Saturday, 13 October 2012

First Dates and Polish Pancakes

So, after the deep, heavy and, essentially, extremely depressing nature of my last post ("The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth":, I want to revert back to focusing on living in Kuwait because I cannot dwell too long on such thoughts. As C.S. Lewis wrote, "God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them." (Mere Christianity). So, let's move on, shall we?

This weekend was a busy one. Thursday after work, I somehow managed to take my sad and sorry self to Baan Sabaidee, the Thai restaurant that a few co-workers and I decided to try out. Well, here it is, folks, my first lukewarm review. I mean, it had to happen at some point, right??? I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. That's where I made my mistake: I had high expectations even though I didn't personally know anyone who'd ever eaten there. Sorry, co-workers!!! It wasn't that it was horrible. The ambiance was nice, I had some amazing tea (it was a bright rusty orange colour and tasted like vanilla-flavoured, African rooibos tea), and the food was good. So why didn't it win us over? Was it just that we were all tired from the work week? I don't know. None of us LOVED the place though :(  My wonderful Polish flatmate, the Irish chef and the Serbian gentleman and I were in attendance and, despite our mixed feelings about the restaurant, we had a great time. We were all tired, so laughter was-obviously-on the menu. The largest party in the whole restaurant, we definitely were the most rowdy bunch. One thing to note, I didn't see an Arab walk through the door. Curious. I hope that that's not customary, since there were some really great features to the place, like the dessert! Also, the gentlemen ordered a fish plate that was to die for! So really, not bad overall, but not a place I'd go to over and over and over again. Ben Thanh, in London, Ontario (Canada) has ruined me for life!!! If you're ever in London, check it out:

I have to admit that I was completely wiped out Thursday night. I've done the ultimate and braved going out walking for exercise here. I wasn't sure how it would go over, but it turns out that if, at 7:30am, you wear tight leggings (because it's so sandy here that you physically can't walk in anything else, except shorts, a no-no in my opinion!), a baseball cap with a brim that you can hide your eyes with and loud enough music, the walk is very pleasant! I have walked for the last three days now and it's incredible!!! I LOVE walking and have been quite consistent with the distance I walk. Sadly, I can't walk as far as I would normally walk in Canada because of the heat and the dry air, but it's a very good workout! I'm a sweaty mess when I get back to the apartment (EEEEEWWWWW! GROSS!!!). I know it's gross to be so sweaty, but I swear I can't help it; I get it from dad! Have you EVER seen him after he's played basketball outside in the summer?!? Yeah, I rest my case. In regards to the hat, it protects me from getting heat stroke and dealing with seeing the drivers drive past me (on Coastal Road. I walk against the flow of traffic, mostly to prevent someone from hitting me). My ipod, ingenious holder of music, makes exercising bearable with a variety of tunes that not only make me happy, but give me a beat to walk to (although I usually walk to the beat of my own drum!). Walking without music is unfathomable. Life without music would be torturous. It's nice not to be able to hear cars honking at you. I think my appearance is quite unappealing when I'm exercising, hahaha!  It's not the most vigorous exercise, but I know that I'll add to it soon and tailor it to fit my needs.

It's a good thing I've taken up exercising again since I don't stop eating! My Polish flatmate has been feeling homesick and wanted to make traditional, sweet Polish pancakes (similar to Dutch pancakes if you know anything about Dutch pancakes). On Friday we went to Al Kout to go to the grocery store and market to pick-up everything we needed. We invited people over to share in the fun! On top of pancakes, she made apple sauce from scratch (and did quite a fine job!). We cut up peaches, plums, fresh dates (This is the FIRST TIME I've eaten FRESH dates! Fresh dates do NOT taste like dried dates! I also learned that when fresh dates begin to naturally "go bad," they become the sweet, dried dates that we would get in Canada! It's awesome!!! I LOVE DATES! Sorry for going off on that tangent), and even splurged by buying some chocolate syrup! We had fresh lemons cut as well, just in case people wanted to be more adventurous, and if not, we made sure we had some honey! There were four of us and we just ate and ate until we couldn't move! We chatted all afternoon over coffee and tea and had a blast. I literally couldn't move for hours after everyone left. I went to bed early only to wake up early, go for a walk and then have breakfast with the Irish chef while my Polish flatmate went to yoga. It was a quiet afternoon as I worked like mad and then made phone calls to Canada (I love you, gtalk!). Although I have a fridge full of food, I just couldn't be bothered to cook and treated myself to Indian food for lunch from the place downstairs. Unfortunately, I came home to more work.

This week, although a relatively easy week, is jam-packed as I prep the students for their first exam on Thursday. The following week is completely dedicated to their oral presentations and then on the 23rd I am off for FIVE WHOLE DAYS for Eid al-Adha! Wooohooo!!! I have absolutely NO PLANS, but who cares?!? I might just pack some books and sit on the beach (just down the street *BIG smile*), or relax with my morning coffee and the newspaper along the waterfront of Marina Mall...I think I might do some "Christmas" shopping for Emi and dad. Since I won't be home for Christmas (I can't talk about it right now, I'm still upset by this news), I bet by the time I figure out how the heck to mail things they'll get to Canada just in time for the holidays. That was no joke about figuring out the postal system here. It was only last week that I found somewhere that faxes internationally AND was able to get the bank to set-up international bank transfers. No comment.

Can you believe it's the middle of October and I've been in Kuwait for a month and a half??? Time is a-flyin'!  Below is another reminder of the importance of perseverance. I need to put this one on a sticky note and slap it on my forehead so I don't forget ;)
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4, NIV, the Bible


  1. Hey, there should be a mailing section at your university that will be able to handle all your snail mail. I work at KU and the mailing section sends out my greeting cards, couriers and parcels for me and I just pay for the postage. Though, I'm not sure if they're just doing this as a favour, but its worth a shot. I dont know what I would do if I wasn't working here as I have no idea where the nearest Post Office is! lol

    1. Hi Layla,
      Thank you for the advice. I'll have to check with the university, but honestly, I'd rather just do it myself that way I know for sure it goes out with the post. I'm going to try FedEx as well, but I'm sure that'll cost me! Yesterday, my students told me where the nearest post office is, but it doesn't seem like it's even a postal outlet, but rather a business centre...It's such a difficult process, lol!!!

  2. The Beach sounds like a good plan to me. I would love to see pics etc of the sea. I can send you pics of Calgary and their snow. LOL. Keep on eating you make me hungry every time I check in to see what you are up to. Seems not fair for me not to keep a blog for your benefit but Hey... work no play these days.

    1. hi leah!

      yes, the beach IS a good idea :) i have friends who literally live right across the street from a great beach with basketball courts, parks, grass and benches. i think we're going to plan for a picnic soon! as for snow...well, i'll be missing that soon!!! i just might ask you to post those pics on fb for me!