Archive for August, 2013

Finally!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

parking-1

we've been in kuwait since 1999 and from the moment we've landed here we lived in salmiya, in the vicinity of the french school - this parking above, is located next to alfanar mall, actually, right across zahra complex and for as long as we ca remember, this parking was a mess - it was sandy, filled with pot halls so deep they would swallow your car and break your back if you choose to drive in your 4x4 - if you know that nightmare of a parking lot, you will not recognize it today as it metamorphosed into a super modern parking space, smooth, organized and clean! what took you so long!!

johnny-rockets-philly-cheese-steak

as for how i spotted this change, well i wanted to check whether johnny rockets' philly cheese steak still rocks, guess what, it does!!

Meet Eggspectation

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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eggspectation is a canadian restaurant chain specialized in breakfast and eggs, created in 1993 it has been synonymous with good quality food, innovation and service - beside the food, what i love about this restaurant, is their slogan "grab the day by the eggs".

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as for the food, it is a bit like ihop only better, as it has smaller and healthier portions - the menu is quite interesting too, the names of the dishes are mostly related to eggs, like eggstravaganza, eggsuberant, eggsilaration and the best, uneggspected!

if you happen to be in canada, teh us or india, do try eggspectations as eggsitement is guarantied :) anyone interested in getting the franchise to kuwait?

Welcome to McGill

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

McGill-1

the main reason we went to canada was to take the campus tour at mcgill university - first you have to formally subscribe to the tour, then they give you a date and time for the visit - we went there in the morning an american student took charge of our group - he basically showed us almost half of the campus in 2 and a half hours.

what strikes you most as a parent, is the security facilities at the university - imagine that if a student is afraid to walk back to the dorms, he can contact security and they would show up to wherever he is on the campus and walk him to his room, if it's the weekend and he is partying downtown and wants a ride back to the dorms, all he has to do is contact security and a car will be sent to pick him up and drop him at the dorms.

the campus also has facilities to fix the students bikes for free, among other things, and what is interesting is that mcgill doesn't force the student to show up to the classes, he comes his win, he doesn't his loss, though every course is filmed and uploaded to the net so that no student misses a class - what is important for them is the quality of the student, if he goes the extra mile he will stay, if he is average he will be out immediately as good students are waiting in line - so if you get a chance to get in, you have to hang on and fight for your right o continue.

mcgill is known for being the best in medicine, actually mcgill students opened james mcgill's grave and conducted a dna test, only to discover that he was buried with his accountant when his tomb was moved to the campus - quite a funny story, but it shows how progressive the university is and how open-minded they are.

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as canadians, the tuition fees for our son will be can $ 7,100 for the whole year, at the number 1 university in canada and one of the best universities across the globe versus more than us $ 11,000 school fees at the french school! yeah, makes you wonder!

i loved this university so much i wanted to stay there and enroll as a senior student, you never know, maybe one day i will..

Civilized, for a change!

Monday, August 26th, 2013

no-smacking-children

i read this article on arabtimes online about a father who caught his maid smacking his son on the head - usually, the story continues in the lines of he punched her in the face then beat her to death, or he through her off the balcony... but instead, this guy took her to the police station and filed a case against her! way to go mate, i'm proud of your civilized ways, we don't often read such stories in the paper!

Donkey milk cosmetics?

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

shamane

while in quebec city, i stumbled upon this cosmetic & soap shop called shamane - the sign didn't lie, the products are made of donkey milk! though cleopatra used to bath with it and donkey milk used to be considered as luxury drinks by the romans, i didn't have the courage or time to buy the product.

anyways, you can read more about this on shamane's website here.

Hot dog heaven!

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

hot-dog

you all know how much i love hot dogs, if you haven't read my previous posts here's one here and another here - while in canada we came across this small kiosk selling hot dogs, we stopped by and tried them out, they turned out to be heavenly! i'll leave you with a self-explanatory picture!

Anyone interested?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

beavertails

queues-de-castor

there's this amazing chain of pastries in canada called beaver tails or in french queues de castor, they are irresistible and heavenly! basically they are whole wheat pastries cooked on the spot, which means they are always served fresh & hot, then topped with butter and your choice of flavors - the cinnamons are out of this world and so are the chocolates.

queues-de-castor-la-ronde

the store above is at an amusement park called la ronde, montreal's dysneyland but on a smaller scale, with exciting & adventurous rides - they have a very scary roller coaster that reaches a speed of 120 km/h!

so anyone interested in bringing the franchise to kuwait? the product is so good success is guaranteed!

By far the best Lebanese restaurant in Kuwait

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

saha-6

though assaha has been open for almost 2 years or more, it wasn't until yesterday that i decided to try it with a couple of friends and what a joy was it! not sure why we were not excited to visit, this place is amazing by simply looking at the interior design.

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from what we've learned, some raw material like the walls' stones were all imported from beirut, to make sure the place looks like an authentic traditional lebanese house, outside the restaurant you can find a nice collection of old wooden doors, windows, and various cooking tools made of stone which were used in old lebanese villages to mince meat or grind seeds.

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what is most important is the food, our verdict is that assaha is the best lebanese restaurant in town today - though the fruit basket was a bit dull, everything else was perfect - we strongly recommend you try this one, it's in bneid algar next to safir hotel.

Expired products & customer service

Monday, August 19th, 2013

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TSC-2

a friend of mine who like me is in beirut for the summer, sent me these pictures along with her story with tsc beirut - one day she asks her husband to bring sadia chicken nuggets from tsc, but after checking the products she discovered that they have been expired for 2 months!

going back to a supermarket in beirut is not walk in the park especially with traffic jams, not to mention security hazards... so she calls tsc and asks for a refund with one condition: tsc to do the trip to her house for that matter - tsc agrees and promises to call back immediately - hours pass by but no one calls, so she contacts consumer protection authorities and one minute later, just like magic, tsc was on the line apologizing - not only they brought her the refund, but they also brought a big tray of cold cuts as an act of good will.

why put yourself in such a situation? to begin with, why are you selling expired products? then if your products have expired, your customer service shouldn't! getting back shortly means shortly and not hours, hours mean ditching & neglecting a complaint and disrespecting your customer.

what happened to the cold cuts tray? it ended up in the trash bin.. my friend must have wondered what if the cold cuts were also expired? well i don't blame her..

Midnight in Paris..

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

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on our paris to-do-list was an unusual task, to visit the place where woody allen shot midnight in paris, particularly the scene where owen wilson took the old peugeot and traveled back in time to the 1920's.

so one night, i took my son to see the place and we planned to reach there by midnight, however the complication of the metro & rer in paris delayed our trip and we reached our destination 15 minutes late - by the way the address is rue de la montagne sainte genevieve, and the place is a church called saint etienne du mont, very close to the pantheon.

the scene above where owen wilson approaches the church is a bit different, obviously the lights behind him have been added as props, they don't exist in real life.

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and here are the churches back door stairs where he sat waiting for the car to come take him back in time, i didn't find any clock on that church, maybe it's hidden somewhere..

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finally, above is the street where the old peugeot showed up, the street is almost the same, though woody darkened the edges especially at the other end as it has many pubs - the bistro on the left has undergone some retouching but overall the street is still amazing.

if you love paris and if you have watched midnight in paris, i advise you to go visit that street, unfortunately i didn't bump into that car, it would have been awesome to go back to the 20's :)

Meet maple taffy

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

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maple-taffy2

while in canada, we took a tour bus and visited one of the most beautiful cities in north america, quebec city - the town is awesome, a piece of europe on the st laurent river - it has an up town and a down town, of course the down town is where the magic lies with the old houses turned into souvenir shops and the port hangars turned into boutique hotels - on the up town, sits a castle turned into a hotel called le château frontenac, recently bought by fairmont.

we tried something new called maple taffy, which is boiled maple sap that turns into syrup, then poured on ice and stretched on a piece of wood and sold as candy - it is a bit sweet, but very tasty and if you ever go to quebec city it is a must to try it out - i'll leave you with some amazing pictures in the below slide show.

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9 meters?

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

no-smoking

while in montreal, we came across these non-smoking signs which were new to us, forbidding smoking as far as 9 meters from any building entrance - the trick is, you can't read the sign 9 meters away, so if you're a smoker you have to violate the instructions until you reach the reading distance, then walk back and ditch whatever you are smoking - nevertheless, it is interesting to see how seriously canada takes this issue, it seems people carry with them smoking odor as they enter buildings and 9 meters seem the perfect distance to avoid that.

when i think about people in this region who walk into elevators and instantly light a cigarette!!