Liar Liar

Posted by Mark

Taxi Cab

For some reason when I am in Lebanon I have a very bad habit of lying to taxi drivers. I think its because I feel sorry for them or because I don’t want to seem like a tourist in my own country but whatever the reason is, I always lie to them.

I always make it look like I work in Lebanon for one thing. When I get asked what I do for a living I am honest and tell them advertising but then I complain about how there isn’t much work in Lebanon and how I am considering leaving and that I have offers from Qatar and Kuwait. When they ask me if I know how to drive I say yes of course, how many Lebanese do you know that don’t? Then I either say that (a) I had an accident back in October and totaled the car so until I could afford to fix it I take cabs, or (b) I live with my brother so he drops me off where I want so I don’t see a reason to buy a car.

Cab drivers don’t make a lot of money in Lebanon and the expression on their faces and in their eyes just saddens me. I like giving them big tips, I actually leave big tips to a lot of people here in Lebanon since its like everyone has financial difficulties…


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Off to Beirut

Posted by Mark

Just finished packing my bags and will head out to the airport in a bit. I am not going to post from there (the airport) since I am packing my laptop with my main luggage. I will most probably post again later in the evening. See ya!


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Wednesday movie: Children of Heaven

Posted by Mark

children of heaven

I got the following email from Cinemagic:

Dear All,

You are invited to attend “Short & Sweet”, Cinemagic’s weekly screening event. The events will take place at the Cinemagic Courtyard in Bait Lothan, Salmiya, on Wednesday 9th of May, and will run between 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

This week we will be screening “Children of Heaven“, a 1997 Iranian film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998.

It deals with a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes, while also touching upon the more serious subject of the political situation in Iran as well as class differences between the rich and the poor and daily urban life.

In 1998, the film was the first Iranian film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but lost to the Italian film Life Is Beautiful by Roberto Benigni.

It was successfully shown on numerous film festivals and won awards at the Fajr Film Festival, the World Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival, the Warsaw International Film Festival, and the Singapore International Film Festival. It was nominated for the Jury’s Grand Prize at the American Film Institute’s festival.

For its part, Cinemagic Kuwait, is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by Increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of filmmaking.

As always, attendance is free of charge and you are encouraged to invite guests. Seating is limited, so make sure you come a little early. Snacks and refreshments will be served.

Yazan Al Ghazzawi
PR & Marketing Manager
Kuwait Cinemagic

Tel: (+965) 574 3253
Cell: (+965) 722 2416

www.cinemagics.com


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Jewelery Exhibit

Posted by Mark

kuwait customs

I passed by the jewelery exhibit tonight at the Mishref fair ground to check it out since my cousin who recently came in from Thailand had a display there (ZoRaB). On the way in to the exhibit I found a huge shawerma stand outside so I went up to a guy there and ordered myself two shawermas. The guy turns to me and tells me these shawermas are not for sale, they are for management upstairs! I found that strange, actually not really that strange since this is Kuwait but still, a fancy jewelery exhibition and the management upstairs have their own shawerma stand right outside?

kuwait customs

So I walked in to the exhibit hall and right at the entrance the Kuwait Customs had a display. Again this felt out of place but I figured I would get closer and check it out. I have to say, its one really strange display. The backdrop of the display had a collage of pictures from their most famous drug busts I think. There were also a couple of pictures of alcohol busts, you know the very cliche 200 bottles of red label on the floor and 3 Bangladeshis posing behind them. Now the cool part was the magic section. They had a display of magical items they had caught, its seriously the silliest stuff. There was a horse shoe, some rings, a few rocks and a lot of handwritten notes. I think those were curses or something. On the far left they also had some pharmaceutical items (they looked like adrenalin shots) and three fake DVDs. I still don’t understand why they had a display set up at a jewelery exhibition, maybe for comical relief.

kuwait customs

The jewelery exhibit itself was kind of dull but I am also not really a jewelery person. The exhibition ends today (Monday) so if it is your kind of thing maybe you should check it out, the customs stand itself is worth the trip.


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Anorexia Commercial

Posted by Mark


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Bye Bye Again

Posted by Mark

I just found out I am leaving to Beirut tomorrow for a photo shoot. I should be back in Kuwait by May 15th.


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Food for Education

Posted by Mark

wfp

As I mentioned previously, for the Young Lions competition we had to come up with an advert for the WFP. I just wanted to bring to attention their “Food for Education” program where WFP provides meals at schools so hungry children are encouraged to attend. For only $34 a year you can provide a child with a meal at school for an entire academic year. You can donate online via their website and even have it automatically deduct from your credit every month to save you the hassle of manually donating monthly. Its for a good cause and its only KD10 to feed a child for a whole year so check out their website and donate if you can. [Link]


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Chocolate Tortilla Chips

Posted by Mark

chocolate chips

I just tried ordering them but it turns out they only accept PayPal! [Link]


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Hardcore Censorship

Posted by Mark

cencored buddha

Virgin Megastore is open again and I think this time around they are taking censorship to the extreme. I think thats what I would do if I was them, I would want to show people how ridiculous censorship can be. The CD cover above is of the Buddha-bar CD, they’ve censored the Buddha’s face!

update: I have been told censoring the Buddha is not something new.


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My Dubai Trip 05/07

Posted by Mark

I got back from Dubai last night and since I averaged around 5 hours sleep a night I was really exhausted when I got back. Here are s

The Flight
We took the Sri Lanken airlines to Dubai for two reasons, the first was because it was an early flight (before the 2 hour delay) and the second because I was told the Sri Lanken airlines is owned by Emirates they are the same. Well they aren’t. I think all the old Emirates planes get handed down to the Sri Laken airlines. The two planes were old and setup very similarly to the Kuwait Airways ones meaning no entertainment jukebox of the Emirates with over 300 things to watch. If you want to drink water on the plane its not bottled but out of a jug, even Jazeera Airways gives passengers bottled water and for free.

sapphire hotel dubai

The Hotel
We stayed at the Sapphire Hotel which was located very close to Dubai Media City where the Young Lions Competition was being held and it was also close to the Mall of the Emirates. The hotel felt more like a furnished apartment because I had a small kitchen, large fridge and even a washing machine. The staff weren’t good communicators and they all felt untrained. They have Internet access in all the rooms via Wifi and it costs 15 Dhms per hour. Problem was that even with my very sensitive MacBook I was only able to get a decent signal from inside the closet located near the rooms main entrance. Finally, no cab driver had heard of the hotel so every time we took a cab we had to give the driver directions.

Lina’s Cafe
Had the Turkey Fillet with cheese sandwich on Wednesday for lunch. It was so good we actually went back Thursday to have the exact same thing for lunch again.

The Butcher
Wednesday night we had dinner at The Butcher in the Mall of the Emirates. I had the steak fillet which was above average but nothing special. The restaurants name is cooler then the food.

Chicago
Virgin Megastore in Dubai don’t sell the Arabic book Chicago, which was the book that supposedly shutdown Virgin in Kuwait. Borders on the other hand which was located a few stores away did sell the book. I should have gotten a bunch and sold them here in Kuwait on the black market.

Cabs
We took a lot of cabs in Dubai since it was our only mean of getting around. Cab drivers were mostly friendly and easy to converse with except for one driver who turned out had been in Dubai for just a month and reminded us a lot of Borat. One tip, if you are leaving Mall of the Emirates at 10pm and notice there is a long long long line of people waiting for a cab in a very orderly fashion… don’t wait with them. Just walk 20 meters to the main road and grab a passing cab from there, it will save you at least 30 minutes of waiting. Seriously the line was as long as those at six flags or Disney. I should really have taken a picture! Vallet parking at the mall is 50 Dhms (KD4).

prada sneakers

Aï Zone
Found a really cool pair of Prada sneakers at Aï Zone, there was no price tag on them so I figured if I have to ask then I probably can’t afford them.

passport cover

Passport Covers
One quick question. At the Dubai airport they had a large stand selling passport covers. Now my question is this, can I use a passport cover of a different country on my passport? For example can I buy the Russian passport cover and then use it to cover my Canadian passport?


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