We went out today (after a month spent indoors, because Ramadan); well, if checking our building and whether it still stands is counted as an outing. The house does indeed still stand, bar few bricks which got blown out from a part of the wall. As we’ve found out by a casual stroll through that brand new neighbourhood, a lot of the houses suffered from similar problem, all on one side, so we’ve simply assumed it has been cause by exceptionally strong wind – which isn’t impossible, considering it is still a deserted place and pretty much no trees mean it’s an open desert. Plenty of space for a strong wind to wreck havoc.
Also, totally lovely weather. Mid of summer is not a time for sandy walks. (Sand emanates heat!) 50°C in shade today. Feels like walking in a full blasting oven. No kidding. It actually tingles like it’s hurting my skin by the sheer warmth. Heat just pouring all over and around you. Not really a weather of my choice, if you ask me. I miss you, Newcastle, and your rainy, gloomy days. It’s almost 11pm in the night and it’s still 42°C out behind the window. Well, then. Happy and blessed Eid al-Fitr to all who celebrate it!
Ok, maybe not a castle. It is somewhere between villa and a castle in my puny European eyes; it is, however, considered a rather small family house here among the Kuwaitis. Angle of view, origin of upbringing? Maybe. Nonetheless, it’s a house, it’s big enough for all of us, it is our home (well, maybe. ‘Bu Abbas is still deciding whether to move in or not once it’s done.) It’s got all the space and convenience we could muster up ourselves – and order the architect around to conform to it. True, there are some changes. Some are fine, some might be an improvement even; some made me a bit sad (like cutting off the terrace on side and a nice feature of arches in there due to an unspoken municipality law nobody bothered to mention – until it was about to be built.) But; it stands, alhamdulilah. From sand and heat, I present you with the black skeleton of our house. (Excuse the quality of the pictures. Those are taken mainly as a documentary for my husband and I’ve just decided to slap them here, compositions and even horizon aside.) I am quite happy how this is panning out, although not fully according to our wishes and desires (some changes were made on the building after all, but oh well… and it’s still a remote location deep in the desert at the moment, with really no life besides some camel herders at all. There’s a holiday resort closeby, maybe that will bring some life in it. I hope.) I certainly wouldn’t mind living there!
…with the rough building of our house, and losing nerves and a carload of dinars in process too. This for that, I suppose. And since it’s slightly over a hundred kilometers from our current residence to the building site, there’s plenty of time for desert viewing ad photographing (although it does get rather monotonous after a while, even my joy from seeing camel herds looses it’s boost nearing Khairan, and quick car shots aren’t up to my desired standard either).
Some snaps from road to our house (it’s a long drive, about an hour from the current apartment by highway). It always fascinated me, those various warning signs – never saw them before in Czech or Britain; which of course doesn’t mean they aren’t there, just not so omnipresent as here. And some of the bridges feature rather beautiful murals; mainly closer to the actual old city, and many on different ring roads and inner roads, and I am still planning to round those up a bit more in some future. They generally feature wall art directly related to the country, mainly it’s history, heritage and symbols such as the Arabian horses, falcons, wooden ships, pearl hunters, happy and traditionally dressed families, and more. And lastly, one sign which a little bit defines Kuwait for me in many aspects – it is after all still very traditionally oriented society, despite the present Western influence (and that the West tries hard, I can say – and Arabs accept gladly too.), the Men and Women queue sign.
One thing I love in Kuwait is being able to watch from beyond my lens the plethora of contrasts, and the architecture can demonstrate this very well. From all the glass and chrome skyscrapers, over the symbolical blue and white water reservoirs, to almost crumbling down apartment complexes built 50 years ago. Private versus state buildings, various schools versus foreign funded universities, and so on. The first photograph is a state funded secondary school, under it is one of the palaces of Prince of Kuwait, and than a random house within the city centre. The last picture features a watermelon seller of my choice. Yumm!
… at Dori’s school. For those of the girls who embraced a scarf. Interesting experience through the eyes of an European for sure! Please, do forgive me the composition and occasional blur in the foreground (usually caused by front row people tilting in to my frame), ’twas a tid bit crowded and for some (still) fascinating reason, palm-and-bigger-sized smartphones are fine with the vast majority of people at various events, but a conventional camera somehow intimidates and scares – so flashing out my Pentax with proper lens in a Jaffaria school was a bit of an adventure for me. I really don’t think Samsung pics would do it this time. So, here it goes – girls’ school, girls’ celebration; in Kuwait. By my inconspicuous black box of wonders. More details on the subject of the celebration later. Also, I still adore when my husband dresses in dishdasha and ghutra with igal. So smexy! Don’t you think?