The Garbage Walk

Post by Mark

It’s hard to write this post without expressing my emotions which are mostly composed of anger and lot of frustration, but I’ll try my best to be as neutral and professional as possible. Yesterday when I went to take photos of the bike sharing station near Marina Waves, I was caught off guard by what has to be the dumbest fucking decision ever an idea with good intentions, but poor execution.

Who thought it would be a great fucking idea to plaster bright orange garbage bins at eye level every 10 fucking meters on the side facing the sea???!. Now I am aware of the garbage situation in Kuwait and specifically Salmiya, I’ve written about it a number of times on the blog before, but I do believe this idea could have been executed better. I guess people have been throwing garbage on the floor so someone (I’m assuming at the municipality) decided to add more garbage bins all across the beautiful scenic path near Marina Waves. The issue is, the garbage bins are bright fucking orange, raised up to eye level, and most importantly, they’re placed every 10 meters on the side of the path that is closest to the sea.

The pathway is popular because the view there is spectacular. It’s a popular location for photos and its one of the most beautiful aspects of Kuwait along with the whole Gulf Road. So why ruin this amazing view by sticking bright fucking orange bins so high up on ugly poles? Why couldn’t they add more bins, but ones that blended in with the environment better instead of sticking out like a sore thumb? For the benefit of the doubt, lets assume they had a very limited budget to work with, and these cheap plastic bins were the only ones that fit into their budget. Why couldn’t they place them on the other side of the path so that the sea view isn’t blocked by hundreds of these floating orange bins? Whoever is behind this I am guessing was behind a similar stupid idea in Salmiya a few years ago where they plastered yellow bins every 10 meters on the side of Salem Mubarek Street. That idea failed because it was fucking stupid not well thought out, and these orange ideas aren’t a good solution either.

Also, do people who litter do so because the garbage bin is to far, or do they litter because they don’t know any better and just don’t care? My guess is the later, the below is taken from the City of Chicago website:

Why Do People Litter?
People litter because they do not feel responsible for public areas like streets and parks. The more they litter, the more it becomes a habit, and the worse the community looks. People usually litter outside their own neighborhood where their trash becomes someone else’s problem.

I highly doubt these garbage bins are going to stop people from littering, what we need is probably an awareness campaign that educates the public on why they shouldn’t litter, followed by strict enforcement of the littering law (which I believe we have).


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Bike Sharing in Kuwait with BYKY

Post by Mark

BYKY, the bike sharing service in the Middle East (also part of the largest international bike sharing network Nextbike) recently installed a bike station near Marina Waves in Salmiya. Bike sharing is a service where bicycles are made available to rent by people for a short period of time, and in cities with a lot of stations, you could use the bikes to ride from one area to another and then park them at the station nearest to you. From what I can tell, in Kuwait we currently have just this one station and it’s clearly placed there to be used for fun and not as a means of transportation.

The first BYKY Station in Kuwait is located near the Salwa Sabah Al-Ahmad Hall [Map] which makes it practical to pick up a bike and ride it down the scenic path to Scientific Center and back.

The price to use the bikes is as follows:
KD1.5 – 30 Minutes
KD2 – 1 Hour
KD2.5 – 2 Hours
KD3 – 3 Hours
KD3.5 – 4 Hours
KD4 – 5 Hours
KD6 – 24 Hours

If you don’t lock the bike when you bring it back to the station, then there is an additional charge of KD1.5. If you don’t return the bike to the station and instead say leave it next to Scientific Center, then there is an additional charge of KD6 for ever 10km you’re away from the station. Payment is made by credit card or Knet.

I’ve reached out to BYKY to find out if they’ll be adding more stations in Kuwait, once they get back to me I’ll update this post.

Update: According to a reader there is a second BYKY Station next to Scientific Center.


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AL MAADAN Home Accessories & Furniture

Post by Mark

I found out about AL MAADAN recently when I tagged along with a friend who needed to get some items for his place. It’s a home accessories and furniture shop thats located in Shuwaikh but they also have a tiny store in Avenues.

Although it doesn’t sound the part, AL MAADAN actually have some pretty cool looking and tastefully designed items. When I was there, I found a bunch of things I would have wanted for my place if I actually had the room for them. The main reason they have some very cool looking items is because they carry the Danish brand House Doctor, which to me is kinda like a Danish version of WestElm.

So if you’re looking for furniture or accessories for your place then they’re definitely worth checking out. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @almaadankw


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Hala Hummus

Post by Mark

There’s a restaurant in Crystal Tower in Kuwait City called Hala Hummus which I keep passing by on my way to my gym (Core Fitness, now called XAthletic moved there recently). I haven’t tried Hala Hummus yet but I love the way the interior looks. For some reason, I think because of the way the ceiling is arched but the space looks like a restaurant you’d find in an underground subway. As you can guess from the name, they specialize in hummus dishes so if you want more info, check out their instagram @halahummus_kw


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List of Hospitals Currently Under Construction

Post by Mark

There are currently a bunch of new hospitals being constructed and designed at the moment in Kuwait and thanks to a reader, I was able to get a bit of information on them. Below is a list of some of the hospitals currently in the pipeline along with their current status and links with more details on the projects:

Al-Adan Women and Children’s Hospital
Already under construction

Al-Razi Hospital
Under tender but paused right now due to budget constraints

Al-Sabah Hospital
Already under construction

Amiri Hospital
Already under construction

Kuwait Cancer Control Centre
Already under construction

Kuwait Children’s Hospital
Currently in design phase

NBK Cancer Hospital (Oncology and Hematology)
Already complete and awaiting commissioning

New Farwaniya Hospital
Already under construction

New Ibn Sina Hospital
On hold, awaiting budget and likely to kick off 2017-2018

New Jahra Hospital
Already under construction

New Maternity Hospital
Construction to begin any day now

Police Hospital
Was tendered and awarded and now awaiting contract signature to kick off

Sheikh Jaber Hospital
Construction nearly complete

Sheikha Salwa Al-Sabah Center for Stem Cell and Umbilical Cord
Already under construction

Thanks Jassim


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RYDE Spinning Studio

Post by Mark

I used to love cycling on the Gulf Road all year round but for some reason, last year I just rode my bicycle twice and then just lost interest. Maybe I got bored, maybe I got lazy but whatever the reason was, I just haven’t been motivated to get back onto my bicycle since. This year I decided I would get lean come summertime but I wasn’t sure what kind of cardio I would do until I found out about RYDE.

RYDE is a new spinning studio located in Mayar Complex in Shuwaikh, the same complex that houses the new Vol.1 and my obsession du jour, Super/Foods. I found out about RYDE when I was getting information on the complex and after looking at their instagram account I realized this could be a fun way to do cardio and burn calories. Although my gym has cardio machines, I hate doing stationary cardio since I just get so bored. RYDE on the other hand looked exciting because the setup was in a dark room with flashing neon lights, it had a nightclub vibe.

Last week they finally put their schedule online along with an offer where your first class would be free. So I signed up and headed there on Saturday for my first free class. I had never done spinning before and so wasn’t really sure if I’d like it or not. I liked it. After trying it out on Saturday, I ended up signing up for another class on Sunday.

A post shared by RYDE (@ryde.kw) on

Like in the photos and videos on their instagram account, spinning takes place in a dark room, barely lit with pink and blue neon lights and a spotlight shinning on the instructor. The instructors perform a lot of multitasking during the 45 minute workout, they pump out jams, control the light show and also yell out instructions all while pedaling along with you. The experience was pretty fun and because there’s so much going on, time just flies by. The lighting of the studio is pretty cool, the room stays dim most of the time but whenever we have to do a fast sprint, the neon lights start flashing with the fast paced beats and it just creates this excitement that entices you to pedal faster and harder (the video above doesn’t really do it justice). The class is intense but if you get tired you can just pedal at your own pace until you catch your breath. Personally, I don’t recall the last time I sweat as much, but if I was able to keep up then you should as well since my cardio isn’t that great.

RYDE offers classes for men and women but they aren’t mixed. Women also have a female trainer while men have a male one. One class costs KD10 which is not bad but if you sign up to multiple classes, the price does get cheaper. Right now they have a deal where the first class is free so you don’t have anything to lose trying it out.

For more information you can checkout their instagram account @ryde.kw or visit their website rydekw.com


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Al Shaheed Park Phase II Nearly Complete

Post by Mark

Work on Phase II of Al Shaheed Park is currently running on schedule and is expected to be completed by April. The new phase will be more than just a park and include a parkour area, a miniature new Kuwait, a miniature old Kuwait, a multipurpose youth complex, tree top climbing obstacles, board and interactive games area, an open air performance center and a skate park.

I really have a hard time understanding why we need a miniature Kuwait in the park since we have the life sized versions of the buildings all around us. There are also going to be new restaurants opening up in the new phase, I believe 5 in total.

One thing I didn’t ask about was parking. I wonder if phase 2 will have it’s own parking or if we’ll have to use the phase 1 parking lot and walk over. Looking at google maps it looks like it will have it’s own underground parking but I’ll double check this and post an update once I get an answer. It would be a pretty long walk from phase 1 if it doesn’t have its own lot.

Update: I just received confirmation that Phase II will have parking for 1000 cars. But, the issue is the parking is going to be divided into different areas because there are two metro lines that are planned to run under the park so the parking was split up to leave room for the two lines. From what I understood this means the parking is going to be a bit annoying or awkward because of the way it’s split up.


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Double Decker Busses Now in Service

Post by Mark

Nabil Al-Jeraisy, Vice Chairman and CEO, stated that City Bus is committed to providing world class public transportation services to its customers in Kuwait in cooperation with the Traffic Department Authority to contribute in the reduction of traffic congestion and support the environmental protection agenda.

He also affirmed to providing a better service to citizens and residents alike, and to encourage drivers to abandon their cars and use these public transport services. Here Al-Jeraisy invited both citizens and residents to try the new “double decker buses”, which will begin its maiden trip today on Route 999 starting from Sheraton hotel bus stop in Kuwait City going along the coastal road of the Arabian Gulf passing through “Al-Ta’awen” street to Fahaheel costal road ending in Fahaheel area and then return. [Source]

I doubt people are going to abandon their cars for busses anytime soon, but I like his optimism. Now the metro on the other hand, I’d use that for sure.


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Getting a Nintendo Switch in Kuwait

Post by Patrick

Nintendo’s new console, the Switch is coming out on March 3rd. There’s a lot of positive hype surrounding the release of Nintendo’s new console which is a hybrid of a home console and a portable console. I pre-ordered one back in January from Amazon US for $299 while Mark pre-ordered his from the Walmart website. If you’re interested in getting one yourself, there are two ways to do so:

The first option is to get it locally. Xcite have a sign-up page to get a notification once they have more information on the Switch, but theres no mention on when they’re expecting to get it. Then there’s Rihab. I paid a visit to Rihab on Friday to ask if they were getting the Switch and how much they were expecting to sell it for. I wasn’t given a concrete answer, but I was told that there would be a shortage of consoles locally, which isn’t surprising since Nintendo is only making two million units available at launch worldwide. I was also told the approximate price of the Switch would be KD150 (approximately $490) which I found hard to believe since I’m expecting it to go as high as KD250 on the first few days of launch. The shops I asked were adamant that it wouldn’t go that high up, but I’m still skeptical.

Your second option is to pre-order a Switch online and ship it to your forwarding mailbox like Shop&Ship or PostaPlus. It’s sold out in most of the US stores but they’re still available to pre-order at a bunch of UK ones including:

Amazon UK
Argos
GAME
Nintendo Store
Tesco

The UK stores are selling the Switch for slightly more than the US stores at KD106 verses KD98 (with tax). But, it should still be cheaper than buying it locally… at least in the beginning.

Post by Patrick


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National Day Music

Post by Mark

Below are some old National Day songs you can download as MP3s as well as a few music videos that are available on YouTube:

Downloadable MP3’s (Right click and save as)
Beladona Il Kuwait
Shadi Al Khaleej – Kaseeroh Dalah
Sana Al Kharaz – I7na IlKha6awi AlAkeeda
Sana Al Kharaz – 6ig Ya Mu6ar 6ig
Sana Al Kharaz – Al Azrag
Sana Al Kharaz – Salam Ya Wa6ani
7naina Il Ayadi
Il Wa7id Allah (Om A7med – Wainich Yal Ibra)
Imbarak 3alaik il3id
Abdul Kareem Abdul Qader – Wa6an Al Nahar
Abdullah Al-Ruwaishid – 3ashat Lina Il Kuwait (Original)
Hussien Al Jasmi – La Telomoni (Hala February)
Nabeel Sh3ail – Ya Dar (Hala February)
Rashid Al-Majid – 6ayir Men El Far7a
BBS Kids – Wa6ani 7abeebi
Kuwaiti TV Band – Ya Wardity Ya Nidiya
Kuwaiti TV Band – Al Ziman Dawar

oldsongs

Music Videos
حفل المعاهد الخاصة سنة 86 – كلما زادت المحن – شادي الخليج
امبارك عليك العيد يا بلادي – حفلة العيد الوطني 1977
شادي الخليج 1986- كاسروه دله اربع انات مله
شادي الخليج – كويت و العرب من اوبريت شراع الوفاء


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