Monthly Archives: May 2013

Quick little update

I’m off to a party tonight. I’m hoping that blogging my thoughts around this party will mean nothing exceptional happens and there won’t be anything worthy of a follow up post. It’s not the party itself that causes concern, it’s the potential attendees!

Firstly we have the married junior member of my department going. He has a tendency to stare at me. A lot. And took to calling me (from 3 desks away) to find out what I did/was doing at weekends. That was until I told him his behaviour was inappropriate as I was a manager and it stopped. But the staring didn’t. He also gave me a big wet smacker on the cheek on my birthday in full view of my colleagues. Not appropriate.

Next up with have the man from the date!! The date that didn’t deserve a write up on here as it lasted two hours and he never got in touch again. He did hand his notice in shortly after the date. I have messed dates up in the past but they have never caused the other party to leave the country afterwards (usually I want to leave the country afterwards).

Then we have Office Sugar Daddy. A while ago a female colleague started asking if I was single and was I looking to date. She was asking because someone from another floor had been fishing for information about me as he was quite interested. This was a month ago but she has renewed her efforts to play matchmaker and is insistent on a blind date. I looked him up on LinkedIn last week. He started secondary school the year I was born. If you are 12 years older than a girl I would expect you to have the ability to approach said girl yourself. Especially when you look like you’ve chatted up half the expat community previously. He’s been seen loitering near my office a lot this week and I think he winked at me in Starbucks last Thursday. Cringe! Also, as his age he’s bound to have children from a previous relationship. This is a deal breaker for me as I’m not convinced I want my own kids, let alone anyone else’s! I can’t stand the little buggers.

Next up we have Aussie Dave who spent the last embassy do (one I haven’t blogged about as nowt much happened and it was during the period of Internet darkness) telling me he could drown in my beautiful brown eyes. My eyes are blue. Quite obviously blue!

And if I can escape all of these men there is the one I DO want to bump in to. The object of my work crush. Shorter than I would normally go for (about 5 10) and blonde (I usually like my men like my coffee – hot, black, rich and strong) and looks rather hot in a suit. I see him everywhere and not had the chance to speak to him yet. Tonight could be the night.

So in my head this could turn in to a complete comedy of errors tonight. Or none of them turn up and I just party with the girls. We’ll see…


Spa Time

I had a birthday. My first birthday in Kuwait and I was expecting a very sober affair with no cards or presents seeing as I’ve not known my new friends for that long. I ended up having a BBQ for about 20 people and some of them I didn’t even know! It was a chance to bond with colleagues I’d not met outside of the office and take advantage of the roof top pool terrace on a toasty warm evening. I can also confirm the swimming pool is still warm at 3am. And I got presents! Perfume, smellies, lots of cards and a voucher for a Thai spa.

So, the day after the BBQ myself and my flatmate dragged ourselves off for lunch and a spa treatment. I have only ever had a facial at a Bannantynes Spa so forgive my ignorance but I was not expecting what I got. After robing up I was taken in to a darkened room and told to sit on a chair and place my feet in a bucket of water. The Therapist then proceeded to wash my feet. You may not think this odd but I cannot stand people touching my toes so as she grabbed my piggies and scrubbed between them with a flannel I nearly shot through the ornately carved ceiling screaming the place down. The ordeal over with I was told to de-robe and get on the bed. The facial then went as expected, until my legs got involved. I expected the Therapist to stay the head end of the table, it being a facial after all, but she moved down the other end. My feet were moved to the outer corners of the bed making me feel slightly like a starfish and she proceeded to climb on the bed between my feet, spread my legs and push in to my knees. I’m sure I heard one click. She continued to pound my legs for a little bit, then press down on my stomache. It was a relief when she finally jumped off the bed and returned to my face. After the many lotions, potions and creams had been rubbed in to my face she asked me to sit up. She was back up on the table again slapping my back, wrenching at my shoulders and fluffing up my hair. My head was then thrust towards my knees and I fully expected her to climb on for a piggy back. Then I was told to get dressed. I was slightly bewildered but very relaxed and my skin felt amazing. I was lead to another darkened room, trussed up like a roast chicken with blankets and hot pads around my shoulders and across my lower back and left with tea and slightly salty apple slices. My flatmate was cocooned next to me and we got the giggles. When we couldn’t take it any longer we escaped to get dressed and erupted in to laughter, but agreeing it was a relaxing hour away from the craziness of Kuwait. I think I might go back soon. If that’s what a 60 minute facial gets you I want to see if they’ll tap dance on my back during a 90 minute massage!

Medicals Kuwait Style

The final leg of my residency process was to get checked out medically to ensure I don’t start spreading diseases. I managed to bypass this bit in the UK thankfully as it would have cost me a day on Harley Street and set me back a few hundred quid. Turns out though that even if you DO spend the cash having a nice clean private clinic do it you’ll still have to go through one Kuwaiti style just to be sure!

So one afternoon it was all aboard the fun bus from work. Bigger than a mini bus, smaller then a coach, no air con and curtains closed. I was one of only four women out of 40 and the men folk kept joking that we were off to be sold in to slavery. As we couldn’t see the route but appeared to be heading towards the port I was more worried about bring secretly deported. We arrive to a large shack-like tin building full of ordered chaos. It looked like half the population had been sat there hours and their despondent looks didn’t fill us with much faith. The ‘PR Agent’ that had been sent with us handed us each a numbered ticket and made us sit in number order at the far side of a large hall. This was starting to feel like the school trip from hell. Thankfully the Wasta our Agent had meant our numbers were called quite quickly and in turns we handed our papers over to a bored looking Kuwaiti behind a glass screen. A lot of typing, stamping and what looked like a sticker being placed in our passports and a quick photo via a web cam on the desk and we were one by one pointed towards a door at the end of the room. A man shouted ‘room 21’ at me and I set off down a corridor of unnumbered doors. When I turned a corner I found a queue of my colleagues at a door with a hand written 21 sign on it. They told me that so far any females got to queue jump. Fantastic. So I went through the door to what looked like a very old classroom. A man made me stand against the wall. On the far side a man and a women were taking blood. When the woman became free I was pushed over to her. I smiled and said hello and she didn’t even look up, just grabbed at my papers. After some huffing she looked up:
‘Where is your agent? No blood. Get your agent’
And she signalled for the next person. I walked back past my colleagues slightly panicked and had them all worried and went in search of our Agent. I finally found him still directing the school trip in the hall and explained that the nurse wouldn’t take my blood. So we traipse back down and the nurse explains something to him in Arabic. He says ‘come’ at me and we set off back to the hall. I ask what’s wrong and he shrugs, ‘they wrote your passport number wrong’. Great, so that’s all it was. I was starting to think my visa was up or something and I wasn’t going to be processed!

So clerical error sorted and I’m back in the room. I watched the nurse change her needle (the place was filthy so it was worth checking) and she attempts to find a vein. This is not easy on me. I’m not sure if it’s down to the many blood tests in my adult life or the fact my veins spot a needle and hide but after slapping me about on both arms she finds one. I expect this to be painful as it can be after a struggle to find one. Not so much as a scratch and I see a vial fill up with blood. She applies cotton wool and a plaster to my arm and the agent shouts ‘bus’ at me. Back on the bus then please?

All back on the bus and my arm still bleeding (you may struggle to get blood but when you do I tend to bleed a while) it’s off to the chest X-ray clinic. Or a large sandy coloured building that looked like it barely survived the invasion.

More queues but us four girls were pushed to the front by our Agent. More paperwork scrutiny and computer typing and we’re sent down a corridor to a changing room and handed gowns that were a cross between a full length shirt and a Guantanamo Bay uniform. A woman gestures around her neck and mimes taking off her clothes. My colleagues look confused. I don’t. You see, I had a summer job once working at Heathrow in the TB screening clinic. Believe it or not the UK used to screen immigrants for TB. That was until the last Government decided TB wasn’t worth the money and cut the funding. But politics aside, I know the score.
‘Undress to the waist including your bra, necklaces off, gown on, hair up’ I inform my colleagues. Woman handing out the gowns smiles and nods emphatically. Shoved in to an X-ray machine and told to breath deep and I’m done.
One more stop for the fun bus.

After a tin hut and a stone pre-war ‘clinic’ I was expecting nothing. Our next stop is 20 minutes drive away and sees us pushed in to a lift in groups of 10. As the lift opens we see a modern, clean, bright white reception. One by one we’re taken in to a room, sat on a dentists chair and have our finger pricked. Blood type established and we’re told we are free to go.

But we have no idea where in the country we are. Some choose to get the bus back but myself, a Scottish girl and a Greek man take our chances on a cab. First driver says he won’t go to our district, making us wonder how far out we are. We find another and are all taken safely home in half an hour. It took four hours but medicals done. Now I just have to hope I’m disease free and they’ll let me stay!!