In Focus: Casio

Post by Mark

For some reason the past two weeks I’ve been obsessed with Casio G-Shocks. I’ve already posted a ton of pictures in my twitter account and I’ve even posted about them on my other blog 248PM. I’m a huge fan of watches but I’m always worried about them getting scratched, lost or stolen so when I started checking out the G-Shocks it was like this is a watch I can get and not have to worry about.

There were a few different models I liked, I first liked the G-5500 special editions which came in two colors (pictured above), a bright yellow representing Tokyo and a gark gray one representing New York City. I then saw the GA-100 (pictured below) and loved how dark and evil it looked. Finally I saw and read about the GX56 (pictured on top of post and the very end) and knew right away that was the watch for me.

The GX56 is Casio’s largest G-Shock ever made. It not only huge but it’s also super tough and I personally think looks really great. It comes in three colors but the Casio dealer in Kuwait gets them in just one color which is the one in the picture above. I ended up getting that and so far I’m loving it. Price wise it’s not cheap since it costs KD50 which is on the expensive side of the Casio spectrum. The GA-100 is for KD35 while the G-5500 special editions are for KD40 each.

The Casio dealer is pretty decent, their prices are slightly more expensive than Amazon but when you add shipping costs and tax it turns out to be exactly the same as Kuwait. The branch I kept passing by was the one behind Souk Al Kabeer in Kuwait City. All the models I posted above are available at their Kuwait City branch. Their phone number is 22458727.


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In Focus: Victorinox Kuwait

Post by Mark

I’m a huge fan of Victorinox Swiss army knives and if I wasn’t so clumsy with sharp objects I would probably have a nice huge collection at home. Thing is I have three Swiss army knives and have managed to cut myself accidentally with all three (one of them pretty deep) so I’ve kinda kept my distance from them.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t admire the knives. They have some really great looking ones with my favorite being the bright emergency yellow RescueTool which I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Majority of people don’t know this but we have a pretty good Victorinox dealer here in Kuwait. The shop isn’t in the best location and the interior design is pretty crap (check photos below) but they do have a pretty huge collection.

The shop is called Shalimar Stores and they’re located in the ground floor of the mall right behind Johnny Rockets Salhiya. Prices of knives vary with the majority falling in between KD5 to KD15. They also carry Victorinox scissors, bags and watches as well. Their phone number is 22451270


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In Focus: The Bed Boutique

Post by Mark

Recently I noticed that when I sleep for over 9 hours I wake up with neck cramps and a sore ear. It turned out my pillow had become too hard and with the way I sleep was causing me neck pains. Nat suggested I get Tempur pillows so I did a quick google to find a local dealer and landed on Some Contrast’s blog. He had found and gotten Tempur pillows from a place called The Bed Boutique in Tilal Complex. Since I was planning to pass by the Tamiya dealer there anyway, I decided to drop by and see what they had.

The shop has pillows, quilts and mattresses. They had a few brands the most popular being Tempur and Temprakon. Now one reason I felt like coming to this store was because Some Contrast posted they had a small private room (pictured above) in which you could try the pillows which is what I ended up doing. I got around 4 different types of pillows and tried them while lying down which is much better than just trying to feel the stuff in your hands. In the end I ended up getting the Temprakon Ergomagic which is a very comfy pillow (picture and details on their website). It’s a down pillow with a three layered core, one layer is a comfort foam which provides support for the head and neck, the other two layers are foam inserts which are used to control the height of the pillow. If the three layers combined are too high for you, you remove one of the inserts. If it’s still too high you remove another insert. Very practical.

Nat on the other hand got the same pillow as Yousef from Some Contrast which is the Tempur Symphony (pictured above). I tried it and also it was very comfy I didn’t think it was high enough for me since I like high pillows. The Tempur material feels very organic since it takes your shape and molds around it. I tried the Tempur mattress and it felt like the bed was alive since however you moved it slowly takes your form.

Anyway if you’re interested, The Bed Boutique is located at Tilal Complex. Their phone number is 22256171.

Update: Was just reading about the brand Temprakon on their website and it’s even better than I had thought. Their pillows and quilts are made with NASA’s OUTLAST material which is used in the NASA space suits. They’re the only manufacturer in the world allowed to use the OUTLAST material to make pillows and quilts.


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In Focus: Off Road Performance (ORP)

Post by Mark

I use my In Focus posts to highlight some great businesses here in Kuwait and today’s post is no different. As I mentioned previously, I’m lifting my FJ Cruiser and installing large tires just like I did with my Wrangler. The previous place I had installed my Wranglers lift had shut down so I asked a friend from the FJ Club for a recommendation and he pointed me towards ORP.

ORP is short for Off Road Performance and that’s exactly what they specialize in. If you’ve got a 4×4 and want to install a heavy duty bumper, or get a suspension lift, larger tires and wheels, maybe a light bar etc.. then they’re the place to go. Personally I would love to install everything myself and if I had my own little house with an indoor garage I would attempt to do that but since I don’t, I have to get stuff installed at specialized places which I usually don’t like doing. With ORP I felt comfortable getting my lift installed there because the guys are 4×4 affectionados. I met two guys, both Kuwaitis. Yousef is the one I first spoke to over the phone while Saud I didn’t communicate much with since he was always busy working on a car. They’re both passionate about what they do and to me that’s extremely important.

First time I passed by ORP was to check out the location and see how much they would charge for my suspension lift install. Then I just set up an appointment, dropped my FJ in late at night and picked it up again the next evening. I needed to get the FJ aligned and they recommended I take it to a guy called John at Auto1 on Canada Dry street who also turned out to be really great. So overall I had a very good experience and their prices are very competitive. Now I have to go back and buy a shorter antenna since with the lift kit installed my FJ’s antenna is hitting every pipe in my underground parking. I haven’t even installed my large tires yet so I am starting to worry my FJ is going to be too big to take underground. Hopefully I should be ok.

If you need anything for your 4×4 I highly recommend them. They’re very easy to find in Shuwaikh. If you’re on Canada Dry street with McDonalds on your right keep going straight past the bridge and then do a u-turn at the round-about so you’re heading the same way you came from, then take your first right and drive maybe 100 or 200 meters and you will find them on your left. (see map above). Their website address is www.orp.com.kw and you could also call Yousef on 99422254.


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In Focus: World Photo

Post by Mark

Once upon a time there were two cool photography stores in Kuwait City. One day the building that hosted the two shops got demolished and the stores disappeared…

After a bit of looking around I then noticed one of the shops ended up moving to Muthana Complex but since I didn’t know what happened to the other store I assumed it just closed down. Then out of the blue, a friend of mine tells me he found the place in Shuwaikh. It seems when they demolished the building they decided to move out of Kuwait City and into the industrial area of Shuwaikh for some reason. I passed by and noticed they still had all the used film cameras and lenses on display for sale. They also still have Cokin filters and various tripods, camera bags and studio lights for sale. I was checking out the Nikons, they had the F3, F4 and F5 for sale but none of them were really in great condition. They had two medium format cameras (a Kiev and Mamiya) and also a bunch of compact cameras.

If you’re interested in passing by they’re easy to find. Go to Canada Dry street and if McDonalds is on your right keep going straight past the traffic light and straight under the bridge. Keep going straight you will see a huge place on your left called Ramez. You need to keep driving until you hit the round about and then do a u-turn and head towards the direction you came from. Before the Ramez building you take a right and then you turn left behind the building and drive straight. You should see World Photo in front of you.


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In Focus: Zaharat Al Naseem

Post by Mark

Two weeks back I posted that I ordered the Alpine iXA-W407 from Amazon along with all the parts I needed to get it installed in my FJ Cruiser. Originally I was planning to do all the install myself but I found a sound install place where the people who run it actually know what they’re doing. The place is called Zaharat Al Naseem and they’re located right across from Al Raya. I originally went there to have them solder some wires together but I was pretty surprised when the person I was talking to knew was an SWI-JACK was and what a TR7 did. Not only that but the guy actually spoke proper English and they were in the middle of installing a rear view camera on another black FJ. I decided to give them the whole install project and so I left and went back after I was done with work so they could install everything.

They didn’t have any issues soldering all the right wires together (check out the picture above) and they got it all right from the first try. I had ordered an adapter from Amazon that would allow me to install the Alpine in the FJ but the adapter I bought turned out to be really crap. Turns out they had the right adapter I needed and the price was just a KD1 more than Amazon after shipping. After installing the stereo I had them install my extra 12v socket by the fuse box and run my Garmin GPS charger up inside the dashboard. I had a whole weekend of installation planned and they were able to do it all in under 2 hours. I didn’t have the rear view camera the first day but once Aramex delivered it the next day I went back and they installed it for me in under 30 minutes.

If you want to get your sound system installed I highly recommend them. There are a bunch of places in front of Al Raya so make sure you go to the right store.

Update: They’ve moved, here is their new location [Google Maps]

zaharat


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In Focus: Bosch Power Tools Dealer

Post by Mark

I love power tools and I especially love Bosch power tools. The best place to get Bosch power tools from? Where else but the Bosch power tools dealer in Shuwaikh. I get all my power tools from the Bosch Power Tools dealer in Shuwaikh. It’s a small place connected to the Bosch car service center and also their warehouse. I’ve been going there for a few years now, It’s where I bought my cordless power drill from and my Dremel multitool. The staff are extremely friendly and I always end up leaving with a good deal.

There are a bunch of places around Kuwait that sell Bosch tools but as I mentioned above the reason I prefer getting it straight from the dealer is because you can haggle and in some cases get freebies. I bought an impact drill today and was able to get a nice discount and some free tool bits for example. They’re very easy to find, you exit the Sheraton round-about heading towards City Center, after City Center on your right you should see Kuwait Finance House, take the first right after it and keep going straight until you see the Bosch sign on the left. They’re open from 8AM to 5PM and their number is 24810844.


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In Focus: Teacher’s Cellar

Post by Mark

This might sound strange but this little store is probably one of my favorite shops in Kuwait. It’s called Teacher’s Cellar and it’s located in Muthana Complex in Kuwait City. The store sells classroom supplies and it’s unbelievable the amount of stuff they were able to shove into the place. It has everything from scratch and sniff stickers to fake plastic food, washable crayola paint, stamps, hand puppets you name it. It’s mostly supplies for kindergarten and primary school classes so that’s why it’s all fun stuff. It’s really an incredible little store and I wish we had more of these little specialty shops in Kuwait.

They’re located on the Mezzanine floor of Muthana Complex opposite the Internet cafe. They also have a pretty decent website which you can check out by clicking [Here]


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In Focus: Ace Hardware

Post by Mark

Although I would think by now everyone knows what Ace Hardware is it seems it’s not as popular as I had imagined. Whenever I mention Ace on my blog a few people always comment asking what it was or where it was so I figured I would highlight the place.

Ace Hardware is one of my favorite stores in Kuwait. They’ve been open over a decade now and every year they just keep on improving. They sell everything from bedsheets, towels, sporting equipment, ATV’s, barbecue’s, gardening tools, car accessories, bathroom accessories, hardware tools, power tools, toys, paint, kitchenware, bulbs, pet supplies and the list goes on and on. Everything is arranged nicely, the place never gets too crowded, the staff are friendly and helpful and since they import a lot of items directly from the States, you find a lot of stuff you can’t find anywhere else. I use Ace mostly for the hardware tools section, the barbecue accessories and pet supplies but every now and then I would need something totally random and I would find it only at Ace.

They’re located in Al-Rai in the area between Avenues and the 4th Ring Road. I’ve drawn a map below of how to find the place, they’re open from 9AM to 10PM daily and their phone number is 24769100.


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In Focus: Intersport

Post by Mark

I passed by Intersport at 360 Mall today. They’ve been open since 360 launched but I only went in a few days ago and really liked the place. The shop feels really cozy and calm because the place is still brand new and there isn’t that much foot traffic. I used to like GoSport when they first opened up but now it feels hectic and the way things are laid out reminds me of Costco.

Intersport is smaller than GoSport but still manages to have a bit of everything. They’ve got sport watches, workout dvd’s, bicycles, skateboards, camping and beach gear, gym equipment, clothes, sneakers, a football section etc.. in addition to a few items here and there you can’t find anywhere else. The staff is also pretty friendly which is always a plus.

Intersport is located on the third floor of 360 Mall.

Note: I am organizing my categories and decided to create a new one called InFocus where I post about random places I find interesting or worth a visit.


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