Category: Kuwait

Too hot

Next topic – weather in Kuwait. Kuwait is a city in a desert, next to the sea.

I repeat it again. Kuwait is in the desert, do not miss that, this it is a desert. It is not Miami Beach with palms growing at every corner. Yes, there are palm trees here, but you need to water them if you don’t do this, they simply die.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
A palm. Photo: Julia Chodor

It gets hot here. The temperatures can rise above 50 C (around 120 F) in a shadow. It is normal.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
50 degrees. Photo: Julia Chodor

There are sandstorms here. Sandstorm is when lots small grains of sand surround everything. It looks like a mist and it is a mist, but made of sand, not water. When the sandstorm comes in the afternoon it is getting hotter by 10 degrees or so.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The sandstorm in the evening. Photo: Julia Chodor

When it comes at dawn is a blessing. It is a big cloud that stops the Sun’s rays. It is colder than it supposes to be.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The sandstorm in the morning. Photo: Julia Chodor

Sometimes it is raining. Then everything turns green, well if you grew up on north you would not call it green, just less gray, but people here consider this color green, never mind.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Rain. Photo: Julia Chodor

Summarizing – it is hot here. Thanks to the engineers for the air condition. They also should look for some solutions how to make the tap water colder. At the evening, it is too hot to take a shower. Probably it would help to install boilers in basements, not on roofs. But I guess you need an engineer from Europe to figure that out.

Now you know what the weather is in Kuwait, and you also know the view I have from my apartment. The one in Sapin was much better.

In the park

We found a nice park not far away from home. It’s hard to believe it is in the middle of a desert.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor

I like Kuwait

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The flag of Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor

Before you start to laugh at the huge flag of Kuwait hanging on the house, look at the image below. I took it few years ago in the US.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The flag of the US. Photo: Julia Chodor

…and now you can laugh.

Now, I’m in Kuwait. I live in Kuwait. Before I came to Kuwait, everybody asked me if I’m not afraid to go there. You know:

– Kuwait is in the Middle East;
– it has a border with Iraq – the war zone;
– it has a border with Saudi Arabia – the only country where women still cannot drive cars, they have a death penalty and the worst of all, once a year thousands of Muslims arrive at Mecca;
– on the other side of the Gulf, there is Iran, a great nuclear threat.

Well, there is much to be afraid of, it really seems like Kuwait is the last place on the Earth where you would move with your family.

From my point, Kuwait is a safe country as long as Americans do not bring the democracy and Russians peace. Yes, the democracy and peace are the biggest threats.

So, how life is in the middle of the medias’ biggest threats? I tell you, the life in Kuwait is really good. We live in a nice neighborhood. We pay for the apartment the same amount that we would pay in Warsaw, the difference is that here we have a gym and a swimming pool in a building. Every day we can go to the beach and swim in a sea. The weather is warm and the air condition is everywhere.

The big news for all Americans – yes, the life in Kuwait is better than in the US. At the end you earn more, because there are no taxes here, the petrol is cheaper, the speed limit is higher, there is no shooting in schools every other week, during the last 20 years there had been only one terrorist attack and there is a public healthcare. I think it sounds pretty good, right?

So, please, do not bring the democracy to Kuwait. Keep your right to choose your own dictators for yourselves. And by the way, looking at the US presidential election I wonder what it has common with democracy.

Well, I guess nothing; just the opinion matters. The US is considered the most democratic country on our planet. Don’t you dare to change that, because we can cut off your head.

Remember, democracy has nothing common with freedom, actually it is opposite to freedom. Democracy means the majority rules. If the majority rules, then an opinion of a single person doesn’t matter. You have to adjust to the majority. This is not a freedom when you have to do what the majority wants.

Going back to Kuwait – yes, it is a good place to live. I like it here.

I think that not only Kuwait is a nice place to live in the Middle East. But what you can sense here, and it is not only my feeling, there is a push to destabilize the last peace region in the Middle East.

I mean exactly to destabilize Saudi Arabia.

I remember after 9/11, whole mainstream media were talking about the necessity to attack Afganistan to fight the terrorism. So Americans attacked Iraq and now I read that it was all fault of Saudi Arabia and US senate passed a bill allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

Poor Saudi Arabia. There is Yemen issue, tense relations with Iran, especially after the sanction have been lifted and Iran is trying to earn on oil as much as it is possible. By the way, I wonder why the sanctions were lifted right now. Saudis are also engaged in issues with Islamic State. And the oil prices dropped and it seems it won’t rise anytime soon. The situation inside the country is changing, new taxes, rise in prices of energy and water – this all doesn’t make the citizens happy.

It is a lot of small demons to fight for Saudi Arabia.

Where is the world heading?

Europe with its million of „refugees” and the political system changing into a dictatorship governed by few strange people who are not even elected by the citizens of the union. The political relations between the member countries are getting stronger, but at the same time, the freedom to move and work for the average citizen of the EU is being slowly limited, more and more papers are required.

What about South America?

What about South China Sea issues and generally what with China’s economy and financial market?

So yes, the life in Kuwait is good, I just wonder how long?

Kuwait newspaper and other issues

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Kuwait Times. Photo: Julia Chodor

I have bought a newspaper today – Kuwait Times – it costs 150 fils.

There is news from over the world. At the first page, the biggest title is about Yemen. There is also about labor law – fines for hiring employees without visas were doubled, now it is from KD 2 000-10 000. The labor issues are very important in Kuwait as the 2/3 of the people living here are from abroad. There is also news about Philippine presidential election – there is lots of Philippinos here and about Cairo, also a lot of people from Egypt. So the first page reflects the national structure of people living in Kuwait. We just have missed Hindus. Maybe in tomorrow newspaper, there be some news from India on a first page.

Another thing that caught my attention is lots of photography – there is like at least 4 images on every page, at least 2 columns size.

What else is interesting here? Fuel prices will be increased, but the Minister wants to do this smooth, so the rise would not affect the commodities price. In other words, the price of gasoline will be raised, not a diesel.

This is interesting, the expatriate labor shelter received almost 5000 workers during the last year. 4,5 half thousand left the shelter after being rehabilitating socially and psychologically also material and moral damages caused by employers were resolved.

Another interesting issue is about passports for Bedoons – stateless. Kuwait considers the Bedoon illegal immigrants. Who are they? The Kuwaiti government believes the Bedoon are foreign nationals from neighboring countries.

Let’s have a closer look – there are 3 types of Bedoons:

1. The first group consists of stateless tribesmen whose ancestors failed to apply or lacked necessary documentation at the time of Kuwait’s independence.
The famous or rather infamous Arab bureaucracy.

2. The second group consists of former citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries who abandoned their original nationality to join Kuwaiti armed forces and police in the 1960s and 1970s.
That is a nice payoff for fighters.

3. The third group is composed of children of Kuwaiti women married to Bedoon men.
So we talk about kids born on a territory of Kuwait, but there are not considered to be citizens, more they are considered to be illegal immigrants – what’s the hell?

So you can be born in Kuwait and not be a citizen of this country. And in today newspaper, there is an article abut new mechanism of giving passports to those people. If somebody has a real need for study, treatment, business etc. then s/he can granted a passport. If he or she just wants to travel the passports will not be given.

Now the international section – news about Brasil, Austria, North Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, the US of course, India, oh, there is even a Puerto Rico. Senegal, Spain, German’s refugees, he, he,… Pakistan, France, Indonesia, China, Australia – nice.

What’s next? Sports section – oh, an article about hockey – well, it has to be so interesting for the people living in a natural dry sauna. What else? Tennis, Golf, 2 pages about football – European type of football, to be clear. And at the last page the big photo of Paul Millsap (basketball). nothing special.

Now the business part. Inflation in Kuwait, consumer prices – 3.1%, core (excluding food) – 2.8%, food inflation 4.1%.

Then a little bit of culture, oh! and kids’ section – cool!

Celebrity section – how we could miss that? Prince Harry, Kim Kardashian, Mick Jagger and Beyonce.

THE END

p.s. And now my husband wants to kill me because I am reading a newspaper instead of looking for a job.

At the beach

Last weekend was a bridge weekend. On Thursday we went to the, so called, private beach. It was a family day, that means that only family is allowed to enter. In Kuwait, there are also lady’s days when only women are allowed to entry.

We had a lot of fun as you can see on the pictures. Water was like 30 degrees C (90 F), full of life. You should hear Olga’s scream when she started to pick up shells and suddenly she discovered that they are alive animals inside. A little trauma for a 5-years old.

The sand at the beach… well, everybody knows that the best beaches are in Poland, near Łeba, where the dunes are, nothing compares.

Here beaches are treated differently. It is a place where you come to sit in the shade of a tree, grill food, eat and talk. Kids play at the sea or on a playground. Nobody lies on the sand getting burned.

We spend the whole day at the beach. It was the very good weather. The sky was covered with clouds, so it was not so hot. At the afternoon, it was a nice breeze from the sea. The air temperature was around 27 C (80F) and then suddenly in like 30 seconds the wind blew and the temperature rose by 10 degrees. The sand storm came from the desert. The sandstorm looks like a fog, but it is a cloud of very small grains of sand, like a dust getting everywhere, especially into your nose. Well, the burka makes sense at this point.

At the photographs, you can see what people are wearing, usually shorts and t-shirt and it does not matter if you are a woman or a man. The point – you don’t want to burn your skin. At the private beaches, bikinis are allowed and there were few women in bikini, but I did not see a single man in a speedo, it is forbidden.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The Father of the Year. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The Father of the Year. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The minimum at a public beach. Photo: Alek
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Snails. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
A sea urchin. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Find the crab. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Kids at the playground, behind her among the trees, people sit and eat. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Evening at the beach. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Sandstorm approaches, it is not a fog. Photo: Julia Chodor

Evening at the beach. Photo: Julia Chodor

The 3rd of May Constitution Day

Yesterday evening we went to the diplomatic event organize by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Kuwait to celebrate the 3rd of May Constitution Day.

For all those who do not know, the Polish Constitution was passed in 1791 (May 3rd) and it was the first constitution passed in Europe and second in the world after the United States.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Ambassador Grzegorz Olszak with his wife, Alek and me. Photo: Jarek
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Ambassador Grzegorz Olszak with his wife. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Alek and Jarek. Photo: Julia Chodor

 

I love buildings

We live in a nice, calm neighborhood. What I really love about the area are… buildings. They are all more or less the same size, 3-storage, but everyone is unique, I guess there is no two exactly the same houses in Kuwait – and this variety is beautiful. This picture of lovely streets is enriched by the cars parked up front – most of the time they are typical American SUV, but I also found, Porshe, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. Yes, a Lamborghini, standing in a front of the house for the whole night and nobody steals it – yeah, I know it is amazing, it could not happen in Poland.

It is amazing, that nobody steals things. You can leave your new iPad on a table in a coffee shop, come back two days later and it will be still there, where you left it. Culture is one thing, but I also think that people here are just too rich to steal.

And yes, another incredible thing, people who live in a non-democratic country can be rich. We have always been taught, that only in 100% democracy people can be rich. I just guess we have not been told exactly which people.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo:Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Buildings in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Cars in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Cars in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
And what car have you been delivered lately? Photo: Julia Chodor

Welcome to Kuwait

Well, I never wanted to visit the Middle East even as a tourist, but life is tricky. Here I am… living in Kuwait.

And you know what? … it is not so bad.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Alek in Kuwait. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Me in Kuwait. Photo: Alek
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Olga, Lidia, Sonia. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Our block, it is called American and it is only for families. Photo: Julia Chodor