Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Are you a Flasher or a Honker?

Before we jump to conclusions, yes, this is a PG Blog, worry not dear readers.

The statement is merely a euphemism for Driving in Kuwait!

 Honking, Above.

Flashing, to the right.

I'm more of a flasher myself, I detest the noise of the horn, it really is quite annoying! The highlights on the other hand are efficient, cause less pollution, and overall, are easier on the arm!

However, there are times that warrant honks. And some people are quite, insulted if you honk at them, they take it personally. I have met such people. You honk at them to make them aware that they are driving recklessly (my case a guy was trying to rush from behind me to my right, and I was signaling right), they take it as an insult, and then start cutting you off. Been there, done that.

Highlights also! Try driving down one of the Ring Roads on the left-lane, you are bound to find a slow poke in the fast lane, hit them with a few highlights, and they persistently stay in the lane, not only that, but they turn on their left signal, meaning go around.

I used to have a habit of, when it suited me, to let people pass, knowing full well that there was someone a bit ahead of me, then the minute I take the middle lane, speed up, and box said car inside. Effective, yes?

So, which are you?

Romance 101- How NOT to impress a Girl!

Back in my 3rd year of university, I met an awesome girl. The story goes as follows:

It was the beginning of the Semester, students were abuzzing and the new text books were coming in. I was enjoying the perks of having befriended the guys who distribute the books, and achieving notoriety by giving books to my friends who had purchased them later (receipt numbers etc), it also served to help me make a few new friends in need of my "Wastah".

One day during my sits with the book guys, I was enjoying a rather, odorous sandwich which, serves to make the breath appalling. It was alright, we were all guys in the room, right?
Wrong. A thing of beauty walks in asking for directions, and she just so happened to be in my year! Coincidence? I think not!

 The guys were trying to explain to her how to get where she wanted to go, so I quickly dumped the sandwich and, chivalrously opted to show her the way *wink*.

(FYI I am addicted to Extra Chewing Gum and always carry it with me wherever I go! It was literally, a life-saver!)

We chatted, we had a few friends in common, she had a job, her parents were divorced, her mom was a flight attendant, her dad lived abroad.

Long story short I walked her to her car, then she asked if I needed a ride as she was heading over to some place that gave tuitions (I hated tuitions but found myself saying YES!).

We went out a couple of times afterward, fastforward to my Fourth and final year, I was engaged to someone else, things didnt work out, yadda yadda (long story, might make it into a post later).

After all was said and done, I decided to see how she was doing. I called her up, her mom answered, and I found out she had flunked :( [before anyone jumps to conclusions, we weren't dating! Just good friends, so it was not my fault! She didn't even know I had a thing for her. I did introduce myself to her mom tho!]. 

About... 3 years after we graduated I decided to give her a call, when I dialed her number, some dude answered. Normally, I would have hung up but I said, is "so-&-so" there, completely against my better nature. The answer that came next shocked me; it was her younger brother! I had also spoken to him before, so I quickly re-introduced myself and, he gave me her new number. =D *YAY*

So, I called her up, she remembered me.

We were supposed to meet but then, something happened.

Her dad passed away.

We spoke once when she initially told me, and told me that she would want my help, support etc. I was glad, and so willing to! But then, her phone was off the hook.

I tried calling her brother, to see if they needed anything. And her mom answered. (Weird family that passes phones upward and downward!)

So I thought, what would be the decent thing to do? To show my mettle? Offer condolences right?

The minute the words escaped my mouth ("I'm sorry for your loss"), I was met with a hysterical (WHO, WHO?!)

My exact reaction; keep in mind I was driving at the time too!

Was I played by the daughter? Or did the mother genuinely not know about her ex-husband? He was in another country afterall.

Suffice to say the girl won't talk to me anymore :S

Monday, August 30, 2010

Muslims Or Moslems - Know the Difference

To the untrained ear, and eye, the two words are exactly the same, spoken in different dialects, in different countries around the world, to refer to the same creed of people, those who follow Islam. But are these words really the same?

Muslim             &                     Moslem

However, in reality, this could not be farther from the truth. These two words are polar opposites, literally, light and dark.

Lets take the first pronunciation; Muslim, from the arabic مسلم derived from سلام (salam) meaning Peace, so a person who is a muslim, is peaceful.

Now, the second pronunciation, more popular in the USA, with an emphasis on the "OS" makes the word sound like مظلم which literally translates to Darkness, or also a person who does harm to others.

Copy and paste the arabic words into google translate to get the difference.

A syllabic twist, makes a beautiful word into something ugly.

The same word, pronounced differently, has a world of different meaning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Call the Fashion Police - Purple Shorts!

Kuwait is a real fashionable place; we have all the latest in designer stores, brands, luxuries etc.

With that power, comes a responsibility, and it is my sad duty to inform you that some are indeed irresponsible. And Guilty, to the full extent of the Law! Take for the example, the classic error of High End Luxury Sports Vehicle & National Dress, the two JUST DON'T MIX!

Now, here is another failure, on the far left, an individual spotted at Marina Mall today, one of many, many, many people. He is wearing purple shorts,

now, in my honest, humble opinion, there is only one reason to wear purple shorts, and that is if you "HULK" out and turn into a huge, green, muscular monster whose vocabulary consists only of "HULK SMASH!" Other than that, purple shorts are never, never, NEVER to be worn by guys out in public.

(Except by him, ofcourse!)

'Nuff said.

Next time, the Superman t-shirts, and the-not-so-super-men who wear them!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The truth about The Secret

The Secret: has been passed down through the ages, highly coveted, hidden, lost, stolen, and bought for vast sums of money. This centuries-old secret has been understood by some of the most prominent people in history: Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison, Carnegie, Einstein- along with other inventors, theologians, scientists, and great thinkers. Now the secret is being revealed to the world.

As you learn the secret, you will come to know how you can have, be or do anything you want. You will come to know who you really are. You will come to know the true magnificence that awaits you in life.
What a crock of BS. For KD6.800 at Virgin, it is the most highly overpriced, overhyped work of fiction-come-garbage I have ever laid eyes on. I borrowed it off a friend, I would never waste my money on such nonsense.
The Secret has been so overhyped in the media it warranted its own spoof in the Simpsons in the form of "The Answer". And trust me, that is where this type of thinking belongs, in fiction.
I have tried reading self help books, and you know what I discovered? They only help the author make money. Period.
I have read enough of it to know it is utterly and entirely useless.
The secret is nothing more than a book that points to what? GOD! It is merely aimed at the atheists in the world, by changing the word god to "the cosmos" and prayers to "believing" and "positive thinking", it merely seeks to cast a different color to an already existent portrait, that of religion.
One of their rather retarded philosophies is to broadcast positive thoughts, and in turn, positive things will come to you. It is highly contradictory also. They speak of the "law of attraction", can anyone remember that from grade-school physics? That is right, OPPOSITES ATTRACT! (The nucleus contains positrons and neutrons, the orbits contain electrons, electrons are negatively charged, cancelling the charge of the positron, thank you Ms. Jill!) Yet in the secret, "Like attracts Like".
It is merely a collection of deluded professionals who believe that believing in the secret has bettered their lives. A mosaic of testimonials as to how one man visualized a feather dropping infront of him in Times Square, and found that exact same feather drop before him days later.
The only two people whose ideas I respect and would definitely encourage others to read, are Stephen Covey and Warren Buffet, the world's leading marketing and financial guru's respectively.
What the rest of the wolves out there are attempting to do is seduce people into believing that by reading their bogus material, you can benefit from "The Secret".
Did you know that scientology, the religion, was created by the same guy who penned Battlefield Earth? Forget the uber-lame movie with Oscar nominee and winner John Travolta & Forrest Whitaker. I read the book, it was amazing. I then watched the movie, it was repellant. Scientology, in all its so-called glory, is also nothing more than religion-lite, a trend for Hollywood to endorse, substituting terms like god and spirit for other, less celestial, more moronic terms that elude me at the moment.
In the end, it is best to understand that only you have the power to help yourself. And let the veils of obscurity fall from the acts of these desperate individuals such as Rhonda Byrne, they have not discovered the secret, they are merely repackaging religion for the modern man, who unfortunately, has lost touch with the god.

Movie Review: Operation: Endgame

Genre: Action Comedy

A battle ensues among groups of government spy teams in an underground facility after their boss is assassinated.

I thought that having the name Zach Galifianakis was a recipe for comedy, and the genre being action comedy. However, I was thoroughly disappointed.

To describe it in one word: Dull.
I wish I could take back the 87 minutes I wasted watching this debauchery of a movie. The story was lame at best, no one gave time to exploring the characters (12 in total for the whole movie), the movie has no soundtrack to make it exciting to watch. Also, the poster is misleading, as no one had a gun in the whole movie, being told to use "whatever was at their discretion" as a weapon.

When my brother is on holiday, we enjoy watching Comedies together, we just watched Date Night & Grown Ups (read Moodypanties blog for her awesome reviews), and thought this would measure up to that standard. We thought wrong. Dead wrong.

I regret watching it.

Rugby in Kuwait- Do you have what it takes to be a Scorpion?

Ah, my 100th post! Thank you to all the guys and gals who take the time out of their busy lives to check in on the thoughts of this blogger! You all rock!

It is so much better to get news from bloggers, they are the key to finding out the State of Affairs in the State of Kuwait, on that note, I would like to thank Desert Girl for pointing me towards the Scorpions, a Rugby team in Kuwait!

Growing up here, Rugby was never part of our curriculum (think "Full Contact Sport") back in highschool, even though the teachers kept regaling us with tales of their endeavors in Rugby, in Kuwait (some also played baseball). So it seemed, serendipitous that I would take interest in this sport later on in life. And taken interest I have indeed!

I have 0 experience playing Rubgy. Yet, the guys there are the best, they take the time to point out the basics, the ins-&-outs, the whole enchilada. It really is about playing the game, no matter how many mistakes you make (plus, the workouts are intense! I've already shed an inch off my waist since the beginning of August!). Everyone has congregated over their love for this sport, and are there to generally have a great time, coming from all walks of life, all ages, all are welcome, beginners, rookies and veterans.

So, if you are fit, and willing to take up a new sport, make new friends, and have a great time doing so, look no further, the Scorpions can be your home away from home!

Plus, there are the events they hold, like the one below:

The Scorpions will be hosting a Masquerade Ball on October 7.
All are welcome.
For tickets and inquiries, contact Emma Clement: emmalclement@gmail.com
Tickets on sale starting Sept
Sept 1- Sept 15 tickets are KD17.500 for members, KD20 non-members
Sept 16- Oct 1 tickets are KD20 for members, KD22.500 for non-members
GET YOUR TICKET in 5 days!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Infuriated: Expats encroach on rights of Citizens?! Are you kidding me?

Hold on a second, what was to start off as a soliloquy to Vimto has taken a drastic turn!

As I was searching for the excerpt article I read on Arab Times regarding the Vimto Fiasco, I came across this opinionated, biased, self-aggrandizing, utterly disrespectful article, regarding the incident, and twisting it to portray foreigners/expats as unlawful, unappreciative and unworthy of staying in Kuwait.

Lets see, a few interesting excerpts from his article go as follows:

The alleged assault on the employee of a cooperative society for refusing to sell extra bottles of Vimto underlines a more serious moral dilemma a tiny minority of expatriates are facing in Kuwait. Such rare type of foreign individuals do not represent either their own compatriots or hard working expatriates.

FYI the article is called "Some expats encroach on rights of Citizens"

"... they can actually encroach on the rights, privileges of the native population of this country, Kuwaiti citizens! "

So, because one is a Kuwaiti citizen, they are automatically given a right to what, buy more bottles of Vimto than the expat? Meaning that, if heaven forbid, a war were to break out, expats in Kuwait would not receive rations until their Kuwaiti counterparts do?

"One cannot interpret the recent assault as mere envy, or feeling insulted due to unfair treatment, but it underlines an entrenched attitude against Kuwaiti citizens. In addition, such kind of noisy, disruptive, uncooperative and unappreciative foreign guests need to come to terms with the realities of their situation in our country: they will continue to be honored and respected in our country as long as they continue to show their utmost respect to our laws and customs."

Hang on a second, you want to talk "respect" of laws and customs, here is a glorifying example, fresh off the news print:

Father ‘better’ than son: Police are looking for an unidentified Kuwaiti man who was driving away with the car belonging to his son, reports Al-Rai daily.

According to reports the son was driving along a road in Salmiya and police ordered him to pull over for violating a traffic law and driving a car with tinted glass.

However, when the police were in the process of impounding the vehicle, the son telephoned the father.

The father arrived on the scene and without a word got into the vehicle and drove off in full view of the cops.

A case has been registered against the father at the Rumaithiya Police Station.

And the Sheikha who delayed shoppers exiting a parking lot by parking directly infront of the exit because she wished to enter the parking lot through the exit? When the security guard tried to explain it cannot be done, she simply turns off her car, and leaves to do her shopping. When confronted by another citizen on her way out, her reply was "Keify, ana sheikha." (I don't care, I'm from the royal family).

The alleged culprit in the recent assault crime does not seem to accept the fact that he and other non-Kuwaitis continue to be respected yet ‘foreign’ guests in Kuwait. As such, they are not citizens, period. I would have made it clear to the person who alleged beat the cooperative’s employee, as soon as he arrived at Kuwait airport: “there is no way you can infringe or transgress on the cultural, national and social privileges of Kuwaiti citizens. As long as you show the greatest respect to our customs, heritage and national character as long as you will be able to guarantee that, no one will infringe on your rights as a decent human being.”

So, according to the Author, as expats, our rights are circumspect to the rights of citizens? Have you not read Al-Rai's article, written by an author whose name eludes me but for whom I have the utmost respect, the article was simply titled "Keify, ana Kuwaiti" (I don't care, I'm Kuwaiti), and how that one phrase is being exhausted in all manners; by Kuwaiti women shopping for items- used to ward off potential competitors for the last article of clothing etc., or by Kuwaiti men in parking lots- to vie off someone for that last parking spot.

Last but certainly not least:

If such people decide otherwise, in other words, if some expats expect to receive a 100 percent equal treatment in all aspects of daily life like any citizen, will; those people need not come to Kuwait.

Attempting to encroach on the rights of citizens is certainly a taboo that rational beings must make sure to avoid, as far as possible.

So we come to Kuwait knowing that we are not to expect treatment based on merit, but on nationality? That my friends is the foundation of bigotry and prejudice.
Reading this so called article really infuriated me. And the fact that it was fabricated around an incident such as an argument in a co-op over the "right" to buy Vimto merely adds more fuel to the fire. The author clearly has way to much time on their hands, and their story is full of more holes than Swiss Cheese.

When I was a freshman, we were asked in our Economic History & Resources class to write an essay on a certain phenomenon that contributes to economic crises in countries. Most people selected the devaluation of currency, trade deficits etc. I sought to be more original and chose illiteracy. Yet, I was able to use that as my subject, drawing the proper conclusions, and passing the subject.

This weak incident is similar to stating, when the temperature goes up, people drink more water, there is a higher sale of sunscreen, therefore, drinking water affects the sale of sunscreen.

Vulgar? Yes, but it gets the message across

You call it Vimto, I call it Ambrosia of the Immortals

Vimto, you GOTTA love it!

If you do not believe in Vimto, then you definately were not born and raised in Kuwait. Vimto is the single constant for Ramadan, asides from the spirituality of the holy month ofcourse!

What other beverage has price fluctuations as crazy as Vimto during Ramadan? Just watch the price tag ride the proverbial wave. Fights have literally errupted over the stuff...

Co-op staff beaten: An employee at the Farwaniya Cooperative Society sustained injuries in different parts of his body after an Egyptian customer beat him when he refused to give the latter more than four bottles of Vimto, reports Al-Anba daily.

Securitymen rushed to the cooperative society after receiving information on the incident. Preliminary investigations revealed the Egyptian came to purchase a carton of Vimto for Ramadan but the employee refused to give him more than four bottles allegedly due to shortage of supply. However, the Egyptian was infuriated when he saw the employee handing a carton of Vimto to a Kuwaiti, so he attacked the employee.

A case was registered and the Egyptian was referred to a nearby police station for the necessary legal action.

In fact, I have absolutely no clue why on earth all those Coca Cola ads on TV show people drinking Coke at Iftar. I have never seen nor heard of a single person that does that! I am not narrow minded, such individuals may exist, to them I say, wake up! Coke at Iftar?! Are you Insane?!

If I were to a producer shooting a movie about the Gods & Goddesses of Greek mythology, all the way up on Mount Olympus, trust me, they would be sipping Vimto for Ambrosia, the nectar of the gods!

Vimto makes the world a better place, so keep it coming!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good Sense or Indecent? You be the Judge

Tis the season to be holy.

Being Kuwait, and having the strongest currency in the world, comes with the drawback of unwanted "guests" during this time of year, looking to capitalise on people being in an overly generous mood.


With the Zakat (alms) House in Kuwait, it is a wonder why people would subject themselves to the act of begging. I was told before that some people refuse going to the zakat house to help pay for mortgages or unpaid loans as it would tarnish their credit rating.

I get a few knocks on my door every now and then. I know who is at the door without even bothering to look, as this day in age, no one shows up uninvited, and most people would text/call you saying we are at your door rather than go through the hassle of knocking (believe me, i've seen it happen!).

Now comes the moral dilemma; do you open your door and tell said person be it a male door-to-door salesman, a woman looking for maid-work, or a beggar, to leave you be, or listen to their sales pitch, knowing full well that you have no intention of either buying their product, or hiring them as help, or giving them any money.

I would be watching TV, upon hearing the knock, I would either mute the show, or, in extreme cases, go up and lock the door. I live with a sense of security and keep my door unlocked most of the time.

The eight categories of eligible Zakât recipients follow:

• The poor (al-fuqarâ’)
• The needy (al-masâkîn)
• Zakât-workers
• Those whose hearts are to be reconciled
• Those in bondage (slaves and captives)
• The debt-ridden
• In the cause of God
• The wayfarer (the stranded, or one traveling who lacks resources)

Unfortunately, as with everything, human nature has tarnished an act of kindness, and there are those out there who seek to exploit you to get your money. Be it a fabricated story of being debt-ridden, or a bed-ridden family member. I have heard all the pitches. And, as a result of getting conned before, I rarely give anything out to those who ask for it, its only for those who I see cleaning our streets in the burning sun, or to organisations that are proven to help the poor and needy. 
Is that good sense or indecent?

Arab Times Fail: What WERE they doing?

We live in the 21st century. Surprise, surprise. I, like most of my internet-savvy counterparts, like to get my news online, it saves alot of time, and ink-stained fingers.

HOWEVER, I am starting to get sick of the Arab Times and their bogus crime reports in Kuwait.

Most recent example:
KUWAIT CITY, Aug 9: A Lebanese man and his girlfriend, whose identity has not been disclosed, have been arrested and referred to a police station for making love in public, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.

The daily quoting security sources, the couple was caught red-handed kissing inside their car. The car was parked near a building in Salwa and the couple was making love under the cover of darkness.

According to the police the lovers were partly naked. The incident was reported to the police by a Kuwaiti man who saw suspicious movements inside the vehicle.

Now, which is it, making love, or kissing? Both acts will get you the same punishment, but it is interesting to know which is which.

Another thing I don't get is why the paper sees it fit to disclose the nationalities, as opposed to pseudonym names, when reporting on crime in Kuwait?

Is the Arab Times advocating bias and stereotyping? Lebanese will be caught making love in public, Egyptians will be caught stealing, Sri-Lankan maids will commit suicide, Syrians will be caught begging in Ramadan etc etc.

This is not news, this is pure, unadulterated BS.

Brings to mind the casse of the people in Dubai who were also caught "in the act" in their vehicle, but proceeded to win the case against them by claiming that their car is their domicile, and the officer had no right to approach it.

C'est La Vie.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Changes & Woe- Step 1: GCC Business Visa

2010 was a year of change for me. I started a new job, in a career that is completely new to me, 180 degree change, and for the past 8 months I have been learning the ropes.

Internal Audit is my game, as defined by the IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors), Internal Auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

In short, we are glorified critics-come-revolutionists, whose purpose is to see how a process is done and compare it to how it should be done, or improve it. Jacks of All Trades.

Now, my first assignment is coming up, an audit in a GCC country. I am very excited as it is the fruition of the months of training, however, now comes the bureaucracy apparent of Saudi Arabia.

I am an accountant by qualification, that is what is written on my Visa, a 4 year degree. Upon visiting the office in-charge of issuing Visas, I was informed that unless it says manager on my Visa, I need more documentation from our office in the other country. To demonstrate, the guy @ the Visa office gave me a sheet and asked me to get one similar. The sheet was made out to a person whose profession is, literally, and I quote "Table Setter" (Sofraji).

'Nuff Said. 

Step one, gathering intel, check.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update on Nicholas Warner - Destitute in Dubai released

on BBC:

As of August 16, there was a bright ray of sunshine in Nicholas Warner's otherwise desolate life.

Living in a park and public places, dependent on the donations of others for 12 weeks, he was finally able to break free of the grips of his unfortunate situation and leave the Emirates, With help from locals and an expat sponsor, he obtained the release of his passport from the authorities.

Locals, as well as European and Indian expats offered him legal assistance, places to stay and money to help pay off his debt.

One group managed to find a way to get his passport released by the Dubai judicial system by paying about £8,000 directly to the courts, circumventing the bank.

After checking the passport was free of any travel bans, they bought him a flight back to England.

He says "I won't be coming back to Dubai."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Security Guards or Hired Thugs? Tale of Abuse in Kuwait

I'm collecting all the thoughts I previously shared on the internet and grouping them into my blog for ease-of-reference. This incident happened to me 2 years ago, I got in touch with the people at Jarir to file a formal complaint, and tried to reach the man in charge of Hawalli Park, emails lead to nothing, I got a single response and that was that.

A colleague of mine faced a similar incident afterward. He was @ TSC Salmiya a while ago, and the guard outside refused to let him enter, also dressed in national dress. One thing lead to another, guard said "I will whipe the floor with you",  then assaulted my colleague, who wears glasses, shattering said glasses in his eyes. A complaint was filed but the office told him to drop the charges, guard was a "bedoun" and they feared retaliation on my colleague as a response. The charge was dropped.

Law in Kuwait, favors the nationals, not the expats.


What happened to me on Saturday is something out of an action thriller. It was a hate crime. I was assaulted at an amusement park called Hawalli Park by the security officers there. The story I have sent out to various local new agencies, I shall add it here as well.

You must be asking yourself, What is the global issue of this? I had to endure racial slurs which hurt more than the actual beating. "Working class" citizens here live in fear of the police, who only show Kuwaiti/ GCC/ Foreign nationals any shred of decency. They call me Egyptian like it's an insult. I have had to tolerate their uncivil manner since high school. Unfortunately, a majority of Kuwaiti citizens are taught at an early age to look down upon others; they see us as invaders, even though we work here legally, and their government more than compensates their salary as compared to a foreign national.

The grim reality we live in is as follows: Had my situation escalated to requiring the police to intervene, they would have done exactly as the first offending security guard hinted -- taken me and my brother into custody, shaved our heads, beat us up, and kept us locked up for two days, no justice, no statement. Just the word of a bored security guard because he is a national.

Human Rights need to be informed of the vicious maltreatment of foreigners here. Let us not consider the plight of the Bangladeshi workers, whose struggles I am sure you are aware of, and the fact that they are being deported now.

My story is as follows:

I am a resident of Hawalli. I was out walking with my younger brother, and we decided to visit Hawalli Park, more specifically Al-Jarir Bookstore. If you are not familiar with the park, it has three entrances: one on the main road, one on the side near the parking lot, and one in the back, the farthest of the three. Being "bachelors," we were denied entrance through Gate A, the closest from our walking path, and even Gate B, and told to go to Gate C. I was extremely agitated.

Let us analyze this situation please: All gates lead to the same park -- there are no familial areas/bachelor areas. However, the rule is enforced by the guards dressed in national clothes. Guards, that you shall come to see, are no more than petty thugs without a shred of decency or training.

I walked to Gate C, extremely agitated. As I was walking in, I was accosted by one of the guards in an unfriendly manner and yelled at him. That was a mistake on my part, but it was a result of having to walk three times across the length of the park just to walk into a bookstore.

The guard got into my face and started yelling back. I explained the situation: I had walked across three sides to get to an entrance, and he was denying me entrance? I am no common criminal. He then orders me to leave; I stubbornly refuse. He calls his "superior" or "raba" who comes and listens to the situation and sides with the guard, and also tells me to leave. By then, the first guard's language is starting to turn foul, so I claimed I was leaving of my own accord.

As we walked away, and were in the parking lot, three guards were following us, insulting and taunting. I paid them no heed and kept on my way; they rush by my side, now joined by some other "national" felons whom they invited to join in on the fun. I was unceremoniously grabbed by my collar and lead back into the park area and dragged to a back room, with my brother in tow. Three of the guards assaulted me and tore my T-shirt. I was brutalised and sustained scratches and injuries to my neck.

They were then "asked" to cease-and-desist and we were lead to an office where an older man asked for our IDs and started with the whole "we will turn you over to the police" routine (I failed to mention that the age of my assailants was roughly late 20s/early 30s). I spoke to him and explained the situation, and told him I was out of line. What else could I do?

I was then asked to go and apologise to the first offender, who took it as a personal insult upon his person that someone like me, a non-national, could dare talk back to him. He started a racial slur from when we were in the senior man's office, saying I claimed I was this and I could do whatever I wanted. Those words never left my mouth; I may be proud but I am not ignorant.

He kept the verbal abuse going, saying how he didn't accept our apology, how he is a national and above us, how he wants us to be transferred to the police department, where they would shave our heads and beat us as they did, and keep us there for two days; how he was really a police officer and could charge both of us with fines worth 1,000 KD for assaulting him. He then accepted and spoke through his walkie-talkie. We went back to the senior, who had accosted my brother's ID (I did not have mine on me at the time). He then proceeded to order me to sign an affidavit that I can no longer enter Hawalli Park, and that the guards had every right to act the way they did.

I ask you, where is the fairness in all of this? These security guards are supposed to protect us, however they acted no less than a bunch of hooligans and thugs, with little to no respect for the human being. When I asked why we cannot walk through any of the gates as they all lead into the same area, I was answered with an abrupt "keifi." (arabic for word meaning "because I feel like it")

My story portrays the ill training and ill respect of these guards. What if some person with a mental disorder were to have acted in an unruly manner? Would he also be dragged and beaten up? Where is the sense in that? What happened to me was uncalled for; I had already turned my back and walked away, only to have to endure further taunting from the initial perpetrator.

I would very much like to hear from you on this matter, as I feel I have let my brother down in this. He did nothing and was also assaulted. These shenanigans should not be tolerated.

What do women want?

I wrote this for http://kuwaitexposed.wordpress.com/ I'm a romantic @ heart and disbelieved the fact that that website should be used merely to spread the vice and evil that is apparent in mankind, all around the world.

(if only life were that simple, freak accident in the bathroom and BOOM!
You can read women's thoughts)

Mankind has been plagued with attempting to answer this question. It has in fact, gained more popularity than, “what is the meaning of life?”

I have been battling this conundrum for a very long time, and have to say, I am as clueless, if not more so, now, than when I first embarked upon this impossible quest.

My first finding: despite the macho bravado, guys are afraid of rejection. It is in our genes (not jeans!). I came across a delightful anecdote that explains this; lets go back one, two, maybe a couple of million years ago, when cavemen roamed the earth. Back then, the groups that the cavemen lived in had plenty of men, and few women. The men were hunters, gatherers, and more importantly, continuity providers! They had to get the women’s attention. If poor Fred (as in Flintstone) attempted to talk to Wilma, and got rejected, for whatever reason, Wilma would tell Betty, Betty would tell Roxie, and so on and so on (moral of the story: women talk.). All the women in the clan would shun Fred for his oafishness, which could be through no fault of his own except that Wilma was not in the mood, and as a result, Fred’s “Line” will be forever lost, because he made one mistake.

What do women want?

I represent the dying breed of decent gentlemen. Those who pull out chairs, and whip up compliments in the blink of an eye. Caring, providing etc. you know the type. A true romantic at heart, a poet even. Love settlers, in that we look for that one-in-a-million person and stick with her through thick and thin.

I used to be under the impression (and you can blame romantic comedies for this), that women “dug” the sensitive guy. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying sensitive as in chick flick and tear box, I just mean caring, loving etc.

You know the type; think Mathew Broderick in addicted to love, that’s me.

Now, you have the current ordeal of America’s sweetheart Sandra Bullock, a decent woman, everyone can attest to that, BUT, she’s married to.. Jesse James. Who used to be married to, a porn-star, who bore him children.

What happened here? What is it about the, for lack of a better term, bad guys, that attracts women? Whatever happened to the proverb “nice guys finish last”?

All those self-help books about how to meet women; they all stress one point (yes, I read a few online) be casual, flirty, funny and, i forget the fourth.

Let me stress at this point that I have few problems approaching “strange” women and starting up a conversation. I do however go through an extensive thought process before-hand. But, I do have success stories. And none revolved around what was being preached in those books.

Its not in me to insult a girl, even playfully. It goes against my nature. I cannot understand how the bad guy appeal trumps the good guy for real.

Again, it is a really confusing issue. You talk to a girl, you have to think about when to call her back, you cannot call back insistently or else you’ll be seen as needy and that is a turn-off. But isn’t it human nature, to have that desire, to love and be loved? Why do I constantly have to consider what to do, what not to do, what she thinks I should do, what she really wants me to do. ARGH!

Why has love turned into a bureaucratic government building decorated in red-tape and jargon?

I want to fall in love again, I do not know how to go about it. Everything is a test (Collin Farrell- The Recruit). Is that right? Is everything a test? Do I always have to think of the scenario i.e. wall-post on fb, does she want me to reply immediately? Or privately? Should I make it sound like I don’t care? Or compliment her somehow? Or just ignore her completely? Should I talk to her friends and not her, should I msg her? what, what, WHAT?

And I’m not old btw, cannot claim a generation gap, I’m still in my early twenties and hoping to find someone similarly aged. But, the question is; how?

Another question is how to go about doing this in Kuwait, but thats another tale, for another time.

Do I have to change my ways, adapt to what is the current fad, insult the girl, ignore her, treat her badly, and she’ll fall in love with you madly? Or do I stick to who I am, play the game I am comfortable with, and hope to find a hopeless romantic, like myself?

Ladies, gentlemen, your feedback would be much appreciated. What do women want, why do bad guys get the glory, what can the good guys do?

Pedestrians & Cyclists - The Waging War

This incident happened 3 years ago, a humorous anecdote to share:

Since the dawn of time... man has always strived to achieve the ultimate comfort in distance travelling. at first, Og & Thar walked happily together, frolicking in the sun, and ran away from dinosaurs together.. then Og had to go and create the wheel, and get all the cave-gals whilst Thar watched in envy, lost in his dust.

a millennia later.. the same battle wages still, heed my tale of pain and humility..

i learnt to ride bikes back in 93, (taught myself, figures), 14 years! and u know the saying, "its like riding a bicycle.."

i took a hiatus from the pedals during my highschool days, then vehemently redonned my biking shorts and started again.

now, i have had a clean record... of sorts. my only major accident came when i was cycling past a pedestrian bridge, and thought it would be cool to ride down the steps.. it was not. I ended up sprawled on the sidewalk having gained more acceleration than I could handle at the time, and hitting the wrong brake (front wheel, do the maths!)

As i was cycling toward oncoming traffic the signal turned red, so i felt it would be... cool (theres that damn word again!) to ride inbetween the two lines of cars waiting at the traffic light. Lo and behold i was gaining speed when all the sudden i see a man step in from behind a jeep.. he never saw me coming :P he never had to, he is walking across a one way street and the traffic light was red, he had absolutely no reason to look to his left!

BAM! collision!!!

we're both sprawled on the floor, i would have given anything to be the guy in the car that we bumped into lookin out the window, it had to look hilarious!

my injuries were minor, a broken pinky, a bumped knee, a scraped elbow.. its the bruises my inner pride that are unrepairable.. the other guy just looked daggers at me, said something, got up and walked away. I wheeled off into the night before he changed his mind..

let that be a lesson to you! for i am both pedestrian street jogger and night cyclist! so i am unbiased in this! Cyclists, keep it on the pavement! Pedestrians, no matter what road you are on.. the cardinal rule of thumb remains ALWAYS LOOK BOTH WAYS!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Disneyland sued over Hijab Discrimination

Shame on you Mickey..

Can the world not see how the hijab is a symbol of modesty? I'm guessing if she showed up half naked showing deep cleavage, that would conform with the so called "Disney look".

Newsflash, Arabs do not dress like Princess Jasmine Disney-folk, get with the times!

Although, its not merely a Disney phenomena. Lots of employers, even as far-flung as here in the Middle East, will not assign veiled women to work in the fore-front. Why that is the case in Arab countries baffles me.

Like I said before, I just don't understand the duality of accepting a woman who parades around in clothes ill-fitting for a toddler, much less a grown adult, and frowning upon Muslim women who are covered up?

from Zawya:

LOS ANGELES (AFP)--A Muslim woman is suing Disneyland, accusing Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) California theme park of discrimination for telling her she couldn't serve customers if she chose to wear a headscarf.

Imane Boudlal, 26, asked her employers at Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel several months ago whether they would permit her to wear a headcovering while working as a hostess, a spokeswoman for a worker's union said.

But when no reply was forthcoming, she decided to don the headscarf anyway, timing her decision with the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, said Leigh Shelton, a spokesman for the UNITE HERE Local 11 union.

"Disney told Boudlal that if she wanted to work as a hostess she had to remove her hijab because it did not comply with the 'Disney Look,'" Shelton said in a statement.

"Disney further advised Boudlal that if she refused to remove her hijab, she could either work a back-of-the-house position where any customers wouldn't see her, or else go home."

"Their offer to put me in the back is humiliating," she said in a statement. "They're saying because I'm Arab, because I'm Moroccan, because I'm Muslim, they don't want to see me in the front."

The local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy group, said it had sent a letter to Disney demanding that the company accommodate Boudlal.

"There is no justification for Disney's refusal to allow Ms. Boudlal to wear her headscarf at work," said Ameena Mirza Qazi, deputy executive director and staff attorney at the group.

"To say that her headscarf would somehow impact guests is not only insulting to her, but is deeply offensive to the thousands of Muslims who open up their pocketbooks at Disney parks and resorts every year," Qazi added in a statement.

So in a way, this would make Mickey Mouse a pervert, would it not?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bypass the Block- How to make Nymgo work

Farewell to Qualitynet's stranglehold on what content may or may not be viewed in Kuwait.

Ladies and Gentlemen, where there is a will, there is a way.

And indeed, there is a way to bypass the heinous block imposed upon VoIP by persons who seek only to thicken their wallets at the expense of the working class.

I stand before you today, having just paid for my Nymgo service two days ago, and already I am happily calling and sending messages as if nothing were wrong.

The exact method cannot be revealed here for fear of having this blog blocked for antiestablishmentarianism (ALWAYS wanted to use that word in a sentence!)

Let it not end there, with this method (completely free ofcourse, the best things in life are free) not only are you free to make your nymgo payments, but the term "Blocked by Qualitynet" will be a thing of the past.

I believe not in restrictions, we are human beings with sound and right minds, it should be our choice whether or not to view a site based on its content. It should not be dictated to us. Give us the freedom to make a choice!
Hence, to be privy to this knowledge, Follow Me, and I will lead us to the Promised Land beyond the Proxy!
(afterward, I will email you the scoop, and the instructions are dead simple)
As a minor gratitude for your taking the time to read this, allow me to share another method to bypass certain proxies, through a lovely website found here.
The name may seem vulgar, but do not shy away from it, judge not a book by its cover. It is how I still download torrents from our wonderful brethren in Sweden, ThePirateBay.org, who unlike Mininova, did not fold or bow down to the will of "The Man" and cease their P2P file-sharing.

A little piece of information about Third Party Browsing, it is not secure, so it is not advisable, although it is possible, to make payments through them. Unless you see an S in HTTPS, and not HTTP (Hyper Text Transmission Protocol), do not make any payments!

So, the question now is, what are you waiting for?

Monday, August 16, 2010

UAE Not the Land of Opportunity

Since the dawn of the 21st century, the UAE has catapulted itself to the top of the list of travel destinations for visitors and job-seekers alike.

Boasting to become the latest hub of economic, social and cultural diversity, the UAE has moved leaps and bounds in its efforts to distinguish itself from its Gulf peers.

A host nation for a myriad of cultural events, as well as sports, and hospitality, the UAE is now the place to be in the Gulf.

Or is it?

About a month ago, the BBC reported on Nicholas Warner; Destitute in Dubai. His story may seem familiar, a true riches to rags tale, a British expat with a prestigious job in Dubai, whose fall from grace was accentuated by the fact that he took out an overly large loan from a bank, went on holiday, returned to find himself barred from travel, having been labelled a "debt skipper', a potential threat to the banks interests. After that, it all snowballed, the loan he took kept accruing interest, he lost his job, his house etc. and has been sleeping on the ground behind a hedge in Dubai Creek.

A recent survey claims that 85% of UAE expats are in deep debt (here).

Borrowers take out ‘crazy’ amounts compared with moderate salary earnings, according to financial experts.

The survey, carried out by the International Swiss Debt Management (ISDM) Consultancy, also ranks residents from India and Philippines as the highest in terms of total debt. Pakistani and South African nationals follow.

It is not unusual to meet a Filipino with a salary of Dh15,000 and over Dh250,000 in debt.

The reason for this behaviour has been the salary raises over the past years encouraging employees to borrow more as banks raised the stakes accordingly.

Individuals, even on low salaries of Dh6,000, were able to get eight credit cards from different banks, including platinum, and max them out.

Coupled with this ugly phenomena, UAE wage rises are the lowest in the Gulf Region (here), resulting in a truly ugly concoction whereby the debt laden will continue to fall deeper and deeper into the pit of debt.

There are two terms to consider when looking at salary and wage rises. Real & Nominal. Your nominal wage rise and salary would be the absolute currency amount, whereas the real wage rise considers factors such as inflation (rising prices). Suppose an employee received a wage rise of Dh1,000, on paper that sounds good, however, at the same time, due to inflation, prices have rise by 20%, and their rent has doubled. In essence, it is as if they never received an wage rise.

Real salaries in the UAE, or salaries adjusted for changes in consumer prices, will rise 0.84 percent next year, the lowest increase in the Gulf.

In terms of real salary increases, Saudi Arabia came out on top, with the average salary rising by 50 % over 10 years. 
Kuwait should see the biggest salary rise in the Middle East, as non executive salaries are projected to rise by 3.6 percent in real terms.

Working in Kuwait is a smart choice, it may not be as open as the UAE, yet it is not as restrictive as Saudi Arabia. The promise of financial security outweighs the lack of cultural enlightenment.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mall Joggers: The Latest Trend

Saturday evening the company I work for had an Iftar gathering.

Quick review of the restaurant: FYI, lack of selection in buffet, only 7 or so dishes, repeated on other side. The lasagna was amazing, the service top-notch, each table already receiving its salads and deserts. Also, there was no desert menu, i.e. no tiramisu (the bane of my existence). The other good thing is we were able to book a table on very short notice, as opposed to Burj Al-Hamam, who cancelled our reservation without informing us to "make room" for other guests. Apparently, Kuwaitization is not just in the public sector, its in the restaurants as well, but that is another tale, for another time. I digress.
Upon finishing our meal, and heading our separate ways, I decided to go with a colleague for a brisk walk in Mouhalab Center, the ship-shaped mall in Hawally.

We circled each floor twice or so, then moved to the top most floor, the one with all the spas, dental clinics, and health shops. I had never been up there myself. Hence my amazement at this sighting.

People were actually showing up, ladies in particular, dressed in walking gear, sneakers, tracksuits et all, to walk around! They came in throngs, not just one or two, meaning that it was a regular pass-time. I was there in my formal wear, so I could just as easily have been shopping/ eating.

If you refer to my previous posts, you will know that I am a health-junkie, I jog a weekly route of 12KM, having tried all times of day (yes, even 12pm) and finally settling on 5am on saturday mornings. Physics has taught us that, to every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Now, my theory is as follows, when we walk, or jog, or perform any exercise in hopes to shed a few pounds and get toned, we exert an effort, that effort which heats up the body, producing sweat and burning calories.

Walking around in a controlled temperature environment, walking, not running, will not serve a purpose, correct? Stop me if I am wrong. I am all for exercise, and people breaking the dreaded spell of the couch potato syndrome and actually getting out of the house to walk. But doesn't walking around the mall, even if its for exercise, defeat the purpose of exercise?

I have also been told that this is not a rare occurence, but a growing trend, even far-hitting places such as The Avenues have their fair share of female walkers.

Side note: I am looking for a "running-mate" so-to-speak, someone who enjoys jogging as much as I do, to join me in a jog from the Kuwait towers to the Scientific center, a distance of 14KM I am told, yet I believe it might be more!

Any takers?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A strange incident at the supermarket

It is a usual occurence for one at the supermarket, when receiving change, to ask for a different bill than the one give.

At times, the bills are tattered and beyond spending, stuck together with more celotape than paper, barely recognisable as a medium of exchange. It happens. It is not a matter of self-importance, only that you will face trouble trying to spend that bill later on when some holier-than-thou clerk will eventually refuse it, thereby embarassing you.

But, the frosting on the cake happened today at the supermarket opposite Hawalli Park. A local, I assume he is a local by his dialect and fashion sense, I never really could tell the difference between the Gulf State dwellers, gave the clerk a 10KD note, and upon receiving his change, asked for the following to be exchanged for one in more "mint-condition"....

Wait for it..

What possible denominations could he have received? Lets see, quarter, half, one, five. Right? Those are the currencies we would usually ask to have exchanged, mind you I have rarely seen a tattered five, so its always the small three that get rejected as they are the most circulated.

My answer is neither. The man ACTUALLY had the AUCDACITY to request a change of,, 5fils..

Can you believe it? 5fils? I usually just leave them on the counter, or throw them in the car, they are WORTHLESS, roughly equivalent to 1cent/eurocent/pence.

What is the world coming to? And lets not start with "its his right", I'm saying he is arguing about the SMALLEST denomination of coin avaiable in Kuwait. On its own, it can buy NOTHING.

The Ministry axed the 1fils coin, its high time they did the same to the 5fils one.

Tazer Gun Fun!

Pocket Tazer Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife. A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Tazer for their anniversary submitted this:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse- sized tazer. The effects of the tazer were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety......??

WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a metal surface at the same time, I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.


Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave.

Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two AAA batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) and then thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and tazer in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; and a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries.

All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch in circumference (loaded with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); pretty cute really, and thinking to myself, 'no possible way!' What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best ....

I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, 'Don't do it dipshit,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and ......


I'm pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs! The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a tazer, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor! A three second burst would be considered conservative!

A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling.

Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my testicles and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P.s... My wife can't stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift and now regularly threatens me with it!

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid !!

Holding it in

I went to Walmart recently while not being altogether sure that course of action was a wise one. You see, the previous evening I had prepared and consumed a massive quantity of my patented 'you're definitely going to s**t yourself' road-kill chilli. Tasty stuff, albeit hot to the point of being painful, which comes with a written guarantee from me that if you eat it, the next day both of your butt cheeks WILL fall off.

Here's the thing. I had awakened that morning, and even after two cups of coffee (and all of you know what I mean) nothing happened. No 'Watson's Movement 2'. Despite the chillies swimming their way through my intestinal tract, I was unable to create the usual morning symphony referred to by my dear wife as 'thunder and lightning'.

Knowing that a time of reckoning HAD to come, yet not sure of just when, I bravely set off for Bunnings, my quest being paint and supplies to refinish the verandah. Upon entering the store at first all seemed normal. I selected a cart and began pushing it about dropping items in for purchase. It wasn't until I was at the opposite end of the store from the toilets that the pain hit me.

Oh, don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about. I'm referring to that 'Uh, Oh, Shit, gotta go' pain that always seems to hit us at the wrong time. The thing is, this pain was different. The chillies from the night before were staging a revolt. In a mad rush for freedom they bullied their way through the small intestines, forcing their way into the large intestines, and before I could take one step in the direction of the dunnies which would bring sweet relief, it happened. The chillies fired a warning shot.

There I stood, alone in the paint and stain section, suddenly enveloped in a toxic cloud the likes of which has never before been recorded. I was afraid to move for fear that more of this vile odour might escape me. Slowly, oh so slowly, the pressure seemed to leave the lower part of my body, and I began to move up the aisle and out of it, just as a red aproned clerk turned the corner and asked if I needed any help.

I don't know what made me do it, but I stopped to see what his reaction would be to the malodorous effluvium that refused to dissipate.. Have you ever been torn in two different directions emotionally? Here's what I mean, and I'm sure some of you at least will be able to relate. I could've warned that poor clerk, but didn't. I simply watched as he walked into an invisible, and apparently indestructible, wall of odour so terrible that all he could do before gathering his senses and running, was to stand there blinking and waving his arms about his head as though trying to ward off angry bees. This, of course, made me feel terrible, but then made me laugh. .....BIG mistake!!!!!

Here's the thing. When you laugh, it's hard to keep things 'clamped down', if you know what I mean. With each new guffaw an explosive issue burst forth from my nether region. Some were so loud and echoing that I was later told a few folks in other aisles had ducked, fearing that someone was robbing the store and firing off a shotgun. Suddenly things were no longer funny. 'It' was coming, and I raced off through the store towards the dunny, laying down a cloud the whole way, praying that I'd make it before the grand mal arsplosion took place.

Luck was on my side. Just in the nick of time I got to the john, began the inevitable 'Oh my God', floating above the toilet seat because my ass is burning SO BAD, purging. One poor fellow walked in while I was in the middle of what is the true meaning of 'Shock and Awe'. He made a gagging sound, and disgustedly said, 'Son-of-a-bitch!, did it smell that bad when you ate it?', then quickly left.

Once finished and I left the restroom, reacquired my partially filled cart intending to carry on with my shopping when a store employee approached me and said, 'Sir, you might want to step outside for a few minutes. It appears some prankster set off a stink bomb in the store. The manager is going to run the vent fans on high for a minute or two which ought to take care of the problem.'

My smirking of course set me off again, causing residual gases to escape me. The employee took one sniff, jumped back pulling his shirt up to cover his nose and, pointing at me in an accusing manner shouted, 'IT'S YOU!', then ran off returning moments later with the manager. I was unceremoniously escorted from the premises and asked none too kindly never to return.

Home again without my supplies, I realized that there was nothing to eat but leftover chilli, so I consumed two more bowls. The next day I went to shop at Costco. I can't say anymore about that because we are in court over the whole matter.

Bastards claim they're going to have to repaint the store..

The Curry Cook-off

If you can read this whole story without laughing then there's no hope for you I was crying by the end. Note: Please take time to read this slowly.

For those of you who have lived in Natal, you know how typical this is. They actually have a Curry Cook-off about June/July. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Royal Show in PMB.

Judge #3 was an inexperienced food critic named Frank, who was visiting from America.

Frank: 'Recently, I was honoured to be selected as a judge at a Curry Cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table asking for directions to the Beer Garden when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Natal Indians) that the curry wouldn't be all that spicy and, besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting, so I accepted'.

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.

Judge # 2 -- Nice smooth tomato flavour. Very mild.

Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy shit, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These people are crazy.


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of chicken. Slight chilli tang.

Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.

Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver! They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse curry. Great kick.

Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of chilli peppers.

Judge # 3 -- Call 911. I've located a uranium pill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drain Cleaner. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting pissed from all the beer.


Judge # 1 -- Black bean curry with almost no spice. Disappointing.

Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a curry.

Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Shareen, the beer maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. That 200kg woman is starting to look HOT...just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chilli an aphrodisiac?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong curry. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.

Judge # 2 -- Average beef curry, could use more tomato. Must admit the chilli peppers make a strong statement.

Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chilli had given me brain damage. Shareen saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety curry. Good balance of spices and peppers.

Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.

Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulphuric flames. I am definitely going to shit myself if I fart and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Shareen. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my arse with a snow cone ice-cream.


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre curry with too much reliance on canned peppers.

Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chilli peppers at the last moment. (I should take note at this stage that I am worried about Judge # 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably).

Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with curry which slid unnoticed out of my mouth My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least, during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing - it's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending. This is a nice blend curry. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced curry. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the curry pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor man, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot curry?

Judge # 3 - No Report

Friday, August 13, 2010

One Million Dollar speeding ticket...

What some people would do to set world records.

A Swedish motorist in Switzerland stands to face the highest fine ever passed for speeding, $1m, £656,000 or SFr1.08m.

This is not passed lightly, the fellow was cruising at a break-neck speed of 290km/h, 170km/h above the allowed speed limit! (note: a plane takes off at an average speed of 260km/h!)

Maybe he should come to Kuwait, cruise the Gulf road and give some of our locals a "run" for their money.

A Swedish motorist caught driving at 290km/h (180mph) in Switzerland could be given a world-record speeding fine of SFr1.08m ($1m; £656,000), prosecutors say.

The 37-year-old, who has not been named, was clocked driving his Mercedes sports car at 170km/h over the limit.

Under Swiss law, the level of fine is determined by the wealth of the driver and the speed recorded.

In January, a Swiss driver was fined $290,000 - the current world record.

Local police spokesman Benoit Dumas said of the latest case that "nothing can justify a speed of 290km/h".

"It is not controllable. It must have taken 500m to stop," he said.

The Swede's car - a Mercedes SLS AMG - has been impounded and in principle he could be forced to pay a daily fine of SFr3,600 for 300 days.

Ramadan Rant: Ridiculous Rules

Tis our season to be jolly.

Ramadan has arrived, a month of tranquility (supposedly) and peace, of prayers and alms, of giving to those less fortunate, of peace and understanding.

Rewind that last one, peace and understanding? How, when Kuwait implements such archaic rules as imprisonment for a month or fines of 100KD for those who eat in public during ramadan?

This is exactly the kind of barbarism that, to those abroad, makes Arabs seem like nothing more than barbaric goat-herders with a superiority complex.

I have researched this bizarre phenomenon, no where in the teachings of the Prophet, or in the history of Islam, or even in other countries is one penalised for eating during Ramadan, especially non-muslims. This seems to be a fad only in the Gulf Region.

Personally, I think it is backward, degrading and lacking compassionate grounds. By allowing this to happen, one has equated the act of eating with such lude acts as PDA (public displays of affection).

I have no qualms with those who choose to eat around me during Ramadan, why should everyone else? The purpose of Ramadan is to get a feel of how the many starving souls around the world feel every day of the year, those without money, without means to put food on the table, without a Carrefour or Geant or Starbucks every two blocks.

Only weak-willed individuals would seek to penalise those who choose to eat around them, the whole purpose of Ramadan is not merely to abstain from food, but also from temptation, vice and malice. If all it takes is to see a person eating for you to crave food, then you are weak-willed and fasting completely defeats the purpose of Ramadan, in essence, you are surrendering to temptation.

It should be a request, and not an obligation, to those who are non-muslim, to refrain from eating infront of others. Merely a request, not a mandate, and certainly never an official law passed by the government.

These rules are what worsen the image of Muslims in general around the world, we should strive to shed them.

And finally, Ramadan Kareem to all.