next week or so:
You know, today it’s supposed to be less than 90°F in Pensacola, and the humidity feels lighter today – so far. We are expecting a thunderstorm, and yesterday, the temperature dropped ten 15 degrees at noon as a thunderstorm rolled in – how cool is that? We have those beautiful white sand beaches and a surf as warm as bathwater – 84°F – Pensacola in the heat of August is looking a lot better
I can move mountains! Today it dawned cool! I walked in the garden with my coffee, I turned off the A/C and opened all the doors and windows to get all the stuffiness out AND I re-organized our pantry.
Sounds easy? LOL. It is easy when you move every couple years, or every six months. You get rid of a lot of stuff. Once you settle, you really have to watch out, STUFF begins to accumulate. Like for some reason, I ran out of mustard once, and then every time I was grocery shopping for a while I would buy another mustard so I would be sure not to run out, and now I have like 11 mustards, no two the same, German mustards, Chinese mustards, French mustards, no, no, I won’t be running out any time soon.
AdventureMan had made a list for me at the commissary yesterday, including Penne for a Pasta Putanesca he was making to celebrate my return, he’s not so hot on anchovies, but he did a bang-up job on one of my all-time favorite pastas ever. As I cleaned out today, I found two more boxes of penne.
We changed over to a tankless water system last week, it just seems like a good idea. When we bought the house, one thing made me nervous, the hot water tank was in the pantry, right in the middle of the house. Hot water heaters fail, they all do, eventually, and when it goes, it can leak all over everywhere. The first time it happened to me, we were out of town and it took a week to get all the carpeting and walls dried out. So I traded worrying about a leaking hot water tank for worrying about a gas explosion, aarrgh. Actually, it’s pretty safe. We used tankless systems all the years we lived in Germany, and I really liked them. It feels right, just heating the water when you use it, not holding it – and heating it – when you are not.
So now the big water tank is gone, and I brought in new shelving, and put that together, it was almost idiot-proof, almost . . .
That took most of the day, putting the new shelving in, clearing the shelves, sorting out the items, labeling the shelves so AdventureMan can find what he needs, although to me, it all SEEMS very logical, signs saying “Condiments” “Oriental Condiments” “Back-up Baking Supplies” “Tomato things” “Soups” and “Canned Sea Food”, etc. I did not label the pasta and rice; they just seemed so obvious.
All this with doors and windows open and the most heavenly breeze blowing through; give me the right climate and I can move a mountain! I got the laundry all done as I was re-organizing the pantry, I even cleaned out one of the spice drawers (getting rid of spices kept from Kuwait and Qatar because I couldn’t bear to part with them, but four years . . .) it’s time, and they aren’t really good any more.
AdventureMan brought our adorable four year old grandson over to play, and we got to chat a little. There is nothing like a four year old snuggle, and conversations with him are always so interesting and so direct, it’s so refreshing
And at the end of the day, there is even time to sit outside in the bright, cool, breezy sunlight sipping a glass of tea and watching all the birds come in for one last bite before bed time.
A heavenly day.
Thank you, Desert Girl, for making known this wonderful video on earlier times in Kuwait. It brings back so many wonderful memories of our time as a young family in the Middle East and North Africa in the late 70’s and 80’s.
And thank you Ammar Alabbad for a wonderful production. I love this film.
From todays Arab Times Kuwait:
‘Wasta’ Major Setback In Battle Against Crime; Some Police Not Keen To Tackle Issues
In this week’s online poll, the Arab Times probed the factors that are blunting the efforts to fight crime in Kuwait. A majority of the voters felt that Wasta is a major setback to the fight against crime. About 56% of the voters felt this way.
Speaking to the Arab Times, respondents said criminals use Wasta to escape the long arm of the law. “I know a citizen who routinely cuts red lights. He pats his back and says that he has Wasta to dodge penalties. This is a traffic offence, and may not be considered a crime. However, if this is possible in the case of traffic offences, it should be possible in major crimes too.” Another respondent shared a personal experience when one of his neighbors had a conflict with the landlord.
The neighbor decided to go to the court, and he was asked to pay the rent there. However, the person in charge of collecting the rent in the court gave lame excuses and avoiding collecting the amount in time. The landlord used this as a pretext to procure an ejection notice from the court. “It looks like some authorities in the court were in cahoots with the landlord to deny justice to my neighbor.”
About 13% of the voters felt that law keepers themselves become law breakers, and that’s why it becomes hard to fight crimes. Respondents cited the example of the recent case that made headlines when cops raped a woman in her flat, entering her flat under the pretext of looking for residence violators. “This is an example of policemen stooping to the lowest level, becoming worse than criminals.” Others brought up a report that Arab Times had published some time back about the ‘Trolley Mafia” in the airport. “The workers in the airport literally extort money from the passengers forcing the trolley service on them for a charge of 500 fils.
They do not let us take the trolley.” Respondents said it’s highly improbable for this mafia to work in this fashion without the knowledge and blessings of the concerned authorities in the airport, especially after the report coming in the newspapers several times. One of the respondents said that he had an altercation with one of the workers in the airport over the trolley. “I used an expletive in the course of the heated exchange, and the worker complained to a policeman in duty.
The cop came over to me to inquire if I had used the bad word, but as he didn’t speak our language I told him that it was only an impolite word, and not a bad word. The officer went to the extent of calling another passenger, who spoke our language, to verify if what I was saying was true. To my good luck, the passenger concurred with me.
The officer let me go, but then I complained to him about the worker who was trying to extort money from me. The officer walked away as if he couldn’t care less.” The trolley mafia is continuing to operate without any hassles, and people suspect the tacit support of the authorities.
About 16% of the voters said that the police are not very keen on solving crimes, and that is encouraging criminals. Other reasons for the increase in crime in the society, according to the poll, included unemployed youth wanting to make quick money, corrupt politicians and crime getting accepted as a part of life. However, these only won very small percentage of votes. A very tiny fraction of voters felt that criminals are getting smarter.
By: Valiya S Sajjad Arab Times Staff
Sigh. These are, sadly, true. I have seen them myself. I used to make people mad; I always carried a camera, and when I would see able bodied young men park in the handicapped spots, I would take their photos. They would get really mad. I knew I might be risking my life, so I tried to be careful, but I was also hoping they would feel shame, and stop doing it.
Talal Al-Ghannam is a very brave Kuwaiti for printing these “Only in Kuwait . . . ” columns.
Only In Kuwait
These are the things you won’t find in other modern countries or even ones that are poorer, but only in Kuwait.
1. Only in Kuwait people APPEAL to the government to apply the law.
2. Only in Kuwait handicapped parking places are seized by ordinary people.
3. Only in Kuwait many people like to park on the pavement and on green landscapes.
4. Only in Kuwait you could get killed for a parking space.
5. Only in Kuwait you could get beaten if you did not let a maniac driving behind you to pass.
6. Only in Kuwait policemen are beaten by mobs.
7. Only in Kuwait many policemen play with their smart phones rather than monitor the roads.
8 .Only in Kuwait many police stations have only one policeman.
9. Only in Kuwait you need a fancy car on the road to be respected.
10. Only in Kuwait you need three months to get an appointment in a hospital unless you are really sick.
11. Only in Kuwait the majority of Kuwaitis travel out of town when there is a two-day holiday.
12. Only in Kuwait the majority of employees get sick suddenly when there is a holiday coming up.
13. Only in Kuwait we see people spitting or urinating in the streets.
14. Only in Kuwait we see maniacs driving on the shoulder of the road, throwing up gravel to break your car’s windshield.
15. Only in Kuwait some Kuwaitis say ‘kaifi ana Kuwaiti’, meaning I am a Kuwait, I can do whatever I want.
16. Only in Kuwait you see many Kuwaitis able to deport expatriates. I will rest my pen for now until the next article.
By Talal Al-Ghannam
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
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