Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A day in the life

There is a lot to appreciate about our daily life here in Kuwait.

This post is not about those things.

Sometimes, I think Kuwait as a whole is trying to turn me insane.

Two things in particular have been wearing me exceptionally thin lately.

One: The driving/traffic

Here's a short video offering an example of my just trying to drive straight ahead on a road where another road (to the left) is entering ours. 
That's all that's going on here.
Another street is coming into this one.
Where there *should* be, I don't know, a STOP SIGN or three, creating a three way stop, there is nothing. Nothing. Just every man for himself, causing the main road to just HALT as the drivers sort it out.
And honk at each other. 

That's just every day, every block within a block where traffic merges. 

Here is a video of a small portion of our daily commute to school. This is us trying to go through a round-a-bout that *should* take approximately 15 seconds. There *should* be one lane, the one I am in, entering the round-a-bout and following it's curve until our exit. Instead, a second lane never fails to be created to the left of us as people refuse to wait in the long (proper) lane's line, and simply decide to come up along side us on the left and squeeze their way in.
You'll also note towards the end of the video the silver car that decides to skip the entire round-a-bout process and just cut through - driving the wrong direction - to the exit he desires....

Every. Single. Morning. 

Also, vehicle safety? Not a priority here. Wearing a seatbelt is optional and rarely do people use this option. 
Our kids think I am THE MEANEST because I make them wear seatbelts every time we are in the car, even if it's a "short trip"...I remind them when we know better, we do better, and we absolutely know better. 

Kids are often seen on drivers laps, or hanging out of windows, or even sunroofs...

...I snagged that pic on the Gulf Road the other day, while the driver was going at least 40mph.

I can't even.

Two: the healthcare

Sure, I've railed on this before. For good reason, as we've had our fair share of crap medical care here...but these days I just can't handle another medical professional blaming another illness on the weather.

Oh, the weather.

If it's raining, or cloudy, or windy, or God forbid actually stormy with real thunder and lightening, the people of Kuwait collectively lose their minds. 

When it's Winter in Kuwait, everything, everything, EVERYTHING is blamed on the weather. 
Didn't sleep well?
It's because of the weather.
Children misbehaving?
The weather.
Gaining weight?
The weather.
Low on cash?
That damn weather.

And ANY and ALL illnesses are a fault of the weather.

When David had his "raging bacterial virus" (diagnosed after a colonoscopy) last Fall, multiple physicians - as well as everyone and anyone he explained his illness to - blamed the weather. 
Yes, I'm sure that the rain has infected my husband's GI Tract with bacteria and caused scarring. The thunder likely didn't help things either.

When our daughter was in the ED with a 104 degree fever, the physician told us it was caused by the cold, and his treatment plan was to scold us for not putting socks on her feet directly after we removed her from the shower.
Yes, I'm certain the cause of such a high fever was the barefoot walk on the cold tile from the bathroom to her bedroom. 
Thank you, and here is my copay. 

And yesterday, when I woke up with a crusted over right eye, I shrugged it off as sleepiness (it was the unGodly hour of 5:30am, afterall) and washed it with a warm washcloth. 
When I arrived at school however, I was met with strange expressions from my coworkers and suggestions I go visit the school "nurse".
(Yes, nurse is in quotes)
(No, that is not an accident)
So I went to see the school "nurse", who took one look at my eye and said "oh madam, it's very windy. You likely got some sand in your eye and it has irritated it..."
Okay. Sure.
She proceeded to drop some saline in my eye and send me on my way.
After the school day ended, I took my red, swollen, weeping eye to the International Clinic, where the doctor did in fact confirm Pinkeye.
As he was writing the prescription for antibiotic eye drops, he noted "this weather is very hard on the eyes. All the wind!"
But of course, educated physician. Never mind that I spend the better part of my days being sneezed on by three, four, and five year olds. I am sure the conjunctivitis infecting my right eye is a result of the wind.

I. Can't. Even.

Seriously, I just can't. 

I am unable to can.

Six more months. 


  1. Yes, only six more months. I can hardly wait! All those Kuwati idiosyncrasies ("peculiar" is part of the definition -- I looked it up so I could spell it correctly. "Idiot" should also be included in terms of driving.) Hard to appreciate them when they affect health and safety, but they will -- relatively soon -- be a thing of the past. (Well, except in terms of bad drivers; we have our own share of idiotic drivers.) The time for you to leave Kuwait and for my braces to come off is C O M I N G C L O S E R E A C H A N D E V E R Y D A Y !!!!!! Love, Aunt Carol

    1. ohhhh we should have a joint eating caramels and pork party =)