Fight at City Center

Posted by Mark

One of the consequences of Instagram is that people end up sharing just 15 seconds of video. It’s frustrating since I couldn’t find the full fight video on YouTube, the one above is two 15 second clips put together. In both clips the cops were at the scene trying to break the fight apart. [YouTube]

fight


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The Foundry Sandwich Shop

Posted by Mark

thefoundry1

Theres going to be a bunch of food related posts coming this week since I’m trying to catch up on all the new places that have opened up recently but, I’m going to start off with one that just opened on up this past wednesday called The Foundry.

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For those of you who’ve visited Qout Market you might recognize The Foundry since that’s where they started. They were one of the popular food stands at the market with a speciality sandwich called the foundry chicken sandwich which I looovvveeee. It features their very own marinated chicken, provolone cheese, avocado, sundried tomato and the foundry pesto sauce which has a slight hint of garlic. With the opening of their restaurant they’ve added more sandwiches (or sammiches as they call them) to the menu bringing the total to five including a vegetarian option called the avocado smash. I haven’t tried their other sandwiches yet but I will on my upcoming visits.

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My favorite thing about The Foundry is that they’re located in Salmiya close to where I live. They’ve setup shop in the parking lot next to Eureka Salmiya and they’ve done a really great job with the space they had to work with. The place is small with around 5 or 6 tables but it’s really cozy and looks fantastic. Because the place is run by the partners who have full time jobs, they’re currently only opening in the evenings from around 6:30PM to 9:30PM. That’s a small window but understandable.

If you’re interested in trying them out, here is their location on [Google Maps] and here’s a link to their instagram account @thefoundrykw


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Consume Fast

Posted by Mark

consumefast

Sultan Center in Shaab have a new section called “Consume Fast”. It’s a section where food that is about to expire is displayed and their prices are discounted. I was expecting the prices to be half off or more but most of the stuff I saw were just slightly cheaper. Still for items that are going to be consumed right away it’s a better deal.


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Huge fights results in 2 deaths

Posted by Mark


Kuwait Punjabi Clash Video by PunjabLatestNews

A huge fight took place between a group of Indian and Egyptian workers ending with 2 of the Egyptian workers dead and 25 Indians arrested by the police. I found the video above which shows a bit of the fight but haven’t been able to find another video nor find out the reason behind they fought in the first place. [Link]

fight


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Red Bull Doodle Art Competition – Kuwait

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

Monstariam, Artspace and Red Bull recently teamed up to give talented artists in Kuwait a chance to win a trip to South Africa. They held a doodle art competition and the winner was chosen today and it was the doodle below by Mohamad Mayya. Mohamad will now be going to Cape Town where he will compete with other international artists for a chance to have their art put on a special edition Red Bull Can. Check out the video above on the competition.

doodle

Thanks TJC


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In Focus: RTC Electronics

Posted by Mark

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A few days ago a user in the blog’s Community asked where they could find all the following items in one shop:

-Soldering Iron
-22 Gauge Wire
-Solder Wire
-30 ohm .25 (1/4) Watt resistors
-SFH485P Infrared LEDs
-AA Battery Case (with switch preferred)

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My answer was RTC Electronics, a pretty large electrical supply shop located in Hawalli right off Beirut Street. I don’t know how long they’ve been open for but I’ve been going there for years.

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The store has become pretty popular and is now a lot easier to find thanks to a large “RTC” sign which they installed outside awhile back. Even though the store is pretty big the actual entrance is really tiny. The store is located in the basement under a bunch of other satellite related stores and the entrance is within a small shop which once you walk into you’ll find stairs that take you below. That’s why it used to be difficult to find before since from the outside it looks just like any other store in the area.

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The store sells everything electrical related with most of the stuff beyond my understanding. They’ve got regular things like tools, cables, wires, switches but they also sell more advanced electrical hardware, Arduino kits, transistors and chips. Their prices are fairly cheap and you can haggle on some occasions. There is even a small repair shop in case you have an electronic item that stopped working.

Finding RTC Electronics is easy since they’re on [Google Maps] but in case you get lost you can call them on 22623286.


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Ultimate Lebanon Summer Guide 2014

Posted by Mark

If you’re going down to Lebanon for Eid at the end of the month, here are my favorite places you need to visit for 2014:

sundays

SUN.DAYS at Skybar
Skybar Beirut have something new going on this year and it’s called SUN.DAYS. Starts at 6:30PM on Sundays while the sun is still up and goes on till past midnight. The whole Skybar gets a major makeover for SUN.DAYS with fake grass flooring, a raised bar area and colorful lounges and chairs all over. It actually takes them nearly 12 hours to setup this conversion, that’s how dedicated they are to SUN.DAYS. There are also special guests on SUN.DAYS and while I was there HVOB were performing and I ended up capturing the great shot below. Reservation is a must.

hvob

montagnou

Le Montagnou
Probably the nicest looking pool in Lebanon with the greatest view. Located up in Faraya, Le Montagnou is a restaurant with an outdoor pool and bar. Caters mostly to the fancy schmancy crowd of Faraya and Faqra but still cheaper than many pools in Beirut and cheaper than most of the pools in Kuwait. Stay for the sunset and reservation is a must.

garten

The Gärten by Uberhaus
They’re only open Saturday night from around 8PM to 6AM and it was favorite place last summer and again this summer. It’s an outdoor club that’s open just for the summer with a large green garden filled with bean bags on one side and a huge open dome which is the dance floor on the other.

Internazionale
There are a ton of great pubs in Mar Mikhael but my favorite this trip was Internazionale. It’s owned by the same owner as another favorite pub of mine Torino Express. Internazionale has two advantages over Torino, a larger space and the fact it’s located in the more vibrant Mar Mikhael area. Just like at Torino, the owner DJ’s here as well.

The Train Station
I wish I had taken pictures of this place but I didn’t have my camera on me then. The Train Station is located on the grounds of the old Mar Mikhael train station. They’ve taken one of the abandoned rusty 50+ year old trains and setup a DJ booth inside. They then setup a bar along with tables all around and they’ve kept everything intact including a rust old water tower which the bar surrounds. Pricy for what it is but it’s worth checking out.

The Junkyard
Also located in Mar Mikhael, The Junkyard is located in a large space between a heavily packed residential area and the theme of the place is a giant junkyard. There is indoor and outdoor seating it’s also worth passing by and checking out since it’s visually interesting. The place is a bit too bright so best to start off your evening with The Junkyard which makes sense anyway since they have a good food menu filled with friendly dishes like burgers and fish & chips.

Make sure you check out last years Ultimate Lebanon Summer Guide since most of the recommendations are still applicable as well [Link]


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Review: BEYt Guesthouse

Posted by Mark

beyt1

Last week while in Lebanon I stayed at a guesthouse called BEYt. They’ve been open for nearly a year now and I found out about the place by chance on my last trip there while visiting a small bookshop (Play BEY which belongs to them) and overhearing the owner talk about it. The guesthouse was located on top of the bookshop on the main Mar Mikhael street (where all the pubs are) and when I got a tour of the place I knew I would be staying there on my next trip, which is what I ended up doing.

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As I mentioned above, BEYt is located on the very popular Mar Mikhael street. It’s on the first floor of a traditional Lebanese building with high ceilings, wooden shutters and beautiful floor tiles. They only have four rooms available which are:

Master Bedroom (90$ for 1 person, 110$ for 2, 130$ for 3)
Private bedroom with its own en-suite bathroom
1 queen-size bed & 1 single bed

Private bedroom (75$ for 1 person, 95$ for double occupancy)
Private bedroom with its dedicated bathroom across the corridor
1 queen-size bed

Twin Bedroom (60$ for 1 person, 80$ for double occupancy)
Private bedroom with shared bathroom across the corridor
2 single beds (1.20 meters)

Corner Bedroom (50$ for 1 person, 70$ for double occupancy)
Private bedroom with shared bathroom
2 single beds (1.10 meters)

Those are the prices as of this post.

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I ended up taking the “Master Bedroom” and found the room fairly spacious with a pretty large bathroom area thats nearly as big as the room itself. The whole guesthouse is fitted with vintage furniture and various vintage electronics like record players, TVs and cameras. It’s a beautiful space and all the furniture was handpicked by the owner. The biggest seller for me though was the location, being situated right on Mar Mikhael street meant I could walk to my favorite pubs and then clumsily stumble back at the end of the night. For those of you who know Lebanon, BEYt is located 2 minutes away walking from pubs like Radio Beirut, Internazionale, The Train Station and The Junkyard. Walk a minute longer and you’re at Bar Tartine, SUD and The Sandwich Shop. I can’t really imagine a better location to be staying at in Beirut. Because there are no pubs below or right across the street from BEYt the place was actually pretty quiet especially the room I stayed in which didn’t overlook the main road. BEYt also had WiFi and it was a pretty reasonable speed compared to Beirut standards.

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With all the positives I did have a number of issues though. When we first arrived at the guesthouse we were told that they needed our rooms for 2 hours because they were installing new vintage lights in our rooms. Nice but why couldn’t they have done that before we arrived or after we left? The first thing I wanted to do was unpack and head out. Another day I walked into my room and noticed they had removed the window shutters and a guy was standing outside my window working on them while looking into my room. That made me feel really uneasy since I was just sitting there on my computer with a guy looking in from my window. Again it wasn’t anything urgent that needed fixing so they should have done it before or after we left. I called the owner and told him how weird that was and he told me the guy just needed 10 more minutes. I had to wait until he was done so I could go and shower which annoyed me since I don’t like other people managing my personal time. The next morning I woke up to find the guy was back at my window, he had removed the shutters and was working on them again. It was really annoying and an invasion of my personal space.

Other issues I faced, the original room description which I listed above stated my room would have two beds but when I got there I found only one. It didn’t turn out to be an issue for me but it would have for someone wanting the second bed. Finally, the last issue I had was with the AC. We were told that we should shutoff the AC when we leave our rooms. I hate doing that especially when the AC isn’t really powerful like the ones they had installed. I usually come back to the room to sleep and don’t want to come back to a hot stuffy room and wait an hour till it cools. Luckily we managed to keep it on the whole time without any issues.

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There were a few more things that bothered me like the smell of the cooking every morning or the really rough and hard towels. But all the issues were relatively minor and nothing really took away from the whole experience except for the guy with my shutters. I thought the price of my room was pretty fair and the fact they have rooms starting at $50 is ridiculous. It’s all about the location and that’s why I’d stay there again with all the issues I had. For more information on BEYt, check out their website [Here]

Another similar place I would recommend staying at is the Hayete Bed & Breakfast which I’ve previously written about [Here]

Note: Picture of the room taken from the BEYt website


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Q8 Awal, a collection of old Kuwait photos

Posted by Mark

oldphoto

Q8 Awal is an instagram account with the sole purpose of collecting and sharing old photos and videos of Kuwait. There are a few out there that do the same but what I liked about Q8 Awal is that many of the photos I hadn’t seen before and also the fact that they don’t watermark the photos. Check them on instagram @q8_awal


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Have an American Passport? Say hello to the IRS

Posted by Mark

facta

According to zDistrict, the Kuwaiti banks will now be 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 might end up being a problem with no easy way out. Check out the post [Here]


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