Friday, May 28, 2010

Applebee's regulars

I took the kids to Applebee's for an early dinner aside from the usual people (people from ITT I used to work with, Philipina chicks with their ancient husbands and the John Deere tractor guy with overalls up to his neck) there was what I call the Kuwaiti stalker guy. Looking out the window I noticed a contractor lady with a Kuwaiti guy in the front seat. Immediately I knew it was that guy. I guess he was hitching a ride with her.

Now this Kuwaiti guy has been hanging around Applebee's for 4 years that I know of. You can't miss him, he's an older Kuwaiti guy with a big mustache and an even bigger stomach. I had the unfortunate experience of meeting with him once over dinner. He started talking about a used car lot and his cars and some other BS. Supposedly he's a businessman But I think he's a flake and a weirdo. He's always leaching on to American people and he uses his English to make friends with them.

I don't get good vibes off the guy personally and I think he's kinda creepy. I wonder if his Kuwaiti wife know he's catching rides off American women. I don't know if he's an actual businessman or someone trying to make some money by being a subcontractor. I haven't seen him in a while but then he appears at the restaurant today. He will sit for hours drinking coffee and waiting for prime contractor time.

Who knows if he's legit but I call him the Applebee's stalker.

Aloha 2 Beach Party At Marina Hotel

(The date on the poster is wrong, the event is on June 4th)

Last year there was an Aloha party held at Al Corniche Club and it was cool party. This year it's Aloha 2 and will be held at Marina hotel. It's late notice as all people should contact the party people by May 31 to reserve their tickets. I just received the invitation today via facebook. There will be 3 DJ's there mixing all kinds of music as well as sports activities throughout the day.

Raffle draws, tug o war, beachwear show, limbo game and much more to do. There will be food provided buffet style. The party theme is Hawaiian so everyone should dress to the theme. I don't have all of the details but you can get them by contacting the following people: Aliaa @ 66841191 or Aisha @ 66867599 or via e-mail:

The even scedule is Friday, June 4, 2010 9 a.m- 9 p.m. @ Marina Hotel Kuwait in Salmiya and attendees should be 21 and over. Hmmmm wonder why?

Have fun!

Rules? What are those?

One of the bilingual schools in Kuwait held their first KG graduation yesterday. Prior to the graduation, invitations were sent out which clearly stated mother and father only. The school was trying to have some kind of order as in many cases the whole family shows up. Unfortunately this school had only a small theater and could only hold a certain amount of people.

Minutes before the show was to start the owner gave the principal a letter from the Ministry stating no cameras, no videos and no use of cell phones. Try telling that to the parents when they arrive. People start arriving, names are checked. Then there are the 5 women trying to come in. I'm sorry only 2 people allowed, response: "aww come on, it will be ok", then they rush past like they didn't hear anything. Crowd control is impossible because no one cares or knows how to follow the rules.

Show starts, cameras, videos and phones go up to record. What the hell? Ministry shministry no one can follow anything. These people think they are obligated to do as they please. One doesn't have to wonder why the kids act as they do. Take one look at the parent and you will see why. Mothers ran backstage to fix the kid's hair. The principal had to push them off the stage. Others were running to put flowers on their kids. People sit down!!! It's like you have to have a stick and go after those people for them to behave.

One father asked the teacher "Where's om Mariam?" yeah ok like the teacher is supposed to know that when all of them women are wearing black and have their faces covered. Finally he called her on her phone to find her. After throwing flowers and popping streamers it was finally over. Unfortunately there has to be another party for grades 1-5 in order to pacify their parents. Why are parties so important here? It's like the parents can't live if their kids don't have a celebration.

They celebrate first day of school, graduation, if a child comes back from a hospital stay, if they have a new baby, the last day of school and just about anything else they can think of. In the states we have a potluck where people bring items they made themselves. Now that's good food! But here all they bring is chocolate and nasty tasting cakes. Some of the items should be banned because they can totally make you sick. When they bring chocolate you spend all of your time taste testing to find the best ones.

If they only knew how their kids act while at school they would know their kids don't deserve anything. Teachers can't teach because most of the time is spent telling them to sit down or to listen or to do their work. They fight, kick, scream and totally terrorize the whole class. Then you just want to shake your head in disbelief when you have to throw a party for them. It's like all of the bad things they did during the year doesn't matter because they will still get a party.

Some of the parents want to have bragging rights so they try to provide a buffet for the teachers which is against school policy. It's not like they care about the teachers, they just want to be able to tell their friends about how much money they spent or what they did. I guess they don't have much to do but brag. I think a potluck sounds good! But then again who knows what they would bring, no one cooks here only the maids do it. Back home they would bring macaroni and cheese, chips and salsa, sandwiches, drinks and then desserts all so very good. I usually bring the soda or chips, I don't do the cooking thing unless I have to.

At the school everyone is happy that it's almost over but they have to remember that they have to do it all over next year. Woohoo!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Camel Farms

When you live in Kuwait for a long time you are always searching for something new to do. During the winter months we pack up the family and go to the camel farms near Kabd. It's nice for the kids to get the chance to be up close and personal with the camels. Sometimes there are a couple tents set up with some old Kuwaiti guys chillin and drinking tea. They are usually pretty nice and will invite you to sit for tea. They will start telling you stories about old Kuwait.

Once we brought one of our American friends with us and she tried to ride a camel. It didn't turn out so good. As she sat on the camel it stood up and she was clinging on to the camel looking like Spiderman on the side of the camel. Thank goodness she didn't get hurt (I was laughing on the inside). We stick to looking at them after that. Sometimes the auction starts up and some old toothless dude starts yelling prices. So don't get frightened when you hear it over the loud speaker.

Try not to make eye contact with the owners as they think it's funny to untie the male camel so that he can chase after the female and start mating, all the while asking for your phone number. Ewww! True story! They don't see single American chicks that often. We did experience drinking fresh camel's milk. My mom dared me so I had to. Everyone tried it except my daughter she flat out refused. It tasted like cream but if you drink too much you will need a bathroom immediately. What can I say it's another experience in Kuwait you would never get in the states.

On the opposite side of the road there are some horses and a camel to ride along with some little ATVs for kids. Once again take a man with you or you will be treated like fresh meat. But some of them just want to look.

Momma and baby.

There are different colored ones.

Baby season.

Camels, camels and more camels.

Can't get enough of the babies.

Remember to take a man with you, it makes it easier.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Going Green in Kuwait

From the looks of things in Kuwait there aren't any type of recycling programs here unlike Dubai, they have separated cans for plastic, paper and cans. The only items I've seen dumpster divers go after are the cardboard boxes and the guys go crazy for steel wires that stick out of bulldozed buildings. It's unfortunate when you go to the beach and see plastic bottles, plastic bags, styrofoam things and garbage washing up.

I recently heard about women who weave donated plastic bags into purses and baskets. I thought wow what a unique and interesting concept. Bianca from Early Bird Cafe was nice enough to give me some information about the program and the items. The women who are sheltered at the Ethiopian embassy weave the purses and baskets to help them out with their individual problems. The items range from 1KD up to 20 KD. All monies earned go back to the shelter to help offset their costs.

They are always in need of plastic bags to make their items and you can help recycle bags by donating them to Bianca at the Early Bird Cafe in Fahaheel or Jabriya. Let's do what we can to help these ladies out. Everyone needs a little help in their time of need. Donate bags or maybe purchase some of their items either action would be greatly appreciated! Remember if you donate even one bag it will not only help these ladies but the environment too. Kuwait needs all the environmental protection help it can get.

One of their colorful purses.

Baskets are their newest creations.

Some of the ladies working on their creations. Their faces were blocked out for their privacy.

See how it looks on your shoulder.

Thanks Bianca for your help. If anyone is interested please contact Bianca:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bayan Dental ROCKS!!!!!!!

I've talked about dentists before in brief. Today I would like to give a big thanks to Bayan Dental Clinic for coming out to the school today. After posting information about how bad the children's teeth were Ms. Rama Al-Azzeh from Bayan Dental contacted me about having her staff come out to visit our kids and give a presentation. It was really surprising to hear about someone wanting to help out with community awareness, especially when it comes to dental care as there aren't many people who really care.

Today Mr.George and his staff came to the school and gave the kids a presentation on how to brush teeth correctly and eat fruits and vegetables. He called up a couple of kids to check their teeth and he was like Um... yeah you need to tell your parents to take you to the dentist. The kids were really into his presentation and enjoyed helping the Dr. brush the big teeth he brought. Thanks Dr. George!!! We really appreciate you driving all the way out there for us. At least you have a story to tell about your visit to that side of Kuwait.

I've been to Bayan Dental in Salmiya and had a nice experience. The sitting area is really nice and the staff are so nice and professional.The dentist who worked on my teeth that day was a really nice Lebanese man who spoke clearly and easily with me so that I could understand everything that was going on. I also brought my kids with me during that visit and they enjoyed their experience, unlike the blood curdling screams that came from my daughter when she visited ABHA. Since I wrote my article about ABHA their loyalists have commented on how good they are. So where's the community service from ABHA? I think Bayan Dental Clinic definitely has my recommendation after today's visit.

Any company who will take time out to schedule a community visit is definitely worth visiting. Does any other clinic do community service? If I'm correct this is the first dental clinic offering this kind of service. For all the people who admire community service I recommend you visit Bayan Dental clinic as they not only serve their customers but also serve the Kuwait community with no hesitation. They also brought toothbrushes and a prize for the kids. Bravo!!!!!

Dr. George during his presentation.

This is how you brush your teeth.

His assistants and the gifts.

Thanks guys!!!

The party van..hehe

Thank you Ms. Rama once again for your participation, I hope more businesses will follow through with community action as you have. For more information please visit their website: They have 3 locations: Salmiya, Kuwait City and Egaila in the new mall.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Amigos- Mexican Food

One of the things I miss most about California is Mexican food. Burritos, tacos, nachos and fajitas oh so good. I'm not talking Taco Bell either, although I love it too. I'm talking about home made Mexican food from little restaurants that are on almost every corner in Cali. They have trucks that sell little Mexican tacos in Los Angeles which most people visit after clubbing. I've been told that there used to be a Taco Bell here as well as an Arby's but have since closed down. There is a Taco Bell at Camp Arifjan but it's not the same. I ordered some tacos for the kids and by the time I got home it was greasy mess. Plus it's freaking expensive.

I've gone to Chi-Chi's in Salmiya but wasn't impressed at all. Chi-Chi is actually a slang name for a woman's chest. I guess the owner didn't know that or maybe it's some kind of franchise. I do like Taco Time but only the one in Salmiya, the one here in Mahboula doesn't taste the same. It's funny how they serve tater tots with burritos but it's pretty good.

Now let me talk about Amigos in Avenues Mall. Now that's what I call a burrito. That sucker is huge! You start off on the left and make your way down choosing the kind of rice and beans and adding whatever you like. Although I'm used to that process it seems people in this country can't seem to understand it. They stand at the register and order not realizing the process flow. Hello! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize you have to wait in line and do something in order.

They have red rice and white lemon rice, pinto and black beans, meat and steak and all the Mexican additions needed in making a burrito. They give you some nachos with cheese or salsa and a drink. I can't say enough about it, just writing about it makes me hungry. I just hate that it's located in the Avenues, so freaking far from me. For the owner!!! Please oh Please bring it out here to the Mahboula area!!!!!! I have to sike myself up to go to the Avenues because in actuality I really don't like to go there. But when I get that craving for a burrito I make the journey.

Hola Amigos!

The menu.

You choose your toppings.

I prefer Spanish rice.

Yah baby!

Meal Deal.

I'm so hungry!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Day at the Avenues

Friday is usually family day for me but due to crappy weather conditions on Friday we decided to venture to the Avenues on Saturday. I would rather go early in the day but that schedule doesn't work with the other family members. I like the Avenues but I hate the distance and the ridiculous crowds. The parking is another story in itself.

We were all starving so we headed for the food court. Now it was time to fight for a table. It's a mad dash to spot people when they are leaving and in a nice way steal their table while fighting off the other competition. As you are trying to sit down there is always someone trying to take your chairs too. We decided to head to Applebee's because there were no tables. On our way to Applebee's we spotted an empty table big enough to fit us. WooHoo!

I was totally craving the freakin' huge burritos from Amigo's. My kids aren't very original, they wanted McDonald's. After stuffing ourselves we made our way to Payless shoe store. Ahh I remember the gold ole' days when Payless was actually cheap. Now the have "high end" shoes but compared to the shoes in most stores they are still pretty reasonable. They have the price tags from the states so I can compare the difference in Kuwait. They are pretty much the same, about a KD more. After picking up a couple pairs of shoes it was time to leave as the crowds were increasing as the minutes go by.

I recommend valet parking by P.F. Chang's it's easy, fast and convenient. On our way out I can never resist getting an ice cream cone from IKEA. Funny as it seems they have the best ice cream and hot dogs. For 650 fils you can get a hot dog and drink. The ice cream is 150 fils. I will write some on IKEA's restaurant in the near future. The restaurant upstairs has really good T-bone steaks for 4.500 KD. Ice cream and hot dogs and then head home to rest up for work the next day.

Food court upstairs.

A pic of the crowd. Notice the line of people waiting for ice cream from Pinkberry. Must be some pretty good ice cream when you have Kuwaitis waiting in line for something.

Another view. There's an Office Depot to the left.

Payless shoes!


I hope they open up one in my area.

H&M in Avenues has maternity and big people sizes. Not a big selection but reasonably priced.

Outside P.F. Chang's where valet parking is.

Outside area for eating. Maybe in Winter.

Eat, drink and be merry!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Elevator People

Last night my husband and I arrived home after picking up some food from McDonald's. As we got out of the car an Arab girl wearing abaya and hijab approached the apartment building from the street. Nothing odd about it except it was at night and she was walking down the middle of the street really fast. I don't know if she was Kuwaiti or not but it's odd for a female to be walking down the street at night.

I didn't recognize her from our building either. She made it to the elevator first, as the door opens she went inside and we followed. She didn't push a floor or anything, umm ok? My husband had his back to her and she was just staring at me. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her spit on the floor! Ewwww! I told my husband "I know she didn't just spit on the floor". She just sat there with spit on the corner of her mouth staring at me. AWKWARD! I think that had to be one of the most uncomfortable experiences recently.

All I could say was Humdulilah Al Shikr. It's like I got this feeling she was cursing me or something. The doors opened to our floor and I ran out. Sometimes a trip in an elevator can be one of the longest or scariest experiences.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

So Cute!

Working in a school there's always something to eat, especially candy. Parents bring candy and cakes all the time. We have some creative ideas from our staff as well. One of our Arabic teachers passed out what looked like plants. The principal and I kinda looked at each other when she gave us one. We thought it was some kinda miniature plant or something.

Turns out it's a dessert made with chocolate mousse and Oreo cookies I think. It's layered, the mousse at the bottom then the Oreo cookies that look like dirt and topped off with a sprig of mint. It tasted really good and the first look at it will make you laugh. I thought it was way cute so I've included some pics.

The initial view.

Is it a plant or something else?

Mmmmm, Mmmm good!

I can't wait to see what's next.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Watches by Bree

One of my BFF's has created her own line of scarf watches and I'd like to share her designs. Although she's in California I can get them here if anyone is interested. You can choose the face of the watch as well as the scarf that goes with it so it will be your own custom design. I love supporting new ideas and people just starting off with their dream. Again if anyone is interested e-mail me for more information.

Love ya Aubrey!!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Souk Mubarakiya

I've written briefly about Souk Mubarakiya before and now I've added some photos too. My family and I spent the afternoon at Souk Mubarakiya. It opens around 4 p.m. (evening hours). We arrived hungry so we went to one of the little Arabic restaurants hidden in one of the corners of Mubarakiya. It might look a little ghetto but the food is good and reasonably priced.

We ordered so much food we were about to burst. Rice, chicken, tikka, soups, salads and they provide hot fresh bread from the ovens. Mmmm Mmmm! After finishing our meal it was time to walk it off. There are many different items for sale. There's a fruit and vegetable market as well as a fish market. I have one favorite little store that sells clothing. It used to be 500 fils but the raised the price to 750 fils. I find clothing from the US there with the US price tags still on them.

I got some white stag brand 3 quarter cotton pants for 750 fils. They still had the US price tag on them. They also had Nautica brand cotton house robes for men for 750 fils. Of course my kids love the 100 fils store. There are alot of them around so my kids have plenty of things to choose from. I remember my first visit to Kuwait in 2003 and I thought it was so cool to have a 100 fils store. I remember I had no concept of the Kuwaiti currency then, I was always confused.

Actually I went to Souk Mubarakiya to get sambosak (little fried triangles with cheese in them) from the best vendor in Kuwait. Unfortunately it was closed and looked out of business. I was disappointed as that vendor has the best ones I've had in Kuwait. I hope I was looking in the wrong area and he's still around. After finishing up shopping it's routine to stop by the old Irani guy to pick up sweets. My mom has been going to him since she came to Kuwait. I loooooooove the cream puff pastries, they are to die for. They are refrigerated and so fresh!

100 fils store

Fruit and vegetable market

Some of the items for sale.

Not too crowded at 4 p.m.

I got to eat one cream puff, by the next day they were gone! Thanks kids.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why do rich people act so Cheap?

If you have lived in Kuwait for a long time you will experience how cheap people can be. Certain ranks of people which I will refer to as "Fat Cats" due to censorship here have riches beyond our wildest dreams yet act as they have nothing. I've heard of these Fat Cats ordering fresh flowers for their house costing over 10,000 KD and not paying the company 1 KD. It's unfortunate for the business owners as they can't touch these people or go after them because of their status and if they refuse their business those people have the wasta to shut down companies.

My mom worked for a Fat Cat and found out how cheap they can be. This Fat Cat was a heart surgeon and owned a small medical related company. He wanted a website for his company and had my mother set up a company for the job. An Indian guy came and set up the website and waited for his payment. The cost was around 350 KD for his services yet the Fat Cat refused to pay the guy. He came back week after week asking for his payment and all my mom could do was say sorry. She left the company after the Fat Cat didn't pay her correctly.

Do these Fat Cats not realize they can't take the money with them when they die. I'm sure there's a small percentage who do charitable acts but I don't see recognition for that. The Fat Cats build enormous houses and villas yet they hardly ever stay in them. Why not build a hospital or something every person can use? We do see some charitable acts during Ramadaan. Is it true charity or is the person trying to earn good points from God to replace the bad deeds they've done within their lives? There is so much lust and greed going around and it's sad.

There's an owner of a school who is beyond cheap. He has a wide arrange of businesses and is well off yet he refuses to provide toilet paper and soap in the school. He loves to take 5 KD from the employee's salary for various reasons. He won't offer any kind of discount for a family that has more than one child in the school. He provides a car for one of the employees but they have to pay for everything. The car is used and not in the best of shape, he wouldn't even provide the employee a discount on the tires even though he owns a tire shop. When a person who goes to him for an interview and gives them their salary range he will reduce their request by 100 KD or more just to show who's boss.

If the principal for the school makes even 1 KD from something the owner wants the money and will deposit it in the bank, sometimes 1 KD sometimes 2 KD, it doesn't matter if it's earned through his school he must have it. But when they request toilet paper the employees are told to buy it themselves. When asked for plates to serve the food on they are told to purchase it themselves. It's not like the employees are paid a huge amount and could afford to purchase items. The first item to be reduced is the salary. Do these people not realize that their employees have families? When they take from their money it affects many people.

Does it always have to be about being the boss and showing it by being cheap? I must say there are companies and owners out their who cherish their employees and show it. They throw parties and gatherings in appreciation but those companies are few and far between. Fat Cats show some compassion for the little people! We may not have a huge amount of money but we have self respect, at least let us keep that. Stop trying to keep the little people down and out in fear they could reach a higher level in their lives and be a potential threat to you.

Remember when you die you can't take it with you so stop being Bakheel (cheap)!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Souk Mubarakiya Gold Market

I've always liked going to the gold souks here. Even though the gold right now is alot higher than it used to be I still like to see the beautiful and sometimes tacky designs. Gold is always a good thing to keep in case of financial emergency as it only goes higher and higher in value.

Souk Mubarakiya has a pretty good gold market and the prices are fairly reasonable. The stores usually give you a good price when selling your gold or you can trade it in on something else because they go by the weight. There's a gold shop in Fahaheel and the guys there will make anything you want just bring a drawing or idea and they'll make it for you and even deliver it for you too.

I had a silver design made for my daughter's birthday and the owner delivered it to me which was cool. They are really nice guys also. Most of the expats I know go there. Here are some pics of the shops in Mubarakiya.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Problem with changing car Windshields

A common problem in Kuwait is the rocks and debris on the roads that end up as projectiles when we drive. There are cleaning machines that are supposed clean up junk left on the streets and highways, I think they only make the problem worse by loosening up the junk. Everyone in Kuwait will experience one of these projectiles that will put a big crack or hole in your windshield. Usually it's a pretty routine job.

You go to the glass replacement company and they do their job, that's in the states. Here you have to go bargain for the glass and once they see you are foreign they try to jack up the prices. My husband tried to hide me with the visor so they wouldn't see me and raise the prices. Once you've chose the glass the next problem you face is the replacement job. Last time they changed my windshield and forgot to replace the seal, of course I didn't find that out until it rained and soaked up the interior of my car.

The other problem that bugs me even more is the tape they use to hold the glass in place. Every business in this country tries to take the cheapest route when providing service. This tape they use is the cheap clear tape that will leave a residue on any item it touches. A couple days later I see dirt left on the tape residue surrounding my windshield. It's almost impossible to remove it from the paint. I couldn't imagine having a brand new car and having that residue left on the paint.

All of this brings me back to the states. We have a blue tape that the companies use when replacing glass. It holds the glass in and you simply pull it off and there is NO residue left. Why oh why can't someone bring that here??? I will have to replace the windshield of my other car soon but I will wait until I order the blue tape from the states. The residue really messes up white paint. So for those who plan on going back home and own a car here I'd suggest getting some of that tape. It may come in handy one day!