June 30, 2006

A step in the right direction

No women were elected, but women vote for the first time in Kuwait

Posted by denise at 12:08 PM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2006

Final Thoughts

Top 10 things Iíll miss about Kuwait

1. Our apartment, especially the view of the Gulf
2. Happy Hours circa 2004
3. The 52Ē TV that came with our apartment
4. My colleagues in the Consular Section
5. Aisha Building balcony parties with our neighbors
6. Johnny Carinos on Wednesday nights
7. The Lebanese Mafia
8. Three hour walks on the water with Erica
9. Being able to order take-out online
10. "Thank you MaíamSir"


Top 10 things I wonít miss about Kuwait

1. Being in a car going anywhere EVER!
2. Paying $7 for a box of cheerios, a pack of turkey bacon or celery
3. Road rage, especially in traffic circles
4. Trying to find a parking space
5. 125 degree weather, who cares if itís a dry heat!
6. Being told I should grow my hair out
7. Being told Iíve gained weight
8. Number of times we get beeped, stared & whistled at on those walks
9. A $25 steak without a glass of red wine
10. People trying to wave down our Corolla because they think itís a taxi

And lastly, the biggest disappointment :
That Dunkin Donuts didnít open before we left.

Posted by denise at 02:46 PM | Comments (3)

May 01, 2006

Sunset

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Posted by denise at 10:30 AM | Comments (2)

April 19, 2006

4th of July, in April

Last night was our big National Day celebration. We can't do it in July because it's just too hot to have thousands of people at an outdoor event. This year the theme was New Orleans and the vendors really went all out with their booths and decorations.

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MORE PICS

Posted by denise at 06:48 PM | Comments (1)

April 16, 2006

The Prophet's Birthday

Editorial

Posted by denise at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

April 15, 2006

Volleyball Tournament

This weekend there was an all day inter-office volleyball tournment. I was one of the scorekeepers/official judges. Luckily there wasn't too much controversy over the scoring and I think I only got booed one time the whole day. Sam's team made it into the second round but then lost to the team that ended up in 2nd place.

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The Judges Table

 

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Spectators

 

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Serious Competition

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The winning team

Posted by denise at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2006

One Last Ball

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Posted by denise at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

April 06, 2006

What??

Here people put email addresses and all kinds of sayings on the back of their cars. For some reason they never get it quite right though. This is the Kuwaiti version of "If you love someone set them free..."

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Posted by denise at 08:03 AM | Comments (1)

April 04, 2006

In the News

You can always count on the Kuwait Times for a good laugh.

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Posted by denise at 08:10 AM | Comments (1)

March 31, 2006

Fun in the Sun

Today we spent the day at a beach resort.

Sam floats...


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By far the funniest part of the day was watching 3-12 year old girls dancing to "My Humps"

Posted by denise at 07:14 PM | Comments (3)

March 24, 2006

Arab Autism Day

Who shows up for charity walks in Kuwait? Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, lots of fully veiled women and of course me and Erica. Lots of hats and t-shirts were givin out, but as far as we could see, although we had money in our pockets ready to donate, no money was actually raised.

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Posted by denise at 12:48 AM | Comments (1)

March 14, 2006

"For : Visitors Coming"

Another classic Aisha Building notice...


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Posted by denise at 06:51 PM | Comments (1)

March 10, 2006

Boat Ride

THE MARINA



We were not quite as happy as we look here in the picture! The boat ride was a lot of fun in the end but it was so windy and the water was so choppy that we got completely drenched. It was COLD!

Posted by denise at 03:59 PM | Comments (2)

February 10, 2006

The Grand Mosque

 

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Dome

 

Mihrab (shows the direction of Mecca)

 

 

 

 

Off to the Ladies Prayer Hall

 

 

 

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Posted by denise at 02:00 PM | Comments (3)

February 03, 2006

Art

We went to a show the other night for a Jordanian artist. The website is currently under construction but in the future you can learn more about the artist and see his work at Caravan Galleries

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Dr. Eyad Al-Masri working on one of his paintings

 

We bought these three paintings

 

Some of his other work

 

Posted by denise at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2006

Carpet Shopping

The dangers...

The pile of carpets was so heavy that it literally knocked me right over and I couldn't get my leg out from underneath on my own. Luckily the shop owner had stepped out when this happened.

The rewards...

But we ended up with this beautiful Iranian silk carpet.

Posted by denise at 05:24 PM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2006

The Emir

Today The Emir of Kuwait passed away. This is the second time that we have been living somewhere when the leader died, the other being King Hassan of Morocco.


Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah

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Posted by denise at 02:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2006

Eid al-Adha

Today is the first day of the biggest Islamic Holiday of the year. For more information about this holiday click here

Here are some pictures I took from my apartment of the slaughtering of the sheep in the construction site next door. (they are a little graphic)




Posted by denise at 10:49 AM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2005

Just hanging out

There is a huge hotel going up right next to our apartment building. I couldn't resist taking a picture of this out our front window. SCARY...

Posted by denise at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2005

Black Hawk

Sam goes for a helicopter ride.

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Posted by denise at 07:06 AM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2005

Another day, another posed picture

So today we met George Bush Sr.

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and then even more randomly we met Oliver North!


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Posted by denise at 11:03 PM | Comments (1)

December 15, 2005

Random

Last night we met Al Franken and a couple Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.

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Posted by denise at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

Excitement of the Morning

This morning we woke up and what did we see through the haze? A Dunkin Donuts being built right across the street from us! About a month ago we discovered they were coming to Kuwait and we were already talking about how we would have to start taking a detour on the way to work, but this 3rd one to pop up will definitely be more convenient. I'm still waiting to see if they'll have bagels. Right now frozen Lenders is all we have.

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Posted by denise at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

December 14, 2005

SoE

Sam got to meet the Secretary of Energy and his wife.

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Posted by denise at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

The Ball

Last night we went to the 230th Marine Corps Ball.

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Posted by denise at 06:17 PM | Comments (2)

November 01, 2005

The making of...

Blow up a balloon, boil up some glue and let the paper mache-ing begin...

 

Lots of newspaper, glue and many days later the three balls are done!

 

Finally an easy task

 

We rigged up baseball caps inside to keep them on our heads.

 

Progress...

 

At this point I finally have confidence that this might actually work out.

 

And then all you need are lots and lots of sequins!
Posted by denise at 09:28 PM | Comments (2)

October 31, 2005

Halloween Part II

Just for fun Sam and I decided to make a Halloween costume from scratch, paper mache, sequins and all!

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The inspiration behind our costume, The Kuwait Towers

And the winner of the "Most Original Costume" is...


And there were lots of other good costumes too...


Posted by denise at 09:44 PM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2005

Halloween Part I

Last night we went to a costume party at the Marine House. This is the first time in a long time that I remember dressing up for Halloween but it was a lot of fun. My favorite part was being tall (or should I say taller) for a night thanks to the platform converse I found on Ebay. Monday we have another party and another costume that Sam and I made from scratch.

 

 

Posted by denise at 06:00 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2005

Schwarma

Every Monday and Wednesday night we have a Happy Hour after work. The guys who do the cooking are really great so one night we decided to do the cooking for them for a change. Erica and I were in charge of making the schwarmas. I have to say it is a lot harder than it looks...

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Posted by denise at 10:34 AM | Comments (1)

August 16, 2005

Our new friend

Colin Quinn and a few others stopped by during their USO tour, to read more about it click here

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Posted by denise at 10:15 AM | Comments (2)

August 13, 2005

People are strange

There seems like there must be a better way to deal with this situation...

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Posted by denise at 10:52 AM | Comments (2)

July 25, 2005

Publicity

Remember that short film I was in awhile back? Well the other day I was playing around on the internet and I came across this PAGE it made me laugh really hard.

Posted by denise at 12:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2005

Kuwait News

If you would like to follow up on what's going on in Kuwait and the region visit the website of KUWAIT NEWS AGENCY

Posted by denise at 02:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2005

4th of July

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With a couple of good friends on 4th of July.


Posted by denise at 04:38 PM | Comments (1)

May 17, 2005

Political Rights

With a vote of 35-23 women in Kuwait gained the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections yesterday. I wish we could be here in 2007 when they actually vote. To read more about it click here and here

Posted by denise at 01:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2005

Kempinski Beach Resort

What a rough life we have here...

 

 

Sam gets ready to jet ski
Sam and Greg

 

 

The Resort

 

 

Erica and Catherine
Water Trampoline

Posted by denise at 02:50 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2005

Kuwait Stock Exchange



Posted by denise at 04:36 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2005

Armed Forces Ball

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With the General

 

 

 

 

 

 


You can see some more pictures on Erica and Greg's website.

Posted by denise at 04:14 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

Fabric Souk

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Posted by denise at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

Easter

Easter brunch at our friends place, complete with mimosas

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Posted by denise at 01:21 PM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

Another great sign

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Posted by denise at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

Women's Rights

To see some great pictures from the Women's Rights Rally click here

Posted by denise at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

Not convenient enough

Kuwait takes the idea of a convenience store to a whole new level. Basically the "Drive-Thru" store exists here. People will just pull up in front of a store, honk their horn, give money to the guy who comes out and they bring them whatever they want. In a country where parking is always a problem it actually isn't a bad system but it still makes me laugh every time I see it.

Posted by denise at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2005

Senate Visit

Check out Sam in the background.

Posted by denise at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

Women's Rights

Here in Kuwait women do not have the right to vote. Yesterday there was a big rally at the Parliament building in support of granting this right. Hopefully we will see this happen while we are here.

Article on the rally


Some pictures from the Kuwait Daily Star.

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Posted by denise at 11:05 AM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2005

National Day

Every country here has a big celebration each year to celebrate "National Day" Since it is so hot in July we celebrated this month. The theme was country western and as you can see from the photographs all sorts of companies sponsor the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by denise at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2005

Hmm...

Ringleader Dies

Posted by denise at 03:41 AM | Comments (1)

February 07, 2005

More on terror plots

What was being planned


On a much lighter note, here's a picture of my nephews and niece enjoying the Super Bowl.

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Posted by denise at 01:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 05, 2005

Another incident

It is somewhat comforting that the police are slowly finding this group of people and that this time they surrendered rather than going the shoot-out route but still a little disturbing.

Sulaibiya

Posted by denise at 11:48 PM | Comments (0)

January 31, 2005

The hunt

Here are some articles about what has been going on here in Kuwait. We feel very safe but there have been quite a few incidents in various suburbs in the last month.

Mubarak al Kabir

Salmiya

Hawally


Posted by denise at 02:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 16, 2005

Personal Freedom

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Posted by denise at 01:33 PM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

Not our best experience with Valet Parking

Unfortunately the valet last night broke our door handle, making it impossible to open the door from the outside. Now they are trying to fix it for us, from the pictures below you can see we don't have a lot of confidence. They just called to tell Sam that since our car is from the US they don't know if they can find the replacement handle here.

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Posted by denise at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2005

Our trip to a Kuwaiti farm

This morning we took a trip out to a farm about an hour outside of the city. It was nice to actually drive somewhere and feel like we got out for a change. Sam came too but you won't see him in the pictures because the men and women were separate. Many Kuwaitis have farms and spend the weekends on them with a constant stream of guests. I think our experience today is probably typical of what would happen at many farms one might go to here. You spend the first couple of hours chatting, drinking tea, eating snacks. Then you have some coffee which means it is just about time to eat. Buffet style eating is very common in our experiences thus far. After a big meal then you go for a walk around the farm. You end the day with some sweets before the drive back to town.

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The drive out to the farm - Desert, Oil and of course McDonalds

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised by the variety in produce

 

 

Broccoli, Kale, Zuccini, Strawberries, Green Beans, Peppers, Tomatoes

 

 

The Animals - I have never seen cows this big, or goats with such floppy ears, but I was most amazed to see Australian Deer

 

 

 

 

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We were given all this organic produce to take home with us!

Posted by denise at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2005

Downtown Kuwait Skyline

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Posted by denise at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2005

Lesson of the Day

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Posted by denise at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2004

Christmas

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A couple of months ago Sam and I went to an art exhibit at our friend's house. I immediately loved one of the paintings but it seemed a bit out of our price range. When I wasn't looking Sam bargained with the artist, Ali Salem, and he surprised me with it for Christmas.

It is painted on wood and is a little bit taller than I am. The pictures don't really do it justice.

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Posted by denise at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)

December 22, 2004

Huh?

When we got home from work today we were greeted in the elevator by one of the building security guards. He handed us this very nice lamenated notice.

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Posted by denise at 12:30 PM | Comments (2)

December 19, 2004

I never would have guessed

Not to be boring and talk about the weather but I just can't help it. Right now it is 2:00 am in New York City and it is 43 degrees and it is 10:00 am here in Kuwait and it is only 36 degrees! I would not have thought it would ever be colder in Kuwait than NYC in December.

Posted by denise at 02:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2004

The floods of Kuwait

We had a very interesting ride to work this morning. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes instead of the usual ten. Let's just say the drainage system needs a little work in Kuwait. These pictures don't even do it justice. Notice the little bit of the curb that you can still see in the first picture.

Posted by denise at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2004

Getting in the spirit with our friends' Christmas tree

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Posted by denise at 01:24 PM | Comments (1)

December 05, 2004

A Taste of Culture

We got to enjoy a concert the other night. I have to say some live music was a nice change of pace. This type of music was traditionally sung while pearl diving.

(Allow time for the page to fully load so it plays straight through. You can right click on the video and unclick "play" to start/stop)


Here is a little video clip of "Kuwaiti Sea Music"



Posted by denise at 01:52 PM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2004

Who knew?

A grey, rainy drive to work.

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Posted by denise at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2004

Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday we had a potluck meal at work and yesterday we had about twelve people over for dinner. Sam, of course, did an amazing job with all the cooking.

Our 22 pound turkey

Sam's pies, check out the crust on that apple pie!

 

What a mess!

Posted by denise at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2004

I'm a movie star!

Posted by denise at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2004

Acclimatized

Today it is 70 degrees here in Kuwait and we are all talking about how cold it is! It's funny what you get used to. Just a couple of months ago it was 120 so we are still dealing with a 50 degree drop in temperature. I'm sure everyone back home would love a 70 degree day right about now but I'm actually shivering in my sweater!

Posted by denise at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2004

Too funny

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Posted by denise at 03:19 AM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2004

I love this write up of the Election Night party

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In other news

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Posted by denise at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2004

Election Night

The Embassy hosted an event for Election Night. There was a very good turn out and lots of interest in US politics.

 

 

 

 

Posted by denise at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

October 31, 2004

Blackout

Today there was a power outage for just about the entire country. A little different than the blackout we went through in NYC last year but it still surprised me that a whole country can lose power and it barely makes the news.

Posted by denise at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

October 30, 2004

I'd like to see this happen while we are here

There is some real talk going on here about granting women the right to vote. Still no change on being able to run for office but hopefully a step in the right direction. Click here for the story.

Posted by denise at 01:19 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2004

Oops

So we had a pretty interesting experience last night. Sam had been out doing the rounds for Ramadan and I had a few people over. When Erica left Sam and I walked on the balconey and Sam shut the door behind us. Normally we always go out on the balconey from our kitchen and you can shut the door behind you but last night at 2:30 am we used the other door, the one we never use, the one that you can't shut behind you unless you want to be locked out on the balconey. So that's what happened, locked on the balconey. Luckily Erica lives right upstairs from us and luckily after about 10 screams she heard us. The first thought was that we could call work and have them come open the door with the extra key but when we lock our doors we keep the keys in the locks so that wouldn't even work. So Erica starts sending tools down tied to string. Then someone realized that Erica has a rescue ladder, that's when things really got scary. Our building manager climbed down this joke of a ladder to our balconey and after about 20 minutes he was actually able to open the door without ruining it in the process. The last thing he said before he left was not to leave our keys in the lock anymore. It sounds pretty funny to me as I am writing this but there were those initial moments of panic where I didn't see how we were going to get off that balconey.

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The drop
The damage

Posted by denise at 07:24 AM | Comments (1)

October 26, 2004

Parliament

Sam got to attend the opening session today.

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Posted by denise at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2004

Emotions of the day

It is Ramadan now so things have slowed down quite a bit. Work days seem more quiet, the streets are empty and everything is closed. We are having a much different experience here than we did in Morocco. I feel very out of touch with the holiday here. I remember in Morocco being invited to numerous homes each night to break the fast and just feeling more involved. I won't have that experience once here. The disconnect is very strange. I have felt that way, in a sense, throughout this whole experience but it has definitely been magnified this month. I have to keep reminding myself that we have only been here for four months and that we aren't in the Peace Corps anymore but I really do hope that as time goes on we meet more people and actually spend free time with Kuwaitis. I don't want to be saying the same thing two years from now. Beyond the desire to be more integrated into the culture I actually don't have much to complain about. Kuwait is a very easy place to live and we are settling in nicely.

Since Sam is male his month has been more eventful than mine. He actually goes out most nights for about 5 hours from house to house meeting people so he's tired but in my mind the lucky one right now.

Posted by denise at 07:50 AM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2004

Hmm...

There is definitely not a shortage of strange things to see here in Kuwait. Today we went out for dinner and this is what we found in the parking lot, Red Bull, a biker and a huge TV screen. There were even a couple of people standing on top of cars, I felt like I was at a rumble!

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Posted by denise at 02:55 PM | Comments (1)

October 01, 2004

The finer things

Greg the Grill Master
Ribs, YUM!

Posted by denise at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2004

Arab Organizations Headquarters

I went on a tour of this building over the weekend. The building is so amazing that we were able to laugh off our guide (I didn't understand one word he said the whole 3 hours) and the other interesting people in the group.

click on each picture for an enlarged image

 

CEILINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOODWORK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TILES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by denise at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2004

Ghosts

Apparently there is a prison here in Kuwait that has a few ghosts, click here to read the story.

Posted by denise at 12:38 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2004

Destruction

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This is a product of the first Gulf War, The Kuwaitis rebuilt most things but left this oil gathering center as is. Sam will be putting more pictures up on his site soon. Give him a few days and then click here.

Posted by denise at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2004

The desert

For those of you out there who are wondering if we see a lot of camels over here.
Actually we don't where we are, these are the only ones I have seen in three months.

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Posted by denise at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

A really pink house

For the most part there isn't a lot of color in the housing here, but every once in a while you see an area like this.

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Posted by denise at 12:50 AM | Comments (1)

September 11, 2004

I made the newspaper

I love that I am part of "the accompanying delegation" and that a woman I just met that night has her arms wrapped around me.

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Posted by denise at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2004

Arab Organizations Headquarters Building

Sam went to a meeting at this amazing building. For more information about the building and its handiwork click here.

You can click on each picture for an enlargement.

Main lobby area
Tiles all brought from Morocco and put in by Moroccans
Wood door also crafted by Moroccans

 

 

 

The Syrian Room
The brass tables in the Syrian Room are actually from Morocco

 

 

 

Rather than using curtains - Tunisian wood screens that you can slide in front of any window
Part of a wood door
Tilework from Tunisia, used as the template for the wood screen

 

 

 

More Moroccan tilework

 

 

 

Conference room with Egyptian wood
Brass from Morocco

 

 

 

Really big window
The carpet in this Diwaniya room is a larger replica of one stolen from a museum during the first Gulf War, the original was later returned.
Courtyard

Posted by denise at 05:26 AM | Comments (1)

September 08, 2004

Our doom

This is the dreaded camera that catches those who speed. I must admit that we have seen it flash at us once or twice. The rumor on the street is that each ticket is around $100 and that you get your bill when you try to leave the country. Not a bad system for collecting money, you have to pay your bill if you want to leave the country. I'm curious to see what happens when we go to India next month...

Posted by denise at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

Fountains

All over the city they have public water fountains. They are all very decorative and I have been trying to get pictures of all the different kinds that they have. I've only been able to get these two so far.

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Posted by denise at 12:42 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2004

Around town

It's really cooling down, only 108 degrees at 11am!

 

 

Our grocery store

 

 

Posted by denise at 12:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 05, 2004

Not what I expected

Before coming to Kuwait everyone told us it was a lot greener than one would expect. Even after hearing that I still ended up being surprised, especially by how well maintained it all is. It still makes me laugh to see this kind of thing in the middle of the desert.

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Posted by denise at 10:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2004

Hard Rock Cafe-Kuwait

I've never been one to get too excited about a Hard Rock Cafe, actually I don't think I have ever even been to one. That being said Hard Rock is coming to Kuwait. I think the building looks pretty cool and will probably go just to see what it's like to eat in a glass pyramid right on the Gulf.

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Posted by denise at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004

Hmm...

Today when we were just driving around we noticed these two cars. They are not the greatest pictures since everyone drives so fast here but you get the idea.



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"Women like simple things in the man life"
Can anyone tell me what that means??? I also love the decals of the Amir.


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"No women no cry" I like how they made it women


Posted by denise at 11:02 AM | Comments (1)

August 27, 2004

In the news

I feel a little bad about putting these types of stories up about Kuwait because I should be focusing on all of the positive aspects of the country but they are just too funny for me to pass up.

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Posted by denise at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

August 22, 2004

In the news

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Posted by denise at 01:47 AM | Comments (0)

August 17, 2004

Olympics

We've been able to watch some of the Olympics on one of the Arabic channels we get. And despite the call to ban women's gymnastics we've seen that the last two nights. Phoebe especially has been enjoying the men's gymnastics.


Posted by denise at 04:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

Another favorite sign


Posted by denise at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2004

In the news

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Posted by denise at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

Sam took a trip up to the border

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Posted by denise at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

When you can't get to Coney Island

When Sam and I were living in New York we had a summer tradition of going to Coney Island to play games, especially skee ball. I would have never guessed that we would find skee ball here as well.


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August 10, 2004

In the news

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Posted by denise at 12:53 AM | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

In the news

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Posted by denise at 01:10 AM | Comments (0)

August 08, 2004

Update

I'm in my third week of work now and I'm very happy to have more of a schedule to my life. They keep me pretty busy so the days are flying by right now. Working has definitely cut into all that free time I had before so that is taking some getting used to. Sam still works a lot harder than I do but it's nice now that he isn't at work all day while I'm relaxing at home. Seems more fair this way. I haven't had time to start working on my stained glass but I'm hoping once I get back in the swing of a 40 hour work week (remember I haven't worked since the end of March!) I will be able to start some projects.

We found a housekeeper. She comes once a week and that has been working out well for us. Still seems strange to me to have someone clean our house but I'm sure by the time we get our next assignment it will feel more natural to me. It definitely helps us out a lot since our place is so much bigger than the New York apartment we were used to.

The 5-star hotel that is going up next to our building is going to be 25 stories so we get to look forward to lots of construction. They work nearly 24 hours a day and so far it has been quite loud. But like everything else we are getting used to it and its actually kind of fun to watch the whole process.

It's still extremely hot here, August will be the worst month. It hovers around 118 every day but it is MUCH more humid now so it feels about 20 degrees hotter. I will be very happy to have this first summer behind us. Although we have heard that there is an awful rainy season here so that doesn't sound fun either. Especially if you remember the driveway problem we had in our building. By the way the same thing has happened to two of our neighbors as well so that's not a good situation.

Sam actually went for a bike ride this morning, of course you can only do that kind of thing at 5am which is what he did. I passed, but he said he had a very nice ride along the Gulf, by the way is not call the Persian Gulf here but rather the Arabian Gulf.

Probably the most exciting thing that has happened in the last couple of weeks is that we got to see Sec. Powell when he came through. We didn't get to meet him but Sam was able to snap a couple of pictures and it was a cool experience for us.

I am starting to plan our first vacation. In November we have 5 days off in a row so we are hoping to go to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for a long weekend. By then the weather in the Middle East should be really nice and even a slight change of scenery will be refreshing.

All in all things are going well for both of us. We continue to enjoy trying all the different restaurants Kuwait has to offer. Eating out has definitely been the summer's number one leisure activity.

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August 03, 2004

Sight unseen

It was interesting to see the Iraqi and Kuwaiti flags flying side by side this week for Allawi's visit.

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Posted by denise at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2004

Waiting for the DVD

Although Farenheit 9/11 was posted as 'coming soon' to theaters in Kuwait looks like it's not going to happen, click here for the story.

And click here to read an interesting article in The New Yorker about documentaries.

Posted by denise at 01:29 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2004

Just driving around


 

 

 

 

 

 

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July 27, 2004

Kuwait News

Diplomatic ties

Punishment

Visitor

Sam also put some interesting stories up on his blog, take a look here.

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July 24, 2004

Construction

Construction has begun on the 5-star hotel that is going up in the lot next to our building.

5star_construction.jpg


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July 23, 2004

Shopping

The Gold Market, three stories of gold shops.
Carpet Shop

 

 

Shop with all sorts of random items including what I bought below.
Fruit Market

 

 

My first purchase. I bargained down from 12KD to 6.

Posted by denise at 04:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2004

The drawbacks of underground parking.

This is a picture of the driveway out of our parking garage. Looks pretty innocent doesn't it?

driveway.jpg

Try to imagine you have a manual speed Corolla, and that the ramp is soaking wet. As you start to drive out you get stuck, no traction at all, and then the garage door closes on the roof of your car. So then your building super starts running down the ramp to rescue you and begins sliding and nearly takes his head off on the garage door. You get out to see if there is damage to the roof of your car and try to figure out how to get the garage door up and you start sliding backwards and nearly fall over too. Then you have two guys trying to hold up the door while you try to drive out, but still no traction. So you back up to get more speed for the incline and then you finally do make it out. The icing on the cake from this whole experience is the 10 guys standing at the top of the driveway just staring at you as you speed away. That's just one of the many stories from the Aisha building parking garage.

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July 20, 2004

A day in the life...

Two malls at the Marina. The one on the right is new, lots of restaurants that aren't open yet. The overpass has automatic walkways for full shopping pleasure.
It will be really beautiful when the weather cools down and we can come have coffee or a mocktail (what they call cocktails here because there is no alcohol.)

 

 

The Marina
Johnny Rockets, complete with table jukeboxes and really good onion rings. They even had my song "Denise" by Randy and the Rainbows. I have to say though beef bacon just isn't the same.

 

 

"Color me Mine" A studio where you can buy pieces of pottery and then do the painting yourself.
Erica picked out a teapot and I picked a vase.

 

The finished product

Posted by denise at 01:05 AM | Comments (1)

July 19, 2004

I HATE this label!

Every single food item has this label on it. It just drives me insane that it is ALWAYS either placed on the bar code so that it can't be scanned when you are checking out or on top of the cooking instructions.

pudding.jpg

Posted by denise at 11:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2004

Random thoughts

It makes me laugh that the other night it took us 45 minutes to drive to a restaurant that we can see from our apartment. (You are probably wondering why we wouldn't just walk, the answer is we, more than likely, would have been hit by a car if we had tried)

* * * * *

It puzzles me that the gym in our building has an enormous flat screen Sony television with a home theater system but there is no sound.

* * * * *

I think it's pretty cool that in our elevator if you press the wrong button you can actually press it a second time and undo it.

* * * * *

There is such a thing as being a little too polite. Like when you are woken up at 5:00 a.m. on a weekend just to be told that your newspaper has been delivered. And then hearing a knock on the door the next morning at 5:30 a.m. to be told that the back page of the paper was partially ripped.

* * * * *

I love that on a given day we can go to any variety of restaurants, Japanese, Lebanese, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Thai, or Burger joints! And, McDonald's delivers! (no we haven't taken advantage of that service)

* * * * *

I'm not sure what to think of the fact that I am referred to as Ma'am or Mrs. Sam by everyone. If Sam and I are together we are then Ma'amsir. (said as one word)


Posted by denise at 04:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2004

I dream of Jeannie

Last night we went to a "Wacky hat & mask" party with our neighbors, Greg and Erica.
You'd be surprised what you can find at the local mall...

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Posted by denise at 05:25 AM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2004

A little taste of Kuwati Culture

Sam went to his first Diwaniya last night.

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July 12, 2004

More views of Kuwait

Click on each picture for an enlarged image.


Too much fast food for such a small place

 

Because of the way they have built up the city you almost forget that its the desert, except of course in places like this

 

One of the prettiest Mosques I've seen so far

 

The soccer stadium from our rooftop
Water World
We can see Kuwait Towers from our apartment

Posted by denise at 06:28 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004

Bus Tour

Yesterday we went on a tour of the city. Here are a few pictures to give you a better idea of what the country looks like, they are typical things you would see just driving around. Since we were on the bus for almost the whole trip you'll notice a lot of glare in the pictures, sorry.

It was a pretty funny day, a group tour, lunch at TGI Fridays and then shopping at TruValue Hardware and Ikea. Sometimes I still wonder where I am.



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The Kuwait Towers, the country's number one landmark.

Click on each picture for an enlarged image.

Typical store front look

 

Neighborhood mosque

 

One of two malls near us

 

The Ruling Family

 

The Palace

 

The Palace Mosque

 

Water Towers

 

"Liberation Tower" tallest in Kuwait

 

My favorite sign

 

Not your standard Mosque

 

The top of the Kuwait Towers

 

 

 

 

Posted by denise at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2004

Money

This is what the Kuwait Dinar looks like, front and back views.

You can click on each image to enlarge.

One KD = $3.40

 

 

 

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July 02, 2004

Not a bad place to be

on the gulf.jpg

Posted by denise at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2004

Mobility in the near future!

Our car is now physically in Kuwait. We had a very interesting experience going to see it come off the truck to make sure no damage was done. Imagine standing in a big parking lot surrounded on the periphery by a sheep market. If you can imagine that that's basically what it was like. There was a ramp in the middle of this lot and the truck just pulls up to it and backs the car down. We gave it the once over and hopefully by Monday it will be in our possession. Although driving here is pretty scary we are looking forward to being a little more self-sufficient.

Posted by denise at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2004

Poor Sam

Sam is having a rough couple of days. He slammed his thumb in a car door last night and today he had to go to the doctor to get in drained. While of course I feel very bad for him I could not help but laugh when he came out with this bandage on...

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Posted by denise at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2004

Ingenious

This is what the flushers for our toilets look like in our apartment. You can see the two buttons, those equate to different water pressures. I think it's ingenious.

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Posted by denise at 07:31 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

I wonder?

I wonder what our speeding bill will be when we leave the country. There are police here that pull you over for speeding but a very common practice are these cameras that they put up. But rather than getting a ticket in the mail a week or so after they clocked you for speeding they don't inform you at all. That is until you try to leave the country and then you are hit with the bill. So basically you have no idea until you get to the airport. There have been people who get hit with a few hundred dollars in the end. I just think that's a funny system.

Another observation - It is immaculately clean in this country. So far haven't seen one piece of litter on the ground.

Posted by denise at 05:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2004

First impressions

Everything here is new or under construction. Saddam being captured really gave the green light to building up the country more. Some really decorative modern looking buildings mixed in with very plain buildings. Tons of palm trees of course but there is actually a lot of other greenery which I didnít expect. Weíre definitely in the desert but itís nice to see some plant life.

As I mentioned the population is very diverse, I never know where anyone is from, if they are Kuwaiti or from another Arab country or from somewhere else. I really think they should change the official language to broken English. We will encounter many communication difficulties along the way.

As expected there is a lot of money here and most things are expensive, equivalent to what things cost in the states, except gas of course which is about 80 cents a gallon. Iíve seen quite a few Porches already on top of tons of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volvo, etc. They drive extremely fast here, Iím going to be a little nervous to drive but like everything else everyone keeps telling me weíll get used to it.

We met someone today who lives in our building, another spouse like me! Weíre not sure how many of the twelve apartments are actually occupied but it was nice to finally see another person!

I feel like in a week we havenít experienced too much but weíre told that from now until September the country pretty much shuts down so Iíll try to be patient. It will be much better when our car gets here because you really have to drive everywhere, but of course we have no idea when that will be. So far none of our stuff has arrived.

On the agenda is getting a phone, internet, cable and a couple of cats to keep us company. And most importantly we are trying to keep our toes safe, on the floor between rooms instead of a smooth transition there is always about a half inch lip that we inevitably stub our toes on!

Also look at Sam's blog, he just put an entry up about one of his first experiences, click here

June 19, 2004

Are we really in Kuwait?

I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep but I think the reason why it hasn't hit me yet that we are in Kuwait is because after about five days I don't think I have actually met a Kuwaiti. The guards in our building are from Bangledesh, the women at the cafe down the street are from the Philippines, our driver this morning is from Jordan... Then there is the fact that we had brunch at the Radisson yesterday and we could have been anywhere in the world for that. Next, shopping at the "Sultan Center" if you would have told me that we would be able to buy Ortega taco shells I would not have believed you. So bottom line, not much to tell so far that's any different from being in the states.

Posted by denise at 01:19 AM | Comments (0)