Q8Sultana's Blog...

Generally I can be found roaming somewhere in the world. I'm originally from Hungary, I grew up in Kuwait, I did my BA in the States, my MA in the UK, and now work in Hungary, but still return to Kuwait regularly :o)

Monday, August 29, 2005

BOokS BoOkS BooKS

Generally I like to read, but lately I came to the conclusion that I don’t read enough. So my new project is to first of all read all books that have been lying around my room unread or unfinished. My plan is to have a book that I’m reading all the time, and finish all books if I start them, even if they don’t turn out that good.
My list as of now:
Jean Sasson: Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein
Farah Pahlavi: An Enduring Love : My Life with the Shah - A Memoir
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code
Sylvia Nasar: A Beautiful Mind: The Life of Mathematical Genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash

Of course added to all this I'll have tons of books to read for my masters courses.
I just found out today that I won't have exams, so I'm guessing I'll have lots of hand in assignements. Also, in the UK they don't have 2 semesters like in the US, but instead 3 terms. I feel a little dumb asking the secretary too many questions, but the last time I studied in a British school was in grade 9, so I don't know :o)
I'll be off to the UK on September 23, to do an MA in Arab Gulf Studies. I'm getting pretty excited. I've been living in Hungary for two years, so it was about time for the usual adrenaline rush of moving to a new country, that seems to happen to me every 2-3-4 years :o)

Friday, August 19, 2005

Fluff

When looking at the clouds from the airplane window, don't you feel like you could just walk all over them?
:o)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Where am I?

Since a number of people have been asking me where I am from, I decided to play a little game. I will post pictures from my home city (also the capital city) and you can try to guess where I am :o)

The people I have already told where I’m from are not allowed to ruin the fun :o)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Goodbye soon :o(

Well, this holiday is nearing its end. Honestly, I’m doing just fine here. People always ask me what I do and if I’m bored, but sometimes I leave in the morning and barely get home in time before my dad rolls in around 7pm.
I get a headache just thinking of all the stuff I have to get done in the next two days.
I want to leave the house more or less clean for my dad. Sweep, mop, put away stuff.
Pack my bags. Buy a backpack.
Do some final grocery shopping. I want to stock up on a few items because with the shifts my dad is pulling these days (generally leaves at 4am and gets home around 7pm – more on workaholism in a future post) I don’t want him to have to worry about stuff like “oh there’s no water” or toilet paper.
I have to do about 5 loads of laundry. Pick up dry cleaning.
I have a great present idea for my bf which I will disclose later.
I’d still like to run a lap through the SALEs at the malls.
I have a number of people to say goodbye to.
Make some sort of nice goodbye dinner for tomorrow.
Go to the beach on Monday.
Get some Arabic ringtones for my new cell phone.
Buy some Hindi movie pirate DVDs for some friends at home.
Buy a hairdryer.
And now…SLEEP :o)

Friday, August 12, 2005

:o)

I found the coolest thing in Kuwait city tonight...
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drum roll....
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An Afghani burqa!!!!!!!!!!
(that's me wearing it)

My friend tells me it’s actually called a khimar.
I’ve been wanting to try one on ever since I saw them on TV. Unfortunately they wanted to sell it for KD 15. They only went down to KD10. I would have bought it for KD5, but KD10 was way too much. That’s a lot of money in Afghanistan.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Entertainment City...yipppppy

Tonight we went to Entertainment City, in Doha. There were hardly any people around, only the free rides had a queue, but we didn’t have to wait more than 5 minutes at any of them. What's cool is that the park is open until 1am.
It was a friend of mine, my boyfriend and I. My friend and I were most interested in roller coasters, unfortunately one of the two coasters was under maintenance. The one that was working was awesome though. It had a loop, screwdriver, the works. We rode on it three times. The first time I didn’t open my eyes at all. The second time I did, and screamed. The third time I was all relaxed. The only problem was that we kept banging our heads against the supposedly cushiony thingy they pull down over you. I got a small headache from it.

We also rode the water coaster and got completely soaked. It took us only like 5 minutes to dry again though. We also had a go kart race in which I lost miserably.
Apparently there was a malfunction with the viewing tower sphere thingy, and it got stuck midway, so they had to rescue people using a fire engine. There was a huge crowd that gathered around to watch, and every time the rescuers brought down a group of people, there was much clapping and cheering.

On the way out I took some shots of funny trashcans, our shadows on the wall, and my friend as she was looking at her camera. I had my camera on night vision, and so the people walking by are all smudgy. My friend however was standing completely still, so her picture is sharp.
I didn’t know I could do this...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Day...I don't know, I lost count :o)

I slacked off again for a few days. Although other than going to the beach and suffering with my thesis, I haven’t done much. I guess the three days of sand storms was the perfect time to stay home and write. I’m still not finished though, it’s just really getting on my nerves.
I had to drop off the Focus at the Ford service center today for the 75,000 km service. The guy who was in charge of my papers kept calling me sweetie. When he first said “Follow me, sweetie” I thought I heard wrong. When he said “Sign here, sweetie” I was like hmmmmm, ok. Finally when he said “See you in the afternoon, sweetie” I thought, ok, I’m definitely not coming to pick up the car alone, but bringing a MALE friend.
Then they called a cab for me, and as I was about to get in the front seat, the driver shook his head and said “No, in the back.” Apparently there’s a rule here that you can’t sit in the front if you’re a woman alone. One learns something new every day.
KD 2.5 is way too much for a cab ride. I mean he can fill up his Proton Wira with gas from that much money.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Day 28

Note to self: NEVER go to the Friday Market in the summer. Or actually ever, because it sucks.
Yes, we felt like getting roasted so we headed to the Friday Market this morning. Since it has been moved under the shades and reorganized we couldn’t even find what we were looking for, so the trip was pointless.
The picture of the car’s thermometer was taken EXACTLY as the minute digit changed from 11:11 to 11:12. Pretty cool.

In the evening we went to the Chocolate Bar at Marina Crescent, and had their chocolate fondue. Mmmmmmmmmm. If you’re a chocolate lover, definitely try it. They give three types of molten chocolates (white, dark, milk) and strawberries, bananas and two types of cookies to dip into it. Mmmmmmmmmm. It was four of us eating it, but we were all full by the end. It’s a little overpriced at KD 6, but trying it once is definitely worth it. Mmmmmmmmm.
I wonder how many calories are amassed in that place.

I took two shots of Marina Mall from the Chocolate Bar’s balcony. I could set my camera down on the ledge, hence the pictured didn’t get smudged.

There were some guys on jetskis trying to grab attention in the marina.

Friday, August 05, 2005

EEK! (day 27)


Yay! It's Halloween!!


Wait a minute...it's only August...

Nevertheless Starbucks already has Halloween merchandise. I picked up the little bear fridge magnet for my cousin. It's too cute, I think I'll get one for myself also, and start collecting :o)
They have mugs with pumpkins and ghosts also....

There are other Starbucks Collector Items HERE

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A room full of screaming, sweaty men, all trying to get it up...

"I love the stock market. A room full of screaming, sweaty men, all trying to get it up."

~Samantha; Sex and the City

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Remembering

My grandmother used to say that she will never forget the day World War II broke out. Similarly she still remembers what she was doing exactly when she heard the news that President Kennedy was shot in 1963, or when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon for the first time in 1969.
My parents remember events like the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986.
I still remember watching on TV the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and I can still recount minute by minute what I was doing on the morning of 9/11.
I also still remember getting news that Kuwait was invaded by Iraq on August 2, 1990. I still remember my dad unpacking the suitcase he prepared for his flight on August 3. I still remember wondering what’s going to happen to my toys, my desk in school, and the swing I used to play on.
The first time I came to Kuwait was in 1982. I was only one and a half years old, and we were actually traveling on to Iraq by car, as my dad used to work there back then. We returned in 1989, and coming from Eastern Europe, to an 8 year old Kuwait was a wonderland. I remember playing in the balls at Hardee’s in Fahaheel, the first time I drank Sprite and ate KitKat, and my first day at school, when I only knew two words in English: Yes and No. I remember loving to go to school though.
During the invasion, I remember watching the news, and praying that the war would be over and one day we would come back.
In 1992, I remember landing at the old airport. I remember collecting bullet shells with my mom from around the trenches that were still near the beach in Mangaf. I remember hearing the explosions of mines shaking the windows. I remember the posters warning people what mines look like. I remember the forests of little red flags in the desert marking the mines. I remember the rocks on the seaside, still black from oil.
I remember spying the moon to see if it’s the Ramadan crescent. I remember plastic Christmas trees, and winters without snow.
I remember getting goosebumps from the heat, and clothes drying in 5 minutes. Floating and snorkeling in the Gulf. Building sand castles at Messilah beach and collecting shells.
I remember my best friend, our secrets and good times.
I remember my first love, my first kiss and my first heartache. I remember Crew X parties, lots of shisha, home made wine, Jackson, and getting sick from it.
I remember shopping for a prom dress, and throwing my cap in the air at graduation.
I remember going to the movies in Ahmadi, the first Body Shop in Fahaheel, Fanar being built, and waiting for a table at Friday’s when it was new.
I remember the happiness of returning and the sadness of leaving.
I remember the best years of my life growing up here.
حفظ الله الكويت و شعبها من كل مكروه

Monday, August 01, 2005

Day 24


Yesterday I had to accompany someone on a trip to the Parliament (Majles). I’ve been there several times before (like everywhere else in Kuwait) but this was the first time I had the chance to sit in the Emir’s chair in his private office.

Here’s some facts about the building from the brochure that was given to us by our tour guide…
The building was built between 1978 and 1985. It was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, to be the shape of an Arabian tent. Jorn Utzon is famous for having designed the Sydney Opera house.

The construction cost 86 million dollars. After the Gulf War the reconstruction of the building cost 64 million dollars.

One thing that caught my eye was an elevator for people with wheelchairs on the side of the steps at the main entrance to the building. Although I haven’t checked, to me it would seem really hard for a person in a wheelchair to function in Kuwait. From what I heard, they, and anyone with disabilities, are stigmatized by Kuwaiti society. I might be misinformed, but come to think of it, I hardly ever see people with disabilities.

The picture with the carpet was taken in the Parliament’s Mosque. I liked the color.

Security as usual washigh, with tanktraps all around the building. Their shape always reminds me of snowflakes... :o)

Also yesterday, we were wondering around Eureka with my boyfriend checking out laptops and flat screen TVs, when we found ourselves in the musical instrument section. Out of nowhere I remembered how to play the first few notes of the Kuwaiti anthem on the piano. I think we learned it back in middle school for some school concert. I never saw my boyfriend move so quickly. By the time I looked up he was already on the other side of the store, hiding from embarrassment.
All day today I was reading and writing diligently for my dissertation, I’m beginning to see hope of actually finishing it.
In the evening we wanted to actually watch the news on KTV2, to see if tomorrow will be a day off for my dad, but for some unexplainable reason the news was in Arabic. Same on 99.7. Put together, my dad and I understand enough Arabic to have figured out that there’s going to be mourning for three days, but apparently there’s still work for him tomorrow. I just heard on BBC, that in Saudi there’s no mourning or flags at half mast, as that would be considered blasphemous. Interesting.
I watched the memorial TV show about King Fahd (in Arabic of course – not even a subtitle) for some time. They showed some shots of the Emir also, from when he was younger and in good shape. There was a picture of him at the Parliament from the 1960s when he was still only a minister. He was a little chubby and really handsome. Man, he got so old.
Finally yet another sunset picture. It’s an obsession :o)

My favorite…ice cream in Kuwait


One of my favorite ice creams in the whole world is KDD’s SILVER. I think KDD in general has good ice creams.
I have this vivid memory of a class field trip to the KDD ice cream factory before the invasion, in the spring of 1990, where after a walk through the place, we had the chance to eat all the ice cream we could. That was great!