Happy October!The weather here in Kuwait is starting to cool down a bit, now only getting into the 90’s during the day, and not crossing the 100-degree threshold. Maybe I’ll put on a sweater 😉
Anyways, today’s blog post comes to you for three main reasons:
1. Sean’s cousin asked us to do a blog on transportation in Kuwait.
2. We found cool graffiti.
3. We went out for Chinese food.
Imagine it’s 6:30 in the morning, and you are on your daily walk to work. Now, you exit your beautiful apartment building, begin the four-minute walk to your classroom. You cross one street, a sandlot, a second street, and you’re there. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Every day becomes a philosophical conversation with death. We live directly across from the police station, and the sand lot we cross is where they store all of the totaled cars from collisions in the area. They generally accumulate cars for a month or so, then clear them out and start all over. Weaving your way in between the crushed BMWs and the crumpled Ferraris, I can’t help but realize how small my problems actually are in the grand scheme of life.
On a lighter note, Sean’s cousin Amanda asked us about the public transportation in Kuwait. Every weekend we generally end up taking the public bus for one reason or another, so I thought I’d document how the process works. To begin, you’ve got to find the bus stop. There are no signs, no “terminals”, no route maps. You normally look for a gathering of people on a busy road. This particular photo happens to be the bus stop under the overpass, , the bus we take into Kuwait City. We go into Kuwait City when we want to go to the Old Souq,walk around the busy streets looking for a hidden restaurant or cool shop, or visit one of the malls, ‘Souq Sharq’ which has a nice marina area and restaurant we like. The photo above is the entry from our neighborhood to the bus stop.
Every day in Kuwait is a new adventure. Apparently it wasn’t this buses’ day for the thrill ride. With no one inside, its flashers blinking, and the engine exposed, this bus sat abandoned on the side of one of the busiest highways in Kuwait.
Kyle, Abby, and Sean wait for the bus to come. As you can see, there is no place for the bus to “pull over”. The most they can do is slow down to a roll within the stream of traffic; it is your responsibility to grab the door, jump in, pay the man, and find your seat without the bus ever coming to a complete stop!
Our adventure last week took us to one of the most delicious falafel eateries I have found in Kuwait thus far. We ordered hummus, foul (pronounced “fool”, it’s the mashed brown beans in the left-hand corner), salad, roasted eggplant, shawarma, flatbread, and french fries—more than enough to feed four people! The bill? 3KD. That’s less than a dinar per person. One dinar is around $3.50. We stuffed our American faces for around three bucks a head. THAT’S fine dining!
While downtown Kuwait, I was handed this card by a shop owner. The only reason I post it on my blog is that it truly shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Looking for a new abaya? Give these guys a call! (Let’s hope you can find the shop… it’s apparently in the vegetable market?)
After our delicious meal of falafel, we went to the Old Souq for a look around. We found a fountain that was hopping with families. It makes Kuwait look so lush!
To board the bus back home, we have to walk to the McDonald’s. It’s the central hub for the buses in the Old Souq area. (Not to mention our guilty pleasure—getting a McFlurry before heading back to our apartment!)
Kyle and Abby in front of us on the bus. The only reason I post this picture is to show you how the seating works. All of those seats in the front of the bus are reserved for women. On a crowded bus, it is general consensus that the women sit in front and the men in back.
Another adventure we had which led us to delicious food was our trip to China Zone. This place is near our apartment in Medan Hawally. It’s only a few minute’s walk, but we’d never been here before. Our neighbors, David and Nadine, brought us for the first time. Could you guess they serve Chinese? …Did you notice Sean and the giant crustacean in the corner?
What a weird statue to have in front of a small Chinese place in the middle of a residential neighborhood… but it brought us in!
The inside was too cute! They really went all out with decorating.
We felt like such tourists, but who cares? The food was pretty good, too!
On our walk home from China Zone, we passed a small car dealership. Anyone interested in a Corvette? What about a Ferrari?
I can’t believe how rich this country is, and sometimes I tend to forget it. Here they have the most expensive cars just casually lined up on the side of the road. As if a passerby may all of a sudden think to themselves, “You know what? I DO feel like a new car today!”
Nadine showed us the best graffiti I’ve seen in Kuwait so far.
We couldn’t help but ham it up.
Thus concludes our easy weekend in Kuwait. We’ve been here a month and a half now, and we’re getting the travel itch again! We just booked tickets for a long weekend in Musandam—called the “fjords of Arabia”, we plan on camping, swimming, and climbing around the beautiful mountains! Stay tuned!