Good Will

Accident

A lot of accidents happen in Kuwait, and there are a lot of angry people on the road, that I see everything morning, angry men and women honking nonstop. There isn’t a lot of common courtesy these days which is disappointing, but at the same time I never give up hope or be courteous to people who do signal. It annoys me when I signal and have to get to an exit and people drive fast to block me so I don’t get in front of them, this happens a lot and most of the time I let people through. I for one do have road rage issues and I do get pissed on the road a lot but I try not to do anything wrong to someone while driving intentionally or unintentionally. But the people who drive me mad are the people who slow down to look at any accident or small bumper to bumper when thankfully nothing is wrong with the people.

In this case this shows me that people do have the will to help others, on the Airport Road (50) I just got off from the 6th ring road and 360 Mall was on my right. As I was getting to the exit for the fifth ring road under south surra bridge we suddenly see a lot of smoke and a big bang and everyone starts braking. Then I see a white car in the air about 100 meters in front of me to the right. I was all the way on the left and as I got closer it was a white 4 door Hilux flipped over and people ran to it, the weight of the car was on the people inside and they couldn’t get them out. So within minutes there were at least 10 men, they tried to push it and within seconds they become 20, they pushed the car and more people joined and they flipped it over and started to pull people out of the wreckage. I called 112 and stayed on the line and told them they needed an ambulance as fast as possible. When the police arrived, I left and that was all that could be done and inshalla the men inside that car survived. What gave me hope is to see so many people want to help those men, and put themselves in harms way to move that car because they couldn’t get them out, and every person from every nationality. I do believe in the inherent nature of humans to be good and seeing this only makes me believe it more, it still annoyed me that people were slowing down just to see but those who stopped did help.

Why I Love Emaratis & Omanis

During this little adventure of ours we had a vast experience across the UAE and crossing multiple times in Oman. It was an adventure of discovery and it was well worth it, going from city to city to get to the best riding roads I have ever been to. I have been riding in the best places in the US and honestly they do not hold a candle to the amazing locations in Oman & UAE. Aside from the roads and how clean everything was, every time we can to a security check point or interacted with them, the moment they found out we were Kuwaiti the tone totally changed and they were more then nice to us. And on the roads people would move aside 90% of the time and give us way, I mean every kind of person, we ran into a few idiots on the road but they were only 10% and were few and far apart compared to Kuwait who are 90% idiotic and rude on the road. I always knew Emaratis were nice people, and Omani’s were very respectful and kind as well but what happened to us was different then the normal situation

Omani Incident

During our ride I had a GoPro Camera mounted to my helmet, and as soon as we reached the Omani boarder heading to Khasab I switched it off but it was still mounted. When we got to the passport control, the officer asked about the camera and if it was recording, I told him it was mounted and switched off. I told him he could check if he would like but he said my word is more then enough for him. I know that it would have been a different situation if we were at the Saudi border. So after we crossed I switched on the camera and we went on our intense ride on the road by the sea on our way to Khasab which was breath taking. I saw an old sign that said military check point, but we didn’t think twice about since it looked old and we kept on pushing hard through the corners until around the next hill it turned out to be a full on military checkpoint with a small platoon of men. We slowed down quickly since we were coming in fast and they jumped on the road. Their captain came out quickly pointing at my helmet as I was slowing down, and they were talking to us sternly asking for IDs. Of course keep in mind that with our helmets on they have no idea who we are or where we are from. I had my passport with me and I was so thankful that I had that lovely blue passport with me. The moment they saw the color they said “Oh Kuwaitiyeen” and they relaxed right away, I was taking off my helmet and the captain came to me apologetically asking if my camera was recording I said yes since we were recording the ride. He said he is sorry but he didn’t want the check point showing up on the video and I said it wouldn’t be a problem, he asked if it would erase the whole thing I said yes and he apologized it didn’t take me 2 minutes to do that and I knew were gonna have a chance to hit those curves again. He argued with us to have coffee with him and food because of this, we spent 2 minutes on the security part and 10 minutes thanking him and excusing ourselves from stopping to keep on riding. They were more then nice to us and after that whenever a military vehicle saw us coming they would pull over to the side and let us pass. It was amazing, and when we rode back past them they stopped the cars and waved us through. Just because they knew we were Kuwaitis, what could anyone say, they went over and above being nice to us the moment they knew we were Kuwaitiyeen, I wish people were that nice in Kuwait.

Emarti Incident

Every time we went to somewhere new we would ask where is the best place to go to get some coffee and we usually get pointed to a nice mall, and a majority of them are nice. This was the fourth day on our trip and we were in Fujeirah, we went to a mall about 5 mins away called City Centre, very simple and pretty much all Al-Shaya’a brands so we stopped in Starbucks for a few cold drinks, and some of the guys wanted coffee. We were probably the only guys in jeans who were from the GCC, we sat there for a little while. Then one Emarati guy walked right up to us asking us how are we and if we were from Kuwait, at first I thought he knew one of the guys because of us very nice approach. We told him yes and from that point forward he told us we have to have dinner with him at his house, we thanked him and said we were still riding and he then said then coffee, you can’t just come to Fujeirah and not have coffee at my house. Honestly I was beyond surprise, what can you say to someone so nice, it was just something else. After we excused ourselves he gave us his phone number and said you aren’t familiar with the area and if anything happens and you need anything be sure to call me right away. What can you say to that, just extremely nice, I just couldn’t wipe the smile from my face. You can’t blame me for loving these people, not all Emaratis are like this but a lot of them are very kind.

Are We That Disliked?

I know that there are certain general stereotypes of every different country in the Arab region and certain countries dislike some people more then the others but I always had the delusional thought that we were more on the liked scale like Bahrainis or Emaratis, but turns out I was very wrong. We were in Dubai for the weekend for MEFCC or simply Dubai Comic Con which was a lot of fun and I will be posting pics later. We also went out with some friends to a few places and for dinner a few times, and they all live in Dubai and one of the questions we asked them is who they disliked the most from the Gulf Nations, and surprisingly Kuwait was the first to spring up. Even after several questions it seems that Kuwait is first then Saudis second which shocked me. I always thought Saudi were first, then Qatari, then us, but turns out I was completely wrong. There seems to be general dislike for Kuwaitis in Dubai which I didn’t think was even there, never even thought about it, they say we are snobbish and think we are better then everyone else in the Gulf, and that we are very rude. Even the receptionist asked my friend where he is from when he was checking out he said he is Kuwaiti, she said that is surprising, he asked why and she said that usually Kuwaitis are angry and rude to her, she was from an Eastern European country. One note Omanis are one of the most liked in the whole region as they are very polite and nice to everyone and I have to agree they are very nice people.

Are we really that bad, is our whole population that rude to the rest of the world that we develop that sort of reputation. I always thought that we were liked and we treated people well to a degree. Some of ours friends say Dubai is great because everything is fine and you can have fun nobody would bother you as long as you don’t get into an altercation with a local, but Kuwaitis don’t leave people alone and we are rude. I was honestly very embarrassed to hear all that, and they said it to us in the nicest way, this is some of our good friends and a few people we met for the first time.

Link: Flickr

Surprised From A Smile

In Kuwait you tend to deal with a lot of strange people, especially when you interact with them in the Government Complex. Its like you are in a Mexican Standoff or between a bunch of Hyenas which are ready to pounce on you the moment you give them your back. Still I try to keep an open mind and assume the person in front of me isn’t evil and maybe even human.

When interacting with woman in Kuwait that I don’t know I try to be a slightly formal and not offensive, because I never know how they may react and usually it moves along fine. A few times over the past few months I get surprised by people who smile at me that I wasn’t expecting, like when I stop a car to let them cross they smile and wave, and I think “Thank you for being courteous”, I always stop for people crossing, men almost always thank, but a lot of women ignore you and think its shameful to interact with a man in anyway so I’m sometimes surprised when a woman thanks me or when she smiles I’m totally shocked.

I do understand that our youth are somewhat idiots and view a smile as an invitation to bother women, so sometimes I honestly can’t blame them because they don’t want to be harassed by young men who have no manners, so when they smile I am very pleasantly surprised and it does make people’s day. I always appreciate when men thank me for even the simplest thing, being cordial doesn’t seem to be at the top of people’s list these days. So seeing a woman smile at me for a very simple act really surprised me recently, I just got used to women having blank or angry faces in Kuwait when out in public and I am not out very much, so its refreshing to see people smiling.

(I think the Akita Dog above always looks like it’s smiling)

Top 10 Richest Politicians Of The World In 2011

RichestPoliticians

Now this is a very interersting list of politicians, a few numbers seem off because they don’t really make a lot of sense but they might only be off by a few billion. Some of them say they are verified by Forbes but I don’t have a clue how Forbes would even be able to verify some of them as they have assets unknown to people.

  • 10 Silvio Berlusconi – The Prime Minister Of Italy – $9 Billion
  • 9 Hans-Adam II, The Prince of Liechtenstein $7.6 billion
  • 8 Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the current President of the United Arab Emirates $18 billion
  • 7 Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born, Indian President of the Indian National Congress $19 billion
  • 6 Hassanal Bolkiah, Sutan of Brunei $20 billion
  • 5 King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz $21 billion
  • 4 Bhumiboi Adulyadej, Monarch-King of Thailand $35 billion
  • 3 Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin $40 billion
  • 2 Hosni Mubarak, the former President of Egypt $70 billion
  • 1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates $80 Billion

Link: LuxuryLaunches

Back On The Ground

TheWater

Being disconnected from internet when you have a lot of activities feels slightly strange. Its not that I was completely disconnected, just that I couldn’t really use the internet available very well since it worked at a snails pace. I tried using the internet at the hotel but it would time out a lot and take a lot of time to load normal items such as my email and very light browsing, I tried downloading an attachment but that took so long I had to cancel it.

I was lucky that I got a Vodafone UK Prepaid chip which works fantastic in Europe with Data, just top it up comfortably and even Data works while roaming in Europe in even remote locations but it wasn’t enough to go through my RSS feeds, but I could go through my emails and get on Twitter & GooglePlus. I am loving the Google Plus application on my Android, really streamlines it and gives you lots of options for uploading when roaming. Even the Vodafone UK Roaming chip is 100 times cheaper then Data Roaming on your Zain Chip and much better service and connectivity, I do wish that Zain Services improve until it reaches the levels of Vodafone, but doesn’t look like it any time soon. And before I had a problem with my RSS Feed being over 1000, but now that has gone way past 1000, I think its close to 12000 articles and it would take me at least 3 months to bring it down, and my problem is that I HATE using the “Mark All As Read” button.

Below Zero

The weather in London the last few days I was there it kept dropping below zero and popping back up, floating between two and three degrees, and I would still sleep with the window a bit open at night. The one thing about London is that I always feel like walking around from place to place, I loved that I had gloves, my beanie on and enough clothing to keep me warm while I’m walking. As I was walking home I spotted a Lamborghini LP-560 Roadster parked up front, and I have to say that there was something very sexy about that machine in this weather, and it looked nice and clean, I knew the guy was just visiting because I didn’t see him earlier in the day. I loved the exhaust note when he started it up, I could hear it from the living room, and off he went in the lovely cold weather.


Continue reading…

Just a Flat

I always know that its going to happen at some point and it good to be prepared but your never really prepared for it. I had a flat on Sunday night after the family dewaneya while heading home on airport road getting on to the 6th ring road, the way it happened was probably the most annoying. A pick up truck cut in front of me with some junk in the back, it crossed to big white soccer balls so it jumped and something fell out the back, I was in a low sports car so I was far from it, I didn’t see what fell but I tried to veer around it, and I heard “clank” and felt a shake at the steering wheel and the tire pressure sensor went off. The only thought in my head was “DAMN IT”, I was so close to home and all I wanted to do was go watch some TV shows and got to sleep early, but that wasn’t going to happen tonight.

The bad luck though is that I had to pull over inside an exit on to the 6th ring road, to the right going to Jahra and straight to Miseela. I put my flashers and got out of the car, called up the tow truck of the dealership and called my friend. I was calling again and again waiting for the guy to pick up, luckily I had a few other phone numbers. My friend kept calling me every 10 minutes to check on me and said that he was on the way but there was a hell of a lot of traffic which he had to get around. I was standing behind my car outside for at least 25 minutes before the tow truck showed up, in 65% humidity and heat.

Of course stopping on the side like that and in a location which has no side to stop in is a complete spectacle for people driving by and two lanes of cars merging into one. I think I backed up all of the airport road at 11 pm to 11:45 pm, I kept waving to people to go into the other lane and a lot of people shouldn’t be driving, I didn’t want them hitting my car and I looked at the flat and the was from the metal piece that stuck into it from the side. I had temporary spare but there was no way in hell I’m going to change a tire wearing a dishdasha, its asking for trouble and I had a 90% chance of being hit if I was standing beside the car, while standing behind it I almost got it with flashers and really slow moving cars, there are a lot of idiots on the road. There was one woman who was extremely rude and opened her window while driving and shouted “FASHLAAAAAAAA” and drove off fast, meaning “How Embarrassing!!!”, people just don’t have manners. But one thing did surprise me, at 8 cars stopped and asked if I needed a ride or help, they were decent people. Then the police came before the tow truck and stopped behind me while flashing their lights they at least moved traffic away, one police car was belonging to the central police station and was black and white, then another one came which was blue and yellow. They were very decent and I will give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m assuming wearing a dishdasha really does help, I spoke to them and they asked if I needed a ride but I thank them and said I would be off soon.

The tow truck loaded up the car, my rim was scratched from that damn metal screw but it could have been a lot worse. Hamdilla it was only this, it could always be a lot worse, and so I took my car to the dealership and dropped it off. My tire needs to be replaced and my rim needs to be fixed, I’m hope its fixable because the lip was bent a little. What a night, at least I got a decent suhoor waiting for me and my friend and I got to watch an episode of Eureka.