Thursday, September 13, 2012

Summertime in Kuwait is about to be over!

Well, it's now been ANOTHER 90 days. I promised myself I wouldn't get behind on my blog, and we see how that went! So much has happened...where shall I begin?

Since my last post in June, we've endured a "typical" Kuwaiti summer with highs in the upper 120s and lows in the upper 90s to low 100s. We did have a few days over 130°, but I survived with little more than a good sweat. Odd thing about the extreme heat--when I'm outside and the temperature is around or above 120°, my hands actually get so hot that it feels like they're on fire. I mean, to the point where I run them under "cold" water. I put that in quotes because, during the summer, the cold water here is around 120°-125°. That's what most households set their water heaters to! The hot water here is truly HOT--they typically set the 50 gallon tanks to 180°, so hot is REALLY hot! You never use the hot water during the summer, and only small amounts during the winter. It's crazy, I tell you!

Album of pictures from the
Mediterranean cruise

I did manage to knock a few things off of my bucket list this summer. Leslie and I went on a Mediterranean cruise, and what an awesome experience! We had 2 stops in France and 3 stops in Italy before returning to our port of debarkation--Barcelona. Although my phone was stolen at the Barcelona airport upon my arrival, everything else went pretty much like clockwork the rest of the week. The Hotel Catalunya was amazing, the cabin on the ship was amazing, and the food--holy shit--the food was AMAZING! There was just SO much of it! If you've never been on a cruise, I highly recommend it. Royal Carribbean isn't the cheapest, but they make up for it with amenities like you wouldn't believe--amazing Broadway-style shows, an ice show like no other, customer service that was second to none, and just an overall A+ experience. I sound like a commercial, but it really was just that damn awesome. We had fun every single day, and saw amazing sights like Pompeii, the leaning tower of Pisa, downtown Florence, the Pantheon, Mt. Vesuvius, the French Riviera, and a host of other sights. I took a lot of pictures, but Leslie tells me that pictures without one of us in them would be "less interesting", so forgive me if my photos are "less interesting" because I was just snapping picture after picture in awe.

Upon my return to Kuwait, I found out that we were moving into different accommodations. Notice I didn't say "better" accommodations--just "different". It's still a CHU, as they're called here (Containerized Housing Unit), which basically amounts to a box with doors. They have air conditioning, but when the dust storms hit, the dust just blows right in through the window units. We had a really bad sandstorm just 24 hours after we had moved in, and I came in after work to find all of my stuff--laptop, Xoom, TV, bed) covered with a very heavy layer of talcum-powder-fine dust. So I spent the next 3 hours cleaning, washing and meticulously dusting my electronics....only to have the storm intensify overnight into a full-blown blackout sandstorm the following day. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this place?

So that brings us up to now. Nothing much really changes here day-to-day. The temperatures are finally falling to mid-70s at night and lower 100s during the day, and the cold water is now actually not scalding hot. I will be taking pictures and video of everything as soon as I move back to day shift. As much as I prefer the night shift (7p-7a), it is a highly sought-after time slot, and my time was short. I will be back on nights as soon as someone leaves, which shouldn't be long. Turnaround at this place is tremendous. I've been here 6-1/2 months, and we've already lost 1/2 of the staff that was here when I got here in March. That's just a small sign of how much this place sucks.

To answer a few questions I've gotten via email--no, I have not cut my hair yet. It is about down to the middle of my back now. I'll cut it after I am moved back to the states for good and donate it then. Another question--yes, it REALLY DOES get to be 130°+ here during the summer. I have a couple of pictures on my Facebook page of the thermometer on my bicycle reading well over 130°. Although it only got that hot about a dozen times this summer, it was enough to convince me that I don't want to live here on a permanent basis! Another--I plan on being here until August 1, 2013. I don't think I can take much more than that. That will be a year and a half, and that's certainly enough for me. Last one--my "room" is about 12'x22', and it is divided roughly in half. I have the front half (with the door and the tiny window), so my actual space is only about 9' wide and maybe 10' long. A metal bunk bed, 2 wall lockers, and my 'personal stuff" (TV, laptop/desk, small refrigerator, microwave) are the amenities that we have. Entertainment is to download movies and TV shows to watch on days off. That is life in Kuwait!

Until next time....

No comments: