- The disgusting beaches:
To be fair, there are nice, clean beaches in Kuwait. It's just that they're not public beaches. You have to either know someone who has a private villa on the beach, belong to a club that has beach access, or pay Day Use fees to spend time on the clean sand.
This is one of those areas where it's so clear to me that Kuwait as a whole is just not playing the Long Game. Other Middle Eastern countries, such as most of the UAE, recognize that oil will eventually run out, and they better have a back up plan. The UAE - particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi - have focused on tourism. They've made themselves popular tourist destinations, where people want to visit and are impressed by what they see and can experience. Oman isn't focused on glitz, glamour, or having the highest buildings on Earth, but from what we saw, they are intentional about still providing much for visitors to do, and keeping their land beautifully maintained while focusing on the culture there.
Kuwait often seems like it just doesn't care if visitors like it here. It cares if Kuwaitis like it here, and Kuwaitis do, as they are (generally) wealthy and well taken care of and have access to private beaches and so why do they care if the public ones are trashed?
*yes, that is an over-generalization. OF COURSE not ALL Kuwaitis are like this or feel this way. I'm simply making a point in regards to what often feels to be the consensus of the majority*
- The weather:
Kuwait has the hottest summers EVER. Last year we were here when a heat record was broken. Between that and the awful sandstorms...
- The overpriced American goods:
$9.82 for our daughter's favorite crackers.
Magazines are sharpied over.
Kissing scenes are cut from movies.
Wonder Woman, the movie, will not even be shown here in Kuwait.
- How things are just *Closed* sometimes:
Wanna purchase some L'Oreal mascara during normal business hours? Ya can't. Because this little station is just closed. Screen down, locked at the bottom. Sorry. No mascara for you today.
It's a small thing, but such an annoyance none the less. That poor belt has been soaked with a hose - ya know, to wash away the sand - every other night for years now, and it's all kinds of dilapidated because of it!
-The waste of electricity:
You can argue the wage gap in the US (valid complaint!) but that's nothing compared to my husband having to go down and given written permission so his wife obtain her drivers license.
Or my friend being unable to get her son's birth certificate even though the baby CAME OUT OF HER, because only her husband has rights to pick it up.
Or little things, like when the workers at the bakala downstairs see me without David and ask "where boss?" and I have to fight my urge to say "HE'S NOT THE BOSS OF ME!" because I'm very mature.
- The DUST/SAND:
It seeps into our apartment. Even if we've opened zero windows, and even though the only entry into our apartment leads into a closed hallway (ie, not directly into the outdoors and exposed to the elements) we have sand everywhere, all the time.
I snapped these pics less than 24 hours after our apartment had been dusted:
And there's always sand in the bottom of the laundry hamper, and within three sleeps it's in the sheets.
Dave and I have both said multiple times we have to make a conscious choice to NOT think about what it is doing to our lungs, especially after each winter when we turn on our AC and see alllllllllll the dust that had gathered in the ducts over the previous months filter into our living space.
There are currently two new-ish, nice parks in Kuwait that I am aware of.
Every other park has play equipment like this:
- Our apartment:
I love our view and we've definitely grown to feel like this space is home, but I will not miss our teeny tiny kitchen, or the smallest clothes washer in all of the land, or the fact that there is a about two inches between the bottom of the front door and the floor.
Maybe other parts of the world are like this, but I assure you Oregon is not.
I mean, which floor is the first one here?
Same thing here. You want the 1st floor? Go up three levels. Naturally.
-The TRAFFIC, and driving here in general: