Saturday, March 24, 2007

Workers’ Curiosity & Suicidal Attempts

I really feel sorry for the street sweepers here in Kuwait. I blame the government for Okaying the institution of such companies that grant their employees a measly twenty to thirty Kuwaiti Dinars per month. That is no way to live.

Although I push my own shopping cart to my car at the super market, I do tip the workers who help me carry my weighty carton of water in my trunk. I appreciate their help and I am sure that my 500 fils or so would make more of a difference to them than me. However, what I do not appreciate at all is when these men approach me while I am in my immobile car with a “Salam 3ailaikom” before peering down to eye my legs and thighs while I am waiting for the traffic light to turn green. I frown in discomfort and quickly lurch my car forward and away from their path.

I read an article written by Al-Qabas columnist Mohammad Mosaed Al-Saleh and in it, he stated that a jailed person in Bangladesh can buy his/her way out of the country, sort of like self-exile if you might. The end result is a new beginning in a foreign land, a foreign land that does not have any record of this person’s sentence, whether it is a petty crime, rape or murder.

Another aspect that I do not like about blue collared workers is the way they throw themselves at you while you are driving. I usually experience this traumatic event in downtown Kuwait. Whenever I see someone with an anxious look on their face, teetering on the little strip of pavement between two lanes, I make an attempt to slow down just in case this person decides to cross the road even when it is irrational to do so. However sometimes, they assume the mode of a rash pedestrian; they see me driving toward them and they remain still. When I am about two to three meters away, they hurl themselves in front of my car and scramble across the street. I consider it a form of suicide. I mean, why would you wait until I am three feet away from your face to cross the road? There are more hassle-free ways to die that do not involve much clean-up after self-execution, and jumping in front of cars is surely not one of them.


MP3's...
Mazzy Starr- Fade Into You
Beck - Loser
Dionne Farris - I Know
Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
The Proclaimers - I Would Walk 500 Miles

at 12:04 AM

11 Comments

  1. Blogger Delicately Realistic posted at 2:11 AM  
    The way they run and 'salam 3alaikom' us as they brush away the imaginery piece of litter always bothers me.
    But i feel really sorry for them when i remember how much theyre paid.

    Everytime we buy shirt or whatever from any regular store like zara its about equal to their pay for 1 month ;/ sometimes even more than their pay

    i feel bad now
    ive been on a week long shopping spree
  2. Blogger NiQa posted at 2:16 AM  
    You are so sweet, I’m glad there is someone that actually cares about cleaning up after an act of suicide… ur right, jumping in front of a car is not the best idea. Maybe in your next post, you can give people better ideas on how to take their own lives. I’m sure they’d be grateful.
  3. Blogger Ms.Baker posted at 11:13 AM  
    You know what Niqa, I can't help but think whenever I observe someone being intentionally snide and nasty to perfect strangers - on their own blogs nonetheless- how sad and unhappy with their real lives they must be. Unhappy enough to have to divert and expend actual mental and physical energy to formulate and give coherently composed verbal form to their lonely, bitter, and misdirected little negative thoughts...

    You must feel very empty now. Surely, there must be other more productive and fulfilling ways to make yourself feel superior when you have had a bad day?

    With compassion and empathy,

    Yours,

    Ms. Baker
  4. Blogger Ms.Baker posted at 11:33 AM  
    Erzulie,

    It cannot be helped at this moment in time in our country. Everyone is hungry and angry. Too many people are here who should not be. Kuwait has attracted all the mean and seedy sorts who know no other manner of survival than to prey upon those or that which they can eke out a rude and barely human existence from. As well as those wily ones who are here to screw (pardon me) Kuwait over and take what they can and then get out.

    You cannot even blame the government anymore. We are now collectively reaping what we have sown because we lacked a true and steady foresight or vision in creating a sustainable and enlightened humane future for our country and it's people. Instead, we are a breeding ground and haven for a culture of vultures feeding upon the half-living creatures and carrion that they know will be available for consumption if they wait long enough.

    The sadly depressed Ms. B, who loved your MP3's :)
  5. Blogger eshda3wa posted at 2:00 PM  
    What pisses me off are the crazy loons who cross the highways!! ya3ne in kuwait everyone speeds!! oo 3l hoghway ba3ad!
    a while ago someone tried crossing the 5th ring road, 7aram he was hit. but come on!

    these street sweepers yaksroon elkha6er, there should be a humans rights movement 3ala the pay they are getting

    Ms Baker
    why the harsh words, the lady was kidding. As in haha a joke :)
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:19 AM  
    DR: I know, it is sad and unfair. But life isn't fair anyway so I guess in some weird and effed up way, it all evens out. Plus, you don't really know what they do in their spare time so...*shrugs* I hope they'll be happy, in this life or the next...

    niqa: Ever heard of a chill pill? I'm not sure if you read my other posts but I'm pretty sarcastic and blunt, in my blog and in real life. Do I want people to commit suicide? Of course not. I read your comment while at work and I smiled in amusement because I didn't think anyone would be "something" enough to actually take what I said seriously. Again, chill OUT. Life is too short to get all fired up about a few sentences mentioned on a stranger's blog...lighten up!

    ms.baker: I just love your writing mashallah. Seriously, no matter what context it's in, for instance, berating a pessimistic and humorless being, it's always fresh and inspiring :)
    And I agree with the whole "Kuwaiti Downfall" theory you typed out in an oh-so-eloquent way. But you know, even though we observe our fellow citizens and inhabitants in general take advantage of everyone and everything around them, I still have hope in the minority of well-intentioned, genuine and good-hearted people out there who do strive for a more enlightened future...hmm, enlightened, even the word itself is beautiful...

    eshda3wa: I chuckled at your "come on!" Yeah, the probability of surviving after crossing ANY highway in Kuwait is zilch. And the street sweepers are treated worse than dogs here. They seem more like machines wearing human flesh than people. And no, it wasn't "haha a joke," the "lady" was not kidding about me wanting blue collared workers to resort to more cleanly ways to end their lives.

    This was one hell of a turn that I did not see coming. Anyhow...

    *stretches & yawns*

    Yeah...
  7. Blogger Swair. posted at 4:06 PM  
    i give them money everytime they say salam 3alaikum.. they're just saying hi, u know lol

    and the suicide attempts are CRAZY, a7es lay3a chabedhum min eldinya, ur forced to slow down..
  8. Blogger Fedo posted at 7:01 AM  
    This confirms that you were better off here. :P
  9. Blogger Erzulie posted at 4:18 PM  
    swair: Donno...sometimes I feel that theyre THE con artists in this country...and I would be sickened by my existence if I were them...

    fedo: Haha :P~ Youre going to be in the same position I am now (maybe a little bit more extreme, juuuust a little ;P~) in a year or five ;P
  10. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 10:38 AM  
    Believe it or not, a few years ago there was a law stating that if foriegners got hit by a car, they had the right to ask for about 5,000-10,000 KD from the driver that hit them(If they survived).

    Which is why they cancelled that law now, cause basically they were throwing themselves.
  11. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:05 AM  
    Anon: Hmm, that's interesting. Actually, I'm not surprised that they would throw themselves on large pieces of moving metal; a lot of workers get 30 KD (some don't even get paid) and they live in deplorable conditions AND a lot have families who depend on them back in their original home. Hmm, sad.

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