My Favorite Place in the Whole World

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?


  1. Thanks to this woderful post I'll be adding Kuwait to my travel dream list. Now I wanna go and get some sidewalk service.

  2. i agree

    thanks for reminding us how lucky we are

  3. Nice post!

    You forgot a couple of things though:

    First... Kuwait Starbucks is the best Starbucks in the world. I've had Starbucks in Dubai, England, New York, Boston, Texas and San Francisco... and the best Starbucks (food & drink) is right here baby!

    Second... We are perfectly positioned geologically in such a way that the worst natural disaster we could get is the dust storm! No volcanoes, no earthquakes, no hurricanes, no tornadoes... nothing il 7amdilla. And also, I'm convinced that the movie The Day After Tomorrow is actually gonna happen one day and if you'll notice in their projections, kuwait is one of the safest places! We'll have San Francisco weather if that ever happens!!

    My favorite place though, is New York City! I love it. So many exciting things to do! So many things to see! It is the city that never gets old.. I love it! :D

    and I love this post ;)

  4. Wallah ya Don Veto sa7 ilsanik.
    O ive always said that kuwait is my most favorite place in the world.
    I love ur optimistc outlook & how u turned many things that ppl consider bad things in Kuwait into good things.

    Thank you for this post :*

  5. That was a beautiful post about our beautiful country. Not many stop complaining long enough to appreciate living here. Thank you for reminding me to take some time and look around to enjoy Kuwait. Unfortunately there are many bent on polluting and destroying it but we who love Kuwait are going to be fighting for it to the end.

  6. You're absolutely right. We should all take a moment and count our blessings.

  7. I'll count my blessings that I can live pretty much wherever I please. But my fav places in the world are: Malta, Southern Spain and Puerto Rico.

  8. mia: you are always welcome.

    anon: al7amdulila

    krispy: I shortened the post because I did not want to bore everyone but there are more things unique to Kuwait like koot bu 6 tournaments in the diwaniyas, smoking sheesha on soor street, and more and more, maybe I will write a part 2 someday.

    delicate: welcome, also. Bad or good is just someone's perspective.

    teller: I am happy you liked this post, this is my way of thanking you for all your wonderful posts on your blog.

    adorra: amen

    qc: each place in the world has its own charm, you just need to know where to look.

  9. What a beautiful post!

    I have to admit, right now, Kuwait is my favorite place. I was in love the moment I stepped off of the plane.

    I'm looking forward to experiencing Ramadan here too.

    Oh, and chicken Shawarma!!! I had one for the first time last weekend, and oh my gosh it was good.

    BTW, thanks for your comments on my blog.

    I always appreciate the insight.

  10. Great post about Kuwait, Don Veto!

    There is a lot to be grateful for, sometimes we lose track of that by tryign to focus more on things we could improve.

  11. A bit more to add about Kuwait:

    - The government is generous like this 200 we're gonna get :P

    - No taxes

    - You can find food as cheap as 100 or 50 fils ( 30 cents?) - falafil/foul sandwitches etc

    - Actually, food is generally cheaper - chocolates, chips, and WATER!

    - But you can also find all the fancy, more expensive stuff

    - You can go to Marina mall and witness a comedy/freak show watching those teenagers and the way they dress

    - No homeless people

    - You have a starbucks, fir3 or jam3ia, salon, and restraunt at every corner

    - You can have your stabucks any way you want without hearing "excuse me?" and "what do you mean" caramel inside outside, extra thick, ice blend the juice, etc

    - You in the mood for italien, or iranian, american, indian, etc - there's always a place to go

    - We got the best out of both worlds, east and west ( all of the west :P ) You want chocolate, you can have those emarati ones, cabdurry, nestle and all those UK ones, and you can also get your Hershey's and Reese's peanut butter cups! Same with chips, juices, biscuits, etc.

    -You like those chocolates they don't sell in your local co-op, there are always those small shops selling them for a bit more money, you find them in "ma3areth" or you cna always ask about those people who bring some back form their trips and sell em


    - The people always complain about nothing to do, you ask them what they'd be doing if they were elsewhere, they'd mention the same things offered here :P Sij people here maya3jib-hom il 3ajab :P

    - ALL the gov schools have exactly the same uniform, all the american schools wear navy and white, and all the English schools have proper uniforms either green or red :P You have to admit for such an unorganized country, this is pretty organized :P

    - Only here would people actually go all the way to the aiport only to have a cup of coffee :P

    - When something's "in" you CANNOT miss it, EVERYONE would be having/wearing it

    - Pirated cheap just realesed DVDs :P

    - Really cheap pirated computer softwares

    - Cheap labor, hence getting your computer fixed would be cheap, or your TV fixed or programmed, or the guys who fix the ac, - the carpenters etc

    - Only in kuwait would the average household have domestic helpers, a cook and a driver

    - only in kuwait would there be that many cars per household :P

    - Only in Kuwait we have Co-ops! :) One in every area ( man6iqa) and even though they're small, you stil have a fir3 in every block

    - The parliment elections are pretty interesting, speaches in huge tents where water and juices are served, and then a huge buffet. Its a mix of realy interested in poilitics, have nothing better to do, 6imasha and gez

    - The jam3a elections, the most BS thing in existance, 6imasha nevertheless, speicific days to visit which koleeya to see the "happenings"

    - You want Kuwait's own fashion show every day from 8 am - 2 pm? Business college in Kuwait University

    - Most people are bilingual ( almost - atleast more than eymashoon 7al-hom) and a lot are picking up a third language

    - We're pretty good with geography :P We know we don't live in tents, and we know people in the west aren't red indians, or still don't dress in those huge gowns with those hats and umbrellas :P

    - Wherever you go during summer, you'll have to bump into Kuwaitis :P London, paris, spain, or even places like Malasia, singapore, germany, australia, etc. Really, no matter where you go!

    - We're very in tune with both the east and west

    - Even when you crave cookies or cakes, there are these people who make them at home and send em to you, so you don't need to leave your hosue :P

    -Gaaaimat and knafa in ramadan!

    - We have all these shops selling one thing all with almost the same names, kanafchi, kanafani, and i don't know what the rest are

    - Only here would you attend a "concert" in an ice skating rink :P

    That's what I can think of, I'm sure there are many more :P

    As for my favorite place, I don't have one. I appreciate what each place has to offer.

  12. Oooh one more thing!

    - Gas is cheap and you don't have to fill up your car yourself, you can be a complete bum and let someone else fill it up for you :P

  13. Forgot:

    -free healthcare
    -free education

    Both might not be the best, but lets acknowledge the effort and advantages. People with high blood pressure and diabetes get free meds which is amazing really

    They even have cars going around with nurses to give the elderly their diabetes shots everyday FOR FREE :)

    Whenever we have something trivial, like the cold, flu, headache, backache whatever, you go to the local mostaw9if and get your free meds

    - Sports clubs, you want soccer, tennis, volleyball, handball, swimming, etc, they're either free or for a VERY small fee, im not too sure. But ya, kids and guys ( girls?) can enjoy sports for almost free :P

    Okay wayid sihta6ait lol

  14. wow dishevelled, like you said, lots of good stuff about Kuwait. We usually take it for granted but if we look around, we can't find this anywhere else in the world.

  15. is it still so wonderful in Kuwait. Now being May 2009, are you still saying it's the best place to live???

    Just wondering if it's true. I would love to visit or live there if it's so...

  16. Well...this post may have come out a little bit too late since we are in 2010!
    fair enough...Kuwait is an awesome place...agreed!but to what extent?most of the guys or women who replied to this post are locals (nationals) of Kuwait...Most of you'll have not seen the life on the other side.
    Sorry, but i have lived in Kuwait my whole life,i was born in Kuwait, I studied in Kuwait, my Family is in Kuwait and i owe my life to Kuwait.
    But life in Kuwait is hard if you are an expatriate...Most locals treat expats (Indians,Egyptians Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and so on) like dirt...Well,i will not go into detail because i also love this country...
    I am right now in Australia and reading what Don_Veto said just reminded me that there's always two sides to a coin and the ironic part is that if you do not have "Coin", there is pretty much almost nothing you can do in Kuwait!

    sorry, just trying to put in an outsiders perspective of what Kuwait is behind the curtains...