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Monthly Archives: August 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, as she had left the keyes with the parking attendant and was worried something might hapen, once we got there 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!), I didn’t need to go there but I accepted the lift to talk to her more, then legged it home after she left.
We went out a couple of times afterward, study related ofcourse. We spoke sporadically and met a few more times during the first semester of our 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, and I would tell her of my previous infatuation 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. (they passed 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!

I panicked and hung up the phone, then switched mine off.

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 I tried texting her a couple of times after that, when I returned to Kuwait, but to no avail. I had committed an ultimate taboo.

Muslim Vs. Moslem – 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. In pronounciation, 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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

Beggars.

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?

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