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.

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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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The First Graffiti Park Coming Soon

Posted by Mark

Cozmo Entertainment will be opening Kuwait’s first Graffiti park really soon. The park will be called Cozmo Spraybox and it’s going to be located near Sultan Center Shaab. I passed by recently to check it out (which is how I ended up with a small cameo in the video above) and I really liked the idea. The space isn’t very big but the ideas they have for it is pretty interesting, basically they’re going to rend out space for artists to come graffiti and they’ll provide the spray cans and everything. For now the video above is a bit of a preview, will share more info once I get it. [YouTube]

spraypark


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Don’t Swim in Abu Al Hasaniya

Posted by Mark

According to a video on @q8needsyou, untreated sewage is washing up ashore in Abu Al Hasaniya. It’s super gross so I’m not gonna embed the video here or post a screenshot of it which is why I’ve instead embedded a video of Clay Davis from The Wire. If you want to watch a video of untreated sewage covering up the beach, click [Here]

sheeeeet

Thanks Khalid


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byebye.london

Posted by Mark

bybyelondon

This is pretty cool, someone purchased the domain byebye.london and pointed it to the full video of the classic Kuwaiti play on YouTube.

via nibaq


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Smart, but not smart enough

Posted by Mark

blacklabel

Someone tried smuggling booze into Kuwait disguised as cider vinegar.


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@cannibal_q8

Posted by Mark

cannibal

There’s a local instagram user going by the handle @cannibal_q8 (pictured above) who has been posting videos of himself killing animals. In the first video I watched he skins a live rabbit on the street using his teeth while in the second video I watched he shows off a cute little desert mouse before biting it’s head off on camera. No idea how instagram is allowing these videos to remain up but supposedly local authorities are looking for him.

Just a fair warning, the videos I’ve linked to above are pretty graphic.


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Escape to Oman

Posted by Mark

oman1

Ali Husain has been organizing trips to Oman for awhile now but I only recently found out about them through a friend of mine. Ali is a Kuwaiti who used to travel to Oman on a monthly basis to hike and discover new places but he ended up completely moving there back in 2012 because he loved the place so much.

According to Ali, the mountains in Oman are rugged yet majestic and unfortunately, not many people know about the real beauty of Oman. It always upsets him every time he asks a person about Oman and the only thing they know is the Shangri-La hotel which is not a representation of anything real in Oman. Oman has so many hidden jewels, unique mountains, caves and waterfalls to offer but no one is willing to put the effort to leave the comfort of a hotel room. So, Ali decided to start a new outdoor community in the Gulf.

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Every few months Ali organizes trips to Oman from Kuwait. The trips are available usually on weekends and they are all about team work and creating a mini community in a magical setup. Everyone on these trips works together to set up camps, cut wood, cook meals, etc. It is a full on schedule usually for two days with hardly any sleep. There are no hotels or proper bathroom and everyone will have to go back to basics in everything.

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Right now Ali has two upcoming trips this October. The first trip is from October 9th to 11th and its to the the largest caving system in the region. It is an amazing experience like no other places on this planet. The second trip takes place from October 16th to October 18th and is to the summit of the highest point in the Gulf, Jebal Shams at 10,000 ft. The cost is KD150 per person and that includes food, beverages, camping gear and transportation but does not include airfare to Oman or any hotel stays before or after the trip. Most of the trips require a high level of endurance and acceptance is usually based on that.

So if you’re interested in exploring Oman you can contact Ali on husaak@gmail.com or whatsapp +96599635414. You can also follow him on instagram where you can see many more amazing pictures @husaak


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Kuwait Towers could become a World Heritage Site

Posted by Mark

kuwaittowers

The Kuwait Towers are now on UNESCO’s tentative list to become a World Heritage site. The first report was submitted back in May and later accepted by UNESCO in July. It’s only the first step but if it does get approved, then the Kuwait Towers will become the first modernist building in the entire Gulf region to be designated a World Heritage Site.

There are a number of reasons UNESCO found the Kuwait Towers a suitable candidate including the fact that when the Kuwait Towers was designed and built it was a complex task to allocate a big volume of water at a high level, in an elegant object and in such a delicate location. The symbolism behind the Kuwait Tower also sparked their interest, Kuwait being a barren dry desert while the Kuwait Towers representing water, the symbol of life. It’s an interesting report which you can check out [Here]

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But, as many of you are aware, the Kuwait Towers are currently closed and although my investigation didn’t result in a conclusive reason to whats going on right now, I did manage to get some idea.

For a building to become a World Heritage Site it’s not an easy process involving a lot or requirements. If the Kuwait Towers does becomes a World Heritage Site then it will no longer just belong to Kuwait but it will belong to all of humanity (figuratively speaking). So if later someone in Kuwait decides they want to change the spheres from blue to gold and cover them in Swarovski crystals, they would have to get permission from UNESCO first. But, for the Kuwait Towers to become a World Heritage Site it also needs to be restored to the original state and this is where I understood the issue is.

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The Kuwait Towers were undergoing an internal makeover to make the interior look more Kuwaiti. To UNESCO that means destroying the integrity of the building and UNESCO requires the interior to keep its original elements. For the Kuwait Towers to gain the World Heritage status, they now need to flip through all the old documents and photos and try to restore the Kuwait Towers interior as close as possible to the original state from railings to the carpet.

On a similar note, the Kuwait National Assembly Building which was designed by the Opera Sydney House architect Jørn Utzon was also submitted to UNESCO to become a World Heritage Site. Sadly it was rejected with the main reason being the huge ugly extension that was built adjacent to it.

For a wealth of information on the Kuwait Towers and some construction related documents, check out my favorite source [Here]


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A Sushi Place Called Sushi

Posted by Mark

sushi1

Last night I headed to dinner with a friend to Thai Chow King, my favorite Thai hole-in-the-wall restaurant. But, when we got there it turned out the place was closed because it was Sunday. So I quickly started thinking of another place to go and I remembered that earlier in the day someone had told me about a new Sushi place that was open in Courtyard by Marriott. Supposedly it was better than EDO so we decided to head there to try it out.

The restaurant is called Sushi, they been open since June and are located in the main lobby of the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Kuwait City. I didn’t know how packed they would be so I called them up when I was on my way and made a reservation for two but when I got there only one table was occupied by what I assume was a hotel guest. Right as we sat down the waitress came up and told us that since we arrived before 8PM we would still be eligible for their happy hour and everything on the menu was 50% off. Hearing that we proceeded to order the following:

Crab Stick Salad KD4.100
Edamame KD1.500
Miso Soup (x2) KD2.400
Maguro (Tuna Sashimi) KD3.500
Hamachi (Yellowtail Sashimi) KD4.250
Shake (Salmon Sashimi) KD2.500
Unagi (Eel) KD5.000
Maguro (Tuna Sushi) KD2.000
Supreme Maki Roll KD5.000
Spider Maki Roll KD4.000
Flying Salmon Roll KD4.000
Shrimp Tempura KD3.250

I didn’t take any pictures of the dishes since I don’t always want to be that annoying person during dinner, but in any case, everything looked exactly like you would expect it everywhere else. Everything except for the Miso Soup that is, the Miso Soup. The Miso Soup arrived on a large slab with the bowl filled with Miso and three different solid ingredients located on the side, the tofu, seaweed and spring onions. You get to mix the ingredients into the bowl yourself which adds a bit of interaction to what usually is a straightforward dish. From all the items the only dish that really grabbed my attention was the Unagi which was smoked eel, grilled and covered in a sweet sauce. We weren’t planning to order this at first but the waitress recommended it and I was glad she did. On the other hand the worst of the bunch had to be the Supreme Maki and Spider Maki rolls. The Spider Maki rolls contained soft shell crab but it just tasted very bland while the Supreme Maki was a lobster roll that tasted like cocktail sauce which put me off. Everything else was fairly decent but definitely not better than EDO.

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Now there are a few pros and cons about the place. The ambiance could be an issue, if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and private, Sushi is for you. If you’re looking for a more lively atmosphere and a place where you can go and be seen, look elsewhere. While writing this review I also noticed we never got served the Flying Salmon even though it was in the bill. That’s not too bad of a hit though because at the end we got the 50% happy hour discount. So even though the original bill came out over KD40, we ended up paying just KD22.700. Which brings me to another subject.

Satchi no longer have the cheapest Salmon Sashimi in Kuwait, the new title holder is Sushi at Courtyard because with their happy hour discount their salmon sashimi comes out to just KD1.250.

So if you’re interested in trying them out, they’re open from 12PM to 3PM and then again from 7PM to 11PM. They’re closed on Fridays and happy hour is everyday from 7PM to 8PM. Just call ahead to make sure they still have the happy hour since the waitress kind of hinted this is a temporary thing (most likely to attract people). Their phone number is 22997000.


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