Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's Like I Never Left

One thing I love about Kuwait is the dining experience. So far, everything I have eaten so far is delicious. I even enjoy going to the Bakala, which is likened to a small liquor store without any alcohol. They have such yummy fruit drinks w/ chunks of fruit in them. There are also juice stands that make any type of fruit/veggie juice- and all the fruit and veggies are piled up there so you know you're getting real, fresh, fibrous drinks unlike the sugary refined ones that the States have.

WEATHER: When I first walked out into the open air it was as if I was hit in the face with thick steam. It was very hot, humid, and it smelled like the ocean. That's because I've got the gulf that is all around me in Salmiya where I live. I could smell the salt! Of course, I went when it was getting dark b/c during the day it is really really hot.

a few other randome sitings:
There were some men selling bootlegged DVDs of American Movies. And upon my arrival Thursday night, when I was being taken to my apartment by my boss, there were residuals of 4 car accidents. I heard the driving here is really is.

I hung out at Avenues Mall yesterday. The place was huge and the AC was on full blast. They had all the American Stores you would see in a mall- even MAC Cosmetics store! I was blown away! I really am not missing anything! Their food court bored me though.....b/c it was the typical American selections like McDonald's, Nathans, Hardee's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Subway, Starbucks, ColdStone, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin Donuts, Aunti Anne's Pretzels, etc. There were 2 asian choices.

Most of the women wore head coverings, some were completely veiled. A lot of other women- especially young women, did not wear a head cover. It was very interesting to see how stylish and creative some of these women get w/ their head scarves. I've seen rhinestones on the edges of their head scarves, abstract designs, I've seen a polka-dot head scarf. I saw that some of them wore pretty dresses but had on leggings & long sleeves underneath. I was told that the women actually like to wear the head scarves & veils b/c it is a status symbol. Even though their head is covered, they make their faces look very pretty w/ makeup. I'm actually considering wearing a head scarf b/c it looks so fashionable here. To think that I don't have to do anything w/ my hair but just cover it w/ a pretty's still a thought!

To get to any place outside of work you either ride w/ a co-worker who has a car or you call a cab. In this instance, I took a cab w/ my boyfriend. The cab drivers have their own business cards & you can argue w/ them on the prices lol.

After the mall we ate at a Portugese restaurant called Nando's where I ate the best roasted chicken!!! We ordered so much food our server was chuckling. To drink I ordered a Lemon Mint Drink. I thought it would be a lemonade w/ mint leaves as a garnish. But it was actual lemon juice from fresh lemons & mint leaves all blended together. It was a shock to my eyes when I saw a green, frothy, drink before me. It was even more of shock to taste it. My first thought when I took a sip, "OMG this has real mint leaves in it!!!" It tasted NOTHING like lemonade. It was sweet, tangy, and odd combination that actually was very refreshing. Plus I heard mint was good for your stomach & aids w/ digestion. So after all the food I ate- including a delicious, thick, caramel cheesecake- my belly felt satisfied and not bloated. I felt good! I credit the minty concotion, lol.

We walked into a store at the mall called iCity- it was an Apple Store. A friend of mine back home unlocked my iPhone 3GS but did not install Black Rain- which I guess is necessary? Needless to say, with a new sim card from a Kuwaiti Network that my boyfriend provided me with, my phone was not working.

So a worker in there tried helping us. He looked at me and said, "You don't look American" as his eyes were curiously examining my face lol. I told him I was Latina. He didn't look like a Kuwaiti at all- in fact I thought he was a white American who may have been sent to that store from the States lol. Turns out he is Syrian & wants to move to Maryland & work at an Apple Store over there. Anyway, he was so enthusiastic and helpful- SO much so that he offered to take my iPhone home w/ him to fix it for me for free and then get it back the next day. I was definitely skeptical....but if he wanted to steal an iPhone- he could so easily steal the iPhone 4 he sells....or the MacBook Pro's he sells. He said he isn't even allowed to jail break phones 'officially' but was enthusiastically stating, "I can fix this! I think I know how but I need to take it home to hook it up to my computer. I will do this as a friend, I don't need any money and I work tomorrow from 8pm- 1am." I rejected his offer at first.... but later on we went back to the store and I surrendered my phone to him in complete faith. We exchanged cell numbers. His name is Adam. He called this morning saying that he can fix my phone but will need my original AT&T sim card b/c he has to re-set it and then unlock it again.
I am so shocked at how willing he was to help us! He was kind, honest (so much so he even told us it is not worth buying the iPhone 4 yet), and a tech geek! I am so excited to have made a Syrian friend who is a Kuwaiti local. Hopefully we will keep in touch and share Christ with him. He said he was going to be moving to Maryland to be with his girlfriend & applied to an Apple Store there but he hasn't heard anything since he submitted the job. Shawn & I are going to keep in touch and write him a letter of recommendation to submit to Apple & to provide the US Government when he applies for his VISA.

You know, it used to bother me that some people thought I was Egyptian or Arab- but it doesn't bother me anymore lol. I actually am glad that my Latina look is adaptable. I've been mistaken for an Indian, Egyptian, Arab,Italian, and of course Mexican- of which I am neither of those nationalities with the exception of Italian & some Arab.

Today is Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday which means I begin my orientation training for work at 0530. Orientation is 4 days long then I start on the job training on Day shift on Wednesday. I am a military contractor & will be coordinating/supervising activities for the soldiers on base. I guess I'll find out more later.

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