Hellow Yellow Vespa

Posted by Mark

yellowvespa

First of all I know I spelled hello with a “w”, I meant to do that so stay away grammar nazis. So last week I did it and went ahead and bought a Vespa. I was originally unsure if I should get one or not but in the end I realized it’s something I’ve always wanted and so I might as well get it and be done with. I then had the complicated issue of deciding which model and color to get. I was torn between a white Vespa Primavera with a red seat or a yellow Vespa Sprint model. In the end I was leaning towards the white which is why I ended up getting the yellow. I know it sounds weird but I realized I was leaning towards the white because it was the safer option and since I wasn’t buying a Toyota Camry, I decided to go with the much more exciting yellow.

Since I know the dealer fairly well we ended up working out a good deal on the bike. I won’t go into the exact details but I ended up paying part cash and part advertising space on the blog. Plus I’m sure it didn’t hurt the fact that I told them I was going to do a series of posts on life with a Vespa in Kuwait. I’ve only ridden my Vespa around the block so far but I rode it with the biggest smile on my face so I can’t wait to take it out for a night ride later.


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I Date Kuwait

Posted by Mark

idatekuwait

Last week I posted about a local blog I started reading and found fascinating called Single in the Shires. It must have been inspiring because another blog popped up this week called I Date Kuwait. While Single in the Shires is about the dating adventures of a single British girl living in Kuwait, I Date Kuwait is about the dating adventures of a single Kuwaiti girl. She just has four posts up but I think it’s going to be interesting to see the contrast between a British expat dating in Kuwait and a young Kuwaiti girl. Check it out [Here]


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Red Arrows Over Kuwait City

Posted by Mark

raf

Beautiful shot of the Red Arrows flying in formation over the Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City. This image was a winner in the 2014 Royal Air Force Photographic Competition. [Link]


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Moving from Borderlinx to MyUS

Posted by Mark

I don’t know how long Borderlinx have been doing this but I just found out the other day they’re charging a 8.5% customs clearance fee for the items you ship with them. Thats in addition to the 5% customs charge for the Kuwaiti authorities. I chatted with their help desk and explained how illogical it was to charge an 8.5% clearance fee when the actual customs fee is only 5% but they didn’t seem to think it was odd so I’ve decided to stop using Borderlinx and instead start using MyUS.com.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Borderlinx and MyUS are mail forwarding companies. You sign up with them and they provide you with a US mailing address so you can shop online and mail stuff to your US mailbox. They’ll then ship the stuff for you from the US mailbox to Kuwait.

myus

I always used to consider MyUS as a more expensive option but my friend sent me a link to their Visa Card offer page and with the savings they’re offering the prices actually become pretty reasonable. I don’t have a Visa card sadly so I replaced Visa with Mastercard in the URL and ended up with the Mastercard savings page which isn’t anywhere as good as the Visa offer but is still better than nothing.

Visa Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 25% on shipping for first month
– Save 20% with future shipments
Here is the [Link]

Mastercard Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for one year (a USD $60 savings)
– 20% off already discounted DHL & FedEx shipping rates for your first month
– 15% off shipping rates after your first month
– Dedicated Customer Service
Here is the [Link]

I’m still using the Shop & Ship for when I am not in a hurry and want to pay the cheapest rate but for my urgent packages I’m going to start using MyUS instead of Borderlinx. I’ll post a followup sometime down the line once I’ve started using it properly and let you guys know how it turns out.

Update: Found the American Express page and turns out it’s even a better deal:

American Express Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 30% with future shipments
[Link]


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Hostels in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

hostel

A few days ago someone started a thread on Reddit asking about budget accommodations in Kuwait and specifically about a hostel run by the Kuwait boy scouts. That reminded me about the Salmiya Youth Hostel which I found by accident awhile back and was surprised it existed. Doesn’t seem anyone has any info on the hostels except that there were six of them in Kuwait and they were all closed down by the authorities back in 2011.

If anyone has any information on the history of hostels in Kuwait let me know cuz I’m curious.


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Fuddruckers no more?

Posted by Mark

nofudds

The new Fuddruckers location on the Gulf Road has been under construction since back in 2011 but now they’ve gone ahead and removed all the Fuddruckers branding from the front of the building so it looks like this location is never going to open up. Back in 2012 I posted a sneak peek of the inside and it looked like it was practically completed.

I haven’t had Fuddruckers in years but the brand will always be special to me and all the other kids who grew up in Kuwait back in the 90s. The old Fuddruckers Gulf Road location was one of the first restaurants to open up on the Gulf Road back then and used to be a really popular hangout spot until Johnny Rockets in Salmiya opened up back in December 1995.

dukkan

On a related note there is a new burger placing opening near this abandoned Fuddruckers project because obviously there aren’t enough burger places already in Kuwait as it is.

steakshake

Update: According to a reader, the Fuddruckers location was purchased by the US franchise Steak ‘n Shake which will be opening in Kuwait.


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iPhone 6 Prices in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

iphone6

The iPhone 6 is already available in Kuwait although at unreasonably high prices. zDistrict posted some of prices and they’re insane as they usually are when the iPhone first comes out. The prices right now are as follows:

iPhone 6
16GB KD390
64GB KD420
128GB KD460

So its definitely not worth getting one locally at the moment.


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Sun & Sand Sports Opening Soon

Posted by Mark

sunandsand

Sun & Sand Sports, the largest sporting goods retailer in the Middle East will be opening their first store in Kuwait next month. The store is located in Salmiya behind Zahra Complex and I passed by yesterday and managed to get a sneak peek at the place. Sun & Sand Sports will be composed of two floors, the lower floor for men and the top floor for women, kids and sports equipment. One thing I was curious to see was if their Nike collection would be different from the main Nike store since Sun & Sand are actually the exclusive distributors for Nike in the Middle East. But since everything was covered in plastic sheets I couldn’t get a good look. They’re hoping to open the store October 1st if everything goes according to plan, here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Frankly Speaking

Posted by Mark

nes

Last week I was invited by both GUST University and NES to come in and speak about my blog to their students. I was never a big fan of public speaking since back when I was working in advertising, public speaking was part of my job. I was always presenting work to clients and it was always a nerve-racking experience but last week I realized, I actually love public speaking when it has to do with my blog. I mean why wouldn’t I? Getting invited to come and basically talk about myself to a large group of people who are interested in what I have to say, who wouldn’t love that? Although I do that with the blog on a day to day basis, in person its a completely different experience.

At both GUST and NES I spoke about various blog related topics but the most important one I wanted to discuss with everyone was not only how the blog had taken over my life, but how it’s also taken over my day to day thinking process. It’s something I’ve only come to realize recently and something I’m still trying to understand better so it was pretty therapeutic talking about it out loud.

Speaking to all the students last week was a very exciting experience for me and I’m hopefully going to being doing more of it from now. Thank you to everyone who attended, NES students you guys were a blast and GUST students, I’m sorry you had to endure an hour and a half of my sober ramblings!


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Hard Rock Cafe Demolished

Posted by Mark

hardrock

Back in March I posted about Hard Rock Cafe closing down and how possibly Alshaya would be taking over the location. I assumed they would just refurbish the location but turns out they’re completely tearing it down. The location became a landmark of a sort on the Gulf Road with its large glass pyramid and it was pretty popular with photographers as well.

hardrock2

Last year Alshaya acquired the franchise rights for the Lebanese restaurant Babel and rumors are this is where they will be opening their first location.


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