Here I am, munching on an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, relaxing after a busy day in Kuwait. The sound of Dr. Who (and the heinous cries of the Daleks) echoes in the background as Sean unwinds from the day. It is 7pm in Kuwait, and I’m ready for bed!
No, really, Christmas is only six days away, and I see my family in less than 5. To fill my idle, nervous, anxious time in limbo, I figured why not post a catch-up blog? The following pictures are from this past month in Kuwait. It’s quite a hodgepodge, and I hope you’ll enjoy.
Once a year our school holds a “Sports Day”. All classes are canceled, and friendly competitions take place in rented spaces throughout the city. The middle school went to the Salmiya Club Sports Complex, where all sorts of fun ensued. Each house (group of about 100 students) competed against each other in handball, soccer, penalty kicks, and volleyball. I got to be a lucky team leader and supervisor : ) It was a perfect day; the weather was a perfect sixty-five degrees and the sun was shining!
Sean and I at the end of Sports Day. I used to have a mean set of tiger whiskers painted on my cheeks, and maybe you can make out that Sean’s forehead says, “Leopards”. My house color was yellow, and his was blue. I actually got a sun burn from this day! In the middle of December!
That same weekend, I believe, we explored another city in Kuwait, called Fahaheel. A good twenty miles away from Kuwait City, I heard it had a beautiful coast line and interesting sights. We never thought we’d make it down there until I found out that the city BUS could take you there for 200 fills! (That’s the equivalent of 75 CENTS!) So, one Saturday morning, we hopped on the 102 bus, and started cruising down the coast.
The city buses, while unpredictable, are actually a good resource once you learn how to use them. The same cab ride would have cost around 10 KD, or the equivalent of $36. We try and take the bus to as many places as we can. It’s fairly clean, and while sometimes crowded, the men are ALWAYS hospitable and accommodating to the women. Unless it’s basically empty, the women sit in the front and the men sit in back. If a female boards the bus and there are no open seats, a man will stand up to give her his seat. There are special seats reserved for women. I don’t know, I just think it’s kind of cool. That’s probably because I am a woman.
Anyways, once we got to Fahaheel, we saw tons of traditional fishing ships! It’s a large marina city. We had fun exploring the coast line.
Here is the “Al Kout” mall in Fahaheel. I bet this is never what you picture when you think of Kuwait!
Another shot of the water fountains at Al Kout mall. It’s the perfect place to have a cup of coffee.
A “dhow” fishing ship. We actually saw men cleaning their days catch! The building on the left is the fish market, where they would sell the fish they caught that day. I always love to walk through the fish markets, but once I’m inside, I find myself scurrying through as fast as I can to get away from the smell!
We climbed a watch tower near the mall. Kuwait has the ninth highest GDP per capita in the world. Can you spy why? (Hint: The back left of the photo… black gold… Texas tea…)
Here we are on the watch tower, overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
We then decided to see, “Black Gold”, an amazing, amazing, AMAZING film that was filmed in Qatar (where we were in my last blog post!). Here is the summary from IMDB:
Set in the 1930s Arab states at the dawn of the oil boom, the story centers on a young Arab prince torn between allegiance to his conservative father and modern, liberal father-in-law.
It has Antonio Banderas, if you need any more convincing.
Sean liked this ship; he says it’s a naval ship of some sort. *Cue laughter at my ignorance.*
The next day, I was in the mood for brunch and shopping with two of my girlfriends, Rachel and Megan. We went to The Early Bird, which is the BEST brunch place I’ve found in Kuwait. They serve American-style breakfasts, complete with the best coffee and hashbrowns I’ve had here so far. The best part? They’re only a hole-in-the-wall place, just like back home in Madison. Not another mall chain. Not to mention that they had a poster on their wall stating, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” What audacity for Kuwait! I plan on going back in the near future. Above is their chalkboard with the weather (temperature is in celcius). 22 is approximately 70 degrees. Are you jealous yet?
This is a shout out to Amanda and Aiden, who sent us a LOVELY Christmas card! (We loved the pictures of Aiden in his Halloween costume, by the way!) However, note how hilarious the “customs screening” here is. We can’t tell if that was Aiden ripping at the envelope, or the people at the customs office here in Kuwait? It’s definitely been resealed twice.
Regardless, thank you for the WONDERFUL card! We have a lovely collection on display!
This past weekend was our school’s staff Christmas party. Here is Sean with our good friend, Andrew. Don’t you love the Christmas tree in the background?
Here we are, our first Christmas away from home. BUT, our first Christmas as a married couple!
Our good friends, Megan and Andrew. (From Newfoundland, remember?)
These are our friends Joe and Nicole. Joe was Santa for all the teacher’s kids, and it was the cutest thing ever! A good time was had by all. Again, I bet this isn’t what you pictured when you thought of “Christmas in the Middle East”?
I’m glad I can continue surprising you!
Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone! This cues a break in blogging for me; the next time you’ll hear from me, it will be 2012! Look for photographs of the infamous Kriege family in the ruins of Petra! Stay tuned!