@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

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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

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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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Dating with Tinder in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

tinder

A friend recently asked me why I don’t write about the dating app Tinder. At first I wasn’t very sure if the local Tinder users would appreciate this extra attention, but then I thought about it again and realized a post about Tinder could actually boost it locally. So I decided to do some research and the first thing I did was google “tinder kuwait” which landed me on an extremely entertaining local blog called Single in the Shires. The blog is about the dating adventures of a single British girl living in Kuwait and since she was a Tinder user, I decided to contact her and ask her if she’d be willing to write the review instead. She nicely accepted and you can check it out below:

Swipe Right
When Mark asked me to guest blog for him I was delighted. Then I realized that I had to write about my shameful love life for the Kuwait blogosphere to digest. I hold my hands up… I am in my 30s and I’m single (audible gasp). And moving to Kuwait certainly hasn’t helped change matters. How could it? Gone are my days of meeting guys in nightclubs and bars. First date nerves are no longer steadied with a couple of wines. Dinners no longer turn in to dancing. And, for a change, I can remember every single disastrous detail the next day (not always a good idea). Plus, how on earth are you supposed to meet eligible bachelors in Kuwait – and by eligible I mean NOT the ones that follow you through Avenues, try and get your attention whilst driving dangerously or beep their horns as they drive past you when you’re trying to cross the street. Those men are a no no.

So, moving to Kuwait has meant embracing online dating – something I wasn’t a fan of in London. In fact, I’m even less of a fan now but needs must. And without match.com or mysinglefriend.co.uk there wasn’t much chance of even an internet date. Until Tinder popped up.

Tinder is an app that allows you to select your chosen target demographic (in my case: male, 32-38, within 50km) and then view their pictures. Like the look of them? Swipe right. Don’t like the look of them? Swipe left. Yes it’s shallow but it’s more fun than reading dating profiles that have been embellished beyond belief (ie the guy who said he was over 6 foot and was shorter than me on the date – and I’m 5 foot 7). The app pulls the pictures from your Facebook profile and it seems many users in Kuwait fail to review these and make any changes. Why else would there be 100s of profiles featuring men with their brides or profiles pictures that are of their children?!

You see, to some this is a dating site and to others it’s a hook up app. From talking to friends it seems men treat it as a hook up app and girls are a bit more willing to believe they’ll meet someone lovely and ride off in to the sunset to start their ‘happy ever after’. Wake up girls, you are not riding off in to the sunset with the guy that takes a selfie in the gym mirrors with his top off. That guy will always like himself just that little bit more than he likes you.

I could reel off my disastrous encounters thanks to Tinder but have chosen to protect the not-so-innocent. Plus, I don’t want to tempt fate. You see, for all my cynicism I am still hopeful that one day I’ll swipe right and meet a normal, well-adjusted guy that doesn’t want to show me the inside of his pants on Whatsapp after three messages.

So would I recommend Tinder? Well in the absence of an alternative then I suppose I would – as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Remember; online you can be whoever you want to be. Just take it all with a pinch of salt and swipe away. Who knows, you may have better luck than me.

SiS


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To Vespa or not to Vespa?

Posted by Mark

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I love scooters and I’ve loved them ever since I was a kid. Last year when I was in Holland I spent nearly a week riding one around the city and I fell in love with them even more. So, around a month ago I passed by the Vespa dealer in Kuwait to check out what bikes they had available. Originally I wanted the new Vespa GTS 300 but then I found out about the 2015 Vespa Primavera and Vespa Sprint models which appealed to me even more. Turns out they had a new shipment arriving and they told me they’d call me once they arrived.

I finally got the call on Thursday that both the Primavera and Sprint models had arrived to Kuwait and were on display in the showroom. So, I passed by earlier today and checked out a white Primavera and a yellow Sprint and I fell in love with both. Now not only do I have to decide between the two models, but I have a more important question I need to answer, will I be able to ride and enjoy a scooter in Kuwait?

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If you put the weather aside, I think it should be possible. I live in Salmiya and I just want the scooter for running random errands around my neighborhood like getting groceries or dropping by The Foundry or Gia for dinner. I definitely wouldn’t get on the highway with it not even on any of the ring roads, but I would probably ride it on the Gulf Road Friday morning to Cocoa Room for breakfast.

It’s a difficult decision, but definitely just a #firstworldproblem


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Keep an eye out for STREET

Posted by Mark

street

STREET is a new restaurant that’s opening up soon by Faisal Al Nashmi, a Kuwaiti chef and Le Cordon Bleu graduate. It’s an underground street food eatery and based on their menu and photos on instagram, it looks like they’re going to be bringing something new and exciting to Kuwait (food-wise).


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Restaurant files complaint against a blogger

Posted by Mark

bloggercomplaint

Does anyone know which twitter user they’re talking about in the article? [Source]


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Movie Review: 100 Foot Journey

Posted by Tarek J

hundredfoot1

I’ve been waiting a few weeks now for a film to peak my interest at the theaters, but like all industries, Cinema has its low moments.

Having said that, this little film has crept up on people around the world.

The title sounds like the most boring novel you can ever read, so I easily brushed it aside in a “judge a book by its cover” manner. But when I saw the director’s name, my interest was tickled. Lasse Hallstrom isn’t a favorite of mine, and in fact he can be quite inconsistent with the quality of the films he makes. However, for every forgettable film, he’s delivered a “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, a “The Cider House Rules” or a “Chocolat”. His better films aren’t known for their subtlety, and one can cause him of veering on cheesy territory, but if you’re in the mood for a visually rich and emotionally feel-good film, he seems to have a strong handle on things.

Continue reading…


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Things to do this weekend

Posted by Mark

It’s not that busy but the carnival seems like it could be fun.

Friday
Book Club Meeting

Saturday
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
BAIA Carnival


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