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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Tackling a prevailing issue in Kuwait أنا كويتي.. وأنت وافد للكاتب ذعار الرشيدي

The reason I am posting this is I am currently moderating a sensitive and rather lively discussion on a forum (here) where an expat who came to work in Kuwait was writing about their experience.

This thread made others hurry to share similar stories. However, as with the sides of a coin, there are two sides to everything, and a select few were arguing with the author for being “biased” and painting an unfair picture. Although that might be the case, it is important to note that when penning personal opinion, it is based on personal facts, and does tend to be skewered towards the authors personal point of view. They did mention that their writings are in no way a generalization of the entire population, however based on their personal experience, that is what they saw and felt.

The basis of any debate is to accept what the other has to say and then refute it, not refute it and attempt to disclaim it. By stating that the opposite is true, one is merely proving the other correct. By not addressing their facts, one is in fact, losing the argument.

The article below was heartfelt and to the point, directly addressing the point which many expats in Kuwait make, and expressing the gratitude they so rightfully deserve, no matter what position they serve in Kuwait, be it Manager or maid.

Hiding the problem does not solve it, and as shown by the writer of the following article (in Arabic) on the 6th of May, 2012, the topic is trending.

Yes, every place in the world does have its positive as well as negative points, however, failing to address the negative points is a negative point in itself.

Upstream prevention always trumps downstream correction.

The link to the article can be found (here) in Arabic, and (here) in English.

The day I got down on one Knee

Last week marked the anniversary

of a day that will always be

Very special to me.

We walked to the restaurant, her friends were right there,

Would I mess up, would I make an error?

Thoughts of mistakes filled my heart with horror.

I was so nervous, I thought I would stutter!

Why was it difficult for my strength to muster?

What if I would not be able, to show this angel,

How much she really does matter?

I could not help but foresee disaster,

The waiter came to take our order,

I looked at her,

My heart melted like butter,

Then and there I knew,

The moment was drawing closer.

3, 2, 1…

Will you ... ?

I don’t recall being as happy,

As the day I got down on one Knee,

And asked her to Marry Me.

Happily Ever After

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Quitting is a Lifestyle – Thoughts of a Runner

Health they say, is a lifestyle, not a choice. It is permanent, not temporary.

Earlier this week I had decided to go on a brisk run after days of procrastination, opting this time to set aside my minimalist running shoes (barefoot simulation) in favor of my “regular” running shoes (these ones here). The weather was terribly dusty, however the calling within was loud, now was the time to run.

Enter now the psyche of what goes on in the mind of a runner during a run.

ouch, this really hurts, omg, how much longer do I have to keep doing this?

(checks GPS phone ….)

Its only been 2K! Woe is me!

Ok, I’m going to slow down a bit…

Ok, I am going to start walking instead of running, the pain is unbearable.

Ok, I’ll just finish 4K and go home…

I am stopping now.

Now.

Now.

Now.

Wow, 14K!

The idea of quitting mid-run is a proclamation of surrender and defeat. It occurred to me several times, at the 3K point especially I was ready to throw in the white towel. Our bodies will naturally tell us to stop exerting any form of excessive effort, resistance is key. It is up to our determination to scream out “Resistance is FUTILE“.

Running is a state of mind, not a form of exercise. It is therapeutic, calming, zen-like.

Of course, as @AlNAK1B, running enthusiast and coach with @KuwaitIRC – Kuwait’s latest group running activity that focuses on enhancing its member’s stamina, endurance and love for the art of running, it is not a matter of quitting, rather listening to your body. Slow down, if the pain persists, stop. If it is a simple matter of muscles re-adapting to being used (as was my case returning to cushioned shoes vs minimalist), then the best advice would be to suck it up.

And just like health is not a choice, it is a lifestyle, quitting is the same.

So slap them trainers on, get out there (when the sun goes down) and run like its a lifestyle, not a chore.

Dealing with Death in the Digital Universe

The hardest part is letting go.

They say change is a good thing, however they neglect to mention the Herculean efforts that go hand in hand with accepting change.

Losing someone close is never an easy task. The universe serves constant reminders of them on a daily basis, as if to torment you further. In the days of old, the memories of our dearly departed loved ones lingered in our thoughts, in picture albums locked away in some attic somewhere, in letters long neglected and hoarded in a box for safe-keeping. Sooner or later, their words turn into figments of our imagination, their jokes, their mannerisms, disappear as with their mortal vessel, leaving behind a shade that resides in our memories.

That used to be the case, however, it is no longer so. For now, people not only have an impact and a trace in the real world, they also leave behind a trail on the digiverse – the digital universe- their unique style of writing (tweets or status updates), their comments, their photographs. All available at a moments notice, instantly refreshed as the reality of their departure has not dawned upon their digital selves.

All that used to require a strong effort to call forth is now readily available at the click of a button; you no longer need to rummage through heaps of boxes to find that school yearbook with your dearly departed friends photograph in it, you need not dig up your old textbooks where you doodled together. No. It is much easier, and in ease it becomes much more distressing, all the more difficult and painful.

How can a person truly move on if they are constantly reminded by what was? How can a person truly be gone if their presence is still characterized online via posts, comments, tweets, pictures etc?

What is worse is that these memories are in fact realities. When depending upon the power of our memories, as humans we have the inherent ability to paint over the pain and amend it to be viewed in favor of the dearly departed. The digiverse is cruel in that regard. All the arguments, the fights, the tempers and the anger is right there on the screen, in black and white. Is that how we wish to remember them?

Before life used to be simple. You would sit idly and let your mind wander, remembering the good times, painting over the bad, say a quick prayer for them and move on through the day. Sadly, that is not the case now. Their digital imprint remains a part of your daily life, their pictures will always look back at you, smiling.

How does one deal with death in the digital universe?

Not only are you liable to keep checking their Facebook account, scouring through their pictures and comments, but the bot services in social media are not likely to leave you in peace.

Unless otherwise informed, these services continue to “promote” these non-existing users, whether simply reminding you of their birthday, or asking you to check up on them as you have not done so in quite a while. That in itself is quite the traumatic experience, to be reminded of the birthday of someone who is no longer with us.

There are companies that specialize in removing digital imprints of your personality left on the web for the world to see and remember, whether it be for mortality of legality, the service exists. Facebook itself allows users to memorialize the death of their friends and relatives, by keeping the page open however disabling all notifications related to the account so as to prevent any form of trauma from appearing.

The true power of love lies in our ability to forget, to rely on our internal memories, rather than external trails, to remember those we have lost along the way.

Letting go of someone you lost is not a crime, it is not a sin. You will never truly forget them. They will continue to live inside your memories, thoughts of them will stir up emotions, both positive and negative, only the positive will always overcome.

The hardest part is not letting go, it is moving on. It is a decision that must come from within, it cannot be influenced by external factors, no matter how noble or sincere their efforts. The desire to move on must spring from within.

Mourn. Remember. Move on.

Public Service Announcement II for Driving in Kuwait

Again, The following has no affiliation to any law, rule or decree passed in the State of Kuwait.

It is often said that when driving, the safest assumption to make is that all others around you are imbeciles, and expect the unexpected from them. Just the other day I had someone driving straight from a side-road on my right continue throwing themselves into my line as if I was not even there. No stop, nada.

Then, you find people also doing the following:

Everyone that does this; you are not smart. You are a Jackass sir, or a Jackassina ma’am.

Respect the presence of others on the streets besides yourself oh ye who doth indulge in jackassery,

for thou art only amassing a barrage of insults upon your person.” – Aymzpeare

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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