Monday, March 16, 2009

Home Again!!

The work is done - sorta - and it's time to go home! I wanted to say something deep and meaningful in today's message and then I ran across the most recent posting from the blog Journal of a Searching Soul whose author says it all! I trust Ms. Searching Soul does not mind my copying a portion of her recent post below:

"I must admit that my work has taken its toll on my blog. It's not that I ran out of thoughts to post. It's because I am too tired to process everything. This pressure-packed, fast-paced career serves stress for breakfast, deadlines for lunch, "more things to do" for dinner and anxiety for dessert. Of course, this is an exaggerated description of my corporate life. I am just making an outrageous excuse for not posting regularly.My blog is my refuge: it gives me back my sanity. I need to keep updating it."

And perhaps Searching Soul's most meaningful quote of all (as it relates to yours truly!):

"My work is my way of life. Travel is very much a part of it and I love it."

Thanks to Searching Soul for your recent comments. It seems that my most recent postings have only met with a few comments. I wonder if my repeat visits to Kuwait have become a bit too, well, repetitious, for my followers??!! Well, take heart followers, I may have a new destination up and coming next month so stay tuned - - - - a new continent may be in my not-too-distant travel future!

PS: Welcome to first time visitor: Ms. Sarah Alia Shahrim! Thanks for your support and all the best in your blogging. I only wish I could read your blogs in Malay!

One parting thought .... and this is purely a personal gripe! Is it only me or are the overhead bins in the 747 just too damn small? My carry-on bag is the largest legal carry-on around and I have to wiggle and jiggle the darn thing to get it to fit into the overhead bin. The best and by far the largest capacity overheads are in the Boeing 777!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good Bye Kuwait .... Time to Go Home!!

Here I sit at the Sheraton Hotel at Frankfurt Airport hung over with jet lag and lack of sleep (sadly, I've never mastered the fine art of sleeping on planes). I departed Kuwait on time at 1:15 am local time and landed in Frankfurt at precisely 5:00 am. I arrived at the front desk at the Sheraton Hotel at 5:40 am and was politely told that, yes, they do have my room reservation but that "Sorry Sir but there is no room at the inn at this hour". Sigh! I waited three hours until 8:40 am at which time I was finally assigned a room and by 9:15 am I was lying in bed enjoying some badly needed rest! After a fine lunch, I recovered enough strength to log in and complete this posting.

I took this photo at 12:15 am at Kuwait International Airport as I was making my way to Gate 4 for my Lufthansa Flight 637. I was sooooo tired, my head was pointing down but somehow I managed to glance upwards and saw these remarkable pictures made by Kuwaiti children and placed on display in the departure hall. I managed to snap pictures of the two best artworks.
Another child's display. This one depicts water towers (see my earlier posting) and the Kuwait Towers - that iconic attraction that has come to symbolize Kuwait City.

Two old coffee pots. Who knows when this display was put up!! You can find this little gem in Al Zour near the K supermarket.

Another shot of a shepherd with his flock.

As I toddled off Lufthansa Flight 637 from Kuwait at 5:15 am I managed to catch a parting glimpse of the Airbus jet that took me half way home.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Final Weekend in Kuwait ... and the End of a Another Visit to Kuwait!

Ah my favorite time of any business trip ..... the time to pack up and head HOME!! My final week began with a pleasant weekend trip to Kuwait City. The highlight was a fabulous meal at Riccardo's Italian restaurant located within the downtown Sheraton Hotel (price = 15 KD!). Saturday was haircut day! Always a new experience but - thankfully - this time around the barber understood enough English that I came away looking not too bad!!!

Today (Sunday) I am closing out my projects. Tomorrow I pack up my stuff and prepare to start the looooong journey home. More on that event in a later posting - hopefully sometime later this week. Before concluding this brief posting, I shall leave you all with a few final photos:

Sunset over Mina Al-Zour.

Note the spelling! Signs are often a tad humerous!

A desert flower ...... helps bring a little good cheer to an often dreary desert place.

Goats for sale!!

Water towers .... always a familiar sight. These are in the KOC main office campus in Ahmadi.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

SANDSTORM! (What Do You Expect in a Desert?!)

Yesterday (Monday) was an absolutely horrible morning! I was awakened at 3 am by the sound of the wind blowing - it sounded much like a Gulf Coast hurricane. When I headed to Wonderful Wafra at 6:15 am, the air was soooooo dusty & sandy that I was tempted to delay my drive into work. But I persevered and departed anyway. Instead of my usual 120 kph, I drove a relatively sloooow 80 kph and managed to avoid skidding over the many sand dunes that form during a sandstorm. Ah, the joy of working in a desert. At least the temperatures are fine! The past two weeks have seen daily high temperatures in the 70s (22 - 25 deg C) with morning temps in the high 50s to low 60s (12 - 19 deg C).

What the roadway looks like under normal conditions ...........................

....... and the roadway during my commute to work this Monday!!