Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Friday, July 15, 2016

As seen in Kuwait...

More terrorism in the news today.
More sadness and anger and hurt all over the internet.
I feel like I want to say so much about it all, but I just can't.

I. just. can't. 

If I took the time to write out all the feels about the bombing in Baghdad, or Philando Castile, or Alton Sterling, or the Dallas Police Officers, or yesterdays tragedies in France...well, I'd never write about anything else.
Also, I'd require ALL of the tissues in Kuwait, and that just seems selfish.

Today I move forward with a post I've been writing about the differences in our daily life here in Kuwait vs our daily life back home.
My friend whose family was doing the expat thing in Malaysia has recently returned home. She's been sweetly encouraging me over the last ten months as I navigate raising little ones so far removed from all that is familiar. We've recently been conversing about her re-entry back into the US, and I'm so grateful for her insight into adjusting to new life in a foreign country, and now into settling back into life in America. I have heard/read many things about reverse culture shock, and have been curious to hear her first hand experience and learn from her.

The conversations are making me aware of all that is peculiar (but becoming more and more normal) in our every day here, and what will be distinctively different when we return to our every day back in Portland.

Like grocery store ads...
Lamb carcass anyone? Low price!!

Every food item imported into Kuwait is checked and then placed with a sticker. It's in Arabic, so I can't read what it says, but I assume some sort of "checked by..." status. In any event, they almost always place this sticker directly over the preparation instructions.This is a taco seasoning packet... 
Drives me crazy. Especially since I seem to lack the necessary skills to remove this sticker without leaving an adhesive trail behind still covering the needed instructions. Super annoying.

Continuously hazy (read:sandy) sunsets...

This is not an uncommon scene in the middle of the sidewalk, even in really nice areas. This particular picture was taken in front of a Stella McCartney store. I can pretty much guarantee it will remain like this until long after we've left the country.
Some friends of ours here had their ocean view blocked by the erection of a giant building, which then stalled out after the building shell was completed. No windows, doors, plumbing, etc. 
That was five years ago, and it still looks the same.
Because Kuwait.

The general view here is beige. Not tan. Not mushroom. Not taupe. Not ecru. Not oatmeal. Not khaki.
The buildings vary slightly, with the occasional slight pink - salmon, really- or lighter shade of brown, but for the most part every building is beige, as are the majority of the sidewalks (covered in sand, usually), and the cars (again, with a light sand coating) and even the air it seems. 

Feral cats everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It's such a sad state of affairs.
This skinny, unkempt, sad eyed little guy was in front of our building (there is ALWAYS at least one cat out there, usually more like five) sneaking over to grab a quick drink from this bucket collecting dirty water that runs off the building. 
Seeing countless feral cats everywhere as we walk around has become totally routine to us, and I imagine it will be strange not to seem one every 30 seconds.

Kuwait has been out of Goldfish crackers since mid-February. Or at least, I've been unable to find them, ANYWHERE. For American children, these are practically a diet staple!
So when the twins and I saw this aisle display at a grocery store earlier this week, you better believe we stocked up =)...

And speaking of groceries, there's this stuff...

...I'm pretty much obsessed with it.
Local peeps, do they carry this in Portland?
I need to know, because I'm seriously addicted. Like, I wonder if it has crack in it.
Every morning I have a mug full of strawberry Activa yogurt and a heaping pile of this stuff mixed together, and it tastes so delicious and makes me so very happy.
Every. Morning.
And if you happen to finish off either the muesli or the yogurt, neglect to tell me, and I go for my usual in the morning and walk away lacking, may God have mercy on your soul. 

I've been waiting to publish this post because I wanted to snap a picture of the bottom of our family hamper in the laundry room, because there is always a small pile of sand in it. 
Alas, the ever-illusive sight of an empty hamper has escaped me this week. 
It's been hot, really REALLY hot, and so any article of clothing worn outside for more than 17 seconds needs to be washed, and sometimes there are multiple clothing changes per person per day around here.
Laundry for days, ya'll.

There are many, many other things, such as the Call to Prayer five times a day that can be heard all over Kuwait, or the constantly chaotic traffic, that will no doubt feel strangely absent when we return home. 

Oh! And the delicious, Heavenly bread (or "khobz") from the sharwma place down the street. Man am I gonna notice that lacking in my daily life!

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen the crunchy muesli, but I make my own "wet muesli" quite often here, and will be sure to have some when you come visit. I load it with various dried fruits, coconut (which I can leave out if you don't like - I can't remember where you stand on that one), flax seed, chia seeds, slivered almonds, etc. Then I drizzle it with honey. It's super yummy! :)