From Kuwait

Randomly Barking

We’re back from Al-Sabah hospital for few days already, Dori’ve finished taking her oral antibiotics and alhamdulilah the infection seems to have faded away finally. On Tuesday we’re ordered for a check back at the hospital but inshallah she’ll be as healthy as a child of her age can be.
Abu took us on some minor fashion shopping while actually cruising Kuwait for a good furniture for the flat; Dori chose few dresses “as a princess”, as she says, me some non-abaya clothes in a rather hippie fashion – maybe I am the hippie my husband claims me to be.

Dori

We had a very weird moment on Friday when a small shadow appeared behind our door, which we first thought as of a cat; but after the curiosity won over us and we opened the door to check on the suspicious shadow, we saw a scared, hungry, thirsty and overheated puppy at our feet, desperately looking for any kind of shadow or cool place in the desert heat outside. And nobody even remotely looking for her. The weird part is that our door is inside of a yard behind beautifully crafted gates which are always closed, and that there are bigger doors leading to the main house together with a big shadow-throwing roof over the corridor. But, take it as you wish, maybe it was a small trial of tolerance and patience waiting for us at the glass entrance.

July
July

We took her inside and cooled her down, gave her a bit of drink and hurried towards International Veterinary Hospital so they could check for any maltreatment which could’ve happen to her before she rested at our doorstep. The check went fine and she seems to be all right except some scares of common things and being a little bit on the hungry side, and she’s at the time being staying with us, till we can find her a new, better adoptive family.
Not that we didn’t think of keeping her, but first of all we – me and DH – are both awesome lamas when it comes to dogs, second, our tomcats are inshallah about to be on the way and that would be a small zoo at home already, really. And third, she’s a puppy, under 4 months of age, untrained, and Siberian Husky. Potty training, basic orders training, and commonly having a dog (not matter the Husky’s need to run and move a lot) in Kuwait aren’t really easy tasks, and completely impossible for two laics, indeed.
So while I keep on running around the small flat in latex glove on one hand and with detergent in the other, cleaning puddles and poops after July every ten minutes (or Juliette, as we named her for now) and trying to get her understand that when we call her by name she should come and not just … plainly ignore; my husband is looking for an adoptive “parent” for the Lost&Found. Our not-so-close relative looks promising at this point, he’s a dog loving person and used to train them, so inshallah he will take her instead of his planned German Shepherd and make us all happy, including her.
And when she’s safely at her new home, we can finally stop showering so frantically before any prayer is due, and let our fingers unwrinkle for once.

Hospitalized

That is how we spend our days in Kuwait right now. The first week was a calm breeze, the second is like a rocky storm. We encountered several problems in our plans such as unwilling officers, unneeded circumstances and such, some got solved, some yet to be.
One of our least expected complications occurred when we took Dori to a doctor to check out her continuous ear problems, stretching three weeks back to Britain, as mentioned few posts earlier.
First doc, recommended by my mother-in-law (a nurse), just looked at it and referred us to Al-Sabah Hospital in Shuwaikh area with acute mastoiditis. There we got checked once again, and to our surprise there was no do-it-and-leave treatment, we were immediately hospitalized on the ORL ward, not even a chance to pick up pyjamas back at home.
Dori got her first infusion in the life and my heart still shatters into hundreds of pieces remembering how full of real pain was her cry. Up to today we are on her fourth infusion spot and several allergy tests and blood taking from her instep and a toe. The poor baby is full of needle holes, and we are still to stay here several days, so we will complete the whole week – Sunday we came, Sunday we’ll leave – inshallah.

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Dori

On the same day Dori got hospitalized she was ordered to the X-Rays of her ear bones and nearly at the midnight to a CAT scan – that’s how urgent her case was according to the doctors in Kuwait. (Good morning, Newcastle?)
Monday noon she was in the surgical theatre getting an inner ear surgery to clean up the infection, and after an hour and a half back in the room with us, eventually in a new room; the first night we spent in the general women’s ward, which was empty on Sunday, but started to fill with other patients on Monday, and Abdullah didn’t like that and got us transferred to a private room on a different ward. That first night I got no sleep whatsoever, Dori was crying out of her sleep every few minutes, and honestly sleeping on a chair is a little bit spine-breaking anyway. Not mentioning that there were nurses and doctors checking on Dodo every moment, once for the drip, once to prepare her for a general anaesthetics for the CT scan, than for a second sleep for the surgery. That day she had been fasting – except a small cup of water and three biscuits – for nearly 22 hours, more than many of the first-Ramadan-fasting reverts and Muslims.
Since then, alhamdulilah, her ear is getting better and the threat of a second, bigger and bone-opening surgery is fading away every day. We have to stay here in the hospital room for few more days, till Sunday. Dori will remain on the dripping funnel with Penicilin and antibiotics and doctors will keep an eye on her ear, making sure the infection is gone before we are let to go home again. To the “sand castle”, as Dori says. To the “stinky”, as she calls the incredible heat outside. And to the “king”, as she refers to all the men in the traditional Gulf clothing here, beginning with her grandfather.
I’m trying to make her daddy more of a “royal” too, but unsuccessfully so far. Maybe later, perhaps?

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Settling In

Alhamdulilah we found a flat – rather quickly, so that worry is off; now just to re-paint the walls as some rooms are shaded in really hideous colours (like … lime…? … purge…? … green…?) and furnish it – pain for Abu’s wallet mainly. This will take some time so we are still residing in one bedroom with bathroom detached from the main house of the family, and probably will reside for about a month or two more. I might get crazy from the (optically) confined place, but I have to say that hubby is trying hard to make my time good and not boring.
Today we went to check out the oh-so-known Kuwaiti water towers, one of the most remarkable landmarks of this small desert country. It’s like a Big Ben of Kuwait, if we may.

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picture

The blue-tiled towers are much bigger than it occurred to me from Googling pictures at the time being in Britain, and certainly still popular among natives as well as foreigners. We didn’t go to the restaurant inside, and enjoyed our view over the Gulf and the City itself. In the night, it’s all glittery and the skyscrapers really seem to scrape the sky, at least with the security lights intended for air planes and helicopters. Obviously some new towers were build in the town as even Abu was wondering about few of them – three years out of the country and it changed its shape more than he’d expected.
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picture

We spend many mornings in the pool room now, where’s my poor husband trying to knock some billiard moves into me, so far more unsuccessfully rather than successfully. It’s fun though, so why not; as far as I don’t rip the table cloth with my cue, I’m on the safe side. Right?
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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.
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Newcastle to Dubai
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
Dubai airport
On the airport again
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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…
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On the way to the new home
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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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