‘Lovers’ Caught

…something completely different…speaks for itself…

From a newspaper,

‘A livestock owner, who staked out his pen in a bid to apprehend the thief responsible for his regularly ‘disappearing’ milk, stumbled upon a couple in a compromising position instead.

Unable to pinpoint the reason his goat’s milk vanished everyday, the owner deduced it could be the handiwork of a thief. Crouched in a corner inside the pen, the owner made sure he could clearly watch the entrance and pounce on the thief when needed.

An hour later, a GMC Suburban vehicle stopped near the entrance. Stepping out of the vehicle, an Asian driver and a woman entered the pen and hastened into a room located on the far side.

Waiting awhile, the owner tiptoed towards the room expecting to catch the couple pilfering his goat’s milk. He found no thief and as he barged into the room he froze in his tracks.

Right in front of him, the couple were engaged in a sex session. Shocked to see an uninvited stranger they jumped up in surprise and tried to flee.

Refusing to budge without an explanation, the owner demanded they produce their identity cards that revealed their respective nationalities. The amorous couple further disclosed that they used his pen as a regular rendezvous for their animated meetings and also helped themselves to the available goat milk.

When the owner insisted on producing them at a police station, the woman burst into tears pleading to be forgiven. The Asian too followed suit. Not wanting to blow the issue into scandalous proportions, the owner let the couple off the hook.

*end of story*

My comment–happened in Kuwait twenty some odd years ago, when reporters just told a good story without trying to take a political position or without trying to change the world. I found the story fun to read and without heartburn. Can’t remember the last news story I’ve read this year that came without heartburn. 🙂

I did some landscape stuff while in Kuwait.


Not far from Basra, and with a whole lot of Iranian, Iraqi and Palestinian influence.


And then time passed.



The Press

…water is life…

Rarely does dew manifest itself in the Empty Quarter. Trying to get water from dew in the Empty Quarter is like trying to get truth, or even certifiable facts from the ‘Press’–anywhere in the world.

…East or West or…

The English ‘Press’ in the Gulf Region is suffused with people from so many different countries and cultures, each trying to make a difference, each trying to earn a living, all overlaid with the moral fabric and traditions of the Region–it is filled with strange combinations of ambiguity and things that should not be said–and things that must be said.

Newspapers are newspapers, right? Hard copy or digital, right? Buried in each country’s news media are cultural clues waiting to be discovered, waiting to be puzzled out. How else can you understand these words from Saheeh Al Bukhaaree: ‘Whoever has seven Ajwat Al Madinah dates every morning, he will not be harmed that day by poison or magic.’

Following is a short narrative piece from Chapter 12: Long and Short, to impart some of the landscape feeling of The 23 Club.


The 23 Club

Immersed in the contemporary culture of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, against the backdrop of the Empty Quarter, The 23 Club tells the inside story of how an iconic project gets built in the oil rich, Gulf Region of the Arabian Peninsula.

Table of Contents

  • Desertification
  • It’s 2AM
  • Spike Lounge
  • The Walk
  • Rub Al Khali Coastal
  • Rub Al Khali Inland
  • Liwa Qsar
  • The Nursery
  • Finding Majlis
  • Library Majlis
  • Villa Majlis
  • Long and Short

               The Press

Mid-December 2010, and Chalmers had just settled down into his business class seat on his flight back home. With a certain trepidation, he was looking forward to Christmas in the mountains with Madge. As he sat down, he couldn’t tell which troubled him more, the stiffness in his back from the automobile accident, or the mental and physical weariness of eight months, everyday in the Empty Quarter, under the relentless sun, cajoling, arm twisting everyone on the team, or…the uncertainty of seeing Madge for the first time in eight months.

Liwa Qsar was completed, even without Theuns. The project had made headlines in the press numerous times–good and bad. Nevertheless, the Liwa Qsar project opened on schedule. The soft opening was 2 October, and the official grand opening was 1 December. It was grueling. It was accomplished, another project under his belt. But, by Chalmers’ point of view, the Empty Quarter, being what it was, could never be considered conquered by this project, or by any project. Even after eight months living and working every day in the Empty Quarter, Chalmers found it too large, too old, too unapproachable, and too unknown.

Chalmers lived on site for the first three months before relocating to Abu Dhabi for the rest of the project. He couldn’t live 24/7 in the heart of the Empty Quarter. He needed to get to the water’s edge–to the city. He needed a certain kind of human space–space the Empty Quarter denied to him. So, he commuted to and from the site every day.

Despite the successful project, his Empty Quarter experience had been one of strange, impending suffocation. The Rub al Khali was always trying to take something from him, trying to constrain something that should not be constrained. He couldn’t really put his finger on it.

  • Pilgrimage
  • Wanderweg
  • Appendix 1:  Berner Oberland Back Story
  • Author’s Notes
  • Plant List
  • Colophon


(to be continued)

© 2015 Edward Flaherty

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