Persain Gulf

Trip Start Aug 19, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Kuwait  ,
Saturday, August 20, 2005

After nearly 18 or so numbing hours in the air and traveling, we had pretty uneventful flights. The only crisis encountered was running out of my favorite smints.
We were subjected to many hours of classic disney cartoons like Pluto and Daffy Duck, and mid-flight movies like "flubber" with Robin Williams. Okay, I admit to liking the cartoons. Mike on the other hand chose to sleep through most them. Mike gave me a crash course on the Arabic laungage and I read my laugage books. The man in front of me felt entitled to impose on my knees by cocking the seat into horozintal as soon as the plane took off. I tried to reclaim my territory by coughing in his direction but he had either selective hearing or had fallen asleep. Anyhow,it's a long couple of flights to be cramped like a sardine.
Upon arrving to Kuwait, we hurried off the plane to get to the passport and visa area. I needed a visa for 3 days, but they only come in 30 days, which is fine becuase it was free and not the $70 I had expected to pay. I knew the instant I got off the plane I was in a different world. We then went to the luggage area. The soldier waved me through to the front of the customs line and Mike was in the very end so I went to look for our luggage. I spotted one of Mikes pieces coming around on the belt. I attempted to lift it off, and to my suprise dropped it back onto the belt becuase I was being yelled and barked at. About 5 or so official looking Indians dressed like hotel bell boys were shaking their heads at me and pulling Mike's luggage off of the belt where I had dropped it. I tried to take it from them, but they wouldn't let me. By this time I could see Mike rushing towards us and he did not look happy. He yelled at the Indians in Arabic and they ran off to go find another person to bother. He explained that they come here from India desperate for work, and try to handle your luggage for tips. Once they get ahold of a piece of luggage, apparently they are very aggressive and won't let go until they are paid!! But Mike scared them off.
Mike showed me around the airport a little bit and then we headed off to take a taxi. If you have never been to Kuwait, let me explain something. The heat here is unimaginable. The moment we set foot out of the air-conditioned airport onto the street, Mike looked over at me to see my reaction. It was like someone had turned a giant hairdryer on, or like stepping into an oven. The heat is so solid and heavy and intense.
We then took a taxi for a half hour into central Kuwait, where the downtown area is. I saw alot of interesting buildings and houses on the way. We stayed at a place called Ghandis palace. Mike took me to some of the malls and to starbucks (they have quite a few of starbucks) and we went out to dinner for some authentic Kuwaitian food. During the evening we would venture out and run errands around Kuwait, going to shopping malls and grocrey stores. EVERYTHING is closed from 1 in the afternoon until 5pm because it is so hot, and then opens back up from 5pm to 10pm.
From the saftey of being indoors, I saw a sandstorm. It comes in from the dessert and slowly descends over the city, like a dust storm in Eastern Oregon. It was kind of eery!
The following day, the flight to go to Lebanon was at 9:30 pm so we had a day to get things done before flying off to meet my inlaws. I still could not find a convertor for my hairdryer (by this time, my hair was looking crazy) so we found a hairstylist to do my hair for me. She was located in the Ghandi palace next to Armani clothes store. It was literaly a hole in the wall, and she had one mirror and one sink. She spoke only arabic no english so Mike helped me to ask for the style I wanted. I was very nervouse to have her do my hair but she was great, I watched her techniques and they are similar to my own. In the end, my hair had never looked better. It was shiny and straight! The cost of the shampoo and blow out was only $15 and she refused to take a tip, I don't know why.
I enjoyed my visit to Kuwait becuase I was with Mike. I saw alot of things I have only imagined and learned alot about the country.
It was a great experience, however one or two days is more than enough for me and I was happy to get out of there. I don't think I would ever like to return. The men STARE like they have never seen a women before (mainly becuse most of the women are covered head to toe)even when I was with Mike. I hated that. The heat is simply unbearable.
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