A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

weekend in Kuwait, part one

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 6, 2008

Sorry to bother you, an acquaintance said on msn this morning, but are you literally in Kuwait?

Why yes I am, as my status message stated – although I’ve now spent the past few minutes wondering what it might mean to be metaphorically in Kuwait.

But I am most definitely here in the physical, too-too-solid-flesh sense, and very happy to be spending the weekend with my aunt, uncle, and the world-famous Qatari Cat.

And as always, the trip and the weekend have produced some memorable moments – starting at Lebanese emigration.

You will not come back to Lebanon, I think, said the early-twenties General Security officer as he intently scrutinized my passport.

I certainly will, I said. I have work on Monday.

Ah, he said. Okay. Please, what is your number?

I hate this question, because I know what comes next. Lebanon’s exit card asks for my address in Lebanon – where I have been staying. The serious emigration officials never require me to add my number, and for good reason: if I’m leaving the country, what good will it do General Security to have my Lebanon mobile?

So I began giving the officer my work number.

No no, he said, frowning. I want the number for you.

Ugh, I thought. And I so do not want to give it to you.

But since he was the one in uniform, I did as he told me, and he wrote it down – happily, on my exit card and not, say, in his mobile.

You will not be here while you are in Kuwait, he said, looking up from my exit card.

No, I said, wondering at this sudden conversational turn into the obvious. I won’t be here.

I can call you later, when you are back? he said, or asked, or said – it was a statement with a slight question mark at the end.

No, I said – and it was a statement, with a slight I’m sorry at the end.

I’ve had emigration officials, airport personnel, airline representatives and even grocery cashiers all try to capitalize on the phone numbers I’ve given them for official reasons (leaving the country, lost baggage, upcoming flights, delivery orders). Its not creepy any more – its just annoying. If I must deal with unwanted Lebanese admirers, at least I want the refined ones, like Sietske’s perfume expert.

4 Responses to “weekend in Kuwait, part one”

  1. S. Worthen said

    I suppose it’s unrealistic to pretend you don’t have one when it’s on you.

  2. M. said

    Yes, that perfume expert was quite impressive.

  3. intlxpatr said

    I give them AdventureMan’s number. 😉

  4. Sparkle said

    Love it. For as many tickets that I’ve smiled and chatted my way out of, that’s a first! Wonder what would have happened if he’d had the wrong scent….

    You need to invest in throw-away phones, I’m thinking!

    Having recently switched from blonde to deep red tresses, and also traveled by air post-change, I’ve been amazed and amused at the commentary by every TSA agent who checks my ID. Never a “this doesn’t look like you…” or “you need to update your ID…” or anything even close to official concern; always commentary indicating approval of the “new color” or lack of approval. Every. Single. Time. SERIOUSLY, this is their business??? LOL…..

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