Last month the power went out in my neighborhood for around 8 hours, this weekend it went out for 13. The thing is, it shouldn’t have been out for that long.
At exactly 9PM the power was cut in my neighborhood, the fact it was cut at exactly 9PM leads me to believe this was a planed maintenance cut. The problem though the portable generators like the one pictured above only arrived to my neighborhood at 1AM. There were 8 trucks and by the time they were all connected to the various power transformers around the block, buildings only started getting electricity by 3AM. By 4AM all the buildings got electricity except mine. Now if you’re planning on cutting the power off to hundreds of families in the middle of the hottest month of the year, at the very least have the generators ready to be plugged in ASAP so that people don’t have to suffer. Or, how about notifying the neighborhood by placing posters at the entrance of the buildings that will be affected to let them know that power will be cut off at this day at this time so that people can be prepared.
Now as I mentioned, by 4AM power was restored to all the buildings except mine. So me and some neighbors called up 152 which is the hotline for Electricity & Water Emergency. 152 was pretty useless. They transferred us to the electricity office up the street from my building in Salmiya. We explained to them what the problem was and they told us they had nothing to do with it and that we needed to contact the electricity office in Jabriya. We called Jabriya up and they were like this has nothing to do with us and that we need to contact the Salmiya office. So after running around in circles Jabriya finally agreed to send someone to check it out. by 5:30AM nobody had come yet so we called Jabriya up again. They told us there isn’t anything they can do now since the shift is nearly over and we would have to wait for the new shift at 6AM. 6:15AM we call them back up again, they were like they aren’t going to send someone over because there is maintenance work going on and power will be back soon. We asked if they could tell us where in Salmiya the work was being done so we could pass by them and get a time estimate from them. The guy on the other end got super pissed off, started yelling and telling us its none of our business and we had to end the call. Power came back four hours later 10:12AM.
What a clusterfuck. Whomever is in charge in Salmiya obviously doesn’t care about the residents. I’ve posted about the horrible garbage situation a million times before (still hasn’t been fixed btw), the horrible urban planning, the tall residential buildings with zero parking and now the complete lack of empathy towards its residents. There should be town hall meetings where residents can meet with whomever is in charge so we could voice our complaints. Better yet put me in charge of Salmiya already!
Last week I was at Boots and purchased two bottles of medicine at 880 fils each. When I went to pay the total was KD1.750. At first I thought Boots rounded up because the horrible mathematician in me calculated 880×2 to 1.740 and I was a bit bothered. But, the total instead was 1.760 and Boots had rounded down to 1.750. Then last night I decided to pay my phone bills, I’ve got two lines, my main line is with Viva while I have another line I don’t use as much with Zain.
My Viva bill was KD 17.502 and I ended up paying that exact amount with my knet card. On the other hand, my Zain bill was KD 1.994 but the Zain website refused to let me pay 1.994. Instead it kept rounding up my total to KD2.000. I tried to manually fix it but it would keep changing it back to 2.000 and in the end I was forced to pay that.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, I mean it’s just 6 fils but if Zain are doing this with me they’re most likely doing this with all their customers. To give you a bit of perspective, they have over 45 million customers across their network and if they’re taking 6 fils from every customer then thats an extra KD225,000 profit every month!
Update: A reader made me realize the extra 6 fils goes back into my Zain account as credit. No idea why they’ve complicated things.
Last week I had a disaster of an experience with Aramex since they had misplaced a package of mine. What actually pissed me off was the lack of transparency from their support team. My package was coming from Germany and like all Shop & Ship packages stop in Bahrain before heading to Kuwait. On February 13th my package left Bahrain and after no updates for a few days I decided to contact support via their live chat. According to Aramex, my package was clearing customs, no biggie so I continued to wait. By February 21st, over a week after my package left Bahrain my tracking number had still not been updated. So I contacted support again and they told me they’ll check on my package and have someone call me.
Since I was frustrated, I decided to vent my frustration to Aramex on their twitter account. They replied back telling me they had checked on my package and it was currently clearing customs. That didn’t help with my frustration since my package was just a pair of sneakers and I didn’t know why it needed 8 days to clear. Since it wasn’t urgent though I was like whatever. Then, a few minutes later I get a call from Aramex telling me that they can’t find my package and they needed a few days to try and figure out where it was. I was like WTF? You guys just told me on twitter that my package was in customs. The guy over the phone told me the people managing the twitter account didn’t have access to check my package status.
So I went back on twitter now noticeably upset since I couldn’t understand why they would tell me my package was in customs while I was also being told my package was lost. In the end though it looked like the twitter account people were right while the person that called me was wrong since my package ended up getting it’s status updated then then delivered the following day.
For some reason, Aramex have recently turned into a big mess and I just wish they were more transparent. Things happen and consumers are mostly understanding. When my internet connection at home is down, first thing I do when I call support up is ask them if the problem is from their side or mine. If they’re facing issues I just reply telling them ok just wanted to check and then hang up. If my package usually takes 3 days from Bahrain to arrive to my door in Kuwait and now suddenly it’s been 8 days and my package was still not delivered, something is clearly wrong so fill me in and don’t act like it’s business as usual. If you’re having issues with flights from Bahrain, local customs officials being lazy or whatever the reason, I’d like to know so I can be understanding.
In any case the reason I wanted to post about Aramex in the first place is that we can now finally pay online with Knet. You’d think this would have been their first feature on their website but up until now we could only pay by credit card or PayPal. Knet obviously makes things a lot more convenient.
Back in 2011 the Salmiya municipality dug up the middle sidewalk in the old souq where I live. The trees originally were surrounded by a small square dirt patch but someone in the municipality decided to enlarge that patch more than double the size and then merge all the trees with one large dirt pit. When I had spoken to one of the employees who was digging up the street back then he told me the plan was to plant the sidewalk like on the Gulf Road. I obviously knew that wasn’t going to happen since we have a major garbage situation that wasn’t getting solved so I had doubts they were planning to “beautify” Salmiya with greenery. But, a few of my readers thought I was being pessimistic and were all for a greener Salmiya.
Well just an update 5+ years later, nobody has planted shit and the dirt pit is still a dirt pit.
As you can see from the picture above, the garbage situation in the sand pit behind my house still hasn’t been sorted (it’s been years of me complaining). I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to just add more bins.
But the reason I’m posting about this today is because I wanted to see if you guys could spot something. The picture below was taken this morning after the garbage trucks came. Notice anything?
Yeah the garbage trucks cleaned the garbage on the ground but didn’t empty the trash bins. Back in August I posted a timelapse of the garbage being cleaned up and the trucks were leaving one of the bins full while emptying the other three. Turned out that one of the bins belonged to the previous company that had the garbage contract and the new company, not to cause an issue with the previous company was leaving their garbage bins alone. Really stupid shit but now I have no idea whats going on because all four bins aren’t being emptied and the already terrible garbage situation has become worse.
I just want them to add more bins, clearly the bins in the area aren’t enough since I’ve been talking about this issue for years now. I don’t know, am I asking for too much here?
And for those of you who are going to argue back by bringing Lebanon into this, yes yes Lebanon is a big garbage dump, I know that. But, I think of Kuwait more highly and would rather compare it to the likes of Calagary, Canada’s oil capital instead of Lebanon.
So Harvey Nichols released the Yeezy Boost 350 “moonrock” edition in Kuwait today and for some odd reason sold them for nearly twice the world wide retail price. According to a reader who queued up this morning to get his hands on a pair, Harvey Nichols in Kuwait sold the Yeezys for KD115 ($380). In comparison they sold for KD60 ($200) in the United States, KD66 (AED800) at Levels Shoe District in Dubai and for KD69 (£150) in the UK. So why is Harvey Nichols in Kuwait selling the sneakers for KD115?!
I was at the Kuwait airport before Eid heading to the States and was waiting in line in emigration when I noticed this really good looking emigration officer walk by. He was tall, great body, had a nice beard with great hair, like a super good looking guy. So as I was admiring his looks in the most heterosexual way possible, he does something really messed up. He goes up to a South Asian expat standing in line and yells at him. The expat froze and didn’t understand what the officer wanted so then the officer punches the expat hard on the chest and opens and closes his fist yelling passport passport. I was like WTF?! I was like thats messed up, the officer is clearly all jacked up on steroids and just punched this poor expat. He then gave him back the passport and yelled at him to go to another line. He then sees a group of South Asian expats in line and shoo’s them all to another line like cattle. I thought about complaining to someone in charge but then realized if I did I might not end up flying out myself.
A few moments later I’m still in line still trying to grasp of what I had just seen when another incident takes place. There was an expat at the front of the line waiting for the emigration officer at the desk to stamp his passport and I overhear the officer making fun out of the expat cuz he’s wearing an earring. Not only that but the officer gets the officer on the adjacent desk involved as well so they’re both poking fun out of the expat now. Not quietly or in secret but literally in front of the expat while pointing at his ear and asking the expat embarrassing questions.
To have incidents like this still take place in this day of age is bad enough but to have them take place at the airport by airport employees is just ridiculous. Someone told me recently they replaced the over-maked-up female officers because people were complaining about them but if this is what they’ve replaced them with I’d rather we go back to the female officers again.
A couple of weeks back I was talking to a friend who had recently posted on the blog and they were irritated by a reader who had complained about their writing style. I was like yeah thats one complaint, now imagine that on a daily basis for over 10 years because thats what I have to deal with. I’ve been blogging for over ten years now and I don’t think a single day has gone by without me getting some kind of hate from a reader.
In the beginning I used to get really bothered and take things personally but over the years I’ve just grown immune to all the hate comments. I’ve basically heard everything, or I thought I did until I got a divorce a few years ago. Some asshole started coming in and leaving hate comments on the blog and signing off with “No wonder Nat left you”. First time I read that I was like WTF, why would anybody be so mean? It hurt reading it the first couple of times but then again I just became immune to it like everything else. And it’s not only from readers, I’ve gotten hate from business owners as well. There is one I have saved on my phone because it’s so mean it’s funny. A girl emailed me and wanted me to post about her cupcake businesses. I replied back to her politely thanking her for contacting me but my readers wouldn’t find a post on a cupcake business interesting. She ended up leaving the comment below on her Facebook status (a friend in common sent me the screenshot)
That’s from a girl who sells cupcakes and has a cute cat as her Facebook profile picture. WTF.
Yesterday I got a bunch of hate in my post about snapchat broadcasting Kuwait live today because some people were upset at me because I was thinking of snapchatting all the garbage in my neighborhood. They weren’t upset about the garbage, they were upset at me wanting to snapchat it.
I tweeted yesterday how I tend to start off most of my replies to people as “Go fuck yourself” and I wasn’t kidding. Thats how I tend to start off my replies but then I send a screenshot to my best friend who usually replies no Mark thats not appropriate and I end up trying to respond more decently to people. But how much more of this do I have to take?
I’ve grown immune to these negative comments or at least I think I have but what is the long term effects of all this bullying on a subconscious level? Emotionally I’ve been told by some people I’m like a robot, I’m not sure if I’ve always been like this or if I’ve become like this after a decade of daily verbal abuse by people. Does it affect my self esteem? Do I get angry quickly because of it? When people keep telling me to get the fuck out of Kuwait, does it make me resent Kuwait? I’m not really sure, I don’t know how deeply all the daily bullying has effected me but I’ve finally decided I don’t want this anymore. I love the blog and I love my readers but I’m done with this.
Over the weekend I will be thinking of different solutions to this problem and one option might be to permanently shut down the comments on the blog. One of my favorite blogs Daring Fireball did that way back and he doesn’t regret it. I think I have some of the smartest and most intelligent readers in Kuwait and I learn so much from the comments every day, but I also don’t want to deal with the negative aspect of the comments anymore.
So about my garbage problem, I decided to try and create a timelapse to see how the garbage ends up building up so much. I hadn’t done a timelapse before and this was my first attempt and although it’s not great I think it’s pretty clear what the main problem is. Not only do we need a few more garbage bins in the lot but some of the bins aren’t being emptied which is why the garbage is getting pilled up all around them. In the video you’ll see a garbage truck come by but they only empty one of the bins and leave the other three. This timelapse was around a day and half long, 432 images in total, one image taken every 5 minutes. I’m going to try and make one thats a few days longer and see how that turns out. [YouTube]