Random observations by a gonzo traveler – Kuwait

I ducked to my side as the taxi driver’s fist reached towards my face. But to my great relief he had no intention to hit me. He stopped almost near my face, opened his fists wide and shouted, “Five kaydee”. My friend murmured in my ears, “He means 5 dinars for the ride”. Out of the airport, first time into Kuwaiti heat, I was ready to give him my life earned fortune to get into his air-conditioned cab. We jumped in.

Kuwait is like an ideal girlfriend – hot and rich.

The above statement is a sweet metaphor. Let’s deform it! The metaphor above uses figurative meaning of ‘hot’. However Kuwait is ‘hot’ literally. It’s the hot that heats or the ‘hot’ that stains with sweat. Thankfully Kuwait is ‘rich’. Hence, the country has managed to almost completely air-condition itself and life in Kuwait is a series of transitions from one air-conditioned compartment to another. Walk outside and you would hear a constant drill sound around you, as if your neighbor is boring for oil inside his house. This sound is actually of those thousand A/Cs operating in and around you.

For backpacker kinda travelers, there’s not much to travel and visit in Kuwait except the shopping malls (of course air-conditioned) sprawled all across the Kuwait city. Men in traditional white Dishdasha and women in black cloaks when walk together in groups give a funny TV flicker feeling to an observer. However, unlike other Arabic countries you won’t find restrictions on personal expression to evident in Kuwait.

My best times in Kuwait were spent at the Hard Rock Café in Kuwait marina. Facing the sea, the pyramid like structure of the café is perhaps the best in their entire chain. I made some friends from Philippines there. Alcohol prohibited in the entire nation, alcohol free Budweiser was a cool experience at the café.

Not all travel tales end up inspiring. The heat just left me hollow and maybe sad. The white sun was contrasted with black oil only recently. Now the country uses the energy and power of the oil to cut through the heat of the sun just like an umbrella. Interestingly, the country has such a huge oil reserve that it has big names in the world as their customer resulting in huge influx of money into the country. This has lead to large-scale development of infrastructure and living amenities on a land, which was supposed to be an uninhabited wasteland. It depends now on the shrewdness and skill of mankind to determine how long we can deceive nature.


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