Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer


In a recent post, I described New Orleans as a “louche” city. I’ve had several back channels asking about the word LOUCHE.

I believe that the original meaning in French was “cross-eyed.”

The Free Dictionary says it means “Of questionable taste or morality; decadent”

It also says it is from the old French “losche” meaning squinty eyed, and from the old Latin “luscus” meaning blind in one eye.

Die Net says it is an “adj : of questionable taste or morality; “a louche nightclub”;”a louche painting” [syn: shady]

The most fun definition was at Geocities , also, in my opinion, the most complete:

[adj. LOOSH] Someone who is louche has questionable taste or morals, or they could be lacking in respectability. If you’re imagining a squint-eyed character who makes you suspicious or anxious you’re not far off from this word’s origins. Louche is a borrowed French word (meaning cross-eyed) derived from the Latin luscus which literally meant blind in one eye. First used in the English language in the early 19th-century, louche refers to character, behavior, or appearance. …

But in looking all this up for you, I found one more definition I had never heard before:

A wine troubled by the presence of suspended particles which cause it to be cloudy.

From Geocities/Cool words

When I described New Orleans as louche, it has the meaning of someone like an aging courtesan, who looks pretty good as you are walking up to her, but when you get close you can see that her dress has seen better days, her make up is a little streaky and she needs a good wash. And there is that questionable morals or respectability. . . 😉

Doncha love new words? And I learned something, too!

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Cross Cultural, Language, Words | 1 Comment

Sequim and Dungeness on Google

I know you guys explained in detail how to post maps. I know you even used small words, easy words, but somehow, I can’t make it work your way. I guess I need a workshop or something.

But I CAN go on GoogleEarth and SaveImage. It works for me, and I can use it here to share with you where the prior photos are taken on the trip to Sequim and Dungeness.

This is the map of the Sequim/Dungeness area. Dungeness is the spit up at the top where some of the sweetest crabs in the world live and die to feed our hearts and souls. If you ever get a chance to drive on the Olympic Peninsula, you will want to do so. It is not crowded, and the scenery is totally awe inspiring. There are Indian reservations selling Indian art, fields and fields of lavender, fresh fruits and vegetables, farms of all kinds, and views of the Puget Sound. Even in rainy weather, it is gloriously beautiful.


Here you can see Sequim and the Dungeness Spit as part of the larger area:


August 9, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, GoogleEarth, Seattle, Tools, Travel | 6 Comments

Urge for Sex in Mornings?

I am always fascinated by what brings people to my blog. I take a look from time to time at the Search Engine Terms – I love it that WordPress gives us so much information. But today I was baffled – most of these, I can understand, I have blogged on many of these subjects.

I have never blogged on the urge for sex in mornings.

It gives me a big giggle to think so many strange phrases and questions lead to my blog, but I laugh because I can’t think of any serious reason why it works that way. Sometimes life is just weird.

Search Views
find arab times Kuwaiti newspaper Aug 8t 4
St Nicklaus and santa? 2
snopes cardiologist sludge pain in jaw 1
burner phone 1
mayonnaise +olive +oil + vinegar + musta 1
KLM Troubles 1
st. niclaus day celebration (germany) 1
gossip and back biting in islam 1
“vinegar” cures chocolate taste 1
Urge for sex in mornings 1

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Customer Service, Humor, Statistics, Words | 9 Comments

Halal Neighborhood Market

I have never seen this on a truck before. JD’s market is in an area near the local college, near the hub of the bus system, and near a lot of stores people can walk to. It is a neighborhood rich in immigrants, rich in opportunities for work, rich in transportation options – and it just tickles me to see a truck advertising “halal meat” on it.


You hear complaints in Kuwait and Qatar, and most of the Gulf countries, about the Americanization of the world – the supersize-me fast food outlets, the same western stores in every mall, the spread of western – and particularly American – culture.

Look closely. It’s not a one-way street. We are all influencing one another, more than we know.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Hygiene, Living Conditions, Locard Exchange Principal, Photos, Shopping, Spiritual | 5 Comments

U.S. Taxes, a Poem

None of the following is original. Many thanks to a dear friend who forwards me these gems from time to time. I have never seen this one before:

At first I thought this was funny…then I realized
the awful truth of it.
Be sure to read all the way to the end!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries, then
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin ,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid.

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
” Taxes drove me to my doom…”

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)

Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago,

And our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest
middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to
raise the kids.

What the hell happened? Can you spell “politicians!”

And I still have to “press 1”

For English.

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times

This last year, they changed the way they charge taxes to ex-pats. It has made a HUGE difference in the amounts we owe every year. We now owe more in taxes than we made in the early years of our marriage! Aaarrgh!

If we believe our taxes are truly working for the greater good, we don’t mind so much. Faced with the crumbling infrastructure in our country, we shouldn’t see things like the failure of the levees in Louisiana, the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota, the degradation of our clean water programs in many states as our infrastructure ages. We should, for the taxes we pay, have a world class medical program available for all citizens, but especially the oldest and the youngest, the most vulnerable citizens.

Those who talk the most about bringing God back into our politics are often the ones who complain the most about money wasted on immigrant programs, public health and safety programs, tax monies collected for schools, for rehabilitation programs. Jesus would weep in frustration.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Social Issues, Spiritual | 3 Comments

Health Teams Close Kuwait Restaurants

Following hard on the heels of‘s recent post on Ma63am’estan comes a report from today’s Arab Times:

KUWAIT CITY: Inspection teams affiliated to the Capital branch of Kuwait Municipality launched a surprise inspection campaign in Al-Sabah Health Zone and sealed several illegal restaurants and groceries operating from within the premises of various health centers affiliated to the Ministry of Health, reports Al-Watan daily. Reportedly, a grocery was operating at the Center for Allergies without a license and none of its employees had health certificates to prove that they are free of diseases. Head of the inspection team Fadel Al-Sharhan said another illegal grocery was found operating from within the Psychiatric Hospital and its employees too did not have health certificates.

“It is ironical that the Ministry of Health is not doing its supervision duties within its own premises,” he said, adding “these health centers are visited by several people every day and we do not know what kind of food these groceries were selling and the workers could have been suffering from infectious diseases too.” Indicating that the inspections were ordered by Director General of Kuwait Municipality Ahmed Al-Sabih, Al-Sharhan said the inspections will continue till Wednesday.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Technical Issue | 4 Comments