Two Weeks In Kuwait Through My Eyes

Happy May everyone! And by May, I mean one way away from June. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. That sounds cliche, I know, but within this month, I am no longer a second-year teacher and Sean and I will have been married two years now. How mind-blowing is that! I feel like it was just a few months ago that I was walking down the grassy green alter on our wedding day, and when I was nervously preparing lesson plans for my “first day” of school.

What do you learn in two years? Would you consider me a different person? Sean is twenty-five and and I am twenty-four. Are we more mature than our college selves? I think we live a less spartan lifestyle, and we laugh when we say things like, “in this household”, realizing that we ARE a household, a family. The two of us.

Regardless, do I know where I’m going and what the next two years will hold? Absolutely not. And I hope I can never say that I do.

Anyways, this blog post is to catch you up on this month in Kuwait. May was a fun month of exploring, dining out, and celebrating the end of the school year. As of right now, we have next week of final exams, then school is over. Sean and I fly out of Kuwait June 9th for Chicago. That means I have to get as much Kuwait culture in as possible, and I’ve been pretty good at it.

IMG_5794Abby, Wyn and I went to the Ethiopian restaurant in Kuwait. Well, we’ve been going and will continue to go, once a week for the past month. I don’t know if you picked up on it, but Abby and I were absolutely obsessed with Ethiopian food! It is a vegetarian’s dream. Everyone had mentioned that there was an Ethiopian restaurant in Kuwait, and when we got back from Ethiopia I tracked it down the same week. Their food was fantastic, and they are so nice. It is a totally “feel good” place, with the Ethiopian colors painted on the walls, and the smell of spices, coffee, and frankensense in the air. Everyone in there was Ethiopian, and it felt like we were back in Addis Ababa.

IMG_5795This is my favorite dish, beyaynetu. It is a mix of vegetarian items that you eat with the fluffy sour bread, injera. No forks needed, you just scoop it up with the injera! The stuffed spicy pepper is my favorite.

If you live in Kuwait and are looking for this place, it’s called Al Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant.

Picture 1It’s in Hawally, near the Universal American School. I take the bus to get there, the #66, and get off at the mosque roundabout (in the upper right-hand corner of this map). Then I walk down Ibn Khaldoun street. Stay on the left side of the street, you’ll pass a McDonald’s, then a Sears, then a Subway (sounds like America, doesn’t it!?) which is part of a nicer looking mall called Zawya Complex.

Picture 2Here’s another, closer view. Notice that the restaurant is BEHIND the Zawya Complex (it has also been called Al Bassam Complex #3). When you get to the Subway, you need to wrap around the back of the building, and the restaurant is on the backside. There is actually a row of cool Ethiopian shops all in a row there! It’s now one of my favorite hidden gems of Kuwait.

IMG_5796Here we are waiting to board the bus home from Al Habesha.

Al Habesha delivers, too! Abby and I were really tired on Wednesday and had student-led conferences at 5:30, so we decided to have them deliver. Their delivery numbers are 6633 9296 or 6048 4303. I highly recommend it!

IMG_5785You can even buy their injera to go, so I ordered 10 pieces. (It’s only 1 KD for 10!) I learned how to make shiro (a chickpea flour and tomato puree), so now I order injera from Al Habesha and feast on my own shiro. Life is good! I will miss this when I leave Kuwait!

IMG_5932Since this post is a week through my eyes, I wanted to mention how much I love Zumba in Kuwait. It keeps me sane since there’s not a lot of outdoor recreation possibilities here. Sharon (on the left) has been my instructor for two years, and Nicole (on the left) just got her instructor’s license last summer, and teaches lessons from time to time. I love dancing with them! Sharon is leaving this year and moving to Mozambique, and Nicole is taking over instruction next year. She teaches at AIS, where the classes will be held. If you’re looking for great Zumba in Kuwait, I highly recommend dancing with these ladies!

IMG_5916I brought my camera to school one day, and wanted to snap a few photos before the year finishes and we head for home. This is a “hall way” near Sean’s classroom. Everything is open air, and has a really peaceful feeling. I’m going to miss it.

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Sean getting down to business in his classroom. He just screams fun humanities teacher, doesn’t he?

IMG_5919Sean’s classroom. He is such a great teacher. I love the visuals, the color, the student work. He inspires me.

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Time for another food adventure! Abby and I went to the Sri Lankan restaurant in Kuwait City. I love, love, LOVE Sri Lankan food, and ate at this place when my mom visited. It is really spicy, but a fun chance to mix it up when you get tired of hummus and flat bread.

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These are traditional Sri Lankan “snacks”, which you can eat on-the-go. When you sit down to eat in Sri Lanka, these are placed in heaping mounds on your table, and you eat your fill of whatever kinds you want, then you pay whatever you owe. They’re filled with all sorts of curries in the center. Curried hard boiled egg, curried potatoes, they’re delicious!IMG_5891

These are string hoppers in the back, and then I swear the front item is a shredded, seasoned coconut, but Abby disagreed. Post in the comments if you know what it is! Regardless, you eat it all with your fingers. Nom nom nom.

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I never understood why the restaurant was called the “Chandra Hotel”. But I like that they have a clear price list posted. I want to go back and try even more things.

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A meal is not complete with a spot of tea after wards. In all the countries I’ve been to in the Middle East, this is the typical way most people drink tea. They add cream (or condensed milk) to it, then you add sugar as you see fit. It’s delicious!

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A stormy afternoon in Kuwait. It’s not often that you see dark clouds in the sky, or swirling ones for that matter! Unfortunately they only provided a few sprinkles, not a torrential downpour like I dreamed.

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My last “adventure” of the past two weeks was when Sean and I took a trip to one of our favorite restaurants in Kuwait, Sabaidee Thai. It’s in Medan Hawally (or Salmiya?) and it’s a really well-priced Thai place with good food.

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Sean ordered sweet and sour chicken and I got shrimp panang curry. We had two sides of rice and two sodas for a total of 5 KD, which is really a great deal for good food and a nice atmosphere in Kuwait. We walk there, which makes for a very pleasant stroll. Sabaidee is actually marked on Google Maps, so look it up if you’re interested in visiting.

Well, there you have it. Two weeks in Kuwait. Do you think food is a central element to recreation here? I hope that changes when I move to Cambodia. As much as I consider myself a foodie, I want to develop hobbies that don’t involve visiting restaurants and taking pictures of food. On the flip side, when people talk to me about my blog, they say they love looking at all the cool restaurants I visit and foods I eat. I can’t wait to share the foods of Southeast Asia with you! The more people I tell about Cambodia, the more they gush about how much Sean and I will love it. We are toying with the idea of purchasing a car and, dare I say it in writing, a dog. It would be my dream to have a dog and a car, so as to travel around Cambodia for swimming in the waterfalls, canoeing, bicycling, weekend trips, island hopping (well, that would be without the car), all with a doggy. I want a dog so bad, it’s not even funny. However, it’s really difficult to have a traveling lifestyle when you’ve got a pet, so we have some decision to make in the near future. In Cambodia, the possibilities are endless!

I hope to post at least once more before we leave Kuwait. I will continue to carry my camera around with me. Post in the comments if there is a particular thing/activity/event/place/item you are interested in my blogging about, and I will make an effort to do so before we leave Kuwait!

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Categories: Kuwait | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Two Weeks In Kuwait Through My Eyes

  1. jdlayman

    Our maid taught me how to make the stuff with your string hoppers in the back! It’s finely minched red onion, cayenne pepper flakes, coconut, salt and pepper. Use the seasonings to dictate the spiciness, use the coconut to level it back out. Make sure everything is minced and mixed! No clue what it’s called.

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