Saturday, 16 December 2006

Thursday Night in Kuwait

I needed to get some cat food, toilet rolls and green beans. I decided to wait until evening when it was cooler than the 100+F during the day.

Walking out of my building at 8pm I was debating whether to go by car because the items might be heavy but it is a short walk. When I saw how long the traffic queue was to get through the traffic lights down the road I decided to walk. I estimated that it would take about 15 light changes to get through the lights. The lights are on red for 3 minutes and green for 1 minute. Each road has it’s own light here eliminating problems for those who want to turn across the traffic. That calculates to 1 hour to get through the lights and then I would have to queue to get a parking place and the queue was static waiting for cars to come out.

To get to the shop I was going to, called City Centre, I would have to go up to nearly the lights and do a U turn and come back to the shop.

probably got home having done all my shopping (having walked there and back) before I would have even got into the shop had I taken the car.

Thursday night is equivalent to Saturday morning in Britain as far as shopping goes but it is more than that. It is a family night so all the family (and many are big) are out filling the trolley and browsing the shops. Pushchairs are not common here, mainly used by ex-pats. Babies are held in arms and it is lovely to see them all. This goes on until late at night. One night I was in the store at nearly midnight (it shuts everyday at 1am) and was shocked to see the children that were there.

There is only one family living in my block of one bed-roomed flats and they are in the smallest apartment on the ground floor where the bedroom and living room is combined. There is a toddler and a newborn baby. We see the toddler quite a bit now just hanging around the entrance hall and lift. I have never seen her with a toy. Maybe I should get her one. (However when I got toys for a Liberian friend’s children when they were staying in England as the father was on a course for his job, the toys were all put away and didn’t appear to be played with.) Mum sits with the baby talking to the Harras. The Harras is the person who is supposed to clean the communal areas, empty the bins on each landing and act as security.