Um Abbas

Sometimes feeling out of this world.

Going Fishy

Abdullah took us today to the Kuwaiti aquarium to have some fun, Dori mostly eventually. She loves to watch the fish, though she is scared of anything half a size of her or bigger, hence really refused to go close to a window where sharks were swimming.

fish
fish
fish
fish

The Kuwaiti aquarium is definitely bigger than the one we used to visit in Newcastle, naturally I guess – more money in this country, and the general love to have big things, buildings, areas.
For Dori it brought mainly one difference – at every fish tank was an interactive touch screen with games for children related to the actual creature in front of the screen, in most cases alive, in some cases stuffed, fossilized or dried up. My favourite from all was fennec fox, which I always like on pictures. In real it’s even much cuter than I thought.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

Kuwait is … hot. Flat. Hot. Sandy. Hot. Broadleaved trees similar to those in milder climate seem to, mysteriously, do much better than palms here – the poor palms are dry as the sand around and also mostly turning the same colour.
Kuwait is … different, really. And hot, if I didn’t mention it yet.

Dori in Newcastle
Dori before leaving our flat in Newcastle for the last time

The trip from Newcastle (my favourited 15 degrees Celsius on sun) to Kuwait took about 15 hours as both planes we were boarding were delayed, we had minor problems with my and Dori’s visas (tourist visa is required to have return tickets, which we hadn’t), but a bit of explanation here and there made the deal.
trip
Newcastle to Dubai
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
On the airport again
trip
Dubai to Kuwait

We spent first seven hours of flight in economy class, with really incomparable service to those flights of BA from UK to Czech, on the better side of the slide, of course. Despite of the bad predictions from the doctor in UK Dori’s infected ear didn’t cause any problems and we landed in Dubai safely (though a little bumpy) and she didn’t complain at all. Perhaps she was way too excited from all the changes, because though sleepy and bits grumpy on the first (and lengthy) flight, when we boarded the slightly delayed 330 in Dubai she refused to sleep at all, even though this time we were in business class, much spacier and comfortable than the back of the aircraft.
Because we were landing in Kuwait at 3 a.m. in the morning, nothing much was seen from the window. The first hint about what’s coming I’ve got from the captain’s announcement that the weather turned out to be nice, clear sky and … 38° Celsius. At 3 a.m.? The highest temperature I’ve had ever experienced was one really hot summer day in Czech, and that was 36 degrees, something thought of as an extreme already.
We had some struggle again at the immigration officer due to our visas, now not really because of a return ticket but because Kuwait’ve obviously changed the looks of the visas from a long paper to a stamp in a passport and kindly forgot to mention it to its own employees. Somehow.
Eventually we got through because the officer got freaked out from the longer line being created behind us and let us go – thanks people.
When we stepped out of the acclimatized airport, first thought I had was – somebody slapped me. It took me a moment to realize that the punch was from the heat – at night still bearable and cool, as I found later on.
We took taxi – without a taximeter, I ought to say – and got a short lift to the Sabah Al-Salim area of Kuwait City, where is Aboody’s bungalov attached to his family’s house. Our place to stay for the next several weeks, till everything gets set up and settled and we get a flat to live in.
We fell in bed as somebody has shot us dead on place, slept a bit and woke up harshly soon again.
To my first day in Kuwait…
kuwait
On the way to the new home
kuwait
View from our window
grocery
Grocery Shop

Dori hates the heat, so far. She doesn’t really know how to deal with it or how to describe it – so every time we are walking from house to the room or to car or so, she slaps her hand on the face and cries out: “Stinky!” It’s partially funny and partially I really feel sorry for her, but I believe she will get used to it eventually. As when she’s shy around new people, but gets on with them in a while. Her favourite people from the whole family (which she had met so far, we’re still waiting for most of the members of Abu’s broad family tree to come from a trip abroad) seem to be the Indian maids who think she’s adorable and always bring her milk. She loves their attention and even lets them to pinch her cheeks, which is weird, because if I had that crazy idea and actually attempted the same, she would scream me down.
I don’t mind the weather so much unless it gets humid as it did recently, because than you are literally a walking shower for yourself. You can, I swear, touch the heat standing still in front of you, hugging you and not letting you go. The clothes stick on you like you stepped out of a bath and forgot to dry up before dressing. I tried to play pool like that today and there’s no point in explaining why my bridge (except for being a beginner) failed so often – you get pretty sticky towards anything despite of working ACs in each room.

PS: I would upload more pictures and so, but the internet here is fighting with me and refuses – you tell me why – to load Flickr most of the time. When it eventually does load, it refuses to deal with individual photographs and I’m unable to get to the code, so it’s a little struggle for now with the pictures coming…
And by the way, it’s hot in here.

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Mostly Harmless

So I guess this is the last entry from my british IP address; from now on (or if you like from tomorrow, eventually Friday very morning) it will be exchanged for the Kuwaiti one. Sounds exotic, doesn’t it?
But don’t panic! It will mean just mere geographical shifting over anything else. At least, that’s what I’m trying to tell to myself, repeatedly, a bit of matra of a lunatic.
Trying to reminisce with the past three years of our lives in here, I really can’t come up with anything to say now, at least not in a nutshell. Mostly harmless, perhaps; to quote my favourite novelist. I promise I will try to catch up on some “memories” later on, when settled down again.

UK
picture by Wikipedia

Looking forward to a very, very long trip, with me still not fully (physically) recovered from a surgery, the baby suffering from an ear-infection for already almost a week and still on antibiotics – please, tell me, they won’t force us to throw them as an excessive liquid even though I managed to make a random doctor to give us a paper clearly stating she needs them and carries them with her, and a nervous husband; I may guess this trip will be surely an adventure. I will try to capture some of the moments with my camera, but as I have to have mounted the biggest lens I own for the travel (so I can stack the two small ones in a case and be capable to stuff the Pentax with them) I might not be really taking shots too much. The lens seems to be fairly intimidating to many people and makes me more visible rather than invisible. Being dressed in a black abaya and hijab, I can also just run around the airport and frantically scream: “Arrest me, I’m taking pictures to blow this damn place to smithereens!” No need for bad ass cameras and lenses for that matter – there’s always an easy way how to get locked up, and it’s way easier dressed in the Middle Eastern, trust me. Call me a xenophobe, but it’s true.
Being not freaked out enough I started on my husband’s initiative to negotiate Maine Coon kittens purchase from a renown and good-famed cattery in Czech and actually laid eye on two male sweeties with whom I instantly fell in love (yet I have to persuade my husband that the red-haired one really does have a soul and will be a lovely companion for his darker brother – way too much South Park, really). Hopefully we will be able to get them to Kuwait safe and sound and to all sides’ satisfaction. The tom-cats look really great, the owners seem to be really nice, and their reputation among the cat breeders is quite high.
Tomorrow will be really lengthy and I can only pray that we will survive it all – especially Dori, who was warned by that random doctor that her infected ear-drum might or might not burst open when the plane is landing. That would, honestly, be not only painful and bad for her, but terrible news for us, as looking for an otorhinolaryngocology in Emirates while we should be actually boarding yet another plane heading to Kuwait would make it all much, much more complicated than it already is… And probably make me seek a medical advice in Dubai as well; in some cosy, welcoming mental institute.

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And Taken Away

The shipping company picked up our living (about half an hour before they announced they will come) and also managed to get right into the time period when hubby was out, so I had to move the heavy stuffed paper alone. I didn’t fail, at least.
Dori’s ear infection went drastically worse and we ended up at A&E in hospital during the night due to her ever-raising fever getting to quite unbearable level. Finally we managed to get antibiotics for her and it seems that it was all she actually needed – not these 5 days of suffering with bare Paracetamol…
Hopefully it will go better now, with her recovering and our departure getting really close (and me getting nervous as a mouse near a snake).

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Packed

Unfortunately not really with money but more like with lotsa boxes. They are stocked in my way to the bed in bedroom – wonder why.
Tomorrow we wil call the transporting company and than pray for few days that they deliver everything safely and unbroken (especially my flutes and cups).

Dori
stuffz

Than only waiting for Thursday, to depart in the noon and get to Kuwait next day in the very morning…

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