We left Thursday afternoon, as soon as we were all done with classes. By we, it was Irfan, Sarah and myself. We flew on AirArabia again (the budget airline, only costed $150 round trip!) from Sharjah International Airport (literally only a hop, skip and a jump away from campus). The flight was only an hour and a half but because of the time difference and arriving a bit early, it only took 15 minutes relative time. Cool, huh? So we got there and took a taxi to the hotel. Instead of having running meters, they have fixed prices for everything, which was different, but not bad. We went to check in but had some problems because someone *cough*Irfan*cough* lost his wallet the day before. Don't worry, he got it back a few days later (with everything inside! Gotta love that about this country) So they had to get some approvals to charge his card without him actually having it, but it gave us a chance to sit down, have some coffee and just relax before we went out.
So everything settled and we got to our rooms. They were pretty nice and had a beautiful view. Too bad the windows were incredibly dirty.
That night we just walked around the street we stayed on. We picked that hotel because of its location. There was a lot of stuff within walking distance and a lot of people out just enjoying the weather.
The next day was our only full day there, so we did the few touristy things there were to do in the country. We started at Kuwait Towers. They are three pointy towers with a big ball on the end. One is a restaurant another is an observation deck and we're not sure what the other was. That was pretty cool, it had a really great view. The water looks incredible from up there.
Then we went to Marina Mall. It's apparently a big attraction? All the tour books said to go there. So we walked around there, ate some food, walked around the marina, then headed back to the hotel because it was so dang hot. Irfan's friend, Fatima came to hang out with us later. She picked us up from the hotel and took us to a place called the Chocolate Bar. The name alone makes it sound like my kind of place. The food was excellent and do I even need to describe the desert?? We kind of rolled out of the mall and back into her car. Talk about a sugar crash!
The Chocolate Bar was is The Avenue's mall, another attraction the tour books recommended. Now that we've done everything everyone recommends, we had another half of a day before we had to go back to the airport. So the three of us, Fatima, her two friends, and their visiting friend (so 3 Americans, 1 German, 1 Kuwaiti, and 2 Canadians) had brunch at (yet another) recommended restaurant then went to the Kuwait Aquarium.
They should have called it the zoo and aquarium since the first half was all desert animals. I was quite confused when I didn't see any fish for quite a while. The place was really nice. Saw some really cool animals that you definitely can't find in the states. Luckily this place let you take pictures, unlike the one in Sharjah.
By this time it was just about time to head back to the airport and go back to Sharjah. We said goodbye to our new friends and parted ways.
Kuwait was overall a pretty cool place to visit. Definitely not something I could do for longer than a weekend, though. Not much to do there and it doesn't flaunt their money. Yes, they have tons of it. But you wouldn't know it based on what Kuwait City looks like. There aren't flashy cars, or huge unnecessary high rise buildings. It had a nice feel to it though. Another safe gulf country with lots of oil money.
That was pretty uneventful till we got on the plane. I was rummaging around the gift shops since I didn't buy anything that says Kuwait when they made the first call for our flight. Sarah went ahead and got on while Irfan waited for me. By the time we got on, there were people sitting in the wrong seats all over the place. Sarah was sitting in our row with two random women. They finally moved and we got our seats when all of a sudden there is yelling coming from two or 3 rows behind us. There was a Khaliji woman sitting in an Indian woman's seat. As soon as I saw that, I knew it was going to be bad. The Khaliji woman was with either one or two others, but since they were behind me and not saying much, I couldn't really tell. The Indian woman was there with her two small children. The seats belonged to the Indian family, but the flight attendant tried to separate the three of them just so the plane could take off. The women was yelling that she had paid for those seats and was not going to be separated from her children (she had every right to be upset). The arab woman kept refusing to move and couldn't understand why the family couldn't just go somewhere else. It started to escalade. The Indian woman was yelling about her lack of intelligence and asked how she's so stupid that she can't even read her ticket and even went so far as to say "you might have money, but I have brains!"Finally the flight attendants convinced the Arabs to move to their right seats and the Indian family took their appropriate seats. That wasn't the end of it, though. Throughout the whole flight people were yelling in Arabic. I couldn't understand most of it, but I'm assuming most was directed towards her (not that she could understand it either). I was so happy when we landed, I just wanted the yelling to stop!
As much as I hate to say it, that whole fiasco pretty much sums up the attitude between ethnicities. It's kind of sad, but it's what I've observed over the past four months.
Now its time for our last week of classes! Alhumdulah! Next week is finals, then a few days later, I'm coming home!
Khalas! That's all for now!