August 23, 2007

AKA, or Alcoholics in Kuwait (Not So) Anonymous

Kuwait is a country that is supposedly completely dry. We all knew that. Aside from the quota of alcohol permitted to all diplomats. Aside from the black market (fuelled in part by the quota permitted to diplomats) where I’m told a standard bottle of whisky goes for £160. Aside from school children drinking a type of widely available cologne called Jacksons mixed with anything else for their kicks. Aside from all the “underground bars” or even “nightclubs” you can find in rented villas/flats. Oh, and aside from the fact that in the biggest supermarkets, a few months before Christmas you can see shelves and shelves not so subtly stacked full of different varieties of grape juice - read: Homemade Wine, Château Desperate Times, with a bouquet slightly better than vinegar (but only slightly) aged in whatever type of plastic container/petrol can you have at hand.
Oh yes, and aside from the constant supply from the airport staff. I am reminded how once when I tried to smuggle a bottle of wine in, when it was found (bad luck) they tutted and they tisked and they grandiously declared they would have to throw it away. At this point they carefully placed the bottle in a beautifully clean “bin”. So imagine my amusement on seeing everyday in the biggest local English language newspaper:
Alcoholics Anonymous: AA can help with drinking problems. You are no longer alone.
More shockingly though, there are now several versions of Narcotics Anonymous advertised in the paper.
Now, if I was the Kuwaiti government, I would forget about focusing all my energy on the alcohol prohibition, and focus on dealing with narcotics abuse. Reliable sources tell me the coast guard alone captures on average 2 tonnes of drugs – PER DAY. That is only the coast guard, and only what they manage to catch. It is a highly dangerous phenomenon on an astronomical rise in particular among Kuwaiti youth. And considering about 75% of the Kuwaiti population is under 25, I would hurry. Just a thought.

PS. I am no longer in Kuwait. I am back in London. It is raining. A lot.

August 11, 2007

Why Did The Chicken Enter The Garage?

There is a chicken living in my garage. Really. Perhaps a brief explanation is in order then perhaps you might assist in unravelling the mystery of the garage chicken. We live in a flat in a complex of four villas that have an underground garage, which is accessed through a card operated automatic garage door type thing. The only other possible access is from the pool, reached by going down approximately 20 steps and navigating through some spiky vegetation. The only other option is the chicken climbing up to the main entrances of the four separate villas and taking the elevator down to the garage. The area we live in is largely residential, with some schools. To my knowledge, none of the surrounding houses have chicken coups, and there are no chicken farms anywhere in the vicinity.
So although we are accustomed to garage cats, encountering the chicken in the garage was quite a surrealist and novel experience. Most puzzling is that this chicken has now been living in the garage for over three weeks (we think), without any obvious signs of anyone feeding it initially. At one point my adorable mother, a budding Dr. Doolittle who has a track record of converting our parking places in the garage into an animal shelter, decided the garage chicken has to be fed. She then proceeded to pull out a 3kg bag of millet or wheat grains from somewhere in the kitchen. (Why she had this in the first place is beyond me and on the list of other mysteries to be solved at some point.) Thus, though not knowing from whence this chicken came, what its purpose is, or how it has survived in the garage for so long, we have now adopted the garage chicken. The laying of any (toxic/carfumed) eggs shall be reported immediately. Watch this space.

Disclaimer: I am not hallucinating/seeing mirages in the desert/high/insane. No chickens have been harmed in the writing of this post.

August 08, 2007

Legal Eagle in Kuwait

Quick update. As you all know I am in Kuwait over the summer. Since my last inane post I have started working for a law firm in Kuwait (a genius idea of mine, if I do say so myself, to do something useful with my summer), whose Managing Partner is the reason I decided to become a lawyer –the man is übercool personified. So far I have learnt more in four weeks than I did the entire year at law school. Or at least, to be fair, practice is an entirely different kind of education. I must confess, I think I am going to like being a practising lawyer despite the tediousness and repetitiveness that law school entailed (and will no doubt entail again next year). Alas, the monstrous workload hasn’t left me as much time for being a beach bum as I had hoped, but I manage to squeeze in the odd hour of sun worship/power swim in my lunch break. It seems wise to stock up on sunshine for the endless months of near darkness that will no doubt commence the moment I step off the plane in London town. Over and out.

July 15, 2007

Failing Better

Yes...errr. So I have yet again failed to update in several months. It seems the law was rather more time-consuming than inititally predicted. I humbly apologize. Again.
I won't bother updating on the last few months, because really there is nothing of earth-shattering significance to report. It was months saturated with the law.
Nevertheless, I now have several months of glorious freedom before I become a legal slave yet again so I fully intend to bore you all senseless with the inane ramblings of an insane hummingbird. Afterall, if you are going to fail to update, do it in style. As Beckett said - "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

October 19, 2006

Papa Marx

Yours truly attended a lecture on constitutional and administrative law the other day. ("Attended"? Pffft, i had no choice in the matter. Still.) My lecturer is a wonderfully chipper and cynical Irishman, who loves power point, but above all loves adding randomn pictures in his slides to keep us awake. Yes pretty pictures = longer attention span. So mid-lecture, he starts discussing various thinkers who have ranted...nay, written about the rule of law. Suddenly, on the slides appears a picture of the one and only Karl Marx. And Irish lecturer says:
"Anyone recognize that picture? It's the original Papa Smurf. You might all know him as Karl Marx."
This wonderful little gem of a comment put me in a deliriously giggly mood for the rest of the day. Marx must be turning in his grave. Beard allowing.

October 04, 2006

A Brief Rant on Pointlessness

This morning i rolled out of bed at 7ish am (after falling asleep on my criminal law book at 2am) to brave the morning rush hour on the joyous London transport system in order to attend a seminar on legal research which was apparently vital to our survival in law school. Sounded promising enough. Imagine my at first amusement progrssing speedily to anger at discovering that the legal research seminar consisted of the most monotonous sounding library man telling us that the main source for our research would be the library. Yes, thats right. You heard me. This stunning stream of enlightenment does not stop there. Did you know for instance that within this thing they call a library we would have several things at our disposal namely: a)books; b)journals; c)law reports; d)the internet. I jest not.
I was so overcome with this epistemological accretion within 5 minutes i was reading a book i thankfully am used to carrying with me in case of transport lockdown. It was quite an achievement to shut off the perpetual drone of condescension in the background.
Is it really too much to assume that as individuals required to have a degree (or two, or a masters) before attending law school we would have encountered the thing they call a book?
Pointless, utterly utterly pointless...

October 03, 2006


Forgive me readers, for i have sinned. It has been almost a year since my last confession. And despite my last blog post being a moan about being old, and being 23, this has turned out to be a pretty damn good year. So...instead of providing you with an excruciatingly detailed account of my life amounting to a certain cure for insomnia, here are the highlights...(think Oscars, except no designer gowns....or actors....or red carpet. Ok, scrap that analogy...)
From November to January i had a pretty steady routine of applications, applications, applications.....for a job that is. After countless rejections which made me feel the size of an ectoplasmic amoeba stuck on the toe of a fish in a muddy puddle, i had an interview with A Consulting Firm which basically told me they wouldn't hire me because i was too high risk. What does that mean? Well apparently, in their opinion and experience, i would get bored within 3 months and quit. Now, i see that as a compliment. Damn you Consulting Firm! You couldn't deal with my individualism! (Bitter? Moi?)
January i did a brief stint at Huge City Law Firm (thanks S!). Interviewed with them, but ended up arguing with one of the partners about morality of taking money from Russian oligarchs who might have got the money from dubious sources. "Suprisingly", i didn't get the job. For those of you interviewing with big city law firms, please note, they do not care where the money comes from. Gottit?
Then started working for Big Newspaper in advertising. Lots of fun, and loved it!
In March, interviewed with another Big City Law Firm - and amazingly, got a job! Yes, i have sold my soul to the corporate Mephistopheles - but at least it is for a good price. Right? Right??? They are sponsoring me through 2 years of law school. And that dear readers is precisely what i am doing now. After a summer of travelling (Macedonia, Kuwait, Germany & Austria) I have just started my law conversion course, aka 3 years of law squished into one. And so far, i am absolutely loving it. Yes, yes, there IS an ulterior motive here for relaunching the blog. I need to procrastrinate now that i actually have work to do! I need a creative outlet for my chaotic brain!
Anyway, without further ado....relaunch complete!