June 18th, 2013
i am on a business trip to egypt and i was so excited to visit again as the last time i was there was almost 7 years ago - so i landed at cairo international airport and headed to the immigration desk, luckily 3 people were waiting ahead of me - i handed my passport, however the officer asks me to purchase a visa from the bank at the other corner of his desk.
i went to the cashier window and asked for a visa, the price was 15$, so i gave him the egyptian pounds i had on me, but he refused to take them - to my surprise he asks me for us dollars and not egyptian pounds, so i tried once more and his reply was even harsher, he goes: any other foreign currency but egyptian pounds! i couldn't believe my ears! i was about to crack up! is this cairo's international airport? how can they not accept their national currency, for an entry visa??!!
i paid the guy in kuwaiti dinars which he happily accepted and headed to the immigration desk again - this time there were 50 people queuing before me so i had to wait in line for a good 20 minutes - i handed my papers to the officer, who actually made fun of me for waiting in line twice and wondered why haven't i skipped the queue and headed directly to him!!! wth? usually its the other way around!!! i told him that i respected the line and the people waiting, but he kept laughing at me!!!
this is egypt, things are different.. you have to expect anything and that's why i love it!!
June 17th, 2013
there's this place next to our house called al-domary, which means the guy who lights the streets at night in the levant area, or so we've been told..
this place has been in salmiya for more than an year and every time we plan to try it we go somewhere else - a couple of days ago i decided to give it a shot, and because it is not that neat of a place, i went there assuming the worse.
the restaurant offers a wide range of fast food, like shawarma, fried shrimps, chicken and rice and various sandwiches, however i decided to go for the boasted chicken as it is a rare item in town outside kfc and a few other places.
though the food took some time to be ready, it came just the way i love it, boiling hot and fresh, the chicken were amazing, big portions and well fried, the garlic paste is just right and the fries were awesome - i was positively surprised by al-domary, i now prefer his broasted chicken to kfc's. they are way better.
al-domary is in salmiya, close to the olympia mall on salem almubarak street - so if you're in the mood for broasted chicken you know where to go - for delivery you can call 69030024, that other number in the above picture is for their hawalli branch.
June 16th, 2013
different people have different views over promoters, especially my wife and i - whenever we go to the mall, especially at the avenues, promoters are there at the entrance to hand you a flyer, brochure or any promotional material - whilst my wife always welcomes them, takes whatever material they give her regardless if it interests her or not, i personally never even look at the promoters, i don't answer their questions and behave as if they are not there - i know it is a bit rude of me, but if i want something i know where to find it and i really don't give a penny about what they have to offer me.
my wife is always smiling at them, she sometimes stops and chats with them, i really don't have anything to say to them and wish they move out of my way!
guess she's going to heaven and me to hell :) i really don't like those promoters..
June 13th, 2013
i read this weird story on arabtimes online about this kuwaiti women who tried to smuggle 40,000 narcotic pills via kuwait airport.
the story is nothing new, but i couldn't but stop at the number of pills this woman was trying to smuggle - is she serious? i mean who in his full mind, or half mind for that matter, would believe that he can get away with such a huge number of narcotics!! what's worse, is that she hid them all in one bag!! how stupid is that? 40 freaking thousands pills!! are you kidding me??!!
unless she was relying on someone to help her get in, this woman is completely nuts! that's like jumping off the empire states building, hoping to land on a soft mattress!
well, if I had to choose, i'll have a go at that jump, how about you?
June 12th, 2013
i read this interesting article on kuwaitiful blog that explains why arabs wear the ghotra - it seems that the main reason is to protect from dust, however not so many people use it for that purpose - most men wear it as per the tradition or as protection from the crashing sun, so anti-dust is a new spin, rather old and long forgotten for that matter.
June 11th, 2013
we've seen cops arresting people in all sorts of places, at the mall, in a shop, on the street or even at home.. but have you ever heard of a cop arresting a student at school? well. nothing surprises me anymore...
it seems that a 14 year old student had a quarrel with a girl at school and cursed her, so far this seems like an every day school incident that should be solved with the school principal, however, this girl happens to have a cop brother, so she calls him for help!
the cop comes to school at the end of the day storming the parking, runs after the student, beats him, kicks him and.... handcuffs him!!! yes, handcuffs him in front of the parents and students at the gate!!
the men decided to intervene, they separated the cop and the student, called the school principals to resolve the issue and stop the cop from taking the kid to the police station!!
this is not a movie, this happened yesterday at the french school in salmiya - we have been advised not to write about this as the cop comes from a powerful family, but we don't see why we should shut up at this horrible event!
people are dying in malls, we read dozens of rape stories every day and this cop decides to show his muscles at school, against a helpless impolite kid...
finally the problem has been solved amicably, and though the student might have been 100% wrong, was this commotion necessary? such a shame...
June 10th, 2013
for some reason, i wasn't able to access wordpress from my desktop yesterday, hence I couldn't write my story, which was about the egyptian doctors who performed an operation using their mobile phones lights, following a black out.
after several trials, wordpress stubbornly refused to grant me access laptop access, so i got inspired by the story and decided to post from my mobile phone.
to tell you the truth, it is not that bad, however one thing bugged me which is text editing - i like my copy to be right & left justified, and i failed to fix this from the mobile app.
another thing, despite setting the schedule for today, it somehow got posted immediately!! i had to reschedule one more time and set the time again for the next day.
as for the egyptian doctors, way to go guys! good your wives didn't call during the operation... care for some liver honey? in a moment darling, still working on that gallbladder.
June 9th, 2013
we arrived at ihop a bit late for breakfast, so we decided to have lunch instead and it was not a bad idea at all - anyways the place was packed, despite the huge space and the terrace.
we've never tried ihop before, so going through the menu was a feast to the eye.. we didn't know what to order as each item looked more delicious than the other - finally we made up our minds, and went for a big stake omelets, sirloin steak tips dinner and a pancake combo, with strawberry banana pancakes.
i don't want to dwell on each item, but all i can tell you that every single one of them was awesome, the food at ihop is more than what you'd expect, especially the pancakes - if i want to really be picky, then i'd say that the appetizers were average, the onion rings were a bit stiff, they'd break at the sight of the fork!
ihop prices are very reasonable too, so we'd recommend you pay them a visit - the food is so good you wouldn't want to stop, so we recommend it for lunch and not for breakfast :)
June 5th, 2013
zahret dimask, or damascus flower in english, is probably one of the best fatayer bakeries in town - located in salmiya, restaurants street, the place has awesome zatar fatayer, with an improved formula, less oily and lighter to the stomach - spinach fatayer are simply the best, cheese is not bad too.
if you're in the vicinity, do not miss zahret dimashk, you will not be disappointed.
June 4th, 2013
i spotted this red label bottle on the cross-road of salem al mubarak street, right in front of the auk - i stopped and took a picture, though people behind me cursed me for that, but the shot is so worth it!
dude!! they won't grow on trees, what were you thinking?