Friday, July 15, 2016

First Impressions

First Impression of Kuwait: It's HOT.  And, I mean, HOT, oppressively HOT at all hours of the day and night.  There is no respite from the heat unless you hide inside.  Do you see windows on the house?  No?  They are there, but they have huge mechanical, metal shutters that serve as both security and blocking out the heat.

So, this is our home for the next few years:

I haven't been able to get a picture of him, yet, but there is feral tomcat on our doorstep every morning.  I'm trying to decide if I should feed him.  I really want to, but looking around I feel like I would end up with dozens.  

Our street 

Our Street the other direction

The biggest challenge the first few days has been keeping the boys occupied.  Last night was one of the twice-weekly "happy hours" at the Embassy.  They brought out a water slide/bounce castle and the boys had a blast.  Many of the families travel away from here during summer break (did I mention it is hot here?), so not as many kids, but the boys made some friends.

 There are many challenges to starting our life here, but the biggest one is probably transportation.  Even if you have an international drivers license, you have to get a Kuwaiti driver's license to go along with it.  To get a permanent Kuwaiti driver's license, you have to pass a driving test, to take the test you need a Civil ID, to get a Civil ID you need to submit your passport, your resident's visa and an application... you get the idea.  You think bureaucracy is bad in the US?  The systems here make it seem like the US government runs with Swiss watch efficiency.  Unfortunately, we can't apply for our Civil IDs, yet, so we have had to apply for 30 day temporary licenses.  I'm assuming I should probably have redacted this, but since I can't read it, I don't know what to redact, if you know Arabic you can let me know what this actually says.

Temporary License
So, now I have a car and a temporary license, but I have yet to drive myself anywhere.  The biggest threat to personal security here in Kuwait is other drivers.  On average, 1.5 people die every day here in auto accidents.  Statistically speaking, the roads here are the most dangerous in the world for auto accident related deaths.  We have wonderfully kind neighbors who work with Ian and they have been driving us around.  Today we ventured out to the LuLu Hypermarket for a full grocery shop.

 I was going to take pictures of the tremendous selection and variety of foods, but there are signs hanging everywhere that say photography is prohibited inside the store.  Will have to figure out why that is.  Today's shopping excursion was moderately successful.  Found many familiar brands and some new things (strawberry filled croissants!).  Can't find stock in a box (chicken or beef) or Bisquick or Near East rice mixes, so will be looking for care packages.  :)
Shopping Plaza
 Didn't get a donut or coffee, but one of the many indications of the Kuwaiti love affair with American brands.  We have a Subway near us and have found Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, TGI Fridays, Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse, etc.  The list is seemingly endless.  The real test will be if they taste like home.


  1. Oh, my. Good luck in all your adventures!!

  2. What's the inside of the house like?

  3. Other than hot, how are you settling in?

    1. Getting there. The nights are rough with the kiddos, but they are adapting.