Those Awful Bloggers at The National

Opinion, ridiculous

HEY LIKE WHEN YOU ARE AT THE CINEMA AND YOU’RE WATCHING A SAD FILM AND SOMEONE IS TALKING ON THEIR PHONE NEXT TO YOU, LAUGHING LIKE A HYENA, WHILE SOMEONE IS DYING ON SCREEN, IT’S NOT BECAUSE THEY’RE A SOCIOPATH, IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE EXERCISING THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS AND IF YOU GET OFFENDED COS YOU THINK THIS IS IMPOLITE, THEN IT’S YOU WHO ARE RUDE. COS LIKE, WHO CARES ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE? IF I’M HAPPY, THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!

 

A young Arab woman's musings on life, society and the headlines.

Hate mobile phones at the movies? Then stay Home, Alone

  |  May 2, 2013

I can’t remember the last time I went to the cinema without someone being shushed or asked to leave. That’s because I’m usually the one making the noise.

Complaints range from the polite – people asking whether I can “please keep it down?” – to the downright rude – like the woman who threw her purse at me during a screening of Alexander the Great. (Since you ask, good film, rubbish purse).

So I was interested to see that the YouTube video Two Locals Fighting in the Cinema, shot in Dubai, had gone viral. In it, an actor answers his mobile, very loudly, angering those around him. He continues to talk, slowly getting louder, and ignores calls for him to end the conversation or leave the movie theatre.

Now, I expect this video has struck a chord with many of you. Over the years I’ve lived here I’ve noticed that noise from cinema audiences is a pet peeve for many people, particularly expatriates.

So here’s my advice: Stop being so uptight.

The cinema is not a library.

The whole point of a public cinema is to have fun with your friends while watching the movie of your choice. If you want everyone around you to keep silent, then watch at home, alone.

Speaking as someone who enjoys my right to free speech – and has no qualms about exercising it in public places (hint: that includes a PUBLIC cinema) – squirming and whingeing and complaining every time someone rustles a sweet paper, or titters at a joke, or, God Forbid! answers their phone, will not make them stop. It will only make them laugh at you and turn up the volume.

I remember watching the recent Hollywood film Snow White and the Huntsmen when a grown man called the security guards to complain about a baby. Because it was crying.

“Why are they bringing a baby to a sex movie!” he shouted in the middle of the theatre, making at least as much noise as the baby.

Now, bear in mind this is an adaption of a children’s fairy tale (do I need to italicize “children’s” here?), and that it stars a girl who first became famous in the Twighlight teenage-vampire saga, and I think you’ll agree that this man had it coming when my friends and I laughed in his face as hard as we could.

What was Rambo doing in the audience in the first place? Shouldn’t he be elsewhere, filming Rocky 12 or whatever?

It’s exactly this kind of uptight behaviour that needs policing in our cinemas, rather than people having a little innocent fun.

If such people just relaxed, then they might make some friends.

I went to watch Beowulf in 3D recently with a like-minded companion. The movie was so funny to us, we couldn’t help but comment and laugh. Afterwards, the two people sat behind us insisted on walking us to our cars and giving us their numbers so that next time we could all go to the cinema together.

“Without you the movie would have been so very boring,” they told us.

Now, I’m under no illusion that everyone’s going to agree with me on this one. In fact, I know there will scores of you, reading this and slowly turning purple at what you see as my arrogance.

But that’s fine. Don’t feel you need to keep silent about it, let it out and speak up. After all, this isn’t a library.

They usually don’t post my comments, because despite going on about free speech, they don’t like being criticised. Here it is anyway!

I Will Not Be Silenced May 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I have the same problem with these complaining idiots. I like to take my baby to see violent action movies at 11pm as I want him to be a psychologically scared ninja when he grows up. Yeah he screams through the film but people are so rude! My maid is doing her best, yeah. What do you expect me to do? Put the baby to bed at a reasonable time? Don’t take him to unacceptable venues? It’s a free world, and I have free speech so I can do what I like and I don’t care what you think.

And all those people who complain that it’s “rude” and I have “no manners” and that they paid to see the film and want to actually hear it. It’s not my fault they’re poor and going to the cinema is like, a thing, for them. Like, shut up. I enjoy myself and who cares if my behaviour has any impact on you – I certainly don’t. God, you’re so selfish, losers! Watch the film at home.

And to people who say my attitude is that of an arrogant, over privileged, selfish little madam, listen, it’s my human right to go to the cinema, shriek at my friends and let my ringtone of Miley Cyrus’ 7 Things I Hate About You ring and ring and ring, because I am a person and have rights.

WE SHALL SEE IF IT GETS THROUGH. I SUSPECT NOT. HOWEVER, THE NEXT TIME I’M IN THE CINEMA HERE AND SOMEONE IS MAKING SOME NOISE, I WILL WALK OVER TO THEM AND SCREAM,  I AM HANEED DAJANI AND I LIKE TO RUIN OTHER PEOPLE’S FUN, TOO! LET’S BE FRIENDS! THIS IS WHAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS ALL ABOUT, SHOUTING INAPPROPRIATELY!
50qr wallet

Check Your Privilege

Opinion, ridiculous

A Response to Dane Wisher’s article The Cost of Things in Qatar

meme

I’m fairly sarcastic, contrary and sick, if I’m honest with you and everything I say and think is coated with a thin layer of disgust and superiority. And I apologise for the American bashing in advance, but I can’t help it, I have a problem. I’m bigoted and quite scared of you and your foreign policy. And that is why, when people write things about living in Qatar, specifically Western expats living in Qatar, I get on my high horse and feel the need to endlessly mock them, as while they are entitled to their own opinion, they are wrong and it is only I that is right.

Onwards to the mocking!

a) Firstly, Wisher says many things that are true, fast food is ubiquitous here. Back in the motherland, we are slowly becoming more Americanised, but when I was last there, fast food isn’t the normal, cheap option – most cafes do sandwiches etc. Here in Doha, fast food isn’t for poor people with questionable ideas about nutrition, lot’s of people go, kids, students, expats, locals, but not workers. Fast food is bad. Unless it is shawarma.

b) And Qatar does provide jobs for people who can’t get them back home. But this is not because we’re total morons (although I’m sure, all of us being total morons doesn’t help) it’s because of all these bleeding recessions. So, for morons we are quite smart, we decided to go where the jobs are. I’m not apologising for going places where there are jobs, it’s like a tradition in our family and it’s common sense. During the nasty ’70s when Thatcher was skipping about, my parents worked in a myriad places…all over the bleeding world until like the mid-90s. I love my job, I’m good at it, everyone seems happy. Do I fear going back home, like Wisher suggests? Only because of the reports I’m hearing about the Loch Ness Monster eating half of Glasgow.

dohahaha

c) Everything he said about subsidised housing. Well lucky you, Wisher! I personally do not get subsidised housing, with a gym and pool etc. And the people who live in flats like that who I know, love them. My beef with housing here is, if it’s going to cost so much, why can’t it be good?? I live in a villa of a questionable colour, with a bathroom that was designed by a blind person, and my A/C is often on the blink, and when it’s 50/60 degrees, I’m going to complain about it and possibly cry. (Also, the toilets get blocked a lot here and….well that’s probably my brother’s fault. It always happens when he visits. Hmmmm. But they do have to suck the sewage away at night from villas into a big smelly truck and this isn’t the smartest way of dealing with stuff.) Sure, I could just shut up because I’m a privileged white person and therefore am not allowed to complain, but if I don’t ask Babu to fix my A/C then it will never be fixed! BUT THERE IS NO WAY TO FIX THE BATHROOM AND I JUST HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT WAAAAAAA.

d) I’d definitely complain about this in the UK, but then the British are born complainers and it is that, and our ability to queue, that makes us Great Britain. Americans complain, too, however, but they are often upbeat and endlessly positive in a way that I personally find disturbing. If I say, “hey foolio, we need to sort this out!” maybe the problem will be fixed, she said grimly with no hope whatsoever.

e) Wishers also mentions that there are no snobs like the newly rich. He has clearly never been to St Andrews. Or Chelsea. Old snobs are the most snobbish of snob, and my personal favourite because they’re funnier and more delusional…and better dressers if you’re into red trousers and turned up collars, which I’m not. However, some people are rude to other people because they think they are better than them, and it is especially notable in hierarchical societies such as this one, but it does happen all the time. Being polite to people is no skin off your nose. Unless they are being rude themselves, in which case, you must be witheringly polite because kindness can kill.

f) Wisher described himself as an “educator”, which may be the most single offensive thing in this piece. The only thing worse is people who attempt to convince me that their job title is “communicator” …. I just cannot accept this. I don’t know what to say. I can accept people who are not like me, who believe in different things and act differently to me, but this is an abominable use of the English language and Virginia Woolf is turning in her grave. It’s not your fault, Americans, it’s not your fault, but if I have to stop using my colloquialisms around you because you ask me to repeat myself every two second (cos you no ken wha ahm on abowt) then you should use better words than “educator”.

50qr wallet

g) Moaning about people who never interact with people who aren’t more or less like them. I find this disingenuous. Are locals not like us? ARE WE EXPATS ALIENS?! I should make an effort to get to know people who are exotic and not like me? Is that it? Fair enough, some people do tend to stick to their nationality, Brits to Brits, Filippinos to Filippinos, etc etc but this isn’t a Western thing. This is a people in a foreign place, thing. When I was at school and university, all the Chinese people stuck together, and my friend Chunyan was one of the few who befriended a “foreigner” as she liked to call me. Were they being racist? No, just a bit insecure in a strange land. I dislike the morons who say stuff like “I don’t wanna be here long enough to learn the language” while congratulating themselves on being insular. They’re so boring, anyway. But, dearie me, not all expats are the same – there’s such a mix of people here! I have a Chinese friend, I had coffee with a Russian the other day and there’s this Somali I know quite well AND THEY’RE ALL PRETTY DIFFERENT AND VERY SIMILAR TO ME BECAUSE WE ALL CONTAIN MULTITUDES. Also, sometimes it’s hard to get to know locals, but plenty of people have local friends. I will befriend anyone who I think is nice and knows how to queue. That’s how most people make friends…with other people they comes across who they like and have a proven track record in queuing.

h) I’m a privileged piece of sh!t for going to Megamart? I thought I was a privileged piece of sh!t for my free university education and my disdain for people who watch reality TV shows and don’t get my jokes? Oh I am for that too? Phew. I don’t see what’s wrong with going to Megamart. When I was at university, all the American students kept whinging about how much they missed Skippy peanut butter until they found it in the little deli shop on the corner, at which point they waxed lyrical about how amazing it was. So I went and bought some, and it tasted like peanut butter and the next day, the oil from the peanut butter had formed a thick layer on top. “No, that’s a good sign,” said a girl named Tegan. Ok, I thought, this is your own fault, Laura. You know kangaroos don’t have the skills to make peanut butter properly. What is my point? Do the Filippinos shop at special store to get whatever they want to eat? Are they privileged pieces of shizzle for doing so? (Random anecdote time. My brother was in an Asian grocery store in Aberdeen trying to buy stuff to make dumplings and the guy behind the counter said, “Oh, so you like dumplings, then?” and so my brother said, “Um, yes?” and the guy gave him an apron that said “I heart Dumpling”.) Is it a privilege to shop at Megamart? Not at those prices, pal! Hahaha lolz. Have you ever shopped at Al Meera, Wisher? The vegetables are sad and withered. Also Carrefour is too brightly lit, and Geant has birds trapped in the ceiling. Shop where you want, eat what you want – experience local food, eat a shawarma, drink some karak…but it’s okay if you don’t want to do it everyday. People who think they’re entitled to stuff are different, but I think they’re the exception. People seem to have this idea of bad expats, and I can’t think of any who embody all the bad traits – it’s like the fear of society of feminists – they hate men and are gonna kill us all! Expats are insular and entitled!

In conclusion, I probably agree with Wisher about most stuff, it’s just the way he said it that annoyed me. And I should get back to work and stop being so irritated by what other people say. And “educator” is a stupid word and it makes me violent. I’m sorry for my rant, but it amused me, so maybe I’m not so sorry after all.

i love dumpling

Fire in Villaggio

Opinion, ridiculous

So I see there was another fire in Villaggio, the mall of doom, yesterday.

People, why do you even shop there? It’s not safe! You know what I think, the de’il (what we call him in Sco’land….Milton’s main man and protagonist of Paradise Lost) is trying to take back -shjfkskdflgshkjhreliot

fdhjks;akjhfgdk;

Fu-hgdjkf;dfjkghjkfd

Darn it. Gee whiz. Holy smoke. Bloo-oh, nope. Ummmmm fiddlesticks?

Self-censorship, my friends, that’s the only way to live here without- saif;ehdgajldiufhgjdfklskdfj

So, to conclude, just go to Landmark. It has nicer shops, anyway.

And that concludes my wisdom for the day. You’re welcome.

wheel

Driving in Doha

Opinion

A Wheely Bad Situation

Last week, I not only exploded my wheel, but I bumped into a van.

wheel

I’ve been driving for about a year in Doha, so maybe it was fate. But along with the article I recently read in The Edge and a reckless tribute to speeding in the Abu Dhabi National, that the “journalist” has since amended so she looks blameless, I’ve become seriously jaded about driving here. I don’t know the figures of the accidents or deaths on roads, as I’m sure they won’t be released – but I know they must be high. I don’t understand why people drive so recklessly, with a mobile phone in one hand and their toddler on their knee. Or the typical slow driver here in Doha, who does 30kph on a 80kph and then just randomly and suddenly stops in the middle of the road. It was one of these guys I bumped into – I slammed on the brakes and I didn’t damage either car, it was more a tap than anything. But his excuse was, “this is my turning!” Oh right, my apologies, you just stop in the middle of the road then without warning. That’s totally reasonable, you ^&*&^!

Don’t they know it’s dangerous? Don’t they know people die on the roads?

Today, I had to contend with a “driver” on the wrong side of the road, trying to go up a one-way street, looking at me with derision! The very cheek of it. Driving in Doha is dangerous, but only because we, the drivers, make it so. It doesn’t have to be like this, people!

If we have young “journalists” (honestly, I have never felt so angry at an article written by a young woman the same age as me, spouting such willfully ignorant waffle about how speeding isn’t dangerous) touting speeding…it’s the lack of self awareness. I indicate, and stop, and obey the highway code, not because I’m a loser, a fool, but because I don’t want to cause harm to anyone. I don’t want to intimidate people on the road. I don’t want to be the cause of an accident – I couldn’t live with killing someone on the road. The drivers that speed up behind me, going well over the speed limit, flashing their lights at me and honking – you’re scaring me. Why don’t you care? I don’t get it.

My chief problem with people on the road, however, is sheer selfishness. Whenever I see cars entering the box, which is the painted box between an intersection, during a traffic jam, blocking other streams of traffic, I want to yell. First of all it’s illegal. Second of all you are holding up traffic and actually making things slower. Third of all, aren’t you ashamed? I certainly would be.

So this is my plea. Driving rules are not there to annoy you. They are there for your safety. They are there so you get to your destination as quick as possible – if we all drove like sane people, let me tell you, driving in Doha would involve very few traffic jams! They are there for other people’s safety. You don’t want to kill someone…I am sure even the most reckless, immature driver on his phone, does not want to injure other people.

Please drive carefully.

thefarm7

The Farm

review, travel

After a long morning driving the new Mercedes A Class around Dubai like you do, you need a decent lunch. Mercedes took us to somewhere quite surprising.

Called The Farm, this place is a lush paradise. Dubai is a lot greener than Doha, but I thought I’d stepped into a botanical garden after the harsh sun and sand of the motorway.

thefarm4It calls itself Dubai’s best restaurant, and while I haven’t been to all of them (a girl can but dream), they may be right.

thefarm7

Behold the colours, the deep murky green offset bu the brilliant pink. There is something so relaxing about be surrounded by beauty, especially if its natural beauty.

thefarm6You can sit indoors or out – depending on the weather – we were in a separate building especially for Mercedes test drivers.

the farm1Our starter was delicious, tomato tatin with tapenade and goats cheese, thai blue crab cakes, quinoa and camarouge red rice and green papaya salad. I’m a sucker for papayas and this was the perfect balance of super healthy and tasty.

thefarm2Then I chose the organic salmon fillet with parsley sauce and saute veggies. I love salmon, especially smoked salmon – it’s easily my favourite fish and it’s proven it makes you smarter, so all in all, an excellent choice. The vegetables were crisp and the flakes of salmon juiced up with lemon and mmmmmmm.

thefarm3Then we had vanilla cheese cake with fresh berries, which I wasn’t a huge fan of (I’m very picky about cheesecake – my favourite at the moment is from jones the grocer) as it was a bit runny, but the gluten free chocolate delight topped with ice cream was superb.

thefarm12After lunch, we pottered about, talking and admiring the view. Here I am, with my supercool press pass.

thefarm9Then we got back in our A Classes and drove away. Except I made my driving partner take the wheel and had a quick power nap!

If you’re in Dubai – you should definitely check it out. I’ve heard it’s quite busy, so you will need a reservation. I would give it 9/10 easily!

 

IMG_0754

Brunch at Gordon Ramsay’s Opal

Opinion

I’ve been to Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in Bath and London, but otherwise I have dined at no famous name places. I have attended a cooking class at The St Regis Doha with the fabulous Gilles B and dear lord, I hope I didn’t come off as too greedy! It was that delicious.

I’ve been to the St Regis Al Saadiyat and honestly, best experience ever. But I haven’t been to either of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants in Doha.

My friend Katie had an old schoolmate over from Kuwait to visit – and so we went to brunch. Brunch is huge in Doha, which is why we are all huge. Qatar is the fattest nation in the world – which is really sad, but considering the number of people I saw running on the Corniche yesterday, that might be about to change.

So we went to Opal. IMG_0753 IMG_0754 IMG_0755 IMG_0756 IMG_0757 IMG_0758 IMG_0759 IMG_0760 IMG_0761 IMG_0762 IMG_0763It’s QR375 for with alcohol and QR250 for without.

It’s actually a different concept to the usual Doha brunch – it’s not a buffet. Although the W brunch at Market is delicious, there is something very antisocial about brunch. So ordering from a set menu – whatever you want and as much as you want – is preferrable. Except that 10 dishes came at once, both starters and mains, so everything got cold. When I tried someone’s risotto, it had set and congealed. I liked the Eggs Benedict and the smoked salmon…and the crab cake was ok. But the burger was tasteless and about as big as my fingernail! The meat enthusiast of our group ordered several. As for the desserts…well I tried to explain I wanted my crepe without cream sauce because cream makes me feel ill. But it came rolled, full of cream, so I politely asked if I could get a plain crepe. “I will ask the chef if he thinks that is ok,” said the waiter. I don’t want to become the annoying fussy eater, but after drinking sparkling wine, I don’t want any cream. And I was polite, super polite, both times I asked. Anyway, my crepe never showed up, despite requesting it twice. And although we asked for one French toast to share, we got four, and one profiterole, we got four. The French toast was delicious however, so we weren’t complaining.

My other problem with the afternoon is that although it was in a really beautiful setting, it was incredibly windy. In fact, all our drinks fell over and drenched me! Stupid weather, we all thought, until we realised that the open door behind us was creating a wind tunnel as no one else near us was getting blown about. So we closed the door, and told the waitress why we closed it – it wasn’t like anyone was walking through it anyway. But she opened it again. So we sighed and just asked if we could move tables.

I always feel like such a b*tch when complaining about service. But when you’re mopping up wine from your clothes cos someone inadvertently made a wind tunnel and then reopens the wind tunnel when you explain it to them and didn’t so much as hand you an extra napkin…let’s say you’re disappointed. I used to work as a lowly server in a fancy 5 star restaurant, wearing my little white gloves and serving wine etc, I know how tiring and annoying customers can be, with their weird requests, nay, demands! So I’m always very polite, pleasing and thanking and tipping. Also, I don’t blame staff, I blame management. And I feel bad saying anything negative, but it’s not to be mean. It’s constructive criticism – it’s always good to listen to the customer when they ask for food, and I really think they should bring the food over in stages – it’s not like cold mezze, it gets cold. Anyway, no regrets, I’m always happy to try new things.

GOOD PARTS – French toast, the decor, the view, the menu idea and the wine staff
BAD PARTS – Staff who ignore you, so-so food, wind tunnel shenanigans

2/10

george osborne

Banking Bonuses and Greed

Opinion

George Osborne, a man who was actually booed at the Olympics, is going to Brussels to stop his European colleagues from limiting bank traders’ bonuses.

george osborneOne of Osborne’s pearls of wisdom

This enrages me for several reasons. The Tories can cut welfare, social security, threaten the NHS, everything people rely on and actually pay for through their taxes, but god knows, the traders who made a loss of 5 billion quid at the Royal Bank of Scotland last year, and who are subsidised by the UK’s taxes – they deserve large bonuses.

Apparently, if they don’t get large bonuses, then they’re not encouraged to do such a good job. But let’s be honest, losing 5 billion a year warrants a bonus? Of money that is not their own? If they were so good, they wouldn’t have lost such a huge amount of money.

Osborne is going to tell the EU that if the traders don’t get their bonuses, the competitiveness in London will dwindle and banks will make less money, and the banks will have to pay the traders more money in their actual salaries to make them happy.

Two things.

1) To reward actual good working, you should give bonuses to people who actually MAKE money, not LOSE it. You don’t REWARD people for doing a BAD JOB.
2) Why do you need to make traders happy? They’re making no money and the taxpayers of the UK have bailed them out more than once. Why are you giving power to people who make no money?

All in all, traders are going on a system that doesn’t work anymore. It should be about sustainability. This insatiable greed is the cause of the banking crisis, the economic crises – we shouldn’t reward this culture. Life is not about making money. But you know, there is enough money for everyone in the world to have everything they need and most things they want. GREED IS NOT GOOD.

And you know who I want to get big bonuses? Teachers. Nurses. Doctors. Pilots. Scientists. Engineers. Not bankers.

coinsWE ARE THE MEDIA. WE ARE THE PEOPLE.

Government’s are supposed to be afraid of us, not the other way round. And we should support each other, not listen to brainwashing, propaganda, talk of a system that no longer works. I personally don’t understand why we’re listening to stupid white men talk about undeserving poor people, and how we’re all in this together, while they have private fortunes of millions. Osborne has about 4 million quid apparently. Cameron around 150 million.

I’m not against people paying tax. But with the amount that the UK pays tax – it should be able to cover everything it needs. But its down to mismanagement. Does Cameron really need to earn 200,000 a year? Do they really need to waste so much money on useless stuff? Paying bankers bonuses for losing public money?

Frankly, we should be angry.

 

2013-02-19 19.27.31

Shanghai Garden

review

I love Chinese food, but I rarely eat it. Unless, of course, my friend Ranran makes some! But despite the myriad Asian restaurants in the Blessed Peninsula, there aren’t very many Chinese ones. That’s why people were so excited when Hakkasan opened.

Sometimes you want to drink fancy cocktails and feast on dumplings in style, and sometimes you just want to stuff your face. If it’s the latter, then head to City Center Doha, a mall not known for its cuisine.

Then Ranran told me about Shanghai Garden, and how she had low expectations, but their Chinese hot pots were pretty authentic.

Chinese hot pot? I asked.

Yeah, she said. It’s a pot of hot water that you boil meat and vegetables in and kind of make a soup.

Intrigued and hungry, a gang of us headed over there after work. 2013-02-19 19.07.132013-02-19 19.07.182013-02-19 19.07.31I like it inside; kind of kitsch. Reminds me of Chinatown. I’ve never been to China so not sure how authentic it is. But really, all that matters is the food.

2013-02-19 19.20.37The waitress brought over a pot full of water, various vegetables, Chinese figs (which aren’t as sweet as Arabic figs) and whatever made it yellow. Then we waited for it to boil.

2013-02-19 19.27.31As you can see we chose two types of noodles – the glass noodles were so soft and the “hotpot” noodles were tougher, chicken, beef, beansprouts, and lots of vegetables although you can’t see them. we ate a lot, but not all of it. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Lesson learned: less is more.

2013-02-19 19.56.50

We had chosen lots of different sauces to try out, peanut, garlic etc, and then you mix them in your bowl with the noodles and meat. It’s extremely messy! But in a good way. I really enjoyed it and it was delicious. And also pretty cheap! Between the three of us, it cost is QR50 each.

A cool 9/10.

scary baby

Kuwait, We Meet Again

travel

Until the first gulf war, I lived in Kuwait. It was there my parents, who boasted of leading a life of yachts, moonshine and impressively 80s glasses, tried to drown me in a swimming pool. That’s right. They came late to parenting, because “we were just having so much fun and then we had you.” And it was just one of their many attempts to do me in – they left me in a carpet shop in Turkey a year after the pool incident. And this is just the things they have told me about.

scary baby

It has been said that I look like a Vampire Baby. As I’ve not seen Twilight, I’m unable to verify this, but perhaps my parents were scared of me.

So, when I had a chance to visit Kuwait, I jumped on it. But first, I looked out some of my parents’ old photographs.

kuwait street

And of course, one of a dhow.

kuwait yacht

In 2013, over 20 years later, I returned to Kuwait for their first Yacht Show.

kk3

When I arrived, I was accompanied by a mysterious fog. The Missoni Hotel was the most colour I saw in the entire city. It was rather dismal!

k 12kk2

I like the bed cover – although I have to say I’m not a big fan of Missoni – it’s a bit of a one-trick pony in my book.
k 10

Apart from the fact that dancing is illegal in Kuwait (who knew?) the green toilet paper in the hotel was the biggest shock.

k9

Boats are big in Kuwait – everyman and his dog has one. They’re littered about the city. In fact, I saw more boats than people. The marina, unlike the one in Qatar which is slowly filling up, is jam-packed.

k 1

The boat show itself was on the small side – but Kuwait definitely needs one, as they are sea-faring people (as there is nothing much to do in Kuwait other than sailing) and obviously its a big market.

kuwait3

kkk

Boats are cool. They were obviously really chuffed with the Yacht Show, as one government minister was supposed to show up to open it, but in the end five came!

So, conclusions about Kuwait.

  • 1) I think it would be a fun place to live if you have a good group of crazy friends (coughhousepartiescough).
  • 2) This is not a place for a holiday.
  • 3) There are a lot….a lot of malls. The Avenues is 1km long.
  • 4) Although modest, most Kuwaiti women show their faces, which is just as well as they’re very pretty!

 

w6

Lunch at Market

review

w6The number one Business Lunch in town – and the first one I ever had here. When it comes to presentation, the W Hotel always comes out tops – it has the perfect atmosphere and is a firm favourite for brunch. Yesterday, I went for lunch with my friend Katie.

w1

Ginger Ale and Raspberry Fizz – quite steep at QR30 each. Considering the lunch is only QR89, I wish I had chosen a glass of wine instead but darn it, it was lunchtime!

w7Shrimp and avocado salad, dear lord this was yummy. The shrimp is moist and perfectly complemented by the Russian dressing and avocado – a holy trinity if you will. It’s a large salad and deceptively filling.

w3

Katie opted for the famous tomato soup – my editor’s favourite. He gets all dreamy when he talks about it. It came in a metal pot, which I think is a nice touch and also, practical. There is something very theatrical about pouring the soup. You can’t pour your own Moroccan tea…there is something about pouring. Will ponder on this.

w4The finished product. Soup is the perfect thing for these cold and blustery winter days and nights.

w5Katie and I both ordered the cheeseburger – but after the starters we were rather full. The starters at the W are actually my favourite – the burger, although it seemed like a good idea at the time, was a little bit too much for us. I wasn’t massively impressed by the burger, as I thought it was a bit bland, but then, I’m not a big burger fan at the best of times. The chips were nice and fluffy on the inside, but after the salad I was done.

As for desert, I was tempted by the cheesecake, but of course, we both had to go for the takeaway cookies. This is perhaps the greatest business lunch idea ever. Two of which I scoffed while waiting for the bill (because I am greedy and they were quite busy so it took a while) and the chocolate chunk cookie was the best. It was heavenly, a perfect blend of cookie and chocolate, which was not too sweet, but nice and chewy. The peanut butter one melted in my mouth, but it was all sugar and 20 minutes later I had no energy and was on a sugar low. The third I gifted to my boss and lasted a second.