Desperate in Kuwait

On Thursday, which is actually our Friday in Kuwait, Marcy my colleague and I decided to take a car and get

Note that was left on our car.

Note that was left on our car.

lunch at Marina Mall. She was headed out to the states on Friday, back to Portland, Oregon lucky dog!  It has been crazy around the office what with writing proposals and finishing up CAPII and everyone looks worn out.

On our way to the mall, two men in a big white, decked out pick-up, you the type that when you see it, you know that the guy who owns it is compensating for something, started looking at us.  The rule for driving in Kuwait if you are female is that you don’t look right or left.  And if you notice men noticing you, you never acknowledge it, at least I don’t.

So these two men stopped at the stoplight and we noticed that they were trying to get our attention so, I stopped so we wouldn’t be next to them.  Then after we turned they kept trying to get next to us and I kept have to weave in and out of traffic to avoid them.  I thought maybe once that we had lost them, but then as I made the turn into the mall I saw they were behind us.  I parked the car between two cars so they had to go further to park and as I was turning off the engine, Marcy kept saying “Yallah, yallah,” which means come on in Arabic.  We jumped out of the car and dashed into the mall and up the stairs to the food court.  As we tried to make ourselves inconspicuous, which is difficult to do if you are blond in Kuwait, we were relieved to see that they had not followed us further.

“I wonder if they will leave us a note,” Marcy said.  “I hope they don’t key the company car,” was my remark.  And sure enough when we came out after lunch there was the above note on the car.  They weren’t even attractive.  When I got back to the office I tried to get one of the males in the office to call the number and say “Yes, you left this note on my car.” But none of them were up for it.

In Kuwait, if you have blond hair you are automatically a slut.  I think it’s because they watch too much Western porn, or perhaps they are just so repressed.  I can’t tell you how many stories the women in the office have of being followed home or propositioned. As if.  I was entering a restaurant at lunch one time and this teenager who couldn’t have been more than 15 raised his eyebrows and made kissing gestures at me.  He’s lucky, I almost puked on him. The only thing that disgusted me more was when a 10 year-old did it to me in Egypt.  And it is just one more reason to dislike Kuwait. If Kuwait were blown off the face of the earth the only loss would be the oil and the foreigners who live there.

By the way feel free to call that number.  If your calling from overseas just add 00-965.

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3 Responses to Desperate in Kuwait

  1. geministar says:

    I have plans driving in Kuwait when I get there. Is it safe for females to drive there? Those guys were just fascinated by your blond hair because it is not the normal color they often see.

  2. Jon Bell says:

    Hey Tiana,
    Jon Bell here, way back over in Portland. Got to thinking of you the other day and did a little searching to find out how to contact you. Wow! What amazing stuff you’ve been doing! Not quite Standard insurance anymore. Anyway, great stuff and cool blog. All is well here: still freelancing, my daughter’s two now, and I just finished the first draft of a climbing guidebook that I’m working on as a fund-raiser for a friend/climber who now has ALS.
    Safe travels and best wishes in everything you’re doing. Looks like at least 15 books’ worth so far . . .

    Jon Bell
    503-290-4282

  3. Kam Gray says:

    This message is for Tiana:
    Hello from Portland, OR. Just want to let you know how proud I am of you.

    I hope to hear from you sometime, but know you are inundated with work and communications. Mainly, I just want to know what is a good way to say, “Hi, I’m thinking of you.”

    Take the best care of yourself.
    Kam

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