Fake Plastic Trees

Post by Mark

I really hope the picture above isn’t really in Kuwait. Fake grass I kinda get but this is just silly.

Thanks Musaed

Update: It’s Saudi!


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Not Enough Controversy

Post by Mark

A friend shared the commercial above with me yesterday and my first reaction was wtf? In the commercial, a husband walks into a kitchen and starts screaming and hitting his wife for buying the wrong honey. The wife looks terrified and is being apologetic while the husband continues to shout at her before leaving the kitchen angrily.

The commercial got a lot of negative reactions for normalizing domestic violence so I assumed the brand removed the video from their Instagram account, except they didn’t.

Last week another friend of mine shared the screenshot above on her instastory which she took from a show on KTV called “Block” where they had a blackface character.

I don’t think I’m a very PC or an over sensitive person but, I do find it disturbing how the majority of people seem to be OK with this. I’m assuming the majority are ok with it or else the commercial would have been removed and the show would have apologized or been canceled for blackfacing. Yet neither has happened but oddly enough, the commercial below for Mug Coffee House was supposedly suspended by the Ministry because they found it Masonic. So bizarre.


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Dear Ooredoo

Post by Mark

Since you’re ignoring me on twitter figured I’d ask here. Why are you guys blocking my section Kuwestions?

Update: Got a call from Ooredoo and they’re fixing this


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You Do Not Want to Renew Your Drivers License

Post by Mark

Previously, whenever you renewed your driving license it would get renewed for 10 years. I’m not really sure when that law changed, but now you have to renew it every year. Last year it took me 2 hours to get my license renewed, and that’s after I got super lucky when an officer ended up signing my papers for me without me having to wait in a line that was easily 100 people long.

I usually get all my car related paperwork done at the Jabriya Traffic Department. They’re really organized and every year when I go to renew my car registration, they would have changed something to make the experience smoother and faster. I was expecting the license renewal process to be easier this year because of that but boy was I wrong.

The line when I passed by yesterday to renew my license was crazy crazy long! The picture above was taken as I was walking to the back of the line, around half way to the back (check map above for exact location). The line stretched down a super long corridor and then turned around the corner because it was so long and it wasn’t even people standing in a single file, it looked like a complete mess.

Clearly the traffic department isn’t capable of handling this many renewals, so why don’t they just revert to the older system and have people do this once every 10 years? I ended up leaving but now I’m trying to figure out if I should get there early and line up or what exactly. The renewal for expats only starts at 4PM and they only take so many requests before telling everyone to come back the following day and line up again. So stressful!

Update: A reader just told me about a company that can handle your license renewal process as well as other things. They charge KD10 to renew your license which I think is so worth it. Here is a link to the [Flyer]


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Billboards on the Gulf Road

Post by Mark

Why do we now have billboards every 20m on the Gulf Road? It used to be one of the most scenic roads in Kuwait and now it’s plastered with billboards all down the middle. If it was one billboard every now and then I can understand, if they were on the side of the Gulf Road, I could understand that as well, but they’re just back to back all along the middle. I think there are more billboards down the middle of the Gulf Road than there are palm trees, and I’m not exaggerating.

Speaking of billboards, do people still not know what it means when a word has a red squiggly line under it?


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Why are Supplements so Expensive in Kuwait?

Post by Mark

Supplements are pretty expensive in Kuwait but I had forgotten how expensive until last night. I dropped by Health Planet to pick up ZMA and they only had the supplement in the MET-Rx brand. I decided to check Amazon for reviews and noticed that the price on Amazon was just $9.99 which is basically 3KD. The price at Health Planet? 14.5KD. That’s nearly 5 times more expensive than the Amazon price.

Why are supplements still so expensive in Kuwait? A few years ago there weren’t that many places that sold supplements but now there are a whole bunch of them and the prices have yet to fall.

I used to order my supplements from UAE based Sporter, but they’ve now started charging for shipping so it’s no longer feasible to order from them anymore. I should have gotten supplements back with me from LA, no idea why I didn’t think about that but even if I did, that would have just been a short-term fix.


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Whyyyyyy

Post by Mark

I spotted the kiosk above yesterday while visiting the ASCC museums. The place hasn’t been open for a month yet and already they’re starting to make it look tacky. There are so many visually nicer ways to have a kiosk rather than just shoving a few tables between a wall and a pillar. No idea why they would do this…


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Friendship Ended with Salmiya, Now Netflix is My Best Friend

Post by Mark

A few days ago I posted about how Salem Al Mubarak Street is finally turning into a pedestrian only street. One of the negatives I highlighted was the fact they had chopped down some of the old trees that have been there for nearly 50 years. I was upset about it, but when I asked the engineer behind the project if they were removing the old trees, he responded saying “only some”. So I assumed they had chopped down the trees that they didn’t need and all the ones left were the ones they were keeping. Well last night I noticed they had removed nearly all the remaining trees. Using Google Maps I counted 28 trees that were originally planted on that street and there are now only 3 left. That means 25 trees in total were removed! One of the remaining trees currently has a chainsaw parked under it so it might not even be there anymore by the time this post gets published. I’ve marked all the removed trees with x’s in the above picture and the ones remaining with circles.

How is 3 trees out of 28 considered “only some”? Why are they removing the trees anyway? If they were building an airport runway I could understand but they’re not so why? Some of the trees were fairly large and it would have been pretty cute to have small cafes underneath with seating areas around them. The trees were large enough to provide shade, they didn’t need any watering because they were well rooted and the trees were also homes to a lot of birds.

But you know what? I don’t care anymore.

Last night I got so upset about the whole situation I emotionally booked two trips for the next two weekends. Why am I getting so worked up about all of this? It’s not my country, I don’t own the street nor were the trees mine. Why am I even surprised about all of this? Based on the renderings the engineer shared I should have known no good was going to come out of this. When you demolish historical buildings in your renderings and replace them with fancy shiny malls, it says a lot about the thinking process. Chopping historical trees isn’t only a Kuwait thing either, it happens everywhere. In Lebanon for example a politician cut down part of an ancient cedar forrest so he could setup an outdoor venue for his son’s wedding. I mean like wtf? If shit is gonna happen its gonna happen and there is nothing I can do to stop it.

So starting today I’m hopefully emotionally disconnecting myself from Salmiya. I no longer want to be mayor. If anyone wants to take over the responsibility of giving a fuck, they’ve only started construction work on half of old Salmiya. They haven’t started on the other half yet (pictured above) and based on Google Maps there are approximately 38 trees there. Good luck trying to save them.


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Our Horrible Sidewalks

Post by Mark

This is going to be one of my venting posts on Salmiya. The sidewalks situation on Salem Mubarek Street in Salmiya is a horrible mess. It’s a very pedestrian heavy strip, and probably gets the most amount of foot traffic compared to any other strip in Kuwait, yet the sidewalks are miserable.

There are a number of issues with the sidewalks in Salmiya including:
– lack of wheelchair or stroller friendly sidewalks
– building construction occupying the whole sidewalk
– large bushes taking up the whole sidewalk (pictured above)
– sidewalks that have deteriorated
– sidewalks that were opened up for work but never put back together right

Yesterday I spotted the woman in the photo above with her two kids having to get off the sidewalk and walk in the street because of a large bush. Recently I’ve also been noticing a man in an electric wheelchair roaming around Salmiya occupying the same road as the cars. It’s a total mess but of course nobody cares.

/end rant


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Invisible Speed Bumps

Post by Mark

I think speed bumps serve a great purpose considering how people speed on inside streets, but I hate how in Kuwait majority of the speed bumps have no visible markings and just blend in with the streets at night.

With my FJ I don’t really care much because if I miss one it’s no big deal, I can just fly over the bump and its a bit of discomfort for a second. But with my Lotus its a completely different story. I can’t just fly over the speed bumps accidentally, I actually missed a speed bump last week and it was the scariest thing ever with my front spoiler lip digging into the tarmac and throwing up little pebbles in the air. I thought for sure I broke something but luckily nothing happened.

Can we get clear white stripes on the speed bumps? I know majority of speed bumps start life off with white stripes, but once they start fading they should be remarked again. It’s not that complicated a problem to solve…


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