It’s Been 10 Incredible Years

Posted by Mark

selfmade

Exactly ten years ago today I launched 248AM as a side project for my other blog at the time, miskan.com. I didn’t have a plan and I definitely wasn’t expecting it to turn into what it is today, I just had a lot to say and so I created this space as an outlet.

A lot has happened to me since the blog started, I’m ten years older for one thing and I’m a lot more mature as a result. My style of writing has changed, the things I post about, the topics and definitely my language has all changed. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my aim which is to entertain you.

I don’t know how long I will be doing this for, I just know that I really love doing it and I’ll keep doing it as long as you keep coming back here to read what I have to say.

Thank you everyone for being the best readers a blogger could hope for.


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

A pretty quiet weekend this week most likely because many people will be traveling for the national holidays. I’m out of town as well so glad to know I won’t be missing out on much. Check out this weekends events below:

Thursday
Exhibition: Al-Seef
1001 Inventions Exhibition
Wonho Chung Comedy Night
Kuwait Flight Academy Open Day
Rooftop Movie: Enemy

Friday
1001 Inventions Exhibition
Wonho Chung Comedy Night

Saturday
1001 Inventions Exhibition
Wonho Chung Comedy Night
AWARE Desert Camp
Rooftop Movie: Lars and The Real Girl

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]


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Saturday Brunch at STREET

Posted by Mark

stairway

STREET, the underground streetfood eatery which opened up back in November have now launched a brunch menu. The menu is small with five egg dishes and three non-egg dishes. I ended up having the Stairway to Heaven sandwich which was delicious (but SUPER messy to eat) and their pancakes which I think are the second best tasting in Kuwait (Cheesecake Factory have the best tasting ones). Next time I go back I’ll be trying their Truffled Creamed Corn dish which everyone has been highly recommending as well.

If you’re interested in trying their brunch menu its every Saturday from 9:30AM till 2PM. Check out their Instagram account for more photos and information [Here]


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Review: Cadillac Escalade 2015

Posted by Mark

escalade1

After spending a weekend with the Mercedes S-Class I was telling a friend about my experience and how it made me want to listen to hip hip the whole time. Before realizing it we were discussing other cars that suited hip hop when the Escalade came up. My friend asked me why I don’t review the new Escalade as well so right away I got in touch with Cadillac. The next day picked up the Escalade for the weekend.

The car is HUGE! I was expecting it to be big obviously since I’ve driven the older Escalade before but it had been a long time since I had been any car that was this big. The model I picked up looked very pimp with a black exterior and a brown leather interior. First thing I did after adjusting the seating position was to connect my iPhone and start blasting hip hop. While looking for a USB port to plugin my phone I actually ended up finding five, so you could basically charge the whole families phones while driving. The car I drove could fit six adults very comfortably since it had two pilot seats in the second row instead of the usual bench seat.

escalade2

Because I had the Cadillac for the weekend I decided to pick up a few friends and head into the desert for a fun outing. It was a Saturday and Qout Market was on so we decided to all meet up there first. Once we were done with the market all five of us got into the Escalade and took off towards the desert. The Escalade performs at its best when the car is packed with friends or kids. Since the car comfortably fits six and we were just five everyone was pretty relaxed on the long drive. One cool feature I enjoyed in the car on the long drive is the heads up display. Instead of having to look down at the speedometer all the time to see how fast I was going I could instead have my speed displayed on the windshield in front of me. But sadly that still wasn’t enough to stop me from getting a speeding ticket. The car is enormous so you expect it to drive like a tank but it doesn’t and I ended up getting caught doing 145 in a 120 zone. Once we got to desert, I shifted the car into four wheel drive and drove off road looking for camels.

escalade3

For a car this huge though you’d expect a lot of room in the trunk but thats sadly lacking when the third row seats are up. It’s one of the few negatives I have about the car. With both rear seats down you get a ton of luggage space but the car then can only hold four passengers. On the positive side you could lower half the third row seats creating more luggage space while still leaving room for a fifth passenger. The second thing I disliked about the car is the touch interface. Cadillacs don’t use standard push buttons to control things like climate control or the volume but instead use a combination of touch buttons with physical feedback. It’s hard to explain but it’s basically a flat surface which you touch and the surface vibrates a little bit to let you know the button has been pressed. I found this interface very frustrating to use especially the volume control. You can’t increase or decrease the volume easily, if the music is too loud I need to tap the volume button over an over to get it to decrease but you can’t do it too quickly or else it won’t register your touch. I also thought the main interface screen was awkwardly positioned facing upwards towards the ceiling instead of pointing eye level or at least towards me the driver. Finally the media system interface looks like something from 2008. I didn’t think it matched the luxury feel of the Escalade and I’m surprised the background color of the interface was a vibrant blue which not only doesn’t match the fancy interior of the Escalade but doesn’t even blend with the digital speedometer display which has a black background.

escalade4

I had a blast with the Escalade over the weekend. It’s such a ginormous car but it isn’t difficult to drive at all. Cadillac have really tried their best to make this car accessible to everyone especially mums. The gas and brake pedals are adjustable so if you’re short you can move them up closer to you, the seat obviously is very adjustable but other features like lane change warnings and surround vision all try to make this huge car feel unintimidating. Also for people who like to whatsapp and snapchat while driving, the lane change warning is something you’re going to appreciate. While driving if the car starts drifting towards the other lanes, the car warns you by vibrating your chair. That way you can look back up at the road and adjust your driving.

The Escalade starts at KD27,000 for the premium model which is the one I tested in this review. If you’d also like to test drive any of the Alghanim Automotive cars click [Here]


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I’m Out

Posted by Mark

plane-window

I’ll be traveling for the next two weeks so my posting schedule will be a bit messed up. As usual, you can follow me on instagram (@mark248am) or even snapchat (mark248am) if you’d like to see what I’m up to.


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The Talabat Story

Posted by Mark

hungry

Last week the local food delivery company Talabat was sold for KD50,000,000 making it the largest purchase of an internet company in the Middle East to date. I think everyone (including me) was shocked with the acquisition, at least with the price it got sold for so I thought I would share an interesting article that talks about the sale as well as how Talabat started. Check it out [Here]


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New Speed Cameras that Look Like Garbage Bins

Posted by Mark

speed-camera

According to @tafteesh_q8, a new speed camera was spotted in Ahmadi that looks like a garbage bin. If these start popping up everywhere then I might consider investing in a decent radar detector since I get way more speeding tickets then I should be anyway.

Thanks @Ahmad_Al_Awadhi

Update: Based on the comments it seems the photo above is not in Kuwait.


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A record 3,415 Americans ditch their passports

Posted by Mark

passports

The number of Americans choosing to give up their passports hit a record 3,415 last year, up 14% from 2013, and 15 times more than in 2008, when only 231 people renounced their citizenship.

Experts say the recent surge is coming from expats who no longer want to deal with complicated tax paperwork, a burden that has only gotten worse in recent years. [Source]

I wonder how many of the 3,415 were Kuwaitis since Kuwaiti banks last year decided to start complying with FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) which means any American citizen will have their bank information automatically passed on to the IRS for tax purposes. For Kuwaitis with dual citizenship this meant they would have to start paying taxes on their undisclosed finances.

Thanks Motez


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Sultanchef Opening at Symphony Mall

Posted by Mark

sultanchef

The Turkish Steakhouse Sultanchef is opening a new location at the Symphony Style Mall in Salmiya. It’s the same location where Bubba Gump Shrimp was previously supposed to open so not sure whats going on there. Koryokwan, the Korean restaurant was also supposed to open in the basement below that spot but don’t think thats happening as well since they’ve removed the Koryokwan logo from the hoardings.

Sultanchef is very popular and their current location in Kuwait City is always packed so my guess is they’ll be brining a lot of footfall to the very dead Symphony Style Mall. If you haven’t already, check out my review of Sultanchef [Here]


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Alghanim Industries Takes Over Wendy’s in the Middle East

Posted by Mark

wendys

Alghanim Industries acquired the rights to develop Wendy’s restaurants across the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region from Alamar Foods, a Saudi-based company owned jointly by Al Jammaz Group and the Carlyle Group. The value of the deal remains undisclosed. Alghanim Industries has acquired all operational outlets in the UAE with plans to open additional stores across MENA over the next 10 years. Part of the expansion in the region includes opening stores in Alghanim Industries home market, Kuwait, which has among the highest consumption of fast food per capita in the MENA region. [Link]

It’s interesting that Alghanim are getting into the food industry, makes me wonder what they will be bringing next?


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