Hark denizens, expats and locals! This blog is specifically for you! Kuwait's one-stop-shop for Intriguing titles that MEASURE up to the content. From social gatherings to local news, this blog has it all. The main aim of MyBloogle is to give you a good read, leave you with a smile, and hopefully have you tune in once again as a regular reader! Home to the Q8FootSoldiers running initiative in Kuwait!

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gulf Samsung users beware – your phone could be French @SamsungFrance @SamsungMobileME

The saga continues…

After having contacted Samsung ME regarding the issue with my phone being upgraded to ver. 4.3 despite the software not being released yet for the regional market,  I am left baffled with the response as follows:

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I purchased my phone directly from Al-Babtains showroom located behind the Police Station in Kuwait City (close to Dar Al Awadi), when I initially contacted Samsung USA via their live support function, I was told that my phone model was specific to the Gulf Region.

Therefore, Gulf users who do not wish to endure the same ordeal I am currently going through; do not update your firmware when requested by Samsung! There is no update for the Gulf region yet!

@SamsungMobileME amazing customer service

What was initially geared to be a post of shame and embarrassment upon Samsung has instead turned into praise (albeit initial).

It all started when my device (S3) asked to update the firmware. Not being a stranger to update, and thinking it would be a mild tweak,  I conceded. Little did I realise there was nothing small about it it.

As soon as my phone reset upon installation of the update, I realised something was amiss.

Firstly,  the following error kept popping up consistently every few seconds, “unfortunately, clock has stopped working”. Which made no sense as I can see it is working properly and telling time, however my alarms were completely inaccessible.

Next, all my unsynchronized runs from Nike+Running had vanished!

On top of that, all of my personalised contact ring tones were reset to default.
At first I thought the Samsung stock apps (I.e. clock) might need updating too, however the Samsung account had disappeared too.

The Internet was my last resort and sure enough,  the bugs I encountered had been wreaking havoc upon many Samsung-ites world wide – with no solution at hand.

The Samsung website proved to be my salvation as evident by the response received:

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So apparently what really happened was that by some freak accident my phone was updated to Android JellyBean 4.3, whilst the region is still on 4.1.2!

We will have more for you as the story unfolds, however if you to have fallen to this, stop using the clock! Go to applications manager and disable any form of clock and nothing else. There is a thread on a forum that asks you to disable storage apps. DO NOT DO THIS!  It will negatively affect the display in the gallery.

The travel curse

For some 2014 spells a new year for new experiences, great experiences, exciting experiences. For me, it has already started off on the worst foot possible – a cursed foot.

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For the first time ever in over 27 years of travel, I have been struck by the trifecta of travel related calamities.

It started out innocently enough with a trip back home where my luggage appears on the carousel at arrival with a huge piece of metal sticking out of its frame. I remember it vividly as at first I wanted to deny it was my luggage, even going as far as opening it to check inside (despite my name being written on the tag on the handle), a lady walked up to me and said I think you have my bag, how I wished she was correct. In a foul mood I snapped at her, pointing at the tags and saying is your name Ayman Nassar?!

The second calamity happened shortly after the first, where, again, for the first time ever, I missed my flight and had to shelf out an amount greater than what I paid for a return ticket for a one way.

And the travel gods are not done with me yet! This past weekend I was denied boarding on a flight to Qatar as my new designation apparently is not privy to visa-on-arrival. And worse, no refund!

Is this a sign? Should I cancel the honeymoon plans (tickets already booked) in light of these ominous signs from the nether?

What do you think?

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Flight curse

@QatarAirways: how I despise you @QatarAirNews @BoycottQatAir

There is no worse feeling in the world than packing your bags, imaging a vacation with loved ones, only to be unceremoniously refused boarding.

Now, the problem is Qatar Airways alone are not to blame, however, their employees thickheadedness, coupled with several other factors, led to this catastrophe.

It all happened when Qatar (the state) released a list of 201 or so designations for GCC residents that would be given visa on arrival. This list includes Sales Manager Sales Representative.

Unfortunately, my title of Sales Supervisor falls in between both. One would think that would be easily understandable. However, no.

So now I miss out on the chance to visit family, lose out on the price of a ticket, and find myself extremely irritated at both Qatar’s Government as well as Qatar Airways.

The designation on your work permit has NOTHING to do with what you actually do; because most times some companies have issues with the sho’oun and use different titles for employees. For example, despite my residency saying Sales Supervisor, I am the farthest from sales that you can imagine – I work as an Internal Auditor (which coincidentally happens to be one of the designations given visa on arrival).

Rest assured, The embassy of Qatar, upon receiving my call, assured me I would be given visa on arrival.

So now we wait, and see, what transpires in terms of refunds and whatnots.

Kuwaits Friday morning runs

Tomorrow is Friday, and as my travel plans were abruptly altered thanks to Qatar airways and their government,  the best thing to do is release all pent up frustration via running.

So join us tomorrow morning at 8AM by the fountain near pizza express at Marina crescent for Kuwait’s impromptu, incredible, intellectual and uber fun gathering of fitness friends.

Whether you are an experienced runner, a walker, a waddler, a jogger or someone who just wants to dip their toes in the running pool, this group is for you!

Work on your summer body today!

The travel conundrum of Kuwait

Riddle me this, does the job title on your work permit hold any significant importance?

If you are not a Western expat or one of the nationalities that enjoy visa on arrival in the Gulf region, then it is extremely paramount for you.

In the beginning,  life was easy. The sho’oun (ministry of social affairs and labor) was lax with job titles. Lax in the sense that so long as you were doing a certain job, you would be given that title in your work permit.

Then the shakeup of February 2013 happened,  and all was thrown into dissaray.

For the longest time your profession in your work permit gave you certain perks such as visa on arrival in the GCC, loan applications at banks and even drivers licences.

The story now is that your work permit job description must match your degree, before it was enough that it matched your employment contract. This is a huge hassle for most whose job has nothing to do with their field of study, for example,  a BSc in Business Administration working as an accountant – accountants being one of the strong professions on par with engineers, doctors, managers etc. In terms of treatment. No, now since your degree doesn’t read accounting then you cannot be an accountant.

Ok. So what can I be, Despite the fact that I’ve been working as an accountant for the duration of my career to that day, and that I previously had that job title?

Their response;  anything else.

Even if it has nothing to do with my degree or daily activities at work??

Yes, even then.

So you’re working as an accountant,  but they can’t call you accountant on your work permit so they call you something else, and this severely affects your ability to get visa on arrival in the GCC.

Just another toil of the working non-Western expat in Kuwait.

642 Marathon postponed till December 2014

In a world that is constantly updating our perception of health and wellness, one attempts to plan their year around the few meagre morsels of sports available in their locality, as good sportsmanship promotes healthy competition.

Sadly, it is extremely difficult to do so in Kuwait as what few races we have keep getting subjected to delays as a result of not getting the proper authorisations for race locations.

RunQ8 was postponed in 2013.
KCR half marathon was postponed to Nov 2014.

And now the 642 marathon has also been delayed to December 2014.

The good news is the organizers are offering refunds and free registration for the race for those that paid.

The bad news is those that postponed plans for the RAK half marathon taking place on Feb 14 in favor of the 642 marathon taking place on Feb 15 will be hugely disappointed.

Parents: Are you bullying your own children?

The current Internet trend taking the world by storm is cyber shaming. You must all be familiar with the process; a picture is uploaded of a character holding a paper with a message written on it such as:

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Despite the absence of ways to verify the authenticity of pictures such as the one above, especially during a time ripe with Internet glory seeking hounds where similar notes are portrayed along with misbehaving dogs, cats or toddlers; the question remains whether or not the phenomena is justified or excessive.

The inclinations of right and wrong regardless of motive came to me as I was observing how parents interact with their children, attempting to explain rationality and reason to a child is no easy task. The easiest way to get a child to stop knocking items off the table would be to move them away from the table as opposed to attempting to dissuade them from doing so. However, in effect you would be promulgating the notion that due to your superior size you have the right to force them to accept your will, that in itself being the essence of bullying.

This begets the initial question of cyber shaming vs. Cyber bullying;  where do we draw the line?

By asserting authority over the bullying child, you in effect become a bully yourself and turn them into victims. As with the example above, if it were truly merited, would it be an ideal punishment?

It has dawned on me that I have been too long away from my blog where I like to keep a journal of my thoughts. Consider this the first informative post of 2014 with plenty more to come.

Stay tuned.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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