Kuwait : Going backwards?

January 15, 2007

So another year has come and gone.

In the run up to the one year anniversary of the late Sheik Jaber Al Sabah, perhaps it’s an appropriate time to reflect on a year which promised some exciting times for the much vaunted ‘New Kuwait.’

2006 gave us hope. Not only did Kuwait have a new ‘visionary’ leader at the helm, but many of the previous constrictions, such as women’s voting rights, were finally lifted after a 44 year struggle for equality.

Remember the buzz, the hype, the wild rumours?

Was Kuwait finally going to break from its 17th century shackles and (gasp) modernize ?

So let’s take a look at what has been happening in the aftermath of the great ‘power struggle’ which ensued late last January.

Hmmm.

Aside from an extraordinary amount of money being spent on an entire entourage of ‘Foreign Policy’ Related Travel expenses……er…..not a lot.

Whilst the rest of the Middle East has moved forward, evaluated their political and economical positions , embraced progression and pushed for a more open and liberalized society – what’s been going on in our Kuwait?

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Another Day, Another Scandal at Toxy’s House…..

January 10, 2007

I live alone in an apartment.

At my family house, we have several female Filipina helpers – one of which comes to my apartment 3 or 4 times a week to clean and iron my clothes.

I just found out that she has been having an affair with the Bangladeshi Building Supervisor who lives downstairs.

Background:

1) This lady has been with us for a year. She previously had a dubious ‘affair’ with another Bangladeshi who was also living at our family house.

We were very firm but very fair with her the first time, stating clearly, that this was not acceptable behavior. The Bangladeshi Driver had to be released from his duties as the lady said that she had not incited this affair – she had been harassed into it.

2) The Bangladeshi supervisor (who lives downstairs in my building) has been previously warned by the residents for his ‘disappearing acts.’ When he was supposed to be working, he could often be found lying in bed a sleep – leaving his younger brother (who also works in the building) to do all the graft work.

So how did I find out about this 2 month affair?

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Fake Toxy Shows Up at Bloggers Meeting in Salmiya….

January 6, 2007

I was chatting with Mark over at 248 and he tells me that it was nice meeting me at the “Blogger’s Meet Up” that was held in Dunkin Donuts on Thursday night……Hmmm….that was interesting……especially as I was never in attendance of that meeting.

So apparently some dude sat at the meeting, with a name tag on his shirt – and my name on it.

How Bizarre.

We all know there are a lot of weird freaks in Kuwait. A lot of folks wouldn’t think twice about copying, stealing or plagiarizing an idea; but never would I have guessed that someone would have shown up pretending to be someone else – and of all places – at ‘A Blogger’s Meeting.’

Even with my twisted imagination, I cannot fathom what was going through the guys head.

I mean seriously, what if I’d of shown up!!??

I’ve contacted the Kuwaiti CID over this matter. They have promised a full investigation as soon as they have finished enjoying confiscating all the DVD’s that were heading to Virgin Megastore.

So… should I be amused, freaked out or simply flattered? What do you guys think?


Why is it that?……..Part 6………’The Curse of The Checkout’

December 30, 2006

There are a lot of small, inexplicable irritations that occur in our lives on a daily basis. As you probably know (if you’ve been following this blog) I have been serializing them in my ‘Why is it that?’ Series.

So today, I am pulling out an old classic – a chestnut, which affects me anytime I go shopping anywhere around the world.

Picture The Scene: The Supermarket

So I’ve just wasted spent 45 minutes trying to find a parking space, and sifting through endless aisles of food in search of my refrigerator’s ‘bare essentials.’

Despite promising myself (each and every time) that I will get a more interesting variety of foods upon my next visit – I end up leaving with the same 5 items which permanently reside in my threadbare refrigerator……..Brown Bread, Philadelphia Cheese, Cucumber, Tabasco Sauce – and of course – a large stash of Diet Cokes…..

So there I am – flustered, frustrated, irritable and ready to make as swift an exit as possible.

And then it hits.

Probably the hardest, most stressful decision for any prospective shopper…..

Which Queue (or Checkout Line) should I join?…..

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Photos: Spooky Weather in Kuwait

December 21, 2006

I was driving down the Gulf Road yesterday afternoon at around 4 pm.

As I arrived close to the Marina Mall Area, I was greeted by one of the weirdest, most eerie sunsets I have ever witnessed. Not only was the sun unbelievably low but it was also eye piercingly bright. I literally couldn’t see anything ahead of me despite wearing some pretty dark-lensed sunglasses. As you can imagine, it made the driving conditions incredibly uncomfortable to say the least.

I’m not sure if this was some kind of polar sun / moon solstice, but whatever it was – it didn’t feel right!

I woke up this morning and couldn’t see anything. It’s gone all foggy.

Perhaps some of you Astronomic gurus could help us out?

To see the pictures, please click below.

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Photo: Kuwait – Blatant Business Identity Theft……

December 18, 2006

 

It always bemuses me why I see so much blatant ‘Business Identity Theft’ in Kuwait. It’s a sad joke really.

Multi National Companies spend millions of dollars a year on their logos and their corporate branding. It must therefore, drive them absolutely insane to see places like Kuwait discarding copyrights and laughing in the face of acceptable, ethical business etiquette.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of 5 or 6 cases of undeniably identity theft in Kuwait. It typically ranges from a sneaky ‘play on words’ to a more sinister ‘redesign’ of a famous International logo.

What I don’t understand is what goes through the heads of these talentless, thieving buffoons. How can they essentially copy and paste someone else’s creations – whilst trying to pass it off as their own concept?! I mean seriously, who are they kidding? Are they even kidding?

Let’s take ‘Batriq’ restaurant as a ‘golden’ example. It’s an overly obvious and blatant rip of the McDonald’s logo. Anyone and everyone could attest to that.

Instead of the world famous ‘Golden Arched M ‘….. Batriq gave us the ‘not-so-famous-and-sadly-pathetic B.’ ……Hell, they didn’t even BOTHER to change the Gold and Red theme!

I was inspired to write this post after I saw downtown Beirut’s ultra famous, ultra chic department store ‘Aishti’ sitting quietly in a backstreet neighborhood of Salmiya.

So what of Kuwait’s ‘Aishti’? Can we expect more of the same high caliber, high fashion designer wear?

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Brain Fry: Don’t Sleep next to Electric Plugs or Mobile Phones!

December 14, 2006

I’ve been having some major sleeping problems over the last few months. I was waking up with terrible headaches and suffering from inexplicable brain-aches first thing in the morning.

It got to a point where as soon as I opened my eyes – my head would be buzzing.

I looked for the cause – and found it right under my bed!

It was the electrical power strip which has about 5 different plugs attached to it.

Now, whilst I’m no Doctor, I’m 100% positive this is not healthy in the long run!

I also found that sleeping next to my mobile phone gives me headaches.

I’m not sure if my head is overly sensitive – or if this is common amongst most people – but I advise you all to follow suit. Before I sleep nowadays – I switch off the Electric Strip and put my mobile on the floor – out of the way of my head.

No more headaches and I’m sleeping peacefully again. 🙂

 

p.s. I found this article on Fonzy’s Blog… pretty interesting…