Thursday, September 30, 2010

80's Flashback

Well it's been a while since I've last written. That's because I've been working a lot and trying to catch up on some sleep.

With this job, the most hours of sleep you can possibly get is 6.5. On days off, the most sleep I usually get is 13+ hours. I literally sleep a day away if I have 2 days off from work. Last week I worked consecutive 6, 13 hour days. Tonight is actually my off night and I've already gotten 13 hours of sleep. It's 12:20am September 30 as I write this blog. I need to stay awake until around 7am b/c I have to keep my body accustomed to working night shift and staying up throughout the night.

Some highlights of my thoughts about Kuwait:

* Kuwait reminds me SO MUCH of life in the 80's. Kids don't wear their seatbelts and are often seen jumping up and down in cars or sitting on their mother's lap in the front seat without a seat belt. Casette players here are still in existence- in fact in Afghansitan it's their primary source of music and the Insurgents out there have been attacking music stores b/c they want to stop music altogether. They confescate tapes of music and threaten Music shop owners if they don't shut down. How sad is it that in Afghanistan a HUGE part of their population, I believe over 60%, is illiterate.

* One simple observation I find amusing is that people don't pump their own gas in Kuwait. There are foreigners who work for the gas station that stand outside all day, pumping gas for everyone who comes in. Maybe that's another reason why I feel like Kuwait reminds me of an older life. I feel like this State is caught in between the Modern & the Very Past. Their malls are probably the most modernly designed- aside from all the Jaguars, Porsches, Mercedes, BMWs, Hummers, Fords, Chevy's, and Italian cars worth more than my life that I've only heard of but never seen until now.

* I decided to start reading the local Kuwait newspaper to learn more about this culture here, and I came across some disturbing snippets of news and a very funny opinion article. The first snippet of disturbing news came in their form of 'incident reports.' There was a report of a suicide attempt by an Asian woman who worked as a maid for an Arab family who tried to kill herself...hmm....what does THAT suggest about how she's being treated? Sad! Another paragraph reported that there was an attempted murder when a man pushed his wife off a balcony. She was in crticial condition but survived. That's another reason why Kuwait reminds me of life in the 1980's- b/c men beat their wives and there are no laws to protect a woman. Why? B/C their precious Quran teaches that a woman/wife & servant are nothing but mere property and you can do what you want to them. All they are is PROPERTY. So forget basic human rights, this Islamic religion doesn't believe in fundamental 'human rights.'
Another disturbing snippet was about 2 prostitutes & their male partners who were caught planning to reproduce children to sell. YES, they were going to sell their children!!! And one last incident report that put me in a weird Twighlight Zone headspace was when I read that a woman was arrested for Fornication/Adultery- she was caught having pre-marital relations and was jailed for it.

My Western friends- THIS DOES HAPPEN OUT HERE! It immediately reminded me of Jesus Christ and the Woman who was caught in Adultery. They grabbed her and threw her at Jesus' feet outside and started telling Jesus just how disgusting that slut was and were questionning Jesus as to how to punish her. Jesus, God incarnate- merciful, gracious, forgiving Lord- Said, "He who has no sin cast the first stone!" Then he bent down to write in the sand. At that moment, all the men who were accusing this woman left one by one from the oldest to the youngest, until none of her accusers remained. Then Jesus finally turned to the woman and asked, "Woman, where are your accusers?" She said, "There are none." Jesus responded by saying, "Then neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more." WOW! I can't believe there are cultures that actually arrest people for such acts- but it DOES HAPPEN. And THAT'S the difference between East & West.

My Western friends....many of you do not understand that in MOST cultures of the world, Religion & Social Customs are ONE. Unlike in America & Europe where Religion & Government are seperate. In the Middle East, the Goverment Laws ARE religious Laws. So to be a reformer out here means having to reform the religion of the people or to personally convert out of Islam- which then means you should die. B/c according to Islam, a person who converts out of Islam should be put to death.

* Speaking of 'culture,' the funny Opinion article I read in a Kuwaiti newspaper was actually about how 'cultureless' Kuwait actually is. The writer mentioned that a popular television station chose different Islamic countries and showed how each country celebrated Ramadan. The writer emotionally expressed that Kuwait never made that list of countries because "Going to the mall & eating out at night is not culture!" She stressed that Kuwait needed to get back to the beautiful roots of their forefathers and renew their culture. I find that humorous because it's true, Kuwait doesn't have a specific culture. There aren't any specific Kuwaiti dishes, Kuwaiti dress, or Kuwaiti traditions- none that I have come across yet anyway. One thing I have learned about Kuwait, is that when someone dies, they take their body, go out to the desert, pray, then dump the body out there for the wild dogs to eat. They don't bury their dead.

On a different note, I finally found a women's salon with eyebrow threading! Oh! Before I proceed I MUST tell you- There are salons for men and salons for women. I've actually seen more MEN'S Saloons than women's in my city, believe it or not. The men get their eyebrows done, their beards perfectly shaven, and a modern haircut- all Arab style. It's actually pretty cool that men here have their own salons/saloons/spas. But anyway, I desperately needed my eyebrows threaded and I actually had time before work yesterday to go to the nearest Ladies Salon and I got my eyebrows done! It cost 1.5KD- that's roughly $5.22! She did a good job too!

On a personal note, my new work schedule had me working Sunday nights last week and this week. I was thrilled b/c that meant I would be able to help out with worship at the chapel! Except that the chapel service starts at 7pm & this past Sunday we had an event that I not only had to run & oversee- but participate in- that started at 7:30. I did go to the Liturgical Service but was only able to play 1 song with the small worship team and left after 20 mins to get back to my facility b/c we had an event exactly like American Idol- and I was "Paula Abdul" the judge LOL. I had such a blast that night, seeing all the soliders sing and laugh. And even though I could only play 1 song for chapel, still I was blessed.

Well folks, it's 1:04am and it's about time I eat! Until next time!

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