Eggcellent Breakfast

Post by Mark

eggcellent

Since we’re on the subject of breakfast today, I just found out about a new breakfast delivery place called Eggcellent that opened up last month. I haven’t tried them out but based on the photos their sandwiches look pretty appetizing. They deliver from Sunday to Thursday, 6:30AM to 2PM and Saturdays from 7:30AM to 3PM. Their instagram is @eggcellentkw

via @theculinaryquest


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Cocoa Room New Menu

Post by Mark

cocoaroom

One of my favorite breakfast and brunch spots just updated their menu this past weekend. Cocoa Room has been my go-to place for years but their menu really hasn’t changed much since they introduced their breakfast menu. Now they’ve added a bunch of new dishes to the menu which I’m going to have to start going through one by one and trying out. They’ve started posting some of their new creations on their instagram account which you can check out [Here]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Adult Coloring Books

Post by Mark

coloring2

Adult coloring books have been rising in popularity recently and now you can find some of the Amazon best sellers in Kuwait. The stationary and office equipment store Mogahwi now carries a whole selection of coloring books including the #1 seller on Amazon, “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book“.

coloring1

Disappointingly the prices were more than double that of Amazon ranging from KD5 to KD8.5 (Secret Garden is KD8.5). So basically it’s actually a bit cheaper if you order it yourself and ship it to Kuwait. If you’re interested in picking up some coloring books and colors, here is the location Mogahwi on [Google Maps]


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Kuwait to test tourists’ DNA before letting them in

Post by Mark

Kuwait is taking homeland security to new heights — or, as some see it — new lows.

Later this year, the Persian Gulf nation will require its citizens, temporary residents and tourists to submit DNA samples to a $400 million security database.

Kuwait’s National Assembly passed the law in July, a month after an ISIS suicide bomber killed 27 people and injured 227 in the country’s capital.
“We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” Jamal al-Omar, a parliament member, told Agence France-Presse.

The government will collect saliva and blood samples from anyone living there. Tourists will have to submit their own samples before entering the country.

Disobeying the law will cost you. Those who refuse to provide samples can face up to a year in jail and a $33,000 fine; falsifying DNA samples will result in seven years behind bars.

While the Kuwait’s department of criminal evidence insists that the database won’t affect personal freedoms, the law has sparked outrage. Some travelers tweeted that they won’t be returning to the country anytime soon. [Source]

This is going to be great for the local tourism industry.

Update: Newsweek has also posted about this [Here]

Visitors to Kuwait will also have to provide DNA samples to the government. When arriving by plane, visitors will stop at a center at Kuwait International Airport to have their DNA sample taken. Bruce Schneier, a prominent American privacy and cybersecurity specialist, says that the collection will likely be a standard cheek swab.

For citizens, the Kuwaiti government will have mobile centers to collect samples. Anyone faking the DNA samples faces up to a maximum seven years in prison.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

exhibition

There are at least 5 yoga events this weekend which is just too many but, luckily there are also a couple interesting events taking place. On Saturday the KTAA Spring Bazaar is being held at the Sadu House, thats always a pretty nice event to pass by and their setup is always great. There is also a Car Boot Sale on Saturday (I’m a sucker for these things) and then Saturday night the rooftop movie at Cinemagics is a great one with “A Most Wanted Man“. Check out the full list of events below:

Thursday
Exhibition: It’s a Mad World
Exhibition: Sibeel Water by Ammar Al Attar
Fashion Footprint
Rooftop Movie: About Elly

Friday
Fashion Footprint
Beach Fridays at Al Kout!
Taichi in the Park
Yoga at the Park (Hatha Yoga)
Electro Yoga in the Park

Saturday
Fashion Footprint
Car Boot Sale
Yoga at the Park (Vinyasa Flow – Women Only)
Yoga at the Park (Yoga with the 3)
KTAA Spring Bazaar at Sadu House
Madeenah Tour: Salem Al Mubarek Street
Rooftop Yoga Festival
Children’s Interactive Book Reading
Rooftop Movie: A Most Wanted Man
Theatre: The Blue Box – Memories of the Children of War
Q8Books Reopening

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so double check info with organizers.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

How the New Delivery Law Will Hurt Small Businesses in Kuwait

Post by Mark

law

A few days ago I posted about how a new law came out stating that restaurants could no longer place a minimum order amount on deliveries and how the maximum they could charge for delivery is also just 500fils. As a consumer I think thats fantastic news but as a business order and specifically a small business order this could signal doom. I had long heated discussion with a friend of mine on Facebook and later offline on this very subject. My friend is one of the co-founders of Al Nata, a brand I’ve posted about on the blog a number of times. They’re a small business, a startup basically and this new law will be causing them a lot of issues. I was originally going to write about their perspective but then decided to let them do it themselves so I invited my good friend AJ to post about it himself. This is what he sent me:

I’m not sure if you’ve recently seen news of a law that was passed on the 10th of April and enacted on the 17th of April.

The Law, in its first article, states the following:

“Delivery charges –
Within the town of the restaurant 0.250 KD
Outside of the town of the restaurant 0.500 KD

Minimum order amounts will not be allowed on meals or single items. Delivery must be done according to the rules above.”

It has a few other articles that are reasonable, but it’s this first one which I believe to be unreasonable.

First a little background on myself. I’m a budding entrepreneur with almost no key money. I don’t have a family office I can withdraw funds from at leisure and as such predicated my entire business model on hard work and financial projections that I update on a daily basis and continue to tweak to ensure I can manage my cash appropriately until I break even.

I have been operating for almost a year now, and recently I’ve been able to just about touch the horizon of break even-Dom. Ah yes, the fabled land of not having to worry about whether or not you’ll have enough cash to pay your rent and employees.

A big part of seeing this horizon has been based on my restaurant’s ability to attract orders on a daily basis to supplement direct cash injections into the company that I regularly make from my own day job salary. I was able to accurately model the income and growth of these cash deliveries by building my model according to a fixed minimum order amount when I make a delivery.

Here’s the best part. As any startup will attest, it’s physically impossible to make all deliveries ourselves on a daily basis with just one driver and a car. As such we have two solutions:

1- Pray to our lucky stars that we somehow find enough cash lying around to pay for more drivers and cars. (Oh, and that’s if we can get more drivers on our Shu2oon documents, but let’s leave that for another day).

2- Contract a third party to do our deliveries for us at an exorbitant but necessary price.

Naturally, being the pragmatic fellow I am, I went for the latter, though on occasion my partner does leave a few offerings for the cash Gods to somehow rain upon us. He’s a believer though.

Anyway, we began looking for perishable delivery services with as quick turnaround as possible ( ps quickest turnaround available is an hour from placing the call, which is why restaurants delivery times on Talabat are normally one hour or more – yes, a lot of us use third parties). Once we got a shortlist, we started using them to find someone that can stick to a schedule.

No trials come free of course, so this is out of pocket money to make sure we can deliver on time before we even start delivering.

Here’s the kicker though:

Price per trip within the first 6 ring roads?
2.500 KD – 3.000 KD

So before we even start preparing your order, I’ve already paid 2.500 to 3.000 KD of your order amount to this third party.

Let’s assume I’m a brilliant negotiator and got the 2.500 KD per trip rate (ps – I am…)

So here I am looking at your order for let’s say 3.500 KD of food.

In order for me to make money on this order, I’m going to have to make sure your ingredients and the labor cost to make it cost are equal to or less than 1 KD.

Let’s assume I’m Superman and somehow make the above work (hint: it’s pretty impossible if you’re using quality ingredients and quality staff).

So now I’ve got 2.500 KD delivery cost and 1.000 KD ingredients AND labor/staff overhead costs rolled into one.

That’s a total of 3.500 KD in this best case scenario in costs.

If I have to follow this new law without placing a minimum order value on deliveries, I have broken even on this delivery. I have not made not lost any money.

And maybe for some that’s all well and good (honestly it isn’t good…for anyone), in which case they’re simply fulfilling orders for people without any gain.

And actually they’ve lost something even more valuable, the time they had to spend fulfilling an order that made them no money. So this break even model assumes there’s no inherent cost for time…

And that, my friends, is bogus.

If time had no value, your sitting at a desk doing nothing on some days should by default also equate to no pay. And yet you do get paid, because your employer understands your time has an implicit value that you have contracted to and seek to honor.

In the above scenario, my business breaks even on your order and loses the implicit value of time spent painstakingly preparing your order. But we get no recompense because we are a seller in a supposedly free market that you buy from.

But this market isn’t free at all, because all its done is protect the consumer’s right to eat whatever they want whenever they want (which mind you, isn’t really a right at all).

So here I am, looking at this law and thinking about how I can work as a business moving forward.

I can’t predict cash flows any longer from my orders. My bills are piling up, and I can’t get cash from banks or funds. I’m pretty much staring down the barrel of a gun, and my government has decided to pull the trigger.

Good bye, and good luck,

Signed,
Ahmad Jafar (Al Nata Co-Founder)

Ahmad has already submitted a letter of grievance but he’s certain they won’t hear it without other parties being a party to the grievance claim. So Ahmad’s asking anyone that owns or runs a restaurant that feels this law will negatively impact them to contact him directly to create a union or class action filing of sorts. To get in touch with him you could contact him on europatekuwait@gmail.com


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Mr.Fari and Plastic Desert Roots

Post by Mark

amin

Mr.Fari (A.K.A Amin Fareed Abdal) is one of my favorite local artists as well as a friend of mine. I’ve posted about him on the blog a number of times before and I think he’s super talented (actually his whole family is) which is why I’m excited to share his latest project titled “Plastic Desert Roots”.

Plastic Desert Roots is a collaboration between Mr.Fari and Fabrice. Fabrice Mareau (whom I’ve also posted about before) produced and musically directed the EP to create a whole different folk reggae pop sound while Mr.Fari wrote the songs and melodies to add to the twist. Both Mr.Fari and Fabrice were raised in the Caribbean yet perform in the Middle East all the time. It seems like it was a matter of time they collaborated.

Two songs from “Plastic Desert Roots” are available to stream online for free (music video for one above) while the rest require to be purchased. Mr.Fari will also be playing the whole album on 99.7FM today from 1PM to 3PM and also explain the backstory behind each.

If you want to hear “Plastic Desert Roots” online and also purchase his music, check out his BandCamp page [Here]

To follow Mr.Fari on his social networks, check out the links below. Some lucky fans have received vinyls and also album leaks.

Mr.Fari on Facebook
Mr.Fari on Instagram
Mr.Fari on Twitter
and “mrfari” on Snapchat


google plus share facebook share twitter share

The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 3)

Post by Mark

oldkuwiat3

This is the last batch, part three of the three part series I’ve called “Old Kuwait”. All the photos below were taken during my visit to the KOC Photography Archive.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Avenues Fight #140

Post by Mark

Is that a cop just standing there chilling and watching the fight? [YouTube]

cop


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Taximeters

Post by Mark

taximeter

Last week a friend of mine was telling me how he’s recently been getting into cabs and the drivers use the taximeter instead of making up their own fee up and yesterday the same thing happened to me. I took a cab and when I got in, the driver right away turned on the taximeter. Is this like a normal thing now? Because nobody was using the taximeter previously.


google plus share facebook share twitter share

Page 2 of 1,02412345678910Last



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]