Sunday, September 30, 2007

The "N" word and non-Americans

Here is the thing: I am a southerner-meaning, I was born and bread in the deep south of the US. The 'N' word surely was coined in the south by slave owners/bigots/racists. It is a word that is far more offensive than any cuss word, and in my circle of people in the US, it is never uttered. So, it is strange to hear it tossed into the banter of everyday discourse.
The other night while sitting with family, I was surprised when a cousin, who is a doctor educated in the UK, say, "Well when X is ready to get married, he prefers n-----s"! Oh, my gosh! I almost spit my tea out all over her designer clothing!
As it happens, I began to ask other non-Americans in and around the family, and they also have used that word to simply mean a person of African origin. Shocking! How terrible what the US truly exports to the world! I am assuming that it comes simply from people listening to rap music and just mimicking that. But honestly, I fear for any person to travel to the US and use that word and not get the crap beat out of him or her.
Let me add one caveat: There are still people who still use that word casually in their circle of friends, but they are probably wearing white sheets over their heads and burning crosses in the evenings too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy


So, well, I am working on being positive and seeing that half-full cup right now. No, I will not look at the litter in my yard, (not put there by me) and I will not read the newspaper, and I will not listen to negative thoughts or words, and I will not critique Kuwaiti drivers, and I will not correct teachers' English, and I will not compare internet service providers with the US, and I will not lament the lack of vegetarian fare, and I will not poo-poo lamb brain stew?!!, and I will not curse at the poor traffic engineering, and I will not look sideways at the dust and wonder about its contents...this is Ramadan. I am trying; I am trying; oh please, I am trying.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Styrofoam


I can understand how some people give up: take drugs, abandon society, commit suicide, drink to excess, whatever. It is the mundanity of life that engulfs one's being and threatens to never loosen its grip. Television, shopping malls, keeping up with the Joneses, can lull a person into such a somnambulant state, that before you know it, you are 30, 40, 50 and what have you to show of your life: a house with a huge mortgage, a couple of leased cars, credit card debt, a plethora of plastic objects, too many unwanted clothes, an estranged family, a failed marriage, entitled children, and a part in a society that increasingly just doesn't get it.
We have all forgotten what we were striving for. What was the point again? Oh yeah, to "be happy"- the elusive goal that most think is just one major purchase away- one more self-indulgence and then I will be satiated-and yet, at the end of that cocktail party or check-out line- the feeling is hollow, cold, empty-a styrofoam cup in the parking lot after the fair has left town. And so all that had glittered has been boiled down to its essence- and it ain't pretty-in fact it is so useless and cheap that it skitters over puddles of filth and breaks apart with the slightest of pressure-littering the corners of life with fragments of itself so ubiquitous that soon its presence is acceptable, indeed the norm. And that is what we have become- an empty fairground parking lot- the threshold to a place that promises titillation, excitement, but delivers saturated fat instead.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Too Much to Add Right Now


I have so much to say now, that I don't think I will be able to post it in one time. Also, my addled brain doesn't support so many thoughts being dealt with at one time.
Suffice it to say, the "nonstop" flight over to Kuwait took almost three days! We were so exhausted by the time we got here, it took almost a month to recover! We have taken root in my in-laws' house and seem to be tarrying here for awhile, suspiciously during Ramadan. (I think my husband thinks there will be no food if we move now) Also, we have no phone number...there is a box, but no line connected to it? huh? I don't know, but we are waiting for some wasta to get us up and running so that we can get satellite and then internet.
And so I think, gosh, that is crazy, you have to have connections to get a phone number??!!
And then I remember my telling the kids,
'Don't compare Kuwait to the US'
Ok, ok, we will wait...
The house in Mangaf is looking pretty good. Although the area looks a bit like someone decided to make a neighborhood in a junkyard, I am so hoping when construction abates, the trash tumbleweeds will magically disappear.
The kids' schooling issue remains just that. My daughter maintains that the girls are not friendly and that she will never have friends there. While my son is aghast that his teacher cussed at the class on the second day of school. AHhhhh... yes, I am planning on being a thorn in the principal's side this year!
The weather has been as expected. Sunny and hot. sunny and humid, sunny and dusty, hot and hotter, scorching and dry, take your pick. :)
I don't know why my posts are not showing up on the front page, so if you have made it here, let me know...
I'll write more as my brain becomes more lucid, insha'Allah. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

I am finally here and connected!!

Well, it has only taken us two months to get an internet connection, but we are finally connected! (this statement would have totally different connotations in Boston, those of u in the know know:) Anyway, I'll just revel in the glory of this accomplishment tonight and post tomorrow, insha'Allah. I just wanted to let anyone out there who might be wondering know that I am back!