- Kuwait Times Extra
Everything in Kuwait moves slowly, yet time seems to fly by. Most of us here are aware that our time in this country will eventually come to an end, but you are never truly prepared for that moment. I am getting ready to move to the US in the next few weeks to do my master’s degree. As my time in Kuwait draws to an end, I can’t help but be surprised and baffled at how fast the years have come and gone.
Looking back at my six years in Kuwait, I realize that I have learnt a lot about the Kuwaiti culture and society. On the other hand, there will be many aspects that I will miss. As popular as it is to slam the lifestyle here, it was the perfect fit for me. I loved the laid-back, almost island-like attitude that exists here, which is accompanied by a feeling of ‘anything is possible’.
Seeing that shopping and eating are the national pastimes, I have become a professional at both. Thanks to years of practice, I have become a better shopper, honing my bargain-hunting skills. I have also broadened my culinary horizons by trying a variety of restaurants with authentic Kuwaiti creations; I have also stretched out my stomach with the massive meals I have had here, not to mention the few extra pounds I put on.
I will miss valet-parking my car anywhere and never having to pump my own gas. I will miss the Kuwait weather, with its 363 days of sun and two days of rain that end up causing floods. I will miss Kuwait’s short ‘winters’ and even its sandstorms. I will miss wasta and how it has simplified my life in a variety of ways. I will miss how timings and schedules are lose and sometimes optional. I will miss the Kuwaiti dinar and the fact that it’s the highest currency in the world; converting to other currencies was always fun.
There are some aspects that have deteriorated here in Kuwait, the most obvious being my driving. In keeping with Kuwait’s unwritten rules of the road, I usually ignored minor details like speed limits and stop signs (well minor in Kuwait anyways). My driving will have to regress back to its original ‘follow the regulations’ style it was at before driving in Kuwait. My energy levels have also dropped, due to valet parking, tea boys and lack of public transportation taking, I can officially be classified in the lazy category.
But all-in-all I have enjoyed the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the parliamentary grillings and national day celebrations. I have enjoyed learning about a different culture and all the sub-cultures that exist within it. Kuwait, you will be missed.
By Sawsan Kazak
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