Archive for December, 2011

2011 round-up: do we call it bad luck?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

it’s the end of the year, the time when you think back and assess the past, draw some conclusions, plan and hope for a better future.

for us it was quite an eventful year, starting with my dangerous accident back in august when i miraculously escaped death and walked out with a twisted wrist - that same month, my wife had to be urgently operated and remove her gallbladder, following a few days of severe pains and stone attacks.

september continued to bring us the good news, as i suddenly suffered kidney-stone attacks for 3 weeks, a stone which i had to painfully flush out - then my wife and i got sick and we had to stay in bed for a few days - towards the end of september, our son fell on his back at school and hurt his coccyx, he had to stay home for a couple of days and be exempted from sports for a couple of weeks.

november had a very nice surprise for us as my wife fell off the treadmill, smashed a shoulder-bone, broke a rib & a toe and suffered several bruises on her knee and her face.

december didn't want to disappoint us, so it brought a fantastic gift - my wife had an acute pneumonia and was admitted to hospital then to the emergency room.

that’s our 2011 round-up, such an amazing year.. really! nevertheless, we’re still positive, hopeful & sick!! at least we’re still alive, but it can’t get any worse, can it?

so what do we wish you for 2012?

  1. good health
  2. good health
  3. good health

A very unusual store in Norway‏

Friday, December 30th, 2011

i read about this unusual store in norwegian village that basically has no sellers, but in one corner is a calculator on which you consider how much to pay and a box of money where you should put your money on goods! the concept is based on complete confidence and honesty - there is nothing stopping people from taking stuff and leave, but apparently no one does and this is all in order.

i am truly amazed, but i cannot fully subscribe to the idea.. one needs to shop in a store where there are store representatives, what if you need to ask a certain question? on the other hand, isn't it great to walk out of that store without someone asking you "do you have a sultan card sir?"


Thursday, December 29th, 2011

finally finally finally finally... i got confirmation from a trusted source that the ugly cube will die, perish, expire, drop dead, come to an end, vanish, disappear, crumble, pass away, be dismantled, pop off, kick the bucket, pull down... you name it on jan 5th - this is such a relief, our rant against the cube is finally over and here i must praise the marina people for taking our rants constructively and positively, i salute you guys!

when i heard the confirmation from my friend i said "you made my day" - nevertheless, the tiles inside the cube will be temporary until they change the tiles of the entire mall.

related stories:

The damn cube is gonna hang around till year-end!

Wataniya's ugly cube at Marina Mall

Some ideas for New Year’s eve in Kuwait

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

we came across this very interesting post on bananaq8 blog that basically lists a number of events for new year's celebration in kuwait - we would like to add one more option for you, ayyame restaurant at the village, abu hasaniya, is having an exciting new year's event, with dj, fun surprises and amazing gifts for people to take home!!

if you have no plans you should check it out - to reserve call 2390-7936.

Meet the Lebanese heritage crafts & costumes museum

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

we were visiting harissa yesterday where we spotted this beautiful lebanese museum for traditional crafts & costumes - it is a very small museum that you can basically visit in 10 minutes, but it gives you an idea of the old lebanese crafts, from grinding seeds to roasting coffee, cotton-spinning and glass blowing - i loved the decoration of the place, you can discover something unique at every corner - i spotted an old shoe-shine box, a grinder, a stone-roller and many many more traditional tools my grandparents used to have - if you happen to be in the vicinity of harissa, do visit the museum where the entrance fees are set as personal contributions dedicated to the restoration of the basilica.

2 million dollar Swarovski tree at City Mall

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

i spotted this fantastic 2 million dollar swarovski christmas tree at city mall! the tree is 10 meter high and has been specially brought to beirut on the occasion of the store opening at the mall - it is decorated with more than 10,000 pieces of swarovski christmas ornaments, snowflakes and stars - the swarovski traditional christmas tree chines in various cities across the globe during the holiday season.

so in one afternoon we've seen the sweetest creche, and one of the most expensive trees in the world at city mall - oh i almost forgot to mention that we were stuck in what might also be the most congested parking lots in the world!

The sweetest creche ever at City Mall

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

we were at city mall today so we decided to check the chocolate creche by chantilly chocolatier - the creche is really impressive and the details are pretty amazing - the 70 square meter creche is made of 120,000 pieces of chocolate by 37 lebanese designers & craftsmen and took 720 hours of work - the result is a first in the world, but the best thing about it is that the 120,000 pieces of chocolate will be distributed to charity once the exhibition is over.

well done chantilly!

Erotic historic site discovered in Luxor

Monday, December 26th, 2011

egyptian newspaper al-wafd reported that a young man from the city of luxor cut off his penis and buried it in a graveyard after suffering depression as a result of the decline in tourism since the outbreak of popular protests that led to the removal of former president mubarak in february - the luxor international hospital received the guy with heavy bleeding and they performed surgery, but attempts to re-attach his penis were unsuccessful.

what happens if the situation improves and tourists flock back to luxor again? well, i guess this man has managed to add one more tourist attraction to the many historic sites of luxor - after visiting the karnak and the valley of the kings, now you can visit the tomb of the "depressed penis"… i would definitely include that in luxor's tourists maps!

X-cite launches online shopping

Monday, December 26th, 2011

x-cite have gone officially e-commerce this month and now you can buy anything you need online! the new service comes with great benefits:

  • web store credit
  • multiple shipping address
  • same day/express delivery service
  • well-trained delivery and installation staff
  • 24/7 access and online ordering

need to buy electronics online? here's the web address

The perfect holidays gift… for sadists!

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

we’ve all seen that perfect present but then flipped the tag and realized that maybe it's not the right time... well now, for less than a buck, we can still gift that perfect present in a creative way, thanks to partners & spade - now the boutique allows buyers to shop for all its higher priced items without hurting their wallets, by giving them the chance to buy a product polaroid instead of the real thing, for only 99¢.

i understand that in light of these economic times one has to be creative, and i also understand that it’s the thought that counts but hey, don't you dare gift me a product polaroid or i throw both of you out of the window! are you kidding me?? what am i supposed to do with a product polaroid? sadists...

Merry “creative” Christmas!

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

i came across this hilarious video that explores the idea of jesus being born today, being the son of a contemporary family using social media to announce his birth - enjoy this funny video and merry christmas to all.

you can view the video here.

Why is Virgin closing down in Kuwait?

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

i read on various blogs the unfortunate news regarding virgin megastore - in the evening, i decided to pay virgin a farewell visit as we are traveling tomorrow for a couple of weeks - i asked the cashier if the rumors i heard were true so he sadly confirmed the news saying that virgin megastore is not welcomed in kuwait! it seems that the lack of transparency in business practices, like forbidding the sale of certain products at virgin while the same products sell everywhere else, is having a serious impact on the business.

i was a bit skeptical about his answer, so i called a friend of mine who used to work at virgin, in a senior position - what i heard sadly confirms the cashier's story!

to start with, i learned that virgin as an organization respects the local laws where they operate because any lawsuit affects their international brand image - so for them, better go by the law than make a sale that will bring legal & reputation headaches.

my friend also told me that back in 2007 when virgin closed down for 3 days, the decision taken by the ministry of information was both unfair and unjust - apparently the ministry closed down the store because it was allegedly selling an unauthorized book, though the book in question (chicago by alaa al aswany) was never imported by virgin, as their policy recommends to buy books from local resellers rather than import them.

"chicago" was actually sold at various bookstores in town including jareer - to solve this issue, virgin went to the ministry of information with a number of "chicago" books bought at various bookstores in kuwait, and submitted them along with their receipts as proof of purchase - however, the ministry did not listen or even take any action against the bookstores, instead it enforced the law selectively on virgin.

troubles continued to pile-up for the brand - can you imagine that around 10% of virgin’s dvd library was licensed to sell in kuwait?! music with offensive or sensitive language, books with certain opinions were all red-taped! would you believe that even anaconda was strictly forbidden!

in an effort to increase revenue and decrease cost, virgin reduced the size of the store and diversified the business exploring new segments, like gadgets, electronics and accessories, but it seems that this was not enough.

my friend tells me “it is a miracle virgin have survived all this time” - i say it's one thing to believe in miracles and another to depend on them... too bad for virgin, it will be missed!

photo courtesy of bashar al-ba'noon.

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