Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kuwait....A Trip

Some photos I took sumtime in 2002

1. Kuwait Tower's toilets (inside)
2. Mu6la3 Ridge
3. Kuwait Towers again
4. Bobyan Bridge

[Postcards form my Fuslafied perception]

Monday, September 26, 2005

Let the pics speak of the "Fusla"

This has been 1 one of the best b.day's of my life! Beirut was truly an amazing Fusla! The Fusla Crew, the rest of the Fuslawski's we rondevouxed with! Larger than life, it was funpacked weekend in Liban Du Fusla!

1. Entry Le Fusla
2. Chauffeur Du Fusla
3. Fuslafied Cake

Monday, September 19, 2005

Chung Chiu/ Dong Bei Style!

Last night, my Chinese Chiropractor Dr. Ji invited me over for a Chinese dinner at her house to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Chinese festival which was celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th moon, around the time of the autumn equinox. Many referred to it simply as the "15th of 8th. In the Western calendar, the day of the festival usually occurred sometime between the 2ndweek of September and the 2nd week of October.

I was riding with Miss L, my friend, being followed by another friend. Mr. N and both cars were following our driver to Dr. Ji’s house which was situated in the nurse’s homes in Al Sabah Hospital!
There is a line up of 70s building with colorful Mosaic columns and round stairways and of course, falling apart balconies. The whole streets around the building was dug up like as if creating a mass grave, exposed pipes, sewage halls, man halls in badly lit areas and lots of dirt. We even saw a stray dog! (All within the premises of the hospital)
"Great" I thought out loud to the bedazzled Miss L and Mr. N. The driver fled back to our house as the 3 of us stood there amidst the rubble!
In a fair distance, an image appeared in the shadows and then into the light of debris flying. Dr. Ji to the rescue......
As always, she shook my hand and complimented me by saying “You real beauty”, She always says that whenever she comes over for my physio at home! (I had a busted back and she used to do acupuncture and massage a miracle Dr. who saved from surgery!)
We go up the claustrophobic elevator: Mr. N, barely fitting in, was admiring the curse word carving onto the petroleum colored elevator which rattled and shook to the 1st floor.
We followed Dr. Ji in an open balcony like floor and through doors decorated with Chinese Calligraphy on communist red paper that's frilled and withered by the Kuwaiti harsh and merciless weather.
Inside Dr. Ji's very humble apartment stood 3 Chinese men in White T-Shirts, unified in clothing, posture but not quite the size. Mr. Lee was short and wore black reading specs; Mr. Chef was tall, slim and suffering from a 12 hr Jetlag on his way back to Kuwait from Beijing. Then the chubby guy we’ll call Mr. C.

The 3 of us were 50mins late which was perfect, we had no wait time and were seated immediately around a home made wooden table with uneven planks and on a collage of chairs, plastic, wood and benches. It was a proper seated dinner, we all had plastic plates, plastic round containers the kind they serve chic peas in from the local chic pea guy! Sachets of plastic knife/fork/spoon/Salt/Pepper/Napkin were lying perfectly on the left side of plate. A Styrofoam glass was on the right side. We were served juices, 7up and water and we had a 10 minute introductory to the menu that it is Northern Chinese ("Dong Bei”) Mr. N, Miss L and I waited in anguish to attack this Chinese feast! Dr. Ji made a toast to “Happy Feasting” (Too bad Styrofoam doesn’t ring)
The menu consisted of:

Tofu noodles with carrots, cucumbers in Chili/vinegardressing
Chicken and tofu in onion and garlic broth
Flat/Glass noodles with oyster mushrooms and onions
Lamb shanks in potato and tomato broth
Sautéed Cabbage and Tree ear mushroom
Seaweed in black eyed peas in sesame oil dressing
Deep friend Chan3ad (Local Fish) in garlic
Side of Chinese steamed buns

Yeah, they went out of their way. They all prepared this meal for us, it took them hours to do and every dish was exquisitely interesting and the flavors complimented each other, in spite of the humble setting and presentation, it was a Royal Chinese feast! Or as they say, Dong Bei Cai!
Mr. N engaged in small talk ranging from Hsuan-t'ung to the 8 different Chinese cuisines.
Miss L kept busy by giggling away and nudging me from underneath the plastic table cloth (We were watching Chinese T.V. and an ad for men’s underwear came on, it was hilarious I have to admit)
It was a lovely dinner followed by authentic Chinese tea, more giggles and meanings lost in translation. The Perfect Saturday evening...

Wishing all in this Mid-Autumn festival a prosperous life, full of laughter, full bellies and high speed internet….

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mama's Birthday!

Since last year's b.day I didn't want to celebrate because my father was in the hospital though my friends still threw me a great surprise party and one of them came all the way from Dubai! This year I want to have a birthday celebration away from home..With only a few friends. Being in Kuwait I will end up celebrating with EVERYONE! This time its gotta be cosy! But that doesn't meant its not gonna be WILD!

My b.day weekend and the options are as follows:
  1. Oman, Muscat: Yup, I wanted to Chedi it! Go to this amazing hotel and stay with 5 friends from Kuwait and an another of my friends living in Muscat. I wanna have a fab gourmet dinner, go out for a bit and the next day wake up to a killer beach and pool. The Chilled way.....
  2. Beirut, Lebanon: None of my friends can say no to that, nor can I to be honest. Amazing food, night scene and people!hmm, The party way...
  3. Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt: Well, It would be the best option since I wanna dive (its been a while and I'm all rusty) Nice people, laid back scene. The Active way...
  4. Dubai, Emirates: Last option, friends, friends and more friends..Fake sandy beaches (hmm) Nightlife (Ok!) cosy and comfy. The Usual Way.......

With so many options and so little time I must think what is the most important factor in celebrating a birthday?

Friends? Comfort? Ambience? Beach..hell yeah! View? Akeediz...

So Beirut? I know I was there in July but what can I do? Its not like the Maldieves is a "Fashkha" Away now is it? Ok Monot, Fasten your seat belt..the Fusla Crew is coming to you!

Note: The 1st photo saying "Mama Fusla" was a sand drawing that A-munki did in an Ashtray in our hotel, when we went to PVD (Paul Van Dyke) Concert last year. The 2nd photo was taken from a wall in Monot! (I think) and yes indeed, we shall be Raji3ooon!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From Yiddish To Yodish

Yodish is the upside down/Reveresed language that Jedi Master Yoda speaks! You can practice that if you're really bored with your friends!

Here's How:

1. Take the first two or three words of a sentence, and just add them to the end. For example: 'You will find the hottie you are looking for ' turns into 'Find the hottie you are looking for, you will.'

2. Rearranging the negative in a sentences works very well. For example: 'I will not slap you silly' turns into 'Slap you silly, I will not.' Avoiding contractions will help in this -- 'I can't shake my booty' turns into ' Shake my booty, I can not.'

3. Adding a 'hmmmm...' at the end of an altered question. For example, 'Do you know where I can get a beer?' turns into 'Know where I can get a beer, do you? Hmmm...?'

4. Adding a 'yes' to an altered statement. For example: ' You are here to annoy me' turns into 'Here to annoy me you are... yes...'

May The Schwartz be with you!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Meid that's Made In Kuwait

Today's Lunch:
Grilled 'Meid' stuffed with sauteed onions and arabic spice and glazed with date paste, yup. Old Kuwaiti trick, the juices from the Dates help retain the flavour and oil of the fish as well as protect it from the grill! Not to mention the instant twist of sweetness it adds!
This is my favorite meal while on the beach in Chalet, because once you're done eating, you go jump right in the water to wash up because Grilled 'Meid' is a messy messy thing! You will be getting your hands dirty, beginners have been sceen getting up to elbows and eyebrows all messy! It's not going to come with a fancy Christofle Fish Fork! You will be using all your hands, always have a slice of lemmon to squeeze (Yummmmmmmmm) For side, a green salad and a bowl of '3aish mashkhool' (Steamed Rice) and some 'marag' (Fish Curry) can go very well with it.
For the the ultimate saddating effect, have a few 'Bir7is' (Half/Ripe Dates) and chase with 'Liban' (Yoghurt drink)! Now enjoy a 4 hr drive to la la land! Ayabaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Time to doze off!

Long live Kuwaiti fish, it is the best in the world!

I thought I'd share this useful Glossary of Kuwaiti names of fish:

The main commercial fish species belong to 14 families, and the catches vary seasonally. The prime species caught by gillnets are Pampus argenteus (zobaidy; silver pomfret), Tenualosa ilisha (suboor; hilsa shad), Pomadasys kaakan (nagroor; grunt sp.), and Liza species (maid and beyah; mullets). The gargoor catches include Epinephelus coioides (hamoor; grouper sp.), Acanthopagrus latus (shaem; seabream sp.), Lutjanus malabaricus (hamrah; snapper sp.) and Otolithes ruber (newaiby; tigertooth croaker). Zobaidy and suboor stocks are shared with Iran and Iraq; hamoor and hamrah are thought to be stocks common with countries of the whole northern Gulf; while newaiby, shaem and maid stocks are localized.


Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Dish on Yiddish

I’ve always been fascinated by this onomatopoeic language that’s spoken all over the world, I used to listen to Yiddish Folk & Gypsy music online and many more, you can also find Yiddish Tango if one wished. Perhaps my love for violen explains my attraction to Yiddish music: there is something very special about this language which is a hybrid of Hebrew and Medieval German (Germanic).
Today, I found myself looking up more on this musical language and I learned of “Yinglish” which is a word that’s both English & Yeddish. My friends and I use common Yiddish words like Feklempt & Shmuck, its quite amazing how there is a Yiddish word for every type of character/personality. A very wide array of ones discribing mainly Jewish Stock Characters. Anyways I found some funny Yiddish words today, time to notch yup my Vocab and here is my favorite top 20 Yiddish and Yinglish expressions:

1. Alrightnik: (Yinglish) somebody who's done OK for themselves financially, i.e. nouveau riche.
2. Beryiah: (berr-yah) a baleboosteh squared; a regular Martha Stewart. A homemaker who puts the rest of us to shame.
3. Bissel: (bis-sel) A little. "Give me a bissel lox on my bagel, would you, darling?" A biselleh is even less.
4. Boorivka: (burr-if-kah) literally, a blueberry. Colloquially used to refer to a large, dark mole. "That Robert Redford is so handsome, but oi! All those boorivkas!"
5. Bubbellah: (the "u" is pronounced like the "oo" in book) an affectionate way of refering to someone, much like "darling" or "sweetheart." Bubbies call their grandchildren "bubbellah." Close friends and long-time business partners might call each other "bubbellah," or boubbie, for short. (pronounced like "bookie" vs. the shorter "u" in Bubby, below.)
6. Chai kock: (impolite) literally, human doo-doo. Something that is worthless, beneath consideration. "She's divorcing me and she thinks she's going to get the house and half my money!? She'll get chai kock from me!"
7. Chazzer: (khaz-zeh) a pig or anyone who behaves like one, either in their eating, financial or personal grooming habits. "Oi! What a chazzer! I don't think he's bathed in a week." "No wonder that chazzer went out of business. He kept all the profits and paid his employees bupkis."
8. Emmes: (em-mess) truth. Used often in the context of "I swear it's true" or "Really? Is that true? "Barbra Streisand was at that bar mitzvah I went to last week." "Emmes?" "Emmes!"
9. Farklempt(All Time Favorite): all choked up, overwrought (all "clamped up" emotionally)
10. Glitsch: (Oh, come on! This is practically English!) A bug in the ointment; an error in calculation; a screw-up that makes your plans go awry. A glitch, for G-d's sake! 11. Feh!: A visceral expression of disgust, either physical or emotional.
12. Kockamayme: (kock-a-may-mee): ridiculous, silly, crazy. "Afghanistan for vacation!? You and your kockamayme ideas!"
13. Kish mier en toochis: Kiss my butt!
14. Klutz: It's practically English! A clumsy, uncoordinated person. "That klutz took up skiiing? He'll be lucky if he doesn't kill himself!"
15. Nayfish: a weak, pathetic, ineffectual person of little or no consequence. A human doormat. Nebish: a nothing, a nobody. Woody Allen, the early years.
16. Nisht gut: Not good. "How ya doin'?" "Oi! Nisht gut!"
17. Oi! Gevalt! - Ach! Heaven forbid!
18. Shiksa: a non-Jewish woman. A "Shiksa Goddess" is a blond beauty, the type of woman who instills a deep longing in dark, short, swarthy Jewish men, (probably because she is the polar opposite of his mother.) Grace Kelly was the quintessential "Shiksa Goddess."
19. Shmaltz: literally, chicken fat or rendered cooking fat. Also, thick, insincere praise; over-the-top, overdone, glitzy theatrics; gross sentimentality. Something shmaltzy is kitschy, overblown, overdone, rather tasteless, unctuous. "Madame X" with Lana Turner, is the classic shmaltzy movie. Cher's costumes are rather shmaltzy.
20. Shnook: a gullible fool, a patsy, someone easy to take advantage of, a con man's mark. (Yinglish)

My next facinations will be in "Viennese" and then "Papuan/Pidgin English"....