This week I’ve been staying with a guy from Austria called Martin. His flat is spanking – it’s in a brand new apartment complex and the apartment is so neat and tidy just my mere presence is enough to destabilise the Xi. It’s warming up here in Kuwait – the rains of last week are but a distant memory and it’s hard not to be enchanted by the thought of running from one air-conditioned building to another.
There was still no sign of my Saudi Letter of Invitation coming through and so I cracked on with website updates. On Friday I met with Ruban and we crashed a rooftop party held by a cool British guy called Wes. There I met a ton of tip-top people. First up, there was Kassie from Australia, who offered me a place to crash now that I was in serious danger of outstaying my welcome at Martin’s.
Secondly, I met Andrea and Eric from Canada who gave me a ton of advice about getting the Saudi visa – telling me I was best going to a little copy shop in Salmiya which is tasked with processing the Saudi visas. Yeah, a copy shop – go figure. Andrea would also be instrumental in introducing me to the British Ladies Society and thereafter the British Embassy. Thirdly, I met Bernie, an Aussie living in Dubai who put me in touch with Colin, an intellectual copyright lawyer from Sydney who might be interested in helping out my poor impoverished ass to, you know, make some money out of this whole hilarious adventure thing because I sure as hell made no money out of that television show I made.
After Wes’s we crashed another party – I don’t know how to spell her name, but it was pronounced ‘E’, so maybe I’ll just call her E until somebody corrects me. This party was even better than the last and – oh yes – there was alcohol! Homebrew and ethanol, but hell, it did the trick! It was like the goddamn United Nations (only more use) with not two people from the same country at the entire shindig. As my friends can no doubt attest, I’m a huge fan of house parties (it’s the Gatsby in me) and if I could attend a couple of these things a week I can see why Kuwait has its appeals.
But the moonshine will no doubt break your head in the morning, as I found the following day. It was the evening before I shook off my hangover, gathered up my things and moved my stuff to Kassie’s flat, just over the road from Martin’s. Something you should know – staying with (or even visiting) a member of the opposite sex is against the law here (as is Skype!) and they think nothing of throwing people in jail for six months without charge for even lesser misdemeanours – so I’ve got to keep my head down.
Yes, we are children in a 1950s all-boys boarding school. Females are dangerous creatures who must be avoided at all costs lest you – you know – fall in love. Love is not a big thing in the Middle East. Sex and money – that’s all marriages are about here – children and dowries. I can’t be the only one who finds the whole set up (arranged marriages and the like) dripping with sin and depravity. To remove the whole love thing from getting hitched removes the only wholesome aspect of this marriage business, leaving only a seedy transaction that might as well be sorted out with a prostitute. My dad gives you money, you lie back and think of England. Deal?
Cheer up love, it’s your wedding day!