Pelican Cases and Vintage Stuff at FITCO Systems

Post by Mark

I’m thinking about getting a Pelican case for my camera gear and so the first place I checked was at Al-Sabih. But, not only did they not have the sizes I was looking for, what they did have was expensive, like double Amazon prices expensive. For example:

Pelican 1520 Case with Foam
Al-Sabih = KD73
Amazon = KD34

Then I remembered someone once mentioned a store called FITCO Systems once that also sold Pelican cases. So I googled FITCO and found pictures of what looked like a stationary store / hardware store / electronics store. I asked the guys in one of my WhatsApp groups about the store and a friend told me its a very weird place, so weird that he couldn’t explain what the store sold and that I had to go see it for myself.

FITCO Systems is located in Kuwait City right next to Tatami and behind Solo Pizza. When I first walked in I asked about Pelican cases and they have them. Their prices were also pretty reasonable:

Pelican 1400 Case with Foam
FITCO = KD32
Amazon = KD30

Pelican 1500 Case with Foam
FITCO = KD48
Amazon = KD43

Pelican 1600 Case with Foam
FITCO = KD65
Amazon = KD48

Anyway here is the interesting part. I started walking around the store to see what they sold exactly and they had so much random stuff all over the place. The store has been around since 1986 and I think they deal with businesses and wholesale (B2B) more than with consumers. So the store isn’t really in tip-top condition which is why I kept digging up so much vintage stuff.

The store has a ton of items still on the shelves from when they had opened back in 1986, items that are no longer useful but they’re still selling. The place is like a time capsule and I think I spent an hour flipping through their shelves taking photos of everything from Palm Pilot modems to storage cases for 5 1/4 Floppy Disks. They had brand new Windows 98 boxes as well as Microsoft Plus! 98. They had discontinued FujiFilm FP-100C instant film, old Nikon 35mm film scanners, a whole bunch of 8mm backup tapes and cartridges, old webcams, and just a huge amount of random items piled up everywhere. I shared a bunch of photos on my instagram story @mark248am if you want to take a look.

If you want to check the place out yourself, here is their location on [Google Maps].
They also have a website but like the store, it also looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 90s [Link].


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The Kuwaitis of Failaka Island

Post by Mark

Before the 1990 Gulf War, Kuwaitis used to live on Failaka Island. But, during the war, the island got destroyed and then was never rebuilt again forcing the “Failakans” to move and live on the mainland. Now 25 years later, Doti Watkins, a local resident is working on a project to preserve the stories of the Failakans. She’s trying to track down anyone who used to live on Failaka to interview them about their lives on the island, as well as hopefully share with her photos, documents or artifacts.

I think this is a really interesting so if you know anyone who used to live on Failaka, please get in touch with her (her details are below). Here is some more info on this project:

The Kuwaitis of Failaka Island
An Oral History Project

Failaka Island is a unique place in the Arabian Gulf in general, and Kuwait specifically. It is located 20KM from Kuwait City and is well known for its rich and diverse archeological sites. What is being overlooked is that the Kuwaiti settlement of Failaka is also an important archeological site and there is an urgent need to preserve the geography, culture, and history of the Kuwaiti’s who once lived there. They are the most recent people to settle on the island, with a history that is estimated to be 300 years

The Kuwait Failakans are of special interest because they were neither urban nor nomadic. Their landscape and resources were different from the Kuwait mainland. They had different soil and water sources for agriculture compared to mainland Kuwait. They lived in relative isolation and relied on marine travel for connectivity to the rest of their society. Additionally, their sense of place included the remnants of all the other settlements before them.

It has been more than 25 years since the Kuwait Failakans were removed from their homes. This means the surviving population is aging and it will only become more difficult with time to acquire firsthand information and preserve an understanding of what it meant to be a Kuwaiti Failakan.

The purpose of this project is to collect the oral histories of Kuwait Failakans and use GIS (Geographic Information Science/Systems) to develop a GIS database “library” which will store and preserve their histories, traditions, folklore, photos and other documentation as available.

Doti Watkins
dorothywatkins@hotmail.com
96007801
@doti_watkins


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RAM Mounts in Kuwait

Post by Mark

RAM Mounts make some of the best mounting solutions be it if you want to mount your tablet inside your car, or your camera outside of it. I wouldn’t trust any other brand when it comes to mounting my camera outside the car, it’s actually what I use to mount my GoPro on top of my car during track days (pictured above). I know no matter how aggressive my driving will be and how fast I go, the suction is going to hold up. They’re actually known for having some of the most impressive suction cups in the world and most if not all of their mounts are made of aluminum, so they’re super durable.

I’ve previously had to order my RAM mounts off Amazon but I recently found out there is a store in Kuwait that sells them. The store is called Q8 Mounts and they have a huge selection of RAM hardware to choose from. They even have an online website but if you go to the actual store, they have a ton of different mounts available on display for you to play with and check out before getting what you need.

Pricewise it’s complicated. Some of the items are double the price of Amazon, some are exactly the same and some are a lot cheaper. It’s pretty weird because usually, places are either have the same price as Amazon, more expensive prices or cheaper prices, I’ve never come across a place that has all three. If you’re looking for RAM mounts then check them out, they’re on instagram @q8mount, their website is q8mount.com and here is their location on [Google Maps]


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THEATRE by Rhodes

Post by Mark

Last week I got invited by VOX Cinemas to the premiere of Johnny English Strikes Again. The premier was showing at their VIP theater which they call “THEATRE by Rhodes”, after the Michelin-starred chef, Gary Rhodes. I hadn’t experienced the Rhodes theater yet so I was curious to try it out.

THEATRE by Rhodes is located in an area separate from the rest of the VOX theaters in Avenues. So while the VOX regular area was busy, once I stepped into the Rhodes area it was super chill and a completely different look. From a super bright white busy area, you walk into a much dimmer, quieter and moodier space, as if you’ve just walked into a lounge. Actually, it is a lounge with what looks like a bar on one side and lots of seating all around. Food and drinks were included with the invitation so as soon as we were seated the waiters brought me and my friend menus so we could pick out our three-course meal and drinks. There were a number of different options to choose from in every category, you had the usual stuff like nachos and hotdogs but of course, presented much nicer and composed of better quality ingredients, but you then had more interesting options which for the life of me I can’t remember what they were. I should have taken a picture of the menu but I didn’t. My starter though was a crispy shrimps dish and my main was chicken and shrimp satay on sticks.

After placing our order we were taken to our seats inside the theater. The seats are all reclining with an adjustable footrest as well. You also get a complementary blanket and pillow. It was super cozy and comfortable, like watching a movie at home except better since I don’t have a reclining sofa at home. The seating was easily my favorite part of the experience and the main reason I’d go back thats for sure. Once the movie started they began bringing our food out. I thought this was going to be annoying because you’d have waiters walking around and in front of the screen but the waiters were all pretty stealthy. You’ll barely notice them.

Even though the movie wasn’t great I had a good experience. The only issue really is that the seats are all too far apart from each other. So I couldn’t communicate with my friend at all throughout the film. It’s a very solo experience watching a movie in the VIP theater and you might as well just go by yourself, which actually is a great plus. If you’re an introvert and want to go and watch a movie by yourself, you’ll love this place. It just feels like everyone in the theater is sitting by themselves so you won’t feel self-conscious or awkward.

The price for a normal THEATRE by Rhodes ticket is KD10 but if you want the 3-course meal and drinks then the package costs KD20. For more information or if you’re interested in trying out the theater yourself, check out the THEATRE by Rhodes website [Here]


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No Cameras Allowed on Green Island

Post by Mark

A few days ago I went to Green Island with my new camera to take some pictures and was stopped on the way in. I had already purchased my entry ticket (1KD btw) and as I was walking in they spotted my camera and told me I couldn’t bring it in. I told them I had a camera on my phone as well but they were ok with that, but that I just couldn’t bring my camera in. I was like ok fine, I went back to the ticket window to return my ticket and get a refund, but I guess that would have been too much of a hassle for the guy because he asked me if I just wanted to take pictures? I told him yes so he then let me in with my camera.

I have no idea why they would be anti-photography, Green Island is a desolate place that has nothing going for it other than it being an interesting place to take some photos. So weird.


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Mobile Barbershop

Post by Mark

I was going through some Instagram stories last week and I spotted a friend of mine getting a haircut in what looked like a pimped out van. So I asked him about it and turns out there is a mobile barbershop service called Rolling Scissors.

Rolling Scissors have a large Mercedes van in which they’ve turned the interior into a fancy barbershop. The van is equipped with AC, coffee machine, munchies, TV which has beIN but also allows you to stream your own stuff onto as well as a Bose sound system.

To book a haircut you need to download the Rolling Scissors App onto your phone. A haircut and shave costs KD20 which isn’t cheap but also kinda reasonable since they come to you wherever you are and the van is fancier than most barbershops. They’ve been operating for over a year now based on their Instagram account. If you want more info or you want to see more pictures, check out their Instagram account @rollingscissors_kw

Thanks @chefkb


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Outdoor Sports & Safari Expo

Post by Mark

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I just passed by the Outdoor Sports & Safari Expo and thought it was great. It was super packed but there was so much to see. If you’re into cars, RV’s, guns, camping, bikes, boats, fishing, and other manly things, you’re gonna love it. For more info, click [Here]


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark


Screenshot from Johnny English Strikes Again

The movies below are now showing at Cinescape, Grand Cinemas, Sky Cinemas and VOX:

New This Weekend:
Animal World (6.5)
Johnny English Strikes Again (6.7)
Smallfoot (7.8)
The House with a Clock in Its Walls (6.0)
The Steam Engines of Oz (4.4)
The Yellow Birds (5.7)
Wildling (5.5)

Other Movies Showing Now:
Alpha (7.0)
Boonie Bears: The Big Top Secret (6.0)
Christopher Robin (7.9)
Destination Wedding (6.1)
Final Score (5.5)
Juliet, Naked (7.0)
Luis & the Aliens (6.0)
Mile 22 (6.6)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (8.9)
Peppermint (6.0)
Peter Pan: The Quest for the Never Book (N/A)
Reprisal (7.4)
Slender Man (3.0)
The Equalizer 2 (7.1)
The Little Mermaid (4.6)
The Predator (6.9)
The Meg (6.8)
The Nun (7.0)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

Movies Showing Now:
Amazon Adventure 3D (6.6)
Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D (7.4)
Hurricane 3D (7.0)
Oceans: Our Blue Planet (7.4)
Tiny Giants 3D (7.9)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in.


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Giveaway: Win 4 Platinum Tickets to the Opera!

Post by Mark

Have you ever been to the opera? Because I haven’t but I’m going to next week. “The Magic Flute” opera is going to be performing in Kuwait next Thursday and Friday at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre and they’ve given me four platinum tickets to giveaway to my readers.

“The Magic Flute” is one of the most popular operas composed by Mozart, and one of the most performed operas in history. The opera is described as an enchanting masterpiece, a fairy-tale adventure that will transport you to a world of fantasy. I don’t think I’m an opera kind of person, but I always like trying new things so I’m pretty excited about this.

The opera is going to be held next Thursday the 27th and Friday the 28th of September. Tickets start at KD35 for the bronze seats but I’m giving away 2 platinum tickets worth KD170 for the Thursday show, and 2 more platinum tickets for the Friday one. So there will be two winners for this giveaway! If you’re interested in winning these tickets all you need to do to enter the draw is answer this simple question in the comments below: Where is “The Magic Flute” opera going to be held? I will stop accepting entries in the comments section tomorrow (Thursday) at 2PM and then randomly choose two winners and notify them via email.

If you haven’t been to an opera before this is a great opportunity. JACC also gave me a sneak peek of their upcoming events for this season and there are some really interesting things coming your way so stay tuned. For more information on “The Magic Flute” or if you want to buy your tickets, click [Here]

Giveaway Rules: Only one entry per person and please make sure you use a working email since the winner will be contacted by email. There will be two winners for this event, the first winner to respond to my email will get to choose which day of the opera they want to attend, the second winner then gets the other day. If a winner doesn’t respond within 24 hours, another winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck!

Update: Commenting has been closed. Thanks for participating, will randomly draw two winners later today!

Update2: Using Random.org I got two winners and contacted them. If they don’t respond within 24 hours I’ll draw another number out.


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My Favorite Restaurants in Kuwait Right Now

Post by Mark

I love eating outside and I rarely eat home cooked meals, in fact, I don’t even remember the last time I ate a home-cooked meal. So, I’ve been wanting to put together a list of my favorite places and I finally got it done. I’ve divided my favorite places into categories, it wasn’t easy in some cases just choosing three, but I forced myself to do so to keep things consistent. Check out my favorites below and let me know what your favorite places are:

Restaurants
1- White Robata
2- Mana
3- Lavan

If I had to choose just one restaurant to eat at forever, it would probably be White Robata. I’m there usually once a week and would go more often if it wasn’t so freaking expensive. So much good food combined with incredible staff make this easily my favorite restaurant in Kuwait at the moment. Mana, on the other hand, is a lot more accessible and great for going to in groups. They’ve got the best guacamole in Kuwait and generally, everything I’ve tried there has been really good although the rosemary chicken is my goto dish. Finally, Lavan is my favorite Indian restaurant. I go there mostly for their tandoori grills since I’m always trying to eat healthy, but I always manage to convince myself to have one of their delicious biryanis as well.

Healthy
1- Super Foods
2- Leila
3- Little Rubys

There are a lot of healthy places nowadays but these three are my goto ones. Super Foods doesn’t need much of an introduction since I think they’re the most popular healthy food place. They’ve got great snacks, cold bowls, delicious sandwiches, and even healthy desserts. They also have a lot of drinks to choose from including my favorite, their Blue Majik. The next place would be the Lebanese restaurant Leila, like most Lebanese restaurants, it’s a great place for healthy options since they have salads and grills. But, what sets Leila apart is their light menu which contains food options with even lighter dressings and more healthier sides. I know Little Rubys might seem out of place on this list since they’ve got delicious burgers and crazy good fries, but they also have my favorite salad in Kuwait, their pumpkin salad. It’s a baby spinach salad which I usually have them add grilled chicken too, so delicious.

Breakfast
1- Cocoa Room
2- Lunch Room
3- Baker & Spice

I had difficulty deciding on the number one spot here, it should be Lunch Room but since it’s more convenient getting a table at Cocoa Room I chose them as number one. Lunch Room is my favorite breakfast spot at the moment but the place is small and so there is always a waiting list. And unlike Cocoa Room, you can’t call ahead and put your name on the list so you have to go there, put your name and then just sit in your car since there isn’t anything else around them to do. Cocoa Room is also always super busy but I tend to call them an hour before I plan to be there to put my name on the list. Then, usually by the time I get there, my table would be ready or I just have to wait for one or two tables before it’s my turn. Baker & Spice is my healthier choice here, but during the summer months, I tend not to go to Baker & Spice since I enjoy the place more sitting outdoors especially at their Souk Sharq location.

Delivery
1- Joa
2- SimSim
3- Clean Eats

Before Carriage came to be, I think I used to only ever order food from Hardees. Now I’ve got a whole list of places I order from but these are my favorite ones. JOA I love ordering from when binge watching a show with a friend or when I’m having movie nights. Their poke bowls are the best and they’ve also got affordable sushi rolls if I want. SimSim is a place I find delicious but I try not to order them a lot because they’re all carbs. SimSim easily have the best flatbreads in Kuwait (get the pumpkin or musakhan) as well as a delicious rose water flavored knafa for dessert. Finally, Clean Eats I heard about at first because of their delicious yoga bowl which is what I used to order all the time but then I started making my own bowls. Now I tend to mostly order their banana and chocolate chip overnight oats since its a great source of energy before I hit the gym.

Cheat Meals
1- CHKN
2- Arby’s
3- Eighty Six

This was another category I had trouble trying to pick a favorite place. Both CHKN and Arby’s have perfect cheat meals but I decided CHKN was slightly better because of their sides. I tend to order their Slaw CHKN sandwich with the original CHKN bites on the side. So soooo good, it’s like the best fried chicken burger ever. Arby’s on the other hand, I just order their Double Roast Beef N’ Cheddar sandwich but that’s all I really want from life sometimes. Full disclosure on the third spot which is Eighty Six, they’re one of the brands I work for at the moment so I literally go to sleep thinking about them. So although I might be a bit biased here, I’m really a huge fan of their Billie Jean burger as well as their Saku Saku chicken burger.

So there you have it, my favorite spots around Kuwait right now. I might more add categories to this if I think of anything but this should be good for now. Don’t forget to let me know your spots!


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