Last days of my parents’ visit, hubby rented a small yacht (!) to take us around the shore in Kuwait City.
Just to keep with the blog topic of stuffing photos everywhere, I’ve forgotten to mention a pleasant trip to Kuwait Aquarium on one of these “not-summer-anymore-not-winter-yet” days.
For finally Abbas is big enough to actually comprehend all these fish and small animals they’ve got there and enjoy looking at them, and small enough to be sitting in carriage when tired, unlike my bigger lady. She on the other hand grew up enough to understand some of the narration about Kuwait’s old customs from a mini-exposition they had at the entrance to the fishy part.
I still (fondly, what a parent I am) remember the time in Newcastle upon Tyne when we visited an aquarium complex for a very first time with her; and she did burst in tears, afraid all those fish would die – by drowning.
Anyways, here we go – a test ride of my 77mm prime lens as well as some memories to keep. I guess I am a memories hoarder.
And one exercise panorama. (Expandable upon click!)
I’ve got a number of other yet unpublished photographs, but for now, this is more than enough. I reckon.
It’s been almost two months we’ve been in Czech – take few days off and the stamp date in my passport from an immigration officer will match the day of the month soon.
Although it might seem like it, we’re not just sitting here waiting for the rain to end (which is rather often, I have to say), but Dori’s getting quite adventurous with her grandpa taking bike trips around the town and woods, even secretly going to a lake to play with water – that of course is happening against my wish and will, because as an overprotective mother I’m so much concerned about her ear if she tried to swim, and about her womanly parts as well, considering grandpa doesn’t think swim suit is necessary for kids and sitting on a stone in the dirty lake water with leeches is all right.
Besides her secret adventures like that, me and my mum do take her around too. Dori was so excited to go by train with us – we’ve got a rare one here, so it’s fun – and then to a castle where princesses used to live. She was rather disappointed when she found out the “used to” part as she was clearly hoping to see a princess for real, and big paintings just weren’t the right thing; although we adults can imagine a lot of things going on in the beautiful rooms filled with historical furniture, scripture, books and even every day mundanities, my child just really wanted to see the princess – and get it over with.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in a nearby restaurant as well and got completely overeaten by a very simple but delicious meal, and I bought myself a new handmade bag (there’s a shop in that town which for years already sells unique hand-crafted things, from mugs to toys and bags and clothing – every single piece is original, unique and completely hand made, awesome things, really; also the prices kind of reflect that) with about 3x more space than my previous one. It was from the same shop I always buy my bags, but since the kiddo grew up from the last visit, the amount of things I grab and carry around with me grew as well – plasters, napkins, disinfection for hands, lipbomb and a lot of other emergency tools, and of course the fact I can completely sink in my Pentax and a 700-pages-long book is a big plus. Although… I found out it has its negatives as well, and when you really, really need to find something small very quickly, it will always get completely swallowed up by the depths of the giant purse. Such as your passport when an embassy guard requests it. Oops…
It’s mainly me who travelled in the past days however, with Dori staying back at the town with her grandma while me and my father were en route to Prague or Jihlava or Pelhrimov, trying to get the paperwork done and solved – for real already. During one day we managed to walk by feet 16km of pavement and roads within the Old town of Prague and Letna, up and down and straight or not; I have to say that the castle stairs are real deal when it’s humid and hot outside and you’re a hijabi not particularly in form. I swear I sweated down at least three kilograms in that climb. No worries, I put them back up at home with a huge chocolate treat!
Alhamdulilah after so many weeks of obstacles and problems popping up one by one trying to make our life miserable, and surprising cooperation of a person whom I didn’t expect to do so, we managed to get it over with – be it by sheer stubbornness or the fact our jinnie got tired for a day which I managed to snap out of her program – the paperwork is now on the way to Kuwait, yay us!, (or by the DHL tracking site already is there, but not delivered yet, since 5 am already!), signed, verified, stamped and paid for.
Inshallah it won’t get harmed in any way and the Kuwait part will be smoother and easier now, because Ramadan is so close and it’s obvious I can’t avoid fasting in Czech, but I’d like to cut it to the minimum for many reasons. Long days, short nights, as for one, no AC for another, and mainly we’re residing at a really small town so eating any meat doesn’t come into consideration here, and our diet here is very sparse and non-healthy, overly vegetarian besides a fish time to time – which doesn’t go well with all the healthy fasting.
Well; we arrived at Czech on Friday evening after an exhausting trip, but alhamdulilah safe and sound. It’s summer in Czech so the temperature is around Kuwaiti winter or (that very short) spring, quite bearable even though there is no AC here. Dori’s enjoying her green trips now all around the little town, into the forest, watching leaves and trees and river; we caught some ducks as well as – to my very surprise – an otter in the pond here. Definitely some different stuff unlike in Kuwait. No more sand in places before unknown, few dried up bushes, thirst-suffering palm trees and some kind of durable broad-leaved tree which won’t give up even in the insane heats. We’ve got trees, rivers, meadows, animals, flies, bees, bugs, mosquitoes, ticks and other fun things in here.
Virgin Maria praying for safety among building materials on the lower floor of our house. (Look at her, hijabi, they get everywhere these Muslim punks!)
So far I’ve just run few enquiries about my business here, half of which i know now, and other half yet to be asked and perhaps even solved. If that goes well I’ll have to run the stamping marathon again, now for two papers, but inshallah at that point it won’t be such a problem anymore. At least I know where to go and what to bring now, since it won’t be my first time, right… Like 50CZK stamp for Ministry of foreign affairs, which I didn’t know I should have, and had to run around the Prague Castle Court to find a post office which would be selling such a thing. I did, but I bet I’ve sweated down at least a kilo of my body weight.
Apologies to anyone who was worried about us (or me), I just don’t really feel like blogging; the life’s going on with it’s own tempo, most of the things slow paced at the time, with a bit of court running and immigration status uncertainities.
But, more or less, everything’s all right and as it should be.
Hubby took us today out for a bit, as the weather in Kuwait’s finally getting to the human levels (compared to the summer months) in the 30 degrees of Celsius during the day and around 20 in the nights, with a bit of fresh breeze, so the picnic time approached.
We reached a high peak of Kuwait today, getting close to Iraq, and there literally was a dead man’s land, with very few people around, one mosque build at a road junction with few pick-up trucks of food and toy “stands” surrounding it, waiting for the nomads to come by and buy – as explained to me on my question why the heck are these men standing in the sun getting a tan darker than the asphalt of the road, when they could just move over the bay to the City and get some better money.
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 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.
Newcastle to Dubai
On the airport again
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…
On the way to the new home
View from our window
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.