After having resigned my passport to my employer on January 13th so that my residency and Civil Id could be processed, I finally got my passport back last week. This twelve week period, you will agree, exceeds the four week period that I was originally told I would be illegally without possession of Her Majesty's property, by quite a wide margin.
In my opinion (and believe me there are many opinions) this process took as long as it did because the company for which I work lacks sufficiently significant Wasta. Wasta means influence. It is the informal, nepotistic matrix of interconnectedness between the various dimensions and strata of Kuwaiti society that 'binds the universe together', rather like the force did, though differently, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It allows things to be got done, if I can put the matter simply, with an effectiveness, and above all in a reasonable time frame, that cannot reliably be presumed upon if one intends to negotiate the various systems of bureacracy without it.
So there one has it. If you work for a multi-national, or at least a better company than I do, you will be without your passport for no more than two to three weeks. If not, your unimpressive location in the hierarchy of significance will receive the attention it deserves, which is not much. Nothing written, no law or guarantee, no Embassy or promise will save you from the harsh, frustrating, unaccountable realities of 'tomorrow' and 'Inshalla'.
Anyway, Its time for me to jet away from this land which, despite my tone, I do not actually mind, and in ways certainly like, but which has simply got to me after not having been able to leave it since January.
And so, after much hesitation, I go to California for almost three weeks. At least to begin with, to stay with Patrick, who has now left Kuwait, alas.
I wonder what I shall get up to there???