Thoughts

New Hope

Just a quick update of my previous post, our lost and found puppy July found a new family few minutes ago. Inshallah she will be safe and sound since now and be happy with her adoptive husky friends which are waiting for her right now.
Good bye, July, I’m gonna miss your puppy looks when you wanna cuddle with us. Have a great life in your new place and send us a postcard sometimes :D
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Randomly Barking

We’re back from Al-Sabah hospital for few days already, Dori’ve finished taking her oral antibiotics and alhamdulilah the infection seems to have faded away finally. On Tuesday we’re ordered for a check back at the hospital but inshallah she’ll be as healthy as a child of her age can be.
Abu took us on some minor fashion shopping while actually cruising Kuwait for a good furniture for the flat; Dori chose few dresses “as a princess”, as she says, me some non-abaya clothes in a rather hippie fashion – maybe I am the hippie my husband claims me to be.

Dori

We had a very weird moment on Friday when a small shadow appeared behind our door, which we first thought as of a cat; but after the curiosity won over us and we opened the door to check on the suspicious shadow, we saw a scared, hungry, thirsty and overheated puppy at our feet, desperately looking for any kind of shadow or cool place in the desert heat outside. And nobody even remotely looking for her. The weird part is that our door is inside of a yard behind beautifully crafted gates which are always closed, and that there are bigger doors leading to the main house together with a big shadow-throwing roof over the corridor. But, take it as you wish, maybe it was a small trial of tolerance and patience waiting for us at the glass entrance.

July
July

We took her inside and cooled her down, gave her a bit of drink and hurried towards International Veterinary Hospital so they could check for any maltreatment which could’ve happen to her before she rested at our doorstep. The check went fine and she seems to be all right except some scares of common things and being a little bit on the hungry side, and she’s at the time being staying with us, till we can find her a new, better adoptive family.
Not that we didn’t think of keeping her, but first of all we – me and DH – are both awesome lamas when it comes to dogs, second, our tomcats are inshallah about to be on the way and that would be a small zoo at home already, really. And third, she’s a puppy, under 4 months of age, untrained, and Siberian Husky. Potty training, basic orders training, and commonly having a dog (not matter the Husky’s need to run and move a lot) in Kuwait aren’t really easy tasks, and completely impossible for two laics, indeed.
So while I keep on running around the small flat in latex glove on one hand and with detergent in the other, cleaning puddles and poops after July every ten minutes (or Juliette, as we named her for now) and trying to get her understand that when we call her by name she should come and not just … plainly ignore; my husband is looking for an adoptive “parent” for the Lost&Found. Our not-so-close relative looks promising at this point, he’s a dog loving person and used to train them, so inshallah he will take her instead of his planned German Shepherd and make us all happy, including her.
And when she’s safely at her new home, we can finally stop showering so frantically before any prayer is due, and let our fingers unwrinkle for once.

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I’m Gonna Get a Tattoo

Well, not on my skin, if that’s the question; however I will get one (and probably much more) and I will slap it on a wall. Stumbling through the dangerous and swampy internet waters I’ve realised that many of my favourite interior designs are based upon wallpapers or strong graphics on the walls, and a wall tattoo is the right solution.
It is in most cases (easily) removable, and it can make a room, be it a bedroom, living room or your study, much more personal.
Digging into contemporary interior design is tiresome in the terms of overwhelming amounts of ideas and suggestions suitable for our new flat and the fact that my hubby shifted colour and furniture decisions on me means I am … like Alice in the Wonderland.
I managed to make a so-so imagination for most of the rooms in the flat, be it a colour of the wall, carpet or the furniture – through one very long evening here in the hospital. Google for the win, and my ability to look up things people can’t normally find as well (yes, I’m really patting myself on the back).
The possibility to customise your living area with these tiny (sometimes cheap and sometimes pricey) bits of graphic design is just plain awesome. A room with the same wall colour and same furniture can easily change it’s atmosphere just by it – putting a big black crow on the wall behind a sofa in one case or a fragile floral design in another, and here we go, two a bit more personalised, different spaces immediately just by snap of a finger (or a sticker, if you may).
Kid’s rooms are much easier. No need to worry about pictures covering the wall, making it more children-friendly and bright, just slap a sticker on the paint. You have less worries and a kid has more fun.
I’m definitely going to get a tattoo. If not for living room or bedroom, than for my study room. It will be, in the end, the craziest room of all anyway. (And I bet my shoes it will be the most popular too.)
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Hospitalized

That is how we spend our days in Kuwait right now. The first week was a calm breeze, the second is like a rocky storm. We encountered several problems in our plans such as unwilling officers, unneeded circumstances and such, some got solved, some yet to be.
One of our least expected complications occurred when we took Dori to a doctor to check out her continuous ear problems, stretching three weeks back to Britain, as mentioned few posts earlier.
First doc, recommended by my mother-in-law (a nurse), just looked at it and referred us to Al-Sabah Hospital in Shuwaikh area with acute mastoiditis. There we got checked once again, and to our surprise there was no do-it-and-leave treatment, we were immediately hospitalized on the ORL ward, not even a chance to pick up pyjamas back at home.
Dori got her first infusion in the life and my heart still shatters into hundreds of pieces remembering how full of real pain was her cry. Up to today we are on her fourth infusion spot and several allergy tests and blood taking from her instep and a toe. The poor baby is full of needle holes, and we are still to stay here several days, so we will complete the whole week – Sunday we came, Sunday we’ll leave – inshallah.

picture
Dori

On the same day Dori got hospitalized she was ordered to the X-Rays of her ear bones and nearly at the midnight to a CAT scan – that’s how urgent her case was according to the doctors in Kuwait. (Good morning, Newcastle?)
Monday noon she was in the surgical theatre getting an inner ear surgery to clean up the infection, and after an hour and a half back in the room with us, eventually in a new room; the first night we spent in the general women’s ward, which was empty on Sunday, but started to fill with other patients on Monday, and Abdullah didn’t like that and got us transferred to a private room on a different ward. That first night I got no sleep whatsoever, Dori was crying out of her sleep every few minutes, and honestly sleeping on a chair is a little bit spine-breaking anyway. Not mentioning that there were nurses and doctors checking on Dodo every moment, once for the drip, once to prepare her for a general anaesthetics for the CT scan, than for a second sleep for the surgery. That day she had been fasting – except a small cup of water and three biscuits – for nearly 22 hours, more than many of the first-Ramadan-fasting reverts and Muslims.
Since then, alhamdulilah, her ear is getting better and the threat of a second, bigger and bone-opening surgery is fading away every day. We have to stay here in the hospital room for few more days, till Sunday. Dori will remain on the dripping funnel with Penicilin and antibiotics and doctors will keep an eye on her ear, making sure the infection is gone before we are let to go home again. To the “sand castle”, as Dori says. To the “stinky”, as she calls the incredible heat outside. And to the “king”, as she refers to all the men in the traditional Gulf clothing here, beginning with her grandfather.
I’m trying to make her daddy more of a “royal” too, but unsuccessfully so far. Maybe later, perhaps?

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Hot, Hot, Hot

Kuwait is … hot. Flat. Hot. Sandy. Hot. Broadleaved trees similar to those in milder climate seem to, mysteriously, do much better than palms here – the poor palms are dry as the sand around and also mostly turning the same colour.
Kuwait is … different, really. And hot, if I didn’t mention it yet.

Dori in Newcastle
Dori before leaving our flat in Newcastle for the last time

The trip from Newcastle (my favourited 15 degrees Celsius on sun) to Kuwait took about 15 hours as both planes we were boarding were delayed, we had minor problems with my and Dori’s visas (tourist visa is required to have return tickets, which we hadn’t), but a bit of explanation here and there made the deal.
trip
Newcastle to Dubai
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
On the airport again
trip
Dubai to Kuwait

We spent first seven hours of flight in economy class, with really incomparable service to those flights of BA from UK to Czech, on the better side of the slide, of course. Despite of the bad predictions from the doctor in UK Dori’s infected ear didn’t cause any problems and we landed in Dubai safely (though a little bumpy) and she didn’t complain at all. Perhaps she was way too excited from all the changes, because though sleepy and bits grumpy on the first (and lengthy) flight, when we boarded the slightly delayed 330 in Dubai she refused to sleep at all, even though this time we were in business class, much spacier and comfortable than the back of the aircraft.
Because we were landing in Kuwait at 3 a.m. in the morning, nothing much was seen from the window. The first hint about what’s coming I’ve got from the captain’s announcement that the weather turned out to be nice, clear sky and … 38° Celsius. At 3 a.m.? The highest temperature I’ve had ever experienced was one really hot summer day in Czech, and that was 36 degrees, something thought of as an extreme already.
We had some struggle again at the immigration officer due to our visas, now not really because of a return ticket but because Kuwait’ve obviously changed the looks of the visas from a long paper to a stamp in a passport and kindly forgot to mention it to its own employees. Somehow.
Eventually we got through because the officer got freaked out from the longer line being created behind us and let us go – thanks people.
When we stepped out of the acclimatized airport, first thought I had was – somebody slapped me. It took me a moment to realize that the punch was from the heat – at night still bearable and cool, as I found later on.
We took taxi – without a taximeter, I ought to say – and got a short lift to the Sabah Al-Salim area of Kuwait City, where is Aboody’s bungalov attached to his family’s house. Our place to stay for the next several weeks, till everything gets set up and settled and we get a flat to live in.
We fell in bed as somebody has shot us dead on place, slept a bit and woke up harshly soon again.
To my first day in Kuwait…
kuwait
On the way to the new home
kuwait
View from our window
grocery
Grocery Shop

Dori hates the heat, so far. She doesn’t really know how to deal with it or how to describe it – so every time we are walking from house to the room or to car or so, she slaps her hand on the face and cries out: “Stinky!” It’s partially funny and partially I really feel sorry for her, but I believe she will get used to it eventually. As when she’s shy around new people, but gets on with them in a while. Her favourite people from the whole family (which she had met so far, we’re still waiting for most of the members of Abu’s broad family tree to come from a trip abroad) seem to be the Indian maids who think she’s adorable and always bring her milk. She loves their attention and even lets them to pinch her cheeks, which is weird, because if I had that crazy idea and actually attempted the same, she would scream me down.
I don’t mind the weather so much unless it gets humid as it did recently, because than you are literally a walking shower for yourself. You can, I swear, touch the heat standing still in front of you, hugging you and not letting you go. The clothes stick on you like you stepped out of a bath and forgot to dry up before dressing. I tried to play pool like that today and there’s no point in explaining why my bridge (except for being a beginner) failed so often – you get pretty sticky towards anything despite of working ACs in each room.

PS: I would upload more pictures and so, but the internet here is fighting with me and refuses – you tell me why – to load Flickr most of the time. When it eventually does load, it refuses to deal with individual photographs and I’m unable to get to the code, so it’s a little struggle for now with the pictures coming…
And by the way, it’s hot in here.

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Mostly Harmless

So I guess this is the last entry from my british IP address; from now on (or if you like from tomorrow, eventually Friday very morning) it will be exchanged for the Kuwaiti one. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it?
But don’t panic! It will mean just mere geographical shifting over anything else. At least, that’s what I’m trying to tell to myself, repeatedly, a bit of matra of a lunatic.
Trying to reminisce with the past three years of our lives in here, I really can’t come up with anything to say now, at least not in a nutshell. Mostly harmless, perhaps; to quote my favourite novelist. I promise I will try to catch up on some “memories” later on, when settled down again.

UK
picture by Wikipedia

Looking forward to a very, very long trip, with me still not fully (physically) recovered from a surgery, the baby suffering from an ear-infection for already almost a week and still on antibiotics – please, tell me, they won’t force us to throw them as an excessive liquid even though I managed to make a random doctor to give us a paper clearly stating she needs them and carries them with her, and a nervous husband; I may guess this trip will be surely an adventure. I will try to capture some of the moments with my camera, but as I have to have mounted the biggest lens I own for the travel (so I can stack the two small ones in a case and be capable to stuff the Pentax with them) I might not be really taking shots too much. The lens seems to be fairly intimidating to many people and makes me more visible rather than invisible. Being dressed in a black abaya and hijab, I can also just run around the airport and frantically scream: “Arrest me, I’m taking pictures to blow this damn place to smithereens!” No need for bad ass cameras and lenses for that matter – there’s always an easy way how to get locked up, and it’s way easier dressed in the Middle Eastern, trust me. Call me a xenophobe, but it’s true.
Being not freaked out enough I started on my husband’s initiative to negotiate Maine Coon kittens purchase from a renown and good-famed cattery in Czech and actually laid eye on two male sweeties with whom I instantly fell in love (yet I have to persuade my husband that the red-haired one really does have a soul and will be a lovely companion for his darker brother – way too much South Park, really). Hopefully we will be able to get them to Kuwait safe and sound and to all sides’ satisfaction. The tom-cats look really great, the owners seem to be really nice, and their reputation among the cat breeders is quite high.
Tomorrow will be really lengthy and I can only pray that we will survive it all – especially Dori, who was warned by that random doctor that her infected ear-drum might or might not burst open when the plane is landing. That would, honestly, be not only painful and bad for her, but terrible news for us, as looking for an otorhinolaryngocology in Emirates while we should be actually boarding yet another plane heading to Kuwait would make it all much, much more complicated than it already is… And probably make me seek a medical advice in Dubai as well; in some cosy, welcoming mental institute.

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