Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kuwait, here we come!!!

So you should all know by now that in Summer 2014 we will be moving to Kuwait. Many have asked what my thoughts are on this and I can tell you – it’s mixed emotions for me. But I had mixed emotions coming to Bangkok too and we love it here. This is a different kind of mixed emotions though. So I will tell you what I have learned so far about our next posting and how this will impact us.

First, as a woman I cannot go out alone at night. I have to either go out with a male escort or a group of friends. I have heard it is just not safe for a woman alone at night. I have not heard what will happen to me if I do – for now my imagination is just running wild with ideas.

Second, as a woman, I have to partly cover up. I do not have to wear a burka or abaya or any other type of head covering. But I cannot show my knees, shoulders or elbows. This means either capri’s or long pants on the bottom and for the top a sleeve long enough to cover my elbows. Did I mention it gets as hot as 120 degrees there? I guess now would be a good time to mention that!!! The local women all wear full burka’s though. But as a Westerner I am not expected to do that – thank goodness! While it would definitely make deciding what to wear each day a LOT easier, I can only imagine how hot those burka’s are in that heat!

Our housing options will be on compound in a small confining townhouse or off compound in a nearly 8,000 square foot single family home. We’ve been told it is like a palace. Living on the compound you have more security, as there are some serious security checks to go through to get on the embassy compound. But we have also been told it is perfectly safe to live off compound. The Kuwaiti’s supposedly love American’s so we are safe there.

While everyone swears we are so safe there, I gotta worry still because the neighbors there are bad juju to me. Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia – need I say anymore? There is nothing to do there apparently. This is going to be a HUGE change from Bangkok where there is ALWAYS something to do right there in the city. And if you are tired of city life you just hop on a one-hour flight to one of the islands or neighboring countries. Well, there is nothing to do in Kuwait other than go to the pool, the gym, or shopping mall. So life is about to slow down for us – might be a good thing though now that we have Nick but still – we do love to get out and about, even with him! As far as travel – well I doubt we’ll go to Iran or Iraq. Saudi – maybe. But apparently Dubai is only a one-hour flight. I’m not sure how far Egypt is but I would love to visit the pyramids. I’ve also always wanted to visit Turkey and I know we’ll at least be closer to Turkey than we are now!

Speaking of flights – we will be a little closer to home than we are now – that is a bonus. There is a direct United flight daily from Kuwait to Dulles and it is only 12 hours long!!! Now many of you might be cringing but let me tell you, after doing the 24 hour flight form Bangkok a few times, a 12 hour flight is NOTHING.

So there you have it – mixed emotions. But it is only for two years and it will go by quickly, right? Part of me is excited for a new adventure and curious about that part of the world after hearing about it so much on TV the last several years. Part of me is scared that it is not safe. Part of me is irritated over my new wardrobe requirements. And Part of me is excited to learn a new language – I plan to take Arabic lessons as soon as we arrive there. But again, it’s just two years! So how would you react if your spouse told you that you would be living in Kuwait for two years?

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