Mall Culture

 

Week 3…

we learn the coin system

get yelled at by a cab driver

finally “hit the mall”

find Ikea

still love dates

…still no camel milk (despite seriously legitimate efforts)

Having no car still gets to us, but we are trying to remember it’s temporary and that it would take some serious guts to drive here. We are just very grateful that Peter helps us to/from clinic most days. We have some driver’s numbers now but we are still not sure what appropriate prices are and still mastering the craft of negotiation. Here’s to contributing to the local work force ūüôā

Kuwait is  in full swing in preparation for national day. Not only are there flags and lights  everywhere, it is apparently a thing to wear national day shirts, dresses, one pieces, scarves, hats, etc.  as the day approaches. This is a big year as it is the 25th anniversary of liberation. Sadly, we will not be in town for the actual day but we are sure getting a feel for it!

This weekend our mission was to tackle some¬†malls. It sounds silly but that is an accurate description and a big part of the culture here. Plus we actually needed to scout out a few shops for real life things. We had wanted to take some pictures at Souk Sharq and see the old wooden fishing boats and the fish market. The mall was actually much smaller than it looks from the outside but of course it was¬†¬†equipped with many familiar establishments. Not seeing anything of interest we decided to spend more time seeing the boats and fish market. At 3 pm on Fridays they have an auction. It is for big quantities of fish so you go earlier for small purchases. I was prepared to have lots of fish pushed at me as I’ve experienced in many other markets but this one was quite civilized. It has proper stands and was pretty spacious. Vendors were happy to oblige when I asked to take photos. There was only one guy who wanted us to hold a¬†shrimp but he accepted sticking with a photo. Quite honestly I don’t think they get a lot of tourists at this market. But¬†quite honestly, we can’t say we’ve seen tourists pretty much anywhere. Maybe we will see some when we tackle the national museum or our mosque tour. Anyways, we did stay to see the auction. We were hoping for a grander announcement or something epic but it seemed like more of a negotiation. There were definitely some very official people walking about amid the fisherman but we didn’t want to get too in the middle of things and kept to the outskirts since we clearly did not belong or know what was happening. It was kind of fascinating though to see these baskets and tarps of fish laid out to be bartered over.

 

Our next big event was heading to the Avenues. We were supposed to head here with Shebina a couple weekends ago but spent too much time at the souk instead. I’m glad we had her expertise in the souk over the mall, but also glad we finally made it. Can’t say we found everything we hoped but we found all kinds of stuff! This place is huge! It’s so big the different sections are called phases. We were only in phase 3 but it was more than enough for us. It was the newest section equipped with an annex equivalent to 5th ave. I mean a mere section of the mall is an Ikea. Most of the goods and shops were things we are used to from home, perhaps not in Durham, but at least from other places across the states. I was ecstatic to find a Rice to Riches which I’ve only ever seen in NYC and is my favorite! I wish we had found the traditional souk section a little earlier because there would have been some cool places to hang out for coffee but we were pretty overloaded at that point and we were disappointed because two leads on camel milk had failed us. There’s not a whole much detail to share, just the experience of observing and being observed in such a populated environment. Friday night is where it’s at. We were just so spent after about 7 hours of the excitement, walking on tiles, being stared at, and all of the smells…

 

 

Bonus: Photos from Shebina from our tour with her…see we really did get fed dates

 

 

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