Thursday, November 15, 2007


Suffice to say, this is a Muslim country.

I've been on line, looking at websites and even the Yahoo! main page. They're offering tips for the perfect turkey, the perfect gift, estimates on how many people this year will be keeping the airlines in the air.

Then I look over my shoulder, out the window, and it's...sunny. Oh, the Harris (Building Manager) is shouting at a flock of kids.

Last night, I went out with K____ looking for Horse Riding stables and lessons. We ended up in Mabullah eating fair to decent Falafel, and went into a large grocery store (The Sultan Center) to find something to drink. While poking around looking for Dr. Pepper, I heard it: spun and twisted and dragged out over Muzac. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

I nearly sat down in the middle of the Frozen Food Aisle, I was so surprised. In a store devoid of the faintest hint of Christmas, the glint of tinsel or lurid braying of advertisements, it was like a hammer between the eyes. Somewhere, with the weather getting colder, the relentless media is prepping the internal clock of a culture to go off. Time to: EAT A LOT. BUY WARM CLOTHES. BUY GIFTS.

Somewhere, it's Thanksgiving with broad leaves falling and cloudy skies dripping and warm smells inside. Not here, where the days drift away in the unchanging gentleness of life lived at night, by coffee and Sheesha. Kuwatis are night people.

We kept poking around looking for Dr. Pepper- K___ has a story about his "Wonderful Accident" of discovering Dr. Pepper while under duress in the canteen at Georgetown- and it came again. This time it was "Away in a Manger". A little jazzy, but still not very Arabic and not accidental. Christmas.

Somewhere, you know it's happening. But the complete absence of media surrounding it here gives it more the effect of sticking your hand in a mystery box. You know it's cold spaghetti, but you're still standing with your hand in a mystery box, watching the rest of the room with your hand in a box of cooked noodles...

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Tut tut, it looks like..."

This would be the first clouds I have seen in the sky since I got here. The occasion merited some pictures, breaking up an otherwise 'Groundhog Day' sort of rut. Get up; look out the window; it's sunny.

The second picture would be my classroom, without the charming monsters.

Good Morning, beautiful people!

This is myself, posting from the shotgun seat of Jude's car. Which means:

I have a wireless router

I have my residency

I have my Civil ID

Which means, futhermore and heretoforward, I have internet at my house.

No, you can't imagine my screaming happiness when they handed me my Civil ID, because it would involve envisioning my Butt Dance in my boss's office. Oooh yeah.

Kisses to you all, who have been so so patient.