Arabian Adventures, Kuwait

Kuwait City

Kuwait was a country that I had been looking forward to a lot. Not because there was a lot of things there that I wanted to see or do, but because I had gotten in touch with a local guy on couchsurfing who was going to host me and show me around in Kuwait City.

My couchsurfing host was so kind to pick me up at the airport and was waiting for me as I walked out of the airport terminal. The first thing my host did after greeting me was to give me a serious look into my eyes when he said “lets make a deal: for the time you are here you should not spend any money. The whole stay should be on me, okay?”. At first I was a bit hesitant but when he started to explain how people from Kuwait get money from the government for working instead of paying tax I decided to accept the generous offer.

We took off in his car and drove straight into the city. In Kuwait the cars function as peoples living rooms since the gas is so cheap and since it provides cool air-conditioning in the extremely hot summers. The malls are their second living rooms so we spent the whole time driving around with his friends drinking home destilled liqor(because alcohol is banned in Kuwait) and walked around in the biggest mall of the Arab Peninsula, “The Avenues”.

During the two full days I spent in Kuwait, I spent most of the time in the car. When driving I got to know two (Kuwait City and al Jahra) of the three cities in Kuwait fairly well and through talking to my couchsurfing host I also learned a lot of the fascinating way of life in Kuwait.

Most people in Kuwait seemed to be quite rich and everything seemed extremely commercialized. I have not even seen such a high concentration of American fast food restaurants in a US city as I saw in The Avenues Mall, and the many clothing stores were flashing with the most expensive American brands. Even though Kuwait is bordering the conservative Saudi Arabia in the South and Iraq in the North, the country had a quite liberal feeling to it. And even though I did not get any Arabic cultural experience I still got a good peak into the Kuwait way of life. It was some good two days spent in Kuwait, but two days were also enough to explore such a small country.

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