Monday, August 3, 2009

Second Weekend in Kuwait (July 31 & August 1)

Time certainly flies by! So much to do and not enough time in which to get it all done. Thank goodness for the weekends. This last weekend (remember - over here our weekend is Friday and Saturday) was pleasant and relaxing.

On Friday I revisited AVENUES - Kuwait's newest and largest shopping mall. As a former New Yorker I was most pleased to see a new store has just opened (10 months ago actually) in the Avenues mall: Dean & Deluca ... New York City's gourmet food store!! This store originated in Manhattan and has sinced spread throughout the USA and apparently around the world as well. Caution: prices are quite high but it sure is nice to splurge a little and buy a few trifles to make life away from home just a tad bit more enjoyable.

The outside of Dean & Deluca is hard to miss at the AVENUES mall. By the way, the entire Avenues shopping complex is still under construction with new stores being added every month!

Part of Dean & Deluca includes a cafe. A tall decaf Americano costs 1.100 KD ($3.85 USD).

Fresh bread is made daily - including bagels!! Can you imagine - fresh bagels in the Middle East!! Now that is what every New Yorker needs!!!!

Lots of specialty teas are available (at a pretty price, of course!).

After my shopping was complete, a friend coaxed me to try a new restaurant in Mahboula - a town about 45 minutes norht of our Mina Al Zour camp. The restaurant was called Al Noukhaza - basically they serve a seafood buffet. Turns out Al Noukhaza also serves the seafood buffet at the Crown Plaza Hotel - a place I have been to and posted about on prior occasions. Having this new resturant nearer my place of residence is sure nice and I was grateful for making the effort for trying something new. All thanks to my friend Tony!
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On Saturday (August 1) I had my haircut (3 KD). The rest of Saturday I spent relaxing at home and cooking up a chicken dinner and watching two of the DVDs I purchased a week ago ("Up" and "State of Play").

Last week they swept up the sand in front of my bachelor apartment and now the sand is absolutely clean and free of debris.

I spotted this view in a window above my favorite Pakistani tailor's shop in Al Zour village.

If you ever think your job 'sucks', well, here is a job for you! These guys come by every week and suck out the contents of the cess pool located behind our eight apartment units. Hold your nose .....

Last - but not least - I now have two (2) more friends visiting my apartment in addition to the black cat whose image I captured in my last posting. Once I fed them some chicken pieces, they keep returning day after day!
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Postscript: I finally slew the bureacracy monster. With my insurance certificate in hand, I secured a company car (a Toyota "Prado") and was thus able to return the rental car for which my company had been paying about 21 KD/day ($75 USD/day).
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Reply to Comments:
Nichole: Thanks for the comment! Yes, despite what many of my fellow Americans may think, Kuwait is indeed a pleasant place in which to work. As I often tell my friends, if you are an American who must work in the Middle East, Kuwait is probably the second best place in which to work! (The first is naturally Dubai - a true playground for adults with some money to spare! Just bring a credit card!) By the way, from what I read in the most recent posting from your blog, it would seem we have two things in common: we both like to travel and Houston is our home!
Searching Soul: Yes, the Islamic weekend revolves around Friday which is the Muslim Sabboth Day. Some places (Saudi Arabia) also have Thursday off. However, recently, most of the GCC states (including Kuwait and the UAE) have adopted Friday & Staurday as their weekend days to be more in sync with our Western work week schedule.
As for those cats, I figure that since life in the desert is so harsh, at least I can offer these fellas some chicken treats once in a while. Unfortunately, they are so cautious that these cats only briefly (and slowly) approach me, grab the food and run away to a more private location in which to devour their tasty delights.
Steve: Congratulations on your daughter!! And deepest condolences on the loss of your Mother! We both shared a deep loss last month: our mutual friend, Russ, and of course your Mom! Like you said in your blog, Heaven now has some more angels!

4 comments:

Nichole McGhie said...

I would love to visit Kuwait to see this place with my own eyes. Maybe i will fly there in my house with ballons similar to the one in the movie "UP".

SearchingSoul said...

TC,

I am quite amused that weekend is Friday and Saturday. It's also nice to know that you are so kind to cats. I am a cat lover and my son took that from me. But unlike you who only feed stray visitors, my son loves adopting them. LOL!

Nice pictures you took. It's like being there myself. Thanks for sharing.

Steve said...

Mr. Chemist, I enjoy reading your posts from time to time. Check out my blog for a picture of our new baby...

John said...

Alright on the car thingy!