Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

Thursday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
CREATE #REUSEQ8 ART.LIVE
Cinemagics: Surprise Movie of the Month

Friday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
CREATE #REUSEQ8 ART.LIVE
Life Line: 10K and 3K Fun Race
6th Poetry Slam Contest

Saturday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
CREATE #REUSEQ8 ART.LIVE
Tour: Aladdin House
Bungee Jumping
5th National Blood Donation Campaign
Cinemagics: Eastern Promises


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Sneak Peek: Kuwait Airways new First and Business Class

Posted by Mark

firstclass

A few hours ago Kuwait Airways posted photos on their instagram account of how their new business and first class cabins will look like and frankly, it’s a bit disappointing. Although it’s a MAJOR improvement over their current planes, the first class seats (pictured above) look more like business class seats on other airlines, while their business class (pictured below) is more like premium economy.

businessclass

They haven’t posted any photos of the economy class seats but anything really is better than what they have now. The first new plane arrives this coming December. Here is a link to their [Instagram]


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Repairing an iPhone screen for cheap

Posted by Mark

Untitled-1

After dropping my iPhone a million times I finally managed to shatter the screen a few days ago. Originally I was going to have FixAid repair the screen since they quoted me KD25 which I thought was reasonable but I was in Hawalli this morning and the first repair shop I found quoted me KD16. When did it become so cheap to replace an iPhone 5 screen? Yesterday I was considering getting an iPhone cover but now I’m like it’s just cheaper to swap the screen if it breaks again.

The shop I went to is called I Pro Company and they’re located in the building right after Blink (keep Blink on your left). Their phone number is 22648118 if you need to get an estimate and here they are on [Google Maps]


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Escape from Kuwait

Posted by Mark

escapefromkuwait

Escape from Kuwait is an interesting short story about a guy who managed to escape Kuwait through the desert during the 1990 Iraq invasion. Below is an excerpt from the story:

As time wore on it was becoming obvious the Iraqis wouldn’t leave. And, one by one, the families I was providing with sustenance were “discovered” (informants were rampant) and arrested. I also ran out of Dinars. I did what everyone was doing to stay alive: I used to drive up to Basrah (the Iraqi city neighbouring Kuwait) to sell my electronics one by one; first the VCR, then another, then my Boom Box, my mini Hi-Fi, then the big stereo, the small TV etc… The only thing nobody wanted was my Amiga 1000. When these had gone I started disposing of the white goods: the dishwasher, the dryer, the fridge (we had practically doubles of everything). Iraqis were eager to buy since such goods were not widely available in their land, but the money they paid was peanuts. Still, no choice. The situation gradually became desperate, and I realised that I had to leave. I gave to our Philippina maid 3 months’ salaries and told her that she should go to her embassy (Asian and African officials were organising mass evacuations). The poor thing was crying so hard. I exchanged my wife’s car, a Chevrolet Caprice Classic, to a Daihatsu Rocky a Palestinian colleague had. This would normally be a dumb deal, as the Chevy was worth 4 times the Daihatsu. But I needed a 4X4 vehicle to escape through the desert. With most of my last Dinars I bought essential spare parts, two cans of motor oil and a tank of gasoline at the black market. I bid farewell and good luck to the families that remained hidden, and one early dawn in early October I headed a convoy of 6 trucks south to Saudi Arabia. I had gotten a makeshift “map” from a Swedish photographer who used to race in desert rallies a few years back and now pieced together escape convoys (an aside: why wouldn’t he himself leave?… He was in love with an Indian girl who had not left the country yet… ah, the power of love).

The story is not too long (around 3 pages) and interesting all the way through.
Check it out [Here]

Photo above from Kuwait Invasion: The Evidence.


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Holiday Inn is Happy

Posted by Mark

This is way way better than their extremely awkward flashmob from a couple of years back. [YouTube]


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Tour the Aladdin House

Posted by Mark

Last month I posted about the Aladdin House in Fintas along with a link to pictures of the inside. If you’re interested in visiting the house the AWARE Center has a tour this weekend. For more information click [Here]


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Old photos of Radisson Blu (SAS)

Posted by Mark

sasopening

I have a friend who recently started working at the Radisson Blu Hotel and he found a bunch of old photo albums so he asked me if I would be interested in flipping through them since he knows I like old photos related to Kuwait. There were maybe 20 large albums with a lot of random stuff but I picked out photos that I thought were the most interesting or at least ones that I could relate to.

The photo on top is of the hotel on opening day. I had chosen other photos from that day for them to scan but I didn’t get them for some reason.

Second group of photos I found interesting is the installation of the Kugel. The Kugel is a large 4 ton marble sphere that floats on water and before the hotels recent refurbishment used to located in the lobby. Originally I thought the Kugel had been there ever since the hotel opened but turns out it was installed after the 1990 invasion. The Kugel now is no longer located in the lobby but instead outside near the Viking Club entrance.

The second batch of photos that caught my eye was the damage done to The Peacock Chinese restaurant during the 1990 invasion. I had seen photos of the hotel after the invasion but hadn’t seen photos of Peacock before. If you’ve never been to Peacock, here’s my review.

clock

Finally does anyone remember Clock? I couldn’t find a photo in their archives of the restaurant when it was open just the one above taken after the invasion. I was young when it first opened in the 80s but I think it was the first restaurant to offer drive through in Kuwait. I used to see the Clock sign when going down the Gulf Road near Bid’aa and as a kid I found the concept of drive through fascinating.


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Getting paperwork done in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

passport

Getting government related paperwork done can be such an emotional roller coaster. I got a new passport yesterday and all I had to do was move my residency from the old passport to the new one and the processes was just so exhausting. I originally went to the Hawalli Immigration office who then told me to go the Kuwait City office who then told me to go back to the Hawalli office. I was like no way, I just came from there and they said I needed to get the transfer done here. I was then sent from one person to another, to another, to another and had to do lots of pointless waiting around before I finally ended up in a room by myself with all hope lost of getting my stuff done before I travel in a few days. Then suddenly out of the blue, a guy randomly walked in, looked at my papers, signed them, called someone in another department and then sent me to him to get the papers processed. Just like that by mere coincidence I was done.

It’s insane, you literally have to walk on egg shells every time you get sent to someone to get a signature or a stamp. You have to hope they’re in a good mood, you need to make sure you don’t do anything that might aggravate them like stand too close to the desk or interrupt them while they’re whatsapping. It feels like you need a favor from every person you need a signature or stamp from. I hate it.

egov

On the bright side, not sure if many of you know about this but there is a half decent government website with information and forms you need to get various jobs done. It’s the Kuwait Government Online website and the section I’m talking about is called Citizens & Residents. Check it out [Here]


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Six Flags opening in Dubai

Posted by Mark

sixflags

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company, and Meraas Leisure and Entertainment, have announced plans to bring a theme park to Dubai.

In a joint statement, the companies said a new strategic partnership will bring a Six Flags-branded theme park to the emirate. The project is planned to open in late 2017 and will be located within the multi-themed park project in Jebel Ali launched by Meraas.

I’m jealous. [Link]


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Salt Seafood Restaurant at the Messilah Beach Hotel

Posted by Mark

salt1

Last week I was invited to pass by the new seafood restaurant at the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel called Salt. I personally think the hotel is the nicest one we have in Kuwait right now so I was pretty interested to try this new place out. One thing I really hate about the hotel though is you’ve got two options for parking, either (a) you give your car to valet or (b) you park in the sand lot across the street. Since I don’t trust valets with my car I have to use the sand lot and it’s never a great start to dinner when you have to spend the first few minutes cleaning the dust off my new fancy sneakers.

salt2

If you’ve been to Messilah before then you probably know that most of their restaurants are located in the lower level of the main lobby. Salt is located there as well and they’ve taken up the whole left side area. Once we walked into the restaurant we could immediately tell that they wanted to be the most luxurious seafood restaurant in Kuwait and at the moment they probably are. The restaurant is long and not very wide with two kinds of seating areas, on one side they have curved couches going along the wall and it’s nicely lit. On the opposite side is a much brighter open floor layout with beautiful chandeliers. So far the experience was very fancy until the menu arrived and I opened it up to reveal bright yellow text on a dark blue background which looked really tacky layout (take a look). If I could change one thing in the place it would have to be the menu thats for sure.

Because this is a high end restaurant, everything has to be top notch especially the service which in this specific case I found difficult to judge for a number of reasons. First is the fact I was invited and so they knew who I was, and secondly they had barely been open for a week. Still, if I did compare it to other hotels and restaurants in Kuwait I would say the service was in the top 10 but not top 5. In other restaurants where the service is in the top 5, the staff have been working there long enough to see me grow old while Salt has just opened.

salt3

Since we were two we ended up ordering the following items from the menu:

Acqua Morelli Sparking Water (x2) KD7.000
Baked Chermoula Prawns KD7.500
Pan Fried Scallops KD7.250
Lobster Bisque (x2) KD9.500
Whole Lobster (Medium) KD28.000
Whole Sea Bass KD15.000
Pearl of the Ocean drink KD3.350
Messilah Journey (mixed dessert) KD5.750

salt4

From the two starters we ordered I was expecting the Baked Chermoula Prawns to be my favorite since it was prawns stuffed with scallops. But to my surprise I ended up preferring the Pan Fried Scallops instead. That’s because the scallops dish had so many different flavors from the scallops itself to the stuffed calamari, squid ink risotto and even the puree which were all delicious. Once we were done with the starters they brought over a soup plate which large chunks of lobster inside but no soup. I started thinking to myself maybe this was their interpretation of the lobster bisque? Just as I was thinking that the waiter came over and started pouring the soup over my large lobster chunks. Presentation was an easy 10/10 and from everything we ordered I would also have to say the Lobster Bisque was by far my favorite dish.

Read the rest of this entry »


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