Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kuwait, Al Kuwait

Ok, few days ago I moved to do some tasks in Kuwait. I flew with Fly Emirates and yey, what an Airline. On 1,35h flight I got served like a king. It was this huge Airbus (no, not the 380), and the food was delicious. Three courses, compare that to sandwich I get on 1.1h flight to Denmark with CSA (I still like CSA a lot though;) ).

First thing I really enjoyed was the TAXI ride from Airport to the hotel. Perhaps it was because I tried to look like I do not care (or better like 'I own the world' - which was btw another advise from my Danish colleagues ! They said, every Arab behaves like that :)) this guy has impressed me. Driving old Ford (but with at least 5.0L engine) we were in 140+Kmh (or was it Mph?) going on the motorway from one lane to another and honking everyone around. What a ride, say WOW!

Al Kuwait city centre from the Marina Mall.

During a day I was mainly working and because the sunset is about 6:30pm most of the pictures were shot at night when I wondered around the city. Hotel was great and I spent a lot of time in this place ;)

Hotel's pool on top floor (23rd).

Most of the week I was starving. Ramadan in Kuwait is a litlle bit more seriously taken (at least when it comes to people just visiting the place) then in UAE. If they catch you drinking or eating during a day (Iftar starts about at 6 pm) you pay fine of 1000 KWD (about 4000$) and you go to jail until end of Ramadan (about three weeks from now). I really tried my best to not to miss my vacation. So the first day I was very happy to see the hotel service to forgot to clean my room. There were some leftovers from the breakfast .)

In the evening I tried to explore the surrounding areas but at the first sight there is just nothing in Al Kuwait. Only a few people wondering around, lot of dust and heat. This is what the Mall looks like at 7PM. At 10PM it got quite crowded.

Yesterday I got little bit of tired of thinking of Al Kuwait as a bad place to live. I asked the people where the locals go, there has to be some markets right? So I went to Souk Mubarakia. And that changed my mind completely. Temperature got down to about 37 degrees at night so it was 'comfy' to walk around in my full cotton trousers.
The whole markets is consisted of hundreds of small streets connected together. Those streets are full of small shops of various kinds. Interestingly same types of shops are close to each other. From spice shops, dates shops, fish market, meat streets to all kind of groceries shops.

Gold district :0 I am not into gold, but this place is magnificent.

Dinning place, I've really enjoyed local fish with rice, Arabic bread, salads, mango juice and Čaj a lot. Eva would be proud of me for the way I cut this fish and got rid of the fishbones (she is the real master in this!). And all this just for 2KWD, I could barely walk after eating here, delicious!

On the streets one can see the REAL cars! In some way the time is ticking slower than other places. What I also found interesting were the people. Very friendly. And you go somewhere, you think there has to be something special because you see crowds of people there and when you get close, you realize they are just standing there. Talking and nothing more.

I even managed to get to the Liberation Tower and everybody told me it is possible to go up and see the city from the top. Well that turned out not to be so true. Anyway it is magnificent construction, tallest in Kuwait. I've enjoyed the markets a lot, bought a lot of junk (like night vision binoculars which of course do not work and zooming 1:1, but don't buy it if it was 3KWD).

Well, time to say good bye to Kuwait. My flight to back to Dubai is in about 4 hours, then transit to Amsterdam and then back to Prague, home sweet home. Full album is here.

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