Ink & Paper

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Hey to the loyal readers who have forgiving souls

Was at the skool today for our big meeting day, lotsa info, met a lot of new faces, but it is looking good. I'm teaching Gr9, 10, 12 English and I get at least one 80 min prep per day. It is a two day sked, so on 'A' day I get 2 -80 min preps, and on 'b' day I get 1 -80minute prep. Pretty sweet. I'll see th booklist tomorrow, but I have heard the english curriculum is pretty good, well laid out, so I am happy about that. Everyone seems super cool, which is a big thing I was hoping for. Even if the kids are lazy shits who talk a lot (which is true apparently), at least the staff is good.

Also found out about my Jan/Feb break. I am off from Jan 20 to Feb 10. Thinking about Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands. Gonna use that Lonely Planet guide for all its worth. Also have been wearing the Tilley hat, no sunburns yet.

I start regular hours 7-230pm on Monday, I went today with Lori, Neil (they're a couple, awwww) and jessica to some Irainian market, were they have a whole lot of crazy shit for pretty cheap. Plus I got to haggle on a couple of items I had no intentioon of buying. The only downside was that it was 46 C and we had to walk outside, and I was wearing khakis and a dress shirt. I was suffering. It's pretty gross when you water is warm (hot) aftr sitting in the car for only 15 min. But it was kinda cool. It's weird, whenever I take a shower, I only have to use the cold water tap, because the water is so hot already. It's a neat/odd kinda thing.

My homesickness is okay, getting better the busier I am. My roomate comes tomorrow so I'm hoping he's not a total loser. Most people here seem cool, so I am hoping the trend continues. No cockroaches today, but other peopl are having troubls. I will just keep up my massive chemical warfare tactics against them. Hoping all is well in your lives, until later....

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:16 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Friday, August 27, 2004

Goddam it's hot. 46 today, and humid too. I have written a long blog about the driving conditions here in Kuwait, but the internet cafe doesn't have a machine with a CD drive, so you'll just have to be patient until I can load it up. Sorry, hope you all enjoy your weekend. I start work, wih meetings and such, on Saturday. Everything is getting better, chaos wise. Homesick still, but once I get working it'll be better. I will post the driving blog asap. Take care.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 2:45 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Still alive in the middle east. Updates....

-I will have a bank account, with the ability to send $$ over the internet, by Mon/Tues hopefully.

-I am also taking on additional health insurance here, provided through the school. It costs money but protects me worldwide and allows me to go to the private clincs here, which are better than the public ones. I'm not sure how to feel about this, but it'll be worth it went some kid gets me sick.

- The school looks good, especially thew 3rd floor where I am teaching. They are building a mosque on top on the school (f you can believe that) so sometimes it may get a little chaotic. But it looks good, lots of computers, so I should be able to stop paying for internet access soon. I have also met a lot of the returning teachers, all of whom seem really good. Couple of young 25 ish ones too, so that is nice. One guy Richard, is older, abu\out 60 and seems to be looking out for me, which I appreciate. he's super funny, a smart ass to make me look less like one.

- I am going to get that Hilton resort pass. It is expensive, but I have access to their pool, beach, kayak, scuba, jacuzzi, weight room, etc etc. Unfortunately this means that Nov europe vacation probably won't happen, as I can't afford to do both (and the insurance and the car, money seems to be spending itself) I may just get in shape. But I am definately going to UK in Jan/Feb. Soory, but I got to keep my sanity here too.

- I will be getting a cell phone too, but not until the end of Sept. I need to get paid first. It has been so chaotic here, trying to set everything up. Aparrently, life is like that here until I get my residency card, which could be as late as mid Nov. If I don't get it by mid Nov, there was no way I could have left and re-entered the country. So even if I didn't get the hilton pss, I'm not sure the bureaucracy would have got my card to me in time. The red tape here is insane! Just nuts. And it will only get worse during Ramadan, which is basically a 3 week time period where everyone works half days.

- Everyone here is in the same boat, chaos and all, wanting to call home, but no one seems to be able to figure out how to do it without bankrupting themselves. Hell, I don't even offically have an address, everyone says to just put the schools PO box # on everything. It is a different world over here, thats for sure.

- The bug problem seems to be lessening, but I still am dumping chemicals all over my apartment. I wouldn't have rented this place if I had the option, but it'll do for the year. Oh yeah, i also fried my beard trimmer, so now I have to wet shave. Dammit. But I think my laptop should be okay, I just have to watch how long I leave it plugged in for. Paul, the superintendent, has a Dell and I picked his brain about it. That little black box half way between the plug in cord is rated up to 240V, so I figure if I run it through my adaptor, which converts to 110V, it should be okay. I'm nervous about it, but I need to charge the battery. Paul says he hasn't had a problem, so hopefully I won't either.

Hope all is well, it's 43 degrees C in the shade today. Even the wind is hot.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 6:18 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Monday, August 23, 2004

Good day to all

Thanks so much for the emails, if was really nice to see them. Tough but nice. It is now 9pm Kuwait time, so 12noon alberta, and I have just about finished my first full day in Kuwait. So far almost everything is good. I was met at the airport by about 8 people and was taken to my apartment. My apartment is okay, old and kinda rough around the endges, but okay. The major drawqback is that it has (had, hopefully) some cockroarch issues. I was not okay with this and got the manager to come and spray some chemical all over the place. Hopefully it works, and I have already told the Paul about it, making it very clear that this kinda thing wasn't going to be tolerated. It should end okay, but right now it is causing me some stress.

I was taken shopping today and started to work out the currency. Things are a little more expensive, but not too bad. Fairly Western too, so that helps. Tomorrow we are being treated to a relaxing day at the Hilton hotel spa, then dinner, so I am really looking forward to that. Supposedly the Starbucks (yes they are everywhere) has wireless internet, so I will look into that.


Lots to say here. To get internet in my apartment is about a 3 month wait with a cost of over 1000 Cdn. Too much. Phone calls out of Kuwait cost an arm and a leg, even with a phone card. So this is the new plan.

I am in an internet cafe right now and my computer has a USB port, so I may be able to hook up the webcam through here. Not sure. I am hoping that when I am at the school, I can just hook up my laptop and go from there. I will let you know. If all else fails, it will just have to be emails until I think of something new. Frustrating, but the tech here isn't as great as N America.

I will be getting a cell phone and you can call me. The phone landline install is about the same as the internet situation. The phone card minutes from Canada will last a lot longer than if I were to call you. I realize this costs money, but it looks like this may be the only way. I will keep you posted as I learn more.

Everyone new to the staff, as well as the admin, seem really good, and I suspect the returning staff ought to be good as well, so that is nice. My roomate arrives Aug 29. His name is Mark and he's a Canuk, so hopefully thats okay.

I miss you all a lot, homesickness is pretty bad right now, added to the culture shock. I get a 10 day break in Nov, so I may be going up to the UK for some Westernization. But in a few days, once I get into the school mode, I hope to be too busy to think. The drivers here are crazy, 120 miles an hour eveywhere. Talk is we may just hire a cabbie permanently to get us around. I hope this is the case, it would be a lot less stress.
All of my luggage arrived safely, and this appears to be be a very safe country, espcialy for a big white guy like me.

My flight was good, I fugure out who Jessica (another newbie teacher) was while in Minneapolis. I alternated between extreme nervousness and Indiana Jones-adventure mentality the whole way over. I almost ran in Amsterdamn. It got real bad the last 100km to Kuwait. Didn;t help that we were flying over Baghdad either. But the welcome was warm and I seem to be getting adjusted okay.

I will check my email on a more regular basis now that I am more settled. Hope all is well, that you don't miss me too much. Will talk soon as I get a phone #.

Your Overwaitea Kuwaiti


A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 12:30 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


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