A Travellerspoint blog

Its getting hot in here.....

So were entering summer or what I will refer to as sweat season. It hit 45 degrees today! Left the comfort of my air conditioned house to be greeted by a blast of hot air! A quick sprint to my car where the steering wheel is actually too hot to touch. After manouvering around and managing to start the engine (holding the steering wheel with my jacket) I am again greeted by another blast of hot air as the a/c revs up again.

Its now actually too hot to walk anywhere and I have to drive from one shop to another on my shopping spree refreshing myself with water, ice cream and pinkberry every 5 minutes. And I know its only getting hotter from now on!

You cant stand still anywhere, unless you want your perfectly applied make up running down and your hair turning into a frizzled mess, you sweat all over and more frustrating than all of that, the shops start closing for mid day siesta's as its too hot!

Roll on Autumn

Posted by exploretheworld 00:27 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Camels Crossing

Rules for the Roads in Kuwait

sunny 45 °C

So I'm a bit new to the idea of blogging my travels but thought why not give it a try. I moved to Kuwait about 9 months ago for work and have been busy living in and exploring the Middle East. So here goes......I chose the topic of driving in Kuwait as my first blog

Rules for driving in Kuwait
1)There are no rules
2) Drive on the right unless driving on the left is faster
3) Green light means go,Orange light means go,Red light means speed up and go
4) Driving whilst holding a mobile phone is mandatory
5) Seatbelts and Lights at night are optional
6) Its fine to cut across 4 lanes to turn off the highway
7) Flashing lights in any other country means give way, in kuwait it means "get out of the way"
8) A 5 seater car seats 10 people
9) A 3 lane highway is actually a 5 lane highway in disguise
10) Putting your hazard lights on means "expect the worst".........

Guess your thoughts at reading this were the same as mine when I moved here. Why would anyone drive? However something about the craziness of it all makes it all the more of an experience. After 3 months of endless lifts and taxis, I couldnt face the prospect of being driven around any more, got myself out into the maze of arabic car showrooms and bought myself a car woohoo! Finally a bit of independance and freedom. With it came the challenge of understanding the endless roads all which come with two names, the first a number (used by all the expats 30, 40, 2nd ring road etc) and the second an arabic name too long to read until its too late and you miss the entrance.

The roadsigns are straight to the point, (my favourite include 'Speed = Death' & 'Be Aware of Drugs'). However learning to drive here has allowed me to experience all sorts of new and exciting everyday activities. I mean how else would I have visited an abandoned village by the border of Iraq bombed in the last attack, seen camels crossing the road or visited an arabic police station (when some not so clever lorry driver hit my car :( ). All I can say is it has encouraged me to drive in any country I might travel to, honestly if you can learn to drive here, I'm pretty sure anywhere else in the world would be a breeze.

Right off to fill up the car with 12p a litre petrol.....some of the benefits ;)

Posted by exploretheworld 00:21 Archived in Kuwait Tagged driving roads kuwait Comments (0)

Covered Lady....visiting Saudi Arabia

sunny 45 °C

So I've been sent to Saudi Arabia for 3 days for work to visit Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh and so I thought I'd blog from here...
Its a place I've always wanted to go to and have been lucky enough to now get the chance.

The night before the trip came and I hit the shops in Salmiya Kuwait to find my abaya...I never knew there was so much choice...embellished, beaded, coloured....I ended up choosing a black one with gold embroidery, I wanted a bit of bling. The lady at the desk enquired if it was my first time going to Mecca, to which I had to explain I was travelling for work and not on the pilgramage, and she then taught me how to put my headscarf on....(I later found out the way I was taught is persian)

We got to Damman by crossing the causeway from Bahrain. This is an experience in itself. The causeway is a long bridge across the Arabian Gulf Sea connecting the two countries. At the middle you go through two towers, where you have to be taken away by the police to get your fingerprints taken (why??), the car is then fully searched, passports stamped and off we went.

Out of the three places, I prefer Jeddah, its on the western coast and next to the Red Sea, the temperature was a lot cooler, but still around 39, and the place was more open, full of trees and open spaces. Riyadh on the other hand seems really dark and claustrophobic. I have to wear my headscarf in Riyadh and I have to say I now have appreciation for the sacrifice that the ladies make, it is so hot inside these abayas. If 45 degrees wasnt hot enough you try wearing a black cloak and hood, it makes it 10 x worse...I now understand why they frequent the malls, as its the only place to stay cool enough.

I feel though a certain power also comes with wearing the abaya...I expected to feel very oppressed and hidden away but its strange, I found the men would now do anything to help the ladies, I could get any numbers or bags carried, doors opened, almost as if they were real gentlemen....I expects its a different experience though if you did this all the time....

Still looking forward to getting back to Kuwait and a bit of freedom that comes with it!

Posted by exploretheworld 00:29 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged arabia saudi Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]