Mia wrote about what she loved about New York, her home city. Don, the Kuwaiti Chopper Dude wrote nostalgically about his time in the States. Those two posts got me thinking and inspired me to think where my favorite place is. I lived in different countries, had extended vacations in others. My most favorite place would be Kuwait for a lot of different reasons.
Kuwait is the hottest inhabited place in the world. I like the Kuwait Summer heat. I like how we build our houses, shopping malls and offices to stand such heat. You hear about the heat wave happening in Europe and other parts of the world where people are suffering because of 30 C and above temperature. Over here in Kuwait temperatures easily and regularly reach 60 C and everyone goes about their daily business. All the houses and buildings have thick concrete walls, insulating windows with optional shutters, and heavy duty over-engineered air conditioning units cooling the house to North Pole levels. Car shades and underground parking are very common. We in Kuwait are equipped and ready for the hot future. Kuwait is ready for global warming.
If you are a car aficionado, you hear about new exotic cars where only 500 have been built and no more. You memorize the specifications; admire the sleek lines showing the cars in glossy magazines or web pages. All you need to do is drive down the Gulf Road and you will find two of these exclusive cars driving right next to you. You might even know the driver or even be the driver of these flash cars.
In other countries, not everyone has a mobile. Most of the connected populace own basic functional mobiles that make calls, receive calls and do not care for the new features such as Bluetooth, color display and high resolution camera available in higher end models. A lot of Gadget web sites swoon over the latest mobile designs that are expected for release in the States during the next six month. Kuwait is Mobile heaven. Walk into any mobile store in Kuwait and find the latest mobiles displayed in six different colors. Everyone proudly carries the latest mobile that can take pictures, make video calls, hold your music collection and play different arcade games. Mobiles owners in Kuwait change their mobiles as soon as new models come out and Mobile shops happily oblige you by taking your old mobile and a little cash and handing you the latest model.
In Kuwait, you can live in your car without the need to step out of it. Need sustenance like falafel sandwiches, chicken Shawarma or hamburgers, just park your car in front of the restaurant and honk your horn once. Within seconds a waiter would be standing at your car door taking your order. Got a chocolate craving, park near a baqala, honk the horn and the shopkeeper will happily deliver to you your Twix bar or Kinder egg.
If you do not feel like driving, just pick up the phone; order almost anything from Sushi dinner to an exercise bike. A few minutes later, someone will be ringing your doorbell with the ordered goods. A lot of these services are even 24 hours. So if you feel like having your favorite Hamburger meal like Hardees at 3AM, just call, you don't even need to remember what your favorite meal is, the Hardees operator already knows what you like and will send it over in twenty minutes.
Do you like extreme sports like making your car do things it was not designed to do like driving sideways or pirouettes, or do you like being a spectator? Well, ask around and someone will guide you to a deserted parking lot where the local daredevils gather to show off their driving skills after midnight.
Ramadan is my favorite time of the year especially in Kuwait. All of a sudden, the country transforms for one lunar month from living in the daylight to starting your day after sunset. Shops, malls and restaurants are all open till just before dawn. Houses are open to greet different guests. Working hours are shortened; television bombards you with new serials and comedies. Family visits increase, people get together with relatives and friends. Ramadan is a spiritual month where you remember your creator and pray till dawn and contemplate your life and your future.
The blog community in Kuwait is amazing. You have monthly get togethers (I always wanted to go but every time I plan to some urgent matter happens, but I hope to soon). There is a sense of virtual camaraderie. You build mental pictures of different bloggers and you might even understand those bloggers better than their actual best friends. There is also an unwritten etiquette that is followed that I rarely find in other blogs. Kuwaiti bloggers take the time to answer comments that people put on their blogs even if the comment count goes into double digits. The discussions and posts vary from the trivial, the humorous, to deep and life affecting. All the Kuwaiti blogs are aggregated and collected in Safat, my favorite virtual diwaniyah where we can all happily diwaniyate.(credits go to D&G for this word)
The driving here is wonderful. Where else in the world can you overtake cars from the right, pass through red lights, dive into roundabouts and see if your car can reach the speed of light and survive to tell the tale. I know I might complain about bad driving but thank God for inefficient and relaxed traffic police, if the police where slightly more active we would all be in debt paying off our accumulated tickets. If you do get a ticket, you can easily talk the nice police officer out of giving you the ticket.
Food, glorious food. Food is something you will never run out of here in Kuwait. People are trying to feed you in any which way possible. At work people bring food over and invite everyone. Your neighbors at home send food to your doorstep. Your immediate family, sends you more food. Weddings serve generous buffets. At any conference, seminars or get together, food is mandatory. The food is not little pieces of dry biscuits and instant coffee. The food served ranges from lovingly prepared home meals to sumptuous 5 Star hotel buffets. All are invited, no one is turned back.
Kuwait is small, meaning you can get from one place to another in less than thirty minutes with low traffic. With a lot of cars crowding the roads, you can easily take a few shortcuts and drive on the emergency lane or pavement, reaching your destination in less than forty minutes tops. Our friendly police officers will not give you a ticket because if you are in a uryy, you must have a really good excuse and the police are very understanding. The only damage might be your car suspension.
Kuwait is a country with a big coastline. The Arabian Gulf sea is one of the most beautiful sights. You might not have the millions needed to own beach property but you know someone that does. You can enjoy having a barbecue at the beach at your rich friends / relative / brother / sister, etc. house. Koot Mall has a wonderful starbucks with a glass wall facing the sea.
Kuwait is the land of Rumors, where rumors quickly become the truth, they are the news. Hearing rumors you can make a killing on the stock market which is rumor driven, or get complete information about someone. Your rumor channels include your mobile, SMS and diwaniyas.
So, Kuwait is my favorite place, where is yours?