Tiptoeing Out

Last few days in the Cauldron. All paperwork cleared. I hope. The last thing I need is some bureaucrat telling me at the airport that I should have queued for hours at the Traffic Department to wait while a gentleman in an office stops watching the golf for a few moments to reach into his drawer for a stamp the size of the Papal Seal and dutifully initials it – reasons and purposes not specified. I confess to a frisson of anxiety, hoping to tiptoe out. At least I don’t share the same fate as the unfortunates who have been caught for ‘residency violations’…

“The number of residency violators dropped from 104,000 by the end of April 2012 to 95,000,” said a security source who made the statistics available to a local daily. On the other hand, the source questioned the effectiveness of the unscheduled security campaigns that has so far covered areas such as Khaitan, Amghara and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, in tackling the problem with no parallel efforts being carried out to stop residency traffickers.”

Italics mine.

One imagines men with batons stampeding through cramped apartment blocks where eight to a room means three hours sleep per person before being trucked out into the middle of nowhere to toil for ten hours in the heat.

It’s also fortunate that I have left the teaching profession – perhaps for good. Cheating in exams is – let’s say – widespread. There exists a pervasive mentality that it’s quite OK to try to buck the system – perhaps ethically similar to getting a good deal in the bazaar – but this story, unvarnished with critical editorial, made its way into the paper the other day.

“Police are on the hunt for a high school student who physically assaulted a teacher that caught him cheating during his final exam. The … student waited outside after being barred from appearing for the exam. The suspect reportedly attacked the teacher and fled the scene.”

Not many people swim in the sea. After Mishref – the smell lingered for months – I am among them and being of the male gender am untroubled by recent legislation, namely  bikinis for ladies are not permitted on public beaches. A spokesman for the Moral Awareness Department – interesting acronym – commented:

“Wearing a bikini is not acceptable in our community on public beaches. This doesn’t mean we will arrest a lady swimming in a bikini without doing an immoral act, unless we receive a complaint from someone.”

Yes. I thought that too.  So that’s OK then. Thanks to the Kuwait Times and Al Watan. Going to take my latest read with me “Around the World in a Bad Mood.”

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