1- If you’re a Flash designer [Email Me]
2- Anyone know who to contact if I need a piano tuned and moved?
1- If you’re a Flash designer [Email Me]
2- Anyone know who to contact if I need a piano tuned and moved?
Recently I needed to get two portrait shots done, one for my Civil ID and the other for my passport. Ever since I was a kid I used to get all my portrait shots taken at Boushahri Studio in Salmiya but since they closed down their studio I haven’t been able to find a decent alternative. I’ve tried two places so far and they’ve both been horrible. The first place turned my photo into a glamour shot with so much retouching I looked like I was made out of plastic while the second studio had the most mind boggling photographer.
According to my passport requirements, I should have my photo taken in front of a white background and it shouldn’t be edited in any way. So I go into the studio and I see a bright green background. I sit down in front of it and ask the photographer shouldn’t I be in front of a white background? He’s like yes and proceeds to set up the lights and is getting ready to take a photo. I’m like the background behind me is green. He was like yes we’ll change it later (as in he’ll edit it later on the computer). I was like but the instruction clearly say the photo shouldn’t be altered in anyway. He was like yeah but we always do this. So I was like don’t you have a white background? So he goes yes and then presses a button on a remote and a white background comes down. I mean wtf? If you have a white background that requires a click of a button to drop down, why would you shoot me in front of a green background and then edit the background to white on the computer? It’s so much easier and proper to just shoot me in front of a white back drop in the first place.
I miss the old days when the photographer would shoot with film and had to get the shot right on camera.
This past Saturday, the Breitling Wingwalkers performed a show at Marina Crescent which everyone on the ground got to enjoy. A day earlier though on Friday, the Breitling Wingwalkers invited 6 people to experience wing walking and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
I headed to Sheikh Saad Terminal early Friday morning where the Breitling Wingwalkers were waiting for us. Me and another person were part of the first team that would fly out that day and I was extremely excited. It was a warm morning but we were told to bring a light sweater or jacket since it would be cold up in the air and we were also told not have anything on us, no phones, no wallets not even a watch. After getting a short briefing we headed towards the runway where the two beautiful biplanes were waiting for us.
A wing walker nicknamed ‘Bird’ was my guide that morning. First thing she had to do was show me how to get on top of the plane which wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting it to be. Once we were on top I had to put goggles on and then get strapped into a standing seat before she proceeded to give a set of instructions like if I wanted the pilot to land what hand signals I needed to give or in case of emergency how to unfasten the strap quickly.
After waiting on the tarmac around 10 minutes we got the go ahead from the Kuwait Airport control tower to take off and we proceeded to the runway. Being strapped on top of a plane while going down an airport runway is an experience by itself. You really don’t realize how long and wide the runway is when you’re cooped up inside a plane, but when you’re sitting on top of one it’s just mind boggling. It’s why all car shows take the fast cars to airport runways for straight line speed test, it’s kinda like an infinitely straight 12 lane highway and it’s all yours.
The two planes stopped for a bit on the runway before hitting full throttle and and taking off a few seconds right after. First thing I noticed was the amount of wind that started hitting me, it was insane, my cheeks were flapping and if I opened my mouth a bit it would just fill up with air instantly. There was so much wind resistance I have no idea how the girls perform all the stunts on top of the plane. They make it look really easy that’s for sure.
We spent around 10 to 15 minutes circling the airport and the airports vicinity while the two biplanes flew in tandem. I kinda wished I had my phone with me so I could instagram live from the sky like when I went paragliding in Lebanon and powered paragliding here in Kuwait but with the amount of wind hitting me the phone would most likely have flown out of my hand. I didn’t find the experience scary at all and actually wished they had performed some loops with us even though they had told us they wouldn’t.
It all felt very casual as I was experiencing it and it only hit me yesterday when they sent me the photo of me on top of the plane in the sky taken by their photographer did I realize wow, I was on top of a motherfucking plane! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I’m so glad and appreciative that I got to experience this.
Pizzeria Amami used to be located in Salmiya near AUK and behind Smash Burger, but last week they moved to a new location in Symphony Mall. I hadn’t tried the place until earlier today when I passed by for lunch with a friend of mine.
The place was empty and quiet so we picked a table near the window overlooking the Gulf Road. Once we sat down an Italian waitress came up to us with the menus. From what I could tell everybody working there was Italian which was a great first impression. The menu on the other hand was fairly disappointing being just A4 sheets of paper printed and then enclosed in transparent plastic. Mine was all bent and it just looked very cheap. The waitress recommended us the Parmigiana di Melanzane to start with which was fried eggplant with cheese and tomato sauce. I also ended up ordering the closest thing to a simple mushroom pizza I could find on the menu which was a pizza called Capricciosa containing, tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, olives and artichoke (I asked them not to include the artichoke). The waitress asked me if I wanted fresh mozzarella with my pizza and I figured the alternative was frozen mozzarella or something so I said yes. Once the bill arrived later I realized by fresh mozzarella she meant extra cheese on my pizza. Not cool but it must have been a lost in translation moment.
The first thing that arrived was the Parmigiana di Melanzane starter. Although the presentation wasn’t appealing the dish did taste better than it looked. But, I’d still order something else next time since it tasted more like a pizza topping than a standalone starter. Our main dishes arrived once we were done, my pizza was pretty big and looked delicious. I was hesitant to ask the waitress for ketchup since I know it’s usually frowned upon at Italian pizzerias but turns out they didn’t have any issues with ketchup and I was able to get a bottle. The pizza was good although I found it pretty heavy the rest of the day. I left there feeling like I had eaten something very unhealthy but I think that had to do with the fact my pizza had all the extra cheese on it which I hadn’t asked for (I should have said no to fresh mozzarella).
My biggest issue with the place was with their prices. My pizza cost KD5.5 while my friends Penne Al Formaggio (cheese pasta) cost KD6. With two mains, the starter, three soft drinks and 750fils for the extra cheese, the bill came out to KD19.250. The pizza barely makes it into my top 5 favorite pizzas in Kuwait ranking, maybe at #5 so combine that with the restaurants atmosphere and interior which was bland and the total experience just wasn’t worth it for me. If you’re interested in trying out the place they’re located on the Mezzanine floor of Symphony Mall in Salmiya [Map]. They’re open daily from noon till 11PM except for Fridays when they open a bit later at 2PM. Their phone number is 25770733 but the waitress told me it will only be active from next week.
Koryokwan is a Korean restaurant that’s been around since the early 80s. They’re considered to be one of the best and even provide the catering for Korean embassy events which is how I found out about them. This past saturday when I passed by the Korean embassy for their lunar new year’s they had the catering from Koryokwan (The Korean embassy in Kuwait by the way has to be the most beautiful embassy I’ve ever been to anywhere). So anyway, I didn’t end up eating at the embassy that day but I did pass by Koryokwan a few days ago to try them out.
Koryokwan is located on the ground floor of the very old Carlton Hotel in Kuwait City. It’s a 3-star hotel that was refurbished awhile back but the building still looks really old from the outside. The interior of Koryokwan on the other hand is just beautiful, one of those places where once you enter you feel like you’re no longer in Kuwait. I actually had the same feeling when I first visited the now defunct Singarea Korean restaurant in Dajeej. I used to love that place and it’s why I ended up mostly being disappointed with Koryokwan. Lets begin with the interior of Koryokwan, even though it looked amazing they had regular English radio music playing and CNN on TV. If this was Singarea for example they would have had either Korean music playing or some strange Korean soap opera on TV. I also found the prices of the dishes expensive. The soups started at around KD4.5 and the main courses at around KD6 and up. That’s 5-star hotel prices which is expected when you’re at a 5-star hotel and getting 5-star service like at Peacock or a restaurant at the Sheraton but this wasn’t the case here. Service was similar to a casual dine in restaurant and it wasn’t that great. Our order for example arrived in this order: Main course followed by our rice 5 minutes later and then followed by our soup. I went there specifically for one dish, the fried chicken with chili sauce and I liked it but you can’t really judge the food on just one dish.
The place is definitely worth trying out but mostly for the experience of trying something new. If you’re interested in passing by they’re open from 10AM to 3PM and then again from 5PM to 10:30PM. They’re located in the Carlton Hotel [Map] and their phone number is 22452759 or 99608277.
Around a month ago I was at the airport early morning, I had just finished checking in and headed towards the money exchange to get some currency. I gave the exchange employee my Knet card but got an error saying my card was declined. I tried it again but got the same error. I knew I had money on the card since I had double checked the night before. In any case I decided to log in with my banks app and double check but I got an error logging in as well. I then told the money exchange clerk I would be back and headed to one of the ATM machines at the airport to withdraw money but also got an error. So I called the banks call center number and spoke to an employee who proceeded to tell me their system was going under maintenance and I wouldn’t be able withdraw any money or use any of my cards for the next two hours.
I was furious.
Here I was at the airport about to travel and I didn’t have any cash on me and I wouldn’t be able to get any cash either and not because I didn’t have any money but because my bank wouldn’t give me access to it. When I asked the employee why they didn’t inform me and their other customers about this so that we would be prepared (I could have converted currency the night before and withdrawn money), his response was we did… on Instagram and Twitter. And this is where the problem lies. I hung up with the call center employee and headed to the lounge where I proceeded to tweet my frustration as well as send their customer care an email. I didn’t get any response from them until 30 days later when I had to tweet and remind them that it had been 30 days without a response.
Now this is where I would be interested to hear from you guys since maybe I’m over reacting here or maybe it’s me being an asshole but wouldn’t you agree it would be best if the bank SMS’ed their clients important information like when you won’t be able to access your money or any of your cards for two hours instead of posting that kind of important information on twitter or instagram?
First of all why the hell would I want to follow my bank on twitter or instagram? I follow only 15 friends on twitter and I follow around 100 friends on Instagram. The image above is a result of me following my banks twitter account (I had to so I could send them a direct message). They tweet so much and so often they ended up taking over my twitter feed. Why would I want to flood my twitter feed with their tweets on a daily basis?
Secondly, my bank have my phone number and I receive a ton of useless advertisements from them all the time. Why is it ok to SMS me useless adverts but not ok to SMS me important information like when I will not be able to use my ATM or credit cards because their system will be down?
So this is my suggestion to my bank (you know who you are):
1- SMS or Email your customers when there will be a major disruption in the service
2- Be clear about what the disruption will be. “System will be undergoing maintenance” could mean anything from I won’t be able to log in to your website to your call center employees won’t be able to order their daily fix of Caesars pizza. It’s too generic, instead tell your customers clearly that on a certain date at a certain time they will not be able to use their ATM cards.
3- Respond to emails. 30 days with no response means you’re ignoring me. I sent an email to Zain the other day and got a response in 15 minutes so if they can do it so can you.
That’s my 2 cents. And yes this post was censored by Fajer.
It’s currently 3AM right now and I’m at the airport waiting to board a flight to Abu Dhabi. A couple of weeks back I got an email from the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority inviting me to visit Abu Dhabi for their Formula 1 weekend and enjoy all the activities they had lined up. They sent me my weekends schedule and it includes kayaking in the mangroves, sand surfing, tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Jay Z concert, the Muse concert, Ferrari World, Waterworld and best of all, I get to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend from the paddock club suite followed by the Depeche Mode concert! I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi so this is probably the best way to experience it. I’ll be posting pictures on my Instagram to add me if you aren’t already following me @mark248am
Elysium was one of the movies I was looking forward to watching this summer and it turned out to be a disappointment. Not sure how it scored a 7/10 on IMDB, maybe I just don’t like Matt Damon. The trailer made the movie look really interesting and the story line of two different worlds where people live, a space station for the rich while regular folks lived on a decaying planet earth sounded epic but we just didn’t get to see enough of these two worlds in my opinion.
With movies like this I like to see and explore the worlds, I know a lot of people didn’t like Waterworld, The Postman or even the recent Oblivion but what I liked about those movies was they felt epic because of the amount of exploration we as viewers got to experience. I would have loved to have seen more of the space station in Elysium, how it worked, where they got their food from, maybe a history of how it was built etc.. and same with earth, it’s dying and it’s over populated, what are they doing about water, food, are there still any animals, did we over fish, did we poison all the waters? etc… It’s these kind of questions that I wanted answers to and I never got.
It’s a fast paced movie so you won’t get bored watching it, just don’t expect it to be very deep.
I just wanted to post a quick update on the cleanup I asked help on last week. First thanks a lot to everyone who emailed me volunteering to help. Based on an idea from one of my readers I contacted a cleaning company last week who volunteered their services and I will be passing by with them to cleanup the store. My biggest concern is finding the store open since the old man doesn’t have fixed working hours and I’ve previously tried passing by only to find the store closed for no reason. My second concern is not stressing him out with the cleanup which is why I want to keep the cleanup crew very small. I’ll keep everyone posted on this and post again once we get the job done.
If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog