Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Halloween!

People who know me know how much I love Halloween. Actually, love probably isn't the best word to use here since I'm pretty much obsessed with it. Ever since I was young, my eldest sister and I would plan months ahead for my Halloween costume. Until today, my friends still ask me, "So, what are you going to be this year?" I tell a few of my friends but I keep others guessing so as to not give it away completely. My first major costume was when I was 12. I was "The Queen of Death." I was very much into classic movies and I loved corseted dresses that had a lot of volume due to the wires supporting them (think Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind). My dress was all black with black feathers at the hemline that was about a meter away from my feet. I wore a black blouse with feathers at the cuffs. I painted my face and hair white and found a perfect black and silver mask. It was magnificent. I remember people saying that all they had to do to know where I went was follow the trail of black feathers that were still around a year later, not in hallways but nestled amongst the leaves and such at farther locations and corners in my school. Needless to say, I am going all out this year as well. Last week, my mother asked me where I was heading. "The tailor!" I replied in a very cheerful tone. As usual, she rolled her eyes and smiled knowingly, "Halloween?" In the spirit of my costume, I did a little graceful dance.

I hope you enjoy my Halloween playlist. Happy Halloween everyone!

The Eagles - Witchy Woman
Fred Schneider - Monster (in my pants)
John Zacherle - Dinner with Drac
Creedence Clearwater Revival - I Put a Spell On You
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London
Bo Diddley - Bo Meets the Monster
Bobby Pickett & the Crypt-Kick - Monster Mash
Blue Oyster Cult - Don't Fear the Reaper
Carlos Santana - Black Magic Woman
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - Nightmare on My Street
Ray Parker Junior - Ghostbusters
Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child
And no Halloween is complete without this:
Michael Jackson - Thriller

at 8:30 AM 7 comments

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Magnificent Kuwait Maritime Museum

After another lovely dinner at the wonderful 10.Oh.8, my husband and I felt that we needed a little walk. This was about two weeks ago, so the weather was not as pleasant as it is now. Plus, it was unusually muggy. Anyhow, we got in the car and drove around Sharq. We decided to see if there was a gallery in the Museum of Modern Art, but something far bigger caught our eye as we made our way down the sandy, bumpy road. There were two large dhows beside a small-ish building. It turned out to be the Maritime Museum, something I have never heard of before. We walked in and were stunned by the building’s modern interior. In general, the museum showcased every element of Kuwait’s past i.e. before the discovery of oil. The set up of the displayed pieces was very well done, with both Arabic and English explanations of each piece. Please excuse the quality of pictures; I took them using my BlackBerry that is great for typing and not much else.

This is the entrance. The large picture is of present-day Sharq

From right to left: A speedometer (used on ships), compass and lantern

A "shamshool" is a basic diving suit. It protected the diver mainly from jellyfish

The "rig'a" which is the ship/dhow's rudder

Pearls and a pearl necklace. The cluster of pearls on the right reminded me of the pearls my family and I collected while we hunted for oysters during low tide. Every pearl we collected was placed in a matchbox.

This is called a "warjiya." It is the most primitive type of boat, made of palm tree branches. The placard read that it is still used in Oman, and that people actually have motors on them, something that I found interesting

Pearl merchant's chest where he placed all the pearls he collected

The museum's interior space

A "manchab" is the vessel that the divers ate from. I realized that that's where the phrase "nchibaw elghada" (lit. they laid down the meal) came from

An hourglass, telescope and sextant

Right: "Fetam" is the nose clip that divers placed on their noses (helps in holding in their breath).
Left: "Khabt" was placed on divers' fingers to protect their fingertips from getting cut by the oysters they pick up

The only parts of the legendary Muhallab boom that survived the Iraqi invasion was its steering wheel and iron spikes. I took a picture of the placard (see below) if you want to read more about the Muhallab's history.

Click here for more information about the Kuwait Maritime Museum and how to get to it. Here's to the men and women of our past:


at 8:30 AM 2 comments