Shark For Sale!

Aloha from Kuwait!  I swear that line will never get old. It’s currently 6pm on Friday night, and Sean and I are relaxing after a long week of teaching. I thought I’d post some pictures to enlighten you all back home as to what’s been going on in our lives.

Things have been pretty low key the past few weeks, and our weekends have just been lovely. We had parent-teacher conferences this week, and were gifted with a four-day weekend. In between telling dishdasha-donning and hijab-clad families that I absolutely love their children, we managed to get a little bit of relaxing in.

I got breakfast with my neighbor Nadine at Marina Crescent this weekend. It’s a beautiful area on the gulf; lined with palm trees, it’s truly idyllic to sip a cup of coffee in the shade and look at all the boats.

Nadine and our lovely host at TeaGschwendner. We sampled a delicious herbal tea and I picked up 250 grams of my favorite tea of all time, Yerba Mate. This bloke knew his tea!

A lovely day in Medan Hawalli (the region we live in). Note the palm trees lining path, the mosque in the background, and the clouds dotting the azure sky. *Sigh*.

Nadine and I took a trip last Saturday to the Ray Center, which was just THE most interesting place. Somewhat strip-mall-esque, it was a series of shops that sold beautiful home furnishings, tapestries, floral displays, artwork, and of course simple household cleaning supplies and electronics. I found two beautiful pieces of fabric as well as a painting of Arabic men in a celebratory atmosphere. I really have no idea of it’s true meaning.

The fabric at the Rai Center. They had the most beautiful Persian rugs, traditional Muslim niqabs, Indian tapestries, and Arabic tableclothes. I’m in love!

Sean and I went to lunch at a traditional Iranian restaurant. It was our first really frustrating experience in Kuwait; there were four or five restaurants all in a row, but NONE of them spoke English and ALL of their menus were in Arabic. After twenty minutes of alternative between restaurants trying to explain the concepts of “vegetarian” and determining what “half a chicken” means when they say it’s only $3.5o, we settled on a place with a full hearth glowing and the seats filled with locals. We made the right choice. Sean had “half a chicken” for only $3,50 and I had enormous pieces of flat bread along with hummus and spinach. Our bill came to $5.00.

Sean at the Iranian restaurant. Note the beautiful tile mural on the wall; true Iranian-style!

In case you haven’t gotten enough Americana in this post, feast your eyes on the largest KFC and Pizza Hut I’ve ever seen.

As much as this blog is devoted to our cultural explorations within Kuwait, I think there is still something to be said about maintaining a certain sense of cultural reticence from our heartstrings that are the Midwest. The above photo is two delicious loaves of homemade, yeast-risen, cinnamon raisin bread! The entire baking process took me over four hours, but it was completely worth it. Never have I known the pleasure of cinnamon-raisin-homemade-bread-peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwiches! I am actually daydreaming of opening a side business selling baked goods to teachers at school… it’d be quite the enjoyable moonlighting endeavor!

Another domestically-related update, I painted our bedroom! It is now a beautiful shade of maroon. Nothing brightens up these high, white walls but a little color. We really love our apartment here. Note the floor-to-ceiling window on the right side of the photo!

For those of you blogging diehards, you are treated to my favorite picture within this post! Sean and I went to the fish market this weekend—yes, a leisurely stroll, I know—and we found an actually SHARK for sale! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have yet to determine whether or not this is legal…

(And no, Dad, when you come visit, I am NOT going to the fish market and buying ANY of these fish to cook for us! That’s what the supermarket is for.)

Lastly, while I can’t credit this photograph to my own taking, I thought it would be tragic not to share. Since there are no copyright laws that operate internationally, we have seen myriad burned-dvd salesmen and knock-off blockbuster advertisements. We recently saw a Johnny Depp look-alike advertising Pirates of the Caribbean for KFC! The above photo is a Toy Story play being performed somewhere in Kuwait… I can’t imagine how awkward this would be to see in person…

Tune in next week for our trip to Souq Sharq! I miss Wisconsin dearly, especially the month of October—my favorite month of all. I look forward to telling you about Halloween in Kuwait when the time comes…

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