Thursday, January 12, 2012

Breakfast in Bed

I've been writing posts in my head again, which benefits no one.  Not even me I don't think!  :D

Still in Kuwait.  Still really like it.  We are trying to move to a regular apartment in the next couple of days as the hotel we are staying at is too expensive to stay in for long term, even with a discount!
We're trying to stay in Salmiya area or possibly Huwalli.  Both are nice areas, though Salmiya I think is said to be a bit nicer.

In any case, the place we will look at is even closer to the sea than where we are now (just a few blocks away) but it's on the other side of Salmiya, so further south along the coast.  I think.  lol
I've spent a lot of time looking on Google Earth, which is very handy.  And for such a small country it's a lot easier to start to memorize roads and areas.  Something that I've yet to manage for Cairo after 3 years.  Cairo is just too ginormous!

It's a bit warmer here than in Cairo now.  Maybe 10 degrees F or so.  But we have more cloudy / overcast days here.  However the weather seems inclined to change more frequently here.  Even on days where it's mostly overcast I usually still see the sun peeking out at some point.
We've had rain and thunderstorms a couple of times which is really wonderful.  Something I miss about living in the States.

I managed to make lemon squares a couple of days ago.  Funny thing - when I was breaking the eggs open, the yolks were positively orange!!  No shade of yellow in there, just orangey orange.  Too weird.  I think it's from the eggs being "omega 3" eggs?  Hubby picked them out from the store so it's what we had.  Not sure what difference they made to the lemon squares since I'm not eating egg at the moment.  Hubby said the squares did taste different but he couldn't say exactly why.

Also made fridge dill pickles for hubby.  He just eats them up!  Another funny thing I found, is that the vinegar I got from the store was artificial.  Never knew there was such a thing until I looked on the bottle and saw that.  I think the taste is the same but I find it weird there is even a need for artificial.

Looks like we should be here til my visa expires, which is 3 months from when we came.  At that point, I think we'll head back to Cairo for a week or two and then come back to Kuwait.  I think, if we can swing it, we will be spending most of our time living here.  July, August, September are too humid (from the sea proximity?) so those will most likely be spent in Cairo, which while it gets humid as well, I hear is nothing compared to how bad it gets in Kuwait.  However, in Kuwait, it seems that everything has air conditioning, unlike in Cairo where it's more of an exception than a norm.  Anyways, nothing solid yet, just winging it as we go.

I found a quilt group and they seem quite active.  Haven't been to one of their meetings yet but the quilt group meets twice a month and they have another group for yarn stuff (?) which also meets twice a month.  It might seem a little bit of putting the cart before the horse since I don't have a sewing machine yet, but I am told that we will be able to get one.  Fingers crossed!

And although I've shared some pictures on facebook, here are some others that I don't think I posted there.  Or maybe I'll just post the ones I like best.  Click on any image for a larger size.

Just love the sea here, so beautiful and restful.

Looking out our window to the left, this is our close view to the sea.

This was taken from the extent of our second walk.  The towers are the Kuwait Towers.  Hope to get there soon and get some pictures from the spheres.

Seems there's no avoiding McDonalds, no matter where you are in the world.  Equal opportunity givers of cholesterol.  lol

Place where they work on boats.  As we walked by, out in the parking lot area, the smell was SO bad.  I think they were painting or something.  It was awful.

My favorite shot of the sea I think.  Just sand and water.  *sigh*

I have a feeling some of the pictures might not show up right?  I'm getting a funny non image in part of the blogger interface, so if someone can let me know if they aren't showing up I would appreciate that.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Well, I've enjoyed my break from writing in the blog.  I love writing, at least in my head.  I'm always writing out posts.  But when it comes to physically typing it all out, I've gotten really bored with that part.

Anyways, I've taken my adventures to a new country, at least temporarily.  We are now in Kuwait for an unspecified amount of time.  Or as some people write it, Q8.

I hope to take a lot of pictures and post them up here.  And Also hope to write down some of my thoughts about things here and how they are the same or different than things in Cairo.


I have to say, the trip didn't start off so well.  The plane we flew on had a perfumy smell and there were also a lot of passengers that were heavily scented.  It was actually irritating my throat.  So I spent the two and a half hour flight trying to doze as much as possible and just not think about it.

But aside from the flight, things went well.  I got my visa at the airport after we landed.  It took less than 5 minutes, though we had to go by two different desks.  And it was free.
Funny thing was, at every point we went through after that in immigration, they barely looked at my passport.  Once they saw I had an American passport they basically just waived me through.  Although this was a nice change from the scrutiny I get when entering the U.S., it was also slightly worrisome.  What if I had had less than good intentions when visiting here?   In any case, the airport didn't take too long.  All baggage arrived intact and we were met by a friend of hubby's who picked us up and stopped so we could get some food and then dropped us at our hotel.

It was after 2 by the time we got to the hotel I think, and there was a slight problem.  They had us booked for a single room, which is extremely small.  But they were fully booked and couldn't switch us to a bigger room until the next day.  So we had a night of very little sleep in a cramped bed.  No windows in the room and it felt slightly claustrophobic.  Even if it was just one person in the room it's too small!

Saturday afternoon we left the hotel and walked down to the sea, which is just 3 or 4 blocks down from the hotel.  Very nice to be so close and I would love living here if we could be so close to the sea, but most likely if we moved here on a more permanent basis, we would be a little further away.

So we had a nice couple hour walk on the hmmm... promenade?  There's a sidewalk that runs along the sea.  There's no beach to speak of, at least in the area we are at, there's just a kind of rock area that's built up and then some benches all along the way and then the sidewalk.  Lots of people out walking or jogging, or families with kids on bikes and such.  It was a little chilly but a nice day to get out.

One thing that's very obvious here is how diverse it is in the nationalities of its population.  There are many many Indian and Asian people who work here.  I think the entire population of Kuwait is only around 3 million, and quite a large chunk of that is made up of migrant (immigrant?) workers.  It's actually quite a big change from Cairo, where you mostly just see Egyptians.  It's rare to see other nationalities, at least in the more average areas.  There are some areas that are known for their population of ex pats, but even then I think it's a lot of people from the States or the UK.

Another thing that's easily noticeable here is how much more money there is here than in Egypt.  Lots of pricy cars here.  Tons of SUVs.  It's hard to have an SUV in Cairo because the streets just aren't big enough for it.  Seems like the majority of vehicles here are SUV.

And so far, it's much much cleaner here.  I haven't seen piles of trash all over the streets like I see in Cairo.  That doesn't mean it doesn't exist mind you, there could be some trash in some areas, but in our little area I haven't seen any.

There is a difference as well in the kinds of clothing you will see here since there is such a large immigrant or ex pat population here.  You can see women wearing a face veil but also women who are dressed in clothing that you would not consider modest in the slightest.  And because of the money, lots of people seem fond of expensive clothes and such.  And looking like they have a lot of money.  And with that comes that attitude that they are somehow better because they have money.  lol   I can't stand it but whatever.   And, different than Egypt is the men here wearing the head scarf.  Turban?  It's a cloth and they wear the ring around it.  And wearing the long dress that would be called a gallabiya but I think westerners would just think looks like a dress.  lol

One other thing of note, and not something I'm fond of, its actually been a big bother for me, is that everyone here, even more than in Cairo which I didn't think was possible, LOVES to wear a scent of some kind.  Perfume or cologne or musk or whatever.  It's too strong and too much and everyone is wearing it.  Even in the hotel the lobby has some scent.  This is a problem for me since I'm so sensitive to smells and it's really quite a bother.  It's not just smelling them, I can also taste them when they are too strong and it irritates my throat as well.  Not sure there's anything I can do about it but you can bet I'll think on it.
So, it's been interesting so far.
Hubby is off working for a few hours and after he comes home we'll go out later on.  I'm not sure if I'll get any pictures since it might be dark but who knows, maybe.
Oh, and our new hotel room is on the 10th floor, so we have a super view.  It's really great.  If it wasn't so overcast today I would be able to see the sea.

Alright, so here are some pictures.  I did post some of these on facebook so you might have already seen them, but I'll try to post some others as well.  I'm showing them on the page as a small size but if you want to see them larger, just click on any image and it will take you to a larger size of that image.

The image above is along our walk at the sea.  I believe the city further out is to the north of us?  Not positive.    See how there are rocks built up and then the benches?  It was like that for quite a ways.

And here is the only sand I saw along the whole way.  Not even sure what the sand is there for?  Not much you can do with it.  But there was a couple there enjoying getting their feet/legs wet.  :)

When we got to the Science Center, they had an area where it appears that they repair or work on boats.  So this one was there in the little docking area for some kind of work.  Looks like a neat ship.

Hubby and I posed and put the camera on timer.  This was right at the area where the ship was.

I just love the blue reflective windows they have on buildings here.  I don't see too much of it in Cairo but I really like it.

Funny sign at the Science Center.  You could do all this stuff at other areas of the beach, or most of it.  Well, I know you could ride bikes and fish in certain areas.  Not sure about swimming.   But I thought it was funny that they included no shisha smoking.  They really had to put that on a sign?  I mean, was it happening so much they wanted to make sure no one was doing it there?  lol

And a picture of me standing next to something that is reminiscent of sails?  Not sure what they were.  But I'm standing next to them!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well then...

I've been in the States for a few weeks now.  Enjoying my visit.  Haven't really felt like writing much at all.  Not even taking too many pictures this trip.  Just experiencing everything without feeling the need to write about it.

Anyways... I guess I'm on a little break from posting.  I might post a few pictures of the trip at some point in the next couple of weeks but I don't know when I'll get back to regular posting.

Ramadan is going to be starting around the beginning of August, so maybe I'll get back to regular posting then.

Love being here but miss my husband.  Looking forward to seeing him again when I get home insha'Allah.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book em!

I thought about waiting 3 more days to post to make it an even two months since I'd posted anything, and then figured that I had better post while I was in any kind of mood to do it or that three days might pass right by, along with another 60!

I'm not hiding or avoiding, there just hasn't been anything going on.

I stopped my picture a day some time ago as there was just nothing I felt like taking pictures of since I don't get out that much.  Though I am still interested in this project in general and may restart at some point, a fresh start.  And perhaps with a specific subject matter instead of random pictures every day.

The biggest news at the moment, aside from the fact that allergy season has hit at last, is that I booked my tickets for a visit back to the States.

I had hoped hubby would be coming but it looks like it's just me this time.  He has some work that he can't leave, and in addition, he'll most likely be traveling for work as well, so it works out fine.

I'm excited beyond belief to get back home for a visit.  I miss my family a lot.  And how easy everything is in the States.  How accessible everything is.

Not looking forward to the flight from Paris to LA, but until they invent that teleporting machine, or they let me fly on a Concorde, then I think I just have to deal with it.  Hard to be bored and "trapped" in a long tube with several hundred other folks.

Anyways, it's nice having this trip to look forward to.  And I feel energized, making lists and having something to do besides the normal nothing.

Not sure when I'll post again.  No promises.

Oh, and here's the last day of the journal, I think I missed posting it before.  There's not much to it, things had really died down by that point, at least in our neighborhood.


Saturday, February 5th

Woke about 10:30.  Nothing new overnight from what I could see.  And for the most part, at least looking from the outside in, it would have almost seemed like business as usual today.  Much more traffic about, more stores open, more people out.  But, banks and stock exchange still closed until Monday.  And still shortages of some goods and money, gas, etc.

I think the tanks are gone from this area, at least the patrol tanks.  Gone back to wherever they came from.  Fine by me.  I'm not sure if they did any good or not.

Not much gun fire to speak of.  A few shots around 8 p.m. and also at 11 p.m.  A helicopter now and then.

So things in one sense have settled down.  And yet, the tension is still high, people are still waiting, nothing feels like it's been accomplished.  Of course, there are things that have happened, and I think there have been some moves in a positive direction, but still waiting.  It's like that itch you can't scratch that starts to drive you mad after a while.

Not feeling safe enough to leave the apartment at this point.  Easy enough for hubby to go out to the stores or cafe, but I'm still hearing bad things about foreigners being detained and I don't think there's any reason to risk that kind of thing.  It would be unpleasant to be detained, to say the least.

So for now, watching like the whole world, waiting like the whole world.

When you really see the way this government has acted, when you really understand who these people are, it's enough to make you ill.  How does the rest of the world not step in to stop leaders like these?  How has this gone on for 30 years with no intervention? 

I know that I have taken so much for granted, growing up and living in the United States.  There are negatives to be said about the country, just like for any country, but there are definitely positives as well.  And one thing I can't stress enough are the rights that the people living in the States have, that are not a given in other countries like Egypt. 

Because they have been living under "emergency law" for 30 years, they essentially have no rights at all.  None.  No rights and further, the police can come and take you at any time, detain you as long as they wish and for whatever they wish.  Maybe most people don't worry about something like that, but after seeing what the government is capable of in the last couple weeks, I think they should.

Some limited gun shots during the wee hours but nothing too major.  Not much else happening.  5 a.m. and time for sleep.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two years and Tahrir

We finally made it down to Tahrir Square today.  We've been meaning to go for a couple of weeks now but something always seemed to come up, preventing us from going.

The weather was beautiful, low 80's I guess.  Not overly sunny so didn't have to worry so much about glare.

There was some sort of rally going on for the voting tomorrow.  Lots of people and there were some police but I'm not sure if they were military or what.

After passing through Tahrir we went to the AUC bookstore.  AUC being American University of Cairo.  They had a book that I have been wanting so we finally picked that up.  While there I asked the person behind the counter if it was possible to get a membership to the AUC library, but he said that you have to be a member of any university in Cairo to get a membership.  Oh well!  There are other libraries, but I would have loved to go inside that one, it's ginormous!

After that we took some more pictures down by the Egyptian Museum and then we walked around downtown for almost two hours, looking here and there and everywhere.

They have the best smells and I really wish I could record them for you.  The food smells unbelievably good and I'd just bet on it that if you could smell it you'd book a ticket to Cairo for as soon as you could!

So, here are the pictures we got today.

If you want to view any of them larger, just click on the image and it will take you to a page with a larger image.  Some of them are larger files sizes because I left the images a littler larger than usual.  Sorry for those on dial up!

This first image is of Tahrir and the rally that was going on.  Actually this one and the next one are both of the rally.  Lots of people but the crowd was fine while we were there.



Then we have me standing next to a very dirty phone booth.  The only reason I actually included this picture was so you could see how dirty it was.  I'm not sure you could pay me to touch this unless I was in danger from losing life or limb.  lol


And then here is me, same basic spot, showing the crowds in Tahrir.  This was taken from the opposite side of the street from the first two pictures.


Next is me with the Mogamma in the background.  That's the building where you do all your visa stuff.  Great place to people watch.  Probably also a great place to catch a lot of germs!


Here is me with the Egyptian Museum and the burned out NDP building in the background.  Really strange to drive over the bridge to downtown and see the big hulking building all burned.


And last we have a picture of my sweety pie in the same spot, with the museum and burned out building behind him.  Not sure what he's looking at but something must have caught his eye.

So that's it for pictures today! 


As of tomorrow, it will be two years since I landed here in Cairo.

Two years.  Roughly 730 days.

I'm happy that I came here.  I'm happy for my experiences.  But I still miss a lot of things about the States.  And sometimes, when we're out and I'm looking around, I feel *so* very foreign.  It's jarring at times.

There is so much that I still want to do here.  Places to go and things to see and insha'Allah I'll be able to learn the language which should make it more exciting.  Hard to fully interact with a society when you can't communicate.

I wish it wasn't so expensive to travel, and that I could go back and forth more frequently to the States to visit.  Also that the flights weren't so long.  That's a real bummer.  No matter how many cushions you sit on, 11 hours on a flight is going to leave you with a sore butt!

I have good days and bad days, which is the same as before I moved here.

I feel happy though and lucky, mashAllah, to be living with my husband, who I love so very much.

Just like everyone, I'm not sure what the future holds.  Not sure how long I'll live here for.  Not sure how long I'll love it for.  But still, 2 years on, happy to be here sharing my life with hubby.

More to write about when I post next insha'Allah.