Monday, October 02, 2006

My Brush-In With a Kuwaiti "Prince"

I was thirteen. I was still living in my bubble where I expected everyone to be mutually nice and pleasant with me. The last bell of the day rang and soon, our seventh grade hallway bustled with lockers being stuffed and slammed shut. I was walking with two of my friends. I remember I was on the far left, marching one step before them so I could see them both as I was telling them what had happened during English class.

I did not notice the Prince strolling my way. I did not see him twirl his rosary beads as he shuffled down the hallway with his leather slippers. Now when I think of it, I wonder why he incessantly made an extra effort to emphasize his so-called royal status or why he would throw one of his unnecessarily demeaning Old Kuwaiti phrases at the continuously bullied kid in our grade.

My friends and I were in the middle of the hallway now. When he walked by my side, my backpack brushed his arm. I instinctively turned to him, “Oh! I’m sorry!” He stood tall, dark and pimpled before me, his overgrown adolescent nostrils flaring. I did not notice that he stopped walking. I did not see him frowning and widening his large eyes, “TA3ALAY AGOOLICH! Come here!”

Even at that moment, I did not know he had directed his booming command to me. But his voice thundered in the hallway and everybody, including me, turned their attention to him.

“Intay ma tisti7een 3ala wayhich! 6agaitay eedi oo tamsheen! You don’t have any shame! You hit my arm and walked off!”

I was a bit baffled by his extreme anger but I quietly said, “It was a mistake. I told you I’m sorry.”

To my surprise, that was not the end of it. He roared even louder this time, “TA3ALAY! Ana sheikhich! Ta3alay la asdi7ich bil arth! Come here! I am your sheikh! Come or I’ll hurl you onto the floor!”

I looked at him, standing all alone in the slowly emptying hallway. I remember staring at him in confusion before shaking my head at his pathetic state. I turned my back to him and continued my story to my awaiting friends.

Ray Charles - Yesterday
Bob Dylan - Yesterday
John Lennon - Yesterday
The Beatles - Yesterday
Frank Sinatra - Yesterday
En Vogue - Yesterday

at 9:48 AM


  1. Blogger Caffeinated posted at 10:55 AM  
    It's definitley a "WTF?!?!" moment.

    At that age, though, most kids (guys) are @$$holes with no sense of security, so they fall back on whatever superficial bit of security they have. Here, they employ the last name tactic, though others (here and in other countries) use ethnicity, looks, etc to get by. They'll get bitten back sometime, though many survive for a while by surrounding themselves with equally superficial people.

    Man, this country needs some serious resocialization.

    But now that we are older, we know how to handle the situations better. I'm sure that if that happened to you now, you'd have a different response. In fact, what would you do if you were back there, then, at that moment, but you are the person you are now?
  2. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 12:45 PM  
    If someone did that now .. I would probably laugh and walk away. The majority of people from the 'royal family' that I have interacted with are usually down to earth and great people. The people in the 'royal family' with any real power don't flaunt it. The others use their names to get away with trivial things (tinted windows and so on).
  3. Blogger The Krispy Dixie posted at 1:17 PM  
    I agree with K.. most of the ones that i've met have been very down to earth and sweet :D although one of them did mention she was a "sheikha" in order to board a plane she was late for, but she said it in a sweet, funny way...

    I can just picture ur reaction to him! :D
  4. Blogger Dr.Lost posted at 3:20 PM  
    i have to say i soo agree with K as well.. the ones i met were also very down to earth, modest, and kind.. and like K said, the ones with any real power are the humble ones actually..

    then again.. he was just a kid .. and kids say the most ridiculous stuff all the time.. so i am not so surprised really..
  5. Blogger A HEROINE posted at 3:33 PM  
    I agree with the comments above,

    By the way, I love your blog, and I lurrrve (let it slide :P) how all the songs are intitled yesterday,
  6. Blogger don_veto posted at 3:39 PM  
    Prince Charming needs to enroll in a charm school. I hope he grew out of it.
  7. Blogger Intlxpatr posted at 6:33 PM  
    "Tall, dark and pimpled . .. ." LOL! Well done, Erzulie, you took us all back to the horrors of high school. By now life has probably tempered his arrogance. I bet he just wanted your attention! ;-)
  8. Blogger Lola posted at 8:23 PM  
    What a weirdo! Yes, K is right... Most (especially the real ones) do not flaunt their power like that and are very down to Earth and nice. It is the newer ones that do that - and that is a testament to the ways times are changing. Kuwait never had that "royal family" thing before. The royal family were just one of the families. There was nothing reverent about it. I wonder what this guy is doing now... Living off his ridiculaous salary and annoying people I bet!
  9. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:24 PM  
    Caff: I think I would probably say something (in a stern voice) like, "Geltlik bidoon ma adree. Mala da3ee it3alee 9otik 3alai ib hal 6areeqa. I7tirim nafsik..." etc.

    K: Yes so true. I have a friend from the royal family and you wouldn't know it because she's so humble and normal! But it's too bad that my earliest interaction with an individual from the royal family was with this guy. Sometimes, it's hard to get over first impressions but fortunately, I got over this guy. But it's sad how in all families, not only the royal one, a bunch of individuals end up scarring the family name.

    Krispy: Yup, read my reply to K's comment, I don't feel like retyping it :P Yeah, again, you have the good, the bad and the fugly in all families.

    Dr.Lost: Heh, yeah...and you too, look at my reply to K's comment...ti3abt :P

    heroine: Oh sank you sank you :P~ Sorry I just ate a big ol' Chipotle fajita and I have major food coma...Whoa...all right next person...

    Don_Veto: No. He's the guy who owns the Ferrari in my post titled "Fendi Bags, Lamborghinis, and Kuwaiti Pissants." I just remembered this: his daddy bought him the car and his name was already listed as in debt in the newspaper :/ So yeah, if you're on the lowest rung of the royal family ladder, you try to show as much flash (some not all) to prove your royalty.

    intlxptr: Life should do it for him. Otherwise, I don't think he'll be happy...and that's sad no matter how rude the person was years ago...

    raine: Yeah. See my reply to K's comment and also Don Veto's comment. It's just that for me, like you said, I did not think that they were anything special i.e. royal and stuff. Just another family right? That's how it was always. But I guess he wanted me to think otherwise.
  10. Blogger CyberRowdy(Q8TechDrive) posted at 11:16 PM  
    K said it! I know one cool dude named mohammad and he is from the royal family...he is a down to earth, soft spoke nice guy. I respect him a lot for inhibitions or "i am big" feeling! if someone asks his name, he only says the first name omitting the family name...we miss our costa trips coz of ramadan..
  11. Blogger Kleio posted at 11:35 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  12. Blogger Kleio posted at 11:36 PM  
    What a pathetic kid. Talk about insecurities!

    As for what K said, very true. One of my best friends through childhood was a member of the "ruling family" (note: in the Gulf they are classified as "ruling", not "royal" - in academia at least - ugh the historian in me has crept up again - I apologise). Anyway, she was very down-to-earth and sweet...still is. I remember one day when we were about 13 I went with her to the business office at A.S.K. to pay for a textbook she had lost. On the receipt, the accountant had written the letters "H.E." before her name. After he handed it to her, she showed it to me. "See that?" she said, visibly irritated and even a bit angry. I had no idea what it meant and asked her. "It stands for 'Her Excellency,'" she said, and snorted. "I'm 13! I hate it when they do that." It was the first time I ever realized that some people saw "them" as "different", and I remember liking her even more after seeing how annoyed she got.
  13. Blogger Delicately Realistic posted at 1:10 AM  
    LOL oh my goodness!
    Thakarteny ib ayam il school...laish kanaw the guys wayid makhtheen maglab ib ro7hom? They were pimpled & big nosed...didnt they see it? Ilmafroth yst7on 3ela il pimples ily ib wyohom.

    Erz, u did it again, creating the scene as if it was happening right in front ogf me, im getting flashbacks of my old school halls...the one way system lol :P
  14. Blogger Erzulie posted at 5:40 AM  
    Q8techdrive: Yeah, K was on the point. I do not have a lot of friends from the ruling family (thanks Kleio for the info - keep 'em coming :) but the ones who I remain in touch with are very humble and fun to be with. None of the frou-frou in-your-face treatment.

    Kleio: Yup, K's right. It's the few rude loudmouths that ruin it for the decent rest. It's too bad though; such experiences - especially at a young age - nurture prejudice towards them. One day they were just another family, the next day you find the adults saying "Stay away from so and so." I think that in many cases - not necessarily in reference to the ruling family - if someone is well-off and not well-mannered (i.e. no parental discipline), chances are that the person would likely be someone who abuses the most insignificant matter in his/her being. I mean, we all came across that person who bellowed,"My father is so and so and he did this and that." Well, who are you? What did YOU do? This again is not solely directed to members of the ruling family. And PS a friend of mine dislikes it as well due to the negative stereotype :/ unfortunately...

    DR: Ahh! The one way system! I think I spent about two months over there after the war before I switched over :P Yup, I think in every private school you have similiar cliques: the loud kuwaiti group, the pakistani/indian group, the Western group, the Arab group, and the people in-between who are either social butterflies or outcasts.

    Fuzzy: Hehe :)
  15. Blogger Proletarian posted at 2:18 PM  
    Probably he has some personal issues…
    Some day the whole system will change. Remember Engels and Marx, they all predicted how we are going to reach the imperialistic domination stage. So we are now in the dawn of the second stage. Soon, the world and all the people will see how a real social system going to work. Trotsky wrote about socialist America, and how it is going to be different than the Russian system.
    Do me a favor check this site out…

    John Lennon is the best… :-)
  16. Blogger expatblogger posted at 5:50 AM  
    Wow... really nice blog!!! We see good stuff coming out of your head. Check us out. ;)
  17. Blogger Erzulie posted at 6:29 AM  
    Proletarian: Everything will take time and I don't think that kind of improvement will be seen in our lifetime. Maybe our grandkids though...And Lenon is da bomb. There's a movie coming out called "The US vs. John Lennon." I don't think it's coming out in Kuwait because I'm catching it at the independant theater here in my spot BUT I could snag you a copy :)

    expat: Wow! Good stuff is coming out of MY HEAD! :P~~ WHOA! Hehehehehe :P
  18. Blogger Proletarian posted at 8:14 AM  
    The move is out already. It was released on September 15th. Check your local cinema. Thank you so much for the offer but I’m in LA.
  19. Blogger Caffeinated posted at 12:54 PM  
    I think you're being too nice...I don't think we can get away with stuff like that (Mala da3ee it3alee 9otik 3alai ib hal 6areeqa. I7tirim nafsik) while we are in our 20s...we wouldn't be taken seriously. :(

    Go for the taser. I'll back you up with mace.

    In all seriousness, I would opt for K's response.
  20. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 4:00 PM  
    A small group of individuals usually cast a bad shadow on others(Kuwait and otherwise). I was once introduced to some lebanese people as; "He is Kuwaiti, but not like the others'.

    Felt like a Lost flashback (one more day).
  21. Blogger Erzulie posted at 5:23 PM  
    proletarian: LOL! Okay! :)

    caff: Where is K's response? And that's the problem with me. Ilsanee mayloo6 athanee so even when I want to get a good "zafa" out, it ends up sounding stern but...not polite but not downright rude either. Sort of like how a teacher might scold.

    K: Ouuchhh... :/
  22. Blogger Equalizer posted at 2:30 PM  
    LOL that is a funny moment. I rarely see those nowadays. Usually they end up surrounded with a bunch of useless fdawiya. No friends, nothing. In Kuwait they have to be down to earth because they can't afford otherwise. Not fun to be a joke.
  23. Blogger Erzulie posted at 11:29 PM  
    Equalizer: Very true :/
  24. Blogger Caffeinated posted at 9:47 AM  
    Erzulie ...K the Kuwaiti had said:

    If someone did that now .. I would probably laugh and walk away.

    Actually, when I get mad, I can't even think of a good zafa in Arabic (aside from the obvious words...I'd rather be creative)...that's why I go with K: No words, but you get your message across :-)
  25. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:09 AM  
    Caff: Yeah I guess. I guess right now, in this age, laughing is a good way out of dealing with overgrown children. Who does that now anyway i.e I am flan il flani. I think their days are o-v-e-r
  26. Blogger Caffeinated posted at 5:29 PM  
    May the revolution begin.
  27. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:54 PM  
    caff: Lol :P
  28. Blogger daddies little cuttie posted at 12:24 AM  
    sheikh she5 eb m3ane hub eb man9eba i agree with caffeinated
  29. Blogger Erzulie posted at 5:46 AM  
    B.7: Ditto :)
  30. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 4:31 AM  
    Not only that his actions would be considered unmanly by members of the royal family in Kuwait, but to the general population such an action against a female would be taken as a major offence, it's true that the Kuwaiti society in still a man's world, but it’s a part of our traditions that a women should never ever be spoken to by a man, whatever the situation might be, you are never allowed to make a scene with a women and you have anything to say regarding any actions from her side, you should by the laws and boundaries of our traditions that you should take to the male guardian of her family, whether it's her father or brother or husband, his actions according to us Kuwaiti's are the actions of he who is not worthy to be called a man, and by the way, manhood in Kuwait start's at an early age of 12 or at most at 14.

    Thnx for sharing my dear …

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