Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Kuwait - Part One

Wherever I go, I try to make the most out of my time. That includes my time spent in Kuwait. I am always on the lookout for new things to do and see. In late January, my mother, sister, her two children and I went to see one of Al-Qurain’s Cultural Events, a traditional Saudi Arabian dance brought by the Saudi Ministry of Education & Information for Cultural Arts. The event was held in the evening, located between the two large dhows that are right outside the Maritime Museum in Sharq which is also a must-see. The thing that surprised me was that there were not a lot of attendees; the total number of people there was a maximum of 50 (if not less) which is a shame because the types of dances and music was very entertaining and the weather was great as well. What I loved the most were the dancers themselves; their ages ranged from young to old, some barely passed their teenage years. All of them were extremely enthusiastic and their smiles and energy was contagious.

In the end, several men from the audience joined in the fun and started dancing. If you can spot him, there is a foreign man standing on the left side of the row of dancing men in the previous photo. I just love it when foreigners get pulled into a traditional dance. This man in particular seemed like he was enjoying himself although his movements were expectedly awkward. I filmed a short clip of one of the dances. See it right here:

I often went to Souk Al Mubarakiyah with my father. Now, I usually go there with my husband to walk around before enjoying a hot pot of tea. Recently, we wandered into an alley where we discovered a neat antiques store called “Antiques World” owned by Khaled Al-Naqeeb. Although it is small, the shop has numerous antiques ranging from furniture pieces, posters, teacups and mugs, clocks, old typewriters and cash machines and much more. I bought a lovely cup for my essential Turkish coffee while my husband found a beautiful, German steel mug. The store’s contact number is 66633059 and the exact location is shop number 3 – 4.

Ever since Ramadan, I had a sharp, slightly stinging pain near my right pelvic area. After ignoring it for three months, I reluctantly went to see a doctor about it after my husband urged me to do so several times. It was the most horrible experience ever. After waiting for about an hour (although I had an appointment at the usually timely clinic) and having pesky nurses tell me to “Have a seat” a million times, the doctor I saw told me that I was slightly flatfooted and because of that, my upper pelvic muscles are doing all the work that my outer calf muscles should be handling some of. “You need an operation,” he exclaimed with his uppity, overly French accent before he shoved a brochure in my face that explained how inserting screws just under my ankles would solve my problem. Personally, I am not big fan of doctors. Due to my mother’s knowledge about health and what it takes to stay healthy, I have never taken antibiotics or underwent extreme measures to get back on my feet, so to speak. So of course, I did not buy into the doctor’s drastic and overpriced suggestion, especially since I would be bedridden for six whole months if not more. “Can I just put a pad in my shoes?” I inquired, mostly because I knew that I really did not need something as major as an operation. “Yes, you can. But I advise that you do the surgery,” he pressed on, “I am the only one in the Middle East who can do it for you. I was schooled in France. I am French, you know, but my ancestors are originally Arab.” That did it for me. I raised my eyebrows at the overly pompous Lebanese quack who, by the way, had an uber-Arabic first and last name before I thanked him and left him and his advice for good. The only thing I took with me is his suggestion to stop running as much as I do and substitute that with biking or using the elliptical trainer. I chose the prior because I abhor the robotic, restraining elliptical trainer. I bought a bike and started biking everywhere. That is where I came across a spot that has the most beautiful things I have seen in Kuwait: flamingos! I guess everything does happen for a reason.

Speaking of animals, I always wanted to have a turtle of my own. When I was growing up, my family and I had a turtle that roamed around in our garden. I think it even survived the war. Sometimes we would catch it chilling in the bushes, other times it would be buried in the ground, especially during our hot summers. So this past Friday, my husband and I drove over to the Friday market. There, I bought a turtle that, after the salesman told me he was a male, I named Jimi after one of my favorite artists while my husband bought himself a canary that he named Birdy. I discovered Jimi was quite the curious turtle. Before heading to work two days ago, I took him out of his cage and plopped him in the middle of the garden. Once I returned, we had a turtle hunt because he was nowhere to be seen! After half an hour, I found him about 10 meters from where he initially was, hiding behind an empty flower pot. Yesterday, I repeated the same routine: I took him out of his cage and placed him in the garden before going to work. When I came back, I searched for him only to find him in his new hiding place: underneath the large leaves of one of the plants in the garden.

This is Birdy in his cage. He kind of looked like a stuffed version of himself doesn't he? I think he was staring at me while I was taking this picture! I'm just realizing this. Anyhow, he's quite a diva. Yesterday, my husband called me at work and told me that Birdy was in the garden area, belting out notes as other birds were gathered around him.

This is Jimi's first night in the garden. I put him in his cage before going to bed. Mind my Kazakh house slippers. They're probably the ugliest things on earth but they sure are comfortable!

This is Jimi's first escape, when he decided to hide behind the flower pot.

Can you spot Jimi between the leaves? I wonder what goes through his mind when thinking about the new spot he wants to settle into...

MP3's of my kinda music (zShare)...
The Turtles - Happy Together
Sniff 'n' the Tears - Driver's Seat
The Doobie Brothers - Listen to the Music
Supertramp - Give a Little Bit
James Taylor - Everybody Has the Blues
Cat Stevens - Longer Boats

at 8:30 AM


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